Anime Vice News

Winter Watch: Nisemonogatari #1

Nisio Isin's trademark rapid-fire dialog returns in the first episode of this highly anticipated series.

Welcome to Winter Watch, an article series where we will take each episode of some the simulcasted winter season anime and disclose our opinions about them. Among the many shows being broadcast this season, Nisemonogatari is perhaps the most anticipated one as it is a direct sequel to fan favorite Bakemonogatari.

Episode 1: Karen Bee, Part 1

Summary: Koyomi is kidnapped by Hitagi and has a flash back to earlier that day where he talks with his sister and meets Mayoi while walking to a friend's house.

Air Date: Jan. 07, 2012

Run Time: 24:10

Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.

This episode starts with Koyomi, the main character of the series, restrained in a chair by a young woman named Hitagi who is a bit of a sadist with a few screws loose. After some mild and "playful" torture/harrasment filled with sexual innuendo, a flashback to earlier that morning takes place and we find Koyomi at his house where he talks with his sister, Tsukihi. After some light banter, Koyomi heads out to meet up with a friend but gets sidetracked when he spots Mayoi, a 5th grader who is his friend but isn't quite what she seems. After playing sneaking up on her for an extremely over-the-top hug and greeting, the two chat for a bit and the episode ends with them going their separate ways.

This white shadow is one example of how the show keeps things visually interesting.
This white shadow is one example of how the show keeps things visually interesting.

There is a lot to enjoy about this episode. A lot of care has gone into making this show visually appealing, which is impressive considering that the majority of the episode is banter between Koyomi and another character. I found the characters extremely engaging. The dialog between them is sharp and you can gauge a lot of their personality through the things they say and how they say it. Finally, this series is genuinely funny whether it be from blatant gags, witty dialog, or utilizing the visuals for comedic effect. However, all is not perfect. Much of the dialog is delivered at a rapid fire pace that borders on overwhelming and seemingly was written without a clear understanding of how much dialog can be delivered at a reasonable pace given the length of an episode. Additionally, there is some mild loli banter and antics which I thought wasn't necessary.

Verdict

For all of the turbo talking and mild loli content, I really enjoyed this episode. It did so much right that it's easy for me to look past some of the things it did wrong. I can honestly say that I want to watch more of it and see what happens to the characters and how Koyomi eventually ends up kidnapped by Hitagi. The desire to watch more of the series is the ultimate goal for any first episode and this one delivered on that for me. I'd definitely say that if you are on the fence about the series or have in inclining to check it out, do so.

Watch on Crunchyroll

- William Taylor ( sickvisionz ) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionz and on Tumblr atIn My Lifetime.

ParamedicFoetuson Jan. 13, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Looks cool, I've been looking for something to start watching after just finishing my last series and I think this might be it.

sora_thekey moderator on Jan. 13, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.

I definitively like the animation but the story just doesn't call out to me! I don't think this series might be for me...

HKDoomenstein23on Jan. 13, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.

I had my friend watch this when he had nothing else to do at the time. Never really been a viewer of anime, he only remembers watching some DBZ in the 90's. Tells me he really enjoyed it and wants to see the next episode. He and I really like the music, the scene where Araragi and his sister are talking is just the music we would imagine should be playing if we were in a room like that. The music is just one out of many that we like about this animation.

fijilovesyouon Jan. 13, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.

Loved the first episode. But the thing is, the episode is titled "Karen Bee". We didn't get to see Karen. That is why I didn't get to enjoy it that much. He should've went to Nadeko right away. I think almost everybody hates Hachikuji. And I like Tsukihi. I wonder, will I like Karen? We will see soon enough.

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 13, 2012 at 10:27 p.m.

@fijilovesyou said:

Loved the first episode. But the thing is, the episode is titled "Karen Bee". We didn't get to see Karen.

I get the feeling that the feeling that this series will have a lot of trollish stuff like that. That specific thing reminds me of Episode #4 of Katanagatari (another Nisio Isin work) where it was supposed to have a huge epic battle between two characters but it took place entirely off screen and no aspect of was ever shown outside of the preview in episode #3.

I think almost everybody hates Hachikuji.

What's wrong with her? She's cute, seems pretty nice (at least once you get to know her) and her "courage makes everything ok" bit was the funniest part of the episode to me.

fijilovesyouon Jan. 14, 2012 at 12:39 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Well we have different opinions. But I don't hate her. I just can't seem to like her.

I get the feeling that the feeling that this series will have a lot of trollish stuff like that.

I hope this won't happen all the time.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Jan. 14, 2012 at 7:56 a.m.

The visuals look really nice, might have to check this out at some point.

Cloudenvyon Jan. 14, 2012 at 7:59 a.m.

@fijilovesyou: I love Hachikuji, just saying!

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 14, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.

@Cloudenvy:

Suki 4 Hachikuji
Suki 4 Hachikuji

@Newten: It's an interesting watch. Not much of a story yet but this episode is entertaining from start to finish.

takashichea moderator is online on Jan. 14, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.

Too many anime and not enough time to try them.

Great report, sickVisionz!

zaldaron Jan. 14, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.

glad to hear that the loli content doesn't destroy this. Some of the other places I have looked at this made me think it did.

EquitasInvictuson Jan. 15, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.

@sickVisionz: You had some speculation in another thread and asked about certain characters. I'll say that a lot of what you guessed was extremely accurate.

One thing you might want to be sure of, however, is that Hitagi Senjogahara was never quite normal in the first series - she threatened to staple Koyomi's mouth in their first encounter! You are correct, however, in how you believed that normal people aren't aware of her not being normal - she's got an outstanding school record. In fact, every character in this series who are involved with the supernatural can pretty much live their lives normally by day (Hachikuji is an exception because in Bakemonogatari

[Don't click the following spoiler if you're interested in Hachiuki's arc in Bakemonogatari]

Another big point about Koyomi's little sisters you were accurate about are that neither of them have any idea about Koyomi's involvement with the supernatural and it looks like this series is going to play on that extensively.

You were also on the money about Hachikuji. Considering how she's your favorite character, you'd probably love to know that an entire arc of Bakemonogatari focuses on her. It was probably my favorite arc of that series, too!

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 15, 2012 at 3:43 a.m.

@EquitasInvictus: thanks

@zaldar: What you describe leads me to believe its being blown out of proportion. They don't show anything and it could very well just be a joke between the two of them. Now, episode two on the other hand...

zaldaron Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Yeah I'm using sankaku complex here as my source so about a TON of salt needs to be applied.

SergioBon Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.

@fijilovesyou said:

I think almost everybody hates Hachikuji.

I love Hachikuji. She's almost too adorable.

Enigma777on Jan. 18, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.

This is the only show worth a damn this season. THE ONLY ONE!

Note: I may be slightly biased, but fuck you, you know the rest of the lineup sucks. And if you like it, then your fucking taste sucks ass. Hey, someone had to tell you sometime...

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 18, 2012 at 6:52 p.m.

@Enigma777: Who are you talking to? Also, Another says hello.

Enigma777on Jan. 18, 2012 at 9:33 p.m.

@sickVisionz said:

@Enigma777: Who are you talking to? Also, Another says hello.

You. And everyone. And anyone. Also Another says goodbye cause it sucks.

Destinyheroknighton Jan. 19, 2012 at 12:07 a.m.

@Enigma777:

I may be slightly biased, but fuck you, you know the rest of the lineup sucks. And if you like it, then your fucking taste sucks ass. Hey, someone had to tell you sometime

It seem someone got up on the wrong side of the bed? Anyway everyone have different tastes then you and also could you watch your language (there kids on here)

AURON570on Jan. 22, 2012 at 10:06 p.m.

So I decided to give this a shot... and I almost want to go back and rewatch Bakemonogatari to see how wrong I was about it.

I found it hilarious that Araragi made a comment in the beginning saying roughly, "What is this, some sort of avant-garde method?!" Coincidentally I am currently taking a drama course in university called "The Avant-Garde", and when Araragi made that comment, this series and what it's trying to do started to make sense to me.

Previously I have said that the visuals frustrated me, or that the dialogue was obviously going to fast, and it still sort of does frustrate me, BUT that's the point! All avant-garde can be seen as a sort of reaction against typical or traditional forms or rules of art.

For example, in this episode there is a part where Araragi and Mayoi are talking and parts of their character are obscured by a wall with circles in it, only showing their mouth or face being animated. Or when they sit down in a suspiciously empty cafeteria to talk. The point being roughly, "Hey, you know how in regular anime where you see the whole character, and only their mouths are being animated, well that's what's happening here, except we're drawing attention to that fact by obscuring the parts that aren't animated." Similarily for the cafeteria scene the point is roughly, "Hey you know how in scenes like this in regular anime where you have all those extra unanimated background characters that don't really add anything to the story? Well here you go, minus all the extras."

I was hard-pressed whether to make this comment on the second episode article or here, because there is more discussion on fan service in the second episode article. But I'll make it here. Turambar makes a good point about the use of fanservice in Nisemonogatari. The anime basically calls you out for any perverted thoughts that you might be having during the fan service scenes, with the aim of making you uncomfortable or think twice. The best example of this in this episode (besides the opening scene between Senjogahara and Araragi), is where Araragi is doing a handstand and Mayoi lifts up her skirt to prove to Araragi that she's wearing kiddy panties, THEN just before we see anything, it shifts back to Araragi who gets a cream pie thrown onto his face out of nowhere.

I'm still a little wary about the whole notion of "avant-garde art", but now atleast I can see why some reason why I was so frustrated by Bakemonogatari, and I am excited to go into Nisemonogatari with a more critical mindset.

Dig Deeper into Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari is a 2012 anime series that serves as a sequel to the 2009 series "Bakemonogatari". Both anime are based off of Nishio Ishin's popular "-monogatari" series of light novels.

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