After much anticipation, Nisemonogatari, the sequel to Bakemonogatari, has finally been broadcast/streamed. In 2009, Bakemonogatari was lauded as one of the best anime on air so expectations ran high for Nisemonogatari, but will it be able to live up to its predecessor?
The plot for Nisemonogatari has been advertised to focus around Koyomi Araragi’s younger sisters Karen and Tsukihi, but judging from the first episode, Koyomi remains an integral part of the story, playing the protagonist and narrator. In fact, Tsukihi only makes an appearance for about 5 minutes while Karen is nowhere to be seen. Either this series falsely advertised the Araragi sisters’ prominence in the story, or it’s easing viewers into it by using the same format as Bakemonogatari.
The personalities of the cast do not appear to have changed significantly from the first series so far, but there are some notable differences. Hitagi has moved on from teasing her boyfriend to outright torturing him, and Mayoi appears to have stopped calling Araragi “Arararagi”. Everything else seems to remain the same, Koyomi still picks on Mayoi and Nadeko still has her eyes set on “Koyomi onii-chan”. Tsubasa and Suruga don’t make appearances in the first episode.
What I’m sure a lot of people are wondering though, is what SHAFT has done with the animation and inside jokes in Nisemonogatari. I’m glad to say that they’re both the same as they were in Bakemonogatari and as prominent as ever. Sudden scene changes and odd placement of strange objects is ever present in the series, not to mention the unconventional camera angles and points of view. Strange settings for otherwise normal places have also been brought back in Nisemonogatari. The Araragi living room, for example, contains a physically questionable stack of ladders and dozens of studio lights hanging from the ceiling. SHAFT also managed to poke fun at itself in one scene where a reference was made to the huge delays in getting the final episodes of Bakemonogatari released.
In a nutshell, Nisemonogatari looks exactly like what you would expect from the sequel to Bakemonogatari. All of the elements that made Bakemonogatari are still there, but now you can add a couple more characters to the mix. If you enjoyed the first series, then you’ll likely take a liking to the second.