ANIME & MANGA - Review
10:00 - 28th December 2013, by Matt Kamen

Nisemonogatari - Part 1

Come into Nisemonogatari blind and you'll be met by a fetishised kidnapping, an abrupt shift focus to a family drama, followed by the main character, Koyomi Araragi, getting creepily over-interested in an underage girl. Oh, and he's apparently a vampire, but he seems pretty chill about it.

Despite being labelled "Part One", Nisemonogatari is really the third volume of the wider Monogatari series. Picking up after the events of Bakemonogatari, it confusingly lacks even a recap, let alone any form of reintroduction to the cast or situations. The seven episodes here comprise one lengthy story arc, 'Karen Bee', with Koyomi's sisters Karen and Tsukihi investigating curses and the mysterious conman behind them. It fails, however, to provide reason to care.

The vaguely supernatural elements are largely background material though, the focus instead being on lengthy, abstract conversations between the cast. This may sound dull, but the sparkling dialogue is the show's greatest strength, delivering wit and humour throughout. With the banter often running a mile-a-minute, the voice cast do a remarkable job, shifting tone and delivery between breaths.

While Nisemonogatari is often experimental, visually and structurally, it isn't anywhere near as artistic or creative as it thinks it is. Those who loved its predecessor will enjoy, though.

Utterly bewildering for the uninitiated - and probably a touch confusing even to returning viewers - Nisemonogatari is nevertheless strangely entrancing to watch. Arguably one of director Akiyuki Shinbo's weaker shows though.
SCORE: 3/5
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