ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 12th May 2015, by David West


The six episodes of Koimonogatari wrap up the second season of the Monogatari franchise. In a shift in focus, regular protagonist Koyomi Araragi has only a minor onscreen role in this batch. Instead the focus is squarely on conman Deishu Kaiki. Nadeko Sengoku, the young girl who previously was cursed by a snake apparition, has now become the snake goddess at a local shrine. Insane with jealousy that the object of her affections – Araragi – loves someone else, Sengoku has vowed to kill him, his girlfriend Senjyogahara and the vampire Shinobu on the day that Araragi graduates from high school. To avoid this unhappy fate, Senjyogahara hires Kaiki to save her sweetheart.

As usual for the Monogatari series, everything happens at an unhurried pace and with a very great deal of chatter. Most of episode four consists of Kaiki talking on the telephone. To prevent this becoming visually stultifying, the series is full of eye-catching design work, so even when the characters are doing nothing more than verbal sparring, they are framed against stunning backdrops. The opening title sequence plays like a spoof of a romance anime, with Senjyogahara and Kaiki as two wide-eyed, glamorous lovers. The taciturn and cynical Kaiki makes for an unlikely hero, but as the story slowly unfolds, many of his past actions and motivations are revealed in a new light. The ending is surprisingly dark and even a little shocking.

One of the more challenging outings for the franchise, Koimonogatari is a downbeat and chilly experience.
SCORE: 3/5
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