Oh Bakemonogatari, I’m not mad. I’m just…disappointed.
Remember this, Bakemonogatari? How you promised us this wasn’t going to be a shitty nerd dating fantasy?
I trusted you because I thought you were mature enough to handle the responsibility of a story with a ton of girls. And for a while there you did ok. I thought it was very grown-up, the way you had Araragi and Senjougahara decide to go steady and start thinking about their future. I mean the whole moral of the Mayoi Snail arc may as well have been “communication is the foundation of a good relationship”. A little cliche, but for an anime it was downright thought-provoking.
Then again, it’s not like you didn’t give us plenty of hints about what you were up to, Bakemonogatari, right from the beginning. There was even an eyeful of poor, innocent Hanekawa less than a minute into the first episode. But I was so in love with your art that I believed you when you said your intentions were pure.
And this is how you repay my faith in you. Loli stripshows, bloomers, school swimsuits, 2chan memes…are there no depths to your depravity, Bakemonogatari?
All jokes aside, fanservice is sucking everything good out of this show and it’s downright depressing to watch it happen. I complained about Hachikuji, but she was ten times the character that whiny imouto Sengoku is. And her tussles with Araragi were nowhere near as annoying as Sengoku’s ‘onii-chan~’ bullshit. Meanwhile Kanbaru has just been embarrasing since her introduction, I liked her better when she was tearing Araragi’s guts out. And what on earth was up with Hanekawa’s sudden attack? Bakemonogatari‘s fanservice was tolerable when it was a distraction, but now each new character is falling head-over-heels for Araragi and making a mockery out of his relationship with Senjougahara, which was one of the series’ strong points.
Episode 10 has its own problems. The art and animation are way down compared to previous weeks, and most of Araragi’s fight with the invisible serpent is just plain gone, replaced by the ubiquitous ‘scene missing’ cards. What started off as a stylistic eyecatch has ironically become exactly what it was meant to parody. Sankaku reports that SHAFT is missing deadlines and in desperate need of animators, and that 2ch posters are hopeful that the episode will be repaired in the DVD release. I just hope that Bakemonogatari is still worth watching when it gets its shit together. The story is finally moving beyond the short arcs in this latest episode, but at the same time the show seems to be shooting itself in the foot with retarded harem antics. There’s still one arc left for the series to redeem itself, but as it stands things look grim.