I was trying to come up with an idea of what to blog about, but the latest Letter Bee was a filler episode and I couldn’t be assed to watch another Miracle Train. In the end, I decided to take a look back at 2009. This post doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Moe Sucks as a whole nor is it meant to be comprehensive. If I didn’t mention a particular anime, it’s only because it wasn’t the best, surprising nor disappointing. I didn’t want to talk about the bad either because, well, I think most anime are just plain bad (I’ll never understand why people think this is an odd position for an anime fan; most movie fans would agree that most movies suck) and the rest of the blog already covers a part of that.
I’m a bit late with this realization, but the beautiful (and fatally flawed) Bakemonogatari has not quite given up the ghost yet. The last three episodes are being streamed, and the first has been subbed by gg. The quality on the stream isn’t great and there wasn’t much action in this episode, but it seems like the really chronic animation failures that plagued the end of the first season have been cleared up.
Which leaves the chronic failures of plot and characterization. What really got my goat about the series is that despite the genuinely rich and two-sided relationship between Araragi and Senjougahara, every other character besides them and Oshino is a moe stereotype, and they’re all in love with Araragi (don’t split hairs; their attraction takes various forms but they are all gunning for him one way or another). The shameless harem tropes clashed with the show’s classy visuals and witty dialogue in an ugly way, and it didn’t help that the story seemed to have broken down into full-on pandering by the end of the snake arc.
Since this new arc seems like it will deal with Hanekawa’s attraction to Araragi (there are pretty clear-cut hints in the timing of Hanekawa’s headaches, not to mention her little mock-kiss in the bookstore at the beginning of the snake arc), it may be a chance for Bakemonogatari to redeem itself in my eyes. Will the show mock the shallow harem of Araragi’s ‘patients’? Or just further glorify it? I would love to forgive Bakemonogatari, but it has a lot to make up for and only two more episodes to do it.
I hate turning these episodic updates into massive screencap galleries, but honestly the richness of Bakemonogatari‘s visuals makes me feel helpless to avoid it. And as much as I try to keep my critic’s impartiality, something about the show encourages fanatacism. Senjougahara fascination is catching on fast, but, happily, Bakemonogatari doesn’t seem to be willing to rest on its laurels.
I’m really happy with this week’s Bakemonogatari, especially after a couple of relatively slow episodes. I’m going to talk about specific events in episode five, so if you plan on watching it you should do so before reading further.
Gushy McGush here, ready to get excited about Bakemonogatari!?
Well actually not a lot is happening in this episode, it seems the solution to the lost loli’s problem will be forthcoming next week. Sadly, a lot of Bakemonogatari’s charm is in the wordplay, both the dialogue and the many references to different reading of kanji that is likely to zoom right over the heads of anyone who isn’t a native speaker (or require lengthy explanations that dull the effect). It can still be fun to watch, and the show’s visuals are still amazing, but it’s annoying to realize that you’re not really getting the full experience. The new OP and ED are very entertaining though, and it seems we’ll be getting a fresh OP for each arc as this one is specifically about Hachikuji. By the way, expect rave reviews from previously disinterested bloggers who will be getting hot and bothered about the grade school-aged character and her cutesy antics. Comes with the territory I guess.
(By the way, sorry to the people in the comments section of the Aoi Hana entry, I promise I’m not ignoring you, just a little busy today. You should hear back from me later tonight or tomorrow.)