Number of episodes: 11 episodes
Plot Summary: In Bakemonogatari, the story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who has recently survived a vampire attack, and finds himself mixed up with all kinds of apparitions: gods, ghosts, myths, and spirits. However, in Nisemonogatari, we pick up right where we left off and follow Koyomi as the psychological twists delve deeper and deeper…
Bakemonogatari is one of my favorite anime in 2009 (and arguably one of the best that year), so everything when crazy in my mind when they announced a sequel. Naturally, with Nisemonogatari I expect at least same quality, if not better, from this Shinbo Akiyuki’s latest adaptation anime. But, instead a great follow-up, we got a wasted potential.
It was just never crossed my minds when I watch the earlier episode from the series, because everything seems so fine. A little peek at beginning even leads me to believe Nisemonogatari is on the right direction to perfection. But hype only get you so far, as the story goes on, i realize that this series will never be as good as the predecessor. It’s because of one thing, or rather, lack of one: Substance
Bakemonogatari is known for the heavy use of dialogue, a unique way to present the anime and it works. In Nisemonogatari, it’s still there. But as you can see, it never used to its full potential. 9 out of 10, dialogue just served for character interaction purpose and rarely used for plot development. By character interaction I mean Araragi Koyomi, the main character, flirting around with the girls usually also showing the girls skin. With that kind of structure and paper-thin plot to begin with, expect moments while entertaining it’s also superficial.
The supposed theme of the show, which is “Fake (Nisemono)” as the title suggest, is never feel like it’s the center of the show. Only some rare moments, including later part of the show, that was really talking about the theme. If there were recurring themes in this series, they were Imouto and fanservice, which unfortunately not in any meaningful way. For the later, I can mention the infamous “toothbrush” scene. While it was amusing to watch, it also felt awkward and pointless. That’s what you get when sacrifice near whole episode to that kind of scene, when you can use the time for building up the plot OR for introducing new characters. Yup, there were key characters introduced really late at penultimate part of the show, and that’s not cool as viewers never have enough time to know them or to care.
But not everything about Nise is bad, far from it. Make no mistake, Nisemonogatari is still entertaining and interesting anime. This series introduce a unique kind villain in the form of Kaiki Deishu, a con-man. He is heartless and very confident about his view. Yet, viewer can at least understand him, because his motivation is easily accessible. Also don’t forget about the charming witty banter with the girls like, Mayoi, Kanbaru, Senjougahara and so on because actually this is what this show is all about. As you smile at the interaction between them, you can see their transformation from the previous series, usually consisted of getting a haircut and becoming much sexier. But that’s that.
Nisemonogatari certainly has its own good moments, but also many of bad moments that prevent the series living up to the name of Bakemonogatari. That said, it’s still worth watching for the fans the series, just don’t expect something really good.
6/10 (Above Average)