Here’s the second installment in my Monogatari series marathon, Kizumonogatari!
Kizumonogatari, originally released as Koyomi Vamp to serve as a prequel for Bakemonogatari recieved an anime adaptation in 2016. It was released as three one hour long films titled Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen, Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu-hen and Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen.
First things first, Kizumonogatari is much darker and more gory than Bakemonogatari. If Bakemonogatari’s specialty was that surreal, haunting and mysterious feeling one got while watching it, then Kizumonogatari’s specialty would be a dystopian vibe emanating from a majority of the movies.
Kizumonogatari is much more focused on the horror, action and supernatural aspects of the Monogatari series. The entire animation is a shade darker, with dull and emotionless colors being used as shaded and shadowy backgrounds to horrifically beautiful imagery, contrasting to Bakemonogatari’s wide color range and mysterious beauty.
The instant you start watching Kizumonogatari, you know something is wrong. It opens up with a scene of poor Araragi Koyomi being burned by the morning sun(a running gag is created out of this moment, the part in bakemonogatari where after every episode, Araragi-san refused to get out of bed early in the morning was due to this one scene). If Bakemonogatari is the mild, introductory office coffee, savored slowly and enjoyably, then Kizumonogatari is like a double espresso shot, hitting you harder than a punch from Mike Tyson.
Slight changes can also be seen in the art style(I mean there’s a difference of 7 years between Bake and Kizu), but the changes are not made to the design of the characters, but how they’re drawn. Up until Reiketsu-hen, all characters are drawn in this faded, shadowy manner which emphasizes the more supernatural and horror elements of the series. Then in Reiketsu-hen, at the end parts, the color scheme is returned to normal(as was in Bakemonogatari), to reflect obvious changes in narrative and characters. Overall, I would say it has a much more ‘drawn’ feel rather than an ‘animated’ feel. You get what I’m trying to say? Sometimes it seems that the animation is too smooth, giving it that ‘drawn’ feel, like the feeling after a perfect frame shift.
I think you guys will understand after watching this gif I found on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/animegifs/comments/b2i10c/kissshot_heartunderblade_kizumonogatari_iii/
It also showcases just how smoking hot adult shinobu is!
There’s also quite a lot more ecchi in Kizumonogatari, considering it’s length, compared to Bakemonogatari.
Let’s talk about the individual parts now:
Tekketsu-hen- An anti-social Araragi befriends the top honors student of the school, Tsubasa Hanekawa, who informs him about rumors surrounding a blonde vampire roaming around town. Soon, Araragi, as is his usual fortune/misfortune, encounters said vampire, the, ‘King Of Apparitions’, Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade(Later to be named Oshino Shinobu by Oshino Meme. Interestingly, Oshino Shinobu means blade hidden under heart in japanese, reflecting the only sensible part of her original name). She’s been Consort Qi’d, with her limbs cut off by vampire hunters. Araragi saves her by feeding her his blood, becoming her vampire underling.
Nekketsu-hen- Araragi must take back Kiss-shot’s(Shinobu’s) limbs from the three vampire hunters, a full-blooded vampire, a half-blooded vampire and a full-blooded human(no, they’re not a family). Spoiler spoiler happens with Hanekawa and spoiler spoiler fight happens, go watch the movie or read the light novel. Anyways, Araragi gets Kiss-shot’s limbs back and Kissh-shot, who had taken the form of a little girl starts regaining her older body the more libs she gets back.
Reiketsu-hen- Kiss-shot is powered up again, and Araragi and Kiss-shot spend an evening thinking about the past and Kiss-shot tells him about another subordinate she had who committed suicide after learning he couldn’t become human again. Then spoiler spoiler happens and they end up fighting and spoiler spoiler happens and Kiss-shot reverts to her childlike form, the way she is in Bakemonogatari and Koyomi is returned to being mostly human. Go watch the movie or read the light novel.
While Kizumonogatari may not be very important to watch before Bakemonogatari, I suggest that you definitely watch Kizumonogatari before Nisemonogatari to better understand Nisemonogatari’s Shinobu sub plot. It is integral towards better understanding Shinobu and Araragi’s relationship throughout the rest of the series.
Personally, even though I like Kizumonogatari, I don’t nearly like it as much as Bakemonogatari. Bakemonogatari, and Nisemonogatari after it have that special mysterious feeling which is inexplicably awesome, while Kizumonogatari has more of the devastating vibe. I care even less for Nekomonogatari(Kuro), which is next up on the list.
Farewell for now my dear readers, we shall meet again soon enough. Remember to read the first article in this series, https://otakukamismind.home.blog/2019/03/16/monogatari-series-marathon-part-1-bakemonogatari/ , about Bakemonogatari, where I also discuss the series in general.