If you haven’t heard about Bakemonogatari or you’re not sure about it yet, then you’re in the right place. Bakemonogatari is the name that is given to an entire series of Japanese light novels. They are the work of Nisio Isin, Japanese light novelist and illustration was done by Vofan, a Taiwanese artist. We offer ten things you didn’t know about Bakemonogatari to help you decide if it’s for you.
1. The novel was made into an anime series
Bakemonogatari the anime series is an adaptation of the Monogatari light novel series. The television version was written by Fuyashi To and directed by Tatsuya Oishi and Akiyuki Shinbo. It is the first adaptation that has been put to animation by the Japanese Shaft studio and it tells the first part of the Monogatari novel series.
2. The anime is only 15 episodes long
It’s important before you start watching that you know the television anime is just 15 episodes in length. Only 12 of these were shown on television. The other three were only available on the official website and the final episode aired on June 25 of 2010. You can only gain access to the last three episodes legally through Amazon video and the English version of the blue-ray release.
3. Bakemonogatari was a low budget anime
The animated series was made before the company that created it had established a real following so it’s obvious that the series was made on a low budget. You can tell this when you compare it to some of the Shaft studios’ later works. You’ll notice that there are many static motions throughout the series and it doesn’t have the flow that the more modern animes do so if the animation is a deal breaker for you, then you may want to take this under consideration
4. Its a good study in the history of anime
By watching the Bakemonogatari anime series you can pick out the unique style and techniques of the first animated adaptation of the series. Akiyuki Shinbo is a unique director and stylistically, the series set the precedent for the works that would follow. You will note that there are slight evolutions of style and technique in the anime series to come but there are hallmark signs that are signatures of his directing style and it makes them unique and different from the others stylistically.
5. Bakemonogatari uses head tilts and eye fixations to show emotion
Even anime fans who faithfully tuned in to Bakemonogatari are not aware of the fact that the creativity of Shaft Studios made prominent use of zoom-ins on the eyes with dramatic close-ups when showing emotion. They also used head tilts prolifically, having the characters tilt their heads in very dramatic and bizarre ways. In fact, this technique is one of the things that brought notoriety to Shaft Studios and it is commonly referred to as the Shaft Head Tilt.
6. The scenes feature abandoned locations
Most of the scenes in Bakemonogatari are interesting architecturally because they feature an abandoned looking background setting. There are usually just two to three characters that are ever placed on the screen at one time. The characters that appear on the side have their faces obscured. This is a technique that is known as main character bias because this is where the animators intend to focus the attention of the viewers.
7. The animators experiment with color change
You’ll also notice in the anime that there is an occasional alteration of the color schemes from one scene to another. The studio experimented with a unique change of shades and also different lightning throughout the anime. One of the most noticeable color swaps that take places is a muting of the colors of the characters’ clothing and the application of darker hair on the characters.
8. Bakemonogatari uses the environment to show Koyomi’s indifference to most of those around him
It seems that Bakemonogatari is an anime that is all about technique to tell the story. There are some scenes in the series that rely heavily on implication to get the main point across. For example, the rare scenes that show background characters present, such as classroom scenes where it’s understood that there are other characters in the background but they’re just not shown. This is supposed to show the main character’s indifference towards them.
9. Some real-life photos are used
Bakemonogatari makes use of real-life footage and photos, but in a small amount and only for brief instances. This is done to make a point when it is used. You will see in some of the scenes that there will be a close up of a body part with an image from real life or actual footage of a sky and there are even some scenes that offer pictures of real people versus animations. It’s a cool technique and they use it very sparingly, but it is occasionally used.
10. The music consists of five theme songs
Some anime enthusiasts fall in love with the music and it’s an easy thing to do with Bakemonogatari as there is a separate theme song for every one of the story arcs. There are a total of five. Each is a single which includes the music and the lyrics. The ending title is called “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” and it’s performed by Nagi.