Bakemonogatari #01 — Pastabrain

July 3rd, 2009

 

Because everything is improved by replacing heads with pasta.

New Season Disclaimer:

I try to watch at least the first episode of every new show in a season. However, do not expect anything I say to be fair or balanced. I value my own entertainment above all else and there are some genres or methods of presentation that I just plain do not like and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I’ll attempt to at least make a cursory explaination of what did and did not please me about each show, but it’s just a simple fact of life that my tastes are mine alone. Feel free to express your own opinions in the comments, just keep it under control. This is just television after all.

Impressions:

Well, I can’t really say it blew me away, and I’m going to lay all the blame of that on the direction. Shaft/Shinbo have always treaded the fine line between overly artsy and visually clever, but they obliterated that line more than a few times this episode. Some of the things they did were clever enough. They made it almost entirely through the first half without showing Araragi’s face clearly, and used a number of first person shots to really try to put the audience in his eyes, as well as the usual beautiful photosynthed Shaft scenery shots, but there was just as much abject bizarreness that, at least for me, distracted far more than it helped. "Okay, so during this conversation, let’s morph it into a film strip with the quality continuously degrading." "Okay, and then we’ll put Araragi’s head over it, cut off the top, and have spaghetti and cake pour out." "AWESOME." Interestingly, I think the spaghetti-head was where the budget for the episode ran out, because all the visual absurdity abruptly stopped right there and it actually became a little easier to watch. There were almost nothing but still shots of the characters for the last five minutes or so of the episode, but at least nobody had pasta coming out of their ears.

My second major problem with this episode was that I don’t particularly like either Araragi nor Hitagi. If Shaft was going to stick with the first person focus, then I could forgive Araragi having the personality of damp toast. Instead though, his deadpan "I heal fast. I was attacked by a vampire. I don’t eat saltines because they’re too exciting a food," conversations drain my will to live. Hitagi’s a little bit better, thanks mostly to her Mousse-like cache of pseudoweapons… even if I am still wondering what exactly she was planning to do with that pair of safety scissors. She had the same problem as Araragi though… a personality like wet mildew. At first, her emotionless manner as she stuck a box cutter in Araragi’s face was cool, but then when she asked to be saved, or claims that she’s a tsundere in the exact same tone, it lost quite a bit.

So, I don’t really know yet here. The story was decent enough (although the 100% exposition from start to finish was a bit much to take in), but I didn’t like either of the main characters, and Shaft really needs to dial it down about four notches. If you don’t like Shaft (Hi, Hinano!), then stay the hell away from this. Even if you do, I might wait and see if they just tried to go all out for the weirdness in the first episode, or if they’re going to pull back and work on pacing this a little bit better and making the characters into something a little more likeable than wooden lumps.

Oh, and to complete Shaft’s directional peculiarities, the ED for the episode was what has been previously billed as the OP, while the thing that played for the first 90 seconds of the episode leading into the sponsorship message was essentially the prologue story about Araragi getting vamped up… and Tsubasa’s lacey unmentionables.

Bakemonogatari ‘OP’/ED (real OP)

Posted in Anime | 12 Comments »

12 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Anonymous says:

    Cant be sure I’ll follow this. Shaft’s comedies are nice, but a show with a more serious tone is something I don’t like seeing done by them.

  • Anonymous says:

    This could be interesting. Ararararagi seems pretty bland, yeah, but Hitagi? Immediately following the pastabrain sequence and just before she follows him into a shady abandoned building, she says something like, “One last thing: it may not look like it, but my body probably isn’t worth raping.” What the hell?

  • Aroduc says:

    She could be interesting, but I think the only time her voice pitch changed at all out of blasé deadpan was when she was removed the boxcutter from vampboy’s mouth. It’s hard to listen to an endless monotone.

  • Chimasternmay says:

    seems like my last comment didn’t go tru if it did ops, but ya i’m liking this anime already

  • Celestial says:

    Production is good.
    Mouth cutting is hot.
    Chiwa Saito is good.
    Hiding erasers and stationary in skirt is cool.
    SZS on the next day is good.
    Yay yay violence!
    Ahoge-s desu.

    Best show of the season yay!

  • Honoo says:

    I’d like to add with that a bit: one of the most under-anticipated.

  • TJ says:

    A bit too much talking, and a bit too much weirdness… Oh well, it’s Shaft.

  • jumanji says:

    Hitagi is hot! A little psychotic -but still, she’s hot!

  • MADAO says:

    Hell yeah!!! HD, lacy & detailed panties = Auto Win in my book hence this anime FUKKEN wins !!!

  • The Phantom says:

    This one looks AMAZING ^o^ , it could very well be the best series of the season, I rank it 1st so far even over umineko. Lets see how both shows develops but I have the feeling this will outmatch the rest, supernatural FTW! ^__^

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