Monday, April 21, 2014

Bakemonoallegory: A Premise for the Thematic Work Occurring in the Monogatari Franchise

Or, Has it Really Been 2 Years Since My Last and Only Other Post

Shh It's Just You and What's That About a Lain Article? Hah No That's Not Me Yo 

          Getting started is the hardest part of writing. But there, it's done.
          Because I'm self-conscious, or maybe because I'm highly introspective – is there a difference between those two things? - I find the need to justify, or rather contextualize, everything I talk about. It should be clear by now that the topic at hand is Bakemonogatari, a Shaft production from the 2009 Summer season that aired beside the third installation in the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei franchise. I'll say now that I can write forever about this franchise, it's what motivated me into putting something down on paper, as usually this stuff just happens in conversation. This all being said, I have a long series of articles on the series planned, so I'm here to talk a little (a lot) about what work Bakemonogatari is doing.
          For the uninitiated, Bakemonogatari is a juicy little project, an anime adaptation by the singularly established Shaft, at the hands of its lead creative force Akiyuki Shinbou working again with character designer Akio Watanabe (Uchuu Senkan Yamamoto Yohko, Soul Taker, The World God Only Knows). The original is the first two part installment of the Monogatari Series by Nisioisin, known also for his work on Medaka Box and Katanagatari. I may not need to tell you this, but it's pretty great.
I love Shinbou, isn't he dreamy~
          It's not my intention to be a reviewer, but considering the topic here is slightly more general, I feel it wouldn't be amiss to give you a little on that end. Bakemonogatari really has the full suite, excelling with a variedly quirky and emotive score, paired with a frenetic, humorous, and never-boring visual style. This franchise moreso maybe than his other work showcases Shinbou's eccentricity and hyper-active timing, while also showcasing and sometimes introducing signature shots. His use of silhouette, abnormal framing, as well as his wonderful sense of balance and usage of lighting give us one impeccable frame after another. Just take a screen shot at any moment in the show. Make it a desktop background. Print it and put it on your wall. You'll never regret it. 
          Even then, as a story Bakemonogatari is pretty unique. It's one of the few modern fantasies that feel less like a shoe-horning of fantasy concepts into a modern world and