Monogatari & the Extinction of the Harem (Part 1)

With my completion of Monogatari Series: Second Season (Monogatari), I have watched over 50 episodes of Nisio Isin’s Monogatari franchise. That’s a lot of time to spend with the same group of characters, and yet my experience of watching Monogatari Series: Second Season (SHAFT, 2013) was utterly unlike my previous encounters with Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, and Nekomonogatari: Kuro. Part of the tag for Monogatari Series: Second Season was as follows:

 “Their soliloquies, confessions—and goodbyes.”

If the previous entries into the franchise were beginnings, Monogatari Series: Second Season was most certainly a story of seperations, of departures, and of change.

Monogatari Series: Second Season
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Nekomonogatari: Kuro Analysis

For only four episodes, there was a lot packed in there. As the backstory (but not the backstory backstory) of the Monogatari series, I have to look at Nekomonogatari: Kuro and applaud SHAFT for choosing to adapt this after Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari. It was an excellent choice, because the third installment of this adaptation of Nisio Isin’s novels feels richer after and greatly benefits from having the two stories set in front of it.

Because it was only four episodes long, I basically want consider Nekomonogatari: Kuro an OVA series, despite the fact that it is absolutely necessary to the overall story of the series, and despite the fact that it might almost be easier to frame it as an extension of Nisemonogatari. But nothing about this franchise is ordinary, and so, in the end, I’m not really quite sure how to classify it. Does it matter? Not so much. Neko Kuro, despite the fact that I don’t know if I actually want to rate it in my normal system, essentially winds up as a 6/10 for me on its own merits (but scores higher as a part of the enter series). It is so dependent on what has come before (and also on what is to come), that it’s tough to assess it on its own. And yet here I am.

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