Title: Nisemonogatari (Impostory)
Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural
The black swindler Kaiki Deishu, who once deceived Hitagi, returns to town and spreads the incantation which cursed Nadeko before.
Koyomi's sisters Karen and Tsukihi try to capture Deishu but...
Given the real and indistinguishable fake, which is worth more?
“The fake is of far greater value. In its deliberate attempt to be real, its more real than the real thing.” –Kaiki Deishu
The story of Nisemonogatari revolves around the fire sisters, the oddity that possessed them and how Araragi saved his sisters from those oddities. It's really very simple but they even dragged the two arcs into 11 episodes. Bakemonogatari was able to tell 5 different stories with 15 episodes. Yes, 15>11 but even with the TV airing with 12 episodes it were able to tell 4 stories compared with Nisemonogatari's 2 stories. Like I said the story is really simple but what made it complex is the set of characters involved in each story (I'll discuss it later).
I guess what makes it fun to watch is the fanservice involved in each episode but I think it is also its flaw. Fanservice is really excessive that there were some useless episodes full of it and the story wasn't able to move forward at all. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the fanservice since it gave me this 'HHHHHNNNNNGGHHHH' feeling (toothbrush scene hehe…) but its just too much that its very obvious its there to fill some time.
I was a bit disappointed that Senjougahara's and Araragi's love story wasn't tackled much in the sequel since its one of the main reason why I like the first season (To tell you the truth I just want more Senjougahara period). Despite that at least this series was able to tackle a different kind of love and it’s Araragi's brotherly love for his sisters but is it really brotherly love or it's something more (incest?)? I guess its up to the viewer's imaginations. To tell you the truth that's kinda hot with the forbidden love thingy between Araragi and his sisters (oh gosh I've been infected with the Araragi virus….I need too get rid of it fast!!).
Another thing what I like about this series is its take on several topics like Kaiki’s view about capitalism, the Araragi sibling’s view on justice and Kagenui’s take on the theory of innate goodness/evilness. I really find their views intriguing and somehow makes me ponder if their views makes sense.
The characters that stand out to me is probably the villains since I think I’ve never seen villains like them. Enter Kaiki Daishu who earns his money by selling charms to middle school children (which apparently has some curse) and when that charm back fires those children would come back to him for help and of course he’ll charge them for his ‘service’ and he’s not ashamed of using those kids to earn some money. He even claims that he’s doing the capitalist economy a favor since the money he fills his bank accounts with puts the capitalism’s gears in motion and he even compared it with ‘helping others makes someone happy’ (in Kaiki’s case it makes the capitalist economy ‘happy’). A very twisted way of justifying his actions. Then there’s Kagenui Yuzuru who likes to talk with her fists and only looks at things in face value and her answer to Kaiki’s question “Given the real and indistinguishable fake, which is worth more?” is this “The real thing was worth more” really reflects her personality.
Our main characters also shine in this series. The one who made this series memorable for me is Shinobu’s character. Since she’s really silent the entire first season I expect her voice to sound like a quiet refined princess so I was really surprised when I hear her speak since she got a voice of one haughty vampire. She’s another one of those tsundere since she says she does what she does but its not because of Araragi. Oh another closet tsundere is Hachikuji since Araragi might not admit it but I think he likes Hachikuji’s more stingy insults compared with Senjougahara’s light ones. Oh I also like how she became the support of Araragi this time around since he can’t tell anyone besides her that he’s a vampire and also I love her dialogues. The most memorable would probably be the addition of ‘the courage’ to shameless sentences to make it sound positive ex: “The courage to accept the label of pervert”, very clever Hachikuji, very clever. The main cast of the previous season also appeared in this series but its only for re-introduction and somehow I find that a bit lacking specially Senjougahara’s screen time. The fire sister was nicely fleshed out but Tsukihi’s arc is a bit lacking since unlike her sister Karen, she was not that involved in her oddity and she doesn’t even know she’s is one so she spends the entire arc clueless of what’s happening around her. Oh I almost forgot Araragi’s character. He’s still a very admirable lead since he does and says manly things but honestly sometimes I think someone should arrest this guy for molesting underage girls. He was the main source of the laughs and fanservice this season. Overall, solid characterization for the entire cast though I wish they got Tsukihi more involved in her case.
This series boast good art direction, a very beautiful and fluid animation. I love how the visual could make you feel uncomfortable just like what they did with Kaiki’s scene with those black and white stripes. Oh man those camera angles is also a treat and would make anyone who likes fanservice happy. The background is also well detailed and perfectly fits the story telling. The character design is stunning and everyone looked gorgeous. I like how they changed the characters hairstyles since it made them look refreshing. My favorite image change would probably be Hanekawa since she ditched her glasses and that short hair made her look so much cuter. The character design of both Karen and Tsukihi is also impressive since it oppositely reflects their personalities. Karen’s yellow jacket and shorts fits her boyish attitude but she’s really more calm than Tsukihi who wears a very short kimono and looks really feminine but deep inside she’s a hot headed person. Just like in Bakemonogatari, the animation style is distinctively Shinbou’s with that quirky animation style and the colored frames with words that appears there. Thankfully they reduced those colored frames this time around since the last time I have to pause the show just to read what’s written there.
I love the OST of this series from the orchestrated bgms to those that mix modern beats with those ancient japanese sounding music. The music really brings out more emotions or reactions whenever it is played. Man, that toothbrush scene accompanied by classical music makes it more memorable and will definitely give you this ‘HHHNNNNGHH’ feeling. My favorite OP song would be “Platinum Disco” which was sung by Araragi Tsikihi (Yuka Iguchi) its very catchy just like Renai Circulation. Second favorite is “Marshmallow Justice” sung by Araragi Karen (Kitamura Eri). Least favorite would be “Futakotome” by Hitagi Senjougahara (Saito Chiwa) since its not that catchy unlike the first two I mentioned. My 2nd favorite ClariS song is “Naisho no Hanashi” (sorry my #1 will always be Connect which is the OP of Madoka Magica), I love the full ver of this song.
I also love the voice acting in this series. Just like in Bakemonogatari, the seiyuu brought the characters to life. I love the voice acting of Kamiya Hiroshi who played Araragi Koyomi since he can switch from being cool and then to sounding ridiculous, I really enjoyed Araragi’s internal monologue thanks to him. I also have to commend Sakamoto Maaya for voicing our haughty Shinobu. I could literally listen to her voice all day and I don’t mind being verbally abused by that voice too (ARARAGI!!! What have you done to me?!). Oh let’s not forget Kitamura Eri’s performance in that oh so famous toothbrush scene. She successfully popped some nutbladders out there I’m sure of it (wwwwwwwww what the hell am I writing?!). *Ahem* Good grief this show have tainted my pure mind…wwwwwwwww
To tell you the truth, I’m a bit wary that this might get the ‘Shaft sequel syndrome’ and end up like the other disappointing sequels that SHAFT animated. Thank goodness I was not disappointed. This show surely deliver one hell of an entertainment thanks to its quirky characters, memorable fanservice (the infamous toothbrush scene), witty word play and interesting villains. Too bad the story is too tad simple that it left me unsatisfied at the end. To make up for it, this series is a visual feast, specially that art direction its oh so darn awesome. I think fans of Bakemonogatari would enjoy this series but some might get a bit disappointed. Oh and beware…you might get tainted too and catch the Araragi virus. I warned you…
OVERALL: 8/10 (High Priority Watch)