Kizumonogatari Part 3 – Comedic Unnerving of Araragi Koyomi

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At this point, I’ve written two reviews on Kizumonogatari (part 1 & 2), and so I must say: I don’t feel like writing a third. It’s really just more of the same–because it’s the same movie­–cut up into three parts. That being said, there are some things I wish to touch upon. Specifically, the way the film portrays Araragi’s state of disarray.

*SPOILER ALERT*

THIS POST IS ABOUT A PIVOTAL SCENE IN THE FILM, I ADVISE YOU NOT TO READ THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN/READ THE FILM/BOOK. Continue reading

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Sense of Self: An Editing Analysis of Kizumonogatari

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Author’s note: What you’re about to read is my final paper for my film studies class. In it, I dissect the editing style of the film as well as what it means to the larger narrative. I’m glad I got to choose whatever film I wanted, as that meant I could immediately gravitate towards any anime movie I wanted. Naturally, Kizumonogatari was what I decided upon. Anyway, because this was meant as a final project, I wrote this paper in a way that explains the film and characters to those who wouldn’t have seen the movie beforehand. I expect all my readers to have seen this glorious masterpiece already, so you can just kindly ignore parts like that. I mean, of course you know who Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade, because who wouldn’t? Haha! On a serious note however, I’d like to thank you all for giving my work the time of day. Never would I have expected the amount acknowledgement I have received for this blog, in only its first year! I probably would’ve tried to keep writing on a weekly basis even if no one read my work at all, but I must say it’s been pretty damn invigorating to know that people care. Thank you so much, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a great time watching anime alone in your room, or whatever it is people do during the break. Oh, and feedback for this paper would be much appreciated. Bye! Continue reading

A Kizumonogatari: Nekketsu Review

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kizumonogatari is a movie cut into parts for absolutely no reason other than to make more money off of chumps like me, both off the airing in theaters and Aniplex’s already wildly exorbitant Blu-ray box sets. While Nekketsu does manage to end on a much less awkward and arbitrary note than Part 1, it’s still abundantly obvious that this film was chopped up after the fact. Does this ruin the experience for me? Not really, but it’s certainly disappointing, and a bit of a personal burden because I have to travel to another state each time to see it. I’d gladly pay three times the amount of a ticket to see the full movie in one sitting, too. But because of the shitty, imposing business strategy behind it, Kizumonogatari can’t be consider a complete film, despite each part being still being an immensely enjoyable experience on their own. With that out of the way, let’s get into the actual review. Continue reading

Meme Oshino – My Favorite Type

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Despite not being a cute anime girl, Meme Oshino is one of my absolute favorite characters in anime, and fiction in general. He is someone the piques my interest every time he’s on screen, someone who knows all the answers and gleefully decides to hold that information until the time is right. Although seemingly lackadaisical, he’ll jump in when, and only when, he is needed. And for those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about:

“Meme Oshino (忍野 メメ, Oshino Meme) is a middle-aged man. An expert in the supernatural. He becomes Koyomi’s informant when it comes to oddities for some time.” –Wikia

I cut some parts of that description out, in case you wanted to watch/read Kizumonogatari first in the series (which would be the chronologically correct way).

Meme Oshino is what some might call “eccentric”, and his sense of fashion is no exception. As if to exemplify his languid nature, he wears just the simple getup of a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. His face has a little scruff and his hair is in an eternal state of “bed-head”. Plus he has few strange little accessories, like the single earing of an inverted cross. With just a tiny bit of flare, Meme Oshino is the embodiment of “care-free”.

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Which is of course, is a huge part of his personality. Meme is aloof, laid-back, mysterious and detached until ultimately needed. He is a neutral party, one that’s neither for our protagonist nor against him. Oshino’s primary objective is balance. We as the audience do not know why, and do not need to know why, but gladly accept his presence (I may be speaking only for myself) as he tilts the scales until the odds he sees are fifty/fifty. It’s almost as if he’s purposefully lax and strange to counteract the serious and straight forward nature of the people around him. Outside of that struggle for balance, there is no need for Oshino to do anything, and so he doesn’t.

And contrary to his goofy, indifferent nature, Meme always manages to be the smartest in the room. He offers sage but often vague advice to balance the tides without blunt instructions for the main character to carry out and save the day. That would be boring, and so Meme tries to have a little more fun with the characters. And there’s a sense of amusement to everything he does, from the way he acts to the cheeky references and jokes he makes.

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Meme Oshino is truly a delightful arbiter of balance with such an entertaining ambiguity to his very state of being that we (mainly I) can’t help but love, trust and admire him.

But what are your thoughts on Meme Oshino, or just aloof characters in general? Do you like him as much as I do? Have you even seen Bakemonogatari? Comment down below and then come back next week for another feature! Thanks for reading!

And seriously, if you haven’t yet, go watch Bakemonogatari.

Kizumonogatari Divided – Why three parts?

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing one of the finest pieces of animated film to ever touch this planet. A sheer masterpiece in it’s own right, surely no one would disagree. And even if you would, that’s not what we’re discussing here today. For today’s post, I’m going to start off with what already feels like a common, inevitable complaint. Kizumonogatari should not have been cut up into three separate movies.

Some might argue the movie would’ve been better off as one whole. Even two parts could’ve sufficed. But three? Hour long movies? Too much. That’s not to say part one has too little because of this. An excellent beginning in all regards, is part one of Kizumonogatari. But it leaves off in such a weird place, in such a quick cut way, that it feels like the movie was almost certainly divided after the fact. We’ll have to see by the start of part two whether that’s true or not, but even now it’s painfully clear there was no need to slash this movie into thirds. Back to my point about even being cut in half, without spoiling the story I will say that there is a pretty good cut off point in the middle of the novel. But the way they did it here, the place they did it here…it just doesn’t feel right.

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What adds to the feeling of having our entertainment force fed to us piecemeal is the fact that every part is planned to be released in 2016. Now, I won’t pretend to know more about the anime industry and how studios work outside of what I’ve learned from Shirobako, but it seems like this movie is finished, or damn well near. Part one does not look or feel like something that’s been made in a matter of months. This film already feels like years in the making, and I just don’t know how they could come out with two more parts with the same caliber or greater in the next twelve months. But of course, this is just conjecture.

Now onto the “why?”. Why turn this story into three parts? It doesn’t seem like the studio needs the time, and even if they did the full movie would be ready in the matter of a year according to schedule, so why not hold it? The simple answer is money. You can make more money making people pay three times than just once…or so it may seem. But I’d like to propose something else. If Aniplex thinks this movie is worth that much, why not just triple the price? I paid around $13 for my ticket (tax included), but I would’ve much rather pay $39 to see the whole thing at once. Kizumonogatari is worth it to me, and it’s probably worth it to a lot of other fans. The only thing you’re wasting is my time (and the cost of trip as I don’t live too close to one of the select theatres). It’s disappointing, and I hope we don’t come to see this more often in the future.

Bloody Brilliant – Kizumonogatari, Part 1

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“SHAFT is perfect and creates nothing but masterpieces. Anyone who disagrees is wrong.”

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I could watch this movie without any dialogue whatsoever and still be kept thoroughly engaged from beginning to end. That’s my untested hypothesis, of course. Needless to say, Kizumonogatari is visually stunning. Gorgeous. Magnificent. Ravishing. Sensational. Out of this world. I just want to keep listing off words to describe how fucking beautiful this movie looked. As is the SHAFT guarantee, there’s never a dull moment. Whether it be the playfully unique changing of camera angles to the cuts of text, or how it manages to take us from location to location to location in a matter of seconds, the monogatari series has always been something that encourages keeping your eyes glued, otherwise you just might miss it.

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The character art is fantastic, and even more mesmerizing in motion. What’s even more fun is how the camera moves with the character it’s following. It’s an interesting view to, walking behind Araragi. Or in front. Or to the sides. Or to any angle imaginable, which is basically what Kizumonogatari is trying to accomplish. Look good, in every possible way. And from scenery to character art to motion, it succeeds.

As for the character’s interactions, they’re absolutely wonderful…but succinct. It seems like there’s much less dialogue in this movie than in any of the other monogataris. For the first five to ten minutes (roughly) not even a single word is spoken. Now, I’m not one of those asshol- erhm, “special people” who like to criticize a movie through comparison with the novel it was based on. They’re different mediums, and it’s an adaption, so there’s no need to get our knickers in a twist. However, the book does hold quite a lot over the movie in terms of dialogue and Araragi’s inner thoughts, and it might’ve been nice for SHAFT pull more from it. Still, the movie still manages to be witty and profound without it.

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Without getting too far into the issue of runtime, I will say that Kizumonogatari ends in a…strange place. A weird way to end a movie, that doesn’t really offer up much of a conclusion nor cliffhanger. Even the final line wasn’t much to go off of. It’s…a little disappointing, considering the film as a whole was bloody brilliant. But I think I’ll write about the story being cut up into three parts another time, so for now I’ll just leave you with these words: Bloody brilliant. Excessively excellent. Splendid masterpiece. Impeccable piece of art. Epitome of film. Fucking amazing.

Thanks for reading!