bakemonogatari (ghostory) 1

“Besides, I keep all my stationary all over my body. I don’t need a bag.”


My favorite scene has to be when Koyomi asks Hitagi to disarm herself of her stationary. Reminded me of the scene in Fumoffu when Sagara has to disarm himself before facing the karate club and grenades, rocket launchers, automatic machine guns, and other assorted implements of death fell from his clothes, with the karate club starring in disbelief and a facepalm from Chidori. Well, here, Koyomi has both the disbelief and facepalm streaming from his emotations as rulers, pens, pencils, compasses, slide rules, protractors, triangles, staplers, scissors, and other stationary ker-klung to the floor from Koyomi’s deceptive frame. In any case, I was sorely disappointed that when Bakemonogatari (Ghostory) flashed the sponsor list, neither Staples nor Office Depot were on it.


Oh no wait, my favorite scene wasn’t that. It was when Hitagi gets noticeably excited that Koyomi chased her down and deploys her stationary with a cute, “This is war.” It was incredible. The only change I would make to really max out this scene… is if Hitagi wore a pocket protector. Okay, maybe only the nerd in me wants that.


Doh– matte! My favorite scene wasn’t that one either. It had to be Koyomi’s and Hitagi’s bike ride when she admits that she’s a tsundere (only really she’s a yandere). Then they repeated this scene a solid 15,513 times with them whacking the signage with Adam West era Batman sound effect visual effects. BAM! POW!


Kidding on that last one… seriously, my favorite scene was when Hitagi gave her epic, “My abusive language is alchemized through 40kg of copper, 25kg of zinc, 15kg of nickel, 15kg of ice (that keeps my cool), and 97kg of pure spite.” Loved the dialogue. Loved how she just recites it like a shopping list. Loved the nod to FMA, which I wouldn’t put past NisiOisiN. Loved the spite.

(I wonder what alchemizes Mio’s moe? 30kg of chopped meido fuku, 20kg of Les Fender bass components, 10kg of barnacles? Or Kamina’s gar? 50kg of balls, 25kg of capes and sunglasses, 5kg of dirt? This is fun.)


No wait… my favorite scene was when Koyomi left the classroom and was instantly attacked by Hitagi. My gosh, caught me off guard. Just the suddenness of Hitagi’s assault, how she assaulted (via a paper knife and a stapler), how utterly crazy she seemed during the assault, how she actually did assault Koyomi’s mouth, and my giddiness level during the assault… just awesomely, assault-tastically wonderful. I haven’t been this delighted by an opening scene since we saw Taki waving both his Johnny and a gun outside of the White House.


(Can’t seriously admit that the one second panty flash hooked me. No, seriously, this is a much better idea than how they opened Zan by reusing old animation. That’s also how I knew that the animation studio was Shaft. I knew nothing about this series, and it took exactly an one second panty flash for me to scream out “SHAAAAAFT!”)


Like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Bakemonogatari is so in Shaft’s wheelhouse. It fits Shaft as well as K-On! fits Kyoto Animation and Potemayo fits JC Staff. The animation is actually not too trippy (only really the sequence where Hitagi and Koyomi is traveling to meet Meme) triggered my “SHAAAAAFT!” scream. (It’s like Shatner’s “KAAAAAHN!” only I don’t have the same levels of unintentional comedy.) The animation is also done in a forced persective arc deco type of style, and it’s visually impressive enough to not notice that this series is 95% dialogue with 5% awesome sauce. Shaft’s ability to turn normal dialogue into more than just two people talking seems to match up with this series, since it has a lot of talking. And not just in an Itsuki and Kyon killin’ time for the 15,513th time way.


I didn’t know what to expect from this series… the OP made it seem like it’s a mystery horror, but it opened with yet another girl falling with a boy catching scene (see: Princess Lover, Astronomy Club). After viewing this first episode, it almost seems like a more supernatural, more violent, more visceral The World God Only Knows with Koyomi and Meme rescuing various ghost-stricken haremettes. Not a bad formula! (And, yes, I’m rooting for Keima to get involved with more yanderes… right after he finishes re-scoring the K-On! girls.)


If you had a hot manga or light novel property, who would you rather direct the anime version for you? Akiyuki Shinbo or Tatsuya Ishihara? On one hand, Tatsuya hit home runs with Haruhi and Clannad, but he mailed in Tim Thomas-style his episodes for K-On! (and seemingly Endless Eight). But all of these were established and popular properties already. Akiyuki definitely made Hidamari, Maria+Holic, Tsukuyomi, and Natsu no Arashi! better than what they were. For SZS and Negima, that’s debatable as Shaft being Shaft goes a bit too far with those two.

(What do you think is Akiyuki’s bloodiest work? I might have to still go with Maria+Holic. Though Bakemonogatari has enough bat shit insane haremettes that… nah, Kanako is the Three Gorges Dam of blood.)


I recognized 4 out of 5 voices before this episode was over. Horie Yui for the class president, Chiwa Saito for Hitagi, Pink Supervisor (who, I guess, is to Shaft what Taniguchi is to Kyoto) for Koyomi, and Suzaku for Meme. Great cast. The one I didn’t get? Aya Hirano. Probably best seiyuu cast of the season, since Haruhi Suzumiya hasn’t recorded any new dialogue for a month now.


Becky-sensei… is that you? (And, yes, thank you Shaft for keeping the self-referencing to a minimum. Now if only you could get Hiroshi Kamiya to not revert to his Pink Supervisor voice whenever he screams…)


I just know that if Shaft were behind Toradora!, Taiga would be bursting out of that locker.


When Tsubasa was telling of how pretty Hitagi was in middle school and ended with a, “She’s prettier now that she’s mysterious,” I wonder if Hitagi’s even prettier because she has a murderous streak in her? She has to be in the Sonozaki / Asakura category of haremettes whose violent tendencies and blade dancing only makes them more desirable.

(Only in anime fandom would “stabby” and “bat shit insane” be considered in the attractiveness of a female character.)


To recap, the animation is distinctive (so far, in a good way), the characters are extremely interesting, the voice work is excellent, and the writing is as delicious as biting into a freshly made double-double from In and Out. Also, the only show of the season that I’ve watched and then stared at my clock thinking, “Fuck, 6 days, 23 hours, and 36 minutes.”


(But I’m still puzzled how she manages to hold onto and conceal so much stationary… without a pocket protector to be seen.)

29 Responses to “bakemonogatari (ghostory) 1”

  1. Jason, with all these new episode posts, do I smell a thin-slicing coming in soon?

  2. Only in anime could you find a guy named “meme” xD

  3. Favorite show of the season so far. Going to re watch in HD as soon as it’s done (damn you lack of seeders!). What I really want to know is how can he be wearing a Hawaiian shirt WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY NOT in Hawaii! That is SO unfashionable SHAFT! Red dress +1, Hawaiian Shirt -15,513

  4. I’ve been on a anime watching spree lately, and it seems most of the things I’ve watched has generated at a minimum 10 WTF moments per show. Bakemonogatari happened to be first in the queue.

    This is the first Shaft show that I can recall watching, and I was pleasantly surprised by their animation flow and style. Between their high contrast antiseptically clean yet detailed backgrounds, and the thin outline character animation, it is visually appealing to me.
    For the terminally uninterested, I watched: Bakemonogatari, Hyakko, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, (finally watched) Gurren Lagann, Needless, and Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei … of course Mag 8.0 sorta broke the whole WTF chain, but it was still good. Zetsubou Sensei had the most WTF moments for me, the Molotov cocktail at the Diet was a highlight.

  5. Glad you finally covered this. Was afraid you missed it somehow. It was so pretty that I had to watch it two times in a row!

  6. Is it safe to say that this was the best first episode of the season

  7. Definitely one of the more interesting shows this season. I’m keeping my eye on this and Umineko to fill that creepy/stabby niche.

  8. Great first episode but I’m waiting for the introduction of the basketball girl. Apparently shes a masochist, lesbian, pedophile and the intrigues me

  9. I’m worried that now I find staplers good accessories for foreplay. And I’m sure Moe Meme is in reality an older alternate universe version of Index’s Tsuchimikado.

  10. You know, the opening the anime was like the an acid trip to me and I had to show my friend so he get the WTF moment too. Then again I’m starting to like SHAFT ever since they did Maria+Holic. Cue the music because shaft is one bad motherfu…….. SHUT UR MOUTH!! What I’m taking about SHAFT.

  11. I thought that this was a treat as well. Beautifully animated and some great bits of dialogue between characters. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t get too ridiculous — the “weight crab” explanation of Hitagi’s problem felt a little thin to me plot-wise. We’ll see where it goes in the next episodes (NEED FASTAR SUBZ >.<)

    "Only in anime fandom would “stabby” and “bat shit insane” be considered in the attractiveness of a female character."

    It's perhaps telling that one of my favorite female characters to date is (possibly-ex-spree-killer with multiple personalities who can cut you in half with her bare fingers) Ryogi Shiki. Dangerous is sexy.

  12. Bloody gorgeous animation for an extremely entertaining first episode (especially loved the unique drawing style and perspective, very refreshing). Between this, Ef, and Maria Holic, I think Shaft deserves a potential bumping up in the animation studio rankings :P.

    Lookin’ forward to more!

  13. >>…when she admits that she’s a tsundere (only really she’s a yandere).

    Her love is like a stapler.

  14. lol g1

  15. >> Her love is like a stapler.

    Kicking myself for missing this one! Now I know what Mio was really thinking about when she wrote those songs… and, yes, My Love Is a Stapler needs to be the ED for this series.

    >> I think Shaft deserves a potential bumping up in the animation studio rankings :P.

    Shaft can only do a certain type of anime, and, even then, it’s a hit-or-miss. ef could have been so much better, and Shaft did too many Shaft things with Maria+Holic (like was it really necessary for Kanako to do Zetsubou’s despair sequence?). So far, Ghostory looks good just because they are refraining from typical Shaftiness.

  16. With all that stationary, wouldn’t she be heavy enough to fool the guy into not thinking she’s weightless?

    Though I guess stationary doesn’t weigh much.

    This really does feel like SHAFT… if you don’t watch this when it comes out, it’d be a pain in the butt to marathon it. Like getting the SHAFT.

  17. Her love is like a stapler.

    Wait, K-on! reference in a Shaft show? Oh, damn, does this mean I have to watch this one too?

  18. Being a SHAFT show, I had certain expectations as I rate them pretty high these days, but this was even better than I had expected. They have an interesting hook, interesting characters, and that distinctive style. Bakemonogatari is, as Jason observed, is something that fits SHAFT like a glove. Now, I’m feeling the urge to try imagining Maria+Holic done by Kyoani and Clannad done by SHAFT…
    > Fumoffu
    Hitagi’s stationery first reminded me of Blade of the Immortal, with Manji carrying that massive assortment of blades in his sleeves.
    Although we have just 1 or 2 episodes out so far, Bakemonogatari is shooting for my season’s top spot with Umineko, ZSZS and Economics 201.

  19. bEAUtifuLLy animated!
    ghostory beats umineko for me :)

  20. I love the aviatrix helmet on the blonde loli. Also the little cat hair pin the class president had? Very moe.

    Have you seen the shower scene from the 2nd episode?

    It reminded me of [a href=]this post I saw on anime suki [/a].

    When Hitagi gave herself a little ass slap in the ass in the shower, that is when she became my waifu.

  21. Indeed shaft has really hit on something there. Making half of episode 2 a shower scene followed by dressing and undressing is a stroke of win. The next few endless eight episodes need to take place entirely in the kimono dressing room and the pool showers.

  22. Omg, the OP has staplers… stapling all across the page XD.

  23. I also thought it was a great first eps for all the reasons you talked about.

    Despite the full season, hope you continue blogging it.

  24. What’s a cat hair pin?

    I probably would have missed this show had Jason not blogged it. This definitely makes up for the trainwreck (in-coma-inducing-slow-motion) that Haruhi S2 is. Is Kyoto trying for the world guiness of greatest Epic-to-Trainwreck reccord?
    I think I finally found my waifu type: batshit-with-a-stapler. Mio complains about her weight, so does Hitagi, but Hitagi’s odds of going fat is less than possible. Could someone ring up the 4-chan department for a symmetrical docking request?

  25. lol she has crabs

  26. Quick FYI: episode 2 post is long, and I won’t be able to finish it for a few more days. I want to do it justice. Stay tuned, and enjoy the K-On! filler over the next few days.

  27. Looking forward for epic post.

  28. Finally found some decent subs for the first two episodes after the recommendation. All I can say is awesome, Shaft are rapidly becoming my favourite studio this year what with Maria+Holic, Zetsubou Sensei and now this.

  29. I don’t understand how an anime can be so obviously in love with itself without seeming pretentious. New episodes can’t come fast enough.

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