Bakemonogatari: DVD Review

With the conclusion of the Suruga Monkey arc at the end of the Part 1 box set, we proceed into the last two arcs in Part 2 and the end of a well-made series – but do these couple of stories make Bakemonogatari a great watch throughout?  

It’s worth pointing out that the show is a fifteen episode series, which might confuse a few people if they believe this box set only contains four or five episodes; it’s instead a seven episode box set which is great as it helps to flesh out the last arc of the series.

The box set starts after the events of the Suruga Monkey arc, with Araragi and Suruga travelling to an abandoned shrine on top of a hill, to place a talisman for Oshino. While walking up they pass a middle school student whom Araragi notes that he may have met before. Once the talisman is placed, Suruga finds a large amount of bloodied snakes near a tree; since the only person who recently went to that shrine was that middle school girl, Araragi investigates and later finds out that she is Nadeko Sengoku (they first met when they were kids) and questions her about this strange event.

The arc is named ’Nadeko Snake’ and is sadly the weakest one overall, not because of its short two-episode length but due to the character it focuses on. Nadeko Sengoku and her short past with Araragi isn’t that interesting and her personality is pretty lame too, mainly being a quiet, shy girl.

Not to say that the arc is bad at all, it contains most of what makes Bakemonogatari great, it helps that Suruga is present throughout these episodes and her chemistry with Araragi makes it really enjoyable, plus the opening theme for the arc is one of the most catchiest songs in anime.

Still, unlike the two episodes after Hitagi Crab arc where Senjogahara remains a strong character and is entertaining through most of Bakemonogatari, Nadeko’s screen time is very limited and proves mostly a forgettable character, as it shown during the final arc. Still the conclusion can get intense and has a satisfying end.

Also I will note that the Nadeko Snake arc has some uncomfortable fan-service scenes but it’s not too drastic.

The final arc ‘Tsubasa Cat’ focuses on another reoccurring character – Tsubasa Hanekawa, who has been starting to get headaches and further opens up to Araragi about her struggling personal life. We also get our first glimpse of what happened during Golden Week, when a transformed cat-eared Tsubasa Hanekawa drained the energy of any victim. Once the effects start coming back to Tsubasa, Araragi once again asks Meme Oshino for his help to stop Tsubasa’s cat apparition from appearing again.

Unlike the previous arcs, this one contains five episodes, and the show never wastes a minute in discovering why Tsubasa is turning into this cat apparition. It’s also an arc where Araragi and Senjogahara’s romantic relationship is solidified with probably one of the most surprising and heartfelt romantic moments in the form of Episode 12. This ties into the arc in the final episodes and adds depth to Tsubasa’s character which I give huge credit to.

So, as you can see, Bakemonogatari Part 2 is easily worth your money just for that arc alone. The positives I mentioned in my Part 1 review apply here as well: the show continues to look fantastic, the dialogue is witty and comical as always, with multiple anime references and breaking the fourth wall which made me laugh for the most part. Again, if you were somehow expecting more action in this box set, then you will be disappointed.

The excellent character commentary returns with Nadeko and Oshino talking over the ‘Nadeko Snake’ arc, and the ‘Tsubasa Cat’ commentary contains most of the main characters talking over different episodes and offering some variety.

Again the extras contains Textless OPs, EDs and trailers

In Summary: If you have already picked up Part 1, then picking this up is a no-brainer, which makes Bakemonogatari an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a comedy/supernatural show.

9 / 10