Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bakemonogatari 9: Other Art Styles

This episode was more than a bit of a mess, honestly. The weakest arc to begin with, I can't blame them for cutting it down to two episodes, but cutting it down really gutted Suruga's dialogue. This is the chapter where she really came into her own, and basically spent half the chapter trying to seduce Araragi hilariously. We basically wind up with one good burst of that, awesomely handled in manga panels drawn in the distinctive styles of old school manga artists.

The focal character of this arc, Nadeko, really made no impression on me at all until Nisemonogatari -- to the point where I literally forgot her. After Nisemonogatari, I wondered why, but from what we see of her this episode, it's because she's insanely boring, a character type I simply have zero time for. The progression from doormat to actually interesting in the later books is certainly a fascinating one to deconstruct, but doesn't really make up for gutting Suruga, particularly in favor of a really long Hanekawa bit that they farmed out to some shitty other studio, resulting in horrible shit like this:

No one on earth has ever fucking made this gesture. It's a shorthand invented by sloppy artists who couldn't fucking figure out how to make people look thoughtful. There's a bunch of these gestures all through that scene, and a bunch of weird choices that really don't work at all through the opening one, making two thirds of this episode downright terrible.
I gotta admit, I like Hanekawa in the novels, but partly because of the bland voice actress and partly the way they've done her character design...she's awfully boring in the anime. Previous scenes with her managed to disguise this with a bit of style, but there's no style at all to her scene here -- I'm really not kidding when I suggest Shaft just gave some other staff the bulk of this episode to help them keep on schedule, and the staff that did the bookstore shit didn't even have the grace to make an awkward stab at Shinjo's techniques like the people that did the shrine sequence did.


  1. You didn't notice the bit where the animation crew turns Kanbaru's hand back to normal for an entire scene? :)

    I thought this episode looked very good, strangely enough. The backgrounds in particular are lovely. Hanekawa is the bestest girl, and Horie Yui is doing a great job on her, so poo on you. I'd marry that voice. At least, until she does the uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu thing from Umineko.

  2. Their shoulders never moved.

    What the fuck.

    I would never describe the animation in this series as anything good, but this was fucking awful.