Nekomonogatari

Nekomonogatari

Nekomonogatari Black anime cover art featuring Tsubasa Hanekawa
Nekomonogatari Black Cover Art

Overview

Nekomonogatari is split into two parts, Black and White. Nekomonogatari Black is part of what is considered the “first season” of the Monogatari series along with Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari (and technically Kizumonogatari).

However, Nekomonogatari White is part of what is collectively called the Monogatari Series Second Season along with Kabukimonogatari, Otorimonogatari, Onimonogatari, and Koimonogatari. Hanamonogatari is also part of the second season of the Monogatari series, but is not part of the collective known as the Monogatari Series Second Season.

Since all of this can get a bit confusing, I decided to make it a bit easier by just reviewing both parts of Nekomonogatari together rather than reviewing White with the Monogatari Series Second Season. Black and White are related to each other and act as the bridge between the two seasons.

Nekomonogatari Black is the final arc of the first season and Nekomonogatari White is the first arc of the second season.


Nekomonogatari Black

Nekomonogatari Black only includes one arc, Tsubasa Family and chronologically comes just before the events of Bakemonogatari.

This arc is about Tsubasa Hanekawa who we’ve known since the beginning of the series. I think she’s actually the first character introduced to us other than the protagonist, Koyomi.

As I may have mentioned before, Hanekawa is possibly my least favorite character in the series so I don’t actually like this arc as much as most others. Also, because it chronologically comes so early in the series, Koyomi and Shinobu don’t quite get along yet.

In this arc, Hanekawa is taken over by a cursed cat apparition resulting from stress. The main source of Hanekawa’s stress is her family. At home she sleeps in the hallway, without a room of her own, and is generally excluded from being a part of a family with her adoptive parents.

Each night, the cursed cat takes over Hanekawa’s body and goes on a rampage, attacking people mostly at random in an attempt to relieve stress. In the end, Koyomi and Shinobu are able to temporarily subdue the apparition and Hanekawa is left with no memories of the events.

The OP song for Nekomonogatari Black is “Perfect Slumbers.”

"Black" Hanekawa and Tsubasa Hanekawa from the anime Nekomonogatari
“Black” Hanekawa and Tsubasa Hanekawa

Nekomonogatari White

Like Nekomonogatari Black, Nekomonogatari White also follows Hanekawa. However, while in Black, Koyomi was still the protagonist, this time Hanekawa is the protagonist which doesn’t make it any better.

Nekomonogatari White also only covers one arc, Tsubasa Tiger.

The Tsubasa Tiger arc picks up where the Tsubasa Family arc left off in that it continues the story of Hanekawa and her family. This time, Hanekawa comes across a tiger apparition instead of a cursed cat.

The tiger apparition first causes Hanekawa’s house to burn down, then starts burning down everywhere else she happened to spend the night afterwards starting with the cram school Meme Oshino once used as a hideout.

After the abandoned cram school, however, Hanekawa had spent the night at Senjougahara’s house and then the Araragi house. Because of this, Hanekawa decides she needs to confront and defeat the tiger apparition to save her friends’ houses from being destroyed.

While the cursed cat appeared because of Hanekawa’s stress from home, the tiger appears because of her jealousy of the families and homes of others. In the end, both the apparitions Hanekawa was afflicted with are similar to the weight crab which once afflicted Senjougahara.

All Hanekawa really has to do is accept her own feelings, but in the end, Koyomi comes to the rescue and once again suppresses the apparitions within Hanekawa.

The OP song for Nekomonogatari White is “Chocolate Insomnia.”

Conclusion

While I think the Monogatari series overall is a 10, if I had to rate just the Nekomonogatari parts I would give them a 9/10. Specifically Nekomonogatari Black is a 9, I think that White is worse, but we’ll stick with 9 as the rating for them both combined.

The fact that these arcs are focused on my least favorite character doesn’t help their rating, and on top of that, Nekomonogatari White is from the perspective of my least favorite character. Despite this, however, I still love the series and so can’t really give it a bad rating.

The next review will cover the Monogatari Series Second Season (excluding Nekomonogatari White since that was covered here). Hanamonogatari will also be excluded from that review and will be featured in its own afterwards.

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