Tag: Monogatari

Monogatari Series Watch Order

Monogatari Series Watch Order

Introduction

Since the Monogatari series is my favorite anime, and the order in which to watch it can be confusing, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the three main watch orders for the series. This guide is specifically for the anime, so if you’re looking for a reading guide, this may not be helpful for you.

The three different viewing orders in this post are the anime order, the light novel order, and the chronological order. I’ll be continuously updating this post as new parts of the series are adapted to anime. The next part to be adapted will be Zoku Owarimonogatari.

Zoku Owarimonogatari anime movie release banner from the Monogatari series
Zoku Owarimonogatari Release Banner

Anime Order

The anime airing order is the order I suggest watching the series in. Put simply, this is the order in which the various parts of the series were released in anime form, and it’s slightly different from the release order that the original author intended (light novel order).

That said, I find this order to be the best because most of the changes between this and light novel order don’t really matter all that much, with the exception of Kizumonogatari. In this order, Kizumonogatari comes much later in the series.

The importance of the placement of Kizumonogatari is due to the fact that chronologically it comes before the rest of the currently adapted parts. Since it serves as the beginning of the story, having it come late in the series means there’s a lot of mystery throughout the story which only makes sense later on.

I actually liked having the mystery of how everything began and why certain characters act the way they do because it made the contents of Kizumonogatari all that much more exciting when everything was finally revealed.

  • First Season
    • Bakemonogatari
      • Hitagi Crab Part 1
      • Hitagi Crab Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 1
      • Mayoi Snail Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 3
      • Suruga Monkey Part 1
      • Suruga Monkey Part 2
      • Suruga Monkey Part 3
      • Nadeko Snake Part 1
      • Nadeko Snake Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
    • Nisemonogatari
      • Karen Bee Part 1
      • Karen Bee Part 2
      • Karen Bee Part 3
      • Karen Bee Part 4
      • Karen Bee Part 5
      • Karen Bee Part 6
      • Karen Bee Part 7
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
    • Nekomonogatari Black
      • Tsubasa Family Part 1
      • Tsubasa Family Part 2
      • Tsubasa Family Part 3
      • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Second Season
    • Nekomonogatari White
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
    •  Kabukimonogatari
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
    • Otorimonogatari
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
    • Onimonogatari
      • Shinobu Time Part 1
      • Shinobu Time Part 2
      • Shinobu Time Part 3
      • Shinobu Time Part 4
    •  Koimonogatari
      • Hitagi End Part 1
      • Hitagi End Part 2
      • Hitagi End Part 3
      • Hitagi End Part 4
      • Hitagi End Part 5
      • Hitagi End Part 6
    • Hanamonogatari
      • Suruga Devil Part 1
      • Suruga Devil Part 2
      • Suruga Devil Part 3
      • Suruga Devil Part 4
      • Suruga Devil Part 5
  • Final Season
    • Tsukimonogatari
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
    • Owarimonogatari I
      • Ougi Formula Part 1
      • Ougi Formula Part 2
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 1
      • Sodachi Lost Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 1
      • Shinobu Mail Part 2
      • Shinobu Mail Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 4
      • Shinobu Mail Part 5
      • Shinobu Mail Part 6
    • Koyomimonogatari
      • Koyomi Stone
      • Koyomi Flower
      • Koyomi Sand
      • Koyomi Water
      • Koyomi Wind
      • Koyomi Tree
      • Koyomi Tea
      • Koyomi Mountain
      • Koyomi Torus
      • Koyomi Seed
      • Koyomi Nothing
      • Koyomi Dead
    • Kizumonogatari
      • Part 1: Tekketsu
      • Part 2: Nekketsu
      • Part 3: Reiketsu
    • Owarimonogatari II
      • Mayoi Hell Part 1
      • Mayoi Hell Part 2
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 1
      • Ougi Dark Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 3
    • Zoku Owarimonogatari


Light Novel Order

The light novel order is simply the order in which the parts of the series were originally released by the author. The major difference between this order and the anime order is the placement of Kizumonogatari as I’ve previously mentioned.

Rather than being grouped in the “Final Season,” Kizumonogatari is grouped in the “First Season” just after Bakemonogatari. While placement gets rid of a lot of the mystery of the anime order, it replaces it with information about the characters early on in the series.

While that’s the major change between these two viewing orders, the first minor change is the placement of Hanamonogatari. In the anime order it came after Koimonogatari, but in this order it comes between Kabukimonogatari and Otorimonogatari.

The second minor change in this order is the placement of Koyomimonogatari. It comes between Owarimonogatari I and Owarimonogatari II in the anime order, but comes before both of them in the light novel order. From a chronological standpoint, the anime placement of Koyomimonogatari makes more sense.

  • First Season
    • Bakemonogatari
      • Hitagi Crab Part 1
      • Hitagi Crab Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 1
      • Mayoi Snail Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 3
      • Suruga Monkey Part 1
      • Suruga Monkey Part 2
      • Suruga Monkey Part 3
      • Nadeko Snake Part 1
      • Nadeko Snake Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
    • Kizumonogatari
      • Part 1: Tekketsu
      • Part 2: Nekketsu
      • Part 3: Reiketsu
    • Nisemonogatari
      • Karen Bee Part 1
      • Karen Bee Part 2
      • Karen Bee Part 3
      • Karen Bee Part 4
      • Karen Bee Part 5
      • Karen Bee Part 6
      • Karen Bee Part 7
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
    • Nekomonogatari Black
      • Tsubasa Family Part 1
      • Tsubasa Family Part 2
      • Tsubasa Family Part 3
      • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Second Season
    • Nekomonogatari White
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
    •  Kabukimonogatari
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
    • Hanamonogatari
      • Suruga Devil Part 1
      • Suruga Devil Part 2
      • Suruga Devil Part 3
      • Suruga Devil Part 4
      • Suruga Devil Part 5
    • Otorimonogatari
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
    • Onimonogatari
      • Shinobu Time Part 1
      • Shinobu Time Part 2
      • Shinobu Time Part 3
      • Shinobu Time Part 4
    •  Koimonogatari
      • Hitagi End Part 1
      • Hitagi End Part 2
      • Hitagi End Part 3
      • Hitagi End Part 4
      • Hitagi End Part 5
      • Hitagi End Part 6
  • Final Season
    • Tsukimonogatari
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
    • Koyomimonogatari
      • Koyomi Stone
      • Koyomi Flower
      • Koyomi Sand
      • Koyomi Water
      • Koyomi Wind
      • Koyomi Tree
      • Koyomi Tea
      • Koyomi Mountain
      • Koyomi Torus
      • Koyomi Seed
      • Koyomi Nothing
      • Koyomi Dead
    • Owarimonogatari I
      • Ougi Formula Part 1
      • Ougi Formula Part 2
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 1
      • Sodachi Lost Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 1
      • Shinobu Mail Part 2
      • Shinobu Mail Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 4
      • Shinobu Mail Part 5
      • Shinobu Mail Part 6
    • Owarimonogatari II
      • Mayoi Hell Part 1
      • Mayoi Hell Part 2
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 1
      • Ougi Dark Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 3
    • Zoku Owarimonogatari


Chronological Order

While the anime order is my first recommendation, the chronological order is my last. If this is your first time viewing the series, I highly suggest going with either the anime or light novel orders instead of the chronological one. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that the chronological order doesn’t take into consideration how the author intended the story to be read. While the anime order is slightly different, it does still keep most of the elements in their original placements which is key to the way in which the story is told.

The second reason is that it’s stupidly confusing to watch through the series in the chronological order. My chronological list below is actually a simplified version, because otherwise you’d have to watch pieces of episodes between others. I decided to make it easy, yet still keep the essence of the chronology by not breaking up individual episodes into pieces.

While this order tells a more linear story than the previous two, it’s important to keep in mind that the Monogatari series was never intending to tell a linear story in the first place. That said, this order still presents an interesting, alternative way to view the series for those who have already seen it.

Also, since all of the parts, arcs, and even episodes are jumbled up in this order, the concept of “seasons” no longer applies.

  • Kizumonogatari
    • Part 1: Tekketsu
    • Part 2: Nekketsu
    • Part 3: Reiketsu
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Stone
  • Nekomonogatari Black
    • Tsubasa Family Part 1
    • Tsubasa Family Part 2
    • Tsubasa Family Part 3
    • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Bakemonogatari
    • Hitagi Crab Part 1
    • Hitagi Crab Part 2
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Flower
  • Bakemonogatari
    • Mayoi Snail Part 1
    • Mayoi Snail Part 2
    • Mayoi Snail Part 3
    • Suruga Monkey Part 1
    • Suruga Monkey Part 2
    • Suruga Monkey Part 3
    • Nadeko Snake Part 1
    • Nadeko Snake Part 2
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Sand
    • Koyomi Water
  • Nisemonogatari
    • Karen Bee Part 1
    • Karen Bee Part 2
    • Karen Bee Part 3
    • Karen Bee Part 4
    • Karen Bee Part 5
    • Karen Bee Part 6
    • Karen Bee Part 7
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Wind
  • Nisemonogatari
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
  • Kabukimonogatari
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
  • Onimonogatari
    • Shinobu Time Part 1
    • Shinobu Time Part 2
    • Shinobu Time Part 3
    • Shinobu Time Part 4
  • Owarimonogatari I
    • Shinobu Mail Part 1
    • Shinobu Mail Part 2
    • Shinobu Mail Part 3
    • Shinobu Mail Part 4
    • Shinobu Mail Part 5
    • Shinobu Mail Part 6
  • Nekomonogatari White
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Tree
    • Koyomi Tea
  • Owarimonogatari I
    • Ougi Formula Part 1
    • Ougi Formula Part 2
    • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
    • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
    • Sodachi Lost Part 1
    • Sodachi Lost Part 2
    • Sodachi Lost Part 3
  • Otorimonogatari
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Mountain
    • Koyomi Torus
  • Koimonogatari
    • Hitagi End Part 1
    • Hitagi End Part 2
    • Hitagi End Part 3
    • Hitagi End Part 4
    • Hitagi End Part 5
    • Hitagi End Part 6
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Seed
  • Tsukimonogatari
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Nothing
    • Koyomi Dead
  • Owarimonogatari II
    • Mayoi Hell Part 1
    • Mayoi Hell Part 2
    • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
    • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
    • Ougi Dark Part 1
    • Ougi Dark Part 2
    • Ougi Dark Part 3
  • Zoku Owarimonogatari
  • Hanamonogatari
    • Suruga Devil Part 1
    • Suruga Devil Part 2
    • Suruga Devil Part 3
    • Suruga Devil Part 4
    • Suruga Devil Part 5

Conclusion

So, there are three different viewing orders for the Monogatari series listed from my most to least recommended. If you found this post helpful, click the heart button down below. You can also leave a comment to let me know which order is your personal favorite.

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Ranking the Monogatari Girls

Ranking the Monogatari Girls

Introduction

The Monogatari series currently has 14 parts (all listed and linked to in that post), with a 15th entry on the way either late this year or early next year. With the new part coming soon, I figured now would be a good time to rank the 11 current “Monogatari girls.”

For those of you who aren’t aware of how my favorite anime is set up, let me enlighten you. Each arc of the series typically focuses on a single female character who is being helped in some way by our protagonist, Koyomi Araragi (although this isn’t always the case).

However, despite each arc focusing on a particular girl, that doesn’t mean the titular girl is the only girl featured in the arc, and she may also not even have the most screen time.

If you’ve been around the anime community for an extended period of time, you’ve probably come across at least one of these girls in some form. Perhaps it was Hitagi or Shinobu duking it out in a “best girl” competition, or Nadeko featured in some meme remix of “Renai Circulation“, or Karen having her teeth brushed.

What I’m getting at is, the Monogatari girls have been spread far and wide throughout the community, so it’s about time I made a definitive ranking to decide who’s the best and who’s the worst among them. If any part of this list makes you mad, let me know in the comments below.

1. Mayoi Hachikuji

It should come as no surprise that Mayoi Hachikuji is my #1 Monogatari girl, as I’ve talked about her extensively in other posts and use an image of her as my profile picture both on this site and on my various social media. But although I’ve discussed her thoroughly in the past, just what makes her “best girl?”

Before I can answer that question, let me give you a bit of background information about her character. Mayoi is the titular girl for three different arcs in the series so far: Mayoi Snail (Bakemonogatari), Mayoi Jiangshi (Kabukimonogatari), and Mayoi Hell (Owarimonogatari II). She’s also one of the major recurring characters in the series.

Mayoi is one of a number of the girls on this list who are considered apparitions, meaning they don’t really exist if you want to get technical. When she was around 11 years old, Mayoi was struck and killed by a truck while on her way to her mother’s house, and has been wandering the streets as a ghost ever since.

However, despite physically being 11, if she never had died she would currently be around 22 years old. This is an important detail to remember when looking at how she behaves. Sometimes she acts like your average 11-year-old girl, but other times she acts more like an adult.

These two competing sides of her character are what make her my favorite of the Monogatari girls, along with her character design (especially that giant backpack).

On one hand, Mayoi, like many child characters in anime, is used for comic relief. There’s the usual slapstick comedy that we would expect from her due to her physical appearance, but at the same time we also get more nuanced comedy from her, often through the use of wordplay.

On the other hand, she’s a dependable “older sister” type character for Koyomi, despite being physically younger than him. Mayoi has been around for longer and so has learned a thing or two about the world during her travels, which she teaches to Koyomi in his times of need.

It may seem odd for me to say this, but although she’s an apparition, she’s one of the most constant parts of Koyomi’s life. He knows that if he’s ever in need of someone to talk things through with, Mayoi is always somewhere close by (although not as close as Shinobu).

Mayoi Hachikuji from the Monogatari anime series
Mayoi Hachikuji

If you’re interested in reading more about the relationship between Mayoi and Koyomi, I broke down the Courage to Tell a Lie scene between these two characters, and I’ve written about her in some of my other posts about the Monogatari series parts.

2. Suruga Kanbaru

Suruga Kanbaru is the titular girl of both the Suruga Monkey (Bakemonogatari) and Suruga Devil (Hanamonogatari) arcs. She’s also the protagonist of Hanamonogatari instead of Koyomi, something I found to be fairly interesting considering how similar she is to him.

I’d like to say that Kanbaru is a fairly complex character, but in reality she’s a pretty simple character who just has a lot going on. She likes books (mostly of the BL variety), she’s into sports (track and basketball), she’s a pervert (self-proclaimed), and she’s in love with Hitagi (and maybe Koyomi?).

What makes her simple, however, is also what makes her one of my favorite characters of the entire series. Suruga wears her emotions on her sleeve (or her arm bandages, whichever). When she’s excited about something, we can physically see it due to her extremely energetic nature.

She basically has two modes: Lying on a pile of books in her room, too lazy to get up, and bouncing off the walls like a kid in a candy shop. This is what I mean when I say that she’s a simple character, and yet she’s just so likeable that it doesn’t matter.

Suruga Kanbaru from the Monogatari anime series
Suruga Kanbaru

While not an apparition herself, Suruga is afflicted by an apparition known as the Rainy Devil in one of her arms. This apparition causes her wishes to come true, but by physically hurting anyone who stands in the way of those wishes.

While I don’t like her character design as much as some of the other girls on this list, her personality more than makes up for it. Although, I do have to say I like the arm bandages. It gives her appearance a bit of mystery without going overboard like Ougi.

3. Shinobu Oshino

Shinobu Oshino, known as Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade in her full-power form, is an apparition you may have heard of before called a Vampire. She’s the titular girl of the arcs Shinobu Time (Onimonogatari) and Shinobu Mail (Owarimonogatari I).

As a shell of her former Vampire self, Shinobu is chained to Koyomi’s shadow and is therefore technically always by his side (except for in one of the arcs, sort of). Because of this, and her developing relationship with Koyomi across the series, these two are my favorite anime pairing.

While at the beginning of the series she and Koyomi weren’t speaking to each other (the backstory of which is explained in Kizumonogatari), they eventually become inseparable partners who have decided to either live or die together (although they’ll still never forgive each other).

I mentioned previously that Mayoi is the main constant in Koyomi’s life, but the same could be argued for Shinobu considering how their fates are linked (as are their physical bodies). That said, since the relationship between Shinobu and Koyomi can be all over the place, it’s not a stable relationship.

Shinobu Oshino from the Monogatari anime series
Shinobu Oshino

Some fun facts about Shinobu are that her favorite food is doughnuts, her family name was given to her by Meme Oshino, an apparition expert, and she’s both the youngest and oldest of the current Monogatari girls. But how can that last fact be?

Shinobu is technically 400 years old, making her the oldest of the girls, however, for most of the series she’s in her 8-year-old form because apparently her physical age is tied to how much of her full power she has. As she puts it, it takes less energy to maintain a smaller body.

4. Hitagi Senjougahara

While Shinobu is generally seen as a close second, Hitagi Senjougahara is usually considered to be the “best girl” of the Monogatari series (although, as you’ve seen, she isn’t). Her arcs are Hitagi Crab (Bakemonogatari), Hitagi End (Koimonogatari), and Hitagi Rendezvous (Owarimonogatari II).

While I’ve come to appreciate Hitagi for the character she is, I don’t believe she deserves all the love she gets. Sure she’s a tsundere (and yandere at times), but for the most part she’s just a complimentary character to Koyomi rather than a character I care about on her own.

I won’t say watching her romantic relationship with Koyomi isn’t enjoyable, but I do think that’s the main draw of her character. The scenes with her that don’t involve Koyomi simply don’t hold up, (other than certain scenes with Hanekawa, but that’s for a different reason).

Hitagi Senjougahara from the Monogatari anime series
Hitagi Senjougahara

When we meet Hitagi in the first episode of Bakemonogatari, she weighs only a small fraction of the amount a girl of her size should due to the apparition known as a Weight Crab. The weight crab takes the weight off the shoulders of those it inflicts, both metaphorically and literally.

Later on in the series we learn more about her backstory and relationship with the apparition expert/con man Kaiki Deishu. While I do think these parts are a bit more interesting, it’s mainly because of Kaiki, not because of Hitagi. I was going to add Kaiki in at the end of this list as a bonus Monogatari girl, but I think this post is going to be long enough as is.

Unless there are more arcs focusing on Hitagi in the future of this series, it’s unlikely I’ll ever appreciate her as much as most fans seem to. That said, I think it’s unlikely considering her arcs wrapped up nicely in Hitagi Rendezvous.

5. Nadeko Sengoku

Nadeko has the unfortunate title of “worst girl” for many fans of the Monogatari series, and as I’ve done before, I’m going to explain why this simply isn’t true. First off, I think part of the issue is that she’s underage, but then again, so are half of these girls, so why is it just Nadeko who’s hated?

What it really all comes down to is the fact that people seem to simply not understand her character at the most basic level. She’s a middle school girl who’s in love with her best friend’s older brother (I say best friend because I doubt Nadeko has any other friends besides Tsukihi).

Is she crazy? Yes. Is she your typical middle school girl who just wants to be noticed by the person she loves? Yes. Does that mean she’s a bad character? No. She’s supposed to be that way because she’s an accurate portrayal of a middle schooler who found their first crush.

I’ve written more about this concept in my post on Boring Anime Girls, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but the fact that she’s such a realistic portrayal of a middle school girl going through her first crush is what makes her a good character. She’s crazy because they are crazy.

Nadeko Sengoku from the Monogatari anime series
Nadeko Sengoku

Now, if you think the fact that she’s a middle schooler who has a crush on someone is exactly the reason why she’s a bad character, I have one simple counterargument for you. If that makes Nadeko a bad character, then why doesn’t that make Hinata a bad character in Naruto? Checkmate, Hinata-lovers.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but Nadeko is the titular girl for the Nadeko Snake (Bakemonogatari) and Nadeko Medusa (Otorimonogatari) arcs. In the Nadeko Medusa arc we see her spiral further downward as she becomes the one true yandere of the series, something I enjoyed seeing.

6. Tsukihi Araragi

We’re going to speed up a bit for these next six girls because they’re simply not as interesting to me, and also I don’t want this post to be too long. So to start off the lightning round, we have Tsukihi Araragi, titular girl of the Tsukihi Phoenix arc from Nisemonogatari.

Tsukihi is the “littler little sister” of protagonist Koyomi Araragi and one of the “Fire Sisters” along with Karen. While she doesn’t have the same desire for justice that her sister has, she enjoys going around with her and playing the part of defender of justice.

Compared to her sister, Tsukihi is much more feminine and tends to wear yukata when around the house. That said, she’s also the more aggressive of the two sisters and has no issue resorting to physical violence when necessary (or not necessary).

Tsukihi Araragi from the Monogatari anime series
Tsukihi Araragi

Tsukihi is also an apparition which we know as a phoenix. Despite being an immortal apparition, however, she and the rest of her family (except Koyomi) have no knowledge of this. Koyomi has also decided that it doesn’t matter if she’s an apparition, she’s still his sister.

7. Yotsugi Ononoki

Yotsugi Ononoki is nowhere near my favorite character of the Monogatari series, but she does have my favorite character design. She’s the titular girl for the Yotsugi Doll arc from Tsukimonogatari (which could have been a good name for the part about Tsukihi as well).

As you may be able to tell from the name of her arc, Yotsugi is a living doll made from a corpse (you probably couldn’t tell all that just from the title). Both her outfit and personality reflect the fact that she’s a doll as well, unlike the other apparition characters.

As for her speech, she tends to speak in a monotone voice much like a robot, and yet has little quirks which appear to be her attempt at sounding more human. One of these is her affinity for the phrase “Peace, peace!” after her sentences, and another is how she calls everyone else older brother or older sister.

Yotsugi Ononoki from the Monogatari anime series
Yotsugi Ononoki

As a doll, Yotsugi doesn’t show any physical signs or emotion, or any facial expressions for that matter, and so to make up for this she adds her expressions into her speech. It also appears that she actually looks doll-like considering Tsukihi thinks she’s just a large doll and drags her around.

8. Karen Araragi

Karen Araragi is the older sister of Tsukihi, and “bigger little sister” of Koyomi. She’s also the titular girl of the Karen Bee arc from Nisemonogatari. Unfortunately for her, she’s known to many people who haven’t seen the Monogatari series solely due to a single scene of her getting her teeth brushed.

And, unfortunately for the series as a whole, the first introduction many people have to this series is that exact scene, thus turning them off from it before they even give it a chance. But, Karen is more than just a girl who gets her teeth brushed.

She’s the other half of the Fire Sisters along with Tsukihi and has a strong sense of justice. She’s also similar to Suruga in that she’s the sporty type, although her sport of choice is martial arts, not track or basketball. It could have easily been Karen who took up Koyomi’s mantel after he graduated, but I’m glad it was Suruga instead.

Karen Araragi from the Monogatari anime series
Karen Araragi

The apparition Karen was afflicted with was a bee (I forget the actual name of it) which is essentially a fake apparition that becomes real simply because someone believes in it. Now, that’s kind of how all apparitions work, but this one takes that to the extreme in that it’s based solely around someone’s belief in it.

9. Tsubasa Hanekawa

I’ve never tried to hide my dislike for Tsubasa Hanekawa, but in this section I’ll try to put my feelings about her into words. She’s the titular girl for three arcs: Tsubasa Cat (Bakemonogatari), Tsubasa Family (Nekomonogatari Black), and Tsubasa Tiger (Nekomonogatari White).

Tsubasa’s main attraction is that she’s more physically developed than any of the other girls in the series (except for Shinobu in her adult form), but I see this as a curse, not a blessing. When the main attraction of a character is their physical appearance, that’s how you know you’ve got a boring character.

Tsubasa’s whole gimmick is that she’s too nice for her own good and that she’ll help anyone in need to a fault. And she’s smart. That’s it, that’s her entire character. Koyomi is the same way, but at least he has actual reasons for his actions and is a better developed character all around.

Tsubasa Hanekawa from the Monogatari anime series
Tsubasa Hanekawa

Along with her bland character comes a bland backstory and apparitions. The apparitions that affect her all have to do with how she’s an outcast in her own family, and we get three arcs of this. I could have done with just one arc about Tsubasa’s sob story, not three.

10. Sodachi Oikura

Sodachi Oikura is near the bottom of this list mainly because there isn’t that much to talk about in regards to her compared to the rest of the girls. She only appears in the two arcs named after her which are back to back, Sodachi Riddle and Sodachi Lost (Owarimonogatari I).

Sodachi is interesting soley because she’s the one Monogatari girl so far who wasn’t afflicted by an apparition, and isn’t an apparition herself. She was simply Koyomi’s childhood friend who he didn’t help in her time of need (because he was also a child at the time).

This led to Sodachi’s life spiraling downward and ending with her living with the body of her dead mother for a pretty long amount of time (I want to say two years, but I forget). While all the arcs of this series involve mystery, I found hers to be the most “standard” in that they didn’t involve the supernatural.

Sodachi Oikura from the Monogatari anime series
Sodachi Oikura

I’d be more interested in her character if she was actually involved in the story more, and luckily it seems that she will be in the upcoming Zoku Owarimonogatari based off some images about the part on the official anime twitter account of the author.

11. Ougi Oshino

It’s finally time for the official “worst girl” of the Monogatari series, Ougi Oshino. Ougi is the titular girl for both the Ougi Formula (Owarimonogatari I) and Ougi Dark (Owarimonogatari II) arcs, although she’s not always depicted as female in other parts of the series.

She’s an apparition, much like Mayoi, Shinobu, and Tsukihi, but she’s a man-made apparition of sorts. The big twist at the end of the Ougi Dark arc (spoilers incoming) is that she’s actually an apparition created by Koyomi’s self-doubt. When she’s depicted as male in Hanamonogatari, it could be that she’s then a representation of Suruga’s self-doubt.

Ougi’s last name, Oshino, also comes from the apparition expert Meme Oshino, who she claims is her uncle despite him having no known family. And, like Oshino, she “helps” Koyomi help himself when mysterious cases involving apparitions arise.

Ougi Oshino from the Monogatari anime series
Ougi Oshino

Everything about Ougi’s design is set up to be a mystery, and that’s probably in part what I don’t like about her. She’s too over-the-top in her mysteriousness, from her cold, black, shark eyes, to her sleeves which cover her hands, to her gender-fluidity between parts.

Conclusion

So what do you think about my rankings? Am I wrong for not putting Hitagi Senjougahara in first place? Are you an Ougi Oshino fan? Or do you have good taste in Monogatari girls like myself? Let me know in the comments.

I’m planning to write a post about the viewing order for Monogatari series anime in the near future, so if that’s something you’ve always wondered, why not subscribe to my blog (in the sidebar on PC or down below on mobile), or follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to be notified every time a new post goes live.

If you liked this post (or hated it) consider scrolling down a bit and clicking the little heart button beneath this post. Likes let me know what types of content my readers like best and can influence the kinds of topics I write about in the future.

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Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Packaging (front)

It’s once again Figure Friday and today we have the Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid from the Monogatari series! Maybe one day there will be a full size Yotsugi Ononoki Nendoroid from this series too, but for now she only comes in petit form.

As you can see from the image above, Mayoi is Nendoroid #368 which puts her between Kyōko Sakura and Aqua. Her box is primarily white on the front, top, and bottom, with orange on the back and sides. Both blue and pink are used as highlight colors.

Like the boxes for the Aqua and Megumin Nendoroids, Mayoi has circular windows on either side of the box. While I originally assumed these side windows were specific to the KonoSuba Nendoroids, this may instead just be a style of packaging adopted some time after Kyōko, which was then stopped before Sakura.

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Packaging (back)

As usual, the back of the box shows a variety of assembly options for the figure, with more being shown on the sides. Mayoi is unique among the Nendoroids I have in that she’s possible to assemble in a seated position as well as the standard standing positions.

To achieve this sitting position, Mayoi comes with an entirely different lower half rather than just some interchangeable legs (pictured below).

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Pieces

Aside from the separate sitting position lower half, Mayoi comes with two other faces, seven other arms, two other hands, another leg, and, of course, her signature oversized backpack. Due to the nature of her sitting and standing poses as well as her backpack, Mayoi’s stand is also somewhat unique.

She has the typical ergonomic stand arm that the rest of my Nendoroids have, but this can only be used if she doesn’t have her backpack equipped. When the backpack is equipped, she has three different stands which can be used depending on if she’s sitting or standing.

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Assembled

I originally set her up in a sitting position because I wanted to try it out, but there was always only going to be one position I was going to ultimately leave her in (pictured above). Since this is a standing position with her backpack equipped, I had to use one of the rigid stands, not the ergonomic one.

These rigid stands, however, aren’t exactly the most user-friendly pieces. There’s one for the sitting position which I originally missed in the box and almost threw out (it’s a small clear disc in a clear plastic bag with some other small clear pieces). That stand is easy enough to use, though.

The two other rigid stands are the issue. There’s a short one and a long one. I used the short one, but it’s still at an awkward angle even though I have Mayoi standing. It’s unclear to me in what situation you’d ever use the long stand unless Mayoi is hovering for some reason.

These two longer rigid stands also didn’t go into the allotted hole in the bottom of the backpack very easily, but that’s probably something that’s slightly different from Nendoroid to Nendoroid. Overall, I’d rather have pieces which are a tight fit than pieces which are too loose and fall apart like what I got with some of Megumin‘s.

Finally, the inner cardboard layer of Mayoi’s box has her Nendoroid number printed on it unlike how Sakura had the Hidden Leaf symbol. As I said I would last week, I checked the other three boxes, and none of them have graphics printed onto their inner cardboard layers.

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The Courage to Tell a Lie

The Courage to Tell a Lie

Introduction

Today we’ll be taking a look at a scene from Nisemonogatari involving Koyomi Araragi and Mayoi Hachikuji. I’ve said before that despite her appearance, Mayoi is actually a mentor figure to Koyomi, and this is just one of many scenes which illustrates that relationship.

Before proceeding, I suggest watching the video embedded above because everything I’m going to say will make much more sense if you’re familiar with the scene I’ll  be discussing. It’s only a two-minute video, so nothing too extreme.

Courage

On the surface it may seem that Mayoi is just playing word games with Koyomi as she tends to do, and that’s true, but she’s also teaching him a valuable life lesson at the same time. Remember, Mayoi, although technically younger than Koyomi, as been around longer and has a greater understanding of how the world works.

She also knows Koyomi and how he’s likely to react to various situations, as well as how he’ll attempt to defend his actions. Because of this, the choice to use the word “courage” is targeted specifically at Koyomi, a person who is completely selfless, but in a selfish way.

Mayoi demonstrates how just by adding the word “courage” to a sentence, you can turn the implied meaning from something bad to something good. As demonstrated by Mayoi, and explained by Koyomi, the word courage can be used to make a generally negative thing such as lying seem righteous.

But why does this matter for Koyomi specifically?

As I mentioned, he’s a completely selfless person who will sacrifice his own life if it means he’ll be able to save someone else.However, even though his actions seem selfless, they’re actually selfish because he isn’t taking into consideration how anyone else involved feels.

What Mayoi is indirectly telling him is that just because he claims to be doing something for the sake of someone else, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do, or even what the person he’s doing it for wants him to do.

Koyomi understands that adding the word “courage” to a sentence about lying doesn’t make the lying any better, and so Mayoi‘s goal is to make him realize that he does the same thing whenever he claims to be doing something for someone else’s sake.

However, we as the viewer, and Mayoi as well, know that even if Koyomi comes to this realization, it still won’t change his nature. The end result that Mayoi is most likely going after is simply to make Koyomi think about his actions more before he does something he can’t take back.

Mayoi Hachikuji from the Monogatari series anime
Mayoi Hachikuji

Righteous Evil

While Mayoi wants Koyomi to understand that his defenses don’t make his actions acceptable, this also applies to others as well. It’s a warning about how others will try to use this same trick to justify their ill intentions, and so Koyomi needs to be able to see through it.

Mayoi‘s example of the courage to tell a lie not only applies to Koyomi, but also applies to the fact that anyone else can use the same trick to defend their own actions against him. This is important because the conversation Mayoi and Koyomi are having comes during the Tsukihi Phoenix arc of Nisemonogatari (hence Mayoi‘s reference to a phoenix).

In this arc, Koyomi learns that his “smaller, younger sister,” Tsukihi, is actually a kind of apparition and not his true sister. Yozuru and Yotsugi attempt to eliminate the Phoenix apparition known as Tsukihi because they claim that it’s their duty as specialists to do so.

This is an example of what Mayoi is talking about in her courage to tell a lie dialogue with Koyomi. Yozuru and Yotsugi are framing the elimination of Tsukihi as something that needs to be done by referring to her as an apparition, but all they’re really doing is killing Koyomi’s sister.

Despite Yozuru and Yotsugi technically being correct here, their reasoning is flawed. Simply because Tsukihi is an apparition doesn’t make her dangerous nor any less a part of the Araragi family, just like how simply using the word courage doesn’t make lying acceptable.

We can find examples of this in other anime as well such as Pain’s, Obito’s, or Madara’s explanation for why they’re starting a war with the rest of the shinobi world in Naruto: Shippūden. They each claim it’s what’s best for everyone, but in reality they’re just doing what they want despite how everyone else feels.


Conclusion

Although Mayoi appears to simply be demonstrating a way in which the structure of Japanese (and even English) can be used to twist the meaning of a phrase around with the inclusion of a single word, she’s really doing much more.

An important thing to remember is that by making Koyomi realize what’s happening, she’s also demonstrating that those who twist words to fit their own needs tend to realize that doing so doesn’t really change the fact that their actions are wrong. They’re attempting to convince themselves just as much as anyone else.

For a series which relies heavily on dialogue, it seems fitting that there would be a warning about the dangers of twisting language to fit one’s own needs.

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Owarimonogatari II

Owarimonogatari II

Owarimonogatari Season 2 anime cover art featuring Ougi, Hitagi, and Mayoi
Owarimonogatari Season 2 Cover Art

Overview

While Owarimonogatari season 2 isn’t quite the end of the Monogatari series, I would have been fine if it was. That’s not to say that I don’t want more content from my favorite anime, but this season felt like a conclusion that I could accept.

There are three arcs within this season: Mayoi Hell, Hitagi Rendezvous, and Ougi Dark. The season starts off with a Mayoi arc so you know it has to be good.

One final note before I get into the first arc; all three arcs of this season have amazing OP songs, however, they’re unfortunately only featured in the Blu-ray release of the season and so aren’t in the series if you watch it somewhere like Crunchyroll.


Mayoi Hell

The Mayoi Hell arc pics up from where the final episode of Koyomimonogatari left off. Koyomi was killed by Izuko Gaen and sent to the innermost circle of Hell for forming a pact with a demon in the form of the vampire Kiss-Shot (Shinobu).

There he encounters a familiar face, Mayoi Hachikuji.

Now you may be wondering, why is Mayoi in the deepest circle of Hell? Was it because she led people astray as a lost cow apparition?

Not quite. In fact, Mayoi was sentenced to Hell, but not the deepest circle like Koyomi. Instead she was sentenced to stack rocks for the rest of eternity for dying before her parents because apparently that’s something to be blamed for.

Mayoi, being the lovable rascal she is, snuck out of her circle and went to the deepest portion of Hell in order to greet Koyomi whom she heard was coming shortly. She then tells Koyomi that she has a plan to revive him and Koyomi follows her down a path of his memories.

At the end of the path they meet Teori, who you may recall was an apparition specialist killed by Yotsugi in Tsukimonogatari. However, like Yotsugi, Teori had actually been dead for a long time and was a living puppet at the time Koyomi met him.

Teori has actually been working with Izuko and the rest of the apparition exterminating gang on a master plan that involved killing Koyomi to sever his bond with Shinobu, then reviving him as a regular human again.

A rope, which is actually a snake, drops down from above and Koyomi is instructed to grab onto it. While Koyomi believes there are others who should be revived instead of him, Mayoi refuses to listen and convinces him to allow himself to be revived.

At the last second, he grabs Mayoi with his legs and pulls her up with him back to the world of the living.

The OP song for the Mayoi Hell arc is “terminal terminal.”

Mayoi Hachikuji as seen in the Mayoi Hell OP from Owarimonogatari Season 2
Mayoi Hachikuji

Hitagi Rendezvous

Hitagi Rendezvous is more of a setup for the Ougi Dark arc than an actual arc of its own. In this arc, Koyomi and Senjougahara go on a date to the planetarium in the morning, then go bowling and to karaoke in the afternoon.

The first important part happens when Koyomi falls asleep at the planetarium and has a dream in which Ougi tells him that she needs to talk to him and that he shouldn’t fall for Izuko’s tricks.

After the first part of their date is over, Senjougahara turns the next two stops on their date into a competition, which Koyomi wins both of. The loser has to obey one command from the winner, and as expected Koyomi doesn’t really ask for anything.

However, once the date is complete, Koyomi tells Senjougahara that he forgot to get her a present and that he’ll make it up to her. She suggests that he should obey one command from her to make up for it, which is for him to call her by her first name, Hitagi.

While the Mayoi Hell arc didn’t exactly include a nice, neat ending for Mayoi, the Hitagi Rendezvous was a good end to the story of Koyomi and Hitagi (as I’ll now refer to her). This is the first reason why I mentioned I’d be fine if this season happened to be the last.

The OP song for the Hitagi Rendezvous arc is “Dreamy Date Drive.”

Hitagi Senjougahara and Koyomi Araragi from the Hitagi Rendezvous arc of Owarimonogatari Season 2
Hitagi Senjougahara and Koyomi Araragi

Ougi Dark

Before I get into what happens in the Ougi Dark arc, let me first mention some things that I left out of my summaries of the previous two arcs because they relate more to this one.

Firstly, after Mayoi was brought back to the world of the living, there’s still the issue of the “darkness” swallowing her up which is the original reason she passed on to Hell in the first place since she’s an apparition without a purpose. Mayoi, Izuko, and Shinobu stay to discuss what to do next while Koyomi goes on his date.

Secondly, Ougi is found at Koyomi’s house when he gets back from his date with Hitagi and tells him that while she is a force that corrects injustice, she is not the “darkness.” She also asks for Koyomi’s help with confronting Izuko.

From this point, I think I’ll just describe how the season ended rather than going through a chronological summary.

As per Izuko’s plan, Mayoi becomes enshrined as the goddess of the snake shrine so she won’t be chased by the “darkness”. Meanwhile Koyomi must confront Ougi and reveal to her that her true identity is an apparition created by himself.

Ougi was created from Koyomi’s self-doubt and feeling that he was never able to solve everyone’s problems in the best way. Once this is revealed, the “darkness” appears to swallow Ougi, but Meme Oshino suddenly appears with Hanekawa and fixes the situation so Ougi can live.

Finally, Shinobu, now in her full-power Kiss-Shot form since she was severed from Koyomi upon his death, decides that rather than being a legendary vampire, she would rather return to living in the shadow of her master, Koyomi.

While Koyomi’s quote to Shinobu at the beginning of their time together in Kizumonogatari was “You’ll never forgive me, and I’ll never forgive you,” he now says to her, “If you were to die tomorrow, i’d be fine with tomorrow being the last day of my life. But if you decide to live through today, i will also choose to live through today.”

With that, all of the character arcs that were left open up until this point are now complete.

The season ends with Koyomi running off to help another girl in need, in typical Koyomi fashion because that’s just the kind of guy he is.

The OP song for the Ougi Dark arc is “Dark Cherry Mystery,” which has quickly become my favorite Monogatari series OP song.


Conclusion

It’s no surprise that Owarimonogatari Season 2 is the highest rated of the Monogatari series entries on MAL, and it should also come as no surprise that it’s a 10/10 for me.

While I saw the conclusion with Hitagi as a bonus, I don’t think I would have felt content with the ending if either Mayoi or Shinobu was left out. I think many would agree that Shinobu is the female lead of the series, but I would argue that Mayoi is just as important to the series.

At some point in 2018 the next entry in the Monogatari series, Zoku Owarimonogatari, should be released.

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