Nisemonogatari anime cover art featuring girls from the Monogatari series
Nisemonogatari Cover Art


Nisemonogatari is the second entry in the Monogatari series following Bakemonogatari. There are only two arcs in this entry, Karen Bee and Tsukihi Phoenix, compared to the five arcs in Bakemonogatari. That said, it’s still 11 episodes long.

This entry in the series focuses on the younger sisters of the protagonist, Koyomi. Karen and Tsukihi Araragi are two middle school girls who go around solving the problems of their classmates and refer to themselves as the Fire Sisters.

Karen is the tomboy who usually wears a tracksuit with shorts and Tsukihi is the more feminine of the two who tends to wear yukata. They each wear one of a matching set of hair clips that look like sunny-side-up eggs.

As with my review of Bakemonogatari, this post will not shy away from spoilers.

Karen Bee

The Karen Bee arc takes up the first seven out of 11 episodes in Nisemonogatari. This arc deals with apparitions that affect people solely because they think they’re being affected; kind of like the placebo effect of apparitions.

We’re also introduced to one of the most hated, then beloved characters of the series, Kaiki Deishuu. Kaiki is an apparition expert, sort of like Oshino Meme who helped Koyomi in the past. However, Kaiki is a self-proclaimed con-man rather than a real professional.

He takes money from middle schoolers in return for “charms” which are more like curses. He then charges a fee to those affected by the charms in order to reverse them.

After Karen is affected by a Bee apparition resulting from one of these charms when she went to confront Kaiki, Koyimi also confronts him and learns that he actually didn’t do anything to Karen or the rest of the middle schoolers. The charms, curses, or apparitions they were experiencing were all in their heads.

This doesn’t mean they were harmless, however. While Karen’s bee apparition was the result of her believing that she had been cursed, the apparition itself was still real.

I liked this arc particularly because of the moral at the end which is that even if something isn’t real, a person’s beliefs can make it “real” which is what makes it dangerous. It’s kind of like conspiracy theories; they aren’t real, but if enough people believe them they can cause problems.

Tsukihi Phoenix

In the Tsukihi Phoenix arc, we are introduced to yet another apparition specialist in the form of Yozuru and her familiar Yotsugi. While Oshino specializes in keeping the peace between humans and apparitions, and Kaiki specializes in being an apparition con-man, Yozuru specializes in exterminating immortal apparitions.

Because of this, Koyomi originally believes she’s appeared to kill both himself and Shinobu, however, it turns out they’re actually there to kill Koyomi’s younger sister, Tsukihi.

Like Mayoi and her first arc, Mayoi Snail, it turns out that Tsukihi is an apparition herself rather than being affected by an apparition. However, unlike Mayoi, Tsukihi doesn’t realize that she’s an apparition and doesn’t necessarily cause humans harm in any way.

As a phoenix apparition, Tsukihi can completely heal from any injury, but other than that she’s still basically a normal girl, which is why the need to exterminate her didn’t make much sense to me. She can reincarnate but doesn’t retain any memories from her previous lives.

She’s not human, but it’s not like she’s taking the place of the real Tsukihi in the Araragi family. She’s more like an adopted family member than anything else.

In the end, Koyomi and Shinobu are able to stop Yozuru and Yotsugi, mainly due to the fact that Koyomi doesn’t care whether Tsukihi is his real sister or not. As far as he’s concerned, she’s his family and nothing is going to change that.

Unfortunately for this arc, it’s the home of the infamous toothbrush scene which people use to judge the series as a whole, but other than that I think that it’s actually a good, wholesome story about family.

Fire Sisters Karen and Tsukihi Araragi beating up Koyomi from the anime Nisemonogatari
Fire Sisters Beating Up Koyomi


As with Bakemonogatari, this entry of the Monogatari series is also a 10/10. Also, while the main focus of the arcs in Nisemonogatari was on the Fire Sisters, the real important characters to pay attention to moving forward are Kaiki, Yozuru, and Yotsugi.

By the end of Nisemonogatari, Kaiki is still the most hated character in the series, but this will eventually change and he’ll earn the title of “best girl” by many in the Monogatari community. But before we get to Kaiki becoming “best girl,” we’ll be taking a look at Nekomonogatari Black and White next.

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