Tag: Monogatari

Which Monogatari Girls Could I Beat in a Fistfight?

Which Monogatari Girls Could I Beat in a Fistfight?

Rules of the Fight

How many of the Monogatari girls do you think you could beat in a fistfight? I know, this is a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. And, if you’re like me, you’ve asked yourself this question many times.

Well, in this article, I’m going to break down which girls I think I could beat in a fistfight and why. But, before I get to that, I need to go over the rules of the fight.

There’s really only one rule, and that’s that it’s a “fistfight.” There are no weapons allowed. This means that, no, Hitagi can’t gut me like a fish with a box cutter. But, anything else goes as long as it’s using your body. Fists, feet, teeth, that’s all fair game.

So, without further ado, here’s the tier list the rest of this article is going to be based on. And, yes, I know there are more girls I could have added. I don’t care.

A tier list of which Monogatari girls I could beat in a fistfight
A tier list of which Monogatari girls I could beat in a fistfight

Girls I Would Definitely Beat

The first girl I could definitely beat in a fistfight is Tsubasa Hanekawa (child). I’m 100% certain that I could beat a literal child in a fight. There’s nothing special about her, she’s just a kid and I’m going to break her glasses.

Next up, we have Tsubasa Hanekawa (sugoi dekai). Even as a high schooler, I’m convinced I could beat Hanekawa in a fight. Sure, she has some extra padding. But, I’m not throwing punches at her chest. So, those are only going to slow her down.

Shinobu Oshino is the first girl I think I could beat that you might not agree with. But, hear me out. This is her weakest form. Yes, she defeated Koyomi with her signature Vampire Punch. However, that took him by surprise. Most of the time, he’s able to manhandle her. I can too.

Sodachi Oikura after I OHKO her from the Owarimonogatari anime series
Sodachi Oikura after I OHKO her

Mayoi Hachikuji? No problem. Again, we see Koyomi tossing her around like it’s no big deal all the time. And, he’s not even actually trying to beat her in a fight. Since I am trying, there’s no way I’d lose to her. She can scratch, bite, and kick all she wants, but I’m winning.

Nadeko Sengoku was another easy pick for this category. Okay, so we saw her smash some lockers when she went into a rage. But, I’m still confident I can beat her in both a fistfight and a game of Twister. I just need to use psychological warfare by mentioning her forehead.

Finally, there’s Sodachi Oikura. After child Hanekawa, Sodachi is the one I’m most confident about beating. Hitagi laid her out with a single punch. And if I get my hands on those twin tails, she won’t be able to get away. That’s an easy victory for me.

Girls I Would Take My Chances Against

The first girl I think I’d have a pretty decent matchup against is Tsukihi Araragi. If weapons were allowed, she’d stab me and that’d be it. But, without weapons, I’m pretty sure I could beat her. She’d fight dirty, though. That’s for sure.

Ougi Oshino is in this category because she’s a wildcard. I’m unsure about what her skill level would actually be in a fight. At face value, I could take her. But, since this is Ougi we’re talking about, she could have a trick up her extra-long sleeves.

Nadeko Sengoku (Medusa) is another one I’m wary about. Normal Nadeko is an easy win. But, this version of Nadeko is a god. Still considering it’s a fistfight, I’m feeling somewhat confident. She did kill Araragi. But, I don’t remember how she did that, so surely she won’t do that to me.

Hitagi Senjougahara threatening to stab me in the eye with a pencil from the Nisemonogatari anime series
Hitagi Senjougahara threatening to stab me in the eye with a pencil

As with Tsukihi, Hitagi Senjougahara is one I think I could beat with the ban on weapons. I don’t have to worry about box cutters to the gut, staplers to the mouth, or pencils to the eyes. However, this feels like it could be a pretty even fight.

What Mayoi Hachikuji (adult)? I still feel like I can beat Hachikuji even as an adult. But, there’s one thing giving me pause. She tossed around Koyomi like a ragdoll. As long as I can prevent her from grabbing me, I should be okay.

Remember Rouka Numachi from Hanamonogatari? Of course you do. Of all the girls in this category, she has the best chance of beating me (assuming Nadeko doesn’t kill me). Why? Because she’s an athlete. She’s in shape. I do some exercise, but I wouldn’t consider myself an athlete by any means.

Girls I Would Definitely Lose To

Alright, let’s talk about the girls I would 100% lose to. Three of them are monsters, so I think I should get a pass on those. But, the other two aren’t. And, it’s actually one of those other two whom I’d be most worried about fighting.

To start off, we have Black Hanekawa. Let’s be honest, she could rip me limb from limb if she wanted to. Yes, I said I could beat Shinobu, who we saw beat Black Hanekawa. But, this is like a rock-paper-scissors scenario. I beat Shinobu, Shinobu beats Black Hanekawa, and Black Hanekawa beats me.

Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. Need I say more? This fight wouldn’t even last a second. There would be nothing left of me other than some red mist. The only good thing about this fight is that I wouldn’t have to suffer.

Karen Araragi punching me in the face from the Nisemonogatari anime series
Karen Araragi punching me in the face

Yotsugi Ononoki is one I almost put in the “Definitely Could Win” category. However, I then remembered that she’s extremely strong. One punch from her would send me flying through cement walls. So, no, I don’t think I could beat Yotsugi in a fistfight. She wouldn’t even need her whole fist — only a finger.

Could I beat Suruga Kanbaru in a fight? No way. With Rouka, I’d have a tough time but might be able to win. Kanbaru is even more athletic. And, to make matters worse, she has the Rainy Devil. I saw how that fight went for Araragi and I want no part of it.

Karen Araragi is the final girl I definitely couldn’t beat. She practices karate and has real fighting experience. Also, she’s the one girl in this category who couldn’t kill me in one shot. So, that means I’d have to suffer through getting pummeled to a pulp.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Of the 17 Monogatari Series girls I selected, I could definitely beat 6 of them in a fistfight. I also feel like I’d have a pretty decent time going up against 6 others. And, even I have to admit that the final 5 would destroy me.

But, how many of these girls do you think you could beat? Are you more confident than I am? Do you think I’d definitely lose to some of the girls I put in the first two categories? And, who would you most and least want to fight? Let me know.

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Shinobu Oshino Outfit Tier List

Shinobu Oshino Outfit Tier List

Shinobu Oshino Outfit Tier List

Shinobu’s Outfits

Throughout the Monogatari Series, Shinobu Oshino wears many outfits. If you were to ask fans of the series to describe what she wears, chances are you’d get multiple, conflicting answers as each person remembers a different one.

Today, I’m going to go through Shinobu’s outfits based on their appearance within the anime and then rank them on a tier list. But before I get to that, I need to set some parameters.

1. I’m only looking at her outfits from the anime, not the light novels or manga.
2. I’m focusing on Shinobu’s 8-year-old form (with one exception) because that’s how she most frequently appears.
3. I’m considering different versions of outfits as separate outfits (this will make sense in just a bit).
4. I’m not including one-off gag outfits, such as Shinobu dressing up as other characters from the series.

I’ll also be leaving a link to the tier list at the end of this article so you can rank Shinobu’s outfits yourself. If you do, make sure you tweet your tier list at me so I can see it.


Shinobu wearing her pink dress without the helmet from the anime series Bakemonogatari

Shinobu has two outfits in Bakemonogatari, though they’re really two versions of the same outfit. In this part of the series, she wears a pink dress with white frills on the chest area and a red ribbon around the waist. The skirt of the dress also has a white inner lining.

This outfit reappears later in the series, as well, most notably as one of Shinobu’s many outfits in Kizumonogatari.

Shinobu wearing her pink dress and helmet from the anime series Bakemonogatari

The alternate version of this pink dress outfit, and actually the version we see first, includes an unstrapped helmet with goggles on it. This particular outfit is definitely one of the most iconic of the series simply because it’s what we first see Shinobu wearing.

When Shinobu eventually opens up to Koyomi and stops sulking in the shadows, she also stops wearing the helmet.

Also, a fun fact is that thanks to this dress, we know Shinobu doesn’t wear underwear. At the end of the Tsubasa Cat arc, there’s actually a frame where we see up her dress and she’s covered by nothing more than a band-aid.

Her lack of panties is also reconfirmed in Kizumonogatari.


Shinobu wearing her white dress without the hat

Shinobu’s next outfit comes in Nisemonogatari. And this one also has two versions just like her Bakemonogatari outfit. Personally, I’d argue that this outfit is her most iconic because I believe it’s the one she most frequently appears in.

Of course, I’m talking about her white dress. The front of this dress is white with three pink ribbon bows. One bow is at the neckline and the other two are on the front of her hips. The back of the dress’ skirt is pink.

Shinobu wearing her white dress and hat

This white dress is also different from the pink dress in Bakemonogatari because rather than being held up by straps, it’s tied around Shinobu’s neck and waist.

The alternate form of this outfit includes a straw hat with a white band around it. I believe we only see her wearing the hat in Nisemonogatari, while the version of this outfit without the hat appears in other parts of the series, as well.


Shinobu Oshino wearing her kimono from Kabukimonogatari in the Monogatari Series Second Season anime

In Kabukimonogatari, which is part of the Monogatari Series Second Season, Shinobu debuts a new outfit. And, as you can see, this outfit is very different from those that came before (and after) it.

This time around, Shinobu is wearing a pink kimono with a pattern featuring bats, moons, and stars (because she’s a vampire). She also has a red and yellow obi tied around her waist.

And, for the first time, Shinobu is sporting a different hairstyle. Her hair is put up into two buns on either side of her head and held in place with red ribbons. This is actually the only time Shinobu sports an alternate hairstyle in her 8-year-old form.


Shinobu Oshino wearing her black dress from Otorimonogatari in the Monogatari Series Second Season anime

The next new outfit Shinobu wears is a black dress in Otorimonogatari, which is also part of the Monogatari Series Second Season. This dress is kind of like a combination of her pink and white dresses from Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari, but black.

While the dress is primarily black from the front and sides, the back portion is open to reveal a white lining within. This white lining can also be seen under the skirt and sticking out above the collar of the black outer portion of the dress.

This dress also features multiple ribbons. There’s a small, white ribbon at the collar, a pink ribbon on the front just below some ruffles on the chest, and a ribbon on the back. The back ribbon is also what laces the dress together.


Shinobu Oshino wearing her green dress from the anime series Tsukimonogatari

Shinobu shows off two new outfits in Tsukimonogatari. The first one is a green dress with a white polka dot pattern. This dress also has a white color with a four-leaf clover attached to her lefthand side.

As with most of her other dresses, this green one also has a white lining inside the skirt that peaks out from the bottom in the form of frills. This is the primary outfit she wears in the arc.

The second outfit Shinobu wears in Tsukimonogatari is a very fancy purple dress. This is by far the fanciest outfit we see Shinobu wear throughout the series.

Shinobu Oshino wearing her purple dress from the anime series Tsukimonogatari

Shinobu’s purple dress has a lot of different layers, which are primarily different shades of purple. The darkest part is the vest portion of the dress which covers her chest and is held together in the front by a single button.

Attached to this vest are frilly shoulder sleeves made of a slightly lighter colored material. Beneath the vest is the main portion of the dress, which features a diagonal striped pattern of two lighter shades of purple.

Farther down the dress, the skirt has multiple layers that alternate between the dark color of the vest and the lighter stripes of the corset. Coming out from the bottom of the skirt are two additional layers of white fabric.

Around her waist, Shinobu wears a light pink belt with a pink flower and ribbon dangling from it. Her other accessories include a dark purple choker and a matching hairband.


Shinobu Oshino wearing her pink sailor uniform from the Koyomimonogatari anime series

Technically speaking, Shinobu only wears one new outfit in Koyomimonogatari. However, this outfit has two versions depending on which release of Koyomimonogatari you watch.

The first outfit is a pink sailor uniform with a white collar and a white donut pattern along the bottom of the skirt. It also features a black bow beneath the collar and black leggings. That’s right, Shinobu has pants on (at first) with this outfit.

Shinobu Oshino wearing her blue sailor uniform from the anime series Koyomimonogatari

That’s just her outfit in the original release of Koyomimonogatari, though. Chances are, you’ve watched the Blu-ray release, in which she wears an alternate version of this outfit.

The alternate version of the outfit features a dark blue sailor uniform with a pink bow beneath the collar and lighter pink leggings (which she also takes off). This is the only time one of Shinobu’s outfits gets a palette swap for the Blu-ray release.


Shinobu Oshino wearing her frilly outfit from the anime movie Kizumonogatari

I debated whether or not I wanted to include any of Shinobu’s Kizumonogatari outfits in this post and on my tier list. She has many outfits in these movies, and we don’t ever see her 8-year-old form.

However, in the end, I decided to include Shinobu’s 6-year-old form and outfit here since this is her primary child form within the movies. If you want to discount this one from the tier list because it’s a different version of Shinobu, that’s fine.

This outfit features a light pink/salmon color top with multiple frills on the bottom and no sleeves. It also has a bit of a collar with a black ribbon hanging down from it on the front.

What really sets the outfit apart, though, is that it also features shorts. This is a shirt and shorts combo, not a dress. The shorts are black, puffy, and have small ribbons on the outsides of the thighs.

Back in the Bakemonogatari section, I mentioned that Shinobu also wore that pink dress in Kizumonogatari. She does, but it’s in her 11-year-old form so the dress is too short. This is when it’s reconfirmed that she doesn’t wear panties.

Outfit Tier List

Now that you know the outfits, it’s time to rank them on a tier list. Obviously, the higher up an outfit is placed on the tier list, the better it is. However, I haven’t ranked outfits against each other within the tiers. The order of the outfits within the tiers is just the order I happened to place them in.

Shinobu Oshino's outfits from the Monogatari anime series ranked on a tier list
Shinobu Oshino’s outfits ranked on a tier list

Starting with the S-tier, these may not be Shinobu’s most iconic outfits, but they’re my favorites. The kimono is easily her cutest outfit with the hair buns and everything. And I love that her kimono has a bat pattern on it. I also just really like the green dress; I can’t explain why.

The A-tier outfits are very good, but not my absolute favorites. The black dress just takes the best parts of the iconic pink and white dresses and combines them, so obviously it’s a great outfit. And I think the addition of the hat really elevates the white dress to new levels.

B-tier probably isn’t going to be all that controversial. The white dress without the hat is a little plain. The purple dress just feels a bit too fancy for Shinobu, in my opinion. And while I do enjoy the blue sailor uniform, it doesn’t have the same impact as the higher-tier outfits.

My C-tier picks are where I think people are really going to start disagreeing. I’m sorry, but I don’t think Shinobu’s pink dress is all that great — even with the addition of the helmet. I just view it as a worse version of the black dress. And, the pink sailor uniform is just a worse version of the blue one.

D-tier is reserved for Shinobu’s Kizumonogatari outfit. I’m just not a fan. The frills and puffy pants are cute, but I still think the outfit is bland. I also just much prefer dresses.


If you’d like to fill this tier list out for yourself, you can do so here. Just make sure to send me your completed list over on Twitter @DoubleSama and follow me while you’re there too. Or, if you don’t have Twitter, me know how you’d rank Shinobu’s outfits in the comments.

Did you enjoy this look at Shinobu’s outfits? If so, remember to click the like button down below. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community, including fellow Shinobu enjoyers.

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Kizumonogatari (Light Novel)

Kizumonogatari (Light Novel)

Kizumonogatari light novel cover art

Light Novel vs. Anime

While the Bakemonogatari anime series basically followed the light novels to a T, the same isn’t true when it comes to Kizumonogatari (傷物語). There are a few differences between the Kizumonogatari anime movies and the light novel they’re based on, and those differences will be the focus of this review.

But before I get into that, let me just point something out to all the people who say that the proper viewing order of the anime is to watch Kizumonogatari directly after Bakemonogatari. If you’re reading the series, I agree that’s the way to go about it, but not if you’re watching.

While it wasn’t originally intended for the Kizumonogatari anime to be delayed, there are some funny lines within the novel that seem to line up with this. Multiple times within the novel, Koyomi states that the events that unfold within it are too graphic to be adapted into an anime. It’s some great fourth-wall breaking and I thought I’d point it out.

Also, while I’m mentioning funny lines, I thought the light novel was funnier than the anime. The comedic moments just seemed to work better in writing for this one — which does somewhat go against what I said in my review of the Bakemonogatari novels.

Back to the differences between the light novel and anime, some of the settings for certain events were altered. I’ll discuss more of these throughout the review, but one, in particular, is the scene in which Tsubasa gives her panties to Koyomi. In the anime, they’re out in a field by a river. But in the novel, this scene takes place within a second-floor room of the cram school.

When you think about it, those settings make the scene very different. An open field during sunset and an abandoned building with the windows boarded up. I can see why the setting was changed for the anime since this was meant to be a hopeful scene.

Koyomi and Kiss-Shot

The first difference in setting between the novel and anime came fairly early on. In the anime, Koyomi encounters Kiss-Shot on a platform in the train station. But in the novel, he encounters her on the street as she’s leaning against a light pole.

This is the setting change that confuses me the most. I understand that the lit train station is a much more appealing setting from a visual standpoint than a dark street. However, I think the street makes a lot more sense from a storytelling perspective.

Kiss-Shot's introduction in the Kizumonogatari anime movie
Kiss-Shot’s introduction in the Kizumonogatari anime

In the novel, all the street lights are out except the one Kiss-Shot is laying under. This single, working light serves as a spotlight on her body, which accentuates the fact that she has no shadow. It also makes the encounter feel much more lonely since everything around Kiss-Shot is enveloped in darkness.

While I can accept the other setting changes the movies made, I think this one would have been more impactful if left as-is in the novel.

Versus Dramaturgy

Of the three fights against the vampire slayers, the first one against Dramaturgy had the most differences between the novel and anime. For starters, Koyomi originally believed that Dramaturgy was holding his swords — not that his arms were transformed into them. This isn’t something that translated over into the anime.

Once the fight actually begins, there are a couple of additional differences that I thought were very interesting. One of these differences is that none of the fight takes place within the school building in the novel. In the anime, Koyomi is thrown through multiple classrooms by Dramaturgy, smashing windows and walls as he goes.

However, the light novel takes a much more pragmatic approach by restricting the fight to the athletic field. Koyomi mentions that the interior of the school has security cameras, which is why they can’t fight there. And that makes a lot of sense since this series takes place in the modern day (mid- to late-2000s).

The final difference between the two versions of this fight is the one I think is most important. In the anime, Dramaturgy doesn’t really say anything to Koyomi until he’s defeated. However, in the light novel, even before the fight begins, Dramaturgy attempts to recruit Koyomi as a vampire hunter.

Not only does he attempt to recruit Koyomi, but he tells him that due to his bloodline (being the servant of Kiss-Shot), he would easily overtake even Dramaturgy as the number one of the group. And again after being defeated, he gives Koyomi another chance to join him.

Versus Episode

There’s not much to say about Koyomi’s fight against Episode. Basically, everything that happened in the anime comes straight from the novel. The only difference is that the place where Koyomi defeats Episode is still the school athletic field, not a stadium. And the same goes for Koyomi’s fight against Kiss-Shot at the end.

After the differences in the Dramaturgy fight, I was really looking forward to their being differences in the Episode fight as well. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Versus Guillotine Cutter

The Guillotine Cutter fight was probably the most interesting in terms of the additional information given by the novel. In the anime, while Guillotine Cutter was clearly the leader of the vampire hunting trio, I believe it was implied that this group was simply working together because they were all hired for the same job.

As it turns out, that’s not the case. The one who placed a bounty on Kiss-Shot was none other than Guillotine Cutter himself. And further, both Episode, Dramaturgy, and Dramaturgy’s 53 or so underlings all work directly for Guillotine Cutter.

Guillotine Cutter in the Kizumonogatari anime movie
Guillotine Cutter in the Kizumonogatari anime

Beyond that, Guillotine Cutter is the leader of an unnamed, new religion and refers to himself as God. His religion denies the existence of aberrations. This is odd because he hunts them — which implies they exist. But anyway, I thought all of this background really made Guillotine Cutter a much more interesting character.

And finally, I think the novel also goes a bit more into why Guillotine Cutter agreed to return Kiss-Shot’s arms after being defeated. This may have been stated in the anime, but it’s because Oshino told him that Kiss-Shot was planning to turn Koyomi back into a human.

Guillotine Cutter knows the only way for that to happen is for Koyomi to kill her, so he agrees because she’s going to be slain either way.


I really like the Kizumonogatari movies. They’re probably my favorite part of the anime series after Owarimonogatari II. But even with that said, I think the novel was actually better. I really liked the additional information it gives on both Dramaturgy and Guillotine Cutter. And I think the initial encounter with Kiss-Shot was done better in the novel as well.

As you probably expect, the Kizumonogatari light novel is a 10/10 from me just like the movie trilogy.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

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Bakemonogatari (Light Novels)

Bakemonogatari (Light Novels)

Light Novels vs. Anime

As many fans will already know, the Bakemonogatari (化物語) light novels and anime series are very similar on account of how the anime is structured. The anime barely leaves out any dialogue from the novels, which is one of the things I like about the anime so much.

While the anime is certainly dialogue-heavy, that alone isn’t enough to fit in all the text from the novels. So the anime gets around this by including the less essential internal monologue in the form of flashing text panels. This solution works great because although the monologue sometimes goes by fast, the main point is still conveyed.

However, light novels and anime are inherently different mediums. And something I’ve always said is that the best anime adaptation will always be better than the best light novel or manga adaptation. I know light novel and manga fans will argue against that, but my point is that there’s more for the anime to work with and perfect.

With light novels, in particular, it’s all text. So while what’s going on in any given scene can be perfectly described, at the end of the day, it’s just text. With anime, you still have that text, just in different forms. Some of it is now visual, some of it is audio, and some of it is still text. But there are also many other layers that come together to enhance the experience (ideally).

And with all this in mind, I do think the Bakemonogatari anime is better than the light novels are.

Visuals and soundtrack aside, though they do play an important role in the anime, I think the biggest benefit the anime has are the voice actors. The dialogue flows much better when it’s read aloud and there were a few parts within these books that I had to reread because the dialogue chains went on for so long that I lost track of who was speaking.

The anime solves both those issues, and that’s the main reason I think it’s the better medium for this series — which I get is probably a heretical view.

Part 1

Bakemonogatari Part 1 light novel cover art
Bakemonogatari Part 1

While the Japanese Bakemonogatari light novels are two volumes, there are three volumes for the English version. The first volume, or part, covers the first two arcs of the story: Hitagi Crab and Mayoi Snail. Of the three volumes of Bakemonogatari, this one was my favorite. Mayoi Snail is just such a good arc that it alone made part 1 the best.

Oh, and speaking of the Japanese vs. English light novels, the English release order begins with Kizumonogatari. But, I’m reading through the series in the original Japanese order, so I began with Bakemonogatari and will be reading Kizumonogatari next. For more information on the different orders for this series, check out my post on the Monogatari Series watch order.

Hitagi Crab

The Hitagi Crab arc has never been one of my favorites of the series, but it’s still a good introduction as far as Koyomi’s character and the formula of the series go. And in this arc specifically, I don’t think the anime necessarily does a better job at anything than the light novel does.

It’s also been a while since I actually watched the Bakemonogatari anime. I think the last time I watched it was about two years ago. So naturally, there were things I forgot until I read the novel. One item in particular that stood out was how open the endings of the Bakemonogatari arcs are.

I had completely forgotten that the Hitagi Crab arc ends with Koyomi’s weight increasing due to the Weight Crab. And to be honest, I can’t remember if that’s ever brought up again throughout the series.

Mayoi Snail

As I mentioned, the Mayoi Snail arc is my favorite arc of Bakemonogatari, and not just because Mayoi is my favorite character (though that is part of it). I think what I like so much about this arc is how different it is from the other four. And the fact that it’s only the second arc is pretty cool too because it shows that the series isn’t all going to be exactly the same.

Generally speaking, Koyomi “saves” other people in the other four Bakemonogatari arcs. But in Mayoi Snail, it turns out the one he’s saving, in the end, is himself, despite not knowing that for the majority of the arc. I just love how right after Hitagi Crab, the series already subverts your expectations in the next arc.

And, I do think this is one arc that the light novel did a better job at than the anime. In the end, when Mayoi finally reaches her mother’s house, was definitely more emotional for me in the novel than the anime.

Also, I noticed that in the novel, the description of the park specifically mentions attractions that it doesn’t have. But in the anime, those attractions are shown. I assume this was just to make the visuals more interesting.

Part 2

Bakemonogatari Part 2 light novel cover art
Bakemonogatari Part 2

The second Bakemonogatari volume contains the Suruga Monkey and Nadeko snake arcs. And while I like aspects of these arcs in the anime, I don’t think the light novel versions were quite as good. The arcs themselves are good, but what makes them great in the anime are the visuals and soundtrack.

Both Suruga and Nadeko are great characters, but even I can admit that their introductory arcs aren’t the best. It’s their characters that carry their arcs, which isn’t the case for an arc like Mayoi Snail, in which the arc and the character are both pulling their weight.

Volume 2 is also the longest of the three. At 330 pages, it’s 90 pages longer than volume 1.

Suruga Monkey

Of all the Bakemonogatari arcs, Suruga Monkey is my favorite in the anime from a visual standpoint. Unfortunately, visuals mean nothing in a light novel, though. And so, the Suruga Monkey arc was probably my least favorite of the five to read.

However, that’s not to say it was bad. I still like the arc and Suruga herself is one of my favorite characters of the entire series. The reason I like her so much is that she’s effectively a female version of Koyomi, and as we really get to see in Hanamonogatari, in the future she perfectly fills the role that he currently does.

With the novel, I noticed the hints of this much more than in the anime. In the anime version of Bakemonogatari, I felt like Suruga was just another girl who Koyomi was helping. But in the novel, there were hints of what was to come later. There are a lot of little pieces of dialogue I missed in the anime that point to Suruga eventually taking over Koyomi’s role.

Nadeko Snake

The Nadeko Snake arc is the one I must have misremembered the most of all the arcs. Without rewatching the anime adaptation I can’t say for certain whether I misremembered it or whether the anime made some changes. But based on my memory’s track record, I think it’s fair to say I misremembered it.

For starters, I forgot that there were actually two Jagirinawa. But that’s something I did remember after reading that part of the arc. However, I was pretty sure that Koyomi was afflicted by one of the Jagirinawa in the anime. He wrestles with one of them in the novel, but I really thought that he took on the aberration for Nadeko for a period of time in the anime.

Anyway, I also forgot how dark the open end of this arc was. In Hitagi Crab, the open ending regarding Koyomi’s increase in weight isn’t really a problem. But at the end of Nadeko Snake, the remaining Jagirinawa returned to afflict the one who cast the curse on Nadeko in the first place.

That means one of Nadeko’s classmates was killed by the aberration.

Part 3

Bakemonogatari Part 3 light novel cover art
Bakemonogatari Part 3

Volume 3 is the shortest of all, sitting at only 226 pages — though that’s almost as long as the 240 pages of volume 1. But unlike the previous two volumes, this one only contains a single story arc: Tsubasa Cat. And while Tsubasa Cat was my least favorite arc in the anime, the light novel version was better than Suruga Monkey.

As I’ll get to in just a moment, the Tsubasa Cat arc is probably the most unstructured and incomplete of the five Bakemonogatari arcs. It’s long, and within that length, there are stories about characters other than Tsubasa — specifically Hitagi and Shinobu. And, it’s not as much of a standalone arc as the other four.

This volume does have the best cover art, though. So that’s something to praise it for.

Tsubasa Cat

Despite being about Tsubasa Hanekawa, the Tsubasa Cat arc does more to build upon the characters of Hitagi and Shinobu than Tsubasa herself. This is probably one of the reasons I wasn’t much of a fan of Tsubasa in the anime until Kizumonogatari. She was always around but wasn’t quite as developed as the other characters.

For example, the first part of the arc focuses on Koyomi and Hitagi’s relationship. While this is important for why Tsubasa is afflicted by the Sawarineko, it builds up Hitagi’s character even more. And the same goes for the latter part of the series when Shinobu is found to be hiding in Koyomi’s shadow — it’s more important for Shinobu’s character than Tsubasa’s.

There’s also the fact that Tsubasa Cat isn’t a standalone arc. It’s the continuation of Nekomonogatari Black’s Tsubasa Family arc. This is a problem, especially in the light novel I think, because a large portion of the arc has to be dedicated to summarizing the Tsubasa Family arc.

It’s not like the other arcs that call back to the events of Kizumonogatari briefly — the entire plot builds on the events of Tsubasa Family. And that means that while the other arcs are building up the characters and present story, Tsubasa Cat is spending time recapping events that have already happened so the reader can understand what’s going on.


Overall, and this might not come as a surprise to those of you who know me, the Bakemonogatari novels are collectively a 10/10 from me. Some of the arcs I would probably rate slightly lower, but as a whole, it’s a 10.

And despite what I mentioned about sometimes getting lost in the dialogue, I was surprised by how easy it was to follow when the series shifted back and forth between the past and present. I know the anime does this, but I didn’t realize that the novels did it in the same way. I’ve never read a novel that’s done this in such an easy-to-understand and natural way before.

Oh, and I think the chronological order of events is easier to follow in the novels than in the anime, at least so far. I think having the date stated at the beginning of each arc by Koyomi is better for my memory than the date being flashed at the start of an episode.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Monogatari Series Titles Explained

Monogatari Series Titles Explained

Monogatari Titles

Considering my love for the Monogatari series, it’s a bit surprising that it’s taken me this long to sit down and write this post. If you’re already extremely familiar with the Monogatari series, or even if you have a fairly rudimentary understanding of Japanese, you may not need the titles of this series to be explained.

But this post is for everyone else who might not yet know the naming conventions of the series. So, with that in mind, we’re going to start off with the most basic thing you need to know about the Monogatari series titles, and that’s what the word monogatari even means.

Monogatari (物語) simply means story or tale. The series isn’t exactly what we would refer to as an anthology because the different parts are all connected, but you can kind of view it as an anthology of stories.

Each part of the series features a story — or stories grouped together by a common theme which is then represented in the title of the part. So for example, if this blog was the theme of a part, the title would be DoubleSamaMonogatari.

Got it? Alright, let’s get into the actual series. And just so you know, there will be spoilers.


Bakemonogatari (化物語) means Monster Story. It’s a combination of the words bakemono (化物) and monogatari (物語), with the kanji for mono (物) shared between them. The monster(s) referred to in the title are the apparitions featured throughout the series.

In this part, specifically, we get the crab, snail, snake, monkey, and cat apparitions.


Nisemonogatari (偽物語) means Fake or False Story — either one works, they mean the same thing. Nise (偽) means fake, and as we already know, monogatari means story, so it’s as easy as adding those two words together. No overlap is required this time.

The meaning of the title this time is a bit deeper than it was with Bakemonogatari though. The “fakes” the title refers to are the two apparitions featured in the series.

The bee is an apparition that manifests after the victim already falsely believed they had been targeted by an apparition, so in that sense, it’s a fake. The phoenix apparition, on the other hand, is a fake because it’s pretending to be (or believes it is) a human rather than an apparition.

"Fire Sisters" Tsukihi and Karen Araragi from the anime series Nisemonogatari
“Fire Sisters” Tsukihi and Karen Araragi


Nekomonogatari (猫物語) is probably the most obvious of all the Monogatari series titles, even for those who don’t know much about Japanese or the series.  It’s a combination of neko (猫), meaning cat, and monogatari — Cat Story. The title also refers to the feline apparitions featured in the part.

But what I like most about Nekomonogatari is that it can also be translated as Cat Tale, which is a pun on cat tail.

Kuro & Shiro

Nekomonogatari is also notably split into two halves, kuro (黒) and shiro (白), meaning black and white respectively. These colors (shades, actually) refer to the two halves of Tsubasa Hanekawa. However, while kuro definitely refers to “Black Hanekawa,” shiro could also be a reference to the color of Kako, the white tiger apparition.


Kabukimonogatari (傾物語) is where things get a bit more complicated. At first glance, it appears that it’s a combination of the words kabuki (a type of Japanese play) and monogatari. However, that’s not actually the case. It’s a combination of kabukimono (傾物) and monogatari.

Kabukimono refers to a flamboyant style of dress in the Edo period, which is why the series is translated as Dandy Story (or tale) in English. However, the kabuki (傾) in kabukimono is written with a kanji that refers to a tilt, as in something which makes you tilt your head in confusion.

So basically the title is referring to the puzzling situation Koyomi and Shinobu find themselves in after they travel back in time, rescue Mayoi, and then return to find the world they knew has been destroyed by vampire zombies.


Otorimonogatari (囮物語) translates to Decoy Story, with otori (囮) meaning decoy. That was pretty easy to explain after Kabukimonogatari, and luckily the rest of the titles are similar in difficulty.

The decoy referred to in this title is when Hitagi calls Nadeko at the end of the arc and persuades her to hold off on killing Koyomi until after graduation. This phone call is a decoy designed to buy time so that Hitagi and Koyomi can come up with a plan.

Nadeko Sengoku (Medusa form) from the anime series Otorimonogatari
Nadeko Sengoku (Medusa form)


Onimonogatari (鬼物語) simply means Demon Story, which probably comes as no surprise to most of you considering oni (鬼) are Japanese demons that frequent anime, manga, and light novels alike.

However, what isn’t entirely clear is who or what is being referred to as the demon in the title. It could be, and probably is, referring to Shinobu. But it also could be referring to either Shinobu’s first servant or the “Darkness” which swallows up rogue apparitions.


Koimonogatari (恋物語) is another easy one, with koi (恋) meaning love — Love Story. The title refers to the love between Koyomi and Hitagi, and specifically how Hitagi is willing to confront her past if it means saving Koyomi from Nadeko’s fury.


Hanamonogatari (花物語) is Flower Story. Hana (花) is the Japanese word for flower, and then we just add monogatari to the end of it. While the title doesn’t refer to the flowers we see in this part of the series, it should be noted that the cherry blossom scenes in this part are referencing back to the title.

So if the flower in Flower Story isn’t referring to a literal flower, then what is it referring to? This is the part of the series in which Suruga “blossoms” into an adult and fights her own battles. This theme is also featured in the opening song for the part, “the last day of my adolescence.”


Tsukimonogatari (憑物語) means Possession Story. It combines tsuki (憑), which in this case means possession, with monogatari. Yotsugi is the main heroine of this part, and she’s a man-made sort of apparition that possesses a corpse, hence the title.

A fun fact about Tsukimonogatari is that if you change the writing of tsuki (月) you get the word for moon. This play on words is used throughout Tsukimonogatari by way of Sailor Moon references, such as the one pictured below of Yotsugi doing a Sailor Moon’s pose.

Yotsugi Ononoki referencing Sailor Moon from the anime series Tsukimonogatari
Yotsugi Ononoki referencing Sailor Moon


Owarimonogatari (終物語) is a combination of the words owari (終), which means end, and monogatari to create Final Story. The title is hinting that this is either the end of the Monogatari series or the end of Koyomi’s role in it. However, neither of those turned out to be true.


Later on in the series, we also get Zoku Owarimonogatari (続・終物語) which simply adds zoku (続) onto the beginning of Owarimonogatari. Zoku means continuation or continued, so the title basically means Final Story: Continued.


Koyomimonogatari (暦物語), or Calendar Story, is pretty underrated in my opinion. The title is a combination of the word koyomi (暦), meaning calendar, and monogatari. The reason it’s called Calendar Story is that each episode of this part takes place at a different point in the year.

Also, there’s obviously the double meaning to this part’s title, with Koyomi being the name of the protagonist of the series.


Kizumonogatari (傷物語) is one of the more interesting parts of the Monogatari series title-wise, but not because of the main title. Kizumonogatari is simply a combination of kizu (傷) and monogatari to mean Wound Story. This refers to the physical and mental wounds Koyomi and Shinobu both receive.

But as I said, the main title isn’t why Kizumonogatari is interesting. In the anime, this part is broken up into a trilogy of movies, each with its own subtitle.

Koyomi and Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu) from the anime movie Kizumonogatari: Reiketsu
Koyomi and Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu)

Tekketsu, Nekketsu, and Reiketsu

Tekketsu (鉄血), Nekketsu (熱血), and Reiketsu (冷血) translate to Iron Blood, Hot Blood, and Cold Blood respectively. As Kizumonogatari is the part of the series when Koyomi first meets Shinobu, it’s only natural that the trilogy subtitles would reference her epithet as the “Iron-Blooded, Hot-Blooded, Cold-Blooded Vampire.”


There are more Monogatari series titles currently — I think nine of them — but since they aren’t animated, and I mainly cover anime on this blog, we’ll leave those for later. As more of the series is animated, which it probably will be, I’ll add those additional part titles to the list.

If you enjoyed this very different kind of post, click the like button down below and post your thoughts in the comments. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content.

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