化物語 | Ghostory.
Shaft, Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, 2009
Animation Cut #500: Weird text and abstract concepts
Bakemonogatari is one of those anime that became incredibly popular for its aesthetics. Koyomi Araragi finds himself dealing with all sorts of oddities after being attacked by a vampire. Crab gods, lost spirits, curses–he tries to help the girls who have to deal with these entities.
This show has fifteen episodes and the episodes are divided into five arcs. Koyomi helps all the five girls in the header and each girl has her own opening! I’ve included my favourite below.
Once in a while, an anime will be produced that has a bit of a different art style to it. For example, ~ef~ tale of memories and its sequel tale of melodies. The style of this anime can be described as eerie and minimalistic.The anime makes use of cuts in between the scene that only have text written on them. Voice. Line. The name of the character. Simply words like “cursed” or “spirit”. The scenery is geometric in the sense that few colours are used and there is an emphasis on the shapes of the structures. The scenery helps with setting that “scary” mood for the oddities.
However, the dialogue can be in complete contrast with the setting. You’ll find the characters having a five minute chat about a pun or a sexual-tinted joke–and it feels great in this show. No worries, the casual chats don’t mess up the pacing of the episode nor does it disturb scenes with action and/or suspense. It simply sets a relaxing atmosphere when the characters are relaxing or joking around (as they should at their age). It has a lot of fan service, and that’s not exactly my cup of tea. Nonetheless, I didn’t feel like it interrupted the story.
I suppose the mise-en-scene and the weird dialogues are what set this anime apart from others. It has made its own unique atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other great aspects. The soundtrack is also part of the atmosphere, and it always sets the mood just right. The soundtrack matches the visuals in its uniqueness; it’s an audio representation of the video.
It’s an anime deserving of its popularity, but be sure to expect nothing, because it’s best to let this anime surprise you.