Nisemonogatari 02: Smut With a Heart of Gold *cough*

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.40_[2012.01.15_07.32.46]

[Nisemonogatari 01]

Since the first episode aired, I’ve rewatched all of Bakemonogatari. One of the things I noted about the structure is how Hitagi Crab is just two episodes… and Hanekawa Cat is 5. Hitagi Crab presented the whole premise, introduced the leads, and resolved a conflict/plot point. It was very efficient. Hanekawa Cat on the other hand, had almost completely tangential first two episodes. Episode 12, while important to the resolution (Araragi’s stand against the meddlesome cat) was really more about Araragi and Senjougahara’s story than it is about Hanekawa. Still, it was a story to tell.

In the first two episodes of Karen Bee, not only nothing was resolved, the conflict is still only being hinted at. Instead, we get a whole lot of smut. Sure, there’s a lot of clever dialogue, but the medium and the content is really smutty fanservice.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.47_[2012.01.15_07.30.05]

Sure in episode 01, Hachikuji discoursed about authenticity and courage and this is part of the domestic conflict that will eventually be the Karen Bee concern. Sure in episode 02 Koyomi got some information however flimsy on his sister’s in school from Nadeko. But this is thin as gauze stuff in terms of mystery or conflict building.

The content is the smut. The value proposition is the smut. It’s incredibly slick and expertly made smut. But it’s smutty smuttacular smut.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.09_[2012.01.15_07.32.09]

The best part, oh my god, is when Kanbaru for some reason molests Koyomi in her room to end their conversation and the episode, he makes a moral resolution to never start a conversation with Hachikuji with sexual harassment.

SEE THE COMEUPPANCE OF A PERVERT.

SEE THE REDEMPTION OF A HERO.

WITNESS ALL OF THIS PRESENTED IN EROTIC, COMICAL “WHY SO SERIOUS?” HALF-NUDE TO FULL NUDE IRONY IN 1080P.

Of course, next episode will reveal more of the moral core of Araragi; the one that counts when we’re pressed to discuss the quality of this show – the one that saved all the girls of Bakemonogatari; The story of monstrous perversion… WITH A HEART OF GOLD!

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.22_[2012.01.15_07.28.22]

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed the kata animation of Araragi Karen. I love Karate.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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52 Responses to Nisemonogatari 02: Smut With a Heart of Gold *cough*

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    Turnabout is fair play! Woohoo! It does not help that Kanbaru is voiced by one of my favourite seiyuu in all of existence. Dammit SHAFT.

    (Would we have preferred someone other than Kanbaru to molest Araragi? Also, could this be the most perverse harem… ever?)

    • In Bakemonogatari I liked Kanbaru more than Hanekawa. Meganefags can suck it.

      Part of Kanbaru’s ehem, charm… is her relentless aggression and overt perversion. She is anti-moe. Sure the narrative necessitated that she be “rescued” in some way… but bear in mind how her case was resolved: Hitagi showed up and showed her who’s boss. Sure all her dominant aggressiveness wilted in the face of Hitagi, and that she accepted terrible, onerous terms for a fraction of what she wanted… but still. She’s not victimized by the text any further than her being a haremette.

      Also, Koyomi at this point isn’t quite the milquetoast that one would associate him with at the beginning of Bakemonogatari. He’s a full-blown Beta-male pervert stalker. He can’t be alpha even though he’s the only male member of the cast at this point. The only Alpha in this narrative at present is Hitagi. My point is, he looks great, has powers, and has good deeds under his belt.

      He’s actually a catch, which doesn’t demean Kanbaru when she teases and trolls and sexually molests him in Nisemonogatari’s comical way.

      • Shinmarizu says:

        Nice point there; I didn’t see Kanbaru being demeaned – I saw someone who knew that her crush (Hitagi) chose this guy, he’s actually a decent man, and there’s no problem acting naturally with him around. Thank goodness she isn’t the typical tsundere who got 2nd place.
        What we get is two strong individuals who can behave the way they do, and don’t feel awkward about it. Much better than the typical harem scenario.

        • What is natural to Kanbaru? The only time she was authentic was when she gave up all dignity and accepted the tablescraps of Hitagi’s attention back in Bakemonogatari.

          Then we find out here that her perversion is her just trying too hard. She’s just a low-level fujoshi.

  2. dliessmgg says:

    Kanbaru gets embarassed when her hidden side (is it?) gets revealed. “Don’t worry, it only hurts at first, it will feel good soon.” “Stop struggling, it makes it harder to remove your underwear!” Therefore, Kanbaru consumes far too much yaoi.

    A pile of book compels you to buy the BD.

    The best fanservice is symblolism in the op fanservice and reference to LotR fanservice.

    What happens in twister stays in twister.

    Funny how Araragi’s hair in the wind looks more feminine than Karen’s.

    Dialogues weren’t as Witty McWittypants as expected. There’s barely even any wordplay, the only one I saw was moeru -> burn to death.

    • This episode is more about the smut than the cleverness.

      This is a perfect follow up after the whole lecture about “courage.”

      The show now had the “courage” to present 99% smut for episode 2.

  3. Reid says:

    I have no idea what you’re talking about with all the Bees and Cats and all that other stuff, but them gurls is pretty smorkin’. What’s this show about, anyway? Other than being smut, like you said, that is.

    Also, karate sucks. MUAY THAI FOR LIFE trolololol (is that how you do it?) You know it’s all in good fun anyway. Thanks for all the hard work on the blog – I really couldn’t live without it at this point.

    • The ___gatari series of light novels are works by NisiOisiN, a very clever dude who delights in subverting otaku tropes and writing very wordy, dialogue heavy stories. This is his third work to be adapted into anime.

      Bakemonogatari
      Katanagatari (unrelated)
      Nisemonogatari (sequel of Bakemonogatari)

      Bakemonogatari itself is a sequel of a non-adapted work (Kisumonogatari if I’m not mistaken), wherein the lead Araragi Koyomi defeated a Vampire and became one himself. He is assisted by his friend and mentor Oshino Meme to “manage” his vampirism. His quite naive and shounen nature to be kind to everyone and try to protect everyone resulted in the non-destruction of the Vampire he fought… who now exists as a very nerfed, loli version of her formerly awesome self.

      Araragi helps (with the aid of Oshino Meme) all these pretty girls appealing to various otaku fetishes in overcoming their various afflictions related to spirits/ghosts/monsters. The appeal of this, aside from the pr0ntastic smutterific visuals and innuendo-filled dialogue, is the characterization and chemistry between the two leads: the aforementioned Araragi Koyomi and Senjougahara Hitagi (one of the most wickedly fetching anime characters ever). As anime teenage love stories go, I like theirs a lot more than most.

      Nisemonogatari picks up from where Bakemonagatari leaves off. The stories are told in episode arcs titled by the kind of animal spirit the particular (female) character is afflicted with:

      Hitagi Crab
      Mayoi Snail
      Suruga Monkey
      Nadeko Snake
      Tsubasa Cat
      and now Karen Bee. I blogged both NisiOisiN adaptations in full (almost every episode). You can read about them in the archives.

      • Reid says:

        sounds pretty cool! I shall have to read up on your blog posts! I’ve seen pictures around the web of Suruga before but I didn’t know what show she was from. I have a thing for girls wearing compression shorts so….lol don’t judge.

        Also, I watched quite a bit of Katanagatari and enjoyed it a lot! The art style took some getting used to but it was pretty awesome nonetheless.

        Thanks again!

        • Girls with compression shorts… I’m sure you’re already reading All Rounder Meguru… there are cherries to be picked by you there.

          If you’ve seen the first few episodes of Katanagatari then you’ll have some idea of how dialogue driven this show is. It will rely on dialogue more and instead of plot/expositionary dialogue you’ll get a lot of sexual innuendo and topical digressions. The visual style of Shinbo x SHAFT may take a bit of getting used to. Don’t get hung up on trying to read what’s on the panels. They’re textual noise.

      • Digibro says:

        One factual error: Kizumonogatari is a prequel written two years after Bake, and has already been released as a movie in Japan if I’m not mistaken.

  4. ojisan says:

    I think ‘SMUT’ is a great term, should replace porn/pron in all communication.

    For my elderly (& perverted) eyes, BakeMonogatari & Nisemonogatari could both use a 70% smut reduction – leave enough to spice the mix, and make room for more SmartyWIts and fun.

    • Yeah, there’s something dirty, guttural, and comical about the word.

      I don’t know what the appropriate percentage of reduction would be, as I’m hardly an arbiter of aesthetic and especially moral balance, but I do think that the show is better when the value proposition isn’t the smut.

      • ojisan says:

        I’m happy at all times to be an arbiter of aesthetic and ethical issues (if nothing else, I have seniority), and my rates are reasonable. And now that I’ve looked up ‘value proposition’ in Wikipedia, I find that we’re in full agreement anyway.

  5. Eisu says:

    Do you know where i can the translated versions of the light novels?

    Also, I read that Nisemonogatari the light novel covers only Karen and Tsukihi so I guess we can prepare for a slow plot development if that’s the case…

  6. Well, you know me as the resident perv anyway. So you know I ate this up with a spoon. This was beautiful, blatant, DETAILED ecchi fanservice. Did you see the lines on Suruga?! She makes me wish I was a — *ahem* Th-the production values and attention to detail of this series in art and dialogue are outstanding. I just found the whole episode hilarious for various reasons. It smoothly transitioned from smut to smart to comedy. I’m in love with Bakemonogatari’s little sister right now. I don’t care how shallow it’s shown itself to be right now.

  7. megaroad1 says:

    Love Kanbaru and how she was exposed as just a conventional BL lover instead of the dirty pervert she thinks she is. She’s got nothing on Araragi and his molesting little hands, he! And boy was lovingly and detailedly animated.

    Like you I’m missing a bit of story here. We have some hint of problems at the Fire Sister’s school but no real drama as of yet. Just as you point out some smuttacular yet very effective smutservice.

    • Here’s the thing though. Do I love Bakemonogatari that much to consider this glorious smut a tragedy of its own success? Nope. If it becomes the best-produced softcore smut ever, it’s not quite tragic, I think.

  8. megaroad1 says:

    Just an edit of my comment. I of course meant to write “And boy was SHE lovingly and detailedly animated”

  9. Emperor J says:

    That moral resolution at the end was a completely half-assed one. The sexual harrassment of Mayoi can still happen, just not when they first meet. You can’t shame the lolicon out of him, but the day is still young.

  10. Andaer says:

    Good post, the one for episode 1, too. I completly agree with you. In both episodes I’ve got the impression that the fanservice has been far more subtle in Bakemonogatari. Or maybe it’s just because of the actual plot as you mentioned. The fascination of the amazing artstyle might have done the rest. It’s not tht I don’t like the style of Nisemonogatari so far, but I can’t help but missing those tons of text disappearing way too fast to be readable.

    The critical point of Nisemonogatari is the fact, that they desperatly want to put all the old girls in. So there isn’t much room left for something new, story-wise.

    • I’m getting the impression that the story here is either so much about the less interesting sisters, or is flimsy as gauze, that the production compensates for it with smut.

      • Digibro says:

        Nisemonogatari is two books long, each one a single arc, unlike Bakemonogatari which was five arc in two books. So I think the long form of the arcs lends to more buildup.

  11. Vendredi says:

    “Efficient” is a good way to describe Bakemonogatari. As Andaer alluded to, Tsukihi and Karen are just two characters to Bakemonogatari’s 5 over 11 episodes (7 over 15 episodes if you count Hanekawa and Shinobu who were covered more thoroughly in the webcast). Inevitably we may get a much slower, statelier pace for Nisemonogatari. I’m not sure if that will keep it as effective, although it certainly does raise eyebrows.

    • Vendredi says:

      Also, I think the disappointing thing about Nisemonogatari at least in the initial offerings is that there is at present little to speculate about. Not enough clues or foreshadowing is dropped at – Bakemonogatari’s story arcs, text panels, etc. dropped clues, allusions, and references throughout; all such speculation seems sadly absent in Nisemonogatari, and there’s a lack of the supernatural to give things a bit of fire – and the horror and mythology elements were what really drew me into Bakemonogatari in the first place. Hopefully this changes soon!

      That being said, we do get a few crumbs in this episode: we know that Tsukihi and Karen are known as the “Fire Sisters” at their middle school and have a crime-fighting “game”, at least to Araragi; and they’re concerned about the source of the rumours about the charm that Nadeko tried way back in season 1. Neither of them have been exposed to the supernatural and Araragi doubts they’re believers; back in season 1’s webcast we also learned that Araragi is reluctant to let them know that he is, in fact, half-vampire and there’s a whole realm of the supernatural. Karen is also seen earlier and is talking on the phone to a contact – and what she says in reply is quite clearly omitted (something important, likely to be revealed later?), and concludes that this “business” might be wrapped up by tonight. So the stage seems about set for some sort of supernatural tragedy.

      • The sisters were already shown naked. Rara-chan in semi-profile and Karen herself doing a Mena Suvaris.

        The speculation now is whether the show will stop showing smut altogether in a delicious act of douchebaggery.

        Now THAT would be something.

    • Replace statelier with smuttier and we’re in perfect agreement.

  12. Erunno says:

    Nisemonogatari will probably deserve a Wikipedia entry as an example of “Victim of own success”.

    Background: Mai waifu and me watched Bakemonogatari about a year ago after it was recommended by several independent Internet sources for people who enjoy dialogue- and story-driven anime. We really didn’t know what we were getting into but were pleasantly surprised by the witty script, the likable characters, rather unique artwork and an interesting direction. We had a really good time and we laughed so hard about some jokes that our neighbors started knocking against the wall as we usually tend to watch animes late evenings. But there were also more quite, more human moments between the characters which touched as emotionally and we just smiled following the mishaps of our young cast. So naturally we were both looking forward to more from the series. especially since it’s produced by the same team.

    So far it has been a catastrophe. We were either bored or looked at each other in disbelieve about what we were seeing.

    I’m still having difficulties to put my finger on why the series is failing, but have just some random thoughts. After two episodes I realized that the jokes require more knowledge about Japanese culture, language and other anime than ever before (judging by the many explanations on Internet forums and review sites). Sure, there were also plenty in Bakemonogatari and I probably missed most of them, but at the same time the series featured a lot of dialogue which stood on its own and didn’t require any background knowledge by the viewer. Nisemonogatari is also lacking a story hook so far. We have a seemingly random collection of scenes which do not form any narrative and even if it is tied up together in later episodes it won’t really help that they botched the script early on. Up until know I am under the strong impression that someone tried (and failed) to analyze too hard why Bakemonogatari was a success and focussed on pleasing existing fans while loosing the character of the series in the process. So Bakemonogatari had fan service so let’s put as much of it in two episodes than the whole Bakemonogatari had. So Hitagi has a slightly sadistic (self-preserving) side so let’s turn her into a S/M queen and while forgetting her humane and lovable side.

    Mai waifu simply said that Nisemonogatari “lacks souls”.

    Some animated scenes also felt like they didn’t know what to do with the budget and added animation just for the heck of it. I have the slight suspicion that a tighter budget sometimes forces more focus. Oh well, I’ll probably watch it to the end just out of morbid fascination.

    • Indeed it may be a victim, but the question is whether it is indeed a tragedy for it to be so.

      So it turns into smut… but has smut ever looked this good? That in itself is remarkable, notable, and special.

      An analogy would be Final Fantasy X-2, which pandered to everything Final Fantasy X players (thought they) wanted.

    • Mai waifu simply said that Nisemonogatari “lacks souls”.

      I’m reminded of some Coen Brothers fanboy who detested Christopher Nolan and called his films as “soulless”.

  13. Xard says:

    Nisemonogatari ep 2 is not smut with a heart of gold, it’s absolute, gratuitous smut without any redeeming features. You can tell Shinbo used to do porn back in the day, once again – and he’s technically speaking really good at what he is doing, I don’t remember seeing pornography with as fascinating cinematography ever before.

    Going by my criterions for getting anything out of *monogatari titles ep 2 wasn’t a waste of time and decently enjoyable while it went on but I can’t call it good in retrospect. At least Hachikuji conversation was somewhat funny and witty, only one of the “three acts” of this episode that wasn’t utter waste of time was the meeting with Karen in the middle. The dialogue there actually had some half-decent bite to it and it wasn’t completely cheaply covered exploitation. Nadeko is boring husk as always and Kanbaru tiresome and lame without any narrative tension coming from her monkey paw.

    At least Nadeko as the most ridiculously oversexualized moeblob was good at doing her part in inspiring PSL – which of course doesn’t mean the scenes were good beyond gratuitous sense of tiltillation

    Trash food.

    • This show will help Amata Sora to save the world:

      Now before you rage,

      And ultimately:

      • Xard says:

        LOL true all that

        I lost my shit at that particular boner flying scene. Didn’t think parody of a film like a bloody Clockwork Orange could be so funny.

  14. This episode had more service than all of the Bakemonogatari episodes combined. Yes, there is smut left and right, with Nadeko acting like a jailbait (she’ll kill Nabokov’s Humbert just with those stockinged legs), and Suruga being an unabashed (correct me if I’m wrong or in need of more nicotine) nympho.

    What I see here is Araragi’s resistance against utter temptation and his temperament being tested to the limit. But even a young man like him has limits.

    I know. While some people find this episode very hilarious, others were very unhappy with it (or even going completely hysterical), believing that Bake was far more subtle. Of course I’m not surprised that anti-Shaft critics are riding on the issue, heaping curses on it.

    There’s a certain other series that I’m struggling to watch, but I’m trying not to fall asleep. On the other hand, Nisemonogatari had me with eyes completely open… and laughing out loud.

    I’m not dropping this.

    • Unless you’re some irredeemable moralfag, you woudln’t drop this shit. Smut’s too good and there’s something for everyone. You don’t have to be a pedophile to find something you like. There are more adult silhouettes.

      • Frankly, I reserve my sexual attraction to real women above the age of twenty, and I never liked fantasizing about having a one-night-stand with a favorite anime character.

        Ever since Madoka, I’ve employed the “three-episode rule” to determine if I want to drop a show or keep it till the end. So far it takes much will to see through all the sexual innuendo in this episode and get the gist of what’s really going on.

        Nadeko is a very shy girl by nature, but in this case she’s trying to break out except her jailbait approach could land her in trouble. Araragi found the arrival of her mother rather relieving and saves him and Nadeko from being caught in the act, even though Araragi has made it clear to himself that he’s fighting to keep himself to be a gentlemen to all the women he interacts with.

        This I felt like saying, “Nadeko, you’re close enough but no cigar.”

  15. Erunno says:

    “Of course I’m not surprised that anti-Shaft critics are riding on the issue, heaping curses on it.”

    Are you suggesting that people unhappy with the direction Nisemonogatari has been taking so far have some axe to grind with Shaft? I can’t vouch for others but I can tell you that at least this viewer and his waifu are anti-boring first and foremost, irregardless of which animation studio is to blame. 🙂
    I like how our generous host described the first two episodes of Bake as efficient. They were also great introductory episodes as they explored different themes, both comical as well as more serious one (Hitagi’s reason for being cursed) while at the same time establishing believable relationships between its characters. In comparison Nisemonogatari was completely one-dimensional and cluttered fan pandering so far (in the wrong way). It feels like written and directed by Shaft’s marketing department.

    Yes, I’m angry. I had really high hopes for this series. 😦

    • I’ve been reading the reactions in this thread:
      http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=3953584

      The audience is completely divided, wondering if Shinbo/Shaft are delivering entertainment or playing the service card again for the cash register. I think the studio’s doing both, much to the chagrin of the purists who read the novel in its original entirety.

      I’d better stay on the course until I finish it and pronounce my judgment.

      • Erunno says:

        “The audience is completely divided”

        Judging by the ratings (85 percent are 8 out of 10 or above) I can’t see any division in the audience, at least among the people which participate in this forum. The rating for episode 1 and 2 is equally high (if not even higher) on myanimelist.net. Apparently I’m in the minority who thinks that Nisemonogatari is a huge step backwards compared to its predecessor. So far Shaft’s decision to make Nise what it is seems to work out.

        • The following screenshot pic somewhat reminded me more about Andy Warhol’s famous statement:
          http://i.imgur.com/mfKYH.jpg (maybe NSFW)

          “Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art.”

          • Xard says:

            lol was about to post that pic myself, it’s perfect.

            For the record today I saw (for the fourth time in total) Wilder’s Some Like It Hot and was reminded of the vast, vast gulf between NisiOisiN and true masters of “engaging dialogue”. I also feel like a total retard for this but for the first time ever Marilyn Monroe’s sheer, unrestrainable sexyness hit me like a sledgehammer while watching it. Hot damn, that ridiculously low cut (on the back) performance outfit was just beyond… man

            yeah I’m rambling.

  16. Pingback: Nisemonogatari Finally Begins at Episode 03, Karen Bee Part 3 | We Remember Love

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