LMT’s Best of 2012

I think they got some things reversed here.

I think they got some things reversed here.

After yesterday’s rather absurd end-of-year ranking based solely on week-to-week viewing, I thought it may be best to provide a real ranking of the series that finished in the year 2012. Rather than just settle for just a simple top 10, I went over the top and just went for all 37 I completed this year. The first 27 of these will just be short descriptions of why I did, or did not like a particular series. After that, there’s a bit more detail. I hope you enjoy this, and feel free to let me know how wrong/right I was about the anime that aired in 2012 in the comments. Continue reading

12 Days of Something II: 12 Moments of Anime

So this 12 Days thing is running near a close, so I thought I would actually do something most people do with this sort of topic, actually write about 12 moments in anime that occurred this year. I know, really original, right? So I’ll try to avoid some stuff I’ve gone on-and-on about over the course of this series of posts and limit myself to one thing per month. Can I pull it off? Find out below.

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12 Days of Something II: I Timed This So Badly

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn't make the list.

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn’t make the list.

What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.

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Nisemonogatari 11 – Signing Off

Stay classy, Arararagi

The final episode of Nisemonogatari features Koyomi confirming his own feelings before, during and after a final showdown with Kagenui and Ononoki. That said, he does it in typical Araragi fashion. He ultimately convinces Kagenui to move on and is thus able to keep his life the same, only without the threat to his sisters anymore.

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Nisemonogatari 10 – The Return of the Plot

Mmm, delicious, plot relevant donuts.

The penultimate episode of Nisemonogatari takes Koyomi on a simple fact finding mission to a trip back home that would change the way he looks at how he viewed the world. He takes Shinobu on a trip to the Mister Donuts shop that she loves so much in exchange for getting information on Kagenui and Ononoki. Conveniently, Kaiki is also there which allows him to learn that Kagenui is an onmyouji. He returns home to find the 2 of them camped outside oh his home waiting for a surprise target.

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Nisemonogatari 09 – Knowingly Fulfilling Character Expectations

This episode gets off to a rather classy start

The 9th episode of Nisemonogatari continues to move along without the presence of Tsukihi in her own arc. Karen’s extremely quick character development leads her into bizarre behavior just to please Koyomi. On their way to Kanbaru’s house, they encounter a new character who appears strong to Karen while Koyomi helps her oblivious to what’s happening. After Kanbaru and Karen are introduced, Koyomi runs into Mayoi for another one of their standard conversations before they are interrupted by another strong new character looking for directions.

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Nisemonogatari 08 – A Morality Play

The journey to hell begins with these 2 objects

The 8th episode of Nisemonogatari takes place entirely in Koyomi’s room as Karen tries to convince Koyomi to introduce her to Kanbaru. The episode begins with some revealing background on Tsukihi at the end. However, the main action revolves around the increasingly desperate and violent attempts Karen makes in her request. Koyomi eventually relents on the condition that she goes through a challenge. Little did they know they were embarking on a journey that would cross boundaries they would never imagine.

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Nisemonogatari 07 – Climatic Anti-Climax

And let the violence begin.

The 7th episode of Nisemonogatari sees the conclusion of the Karen Bee arc with little drama. The episode begins with Koyomi and Karen fighting over the latter’s desire to take on Kaiki and more generally her actions as part of the Fire Sisters. Finally, Koyomi and Hitagi confront Kaiki, who agrees to leave town and make things right. However, there’s more agreement between them than one would expect.

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Nisemonogatari 06 – Redemption Through Omission

The end of the last episode to this is conveniently omitted. Are they saving face for the protagonist?

The 6th episode of Nisemonogatari begins with Koyomi mitigating Karen’s issue with the bee temporarily and then having to deal with trying to get to Kaiki. In the middle of this journey, he runs into Mayoi, Hitagi and Shinobu while searching for Karen. In the meantime, Koyomi gets to learn a bit more about the women around him while also confirming his own feelings. This episode breaks down into four separate acts, which revolve around Koyomi’s dialogues with Mayoi, Hitagi, Tsukihi and Shinobu. Continue reading

Nisemonogatari 05 – Occupy Koyomi’s Bedroom

I'm Kaiki, just your standard supernatural conman supporting capitalism

The 5th episode of Nisemonogatari takes the viewer on more of a plot driven story than any previous episode before. It begins with a conversation with Tsukihi which seems to go nowhere before the viewer is presented with a reenactment of Karen’s meeting with Kaiki. That’s followed by another conversation with Hanekawa to take her home before Koyomi returns home to take care of Shinobu. After a few minutes, he has an idea to resolve the situation, though he may have to overcome some barriers to do so.

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Nisemonogatari 04 – The Cruelty of Time

5 seconds in and something is already amiss, though in an argument Koyomi didn't notice the obvious stress.

The 4th episode of Nisemonogatari digs into the plot , however, the action continued to center around Koyomi’s relationships with the women in his life. The episode begins with Karen arguing that she is fine escalating to the point where Koyomi was about to hit her when Hanekawa entered the scene. She revealed the information about Kaiki and what the sisters were up too while also messing around with him. Finally, Shinobu makes an appearance as Koyomi takes a bath.

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Nisemonogatari 03 – Finding Narrative in Everyday Life

I think he may want to get that treated

The third episode of Nisemonogatari sees the introduction of a new character, a return to the beginning location of the series and a plot that begins to move with Hanekawa looming large in the background. Koyomi finishes cleaning Kanbaru’s room before they talk some more over cards before he leaves. He immediately runs into a man named Kaiki who has a very ominous presence and much more. Finally, Koyomi runs into Hitagi before their usual conversational topics turn to Kaiki which ultimately led back to the scene at the beginning of the first episode.

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Nisemonogatari 02 – When Being a Normal Pervert Isn’t Enough

Shinbo channels American Beauty in the first minute, troubling but also adding to the image of the sisters as facades.

Last week, I made a rather big deal of separating the message being conveyed in Nisemonogatari from the actual dialogue, and I shall continue to attempt to do the same this week. In this episode, we had Koyomi complete his journey to Nadeko’s house to take part in some games. Then, after agreeing to help Kanbaru help clean her gigantic pile of BL literature she ran into titular character Karen. Finally, he made it to Kanbaru’s where he was hoist by his own petard.

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Nisemonogatari 01 The Courage to Accept

Mayoi is taking on a much more important role

Writing on Nisemonogatari was a hard decision, mainly in that there was a lot of excellent writing on Bakemonogatari and I thought my own writing would never come close to that level. I’ve already written on Amagami and Pirates this season, so I may as well have a go with something much, much deeper than that. I also have to be willing to accept that some of my posts are going to failure. With that out of the way, I present what I thought of the first episode of Nisemonogatari.

Another season of Senjougahara Fascination, I can live with this

The thing that always struck me about Bakemonogatari is that the settings themselves are very post-modern, but they also add to the action that was really taking place in the dialogue between characters. There’s three of these set piece dialogues and they take place out of order chronologically, but they are really going backwards.

Not the most comforting assurance of protection, but you know she is deadly serious

The first of these scenes takes place last chronologically. With Koyomi firmly in a relationship with Hitagi, I took their conversation to be about love itself. The setup is contrived with Koyomi handcuffed to broken down desks, but this was a fascinating conversation. The fact that he is unable to move represents his being in a relationship with Hitagi and this was about breaking down his resistance.

The lack of freedom he perceives from such a relationship has it’s advantages. She shows herself to be someone who accepts him for what he is, and though she is the one in control of the situation, she does what he asks on her terms. All Koyomi has to do is accept her love for him, an incredibly deep love, and he will have someone who fully accepts him for who he is.

Shinbo sure loves his exposed rafters and lighting

The second conversation is between Koyomi and his sister Tsukihi early that morning. The conversation is really about Koyomi having to deal with growing up. The key message from Tsukihi early on in the conversation is that fighting is a valid form of communication. In the past Koyomi used to fight his sisters all the time over various things as siblings do. This conversation was interesting because this was almost entirely a one-sided fight.

Tsukihi seemed to be talking as though she was in the middle of an argument with Koyomi. Whether it was over the fact that he wasn’t referring to his sister’s by name or the nature of his relationship with Nadeko, it seemed like she was fighting with him. Koyomi, on the other hand, was apathetic, seemingly hiding by his own becoming a vampire to separate himself from his siblings. Tsukihi is just afraid that by rolling over he’s leaving them behind.

The courage to have one's own weapon used against them

Finally, there’s the conversation with Mayoi. The interactions between these two always provide an opportunity for Koyomi to be at his most infantile, and this was no exception. There’s the beginning where his own base feeling of hating her just drives him to do stuff that will bother her; grabbing her and kissing her in all sorts of places that aren’t appropriate given their ages.

They engage in wordplay over the nature of the word courageous within Japanese as though they are kids. There whole relationship plays off like two small children in love though they don’t know it yet. Eventually, their conversation leads to Koyomi opening up about his whole situation with his sisters in a way he wouldn’t do with anyone else, except for Oshino as Mayoi puts it. This I found interesting because whenever Oshino became involved earlier, it almost absolved Koyomi of all responsibility. He became a child in his own his own mind.

Perhaps his journey to Nadeko’s house, which will lead him to being handcuffed will lead him to courageously accept responsibility for his own future.