Wednesday, July 31, 2013

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Monogatari Series Second Season

Monogatari Series Second Season

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video: DAISUKI, Crunchyroll (Aug. 6), Hulu (see "Update" at the bottom)

In January 2012, I spotlighted Nisemonogatari as its Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick. Being the hotly-anticipated sequel to the masterpiece that was Bakemonogatari, it was only natural, especially as it was being made available for all to see, up to 1080p-quality at Crunchyroll. So I suppose it is only natural, too, to name the latest adaptation of NisiOisin's novel series as July's Pick!!

Picking up after Nisemonogatari, Monogatari Series Second Season is a compendium of the next five novels in the line (set for a half-year run, or about 20-something eps.), starting with Nekomonogatari (White) ("Tsubasa Tiger"). Here, the focus is on the super-smart, but troubled Tsubasa Hanekawa, whose entanglement with feline spirits appears to not be over, yet.

"Yet?", you may ask?

Yep, it's not her first time, and you can find out what previously happened to her in Nekomonogatari (Black), the four-episode prequel of Bakemonogatari which debuted on New Year's Eve in 2012. In it, series lead Koyomi Araragi is determined to save Tsubasa, who not only is going through family issues, but also finds herself possessed by a cat spirit after carrying out a seemingly good deed. Like MSSS, it is being streamed exclusively by new streaming service DAISUKI, who is offering it no cost (MSSS, though, will also be coming to Crunchyroll on Tuesday, August 6th).

The Monogatari Series have become famous (and in some cases, infamous) for its unique, Tarantino-esque dialogue, its sharp, highly-eclectic art style, envelope-pushing risque, and its eccentric cast of characters. Visuals aside, there is also a great deal depth and introspect to be had and the blend of it all makes it something special (Nisemonogatari notwithstanding, perhaps…).

And as you would have it, that means all of the currently-made entries in the series can be viewed in their entirety for free! (Kizumonogatari, a movie that is chronicles the very beginning of Koyomi's long string of troubles tale (and the series), is in production right now). Listed below is the broadcast order of the series and their chronological order, if you are interested in starting it in that manner. Personally--however slight the shuffle--it works fine the former way and may even be a little more rewarding when certain aspects are revealed over time…

Broadcast order: Bakemonogatari [Crunchyroll] [Hulu] [DAISUKI], Nisemonogatari [Crunchyroll] [Hulu] [DAISUKI], Nekomonogatari (Black) [DAISUKI], Monogatari Second Season

Chronological order: Nekomonogatari (Black), Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Monogatari Second Season

UPDATE [08/09/13]: The series, in addition to the aforementioned sites, is also being posted at Hulu! Though DAISUKI has the edge in simulcasting it, MSSS can be viewed at CR and Hulu in HD…

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