I couldn’t really bring myself to hate on moe when I really like some moe show. Sure , they come few and far between and if you dig in further enough for any moe show out there, it isn’t hard to find a sinister message that you find objectionable behind it. However sometimes there are really other strong elements such as a tightly written plot and great dramatic scene for you to kinda forgive and forget such sinister message . The recent example I have for such case since Kanon 2006 was Bakemonogatari.

Bakemonogatari in its purest form is just otaku nerd wank/fantasy . If you think of it , Araragi is just a kind hearted average guy that no one notices . He doesn’t have that many friends , fails in romantic relationship and average in personality . Sounds familiar? Yes , that’s pretty much the characterisation of your generic self insert guy found in other harem anime .

One day something  happens . Araragi didn’t initiate any of this but he just so happen to chance upon an easy target , another troubled loner who has a problem which Araragi just happens to know how to solve . Now,  Araragi didn’t do something really impressive , he just introduce said target to someone who can help her . However , said target is  really sensitive and noticed the kindness of Araragi , something that not many people notice because Araragi is just an average guy with no other outstanding personality traits. With that and Araragi being the first one willing to go so far to help her , she fall in love with him.The said target is of course Senjouhara and the scenario presented above is your  usual Sudden Appearance Girl Friend.

Sure they are self aware of these but me being aware that I am a jerk doesn’t make me a non jerk right?

However ,from the many posts I read recently on Bakemonogatari , not many people mention about the Sudden Appearance Girl Friend trope and I remember that some even say that the romance was realistic  . Other than being enamoured by Bakmonogatari’s self awareness while masturbating to how smart you are because you thought that Bakemonogatari is not  your stupid otaku nerd wanks/fantasy because it is self aware , another reason why people did not talk about the SAGF trope might be because of the unique visual imageries which make all things look like a well thought out piece when in truth the imageries are just randomly inserted and doesn’t really mean more than what it is . Using normal animation will do the job of conveying the same message as well.Not to mention ,  all those imageries are really cheap and give off really obvious hints that they are cutting corners.  The dramatic eye shots especially when the animators only need to draw the eyes and nothing else.

However , people thought that Bakemonogatari is an expensive work just because it looks nice . Sure it looks nice but look hard enough and you will notice that those nice pictures doesn’t move much . It’s easy for an artist to draw a nice static picture but it is hard to be consistence when all these nice pictures need to be string together to form a fluid sequence . However , not many people seems to notice that so I guess those imageries did the job well as a deception.

I digress but let’s get back to how Bakemonogatari is otaku wank/fantasy . People might not notice this but Bakemonogatari has a lot of really calculated moe fanservice.  They are calculated because all these shots always happen during those pointless conversations between characters. Happening during all these conversation give off the idea that these shots are part of the whole story progression when in truth , if you pay attention to it , they aren’t really necessary and the sole reason why a character is portrayed with a moe expression is because of fanservice .

Take the saucy scene from episode 2 for example , what the reasons why Senjouhara didn’t wear any clothes after showering? Because she forgot to bring in her clothes and warping a towel is what poor people do . Haha ok , that’s pretty funny not because of what Senjouhara say but because that’s a really good reason for fanservice . However , the real meat comes when you see people arguing that such scene flesh the personality of Senjouhara and give the foreshadow of Senjouhara liking Araragi because she wants to seduce him . That’s exactly what Shaft wants you to believe but if you think hard about it , there are other appropriate ways to show such qualities . So in truth , the whole reason why the scene needs Senjouhara to be naked is to give you a boner. ( To clear all doubts , I am just talking about the animation/scene/movements/actions itself and not about the conversation during said scene.)

Is that bad or good? I guess it is good for the fans but my mind will automatically get bored when I see an act of moe fanservice . I will think that that is better than being disgusted because you know someone is wanking at those shots.

Another example . So moe .

However I really enjoy Bakemonogatari because of its compelling and unique plots and story . That reason itself is enough for me to like a show .

Bakemonogatari did well with its plot and story . Stories dealing with a semi magical/spiritual setting always promises some sort of innovation because with magic , you can do almost everything and all ambiguous plot or plot holes can be explained by a wizard did it . That is  if you do it well enough so not to give off the idea of lazy excuses.

Another reason why I like Bakemonogatari is due to the atmosphere .As much as I don’t care about the imageries and visuals , I actually like the technique of constant quick cuts and dramatic focus. It builds up the atmosphere well . The strong instrumentals which are very common for Shaft also help in creating tension and drama to further enhance the atmosphere as well.

They did the two things I ask for an anime well enough for me to ignore the constant pandering to moe fans so I will say that I liked it .

As for the word plays , self awareness and otaku centric dialogues , I will say that I am not amazed or impressed at all . They are just distractions to create an empty masturbatory depth for people to fall into .

I guess that is enough and I will stop after I say the following . I must be the last person on earth to watch Bakemonogatari ,especially so when Bakemonogatari seems like something that moe fan hyped for a certain amount of time and then forget all about it when the next hot moe show came out . Maybe a sequel will help but I rather they don’t do it because if it really is a great work , people will remember and talk about it even when there are little to no new product/merchandise , just like Cowboy Bebop and Legend Of the Galactic Heroes. I want to see if Bakemonogatari is like that or will it be relegated to a forgotten moe show so come on moe fans , let me believe that all of you are not just following the fad and stay strong with something that you people hyped so much. Though I heavily doubt that it will happen .

Fuck! There’s already a prequel. Now I can’t act all accepting and embrace the love of moe fans because the main reason why I don’t want a sequel or prequel is because I have enough of it and I couldn’t possibly stomach another season .

Unrelated note:

The previous experiment post that I deleted is to show the process of how I blog . I thought it will be fun to see the process of how your raw thoughts form into a post . Also , I want to show how an anime can gradually change one’s opinion when it progresses .  However I am not satisfied with the end result because it’s a mess and raw ideas are better off in notepad.