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Monogatari Series Second Season

July 12, 2013

No doubt one of the most anticipated series overall this summer is “Monogatari Series Second Season”, the latest anime adaptation based on the various stories in the 物語 light novel series written by Nisio Isin.

While it is labeled ‘second season’, it is in fact the third full cour “Monogatari” anime after “Bakemonogatari” and “Nisemonogatari”, not counting “Nekomonogatari (Kuro)” which spanned only four episodes.

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Next to “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, the “Monogatari” anime is one of studio Shaft’s most renowned and best-selling franchises. Though that may come as no surprise considering the visual splendor and artistry savvy studio Shaft displays with this series, bringing viewers interesting visuals in what has become this show and studio’s signature style.

Considering its visual flair, the supernatural oddities theme, and its dialogue full of witty banter between the characters, one would nearly overlook that this show is actually a harem series filled with fanservice.

Even though it is rife with fanservice -easily proven considering this new “Monogatari Series Second Season” its opening episode already features a lengthy scene of Senjougahara in lingerie- that fanservice is both blatantly obvious yet also incredibly refined and many levels above other shows their typical fare thanks to the unique style of studio Shaft.

To my surprise this new season opened with the ‘Nekomonogatari (Shiro)’ arc, its total lack of scenes for male lead Koyomi and his usual entertaining interactions with the other characters was more than well compensated by excellent interactions between Senjougahara and Hanekawa.

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Next to studio Shaft’s impressive work on the visuals, the incredible chemistry between the various characters is one of the show’s defining elements and a testimony of its good writing and excellent performances of the voice cast.

Especially Saito Chiwa delivers memorable voice work as Senjougahara, her performance and chemistry with Kamiya Hiroshi as Araragi or Horie Yui as Hanekawa is superb. Saito Chiwa previously voiced Aika S Granzchesta in “Aria”, Lucchini in “Strike Witches”, Homura in “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” and this season also voices Sara in “Inu to Hasamia wa Tsukaiyou” and Honoka in “Stella Jougakuin Koutouka C3-bu”.

Hanekawa is voiced by Horie Yui, she tackled many roles like Millhi in “Dog Days”, Naru in “Love Hina”, Minori in “Toradora!”, Ayu in “Kanon” an Yuuki in “Vampire Knight”.

Sawashiro Miyuki voices Kanbaru, she previously voiced Perrine in “Strike Witches”, Yomi in “Black Rock Shooter”, Inaba in “Kokoro Connect”, Saeko in “Highschool of the Dead” and Sonora in this season’s “Stella Jougakuin Koutouka C3-bu”.

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Cute Nadeko is voiced by Hanazawa Kana who also voiced Charlotte in “IS: Infinite Stratos”, Chiaki in “Mouretsu Pirates”, Mato in “Black Rock Shooter”, Mikan in “To Love RU” and Ruri in “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga nai”.

Koyomi’s tomboyish sister Karen is voiced by Kitamura Eri, she previously voiced Kureha in “So-Ra-No-Wo-To”, Yachiyo in “Working!!”, Ami in “Toradora!”, Uchida in “Minami-ke”, Kanade in “Mayo Chiki!” and Allean in “Queen’s Blade”.

Youngest sister Tsukihi is voiced by Iguchi Yuka who also voices Index in “To aru Majutsu no Index”, Subaru in “Mayo Chiki!”, Maria in “Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai” and Norie in this season’s “Tamayura ~More Aggressive~”.

Katou Emiri voices twin-tailed loli Mayoi, she previously voiced Kagami in “Lucky Star”, Hideyoshi in “Baka to Test To Shoukanjuu”, Kyubey in “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, Sakurako in “Yuru Yuri” and Shiori in “Angel Beats!”.

Highly recommend this anime to all. I know it will undoubtedly be among my favorites of the season.

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