Monogatari (series)

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This needs to be split into multiple pages: Monogatari (series) for the franchise as a whole, and Bakemonogatari, Kizumonogatari, and Nisemonogatari for the individual works.

Bakemonogatari: Hitagi with her trusty school supplies.

Bakemonogatari ("Ghostory") is the first novel in a series of Light Novels by Nisio Isin which center on Koyomi Araragi, a third year high school student who recently recovered from vampirism. One day, he meets a classmate named Hitagi Senjogahara when she falls down the stairs into his arms. Discovering that Hitagi weighs next to nothing because her weight has been stolen by a crab god, Koyomi offers to help her and introduces her to Meme Oshino (not that meme), the middle-aged homeless man who helped him recover from vampirism and who specializes in supernatural problem solving.

Studio Shaft adapted the first series into an anime in 2009 under the direction of Akiyuki Shinbo, the man behind the surrealism of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

Kizumonogatari ("Scar Story") is the second novel in the series and is the prequel to Bakemonogatari. It reveals the story of how Koyomi encountered the vampire Shinobu, then named "Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade", along with meeting Meme Oshino and Tsubasa Hanekawa. It will be adapted into a theatrical film with a release slated in 2012.

Nisemonogatari ("Impostory") is the third novel in the series and a direct sequel to Bakemonogatari. The novel's focus shifts to Koyomi's sisters, Karen and Tsukihi, the Fire Sisters of Tsuganoki 2nd Middle School. The cast encounters the "black swindler" who is responsible for several of the incidents involving the supernatural in this series. Its anime serial adaptation began airing in January 2012, still courtesy of Studio Shaft. It was recently announced that the entire series will be animated as well.

Later novels in the series include Nekomonogatari, Kabukimonogatari, Hanamonogatari, Otorimonogatari, Onimonogatari, Koimonogatari, Tsukimonogatari, Owarimonogatari, and Zokuowarimonogatari.

The light novels have a fan-translation here. There are set to be twelve novels in the series, with the last three announced for release on 2012.

In 2012, Aniplex announced that they would release the first season in North America.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Monogatari (series) franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: In the light novels and Vofan's corresponding illustrations, Hitagi had brown hair. In the anime it's purple. There is the ending of episode six and the beginning of episode seven where everybody's hair is rather subdued and brown, but it's arguably due to lighting.
    • In episode 13 her hair is quite visibly dark brown/black--even darker than in the original illustrations.
  • Airplane of Love: Done in the last episode, with it flying right over the characters it symbolizes.
  • All Myths Are True: There is the exception of the wreathe-fire bee in "Karen Bee". Historical accounts of it were fabricated, and Karen's fever--characteristic of the bee's sting--was both harmless and caused by hypnotism.
    • Note that this explanation is questionable, as Kaiki is a notorious liar, especially so in this scene where he is called out for it.
  • And the Adventure Continues...: "Karen Bee" ends with Karen and Tsukihi setting out to heal the damage done by Kaiki.
  • Animation Bump: There are several examples, and usually in warranted places like fights or demonstrations of acrobatic skill. Then there are things like one short cut in Nisemonogatari episode 4 where Shinobu and Koyomi are just talking and stretching in the bath yet are gratuitously well-animated.
    • Special mention to Bakemonogatari episode 15--the entire episode is, visually, movie-quality. Even the flashbacks only use Animation Bumped material from previous episodes.
  • Art Shift: Koyomi occasionally flashes into the art styles of different classic manga, such as Doraemon.
  • Asshole Victim: While never actually portrayed on screen it is implied that the people who cursed Nadeko would become cursed themselves and constricted by the same snakes. Not that there is a whole lot of sympathy for people who placed a rather nasty curse on a girl just for rejecting a guy.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Applies to most of the character designs; most invoke some type of Animal Motif while possessed by a monster which is removed once the possession is resolved. For example, Nadeko wears a cobra hood-esque oversize hat while under the effects of a snake curse but gains a completely different outfit after the curse is broken.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The "staple stable" opening features a giant Hitagi.
  • Author Appeal: According to Word of God, the reason for all the fanservice in Nisemonogatari was that Nisioisin originally wrote it for himself and had no plans to publish it.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Araragi considers one of Hachikuji's mistakes, Shuraragi, to be one. For reference, "shura" means "Asura" or "carnage".
  • Banana Peel: The reason Hitagi fell in the first place.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Suruga Monkey arc.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Hanekawa at first seems like a very sweet and shy bookworm. However, later on its revealed that she has a much darker side, and is actually more of a Manipulative Bastard. Even Senjogahara actively fears her.
    • Both Araragi and Karen are terrified whenever Tsukihi gets angry.
  • Big Bad:
    • The villain of the first two books is revealed in Nisemonogatari to be Deishuu Kaiki, one of the five con men briefly mentioned by Hitagi. In addition to his exploits in Nisemonogatari, he's the one responsible for the divorce of Hitagi's parents and spread the word about the snake curse that eventually targeted Nadeko in "Nadeko Snake".
    • Meanwhile, the villain of later stories in the series is Ougi Oshino, a relative of Meme's.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Koyomi and Mayoi engage in this a couple times in episodes 3-5.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Araragi was apparently something of a bully to his sisters when he was younger, but in episode 8 of Nisemonogatari (part 1 of Tsukihi Phoenix) while mistakenly believing that Karen is being bullied he demands the names and addresses of everyone involved.
    • Araragi also goes in something of a murderous rampage the moment he sees that his younger little sister gets torn in half in episode 9.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In contrast to the happy endings of the other arcs, the end of Nadeko Snake in the anime has Koyomi unable to defeat the Snake Constrictor. While he does manage to save Nadeko, Koyomi feels guilty knowing that the snake will attack the person who originally placed the curse.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Even if it isn't exactly rape, it's certainly taking Refuge in Audacity:

Koyomi: (voiceover) There stood a high school boy who, forgetting himself, forcefully sexually harassed an elementary school girl with all his might. But I at least want to believe that wasn't me.

    • In episode 2 of Nisemonogatari, Koyomi himself gets a taste of this.
  • Blatant Lies: As would any child, Mayoi occasionally tells absolutely impossible lies. For instance, she claims to know three people named "Basugasu Bakuhatsu" (that's just a Japanese tongue twister, by the way).
  • Bob Haircut: Hitagi and Hanekawa in Nisemonogatari
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Lots of the comical dialog between characters is performed this way, with Araragi usually acting as the Straight Man.
  • Body Horror: May count for some of the afflictions.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Invoked indirectly in episode 9, 20:20. Do you, the troper, also have a secret fetish?

Senjogahara: I can imitate your voice. So don't worry, leave it to me. After all, my voice actress is excellent.
Araragi: Voice actress!? What is this, an anime!?

    • Interestingly enough, the above line came straight from the original novel.
    • This is also the reason why Oshino is often seen with a cigarette, but never with a lighted one. From the novels:

Oshino: Well, if I lit a cigarette now wouldn't the anime adaptation become difficult?

  • Broken Aesop: Maybe. Araragi's anger when Hanekawa reveals that her stepfather hit her in a fight kind of loses its effect when you realize that Araragi earlier in the series not only beat up, but proceeded to "shamelessly molest" a fifth grader he had just met that day. But it was funny when he did it.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Since the tooth-brushing scene in Nisemonogatari episode 8 is effectively G-Rated Sex (well, more like PG) nearly escalating to R-rated sex before Tsukihi intervened and Koyomi and Karen decide to continue it, their relationship is pretty close to this.
  • Butch Lesbian: Suruga, in that distinctly Japanese way: sure, she talks dirty and smacks Koyomi around (and more), but she still looks very feminine and caters directly to those with a bicycle short fetish.
  • Call Back:
    • The Nisemonogatari opening alludes to the events of "Hitagi Crab" (Hitagi's staple attacks, falling through the school staircase, the red text that swims around the shell of the otherwise invisible weight crab) and also makes visual and musical references to its opening song, "staple stable".
    • Episode 6 of Nisemonogatari ("Karen Bee") has a short montage where Hitagi is shown in all the outfits she wore in Bakemonogatari.
    • Later on in the same episode, Hitagi strikes the same exaggerated backward lean she did in "Hitagi Crab".
  • Catgirl: Dark Hanekawa of course! And soooo cute too. Despite possessing a female body, however, the cat itself is male.
  • Catch Phrase: Koyomi gets a few catch-dialogues with other characters.
    • With Tsubasa:

Koyomi: You really know everything, don't you?
Tsubasa: I don't know everything; just the things I know.

    • With Mayoi:

Mayoi: Hello, [corruption of "Araragi-san"]!
Koyomi: [correction]
Mayoi: Sorry, I stuttered.
Koyomi: That was on purpose.
Mayoi: I stuttuted!
Koyomi: It wasn't on purpose?!

  • Chekhov's Gun: Discussed in Nisemonogatari episode 6, where Hitagi speculates that the telescope Koyomi bought her as a gift will factor into the story's climax somehow.
  • Child-Hater: Senjougahara severely dislikes children due to an incident where bumping into a child and apologizing to them made her feel powerless. After explaining this, as well as her other views on kids, to Araragi, Hachikuji, who also heard her rant, became even more terrified of her. It isn't clear if Senjougahara was being honest or if she was making an excuse for why she didn't want to wait alone with a girl she can't even see.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Watching a high-schooler glomp, molest and get into fights with a grade-schooler somehow manages to be hilarious.
  • Cool Big Sis: According to Hanekawa, Senjogahara was this back in middle school, gaining popularity among guys and girls, but especially younger girls
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Koyomi insists on helping everybody he finds who has a problem, even when it means he'll suffer for it (and when I say suffer...)
  • Conspicuous CG: Pretty common, but the prevalence of Medium Blending and overall visual weirdness helps make it feel less out of place.
    • Excluding the scene in Suruga's bedroom with the oddly flying book piles...
  • Curtains Match the Window: Ononoki Yotsugi.
  • Dance Battler: Karen is basically this, what with her spins, kicks and apparent ability to ignore gravity (as noted by Koyomi).
  • Dancing Theme:
    • Discussed by Hachikuji and Araragi in episode one of Nisemonogatari, although the trope is not actually implemented--the episode doesn't have an ending theme, and when the ending actually does appear in episode two, there's no dancing to be found.
    • Straight example with the opening to the "Tsukihi Phoenix" arc, which features Tsukihi performing Japanese dance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A good number of characters. Hitagi, especially, is seemingly incapable of speaking in a manner other than this.
  • Debut Queue
  • Deliberately Monochrome: One scene in Nisemonogatari episode 6. Also several scenes in episode 7, to parody the style of old Samurai films.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Whole dialogues are repeated with no apparent reason. There is also Senjogahara's habit of repeating the same thing several times with different emphasis.
    • Also, the quick flashes during dialogue of different coloured frames that display whatever colour they are. E.g. red frame, black frame, etc.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: All the openings and endings invoke this trope to varying degrees. The episodes themselves aren't immune either, since the entire series is very artsy.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: At end of episode 7 of Nisemonogatari, with Hitagi and Koyomi.
    • A much more disturbing example at the end of the infamous episode 8 of Nisemonogatari involving Koyomi and Karen.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did Meme just judo throw a crab god? Hitagi gets rid of it by asking it to leave her alone and restore her burdens a little later, but Meme implies he could have finished it off if he had to.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The "staple stable" opening features what appear to be staplers in rough approximations of sex positions.
    • During the car ride in Episode 12, Senjogahara runs her fingers along Koyomi's thigh. Cue cut to the gas meter dinging empty.
      • It's augmented by her whispering obscene words to him and sensually biting his ear while he's fidgeting and whimpering "St-stop it." It's all wrapped up by seeing his hair that once stood pointed and firm, turn all flaccid. At this point, it's not even subtext.
    • Not at all sexual and probably highly disturbing, when Koyomi has Shinobu drink his blood so he can regain some amount of a vampire's abilities, the scene is highly reminiscent of a mother nursing an infant. He even pats her back to get her to let go.
    • The scene where Koyomi touches Suruga's monkey arm. He even lampshades it by yelling at her for making weird noises.
    • The scene in "Tsukihi Phoenix" where Koyomi brushes Karen's teeth and everything leading up to it is effectively PG rated sex.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Lots of the great wordplay gets lampshaded or straightaway explained.
  • Driven to Suicide: Cause of death for 90% of all vampires, including Shinobu's only other subordinate and Araragi, until Hanekawa talks him out of it.
  • DVD Commentary: The DVD Commentary consists of the characters, not the voice actors, MSTing their own show, with dialog written by the original author.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Easily Forgiven: Koyomi is remarkably cool with Kanbaru's attempted murder of him.
  • Enhanced on DVD: Nearly every scene is reworked in some way. The climax of the "Nadeko Snake" arc in particular is especially enhanced, although that's not saying much when the vast majority of the scene wasn't drawn or animated at all on the broadcast version.
  • Evolving Credits
    • Each arc has its own opening animation and song. Most of them weren't finished in time for initial TV broadcasts and were replaced by "Staple Stable" (Hitagi's OP) in all but one of the episodes in each respective arc. Later disc releases have the proper OP for every episode.
    • The end credits start off as a static drawing of Hitagi by Vofan. Eventually it's replaced by a fully animated sequence featuring all the major characters, but it's still Hitagi-centric. During "Nadeko Snake" and "Tsubasa Cat" the intro to the first half changes and the whole second half focuses on Nadeko and Tsubasa, respectively.
    • The Nisemonogatari opening starts out as a charcoal silhouette of Hitagi surrounded by brightly-colored floating text. After giving Karen's opening a turn, it returns in episode 3 with Hitagi drawn in full detail, with both her and the floating text in pastel colors.
    • The Nisemonogatari ending suddenly becomes very different in episode 4 (note that the old animation was too detailed to be a placeholder like the still of Hitagi in Bakemonogatari).
    • The Nisemonogatari ending also changes to keep up with the characters' changing hairstyles and new characters being introduced.
  • Face Fault: Although played oddly realistically--in one example, Hitagi says something and Koyomi's legs are in the air in his next shot; in another, Koyomi simply slowly falls backward in reaction to a remark by Suruga.
  • Faceless Masses: Very occasionally. More often than not only the people that matter will be onscreen at all anyway.
  • The Fair Folk: The "heavy crab" possessing Hitagi is described this way by Meme.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The first episode starts with a rapid montage of fast paced action and violence.These images belong to Kizumonogatari, a prequel to the Bakemonogatari series that tells the story of Koyomi's vampirism, and it was confirmed to be adapted into an animated movie with a flyer that came attached to the latest novel, Nekomonogatari (link NSFW).
  • Fan Service: The first twenty seconds of the show is a gratuitous Panty Shot in slow motion.
    • It's not exactly gratuitous, since this pantyshot is the event that triggers everything: Araragi becomes so obsessed with Tsubasa's panties that he goes out late at night to buy a porn magazine to forget about them, only to find the vampire Kissshot dying under a streetlamp...
    • Episode 2. See the Lingerie Scene trope below.
    • Episode 9. Played with, as it is also supposed to introduce viewers to Nadeko's Body Horror, and yet still comes off as fanservicey.
    • And of course, Episode 15. During a rather fast-paced sequence where Shinobu kicks the ever-living crap out of Dark Hanekawa,Shinobu gets a rather blatant upskirt. And of course, she wears nothing under there besides... a band-aid to cover herself. So yeah. Granted, it's difficult to see clearly due to the rapid nature of the scene.
    • Episode 2 of Nisemonogatari could just as well be titled "Vaguely Creepy Fan Service"; it starts with Koyomi narrating about his sisters, while depicting them in provocative poses, proceeds to him meeting with Sengoku who tries to clumsily seduce him, and ends with his meeting with Kanbaru who keeps posing to him naked for no apparent reason. Taking into account the characters' biological relationship, age, and sexual orientation, it seems to be aimed specifically to make viewer aroused and uncomfortable at the same time.
    • Two episodes later, the Furo Scene of Koyomi and Shinobu (which lasts more than half of that episode) provides plentiful of eye candy for both genders of the audience.
    • In the 5th episode of Nisemonogatari, Koyomi spends the first part of the episode in just a towel. Which eventually falls when he stands up. Yay.
  • Flower Motifs/Visual Pun: In the "Ambivalent World" opening, Suruga jumps around a bunch of giant floating lilies. "Yuri" is actually the word for "lily," which started picking up lesbian connotations (further detailed in the Schoolgirl Lesbians page).
  • Foreshadowing: In Tsukihi's opening, there's a short part where her legs continue dancing without an upper body. That's exactly what happens to her when she gets attacked in episode 10.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Besides the Unreadably Fast Text detailed below, there will often be flashes of red/black cards with the word "red"/"black" written on them, for whatever reason.
  • Gainaxing: Black Hanekawa. Constantly.
  • Gender Blender Name: Quoth Mayoi: "Isn't Koyomi a girl's name?"
  • Giant Enemy Crab: A crab God, who takes away weight. Must've been some crab.
  • The Glomp: Pretty much everytime Koyomi sees Mayoi.
  • Gratuitous English: Sorekara...Araragi-kun...I LOVE YOU.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Koyomi's Martyr Without a Cause behaviour means he gets a lot of mileage out of part-vampire Healing Factor. Hitagi states she's frightened that he'd do the exact same things even if he couldn't rely on his healing.
  • Gorn: See No-Holds-Barred Beatdown below. While it may be portrayed in variant colors in order to "censor" it, the images alone are gratuitously gruesome.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Koyomi slips into full-on despair mode whenever he starts yelling.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Inverted, mostly. A good rule of thumb in this series is the more straightforward someone seems to be, the bigger the lie they're concealing. Nadeko is hesitant and lacks self-confidence, and her "big secret" is that she likes Araragi (secret only to Araragi, really); on the other hand, Suruga is quite forthright with her sexuality but no so much with her violent hatred towards Araragi for "stealing" Senjogahara from her. As it turns out, her provocative teasing of Araragi is probably a ploy to get Araragi to forget about Senjogahara, even if that means potentially having to seduce him.
  • Hey, You: Araragi introduces Senjogahara to Oshino in this fashion.
  • How We Got Here: Nisemonogatari opens with Koyomi waking up after being knocked out and kidnapped by Senjogahara. We don't get to hear why until episode 3.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "Mayoi Snail", Koyomi objects to Hitagi implying that he's an especially kinky pervert. It should be noted that he's been trying to look up her skirt the whole time.
    • Brick Joke example: In Bakemonogatari, Koyomi states that he thinks Incest Subtext is something that only people with no siblings would find appealing. In Nisemonogatari, however, he finds himself checking out his little sisters before he can stop himself.
  • Improvised Weapon: Hitagi Senjogahara keeps several pencil, rulers, scissors staplers and a box cutters in her skirt and uses all them at once.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In "Nadeko Snake"...sort of. More like, "I want my beloved to be happy, but since you don't want him I'll curse you to death for his sake."
    • Hanekawa attempts to do this when faced with Koyomi's relationship with Senjougahara. Her Super-Powered Evil Side objects.
  • Idiot Hair: Koyomi's distinctive feature, doubled with Expressive Hair.
    • Apparently the Idiot Hair runs in the family, as both of Koyomi's sisters, Karen and Tsukihi, are shown to have it.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Each book is named "Blank-monogatari". Occasionally they form puns.
    • Every story is named "[the afflicted's given name] [whatever monster is involved]," i.e. "Hitagi Crab," "Mayoi Snail," et cetera. The details are off for a few of the monsters in the titles (in the cases of "Mayoi Snail" and "Tsukihi Phoenix", Mayoi and Tsukihi are the eponymous monsters, and "Suruga Monkey" isn't actually about a monkey at all) and there exceptions for the second word even being a monster, such as "Tsubasa Family" (although it does makes one wonder) and "Hitagi End".
  • Image Song: All of the openings.
  • Important Haircut: Hilariously subverted in episode 9 of Nisemonogatari where Karen just unceremoniously snaps off her iconic ponytail and throws it in the trashcan since it's being troublesome at the moment.
    • Played straight with Hitagi and Hanekawa.
  • Incest Subtext: Nisemono 8 could easily be renamed "In which Koyomi and his sister Karen get a little too close to each other" and no one would probably notice.
    • Koyomi and Tsukihi also have this. When observing how one of her scars disappeared, he decides to do it by stripping off her clothes and holding her down. And then gropes her.
      • Later on, when he finds out his sister isn't human, he decides to kiss her to see if he would feel anything. He doesn't, but she was certainly quite upset about the fact that her first kiss was with her brother.
    • A good portion of Nisemonogatari has this. Prepare to feel uncomfortable.
  • I Regret Nothing: Araragi in Episode 14 when Black Hanekawa accidentally energy drains him while pressing her breasts into his back on his bicycle.

Meme: Let's call her "Black Hanekawa".
Koyomi: But she's white.

  • Limited Wardrobe: All the background automobiles are the same model of white convertible sports car.
  • Literal Genie: Subverted in that the Rainy Devil really was being true to the spirit of Kanbaru's wish; Kanbaru just wasn't being honest with herself about what she really wanted.
  • Lucky Translation: The portmanteau in the title works just as well in English (GhoSTory/MonSTory, pick one). The sequel book Nisemonogatari also applies ("ImpoSTory"), but the series' other three books, Nekomonogatari ("Cat Story"), Kizumonogatari ("Damaged Goods Story"), and Kabukimonogatari ("Slope Story"), don't, but they're not really puns in Japanese maybe that makes it double lucky.
  • Magic Skirt: Nisemono Episode 8. Karen, with a blue tennis skirt, stands on her hands. It's only after several seconds and a bit of coversation that the skirt even starts to fall down, just to stop short of revealing anything, after which Karen tries to hold it up. This is more just one of all ridiculous details that show up than any sort of censoring, as her panties are seen at other occasions.
  • Male Gaze: I don't know where to start. From the aforementioned opening sequence to the series being a 20 second panty shot to the entire messed-up thing with Nadeko and the snake, this series is almost based on it. The most hilarious use of it is during episode 14 where Dark Hanekawa shows up and Koyomi is so Distracted by the Sexy that his jaw makes a crater on the pavement.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted and lampshaded when Hitagi makes fun of Koyomi for being a virgin. Soon after, it is revealed that Hitagi is a virgin as well.
  • Meaningful Name: As might be expected from someone who loves wordplay as much as Nisio Isin. They're on the character page.
  • Medium Blending
  • Minimalist Cast: Even though it's suggested that the world they live in is indeed populated, the named characters are the only people who ever appear in the show. Kinda creepy.
    • Lampshaded when Karen asks how many friends Koyomi has.
  • Mood Whiplash: Ren'ai Circulation, Nadeko's Image Song, serves as the opening theme for the "Nadeko Snake" arc. Yeah, the one that comes right after the end of "Suruga Monkey", when Koyomi gets swung around by his intestines. "Nadeko Snake" is also a fairly dark arc in and of itself.
    • While this happens in a few episodes, episode 4 of Nisemonogatari has mood whiplash in spades. It starts off rather serious, gets silly, and alternates between serious, silly, and sad throughout the episode, with nary a warning of the mood changes.
  • The Movie: An adaptation of the prequel novel, Kizumonogatari.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Senjogahara and Black Hanekawa.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Kanbaru takes this approach to the relationship between Senjougahara (who she is in love with) and Araragi. After beating Araragi to death several times over via disembowelment, she got over it and became good friends with the two.
  • Mushroom Samba: Inflicted by Kaiki upon Karen in Nisemonogatari.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: Tons, per Nisio Isin's Signature Style; multiple reference puns can even form the basis for the supernatural creatures that appear. One magnificent example is given during "Suruga Monkey": a collective nickname for Suruga and Hitagi back in middle school was the "Valhalla Combo". These are all the references:
    • Valhalla, obviously. Suruga and Hitagi were the "goddesses" of their respective sports teams (basketball and track).
    • Baruhara (the Japanese transliteration of "Valhalla") combines the two girls' names (Suruga Kanbaru and Hitagi Senjogahara).
    • Valhalla was Odin's domain, for warriors who died in battle; "Kanbaru" contains "god" and "Senjogahara" contains "battlefield."
      • Koyomi is impressed with the nickname until he finds out that Suruga made it up herself.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Played for laughs, when Koyomi describes himself molesting Mayoi in third person, and realizes that it sounds quite horrible.
  • Mystery of the Week
  • Naughty Snake: See Orifice Invasion
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The first trailer for the Bakemonogatari anime implied that the series would also cover material from Nisemonogatari and Kizumonogatari.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: A trippy version in Episode 8 (courtesy of SHAFT, obviously). Somehow the constantly-changing colors and completely white background make it even worse. There's just something about coughing up pastel blue, yellow, and pink paint.
    • Intentionally done to avoid censorship because the images are REALLY brutal.
    • Having his entrails ripped from his belly and used to swing him around the room until they tear off sets a new standard in brutality.
    • The uncensored Blu-Ray version of it is even worse.
    • And another in Nisemonogatari episode 11, Yodzuru beats the living hell out of him.
  • Noodle Incident: Koyomi's encounter with the vampire who would become known as Shinobu and his time as a vampire. Happens in the prequel novel Kizumonogatari.
  • The Not-Secret: Nadeko's crush on Araragi, which pretty much everyone except him figures out right away.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: subverted. Koyomi pretends like he's not a virgin when the topic comes up in the second episode, but eventually admits that he is when he's tired of keeping up the facade. In the third episode, Senjogohara does the same- but immediately admits she was lying when Koyomi notes it seems implausible that someone with her psychological issues would engage in orgies.
  • Official Couple: Koyomi and Hitagi.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In "Mayoi Snail", Koyomi asks Hitagi if she can read the tag on Mayoi's backpack, to which she replies that she sees no such thing. Koyomi thinks that she just can't read the tag (he used his vampiric super-vision to read it) when she meant that she didn't see any grade school kid at all.
  • Only in It For the Money: Kaiki's M.O. to a T. He would in fact have given up his whole charm business for the right amount of money. He even charged Karen for infecting her with the bee's poison!
    • The same could be said of all of the 5 con men.
  • Orifice Invasion: The DVD release of Nadeko Snake features a snake that forces itself into Sengoku's mouth, reminiscent of...well...just look.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are described as the "kings of oddities," and powers seem to include high strength and speed, superpowered sight, and inhabiting shadows. Unfortunately they apparently can't swim, something Koyomi didn't know until he tried to teach Nadeko. In addition, Koyomi is described as "one-tenth vampire", something that is only maintained due to him periodically feeding Shinobu his blood. He can improve his powers by letting her suck more blood than usual.
  • Overdrawn At the Blood Bank: Lots of it in Episode 8 and a geyser in 15. It's a good thing Koyomi's sort of undead at the beginning of the series because the way it's going, he'd be dead-dead without it.
  • Recap Episode: One aired after the end of "Mayoi Snail" to recap the first two arcs.
  • Retraux: Almost all of the Japanese text is written with older orthography, using unsimplified kyuujitai kanji (including complex daiji numerals, nowadays usually used only in finance) and katakana. Much of the incidental text also goes from right to left, and the cut cards look significantly aged.
  • Running Gag: Mayoi's mispronouncing of Koyomi's name. "Sorry, I stuttuted."
  • Scenery Porn: YEP! You got it! It is made by Shaft after all.
  • Schedule Slip: Shaft had numerous issues meeting the production schedule for Bakemonogatari, meaning several shortcuts had to be taken in animation. This came to a head in episode 10, which was forced to air in an obviously half-finished state with color cards labeled "cut due to circumstances" taking the place of unfinished sequences. Animation quality recovered for the final two TV episodes, though episode 12 was broadcast with a narrower aspect ratio ("CinemaScope size") to save on animation costs. The web episodes are a whole other story: episode 13 took a month and a half to go online; episode 14, another three and change, followed by a three-month delay in the release date of the final DVD volume.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Suruga, especially for Senjogahara.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The main plot of Kabukimonogatari.
  • Ship Tease: Excluding Hitagi, Koyomi has it with Tsubasa, Shinobu and Karen.
  • Shipper on Deck: Quite a few people think Araragi should get with Hanekawa instead of Senjougahara, with Kanbaru even thinking he'll end up marrying her.
  • Shout-Out

Hitagi: I'll fulfill whatever your wish is. Whether it's world conquest, or eternal life, or to defeat the Saiyans that are coming to earth.
Koyomi: Are you saying you're more powerful than Shen Long?!

  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Present in the Araragi family.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Koyomi's Idiot Hair.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Kizumonogatari trailer.
  • Special Edition Title: Each arc plays the afflicted character's image song as an opening. Each OP was only played in one episode per arc on TV due to time constraints, but the Blu-ray releases have every episode featuring the proper OP.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Hitagi and Suruga say something to Koyomi about being able to identify a woman just by her hips.
    • Three of the girls are fascinated by lame jokes from the same radio show.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: Six of them in the first series! Let's see:
    • Staplers floating around a black and white city with a giant girl stomping around? Check.
    • Multiple clones of an extremely energetic girl populating a city? Check.
    • A court in the middle of nowhere with floating basketballs and giant flowers (Easter lilies, no less)? Check.
      • Well, the Japanese word for "lily" is "Yuri."
    • A character being as moe as possible in a world that seems like it's halfway towards being a Sugar Bowl? Check.
    • An entirely live action opening featuring a girl cosplaying as a character in the show with small pyramids that look like cat ears floating on her head while silhouttes of cats walk around? Check.
    • An alternate, very disturbing version of the fifth opening that features disembodied hands grabbing at the (non-live action) nude figure of the same character as she struggles to run away? Um... check.
    • They came back in Nisemonogatari. A completely silhouetted girl (later updated to be fully drawn but with an alternate, pastel color scheme) doing nothing but changing poses while the background and camera angle shift around her? Check.
    • A girl running around being both appearing out of and vanishing into flames with images of bees flying around? Check.
    • A girl with constantly changing hair dancing (at one point inside a guy's mouth and occasionally without having an upper body at all) before transforming into a flock of birds? Check.
    • Nisemonogatari's ending has Hajime Ueda's art make a comeback, with the ladies of the first series on perpetually spinning and glowing wheels and train cars in one version, and in another, the Fire Sisters dancing and singing with detached limbs and heads.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "There was no girl with bright golden hair, pale white skin, and a flat chest who spoke in a haughty, old-style voice, but appeared to be around eight years old. You imagined it."
  • Take a Third Option: The options for getting rid of Suruga's rainy devil are (1) cut off the arm or (2) let her kill Koyomi. Koyomi decides (3) to beat her in a fight to convince the devil that he can't be killed. Of course, Oshino takes a fourth option by summoning Hitagi to Talk The Hero To Death With The Monster In Earshot.
  • Talking Heads: This is an extremely dialogue oriented show, but averted by Shaft's crazy visuals.
    • To describe. Episode 3 is just Hitagi and Koyomi talking in a playground about random stuff.
    • Episode 12 is COMPLETELY talking heads, thought it still manages to be entertaining... And adorable.
    • Done again in episode 4 of Nisemonogatari" in which the majority of the episode is one long conversation between Koyomi and Shinobu.
  • Their First Time: Implied for Hitagi and Koyomi at the end of "Karen Bee".
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: One scene repeatedly cuts to a closeup of one.
  • Title Drop: "Nisemonogatari" is never going to come up in any conversation, but nisemono (impostor or fraud) has been used to refer to Koyomi's sisters and Deishuu Kaiki. A near-perfect Title Drop occurs in the introduction to "Tsukihi Phoenix": "Tada no nisemono no monogatari da."[3]
  • Tsundere: Invoked by many of the other characters to describe Senjogahara. Senjogahara even uses it in relation to herself. The term's used either jokingly or incorrectly at every turn, though, since Senjogahara never makes any attempt to deny or conceal her feelings. The only problem is that she's lived without emotions for so long, she can't exactly express them properly.
    • At least until episode 12, where she goes full blown "dere" in the best way possible.
    • Episode 14 Senjougahara while on the phone with Araragi

Senjougahara: Tsundere service! Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm worried about you, but if you don't come back I'll never forgive you.

      • This being Senjougahara, she switches to being deadly serious halfway through.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime: With three more episodes aired online, and put on DVD.
  • Twerp Sweating: Koyomi's afraid Senjogahara's scary-serious looking father will do this on their first date. Subverted in that the father is actually extremely grateful to Koyomi for both curing his daughter's condition and making her happier than she's been in a long time.
  • Unmoving Pattern: Oshino's patterned shirts, Hanekawa's pajamas, Senjougahara's panties in episode 2 and dress in episode 12, and Tsukihi's kimono.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: Episodes open with excerpts from the novels that start off a little too fast and rapidly become totally impossible to read.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Araragi is rarely, if ever, honest about his feelings (platonic or otherwise) for the various ladies that pass through his life. This trope is more true of the women themselves, who tend to lie about the conditions under which they obtained their particular supernatural afflictions until it becomes absolutely necessary to tell the truth.
  • Unwanted Harem: Oshino teases Araragi about the fact that every time he comes to see him he has a different girl with him.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Even if you're now an ex-vampire, you can't count on having a normal life again.
    • In episode 13, Hanekawa theorizes that the reason Koyomi keeps attracting pretty girls is a trace remnant of the vampire's ability to charm humans with a glance. This idea is shot down by black Hanekawa when Koyomi tries to use it as a reason for ignoring Hanekawa's attraction to him. He's nowhere near powerful enough to have vampiric charisma.
    • The real reason, as explained by Oshino, is that Koyomi's still a Weirdness Magnet because of his unconscious refusal to let go of Shinobu. Once he separates from her completely, his vampirism will completely disappear, the oddities will abandon his life and he'll finally return to normality. So in the end, it's his decision.
    • It's trickier than it appears. It's explained in the novels that Shinobu will die if Koyomi stops giving her his blood, and Koyomi will pretty much help anyone in need, so he's stuck. It's not an unconscious desire to hold on to her, it's an unwillingness to sacrifice a life for his own sake.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Araragi and Senjogahara, constantly.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?:
    • "I understand, Araragi-kun. Let's go to war."
    • The first episode opens with a Bullet Time Panty Shot. The odd thing is, this is the closest visual equivalent to the scene in the book, where Koyomi spends over a page describing the effect of Hanekawa's skirt being blown up by the wind in front of him, and then dwells on it for the rest of the chapter.
    • The entire tooth brushing scene in Episode 8 of Nisemonogatari, which is treated as an extremely sexual process.
    • Rock-Paper-Scissors, as far as Karen's concerned. Koyomi doesn't agree.
  • World of Symbolism: During the the opening for Suruga Monkey arc Kanbaru can be seen running after Senjougahara across a field of huge floating lilies.
  • X Meets Y: The series combines the surrealist Talking Heads, fanservice and utterly random high school comedy of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei (Araragi even shares Nozomu's seiyuu) with the surrealist action and supernatural story Arcs focusing on a person afflicted by a single creature of Mononoke (with Meme sharing the same seiyuu who did the Medicine Seller).
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Suruga.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Hitagi Senjogahara certainly loves this trope.
  1. "Cutting down hundreds of evildoers! The Guard Dog of Hell! Deka Master!
  2. Super Cool. Perfect.
  3. This is the story of just another fake.