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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would only recommend this book to some friends, as this is definitely not a story for everyone. The story can easily be bogged down if you do not resonate with the characters inner turmoil and the thought provoking moral quandaries could just sound like teenage angst if you don't buy in to stories about kids in high school. Even for many Anime fans the verbose and palindromic writing can be mind melting giving some scenes a feeling of dragging on for eternity. Monogatari has never been for everyone, but it is for those listeners or readers who have a love for ten dollar words, being wrapped up in a flurry of wit while being sucked deeper into the rabbit hole.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Koyomi Araragi is by far the stand out character, and continues to be in later novels in the Monogatari series. He is both an everyman character, but also someone with a distinct and strong personality. Between his inner monologues and exterior arguing with himself you get a deep and rich understanding of how he thinks; thus allowing the author to almost meld the minds of the character and reader together.
Which scene was your favorite?
The standout scene in this audiobook comes almost purely from a delivery and character aspect. Hearing Christina Vee argue with herself as two separate characters was a true joy. While I wish they had used another actor to play Hanekawa it was still thrilling to hear.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There are two very strong scenes in this book which may either make or break the story for you; the first meeting of our two main characters (Araragi & Kisshot), and their stories climax towards the end. Each novel in the Monogatari series focuses heavily on a singular character and their interactions with Koyomi Araragi with the other characters coming in as strong supports to reinforce the actions of each character. For a majority of the novels, the main support or what could be argued as a tertiary main character to Koyomi is Kisshot. Both their first meeting, and the main story element which binds them together in this novel are very strong, and emotionally draining, but every step beforehand leads you to the finale which you are told from the start will not be a happy one.
Any additional comments?
The Monogatari series as a whole isn't an easy subject matter to translate into a simple written or spoken language. Most likely why it's taken so long for anyone to try and even tackle this expansive series.
With that being said, Vertical has done an excellent job with translating the Novel but keeping dialog, character specific quirks, and the themes of the Monogatari series consistent between the anime and novels. While I would say they did only a serviceable job on the audiobook, it comes from high expectations. The source material is strong in creating an emotional resonance between the reader (or viewer) and the characters in action, so when the voices of them do not line up as you expected, it can be somewhat jarring. Even if the actors did a strong job overall. I will say that compared to the Japanese actor of Hanekawa who sounded more stern, mature, and serious; this iteration is given a more high pitched, giddy, and almost bubbly voice which I wouldn't say fits well, especially with later events in the series and I hope that Vertical reconsiders casting and brings in a different actor to play her.
I would say my main criticisms lie with the direction more so than casting, delivery, or the script. This is a biased point of view, but it seems the director definitely had the actors hold back on some scenes, opting for a bit more subdued approach compared to the anime & japanese actors deliveries. This is personal preference, but I would have rather scene the actors ham up the more dramatic scenes more, as the series has always been known to be bombastic, over the top, and incredibly verbose.
I can also say there is a definite problem with the pacing in a few areas. While this isn't a major problem, it definitely feels as though the actor playing Araragi was told to pick up his reading pace during a few scenes which could have been a little lengthier and more thought provoking. On the other hand, talking a mile a minute is definitely a key attribute to our protagonist, and nothing new the near frantic levels of dialog in the animation version of him.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is not for the over 30 crowd. The first hour is totally taken over by a high school boy who sees a pair of panties. In a Marilyn Monroe type situation involving the most popular girl in school, this boy sees her panties and that is all he can think about for the next hour of the book. This causes him to go out and buy porn magazines. The book is also filled with more teenage angst then in any American YA girl book. The small parts about the vampire is fairly cool and different, but not to the point of putting up with all the childish ramblings of the main character. Anime books are similar to graphic novels and I have found that these books without the art work usually don't hold up.
80 of 98 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to KIZUMONOGATARI again? Why?
This is one of the rare occasions in which I would read or listen again to a book.
Not only the story is absorbing, but the narrators do a pretty good job at making the characters come to life.
What did you like best about this story?
As a Bakemonogatari fan I loved how this book explains all the things that were thrown at the viewer in the anime and never explained.
As an anime fan, it was like reading an anime series.
As a fantasy fan it is a smart urban fantasy tale with a nice, fresh spin on vampires and monsters and their relations with humans. If you are fed up with all that cliché modern fantasy novels that look like they were all made from the same mold look no further!
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
Having watched multiple Bakemonogatari series and knowing how western voice actors tend to always get the tone of the voice of anime characters wrong I was pretty scared by how this might have ended.
However, even though the characters sometimes sound strange (there are some times in which characters convey a specific emotion through their voice when it is obvious that they should convey another one, especially if you know the characters from previous works) this audiobook's voice performance greatly surpassed my expectations.
The main character's narrator was the best one of the three, sounding almost like the Japanese voice actor, and Cristina Vee did an awesome job when performing the lines of the younger versions of Kisshot.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
"Lots of talking involved"
Any additional comments?
If you are a Bakemonogatari fan and you ended up on this audiobook I think you do not need my review to decide whether to buy it or not.
However, if you are a fantasy fan I would suggest you to give it a shot, but be mindful that some parts look like they came out of a dictionary definition of "Japanese wackiness". If you like these kind of things or can overlook some wackiness you are in for a great ride.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Listened to this with my audible trail not expecting much but it blowed me away. It's really good.