Review: Bakemonogatari Vol. 1 (manga)

Review: Bakemonogatari Vol. 1 (manga)

Based on the light novel by: NISIOISIN

Illustrated by OH! Great

Publisher: Vertical Comics / Kodansha Comics

Genre: Horror

Disclaimer: I received a reviewer copy of Bakemonogatari through NetGallery.

I’ve heard about this series long before this release of the English Version of the manga. The memory of the clips with the weightless girl and the infinite number of weaponized stationary has stuck with me over the years.

Bakemonogatari or Monster’s story is a manga adaptation of a light novel of the same name by NISIOISIN. It is labelled as a horror comic but it falls under mystery, urban fantasy, and it could be easily a slice of life story.

It follows Koyomi Araragi as he helps his female classmates deal with fairly recent brushes with the supernatural. Araragi himself was attacked by a vampire over the two week school break before the manga starts.

Volume one follows Hitagi Senjougahara who has been rendered virtually weightless by a stone crab for two years. Hitagi used to be a track star but she stopped and no longer participates in any school sports.

Araragi becomes interested in her after she slips on a banana peel and he catches her as she falls down the stairs and uncovers her secret.

I won’t get into too much more due to spoilers but this is a dialogue heavy manga with very few action scenes which is contrary to OH! Great’s series, Tenjou Tenge, which might be disappointing to fans expecting something similar. There is some light cheesecake type of shonen panels and mild sexual humor but the subject is heavy.

This issue’s overall theme is acceptance. What would you be willing to sacrifice to alleviate an emotional burden?

I like the reoccurring tagline of “Monsters don’t come to you. They are there from the start.” It sets the tone as you read through. It is a strange story but it is just a start of what sounds like is episodic stories dealing with a central emotional theme. It is a breath of fresh air from the countless fighting, dsytopian future and isekai mangas that have become popular recently.

This warrants more than one read through to understand.

4 of 5