Tsukimonogatari (Blu-ray anime review)


By Xchel Monroy

To start off on this part of the Monogatari series, let me start by saying that this particular franchise has been one roller coaster of an anime. With that being said, this anime brings satire comedy, a bit of fanservice, great animation style and dialogue. Tsukimonogatari is truly a diamond in the rough. Since it had made its debut in 2005, the series is heavily based on the decisions that our protagonist, Koyomi Aragagi, has made prior to this series. Tsukimonogatari is truly one that you can appreciate all around.

The Monogatari series began as most other anime have: from visual novels. This version of the Monogatari series comes from director and writer Akiyuki Shinbo. You may recognize his work starting from his directorial debut Metal Fighter Miku. He later went on to direct such anime as Negima and Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, just to name a few. The premise of the main Monogatari series is centered around Koyomi Araragi. As he was walking home from school, he is bitten by a vampire. As a result, he almost loses most of his humanity through this bite. Over time, he  manages to overcome it with a little help from an acquaintance named Meme Oshino and maintains his humanity. He then meets a young lady named Hitagi Senjyogahara, who happens to stumble across meeting Koyomi in a hallway in school. As he helps her from a fall, he noticed that she is weightless, which makes him uneasy. Once he discovers that she is not human, he ends up taking her to Meme Oshino who helped him with this abnormality of vampirism and helps Hitagi with her own abnormality. After the healing happens, they end up being friends. As with the Monogatari series, he ends up meeting other characters that have similar to almost different abnormalities.

However, in Tsukimonogatari, Koyomi Araragi is trying to adjust to a basic and normal life and get ready for his exams to enter a university. Everything to him seems to be going well until the unexpected happens: as he is giving one of his sisters a shower (in a rather lewd way), he noticed in the mirror that he has no reflection whatsoever, very similar to a complete transformation into a vampire. In the previous iterations of this franchise, Koyomi Arargi has been using his vampiric powers on a constant basis. Therefore, it has resulted in him not seeing his reflection. The only way he can stop this from happening is the obvious, completely stop using his powers. But, as the series goes on, he comes to the realization that certain events are happening to test his willpower to see if he can really stop using his powers.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

Video and Audio

When it comes down to the audio and video quality in this box set, I can only say one thing: excellent. This Blu-ray is better and you get to really enjoy this anime in all its hi-def glory. Its runtime combined is 100 minutes. Both discs are single layer and play on 16.9 HD widescreen format and its resolution is 1080p. This is what makes it look really great no matter what screen you have it on in my opinion. Like in any other Blu-ray disc, it will always look better, but in this particular set it has been vastly improved on many levels. What is amazing is the excellent detail on all episodes, the vibrant colors you get to see. Nothing new out of Blu-ray, but for some reason, this was just well put together in lighting, scene selections, and the simplicity of menu options. However, it is subtitled in English. So as for the audio, I was impressed on how crisp and clear it sounds in Japanese. In comparison to the original, you’re able to hear every sound a character makes; for example, phrases like “oni-san” and “nya’” and the very  melecholic “yay” from the yotsugi doll. So with that being said, I am really looking forward to the dubbing of this part of the Monogatari series. It should be great and it should sound excellent as well.

Video/Audio Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B


The Blu-ray package of Tsukimonogatari is a visual, high-grade quality. Not just in the outer packing, but the art around it. Bright and easy on the eyes and the visual art all-around is just really well detailed. The illustration for the Blu-ray discs and package is none other than Akio Watanabe. His work can be seen in most notable anime such as The World Only God Knows, Etotama and Hoshizora Kiseki. On one side, you have the Yotsugi doll in her dress outfit sitting in her high throne chair and looking with a blank stare as she always does. Behind the cover is a pairing of the Yotsugi doll and Shinobu Oshino, a former vampire herself. They look and pose just like something out of a Vocaloid cover. Shinobu highly resembles a Vocaloid by the name of Rin Kagamine and the Yotsugi doll like the virtual diva herself, Hatsune Miku, hair and all. This boxed set also includes a deluxe booklet depicting and describing in detail all the characters in this series such as Shinobu Oshine, Tsukihi Araragi, Koyomi Araragi, Hitagi Senjyogahara and Tadatsuru Teori

This booklet also contains still shots of various scenes featured in this anime: some funny stills and action scenes and a few fan service shots along with the staff credits that has the Yotsugi doll on her belly. If you ask me, it looks adorable and adds a bit of a “moe” feel to it. As you look further in the booklet, you will find a collage of stills from the ending credits and a little description of all 4 episodes in detail (without giving away any spoilers). Some of the extras featured in this set are PV & CM collections (which are some promotional and commercial ads that were only shown in Japan). As well, they included textless opening and ending themes in each Blu-ray disc. It’s a great feature to see all the wonderful art and animation that goes into each episode. It also contains a pin-up postcard set. They have the Yotsugi doll on all of them with different outfits and pairings. The detail on these cards is amazing. They are very well made; each postcard is unique and each of the postcards has a great gloss finish. It makes you appreciate the effort that was put into making this limited-edition set worth having.

Extras Rating: 4.5 /5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-


While the Monogatari series has been facing an up and down slope.Tsukimonogatari is definitely one that I can recommend taking the time to watch. Most anime that gets transferred to Blu-ray can miss quite a few important key elements such as audio quality, picture resolution, etc. However, with this being one of the stories that draws the Monogatari series to a conclusion, not only did it surpass expectations but it makes you want to watch the series from the very beginning. Also, if you do watch it from the beginning, all the better. This way you don’t get lost in translation when you get to Tsukimonogatari.

The price for this collection box set is $64.98 USD. This set contains the 2 Blu-ray discs and 4 episodes in total. If you are a total fan of this series, this should be a no-brainer. With all the collectible items it possesses, this should be quite an addition to your collection. Meanwhile, if you are just looking to get a really good anime series on Blu-ray, this should be on your bucket list. Even if you have not seen this from the beginning, with its great story and animation, it will make you want to watch the previous Monogatari, which is never a bad thing.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-


Tsukimonogatari – $49.98 at Rightstuf.com

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