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Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 1, 2014 by  



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A well-written, enjoyable arc in the “Monogatari” anime series, “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © NISIOISIN/KODANSHA, ANIPLEX, SHAFT. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Blu-ray Set Limited Edition

YEAR: 2012

DURATION: Episodes 7-10 (100 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: 16+

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Chief Director: Akiyuki Shinbo

Directed by Tomoyuki Itamura

Series Composition by Akiyuki Shinbo, Fuyashi Tou

Music by Satoru Kousaki

Originally Created by NisiOisin

Original Character Design by VOfan

Character Design by Akio Watanabe

Art Director: Hisaharu Iijima

Anime Production: SHAFT

Featuring the following voice talent:

Hiroshi Kamiya as Koyomi Araragi

Yui Horie as Tsubasa Hanekawa

Eri Kitamura as Karen Araragi

Yuka Iguchi as Tsukihi Araragi

Maaya Sakamoto as Shinobu Oshino

Takahiro Sakura as Meme Oshino

At the end of summer vacation, upon the morning of the opening ceremony for the second semester, Tsubasa Hanekawa encounters an enormous tiger on the way to school.

“White. So white… So purely, blandly white…”

Proclaiming Tsubasa as such, the white tiger strides past her and vanishes. Later, Tsubasa’s house is destroyed in a fire. But this is just the beginning of a series of unfortunate incidents for her and the people around her. Koyomi Araragi decides to save her with help from the former “Kiss-Shot,” a legendary vampire.

This limited edition includes a deluxe booklet and a pinup postcard set, with packaging illustrated by character designer Akio Watanabe!

Continuing the episodes from the second season of the “Monogatari” series, the storyline focuses on Mayoi Hachikuji, a fifth-grade elementary school girl ghost that Koyomi keeps seeing.

As Mayoi continues to reach her mother’s home (even though she was killed in a car accident), she is only seen by people who are not wanting to reach their destination.

As a wandering spirit, Koyomi and Shinobu accidentally travel 11 years into the past, the day before Mayoi’s death.

As Koyomi is elated that now he can save Mayoi from her traffic accident and preventing her from turning into a wandering spirit, what happens when Koyomi saves her and how will that affect the timeline in the present?

Find out in episode 7-10 of the “Monogatari” series in “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Blu-ray Set Limited Ediiton” from Aniplex!

Before “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi” there was “Nisemonogatari”, “Bakamonogatari” and “Nekomonogatari”

In 2006, a light novel titled “Bakemonogatari” was written by Nisio Isin and featured the illustrations by Vofan.

For Isin, he is known for his “Zaregoto” novel series (2002-2005) which led to series such as “Ningen” and “Sekai”published by Kodansha. By 2006, Isin would begin working on the “Bakemonogatari” series which is based on short stories published in “Mephisto Magazine”.

The first story featured a first volume with three stories “Hitagi Crab”, “Mayoi Snail”, “Suruguta Monkey” and a second volume with two “Nadeko Snake” and “Tsubasa Cat”.

“Bakemonogatari” focused on a third year high school student named Koyomi Araragi. A perverted teenager with a loli complex who doesn’t do well in school. One day, Koyomi was attacked by a vampire named Shinobu Oshino, a 500-year-old vampire who once was a vicious, beautiful vampire but now has the appearance of an eight-year old girl.

Koyomi turned into a vampire but thanks to Meme Oshino (an expert in the apparitions field), he was able to become human again but still has several side effects including seeing in the dark, his eyes turning red when incredibly angry, amazing healing power and strength.

While his parents are away, Koyomi helps raise his two young sisters, Karen (the middle child who is taller than Koyomi and likes to take part in martial arts and outdoor activities) and his little sister Tsukihi, who is the opposite of Karen and rather do indoor activities but also prefers wearing a yukata (Japanese traditional outfit).

With this new power of Koyomi, in “Bakemonogatari”, he had to help characters with apparitions.

Hitagi Senjogahara was a weak-girl who was possessed by a crab that stole her weight. Because of this, she has avoided all contact with people in order to hide her secret, so she developed a tsundere attitude and is often verbally abusive towards Koyomi. Because Koyomi sacrificed her life for her, she and Koyomi start dating, despite how badly she treats him.

Koyomi also had to help a ghost of a fifth-grade elementary student named Mayou Hachikuchi, a girl who has a habit of saying Koyomi’s name wrong but yet knows that he has a loli complex and knows that he is always trying to touch her.

Suruga Kanbaru, a popular female athlete who is a lesbian and masochist and prefers to be at home in the nude. She inherited the Monkey’s Paw and thus wears a bandage on her one arm to hide it. She began stalking Koyomi when he found out he was dating Hitagi.

Nadeko Sengoku is a person who was cursed with invisible snakes (that were trying to strangle her). Thanks to Koyomi, he saved her life and while shy, likes to be close to Koyomi.

Tsubasa Hanekawa is Koyomi’s classmate and the class representative. She was possessed by a bakaneko and is danger of turning into Black Hanekawa. She often stresses about her family and her feelings for Koyomi.

The first series revolved around Koyomi trying to help these characters deal with their apparition.

A prequel to “Bakemonogatari” titled “Koyomi Vamp” which focused on Shinobu Oshino and her role as a vampire before attacking Koyomi and a separate volume known as “Kizumonogatari” was published in Pandora Magazine in 2008.

In 2009, “Bakemonogatari” was adapted into an anime series.

The sequel to “Bakemonogatari” titled “Nisemonogatari” which was released in 2008 and adapted to an anime series in 2012.

The story focuses on Koyomi’s two sisters Karen and Tsuki with chapters titled “Karen Bee” and “Tsukihi Phoenix”.

The series begins with Koyomi being held captive. When he wakes up, he finds out that Hitagi has captured and imprisoned him. And we are taken to a flashback days before this happened.

While Koyomi was making his rounds of meeting his female friends, one day he comes into contact with an ominous man named Kaiki Deishu. When he tells Hitagi about the man he met, she imprisons him in the sake of protecting him from Kaiki. And that she is determined in getting revenge on the man.

But things hit close to home when Koyomi finds out that Kaiki also unleashed a lethal, supernatural bee on his sister Karen.

In the second storyline for “Tsukihi Phoenix”, after the events of “Karen Bee”, Koyomi starts to recognize his sister Karen in a different way. Especially with his sister flirting with her brother and looking more feminine, Koyomi tries to distract himself from paying attention to his sister, who is wanting her brother to introduce her to his friend Suruga Kanbaru. Knowing that Suruga is not a good influence and worries about his sister being close to her, he issues her a contest of allowing him to brush her teeth for five minutes without stopping him.

Meanwhile, as Koyomi and Karen are heading towards Suruga’s home, they are encountered by Yozuru Kagenui, who is looking for directions. When Koyomi spends time with Mayou, they are both encountered by a girl named Yotsugi Ononoki, also looking for the same address.

What Koyomi doesn’t know is that these two onmyougi’s have targeted someone who is precious to him.

The four episode series “Nekomonogatari (Kuro)” (in Japanese, “Kuro” means black). The story goes into full detail of Tsubasa’s connection to the bakeneko which was featured in episode 11 of “Bakemonogatari” (which featured Koyomi reminiscing of what happened to Tsubasa during Golden Week).

The series starts out with Koyomi and his sister Tsukihi discussing the concept of love and trying to figure out if Koyomi is in love with Tsubasa Hanekawa, the class representative.

During Golden Week, Tsubasa finds a dead white cat in the middle of the road. Wanting to pay her respects to the deceased cat, instead, she is possessed by a bakeneko who happens to gain control of her due to the stress she has been suffering because of her adoptive family.

With the possession of Tsubasa, the apparition is of a woman wearing nothing but underwear with white cat characteristics.

And now bakeneko is on a rampage by trying to attack as many people in order to consume Tsubasa completely.

While “Nekomonogatari Black -Tsubasa Family” is a 4-part OVA prequel to “Bakemonogatari”, the five episode series “Nekomonagatari White – Tsubasa Tiger” is the first story arc of the Second Season titled “Monogatari Series Second Season” (note: there are 26 episodes in the second season).

This time, the series is told by Tsubasa Hanekawa and we learn more about her family background, her feelings towards Koyomi and how she became friends with Hiotagi Senjougahara and also why there were mysterious fires happening in areas that she is familiar with and related to people she knows.

And with “Kabukimonogatari”…

The “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi” series continues with episodes 7-10 as the focus is on the fifth grade ghost, Mayoi Hachikuji.

This latest arc features Koyomi and Shinobu accidentally going into the past right before Mayoi is killed in a traffic accident.  Wanting to spare Mayoi from turning into a wandering spirit, what happens when Koyomi decides to save her in the past, how will that affect the present?

VIDEO:

“Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi – Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is presented in 1080p High Definition and this TV series is gorgeous. SHAFT really puts a lot of time into character design, shading but also carrying out changes in character design.

From regular/series looking characters to goofy, cartoonish characters and many location scenes featured throughout this series. Colors are vibrant, black levels are nice and deep, animation gets creative in an artistic type of way, image is sharp and line detail is very good. I saw no edge enhancement or excessive banding.

“Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi” looks fantastic on Blu-ray.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi – Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is presented in uncompressed Japanese LPCM 2.0 with English subtitles. Dialogue is crisp and clear and is front-channel driven. I detected no problems with audio and English subtitles were easy to read.

It’s important to emphasize that there are no English dubs with this Blu-ray set.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi – Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” comes with a 24:18 “omnibus 2” video (which is actually episode 11 – summary from the TV series and is a narration of the “Mayoi Jiangshi” arc), and the textless on air version opening and ending theme.

EXTRAS:

“Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi – Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set”comes with a slip case package illustrated by Akio Watanabe, 24-page deluxe booklet and a six pinup postcard set.

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With the latest arc of the “Monogatari” series, the focus shifts towards Mayoi Hachikuji, the ghost girl that Koyomi often sees walking around.

For those who enjoy this cheery character and the somewhat perverted interactions between Koyomi and Mayoi, viewers can now find out through this arc of why she became a ghost and why she seems to be lost.

But in a twist, seeing what happens when Koyomi and Shinobu go back to the past and instead of Mayoi dying, how saving her has changed the timeline.  And without spoiling the story, let’s just say… all hell breaks loose!

I have to say that this arc was well-planned.  It’s more or less a time-travel story of how changing events can have repercussions, in this case, the repercussions were quite severe.  Unfortunately, just mentioning or summarizing parts of any episode in this arc would be a major spoiler, So, I’ll just leave it as that and say that fans of the “Monogatari” series, will surely enjoy what happens!

As for the Blu-ray release,”Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is presented in 1080p High Definition and picture quality is great. Colors are vibrant and I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding during my viewing of the film. As for lossless audio, only a Japanese soundtrack is included and it is presented in Linear PCM Stereo. While the Japanese voice acting for the series has always been fantastic, for those who prefer to watch the series in English, there is no English dub soundtrack. As for special features, you get a 25-minute “Omnibus” video (which is episode 11 in Japan, a recap of the arc), on air version textless opening and ending themes.  Plus the PV and CM (commercial) collections.

As for extras, you get the Aniplex swag which the company is known for. The Limited Edition set includes a 24-page deluxe booklet, pinup postcard set and slipcase package illustrated by Akio Watanabe (character designer).

Overall, if you have enjoyed the “Monogatari” anime series thus far, “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is a storyline that features the happy ghost girl Mayoi, but the repercussions that Koyomi and Shinobu must face after traveling back in time and saving Mayoi from the traffic accident that killed her.

A well-written, enjoyable arc in the “Monogatari” anime series, “Kabukimonogatari: Mayoi Jiangshi Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is recommended!

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