Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
October 22, 2016 by Dennis Amith
If you have enjoyed the “Monogatari” anime series thus far, “Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is worth following if you are a dedicated fan of the series.
Image courtesy of © NISIOISIN, ANIPLEX, SHAFT. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set
DURATION: Episodes 1-7 (175 Minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English
Release Date: November 25, 2016
Chief Director: Akiyuki Shimbo
Directed by Tomoyuki Itamura
Series Composition by Akiyuki Shimbo, Fuyashi Tou
Music by Kei Haeneoka
Originally Created by NisiOisin
Original Character Design by VOfan
Character Design by Akio Watanabe
Art Director: Ken Naito
Anime Production: SHAFT
Featuring the following voice talent:
Hiroshi Kamiya as Koyomi Araragi
Kaori Mizuhashi as Ougi Oshino
Marina Inoue as Sodachi Oikura
Chiwa Saito as Hitagi Senjōgahara
Kana Hanazawa as Nadeko Sengoku
Miyuki Sawashiro as Suruga Kanbaru
Saori Hayami as Yotsugi Ononoki
Satsuki Yukino as Izuko Gaen
Yui Horie as Tsubasa Hanekawa
“I don’t know anything. But YOU know about it, Araragi.”
One day, Suruga Kanbaru introduces Koyomi Araragi to a new transfer student by the name of Ougi Oshino. She claims that she is the niece of Meme Oshino. She tells Koyomi that she draws a map of every school she transfers to, and she points out there is a mysterious hidden classroom in the Naoetsu High. After getting trapped in the classroom which shouldn’t exist in this world, Koyomi starts remembering some incidents from his past…
In 2005, 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 more on a character, instead of a two-episode storyline, we get four-episode arcs. And with “Otorimonogatari: Nadeko Medusa”, episodes 12-15 focus on Nadeko starting to see a giant snake apparition and the arc beginning with her confronting Shinobu and Koyomi and Nadeko stabbing Koyomi in the heart.
The story then explains what has been happening to Nadeko leading up to the confrontation and what the giant snake apparition may be.
In 2014, a five episode arc was released titled “Hanamonogatari” which is about the character Suruga Kanbaru.
And in October through November 2015, the Owarimonogatari novels anime adaptation aired on Japanese television.
And now the first volume featuring episodes 1-7 of the 12-episode anime series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex, Inc.
In “Owarimonogatari”, the anime series begins with Koyomi Aragi and Ougi Oshino being trapped in a classroom.
The story shows us how Suruga Kanbaru introduces Ougi to Koyomi for the first time. Ougi had introduced Koyomi to a mysterious room in the school and the two investigate. This leads to both of them being trapped inside and the room is a manifestation of a traumatic memory from Koyomi’s freshman year.
Apparently around that time, the class president, Sodachi Oikura was looking for those who cheated on a math test and no one can leave the class until the cheater was found. Ougi figures that the two are unable to leave until the mystery is revealed.
But as these two start to investigate, they start to learn more about Sodachi Oikura and why she despises Koyomi.
“Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 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.
As this is a more modern of the “Monogatari” series, animation is crisp and 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.
“Owarimonogatari” looks fantastic on Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 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.
“Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” comes with trailers for the anime series, PV & CM collections and the textless opening and ending themes.
“Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” comes with a slip case package illustrated by Akio Watanabe, a 28-page deluxe booklet and a ten pinup postcard set.
For years, we have watched the “Monogatari” series blossom to something unusual, unexpected, complex, entertaining, audacious and for the most part, unpredictable.
It’s a sci-fi series in which storylines are connected but yet focus on certain characters.
As for 2015, the “Owarimonogatari” series, the first seven episodes focus on three characters: Koyomi Araragi, Ougi Oshino and Sodachi Oikura.
As Koyomi and Ougi are trapped in a mysterious room in school and none of them are able to leave until they solve a two-year-old mystery of a culprit who cheated on their math test and no one was able to leave class until the culprit was found, both Koyomi and Ougi start to look into the class president, Sodachi Oikura, who was looking for the culprits at the time.
Back then, Sodachi voted that Koyomi was the cheater, but the majority of the class had chosen her. This led to Sodachi to stop coming to school and for Koyomi, losing his trust in people and become a recluse until he met the girls who would eventually lead him to the path that he is currently at in life.
As both Koyomi and Ougi try to figure out who was the true culprit, the two want to know why Sodachi harbors hatred towards Koyomi.
While the series may not feature a lot of the other female characters that revolve around Koyomi’s life, this is a mystery series that focuses on Koyomi, Ougi and Sodachi for the first seven episodes.
As for the Blu-ray release,”Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 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 the usual 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 28-page deluxe booklet, a ten pinup postcard set and slipcase package illustrated by Akio Watanabe (character designer).
Overall, if you have enjoyed the “Monogatari” anime series thus far, “Owarimonogatari: Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set” is worth following if you are a dedicated fan of the series.
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