Genre(s): Seinen, Supernatural, Ecchi, Romance
Age-Appropriateness: 17+ (Excessive blood, Violence, Sexual Themes)
TheAwersome Rating: 5.0 / 10 (We done yet?)
Premise: After surviving a vampire attack, Koyomi Araragi notices that his friend and savior, Tsubasa Hanekawa, has been acting strange. When he crosses paths with her on his way to a bookstore and sees a bandage on her face, he knows something is wrong. Araragi wants to help her, but Hanekawa assures him that her wound was just an accident and that he should not concern himself with it. But when a strange white cat with no tail is hit and killed by a car, the pair bury the creature and the real trouble begins.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This mini-series is a prequel to Bakemonogatari. And it brings similar questions that Nisemonogatari did, such as “Why’s the main character even more pervy now, and WHY DOES NOBODY CARE ABOUT THAT?!” Like, nobody bats an eye, or even says “boys will be boys” (which is a horrible non-excuse for pervy behavior) and it drives me up the wall. Araragi’s selfless sacrificing is still stale and he lacks any reason to be the way he is. There’s some interesting dialogue with Oshino in this one, and a whole lot of Cat-girl in lingerie because…? I’m sure some Leonard could easily knock my door down and tell me why “um actshually” it’s artistic and is a metaphor for blah blah blah and not just more excuse for fanservice. What makes me mad about it is not just that this series is getting so fan-servicey, but that it’s doing so and putting on more airs of being “intellectual” without backing any of it up. First season I could buy it, but it’s just a ruse at this point.
What happens doesn’t even feel that different from the Tsubasa arc we got in Bakemonogatari, so like, why? Re-reads line about cat-girl in lingerie. Oh yeah, that. Uggh.
TLDR: Was the Tsubasa Cat arc in Bakemonogatari not sexy enough for you? Here it is again but in lingerie.
Nekomonogatari Kuro isn’t a portmanteau with “mono” like the other installments, but literally translates as “CatStory Black.”
CHRONOLOGY: Nekomonogatari Black (Kuro) takes place immediately BEFORE the events of Bakemonogatari.
Here’s the good news: by this point, if you’re still watching the series, you’re past the worst of it. While not eliminated, ecchi fan-service is far less prominent from this point on, and the dialogue, plot, and characters all start to improve AFTER this installment. You’ve made it through the worst, so celebrate. When I had finished this installment, I was at the point where I said, “I’ll watch one more arc and if it doesn’t get better, I’m dropping this whole series.” Thankfully, it gets better; there is hope.