Genre(s): Seinen, Supernatural, Ecchi, Psychological, Mystery, Romance
Age-Appropriateness: 17+ (Profanity, Violence, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity)
Platforms: Crunchyroll, Hulu
Episodes: 26 (Three are recaps)
TheAwersome Rating: 8.3 / 10 (Pretty good stuffs)
Premise: Apparitions, oddities, and gods continue to manifest around Koyomi Araragi and his group of friends: Tsubasa Hanekawa, the group’s modest genius; Shinobu Oshino, the resident doughnut-loving vampire; athletic deviant Suruga Kanbaru; bite-happy spirit Mayoi Hachikuji; Koyomi’s cutesy stalker Nadeko Sengoku; and Hitagi Senjogahara, the poignant tsundere. Follow these individuals and their struggle to overcome the darkness that is rapidly approaching. A new semester has begun and with graduation looming over Araragi, he must quickly decide the paths he will walk, as well as the relationships and friends that he’ll save.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This season was a breath of fresh air from the ecchi wasteland that Monogatari had been for the past two installments. Well, other than the first arc, that has your unnecessary yuri shower scene, but it wasn’t the whole dang episode at least. To be honest, my favorite arcs in this season were the ones that Araragi wasn’t in. Probably because harem fantasy annoys the crap out of me and that’s pretty much what he represents. The first two arcs go pretty slowly; I actually took a break for two months before coming back to finish this season. I’m very glad I did, though, because they start playing with different animation styles on a bunch of the episodes, and the stories just get very interesting, whereas the first few arcs felt like they were running out of ideas.
I was actually emotionally moved a few times, which caught me off guard for a series that is primarily psychological or “Intellectual” if you want to make yourself feel better for watching it like a neck-bearded Rick & Morty diehard.
TLDR: Better writing, less Ecchi!
The name of this installment is literally “Monogotari Series: Second Season.” That’s its name in Japanese, “Monogatari Shiriizu, Sekando Shiizun.” So no fun portmanteau.
CHRONOLOGY: Here’s the nasty part y’all. There are five arcs in Second Season, and they take place at a variety of times, but all of them are after the events of Nisemonogatari. The first arc, Tsubasa Tiger, spans August 21st – August 25th. The second arc, Mayoi Jiangshi, starts August 20th, and ends August 21st. The third arc, Nadeko Medusa, takes place between October-November. The fourth arc, Shinobu Time, takes place immediately following the events of Mayoi Jiangshi, from August 21st-23rd. The fifth arc, Hitagi End, takes place after Nadeko Medusa, in January. So while you should watch it in the normal order, the chronological order of the arcs is Mayoi Jiangshi, Tsubasa Tiger, Shinobu Time, Nadeko Medusa, Hitagi End.
Most streaming services will tag another arc, Hanamonogatari, as an additional season to Second Season. We’ll review that one on our next Monogotari blurb but know that it takes place at the start of the following school year after the events of Hitagi End. Feel free to watch it after watching Second Season.