How to Watch The Monogatari Series In Order, Monogatari is a series of Japanese light novels written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Vofan. Published in 2006, Monogatari now has a total of 24 light novels. Plans for future novels are currently being made as well. Japanese largest Publishing Company Kodansha Ltd is responsible for the publication of these light novels. It has been officially confirmed that publication plans for at least five more is currently underway.
How to Watch The Monogatari Series In Order
Monogatari Anime Adaptation
The animated adaptation of Monogatari is undertaken by Shaft Studio. The first season is released in 2009 and it airs till 2012. The second season released the following year in 2013. The third season released in 2014 airs till 2018. There is lots of confusion regarding Monogatari anime, particularly due to its lack of chronological coherence in plot progression. Hence one of the most frequently asked questions is the correct Monogatari Series Order.
Here at Animelovers, we will try our best to arrange them so that you can get the best viewing experience without getting too confused.
Monogatari Anime Release Sequence
Monogatari does not have a single fixed canonical story. Instead, much like the Western fictional tales of Nancy Drew, it rather divides the story into different arcs. The anime series released order does not necessarily comply by the correct chronological sequence of the story, which is why it causes confusion among fans in determining the correct sequence of Monogatari Watch Order. First, let’s try and cover the confusion of airing order.
Monogatari Season 1 (2009 To 2012)
The first season contains three story arcs which are released in the following order:
- Bakemonogatari (15 Episodes)
- Nisemonogatari (11 Episodes)
- Nekomonogatari: Kuro (4 Episodes)
Monogatari Season 2 (2013 To 2014)
The second season of the Monogatari series has up to six-story arcs which are released in this order:
- Nekomonogatari: Shiro (5 Episodes)
- Kabukimonogatari (4 Episodes)
- Otorimonogatari (4 Episodes)
- Onimonogatari (4 Episodes)
- Koimonogatari (6 Episodes)
- Hanamonogatari (5 Episodes)
Monogatari Season 3 (2014 To Ongoing)
The third season of Monogatari is the last season of the Monogatari series that is available at the moment. It features four story arcs so far with a fifth one prepared for release on May 2019.
- Tsukimonogatari (4 Episodes)
- Owarimonogatari I (13 Episodes)
- Koyomimonogatari (12 Episodes)
- Owarimonogatari II (7 Episodes)
These are the animated story arcs available for viewers as of the date. These are also the advisable watching pattern recommended by most fans for first-time viewers of the show.
However, an animated movie adaptation which has three movies in total is available as well, which will be covered in the next step heading.
Monogatari Movie: Kizumonogatari Trilogy
The animated movie adaptation of the Monogatari series has three parts which are released in the below order
- Kizumonogatari Part 1: Iron Blood (8th January 2016)
- Kizumonogatari Part 2: Hot Blood (19th August 2016)
- Kizumonogatari Part 3: Cold Blood (6th January 2017)
It should be noted that the movie adaptation of Kizumonogatari is premiered much later than expected (five years to be precise). This is also part of the reason fans are baffled by the chronology as important details crucial for a proper understanding of the former seasons are available in these movies.
Monogatari Anime With Correct Chronology
As stated earlier, the release sequence of Monogatari anime series often betrays the chronology of the story. However, it should be noted that this is done on purpose as intended by the author, as watching the series on the basis of their release order arguably gives the best experience for those unfamiliar with the concept. This technique has been used before as well, especially in the famous Western Franchises such as Star Wars and The Marvel Cinematic Universe in the recently premiered Captain Marvel.
However, for veterans familiar with the world of Monogatari, re-watching the show in the correct chronology can be quite satisfying and can give a whole new experience to the show. The chronological watch order of Monogatari series is as below-
- Kizumonogatari Movie Trilogy, released in 2016
- Nekomonogatari: Kuro, (Season 1)
- Bakemonogatari (Season 1)
- Nisemonogatari (Season 1)
- Monogatari Series – Mayoi Jiangshi, (Season 2)
- Onimonogatari (Season 2)
- Owarimonogatari I Shinobu Mail (Season 3)
- Nekomonogatari: Shiro (Season 2)
- Owarimonogatari I Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, Sodachi Lost (Season 3)
- Otorimonogatari – Nadeko Medusa (Season 2)
- Hanamonogatari – Hitagi End (Season 2)
- Tsukimonogatari (Season 3)
- Owarimonogatari II (Season 3)
- Zukuowarimonogatari (Season 3, yet to be released)
- Hanamonogatari (Season 2)
- Koyomimonogatari (Season 2)
Scrambled, right?? Such lack of chronological coherence has been done in another fictional genre as well – HBO’s Westworld Season 2 and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy would be prime examples. Such chronological dissonance yet brilliantly compelling is all attributed to the genius of author Nisio Isin.
Which Order Of Monogatari Is Better?
It would be nearly impossible to correctly answer this question objectively. As stated earlier, much depends upon the viewer and his experience in the world of Monogatari. Here are the pros and cons for both of the watch order.
|Pros of Release Order||Cons of Release Order|
|1. For first time viewers, this watch order is much more preferable as intended by the author.||1. It betrays chronology|
|2. It adds more mystery to the story||2. Delay of Kizumonogatari leaves some mysteries unsolved much later than intended|
|3. Pacing and progression of the plot is more organized|
|4. Although non-chronological, it does has proper Introduction to story, world setting, and characters and their developments.|
|Pros of Chronological Order||Cons of Chronological Order|
|1. It has a more proper plot connection||1. It can be fairly confusing for first-time viewers|
|2. It is recommended for advanced viewers for new insights and experience||2. It lacks of mystery and intrigue factors which are crucial to the storytelling aspect|
|3. It betrays the author’s intent and purpose|
Most fans across various channels and threads seem to agree that the correct Monogatari Series Order is best defined by its released date. Animelovers agrees with this Monogatari Watch Order except for one thing – since the Kizumonogatari movie is released much later than expected, we would advise readers to watch the Trilogy after the Bakemonogatari Story Arc of Season 1 and proceed with the remaining Monogatari Series in the release sequence mentioned earlier in the article. This is also how it was intended by Shaft Studio, although technical problems hinder its release date by a huge amount of time. Here is a brief Monogatari Watch Order recommended by Team Animelovers.
- Bakemonogatari Arc Season 1
- Kizumonogatari Movie Trilogy
- The rest of the series in the release order
Release Date For Zoku Owarimonogatari
The good news for fans of the Monogatari series is that Shaft Studio will be releasing a new story arc Zoku Owarimonogatari on 10th May 2019. The new arc is expected to be the last arc of Season 3, with at least 6 episodes. It is adapted from the 18th book of the light novel. It tells the story of the Koyomi Reverse where Koyomi Araragi enters the mirror world and finds that certain aspects of reality has been altered.
Now that we have laid down the anime release sequence, the movie trilogy, correct chronological order, and suggestions from our side, let’s have a brief introduction of the plot in case if you are a newbie to this series (now that you know how confusing it can be!)
Monogatari follows the various adventures of Koyomi Araragi, a Japanese high school student who briefly turns into a vampire before being cured and returning to his human form.
One day in school, through sheer accident, his reclusive classmate Hitagi Senjogahara falls down the school stairs into his arms. Koyomi is startled to discover that Hitagi weights nothing. Confused and bewildered, Koyomi turns to their class captain to inquire more about her, who reveals that Hitagi is almost always sick and weak.
Overhearing their conversation, Hitagi threatens Koyomi to keep away from her. Koyomi coerces her to tell her story where she reveals that a Crab God takes away her weight.
Before leaving, Hitagi staples the inside of Koyomi’s mouth with her stapler as a warning to keep her secret from others. Koyomi instead shows her that the stapled wound inflicted just moments earlier heals immediately, revealing that he is not so normal himself.
He further tells her that he may have a way of curing her condition and takes her to Meme Oshino, an expert in the supernatural who prior to this incident has helped cure Koyomi of his vampirism.
The rest of the series focuses on such incidents – Koyomi meeting various girls troubled by paranormal entities and Koyomi helping them to get rid of these problems.
Monogatari Series: Why It Is So Great?
Why is Monogatari so popular in the anime industry? Fans across various channel have divided opinions, although most will agree that Monogatari is a masterpiece and an instant classic. However, it is not for everyone as much of the story involves mostly dialogues and very little to non-existent action. It is certainly not the most plot-rich story but it does put some things into a better perspective. Character growth and development is arguably its strongest point as we get to see different angles of life from another perspective such as the non-main characters. It has a Bildungsroman feel to every story arc with a strong slice of life contents.
As stated earlier, Monogatari is rich in dialogues as most of the resources are poured into it. In all fairness, although it takes up more screen time and can be considered boring for some, Monogatari being a character based show absolutely thrives upon it. Plot and action is lacking, but that is the way it is intended. There are hardly any animes out there that can match Monogatari in terms of clever and witty lines along with meaningful, insightful, and moving quotes, which are prevalent in the show.
Monogatari reuses existing character tropes of anime such as Tsundere, lolicon, pervert, among many others but it does so with a purpose. It treats them as experiments and what the audience derives from these is entirely up to their subjective interpretations.
There are a bunch of texts on the screen which can confuse viewers on whether to read these or not. It is not necessarily mandatory to read these texts for proper understanding although, for larger insights of various dynamics and structures, it certainly poses no harm for viewers to pause for a few seconds and read these texts which contain important information.
Yes, fan service is quite prevalent, but that is deemed necessary to attract a wider audience. It should also be noted that most of the story is told from the perspective of Koyomi, a teenager. But unlike other fan service rich shows, novels, and manga, it does not necessarily pollute the essence of its story. Fan service is simply icing on the cake, and that cake is already extremely delicious even without the icing.
The art and visual effects of the show is mind-bogglingly stunning and stylistic. The sound and music is also done beautifully, using fitting soundtracks as the opening and ending. The voice actors of both the subbed and dubbed versions could not have done a better job. Shaft Studio has done a near-perfect job on these technicalities, which are often crucial elements for a quality show.
Since Monogatari boast extremely good characters and development, it is one of the main strong points of the show, and Team Animelovers feels it is necessary to highlight two of its main characters to give a brief insight of how original these characters are, as opposed to typical anime characters.
One important aspect of the Monogatari characters is undoubted their realistic nature – meaning they are believable. Koyomi, the male protagonist and main narrator of the show is like any real normal teenager with little shades of perversion like every other teenager. However, that does not pollute his morality or loyalty to his girlfriend. In fact, despite the recurring fan service to sate Koyomi’s perversion, it is never hinted that Koyomi would ever cheat on his girlfriend, killing any notion of a possible harem. Furthermore, Koyomi has no typical traits of shounen main characters such as physical bravery, flamboyancy, extravagance, or strong convictions. Instead, he is quite extraordinarily ordinary and that makes him one of the most relatable characters in anime. He is a bit of a social pariah reluctant to make friends, although he later learns the importance of friendship after meeting Tsubasa Hanekawa.
Senjougahara is the female protagonist as well as the romantic interest of Koyomi. She is considered to be quite beautiful with purple hair, although because of her interaction with the Crab God, she refrains from social activities to preserve her secret. She considers herself to be a Tsundere, which seems to be on point as she portrays various traits of Tsundere behavior. However, it would not be accurate to categorize her as a textbook Tsundere as she is an embodiment of a real teenage girl, much like Koyomi. She has a face that never wavers even when dishing out endless insults to others. Later, she sheds her fear of social interaction and her tragic pasts and transforms into a cheerful normal girl.
Monogatari: A Teenage Story
Although Monogatari does not have the allure of popular Young Adult Literature such as Twilight, it tells a more realistic and entertaining story that can encapsulate a teenage life more effectively.
The teenage period is perhaps the most important period of a person’s life especially in terms of development. It is a period where a person is groomed before entering the big stage of adulthood. It is a period with little responsibility, where vigorous adrenaline is in full swing and where teenage romance is in the air. It is the last stop of freedom before the real world kicks in. Hence, it is a defining moment, particularly in romance and social integration.
Monogatari tells this story efficiently, highlighting major important aspects of a teenager’s problem in romance and how one fits into the existing social paradigm. It is a period of rebellious attitude as well; therefore it doesn’t necessarily formulate a plan of conformity. It is a period where the need to be put on a self-pedestal is at its pinnacle and most teenagers would attempt to stand out. This is a coherent and innate human behavior but it is most prevalent during the teenage years.
At this stage, the teenage has two choices – either to conform to society and stand out or dissolve within the bustling structure of society. It leaves the introverted very little choice except to abide by the latter. The fear of abnormality is large and therefore if a person feels unworthy and unable to conform to society, he or she will be left hugely scarred, insecure, unwanted, and out of place.
Monogatari tackles this problem with an experimental style of storytelling. With the addition of the supernatural entities, it provides the characters a means to effectively portray their out of place feelings. Their incapacity to conform is not their fault and the supernatural aspect provides a more tangible example to further this claim. Autism and introversion is hardly a person’s fault and it always fractures a person’s ability to participate in social activities. When the human places these social events to be a necessity for personal development and their contribution to society is measured, it hampers the introvert’s psychological growth, who will feel like a burden and unnecessary to other human beings.
Peer pressure will always be a driving factor for a teenage behavior and character and when introverts cannot abide by these rules, it facilitates the breeding of psychological problems. This is one of the most important messages of Monogatari. Hence, the series focuses on these problems and how they dealt with them, through unorthodox and unconventional means.
The Similarity Of The Monogatari Series To Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai
If you are an avid fan of the Monogatari Series and are looking for anime of the same caliber and content, look no further as we have just the answer. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, released on October 2018 by CloverWorks is an anime adaptation from a light novel series of the same name.
However, despite some glaring similarities, it would be unfair to both shows to claim that they are equal in all aspects. Both shows are original works of their own, with similar aesthetics and thematic teenage supernatural experience and their own brilliant way of dealing with them. While Monogatari takes a more spiritual approach to these supernatural aberrations, ‘Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai’ uses a significantly more scientific method such as Quantum Mechanical Thought Experiments like Schrodinger’s Cat and Laplase’s Demon.
The chemistry between the two leads of both shows is what makes both shows extremely enjoyable. Witty remarks and snappy lines are prevalent in both shows.
Both shows are told from a teenager’s perspective and how it deals with supernatural occurrences that disrupt their lives. It is a significantly more realistic portrayal than most animes. It should be noted that it caters to a teenager’s point of view therefore, it may not be necessarily enjoyable to all audience.
Here are a few anime shows that bear resemblances and similarities to the Monogatari series. However, it should be noted that Monogatari is one of a kind series and the list below only have similarities in some aspects.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Oregairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
- Kyoukai no Kanata
- The World God Only Knows
- Arakawa Under the Bridge
- Spice and Wolf