Open Forum: Bakemonogatari (Vol 1)


Welcome to the open forum for Bakemonogatari: Monster Tale – Part 1! For all who wish to participate, it's time to pick up a copy of this book.

What is Bakemonogatari?

Volume 1
Volume 1

Synopsis: There's a girl at their school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn't show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She's pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she's a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don't know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

This first of three parts introduces Senjogahara and Hachikuji, and fans of the blockbuster prequel KIZUMONOGATARI will be delighted to meet their favorite crazies again: the weirdly reliable narrator Araragi, class president among class presidents Hanekawa, shady problem-solver Oshino, and a certain pale, blonde former vampire.

Amazon -- Barnes and Noble -- Book Depository -- RightStuf

Okay, I have the book. Now what?

Once you've got your hands on the book, start reading it. And as you read it, feel free to leave any comments you have here–and respond to other comments. You can talk about whatever you want, so long as it's related to this volume. So comments can include:

  • Things you like or dislike about the story
  • Predictions for what happens next
  • Remarks on characters, themes, etc
  • Thoughts on the writing in general
  • Favorite quotes you want to share
  • Fan art, fan fiction, poetry, memes… anything really

Regarding spoilers: People will read at different speeds, and the main idea behind this open forum is to encourage people to comment whenever they wish. So feel free to talk about anything that happens in the volume, but maybe give a warning if you're going to discuss a big plot twist or something.

(Also, if you've seen the anime, try to keep your comments related to just the story in this volume. Thanks!)

Anyways, in about a month there will be a big feature post for this volume, in which Justus R. Stone and I will have an editorial put together. So look forward to that, but in the meantime you can share any thoughts you have on the volume here as you read it.

11 thoughts on “Open Forum: Bakemonogatari (Vol 1)

  1. Book finally came in. There’s something special about Nisioisin’s writing that makes it so entertaining to read. Obviously the dialogue is fantastic, but even the internal struggle of Araragi as he constantly tries to explain his situation in a reasonable way even when there is nothing reasonable about it make the story stand out. I loved all of the characters, though I always fall in love with the type of character who helps others for no reason, the “everyday hero” type of guy, which Araragi fits into I think (despite the fact the problems he helps with are more supernatural than everyday problems.) Senjogahara stands out as well because it’s hard to find another character who you can say fits her in another series. Despite being a self-proclaimed tsundere, she always does things that go against what you expect while still feeling human. Her exchanges with Araragi are definitely the highlight of this story.
    Thinking on it, it feels a little weird the author would choose to make a character with so much backstory that keeps being brought up without any real explanation to it. I mean, Kizumonogatari was supposed to have come out later than this, right? It’s like he decided on him being a vampire just to make an interesting character he could do stuff with, but then didn’t really do anything with it in this story. It’s brought up maybe twice in ways that could have possibly been handled otherwise. It just seemed like a weird choice to me. I do have knowledge of future stories since I saw a lot of the anime, but this feels like a strange point to start off the story. Then again, the author does say that his goal was to “write a fun novel full of stupid exchanges,” so maybe he didn’t actually have a plan for it at the beginning. I guess it’s a normal thing in Japanese anime to have a character that’s clearly out of place and abnormal trying to live an everyday normal life, so maybe that’s what he was going for. It just feels like the author is laughing at the expectations of a story like this, where they literally come to face against monsters but everything is solved by talking instead of fighting despite having a vampire as the main character.

    1. I’m replying late, but better than never? I agree though that it felt strange how there was so much “prior knowledge” that seemed to be needed to understand what was going on. It really seemed like the author expected everyone to know what happened in Kizu, despite it not being written yet when Bake released in Japan.
      My opinion on Araragi is a little mixed? I liked him in Kizu — it was easy to root for him in that story. But he’s just kind of… *lame* in Bake, ha ha. He reminds me a lot of Subaru from the first volume of Re:Zero in that respect. A good kid trying to help out, but he’s not all that much help. In perhaps both cases though, simply being there actually *was* the help everyone needed? (This might be touched upon in an upcoming Bake article here…)

  2. I’ve read the first few chapters, I’ll go ahead and post my two main impressions so far:
    1) Nisio Isin sure likes violent women
    2) He’s referenced specific events in Kizumonogatari’s story like 10 times already, so it feels *really* weird that it was released after this one in Japan

  3. “How rude. I was only going to &% your /- before *^ing it.”
    “What do those symbols mean?!”

    I guess you know it’s a Monogatari novel when the characters casually break the fourth wall like that.

  4. I finished the book a week or two ago immediately after reading Kizu, and boy am I glad they switched the release order for the english release. What stuck out to me the most was how Araragi’s narration seems really similar to Hachiman’s narration in Oregairu. Like a slightly more tame version of it. I found it all around entertaining.

    1. In the article for this book, Justus and I will be comparing Kizu and Bake, and why they were probably released in the order that they were.

      Araragi and Hachiman are interesting to compare. They’re both pragmatic and have a way with words, but I’d say Araragi is the more selfless of the two. Meanwhile, Hachiman has a bad personality, but ends up using that in a roundabout way to help people out…

  5. About the bake->kizu ordering, I decided to read bake first having only seen the first season of the anime (up through Mayoi’s story) and nothing else. I really didn’t feel like the many mentions to past events like Koyomi’s spring break and golden week gave me the impression I was missing things, they felt more like little tidbits hinting at more to come rather than bits of background I was missing out on. And reading kizu after felt to me like finally learning the story behind some of that had much more impact.

Leave a Reply to ChoCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.