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Score: 8.56/10

Zoku Owarimonogatari

Synopsis

Graduation day is finally here, marking the end of Koyomi Araragi's eccentric high school life full of peculiar relationships with otherworldly beings. However, Araragi is unexpectedly absorbed into his own bathroom mirror and trapped inside a bizarre world where everything he knows is completely reversed—the haughty Karen Araragi is shorter than usual, poker-faced Yotsugi Ononoki is brimming with emotion, and cute ghost girl Mayoi Hachikuji is a grown woman! But not everything is as it seems. Zoku Owarimonogatari details the story of Araragi's endeavors in this new world as he struggles to return to his home and understand the nature of this bizarre dimension. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Perplexing has been the word to describe the world of the Monogatari series, and perplexing is how this final story of the series is gonna be.

After a quick review of the different adventures our main protagonist have been through in his high-school life, he now finds himself graduated and in that crucial crossroad of life’s waiting room of a doctors clinic. Waking up one day, Araragi ponders about this when he suddenly notices his reflection in the bathroom mirror to be somewhat disjointed to his person. Touching the mirror pulls him in inexplicably into it. He wokes up naturally in a world like his own where everything is inverted, even the other characters are different to their real world counterparts.
Now, before we go “Through the looking glass” kind of thing of a simple total inversion of this world to the other, there’s more to it than just a simple reflection of our workd. Anyway, Araragi must work his way around this delimma.

I like the look of movie in the openning part. It mimics the style of the book illustration of the series. Sadly it reverted back it’s default look throughout the rest of it. The Monogatari series is well known for it’s nonsensical exercise of visual display and shifting shots, Zuko is no different. It’s like the Airplane movie of visuals “Don’t like that graphics?! Dont worry we have 100 different more.”

Watching the movie with a limited Japanese is a trial of forbearance, especially it running at 2 and a half so running time. Most of the film are static talking heads, so I do suggest to those language impaired to wait for a good translation of the film to come out. There are a lot of delightful moments to be sure, but not enough throughout the film to keep out the monotony of the long languid moments.

In the end I find it an intriguing film. The looking glass aspect is sure present, but not in a superficial sense, more of a personal and introspective one to Araragi. We never get to see our true selves when we look at a mirror, only a skewed and dim version of what others can see. At the very end, the reflection Araragi see is right in front of him in the beginning.

Intriguing, yes. Fun, somewhat. Perplexing, most definitely, …. as it should be.

Watched this in Japanese cinemas. Japanese is not my native language and the monogatari series is quite complex to say the least. Therefore I might not have understood everything to the fullest extent. Luckily the BD release is just around the corner! Anyhow, this is still one of the best parts of the monogatari series in my opinion though. So how you do you make a sequel to the end? Well, Nishio Ishin managed to it again! In my opinion, Zoku Owarimonogatari was not really needed to wrap up the main story. However, it is a neat little extra storyline for those who wanted to know what happened with Araragi after his graduation. As I hinted at before, this story is about Araragi. Even though the main story line is practically finished, Araragi's mind and thoughts has not reached the conclusion he wants. Araragi is kind of stuck in one place, he just finished high school but has yet to start college nor got any job, he became a nobody despite all the adventures he has experienced so far. Suddenly, a little bathroom mirror incident quite literally turns his reality backwards or "inverts" it if you'd like. The story is just as bizarre as one would expect from Ishin-sensei by now. All I will say is that as for someone who has been in the same shoes as Araragi regarding regrets in life and anxiety for the future, I can really appreciate this story. I really hope you will as well! I won't say more story-wise for those who are really looking forward to watch this, but I really want to talk a little about how Shaft's anime adaptation of the novel is so splendid. Apart from the excellent story and the great characters we have come to love from the monogatari series (albeit a bit different this time), I really must talk about the animation and the effects in this movie. The animation and effects happen to be one of the best parts of this film, since they are in a sense so well adapted from the novel (Which makes no sense because novels do not have animation and effects). But hear me out! For those who has read the novel know the setting of this story, and the way shaft uses reflections to enhance the visuals and make the setting more trustworthy really blew my mind because it is something, I have never personally seen myself before in an anime. The amount of detail shaft has put into the "inverted/mirrored" reality, environment and characters really makes you further respect the love and effort Shaft has put into the monogatari series. I can’t wait to inspect the environment when I watch the film again. The only thing that I think could have been slightly better is the background music, it is a slight step-down from earlier entries. It is worth to note that the music is still very good, but I expected much more depth from something like monogatari. Overall, I really love this film, it is definitely one of the best monogatari entries but it's kind of sad that the main story has come to an end. The monogatari series will remain one of the best series I have ever watched, and I am glad it has gone on for this long. Now, we just have to wait and see which monogatari novel is the next to get an anime adaptation.

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