What Makes a Great Adaptation: Bakemonogatari Book v. Anime (Part 2)


To reiterate once again: The core essence of Monogatari is absurdity. Because of the amount of dialogue meant to convey that sense of absurdity is too overwhelming for an anime adaptation, the sense of such intense absurdity had to be translated over in other ways. SHAFT found this way to be converting it into the mise en scene: the things we see in frame. Continue reading

What Makes a Great Adaptation: Bakemonogatari Book v. Anime (Part 1)

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Recently I just finished reading the official translation of NISIOISIN’s brilliant mystery novel, Strangulation: Kubishime Romanticist, and it got me thinking about another fantastic book written by the same man that was adapted into an equally amazing, but vastly different anime. Specifically, I started thinking back to the days when Bakemonogatari was a little more relevant (in the mainstream—it’ll always be relevant to me) and the conversation about the “quality” of the adaptation was still in flow. Bakemonogatari the light novel was ultimately a very different beast from Bakemonogatari the anime, with the most quantifiable disparity being the amount of dialogue. Continue reading

Oshino Meme: The Man We All Should Strive to Be


It’s been years since the last time I wrote about Oshino Meme, one of my favorite characters in all of fiction. Back then I wasn’t as concise about why I admired the character so much, and that was due to the fact that I myself didn’t have much of a grasp on what it was about that him I found so incredible. Sure, he has the chillest attitude and impeccable fashion sense, but that doesn’t really account for why I found myself so deeply fascinated in his persona. Once I started building up my knowledge of philosophy, I started to see Oshino for what he really is: A supreme being of balance and an absurd, realist ideal of how we should direct ourselves in the world. Continue reading

Crowd Control: Handling Anime Background Characters

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I have a lot of quirks when it comes to watching anime, things that I tend to pick up on or specifically watch for that I’d assume most people wouldn’t really care too much about. Lately, I’ve noticed myself succumbing to somewhat of a “mini-obsession” when watching anime, something that when done poorly now sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Sure, it can sometimes be immersion breaking for a moment, but when handled with style or raw force I usually can’t help but marvel for a second or two. I’m talking about background crowds. Continue reading

Meme Oshino – My Favorite Type


Despite not being a cute anime girl, Meme Oshino is one of my absolute favorite characters in anime, and fiction in general. He is someone the piques my interest every time he’s on screen, someone who knows all the answers and gleefully decides to hold that information until the time is right. Although seemingly lackadaisical, he’ll jump in when, and only when, he is needed. And for those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about:

“Meme Oshino (忍野 メメ, Oshino Meme) is a middle-aged man. An expert in the supernatural. He becomes Koyomi’s informant when it comes to oddities for some time.” –Wikia

I cut some parts of that description out, in case you wanted to watch/read Kizumonogatari first in the series (which would be the chronologically correct way).

Meme Oshino is what some might call “eccentric”, and his sense of fashion is no exception. As if to exemplify his languid nature, he wears just the simple getup of a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. His face has a little scruff and his hair is in an eternal state of “bed-head”. Plus he has few strange little accessories, like the single earing of an inverted cross. With just a tiny bit of flare, Meme Oshino is the embodiment of “care-free”.


Which is of course, is a huge part of his personality. Meme is aloof, laid-back, mysterious and detached until ultimately needed. He is a neutral party, one that’s neither for our protagonist nor against him. Oshino’s primary objective is balance. We as the audience do not know why, and do not need to know why, but gladly accept his presence (I may be speaking only for myself) as he tilts the scales until the odds he sees are fifty/fifty. It’s almost as if he’s purposefully lax and strange to counteract the serious and straight forward nature of the people around him. Outside of that struggle for balance, there is no need for Oshino to do anything, and so he doesn’t.

And contrary to his goofy, indifferent nature, Meme always manages to be the smartest in the room. He offers sage but often vague advice to balance the tides without blunt instructions for the main character to carry out and save the day. That would be boring, and so Meme tries to have a little more fun with the characters. And there’s a sense of amusement to everything he does, from the way he acts to the cheeky references and jokes he makes.


Meme Oshino is truly a delightful arbiter of balance with such an entertaining ambiguity to his very state of being that we (mainly I) can’t help but love, trust and admire him.

But what are your thoughts on Meme Oshino, or just aloof characters in general? Do you like him as much as I do? Have you even seen Bakemonogatari? Comment down below and then come back next week for another feature! Thanks for reading!

And seriously, if you haven’t yet, go watch Bakemonogatari.

The Joy of Anime Endings

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Just like my love for anime openings, anime endings hold a special place in my heart. Usually end credits are just disregarded by most viewers of any visual medium, not out of disrespect for the creators, but simply because there’s nothing left there. Black screen. White text. Scrolling down. Blatantly put, a director could leave a confession to murdering his spouse in the middle of it and never face conviction, because no one would ever read it. And so, to bring an end to boring credits, anime came and saved the day. Okay, I’m not a historian, so don’t be surprised if that’s completely wrong. The point is, anime endings are cool, and are not as boring as the alternative.

It’s a shame that some people can’t find as much enjoyment out of anime EDs as I can, but I guess that’s their prerogative, and I can respect that. What’s really a problem is when creators don’t understand the importance of having a memorable and creative ending to supplement their show. While sometimes not as useful, for marketing and publicity, as openings are, endings can have more of a connection with the show, as well as an emotional resonance for the viewer. Or they can just be cute with a catchy tune. Either way, they’re important to me for a number of reasons, so here to explain those reasons are some handpicked examples of some of my favorite, and not so favorite anime EDs:

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The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

This show is, by all means, a true masterpiece, and although it may not be my favorite anime of all time (because Bakemonogatari exists), it is the most important. Nothing could possibly sum up my feelings and utmost love for this show. That being said, EDs come close. DAYS of DASH, performed by Suzuki Konomi and written by Hata Aki, is my favorite song to ever exist, and some (if not most) of that is due to the fact the it reminds me of the show. Every time I listen to it I can’t help but remember this wonderful show and these remarkable characters and the unforgettable time I had watching it. Endings stick with us, and can carry some of the emotions you felt from the first time you watched it.


Also a really memorable ED for me, but instead of getting into the sappy “this anime means so much to me” crap, let’s talk about what makes it a good Ending, as opposed to an Opening. Specifically in terms of song choice, it’s good to have a song that’ll match the tone of the end of any episode. You’ll see that a lot of anime EDs are somewhat solemn and less cheery on the happy-sadness scale. That (and this is just speculation of course) is because when shows have cliff hangers, that’s usually when shit goes wrong. It would be very odd for the second Opening of Non Non Biyori to play right after the protagonist just watched his mother cut his father’s face off and wear it as her own. See, it just doesn’t match. Thankfully, Bakemonogatari’s ED, as well as Sakurasou’s, transition well in most every situation, especially in their final moments.

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Not one of my favorite shows, and certainly not one of my favorite EDs. I like the song and it had nice pictures, but that all it was. Pictures. Still frames. As pretty as they were, I don’t want to watch a slideshow. It’s an anime, so animate something. There are plenty of simple techniques to give a little life to an Ending. Just add some moving parts, a few more frames and some actual effort, the only way you can screw this up is by not doing it.

Comet Lucifer

Just look at Comet Lucifer. Not a good show by any means, but it had very nice Ending. It managed to look like a lot more with very little, and if you observe closely you can tell. Just YouTube it, the show isn’t actually worth watching.


Durarara!! has found a different way to get away with not animating their EDs. Instead of having a simple slide show with pretty pictures and a nice background tune, Durarara!! fills the screen with one large frame, featuring the entire cast of characters, intertwined and interacting with each other. By doing this, it forces viewers like me look back and forth, eyes wandering to analyze every character, effectively capturing our attention as it scrolls down to the very end.

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What’s with all these shows having multiple exclamation points? Hmm, perhaps that’s a post for a different time. And a different blog. Anyway, Working!!! (season 3) has what I think is a really cool moment in it’s ED. As seen from my screenshot above, the characters are all dancing in this strange, unexplained place. It’s serene, majestic, and relates to the actual show in almost no way shape or form. And that’s one thing I love about EDs. You can just drop characters in entirely new, unrealistic spaces that would make no sense had it been in the real show. Well, I guess they could write in a way for all the employees of Waganria to become celestial beings and dance among the stars, but that seems incredibly unlikely.

So what do you think about anime Endings? Do you like them more that Openings, or is it perhaps just a case by case basis? Tell me that, and also list some of your favorite EDs in the comments. Oh, and if you’re the type of person to skip past the Ending to get to the next episode, go find your nearest bridge and jump off it. I kid of course, please don’t do that. Instead, check back next week for more posts about anime and stuff. Thank you reading, I’ll see you next time.