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

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.

The Joy of Anime Openings

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I love watching anime openings (OP). Call me old fashion, but I almost never skip them to get directly into the story. It’s rare that I ever find one OP that I dislike, so much so that I would skip past it. To me, OPs are very much part of the experience, something that’s feels essential to the way I enjoy anime. Truth be told, I feel a little empty inside whenever an episode starts without it, usually due to picking up where a very important cliff hanger left off.

Openings can be used for so many things, whether just being a cool animated music video or being implemented a little more practically, each complementing the show in their own ways. Openings can set the mood, or purposefully do the opposite. Not only that, they work great for marketing and publicity. Just as one music video might convince you to check out the entire album, one anime OP could sway you to try out the series.

Anime OPs can be absolutely wonderful, and here are some fantastic examples:

Anything from the Monogatari Series

If you couldn’t tell by Araragi being my avatar for every account I’ve ever made, I’m a huge fan of the Monogatari Series. It’s my favorite series of all time, and quite possibly my favorite thing to ever exist in this world. So obviously, I’m incredibly biased. That being said, everything about Monogatari is positively perfect, and their OPs are no exception. SHAFT shows off their mastery of animation and cinematics to delivery stunning visuals and sequences, queued expertly to catchy and sometimes hauntingly beautiful music tracks. What’s even better is that the OPs are crafted to individual characters during their story arcs, leaving much more to be enjoyed than just the standard “one OP per season” approach.


Erased has a truly well-made OP, one that brings back an awesome song to accompany a darker setting. It also does some cool little things that make it that much more admirable, such as placing these three in front of a projector, with the film actually being projected onto their bodies. Just something nifty that was brought to my attention.


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Durarara!! gives a little more than just a catchy tune and exciting visuals. In fact, there’s actually a practical use to the show (and to the audience) that might not be immediately apparent. Well, two practical uses. Firstly, the recap tucked into every OP. A simple implementation, but nonetheless useful to an audience member that doesn’t quite remember exactly what was going on, and for Durarara!!, that’s incredibly important considering the amount of stuff going on in its plot. To further lighten that burden, the Opening gives a still frame with a name tag to every key character in the show. There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this show, and I probably wouldn’t have remembered half their names had it not been for this frequent reminder. These are aspects that could be easily overlooked by binge watchers, but for weekly consumption it’s nice that the show offers a helping hand.

I could probably write an entire series of novels about the anime Opening I like, but when it comes to OPs I dislike…well, none really come to mind. Even the worst shows I’ve watched seem to have semi-redeemable OPs. Or perhaps I’m just too lenient. Still, there are some things I find in OPs that mildly irk me. So here are some examples of anime OPs that did something they shouldn’t have:


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Dagashi Kashi

The song is catchy, but the visuals were pretty lackluster. What disappointed me the most about this Opening was the re-use of clips from the actual show. While I am not against re-using assets, I felt Dagashi Kashi relied on them entirely too much, leaving little originality and ultimately accomplishing nothing remotely unique or interesting. But then again, the song is catchy.

Parasyte –the maxim- and Mirai Nikki (OP 2)

I actually found both of these OPs to be very entertaining, and I was lucky enough not to notice the problem they had while watching the show. For the sake of spoilers, here is your warning. *SPOILERS ABOUT POTENTIAL SPOILERS, SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH* Well now that that’s out of the way, here’s the problem that both these Openings have. The lyrics spoil the plot/plot twists of the show. Thanks to the auto-tuning and weird pronunciation during the song, it’s hard to notice that the lyrics are actually in English. Similar to how Hollywood trailers often spoil entire movies, these OPs literally read off what happens in the show, and that’s kinda not a good thing.

Well, I’m glad I got to talk about anime OPs this week, because I love them so gosh darn much. But how do you feel about Openings? What are your favorite anime OPs? Are you one of those monsters that skips past them every time? Tell me in the comments or tweet @crispyn64, then come back next week for my post about anime EDs. Thanks for reading, have a wonderful day!


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