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Monogatari is a reasonably complicated series to follow. Every season has a different tone and was released in a separate chronological order. The series started as Japanese light novels written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Vofan. Amazingly, there are 26 novels released in 2016 alone, with more stories on the way.
After the series was adapted into anime by SHAFT, Monogatari grew bigger and has become a huge hit worldwide. The storyline consists of one main plot with many individual stories within the world. They are introducing new characters in every story. The stories consist of unique characters in odd positions, with impressive backstories that can create whole different meanings, which can still be fun to watch.
Watching this series in chronological order isn’t crucial. Still, it is the best way to understand many of the confusing plot lines planted within each story. With the release of the second and final season, fans have been confused about what to expect, thinking there is more to it than intended. Yet, due to the shuffled timeline, the creator has designed to create mystery from each release and to help add big announcements along with the story.
The Monogatari series consists of a massive world with many different characters, all tied in with a common theme and sense connected together. With a complex yet, rational understanding. Watching the series in chronological order can better understand the viewer on many details skipped or not paid attention to from the start.
Plot of Monogatari
The plot starts with Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high-school student. Before it all, Koyomi was a vampire after a devastating vampire outbreak. Entering this supernatural world allowed Koyomi to understand better the supernaturals the world sends him, leading him into an adventure meeting characters that will help him through his travels. He meets many girls on the way in the supernatural realm that can help him. His closest friends are Tsubasa Hanekawa, who is known to be smart. Shinobu Oshino is a vampire who loves eating donuts. Mayoi Hachikuji is a happy spirit. Suruga Kanbaru is athletic. Nadeko Sengoku is a stalker, and Hitagi Senjogahara is a tsundere.
Koyomi first meets his classmate Hitagi Senjogahara, after falling down stairs lands into Koyomi’s arms. He finds out that Hitagi is light and weightless and wants to find a way to help her solve her weight problem. Once Koyomi is a vampire, he meets Meme Oshino, a middle-aged man who lives inside an abandoned building that once helped cure Koyomi. Koyomi brings Hitagi to see Meme, but it seems she is the first of many supernatural girls Koyomi helps within the series.
Monogatari’s story shows Koyomi meeting many people, be it girls and his friends, that need help with solving exciting problems. All characters carry certain items that hint towards their hardships. The story is quite long and not in chronological order, which causes many confusions for the viewers. Watching this anime in chronological order can help better understand every hint and turmoil throughout the series.
Recommended Watch Order
From many complications in orders of release, creating confusing narratives in the storytelling. They are many ways to watch or read this series. Every order has its pros and cons, as it is up to the viewer to decide which way is the best order. But here, we will describe three of the best ways to watch this series.
By Release Order
First-time viewers should at least watch the Monogatari series from the release order. It is how the creators intended it as it can help uncover mysteries throughout the world after a rewatch. Watching it in order, according to SHAFT, is the optimal viewing order for first-time viewers. The most significant distinction in this order is that Kizumonogatari, the main origin story, is shown in the (SPOILER) finale. It can leave many people scratching their heads, creating a cluster of questions going on. However, viewing the series in this order can help provide insights beforehand. Typically this order is how most English viewers appreciate the series.
Here is how the series was intended to be viewed:
- Bakemonogatari (2009) consists of stories about the Mayoi Snail, Nadeko Snake, Suruga Money, Hitagi Crab, and Tsubasa Cat.
- Nisemonogatari (2012) is about the Tsukihi Pheonix and the Karen Bee
- Nekomonogatari Kuro (2012) is the prequel story about the Tsubasa Family
- Monogatari Series Secon Season (2013) is about the gods and oddities that continue to circulate Koyomi and his friends.
- Hanamonogatari (2014) takes place a year after Kizumonogatari. The story revolves around Suruga Kanbaru, a third-year high-schooler, and a mysterious devil is going around solving peoples’ problems.
- Tsukimonogatari (2014) is set a month before Koyomi Aragi’s college exam. Koyomi notices in the bathroom that he doesn’t have a reflection in a mirror in fear he is turning into a full-fledged vampire.
- Owarimonogatari (2015-2017) takes place near the second season’s events about a particular evil causing trouble in town.
- Koyomimonogatari (2016-2017) is a mobile app that shows a calendar of 12 different stories about Koyomi.
- Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu (2016); Part 2 (2016); and Part 3 (2017) are prequels to Bakemonogatari and Nekomonogatari Kuro, and continues on the Koyomi Vampire arc and Koyomi’s first encounter with a vampire named Kiss-shot.
- Owarimonogatari Part 2 (2017) is the second part two the Owarimonogatari arc.
- Zoku Owarimonogatari (2018) is Koyomi’s reverse storyline.
By Chronological Order
After viewing the intended way, most people would recommend reentering the series chronologically to fill in the holes and questions they had afterward. Watching and reading the Monogatari series in chronological order is the best way, according to fans, as it can help cover up missing information or unrevealed insights. First-timers will clearly be confused if they start in this order as crucial elements are skipped and unexplained between series.
Here is the chronological order to view this series:
- Wazamonogatari (2016) tells a story about; a princess inflicted by a curse that ruined her kingdom; how the princess became Kiss-shot; Karen meets Shinobu; Tsubasa explains her past in Germany to Meme Oshino.
- Kizumonogatari (2008) describes the life of Koyomi Aragi before the Hitagi Crab arc.
- Nekomonogatari Black (2010) is about Tsubasa Hanekawa.
- Bakemonogatari (2009)
- Nisemonogatari (2008 – 2009)
- Kabukimonogatari (2010) is about Koyomi and Oshino going back in time by 11 years.
- Onimonogatari (2011)
- Onimonogatari Vol. 2 (2014) is the continuation of Vol. 1
- Nekomonogatari White (2010) is the continuation of the Black arc.
- Owarimonogatari Vol. 1
- Wazamonogatari (2016) Karen Ogre arc.
- Orokamonogatari (2015) is about Sodachi Oikura.
- Otorimonogatari (2011) describes Nadeko Sengoku appearing as a white angel.
- Koimonogatari (2011) explains Hitagi Senjougahara’s deal with the gods to help Koyomi.
- Tsukimonogatari (2014)
- Owarminogatari Vol. 3 is the continuation of Vol. 2ok
- Zoku Owarimonogatari (2014) Reverse Koyomi arc.
- Hanamonogatari (2011) tells a story about an ex-basketballer.
- Shinobumonogatari (2017) Koyomi has started his first year as a university student.
- Wazamonogatari (2016) Tsubasa Sleeping arc.
- Orokamonogatari (2015) Suruga Bonehead arc.
- Orokamonogatari (2015) Tsukihi Undo arc.
- Nademonogatari (2016) Nadeko Sengoku story.
- Musubimonogatari (2017) Koyomi has become a police officer.
By Nisio Isin’s Order
The Nisio Isin order is based on the release order of the light novels. The author, Nisio Isin, designed the series also to include the novels into the main storyline. Although the chronological order is chaotic, the Nisio Isin order is intentional and explains many holes in the story.
If you plan to follow this series, this order is best to follow even as a first-timer. Here is how the Nisio Isin order is compiled:
- Bakemonogatari (2006) compiles stories about the Mayoi Snail, Hitagi Crab, Suruga Money, Nadeko Snake, and Tsubasa Cat.
- Kuzimonogatari (2008) is the prequel to the Monogatari series.
- Nisemonogatari (2008 – 2009) Tsukihi Pheonix and Karen Bee.
- Nekomonogatari Black (2010) prequel to the Tsubasa family story.
- Nekomonogatari White (2010) Tsubasa’s perspective.
- Kabukimonogatari (2010) Time travel.
- Hanamonogatari (2011) Suruga Devil.
- Otorimomnogatari (2011) Nadeko Medusa.
- Onimonogatari (2011) Shinobu Shrine.
- Koimonogatari (2011) Hitagi’s deal with the gods.
- Tsukimonogatari (2012) Yotsugi Dolls.
- Koyomimonogatari (2013) 12 short stories about Koyomi.
- Owarimonogatari (2013-2014) The Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, The Sodachi Lost, and the Shinobu Mail Stories.
- Zoku Owarimonogatari (2014) Koyomi’s reverse story.
- Orokamonogatari (2015) Suruga Bonehead, Sodachi Fiasco, and Tsukihi Undo’s stories.
- Wazamonogatari (2016) Princess Fair
- Nademonogatari (2016) Nadeko Draw
- Musubimonogatari (2017) Zenka Mermaid, Nozomi Golem, Mitome Wolf, and Tsuzura Human.
- Shinobumonogatari (2017) The Kanji.
- Yoimonogatari (2018) Young girl’s possible kidnapping.
- Amarimonogatari (TBA) Yotsugi Body and Yotsugi Shadow stories.
- Ougimonogatari (TBA) Ougi Light and Ougi Fright stories.
- Shinomonogatari (TBA) Deathtopia Destiny, Deathtopia Death Education, and Deathtopia Destination stories.
Should I Follow Kizumonogatari?
The Kizumonogatari story arc is a prequel clarifying the story before Monogatari. This story is not primary but can help spell-out critical features surrounding the Monogatari world. This series style is different compared to the others, which can be quite annoying for some people.
Should I Watch Kizumonogatari before Bakemonogatari or in between Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari?
According to the Monogatari author, Nisio Isin, it is best to watch Kizumonogatari in between Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari. Watching it this way helps the viewer better understand the universe and can clarify many questions beforehand.