Now that Koyomi Araragi and Hitagi Senjougahara have graduated, very few familiar faces remain at Naoetsu Private High School. One of these is Suruga Kanbaru, holder of the Monkey's Paw. When she begins to hear talk of a mysterious being known as the "Devil" who will magically solve any problem, Kanbaru immediately thinks these rumors are about her and decides to investigate.
She discovers the Devil is actually Rouka Numachi, a former basketball rival from junior high who is no longer able to play due to a leg injury. Rouka provides free advice to those who seek her out. Acting as a collector of misfortune, she enjoys relieving the stress of her clients by providing them with the false hope of having their problems solved. Although Kanbaru sees no real harm being done, she reprimands Rouka for lying and heads home, relieved she is not the cause of the rumors. But she may have a reason to worry after all: she finds that her left hand has reverted back to its human form.
Hanamonogatari: A Beautifully Abstract Journey Worth The Watch
Hanamonogatari is a captivating arc from the expansive and quite avant-garde Monogatari series. The arc centers around Suruga Kanbaru, after Koyomi Araragi has graduated from high school. Suruga, now in her third year, has been revealed to be dealing with her own personal demons coming in the form of her “Monkey’s Paw.” This paw, a mythical entity that promises to fulfill a single but hefty desire, has merged with Suruga’s left arm, turning it into a deviled, hairy appendage – a curse that she has learned to live with.
The story delves into human desires, consequences, and the struggle of overcoming past misdeeds. A new basketball player, Rōka Numachi, who also collects misfortune from others, comes into Suruga’s life and stirs up dormant conflicts. With Rōka’s arrival, Suruga is propelled into a journey of introspection and change.
If your taste in anime leans towards the thought-provoking and visually abstract, then Hanamonogatari will be an absolute treat for you. Being a part of the Monogatari series, Hanamonogatari beautifully follows its predecessor’s distinct style that sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill anime.
As I delved into the narrative, I was struck by how well Suruga’s character has been developed. Facing her dark reality and disposal of her emotional baggage has been mirrored eloquently through her interactions with Rōka. Add to that, the Monogatari series’ trademark graphic storytelling. The bold strokes of abstraction and symbolism never fail to make an impact, taking the experience up another notch.
But what truly got me hooked was the thematic profundity of Hanamonogatari. The series’ exploration of desires and fixations, balancing between the moral and the immoral, the human and the inhuman, is commendable. It doesn’t shy away from showing the dark facets of its characters and, on a larger scale, of human nature itself.
The narrative aside, the art direction and background tracks add layers of depth to the series. The striking color palette and distinctive architectural designs further accentuate the abstract nature of the tale. Musical scores are well-placed, enhancing the atmospheric shifts perfectly.
If I had to point out a negative, some viewers might find the dialogue-heavy scenes to be a tad overwhelming. But hey, that’s just part and parcel of the Monogatari experience! It’s the intricacies of these dialogues that shape the narrative and lend insight into the characters’ psyche. So, I’d say, take your time with it. Use it to appreciate the complex tapestry that is Hanamonogatari!
To buy, rent or stream Hanamonogatari comes down to how much you love a deep story combined with striking abstract visuals. If you’re a fan of the Monogatari franchise or intriguing narratives driven by well-crafted characters, I’d definitely say: go for it!
So, are you ready to embark on a beautifully abstract journey filled with drama, introspection, and some splendid dialogues? Buckle up, my fellow anime enthusiasts – Hanamonogatari awaits!
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