Blue Flower

I wrote a bit about this volume already, in a post at which I compared this to the prequel novel Kizumonogatari. (Justus R. Stone contributed as well, and also wrote this excellent bit on True Martial World's themes.) Those articles have spoilers, however, so don't read them after you've read True Martial World (unless you don't care).

 

Monogatari is bizarre. I am fine with weird, but I feel like if an author isn't cautious--e.g. breaks perhaps a lot of conventions of storytelling--that the story could fall flat. At some point I can not help but shift out of a impressed "yes, finally something different..." to "what is that I don't even."

This volume is all about a high school boy called Araragi, that will help out a couple girls who have been affected by some sort of supernatural monster. If you browse Kizu, you will know that Araragi is somewhat supernatural himself, having become somewhat vampiric. The very first narrative of Bake deals with a girl named Senjougahara, who has lost all of her physical weight because of some special crab. Sounds an appropriate animal, because she is quite crabby! The vast majority of Bake goes like this:

Senjougahara: (says another mean matter about Araragi)

Araragi: You really don't hold back, do you really...

Senjougahara: (goes on about the way Araragi is such an idiot)

Araragi: You're not just incorrect, but do you have to be so cruel about it?

Senjougahara: (non-sequitur)

Araragi: Where did that come from!

Senjougahara: (another put-down led at Araragi)

Araragi: Setting that aside for today... (returns conversation back to the plot... possibly)

Dragon-Marked War God

I enjoyed the banter at Kizu, however, that I probably enjoyed it because it was supplementary to the narrative, instead of the other way around like it's in Bake. Here it is mostly Senjougahara. I'm really okay with her personality (Nisio Isin is good at producing hidden depth to his roles)--I just grew tired of the "sameness" of this dialogue in general.

 

The second story deals with a young woman who can not find her way home. I enjoyed the ending plot twist for this one, but again, the narrative was primarily moving from one strange conversation to the next. All in all the tales here felt quite experimental--something the writer composed on a weekend that was whimsical. I'm curious enough to read more from this show, but I'll probably want to space out my reading of upcoming volumes a little.