Kizumonogatari Part 1

Kizu was a good time. Just a few points to a short movie that’s more akin to a very long TV episode here.

I watched it twice, once in NYC and once in NJ. The NYC showing gave out better loot, although it’s nothing significant. The crowd was also “better” in NY in that people more or less kept their wits together and it was less like a laugh-a-thon. These are just minor nitpicks for people who care about this stuff. Watching it twice also gives me the chance to focus on stuff other than taking the movie in, at least during the second go-around.

Kizumongoatari is the most impressionistic (for lack of a better term) thing out of Shaft that I’ve seen since maybe that vampire loli anime, or even Soul Taker. Like, that Kizu used French titles (and not even thoroughly!), is both humorously pretentious and yet appropriately chosen. They could’ve gone with a number of other languages, after all.

The feeling I can’t shake was that if I wanted an adaptation of Tsukihime, this is how I wanted it to be done.

The animation is great, I guess this is something you just have to see for yourself. There were a lot of visual references and nods. For people who didn’t come into Kizu with Bake under their belts the jokes might be lost on them, but it is all per se meaningful and perhaps most meaningful in that way to interpret the material. I thought also that if we take a step back and consider Bakemonogatari (and others) in the same way, where the only pitfall of Kizu’s predecessors was the production quality to impart the technical necessity that Kizu did not lack, but the others did, maybe I would not have gotten tired of the Monogatari series so fast.

It’s like unless the prurient stuff were of interest, there isn’t a whole lot that separates Monogatari the series with, say, Mushishi. And I think it’s a certain sort of doom when a subcultural artiste’s work is best compared to a National Geographic documentary (or its anime equivalent), (if) only in terms of content. Well, there were some token pervy jokes as you’d expect, and I’m glad there were, if only to keep the contrasting heavy and light feels of the film going.

The voice acting was good. It’s as you would expect out of our four notable voiced roles, although I think Hocchan stole the show. Sakurai’s Meme was extra irritating, which is credit on his part. Hearing the older-bodied Kiss-Shot was nice, especially in that kind of traumatic state. I guess they had to go to a baby crying to kind of make it sound at least plausible.

Kousaki Satoru’s soundtrack was tops actually, it’s appropriately knock-off in the sense that Kizu’s sense of style is equally knock-off. I was taken most particularly to the music used during the conversation between Hanekawa and Araragi, as if it was kind of ripped half from Evangelion and half from the rest of Kousaki’s works. Please forgive the drawn-and-quartered analogy in advance, but it is kind of like trying to enjoy driving a Lexus makes me want to just get back into a BMW all the more, but you would think the Lexus justifies the price tag, and is a well-appointed mechanism worthy on its own rights.

Which is to say, yeah, there is a visual/sound gag that kept resonating with the weeb audience and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Let’s just say I hope the directorial crew for the movie got that feedback from the test audience in LA. Some jokes westerners get & like, which are sometimes not the same ones as the domestic audience.

I went into the experience already knowing what Kizu was about, and how this is part 1 of three, that you should expect about an hour, and that it is well animated. It was exactly what I expected. And it’s probably worth watching it twice in theaters. But this is mostly because I am already some kind of hardened otaku who is arguably the heart of this target audience, despite my distaste for Nisioisin…well, he has some good stuff, and some stuff not as good. More relevantly, there’s just too much of all of this, what people call TV anime. Having an elevated, polished and well-presented video entertainment as Kizumonogatari Part 1 is a welcomed change, if anything.


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