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Best of 2012: Nisemonogatari

We’re celebrating the end of 2012 with our favorite anime, manga, and video games of the year! In our Best of 2012 Staff Picks, each of our contributors selects two titles and writes a short post for each about why it’s awesome.

About nine months ago, I posted a review of Nisemonogatari, enjoying it for what it was but writing it off as a misstep in the grander scheme of the -monogatari series. Recently, I’ve rewatched the show and realized I was wrong about almost every criticism I had with the show. It’s easy to disparage Nise for being racy, verbose, self-indulgent, overly-clever, and unfocused, but as deep as the flaws run, there’s a compelling narrative underneath all that smut. Nise played with my expectations, delivering a show that, while not what I was looking for, left me satisfied in every way by the final scene. It’s not a great sell for a show I’m willing to call one of the best I watched in 2012, a year that saw a new Lupin series, the return of Shinichiro Watanabe, and a competent Fate/Zero adaptation, but I want something more than “competent”. Nisemonogatari is an artistic failure next to it’s predecessor, but it’s a fantastic attempt at adapting an unjustly labeled “inferior” story.

Nisemonogatari is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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