DVD Review: Bakemonogatari – Part 2

bakemonogatari_part2_screenshot_1We conclude the story of Bakemonogatari with MVM Entertainment’s DVD Release of Bakemonogatari – Part 2, however is it any better than the rather dreary first half of the series? Find out in our DVD Review of Bakemonogatari – Part 2.

Synopsis:

The shy Nadeko Sengoku is slowly being strangled to death by snakes. She is the victim of a curse, cast by a heartbroken boy and his jealous female companion. Koyomi Araragi wants to help her, but can he find a cure? Or will he be forced to resort to extreme violence?

Moreover Tsubasa Hanekawa, the busybody class representative, is morphing into a cat. She is cursed with intense stress, perhaps even abuse. Koyomi maybe able to help, but it also may cost him his life. In the climax to this award-winning series, Koyomi Araragi threads the needle of right and wrong to within an inch of his life, all in the name of love.

Our View:

The second Part of Bakemonogatari continues with the remaining eight episodes of the series spread across two DVD discs with two episodes telling the story of Nadeko Sengoku, a classmate of Koyomi Araragi’s younger sister who has been cursed with a snake apparition, while the remaining episodes tell the tale of Tsubasa Hanekawa, the class-rep and know it all who mysteriously changes into a cat during high times of stress. Both storylines take a deeper, closer look into their characters background, with Araragi yet again stepping in to help them – which for the case of Tsubasa Hanekawa, creates strong repercussions for the main cast.

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While both Nadeko and Tsubasa are the main focus of the episodes there is an episode dedicated to the unique ‘relationship’ between Koyomi Araragi and Hitagi Senjōgahara, whereby we see them go out on a date and explore their inner feelings – it’s an interesting moment and one that provides a ‘higher’ emotional value compared to the rest of the series. This ‘emotional’ level raises yet again at the end of the series when all of the main cast, namely Koyomi, Hitagi and Tsubasa, have to make a life or death choice, which ultimately leaves it open for its sequel Nisemonogatari.

Just like the previous release, Bakemonogatari – Part 2 continues the trend of it’s insanely unique way of presenting a series whereby everything is discussed through words rather than action. Also since this is a ‘subtitled only’ release there is plenty of reading involved, however while it does feature ‘a lot’ of on-screen text there are no subtitling errors or translation mistakes (unlike in Kaze Releases).

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In addition to the unusual amount of text, scenes are depicted via varying different methods such as live-action, manga / comic-book drawings or blank images saying “insert action phrase here”, it’s a unique style but it is one that easily becomes distracting and annoying, even more so when the screen is filled with subtitled text. This type of storytelling (using the different methods) occurred during Part 1 and while some see it as a nuisance (including me) it’s actually part of the series charm and the only way it could have been avoided is if an English Dub was produced to lighten the load during talkative scenes.

While Bakemonogatari provides a lack of movement (and un-detailed backgrounds) it does provide visually stunning characters that are incredibly detailed and crisp (even by DVD standards), so even though the story is basic and the action is uninviting at least the characters are ‘easy on the eye’.

Extras:

Just like the first half of the series Bakemonogatari – Part 2 features a hefty amount of extra content, most of which are opening and closing videos for the second half of the series as well as a selection of trailers. Each Opening and closing video that is shown within the second half of the series can be viewed on the second disc, all of which are presented in text less form so that viewers can see what is taking place.

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Also on the second disc is a handful of trailers, which include Hakuouki 2, Kids on the Slope, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Mystery Girl X, Bodacious Space Pirates and Alien 9. It’s also worth noting that the disc’s were authored by Madman Entertainment / Hanabee so series trailered here may not have been licensed by MVM Entertainment (yet).

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The final extra content is the return of the Japanese ‘Character Commentary’, where the characters, such as Nadeko Sengoku and Koyomi Araragi, narrate themselves in each episode. Just like the series it’s a ‘unique’ take on doing a commentary, but it also offers the viewer a deeper insight into how that character felt during that particular scene – as well as creating some comical moments in rather difficult situations. It goes without saying that the Character Commentaries are in Japanese and have been subtitled in English, yet again giving the viewer more reading to do while watching the series.

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The Character commentaries are available on both discs and can be accessed via the Setup menu.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:35:42 (Disc 1) 1:13:02 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

The overall look and feel of the show remains the same as the first half of the series, and while this half of the series features two different character development stories the main focus is on the developing relationship forming between Koyomi and Hitagi. This relationship can be seen as the ‘main focus’ of this half of the series with recently saved characters, such as Nadeko, mentioning the relationship as if to remind viewers that is still exisits. It’s also this ‘relationship’ that causes Tsubasa’s true emotions to come out to light and thus bringing more entertainment into a rather dull series.

bakemonogatari_part2_screenshot_5
Episodic contents aside the Visuals and Audio are presented clear and sharp, even by DVD standards – with the subtitles being clearly visible and readable in White throughout the entirety of the series. The included amount of extras also makes this a rather complete package for fans of the series, with both text less songs and Japanese Character Commentaries available throughout each disc.

Overall Bakemonogatari – Part 2 finishes off the series in impressive fashion and unlike the first half of the series it is a more entertaining experience, as it features a slowly developing story. That being said this release still suffers from the annoyance of “too much” text and blank segments, but this is what made Bakemonogatari appealing to fans, it’s a unique series.

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Basically if you enjoyed the first half of the series then you will enjoy the second half, however if you’re not interested in reading large amounts of text then I’d recommend staying away from these releases of Bakemonogatari.

Score: review-stars-3

Bakemonogatari – Part 2 will be available on DVD from the 29th July 2013 and Blu-ray from the 23rd September 2013.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to DVD Review: Bakemonogatari – Part 2

  1. theukconnection says:

    Just a small note, the discs were not authored by Madman Entertainment, they were in fact authored by Hanabee 🙂

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