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Summer 2024 Impressions: Monogatari Series: Off & Monster Season, 2.5 Dimensional Seduction, Tasuuketsu

Monogatari Series: Off & Monster Season

Short Synopsis: The new season of Monogatari, covering various side stories not included in previous arcs.

Mario: It feels right at home to see these characters back. This is going to be a Monogatari season without Araragi’s involvement – which for me is for all the better. Not that he’s a badly-written character, I do like his narration from time to time. It’s that he has a skewed point of view and it’s often filled with his perverted urges and his hero complex. So telling these stories from the girls’ point of view opens up this world and their complex web of relationships tremendously. Take this 30-minute premiere for example, it pairs up Tsukihi and Yotsugi together – two of the most underused characters out of this harem. Yotsugi is stoic and unresponsive, whereas Tsukihi is dynamite. Yet, it’s hilarious to see Yotsugi attempt to trick the younger sister as a Magical Girl and fail miserably at it. All her encounters with other girls are inspiring and have lots to do with immortality and relationships as well. Funny, heavy on wordplay, visually striking with emotional resonance… If this episode is any indication, we will have an absolute blast this season. My only complaint is that we don’t get an OP yet, but then again nothing can beat Platinum Disco (Tsukihi does that dance in this episode as well).
Potential: ∞ (infinity)

Lenlo: Monogatari is always an exceptionally difficult series to judge. The quality varies so much arc to arc that I can’t make a judgment on the entire season just by one episode. That said, this one episode was pretty good. Visually it’s the best premier I’ve seen so far, both beautifully animated and shot. I know some people aren’t a fan of how out there Monogatari can get, how quickly it cuts, but there was not a single moment in this episode’s entire 30 minutes run where I was not enthralled by the visuals on some level. Seriously, it looks great. Meanwhile narratively, Tsukihi was always one of my favorites, so getting 30 minutes all about her and her involvement in the town was nice. Maybe I’ve changed since the first time I watched Bakemonogatari, but this new season feels… right up my alley so far. Just so long as it can keep a lid on Araragi being a pedophile, I think we’re in for a good time.
Potential: 80%

2.5 Dimensional Seduction

Short Synopsis: Manga club president Okumura is obsessed with his fictional waifu when he meets an underclassman who just so happens to cosplay her, and she wants his help to model all of her new outfits!

Lenlo: Dimensional Seduction feels like it wants to be a passionate love letter to cosplay and geek culture, but it fails to tap into even a fraction of what Sono Bisque Doll did. The leads are both full-on otaku with nothing else to their character but their love for the series, and their interactions amount to nothing more than ecchi-bait and sex jokes. Maybe if the male lead actually brought anything to the relationship it could work, like Gojo’s passion for sewing and the joy he got from dressing people up, but the female lead made her own costume so she doesn’t really need the guy at all. I just… Watching this, it felt like it wanted to tap into that “Sexy girl cosplays” market without caring about cosplay and just wanting to slap a girl with huge tits on the screen. It really feels like an inferior Bisque Doll in every way.
Potential: 0%

Mario: While I applaud this episode for its “go with what you’re interested in” message, this is the kind that short-sells the appeal of being an otaku instead of promoting it. Damn, it features a main character who swears off “3D girls” and shouts in every single sentence. This episode also works as a wet dream for him as well, as a beautiful girl comes knocking on his door, asking to join his club and changing clothes in front of him, and requesting him to take pictures of her? Now, I’m down to have more shows about cosplaying or learning more about it, but the episode doesn’t really delve into the subject – she already has her clothes and garments ready. By the end of this episode where he grabs her (by accident, of course), it just adds a sense of discomfort for me.
Potential: 0%


Short Synopsis: A student finds himself in a game of survival as half of the human population disappears each night!

Lenlo: Everything about Tasuuketsu just feels… lazy? The character designs are the same from the neck down on basically every character, the animation is basically nonexistent, and it can’t pace or properly transition between shots to save its life. As far as the narrative, it’s a pretty straight forward death game. The questions and the fact the majority side of each question will die is kind of interesting, but the existence of special privileges that will break the rules kind of undercut it for me since it means the original rules of the game probably won’t be relevant for long. By the end the only interesting part about it was that the MC seemed to die, though seeing as he’s the lead character and in the OP/ED I would be absolutely shocked if he stayed that way, which of course only raises more concerns if the dead can be brought back to life. In general just not very inspiring.
Potential: 1%

Mario: Tasuuketsu is a death game anime and it’s not a good one at that. In order to build a suspenseful hook you need either a set of clear rules so that you can anticipate how one character will outsmart the others, or well-written characters worth rooting for. Tasuuketsu fails on both fronts at this stage, and it doesn’t help that the pacing is a mess and the animation is lacking. First, none of the characters – that includes our male lead – operates like a human being. They show no concern or empathy towards the people who die, they are way too calm for this kind of situation. Second, the show is purposely vague in its rules – at one point the cast even raises questions about its vagueness – with the only goal being that no matter what question is asked, the majority side will die. But then they have a “privilege” vote – which I think will save our MC – which already breaks the rules that we hardly know anything about? I don’t think I will stick around for this.
Potential: 0%

The post Summer 2024 Impressions: Monogatari Series: Off & Monster Season, 2.5 Dimensional Seduction, Tasuuketsu appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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