And love decapitating things apparently.
- So when we last left off with Kizumonogatari, Araragi had defeated all of his combatants and retrieved Heart-Angel-Blade-Insert-Seven-Other-Names-Here’s missing limbs, meaning that she’s restored to life as a full vampire. Everything seems hunky-dorry until you recall that we still have to deal with Araragi turning back into a half-vampire, Shinobu’s very existence, and Hanekawa…actually come to think of it, she doesn’t really do anything other than be Araragi’s only friend, does she? Her cat powers don’t show up in this installment, and all she does whenever she’s on-screen is be Araragi’s cheerleader or Araragi’s willing sex slave.
- How exactly did the dude not realize she was in love with him in Bakemonogatari again? For god’s sakes, she took off her bra for you, dude.
- Anyways, Kizumonogatari Part III: Reiketsu is the conclusion to this really overhyped prequel to the popular Monogatari series and answers the question of how you can continue the story after you’ve won a tournament. The answer of course is by revealing the true final boss, who is Heart-Angel-Blade herself. After a long long long epilogue-like scene where Araragi and Heart-Angel-Blade celebrate their victory by cheerfully bantering with each other, the latter ends up eating one of the fighters from the previous film, who thought that going after Araragi’s full-powered master was a better alternative than fighting Araragi himself.
- Yes, it turns out that Araragi conveniently forgot that vampires need to eat humans to survive, so when he discovers that his actions have brought a monster back into the world, he resolves to kill her with the very power she bestowed upon him. And I have to say, this was the first time I ever felt like Kizumonogatari’s direction was actually going somewhere interesting. The previous two entries were either all setup and no payoff, or a well-animated but very generic shonen action tournament that rivals Boku no Hero Academia in terms of “I know you’re trying but I don’t care”.
- However, this conflict actually questions Araragi’s tendency to save women due to how he finds them weak, especially given how Heart-Angel-Blade was bleeding her guts out when they first met and was no more than a six-year old girl afterwards. What happens though when they’re not weak? What if one of the girls you save ends up killing other girls you save? Also, if you fight the girl you were previously helping, does that make you a hypocrite? These are all questions Reiketsu brings up and actually caused my eye to glimmer with hope, so naturally the movie decides to confront said questions by throwing them under a bus and setting said bus on fire.
- I mean the whole conflict itself is kind of undermined by how no one seems to exist in the Monogatari universe besides the main characters, so naturally I could care less that a vampire is roaming around, eating unseen fictional humans. That’s a requirement to care about putting humanity in danger, last I checked: some actual fucking humanity. I mean what’s next? A WWII movie where Germany invades France after it’s been raptured?
- And let’s not forget that we know what’s going to happen to both Shinobu and Araragi after all this is over, because nobody who watches Kizu does so without watching Bakemonogatari to begin with. As such, no matter what the outcome is, we know they’re going to be fine in the end, which limits the tension considerably. I won’t spoil exactly how said end comes about, but let’s just say I found a certain reveal to be very underwhelming. It was hackneyed, lacked balls, and the follow-up made me question what the point of everything was.
- Not that I really expected much from a franchise anime movie, because they always have this problem. They’re always too shackled by the original series to stand on their own as complete products, more often acting either as reunion specials or in-between chapters/epilogues you could have easily cut out without affecting the plot. First there was that godawful One Piece: Film Gold movie which was about as exciting to watch as hail crushing your car, then there was the Sword Art Online film which was the same only your car is getting crushed by planets, and now Reiketsu is joining in on the fun. The only difference is that it has really high quality Shaft animation, whereas the other two had production issues up the wazoo.
- Of course, at the least the other two films kept a consistent tone. This is the first time I really noticed it, but Kizumonogatari feels like it was written by five different writers given how the tone is all over the place. Switching between the serious overlong exposition to the high-larious overlong scenes of Araragi being a pervert is grating, and it doesn’t help that the unfunny comedic scenes do not add anything substantial to the plot. You could have easily cut them out and nothing would have changed other than me retaining a few brain cells that I need to function in life.
- The tones are better during the action scenes since they’re meant to be over-the-top drama fests, but I stopped taking the final climax seriously about halfway in due to the moves getting overblown to the point of absurdity along with said reveal I mentioned earlier reeling its ugly head. I mean c’mon. When was that direction ever hinted at in the story?
- At the end of the day, Kizumonogatari’s finale, and the installment as a whole, doesn’t really leave much impact. It explains how Araragi turned into a vampire and met these weirdos…and that’s it. I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to be getting from watching this origin story other than Shinobu’s situation being more tragic than it first appeared, which wasn’t really worth watching three movies to discover. And given how Shinobu is treated later on in the –gatari series, the impact is undermined even more in retrospect.
- Animation is better in Part III than it is in the previous parts as there are much less title cards and a lot more fluid decapitations. Other than that positive point – which itself is somewhat hampered by the obnoxious over-the-top cartoon style the characters would devolve into at times – nothing about Kizumonogatari felt like it was worth the wait. It’s just another franchise movie that you’d need a good amount of investment in the original series to appreciate, and without the context, it’s just a throwaway film you’ll forget a few weeks from now. Basically The Disappearance of Haruhi for this new generation.
- Also, whoever came up with the numerous stupid sound effects in this series can have a sound board shoved up his ass.
- Apologies if that subtitle reminds you of that godawful satire movie.