Table of Contents
- Final Verdict
TAGS : Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Vampire
STATUS : FINISHED
Around midnight, under a lonely street lamp in a provincial town in Japan, lies a white woman, a blonde, alone, robbed of all four limbs, yet undead. Indeed, a rumor’s been circulating among the local girls that a vampire has come to their backwater, of all places. Koyomi Araragi, who prefers to avoid having friends because they’d lower his “intensity as a human”, is naturally skeptical. Yet is is to him that the bloodsucking demon, a concept “dated twice over”, beckons on the first day of spring break as he makes his way home with a fresh loot of morally compromising periodicals.
Hello and welcome to yet another light novel review. This time we’ll take a look at recently published by Vertical novel Kizumonogatari : Wound Tale. A prequel to Bakemonogatari that tells the tale of how it all began. Is it good? Let’s find out!
In light of our recent history with vampire stories that spawned after the, deserving or not, success of Twilight, you may be skeptical about this one if it’s your first encounter with ~monogatari series. Rightfully so I believe. Twilight-like stories don’t leave good after taste. Filled with senseless romance story lines and love triangles out of nowhere, they don’t focus enough on the main selling point. Kizumonogatari has them beat in that department.
The story is told from Araragi’s POV, as such it is his narrative and thought process that drives the story forward. One thing that differentiates ~monogatari series from the rest is the dialogue and the way things are phrased, said and explained. Fret not, Vertical did an amazing job with translation, and everything Araragi hears, says and thinks reads fantastic.
The story on it’s own is full of plot twists, that have their own plot twists. Surprisingly enough, everything makes perfect sense. The subtle hints are all over the place, but a casual reader won’t make anything out of them until they are revealed to be of such grave importance. With that said, the story isn’t overly complicated, and is rather straight forward, but has a lot of twists that make it exciting without ruining the experience or filling it with nonsensical story lines.
Kizumonogatari in terms of narrative has most of the competition beat. The story is not lacking, and as explained by Araragi as early as page 11 (3 of the actual text), doesn’t have a happy ending. And that is one of those things that really caught me off guard. For a story so complex, having a happy-go-lucky ending would’ve been disastrous. The author delivered, and the ending is horrible. It’s a miserable ending for everyone involved, and it is fantastic! It also feels very natural and fitting, elevating the experience ten-fold.
Kizumonogatari focuses on four main characters, and three villains. First of, we have Koyomi Araragi who’s the person in charge of narrative. A fantastic main character that doubts and questions every action he takes. He acts just like any human would normally do if they suddenly found themselves in that type of story. Then, we have Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade – a 500 years old vampire that tasks Araragi with certain mission. The contrast between those two characters is very visible, so much so that it’s her that Araragi questions the most.
We also have Tsubasa Hanekawa, who in this novel acts like the humanity and conscience of Araragi, and Meme Oshino who is the mysterious bystander, helping some while helping no one. The cast is great, and their dialogues are just fantastic. They feel human, baring Kissshot who doesn’t feel like anything at all. I could go rambling on and on about character and I’d still not do them justice. They receive a lot of development, and what’s even better, their development comes from various plot twists putting them in situations you’d never expected.
The art is great, but there is not a lot of it. Two pictures + cover is literally all we’re getting. You will be able to associate the character in the picture with a character in the novel itself, but that’s only this one girl above. Araragi, Hanekawa, Meme…their art is non-existent in Kizumonogatari. But, what’s there is great. And that’s all I can say really.
If that novel is supposed to be your first encounter with ~monogatari franchise – you’re in for a treat. I went in blind, not knowing anything about the events of any previous ~monogatari anime, and was mind blown, as you can probably tell by now. If you have previous knowledge of ~monogatari, you’ll enjoy it even more. Reading how it all began is fantastic, and even more so if you already know the characters I’d imagine. Whether it is your first contact or not, you’ll probably love it.
FINAL VERDICT – Wound Tale, a truly fitting title.
Kizumonogatari : Wound Tale is an amazing novel. Closing its story in one book, it’s not the longest read in history. Also, closing it very coherently is a bonus. There’s no sugar coating, if something is meant to be brutal, brutal it will be. The ending is miserable, and that makes it all the better. It’s as great as it is horrible, and for that reason alone you should definitely check this series out. If it’s not, then please give the amazing characters and intriguing story a chance. You won’t regret it.