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If we were to discuss the Monogatari series, we will have to first discuss the studio that made it - Shaft. Famous for its unrealistic head tilting animation, Shaft is also a studio that incorporates surrealism, abstract art, and stunning and visually pleasing animations albeit weird. You can't be wrong when you say that their animations leave a lasting impression on you. That is why in that sense, Shaft holds a niche in the industry for its unique brand of animation and story.
So what about Owarimonogatari? Fans of Shaft will no doubt fall in love with their numerous works, but I personally adore the monogatari series as it truly represents the quintessence of Shaft's animations - surreal, weird and lying on the border of the abstract, but overall, an enjoyable experience leaving no regrets.
Owarimonogatari is a continuation from its predecessors Bake and Nise (which at their time, ranked as top animes for their respective season) and follows Koyomi Araragi in his misadventures with the occult or oddities. It is dialogue heavy, the same way as its predecessors. The story continues on and explores the recent addition to the series - Oshino Ougi and her relationship with Araragi.
And finally, the name itself: Owari, meaning the end and monogatari, story. The name in the series has always been portmanteau of the Japanese language. Put it together and Owarimonogatari literally means in English, End-story, and an excellent title to represent the penultimate conclusion to the saga loved by many.
The Monogatari series is always received with mixed feedback, and I personally describe it as the series that you either hate or love. There is no in between. So if you're already reading this article, I would assume you're the half that enjoys it and I invite you to join me as we count 6 other anime like Owarimonogatari.
Similar Anime to Owarimonogatari
- Episodes: 20
- Aired: Jan 2014 - May 2014
First up is Nisekoi which is another stunning series with the same brilliant animation and artwork of Owarimonogatari. Whereas the story is not as deep as Bakemonogatari, the level of comedy and romance that is present in the Nisekoi series is comparable to Owarimonogatari (but there is not as much fan-service though sorry!)
Nise as everyone knows, means fake and koi, love. The title therefore means False/Fake Love and this is the main plot of Nisekoi. Nisekoi explores Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki relationship as they were forced to be lovers under special circumstances. However, it wasn't a beautiful meeting between the two of them at first and you will see that still go head to head with each other as often as possible. Unfortunately for him, Raku's heart happens to be with his classmate Kosaki Onodera while he is pretending to be Chitoge's boyfriend. How will he manage the situation and find true love instead of false love?
Nisekoi: Official Trailer
2. Mekakucity Actors
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2014 - Jun 2014
Mekakucity Actors in particular gives off an odd-vibe and it garners mixed reviews as well. Unfortunately, those that disliked it were more than those that loved it, which gave it an overall bad standing on MyAnimeList.
To be honest, this series has the same abstract feel and weird vibe that the Monogatari series exudes. It is also dialogue heavy (in fact dialogue centred) and retains Shaft's unique brand of animation. What is particularly memorable to me was the choice of music in this anime. I'm pretty sure some of you heard of Kagerou Daze from Vocaloid right? Most of you would also know that the song is a story on its own.
Therefore, Mekakucity Actors is the story behind those popular Vocaloid hits. One of the characters Eno, even looked like Miku. I actually thought it was a Vocaloid anime before realising that the characters just looked like them.
The story is based on the individual's ocular powers (not Mangekyo... I know what SOME of you are thinking) and how they meet each other and find meaning to their gifts as well as to solve the mystery behind their powers.
I would say the most attractive quality in this series is the music and fans can expect familiar songs from Vocaloid. Don't forget to count the number of Shaft head tilts in the series!
MEKAKUCITY ACTORS Trailer
3. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2007 - Sep 2007
This anime is just weird... And I don't mean the good kind of weird that Shaft does. I mean actually weird...
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei revolves around the school teacher Itoshiki Nozumu - a pessimistic person with a poor outlook on life who sees everything is gray. Everything about him is just negative. To balance the anime out, put one Kafuka Fuura in there, an overly-optimistic girl who never falters even in the depths of despair. Now, pair them together and watch the comedy unfold. Most of the anime is just that.
This series employs dark humour and this brand of humour is very hard to pull off as it touches on sensitive topics. You know the feeling when you know that you're not supposed to laugh but find it a tad comical and people finds you weird and gives you "the look"? That's what I meant by the opening sentence.
This anime is quite old and the animation does not remind you of Shaft. What is retained however, is Shaft's tenacity to delve into the obscure and unknown and managing to bring up something fresh. You can be sure that this series exudes the same off-vibe and the abstract art form of the monogatari series but the humour employed in this case is very different.
Owarimonogatari is already an abstract anime as it is very different. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is very similar but yet very different from Owarimonogatari. So you can say that this anime is different from the other different kinds of difference out there... Wait, I don't even understand the last statement. Think I went too deep there.
Any Animes Like Owarimonogatari ?
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan 2010 - Jun 2010
I'm pretty sure most of you are asking by now, what's with all the shaft selections? Well Shaft is unique that's why. If there are so many other kinds out there, then it wouldn't be called unique now wouldn't it? However, for diversity though, the next half of the list will comprise of different studios.
This anime is set in an urban city. However, the urban concept emanates a vibe that almost seems unreal. It's very similar to that of Mekakucity Actors and has very similar vibes that the monogatari series gives off.
Filled with equally interesting characters, some of them supernatural entities as well, it feels that the series borrows certain traits and elements of the monogatari series and is equally exceptional itself based on its own merits.
Set in Ikebukuro, a suburban district, this district is filled with various strange rumours as gangs roamed the street. Various rumours include a headless knight rider known as the Black Rider speeding the highways, a mysterious information broker who is as sly and cunning as he is well-informed, an over powered bartender whose strength cannot be equalled as well the strange group known as Dollars. As these factions are pulled together by connected events, what secrets will be uncovered along the way and what is the district hiding?
That's Durarara for you. It casts off the same level of uniqueness and enigma of the monogatari series. The story starts off slow and doesn't pick up till midway prompting much of the viewers to lose interest. However, at its peak it shares the same level of excellence as the monogatari series by making viewers think while watching. Dialogue driven as well, viewers are treated with the power and action of words in creating an impressionable tale accompanied by great visuals.
This is an anime which made me reminisce the good old days of watching the monogatari series. It can be called a close companion of the monogatari series.
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Apr 2012 - Sep 2012
When we talk about Owarimonogatari, we talk about the witty dialogue that keeps us captivated to the story as it makes us think as the series is filled with double meanings and progresses in a fast pace like an action anime but with words.
Hyouka is an anime which features a lazy genius (a Shikamaru if you will), Oreki Houtarou. He is shown to be adept in solving mysteries and puzzles but have no interest in doing so as he is simply content with a simple life. He meets one Chitanda Eru, an overly inquisitive girl whose catchphrase is Watashi, Kininarimasu (I'm curious) which is heard too often in the anime and is popular enough to spawn off several memes.
Hyouka shares the same level of wit as the monogatari series and the animation is visually stunning as well, but it is not a Shaft style. One thing I would really like to commend the series on, is its well balanced portrayal of the situation. Sometimes the scenes will change into a surreal form, which resembles the monogatari series.
While the animation is exceptional in its own rights, all it does is make you vaguely remember the monogatari series. What truly makes you connect this series with the monogatari series is the wittiness of both series
6. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu
- Episodes: 14
- Aired: Apr 2006 - Jul 2006
Also known as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, this is yet another dialogue driven anime in which the story progresses through dialogues and monologues within the anime.
The world of Haruhi is set in a high school setting where everything goes according to the whims of the titular character - Haruhi. Viewers can expect strong character development through speech, very much like the Monogatari series.
Dealing heavily with supernatural entities and oddities as well such as aliens, espers and time travellers, the story deals with the club known as the SOS Brigade and their misadventures as dictated by Haruhi. The whole series is simply her pulling her group members around on a whim.
Much like Owarimonogatari, random occurrences happen in the anime and portrays the character dealing with them. It is because of the fanciful Haruhi such that the world appears to be distorted as well and this isn't your simple everyday school life club activities showcase and you can expect interesting developments that will catch your attention.
While it is not the animation nor the vibe or feel of the anime that gives a strong impression of it being similar to the Monogatari series, it is however, the strong propensity of the series leaning towards the oddities of supernatural instances that drew me to this anime much like how it drew me to the Monogatari series.
You can expect the story to expand via intense dialogue coupled with strong character developments as well as the same kind of obscure, surreal environment that the Monogatari series presents
The Monogatari series is not everybody's cup of tea, but if you have a penchant for its surrealism and appreciate its character developments, these few animes should keep you preoccupied for a little while longer.
So what do you think? Is Shaft one of your favourite studios? Do you enjoy the uniqueness that Shaft brought with the Monogatari series? Are you one of the haters or fans of the series, why and why not? After all, there is no sitting on a fence with Owarimonogatari.
We at Honey's Anime are also very interested in how you perceive the series and what kind of animes YOU the readers think best compares with Owarimonogatari. Please share your titles with us!