Kozuguru's (very in-depth) guide on how to watch the Monogatari series
If you identify as an anime lover or an otaku, you have surely heard of the Monogatari series. The Monogatari series is a series of anime titles that illustrate the strange events that occur around the main character, Koyomi Araragi. Most people have heard of Bakemonogatari, the most famous of the Monogatari series. However, most people are lost after watching Bakemonogatari due to the Monogatari series’ abundant list of titles. Thus, we have created a step-by-step list of which titles to watch and in what order for you to most enjoy the series (note: this list is NOT in chronological order of which the events occur, but rather the most optimal order to enjoy the series, similar to how Star Wars should not be watched in chronological order).
Everyone has heard of Bakemonogatari. It aired in Japan from 2009 to 2010, which marked the beginning of the entire series. This title includes four arcs, which are, in order, “ひたぎクラブ (Hitagi Crab)”, “まよいマイマイ (Mayoi Mai-mai)”, “するがモンキー (Suruga Monkey)”, and finally “つばさキャット (Tsubasa Cat)”. These arcs include the first encounters of Koyomi Araragi with the main heroines of each arc (except Tsubasa Cat, which is explained later) which are extremely relevant for the upcoming titles in the series.
Up next is Nisemonogatari. After the conclusion of Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari aired in 2012. The title revolved around the oddities that occurred around Koyomi’s sisters, Tsukihi and Karen Araragi. There are only two arcs in Nisemonogatari, which are “かれんビー (Karen Bee)” and “つきひフェニックス (Tsukihi Pheonix)”. In this title, we see the significance of family to Koyomi, which proves to be greatly influential to the upcoming arcs.
The third title we recommend watching is Nekomonogatari, specifically Black. Nekomonogatari takes place during Golden Week, which was directly before the events of Bakemonogatari. Nekomonogatari acts as the explanation of the Bakemonogatari arc “つばさキャット (Tsubasa Cat)”. Although chronologically misleading, watching Nekomonogatari after Bakemonogatari is recommended because of the mystery-unravel tone that Nekomonogatari holds. However, PLEASE be careful not to watch Nekomonogatari: White. White is a completely different title, covered in the following section.
- Monogatari Series: Second Season
This is where things get really confusing. Although this section is titled Monogatari Series: Second Season, each “arc” within this title holds a different name and is often regarded as different anime series. But don’t worry, we got you covered. The first title to watch within Second Season is “猫物語（白）(Nekomonogatari: White)”, also known as Tsubasa Tiger. Next comes “傾物語 (Kabukimonogatari)”, otherwise known as Mayoi Kyonshi. Third, we recommend watching “囮物語 (Otorimonogatari)”, or Nadeko Medusa. Fourth come “鬼物語 (Onimonogatari)”, or Shinobu Time. Last is “恋物語 (Koimonogatari)”, or alternatively, Hitagi End. Second Season is the events that occur directly after the events of Bakemonogatari, and generally the same heroines star in each arc. The difference is that Shinobu gets her own arc, and Suruga doesn’t get one (but she will appear again).
Stay tuned for the second part of this in-depth guide!