A story of wounds

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By 2018-01-28

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features

Third in the Japanese Box-Office on opening weekend, the most anticipated prequel in modern anime, witty dialogue and wordplay, memorable characters, teenage loner meets world's most powerful vampire, over-the-top sexualisation. Kizumonogatari is all of the above.

The Monogatari series has always been a hit series since the release of the first collection of short stories, which then spiralled into a saga of novels, then an animated adaptation with nine seasons at this moment with the conclusions anticipated to come in the near future.

The Author, who writes under the pen name NisiOisiN, started his literary career at the young age of twenty years. He teased this prequel which followed his high school male protagonist and how he wound up with his vampire abilities and how he happened to meet the most powerful supernatural entity in his literary universe. Up until this moment almost nothing was revealed. Even the protagonist himself at one time hints to it, saying that it was his greatest failure. However, Kizumonogatari is far from a failure. The production, consisting of three movies was done by studio SHAFT, the sole adapter of all the series. Just as previous titles, the visual eccentricity remains a trademark of their productions and here, there is no change from the standard, except for the fact that animation and sound quality were performed at maximum thanks to the higher budget allocation.

Character development is one of the most stand-out points that make NisiOisiN stories so interesting. While the rest of the saga shows how the protagonist, named Araragi helps other characters to grow, here his own development is given centre stage as he evolves from being an anti-social loner to the vibrant character presented from thenceforth. The ride is quite the roller coaster with the pacing done to perfection.

However, all is not well. The Monogatari series isn't for everyone for the sheer eccentricity it beholds. Eccentric and overkill are the two watchwords here and that can be said for dialogue, action sequences, comedy and even scenes that should never be viewed in public (even if all three movies were premiered in theatres).

Even so, that didn't stop the movies becoming smash hits, both commercially and in the cult fan-base it has managed to capture globally. No matter how eccentric it may be, Kizumonogatari, and the Monogatari series as a whole knows what it is: a story made for sheer spectacle, but also a story of tragedy. Everyone cannot have a happy ending. No one can stay unhurt. Scars don't fade. This fact is even brought out in the title, which is a bit of word play to the term "Story of Wounds", abbreviated to "WoundStory".

While tragedy may be the end result, wounds do heal. One could say the whole Monogatari series is about healing and acceptance; coming to terms with oneself. If eccentricity doesn't turn eyes away, they will remain glued till the final scene with this title.

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