Why Monogatari is Terrifying


In all seriousness, I haven’t celebrated Halloween in years. There are many reasons for why that is, but they’re irrelevant. What matters right now is that I’m writing a Halloween-themed piece. Seriously, don’t make me whip out my-wait, I used this joke last year…

Anyway, my initial reaction to this theme was hesitation. Sure, I’m game for a Halloween-related article, but my choices are limited…at least with what I know of, anyway. I’d have plenty to write about with Western animation, I’m much more familiar with that, but anime? Um, Attack on Titan counts, right? It’s about man-eating Titans, so…nah, that’s not Halloween-y enough. Hmm…

Bakemonogatari Opening Theme


Close your eyes for minute. I want you to picture a world where moe girls are down on their fate, and all around charming teens called Koyomi Araragi run amuck. They go around attacking every moe girl in sight, always without warning and never without mercy. As a moe girl in this world, you live in a fortified anime that’s surrounded by these teenagers. For the time being, you live life comfortably. But in the blink of an eye, everything can change…

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of Monogatari, a world that, in my opinion, is one of the scariest in anime. Here’s a short dissertation on why:

Firstly, the premise. I know I already described this world to you, but think it over again: you’re in a world where charming, teenage Koyomis are going around and attacking girls. This raises several questions, like, “Where did these Koyomis come from?” “Why are they attacking girls?” “How do you stop them?” And since none of these questions have direct answers, it makes the situation kind of terrifying; after all, the less we know about something, the more disturbed we are by it. Fear of the unknown.

Secondly, the reality of this world. In one of his bi-constant editorials, Zachary “Whitly” Perlmutter discussed how the terrifying truth of Attack on Titan wasn’t that Titans lived in that world, but that Titans have lived in that world for so long that its citizens have, essentially, gotten used to it. It made having to deal with said reality that much more frightening, as it was an evil that couldn’t disappear. Instead, the only option was to accept that Titans existed, that you were always in danger of being eaten by one and that you had to persevere to stay alive. It was a living nightmare, in other words.

In my opinion, Monogatari is no different: it’s a world where moe girls have to accept Koyomis existing alongside them, and they have to persevere in spite of it. But where as the show Zachary “Whitly” Perlmutter is referring to is a case of not being eaten by a Titan, in this case it’s a matter of not being attacked by a Koyomi. Since Koyomi Araragis are more frightening than being eaten, it edges out slightly on the fear scale. You can outrun them, play chicken, or even try fighting back. But once a Koyomi has you in its sights, you’re already bait.

(Via HylianDakota.)

Thirdly, leading from my last point, the Koyomis. Ranging in sizes and shapes, those teenage males are nightmares. It doesn’t matter if they’re young, hot or charming, the fact that they look like predators is a problem on its own. But add their strictly moe diets, and you have the scariest enemy ever. And they regenerate too! In fact, save for the napes of their necks, Koyomis are virtually invincible.

A finally, the amalgamation of the aforementioned points make for a living Hell on Earth. Would you want to live in a show that’s only created to keep out young, teenage creatures that pander to moe girls for fun? That waking fear that you might not live to see your waifu, imouto or onii-chan tomorrow morning? That pounding concern for your moe, one that’ll never leave for a second, simply because some Koyomi might attack it without warning? Is that what you’d want? Because if it is, then you’re braver than me.

Happy Halloween. And remember, the only Koyomi in life scarier than the one you understand is the one you don’t understand. That, and Koyomi Araragi has the scariest perv face in the history of anime pervs.


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