In the middle of August, Shaft unleashed another 5-episode story arc of the Monogatari series upon us, and here’s what I thought of it. Contains spoilers
In Hanamonogatari, the athletic Suruga Kanbaru is back in the spotlight again, and she has to deal with a former basketball rival who is collecting the parts of the Rainy Devil, of which Suruga has the left forearm. As the story takes place after Koyomi and Hitagi’s high school graduation, familiar characters like Hitagi and Tsubasa do not appear. Koyomi does appear near the end of the story, but this is pretty much the Suruga show as she deals with the problem by herself.
As usual with the Monogatari series, Hanamonogatari features lots and lots of conversations while the characters are moving around in strangely stylish environments. I’m not a huge fan of the prolonged conversations, the conversations in this series are not as fun since neither Suruga and her rival Roka Numachi are trying to be witty or stinging. The intent is different, and the prior relationship doesn’t set it up as being a lot of fun. Suruga seems to have lost some spunk now that her beloved Senjogugahara and Koyomi senpais are not in high school anymore. Even though the Rainy Devil was involved, this story lacked action as well, since the final showdown was a one-on-one basketball game. Suruga’s winning dunk was impressive, but not really enough payoff for watching nearly 2 hours of this show. There was a little bit of potential lesbian interaction between Roka and Suruga, and some of the chats with Koyomi was somewhat amusing, but that was about it for the fun stuff. Overall, Hanamonogatari was okay, but I didn’t think it was one of the better stories of the Monogatari series.