How to Watch the Monogatari Series

So you want to watch the Monogatari series but you're taken aback by everything you've seen and heard of it? No worries, it's actually really simple.

I, myself, was once a simpleton. I was ignorant of the Monogatari series, maybe even completely blind. I couldn't recall whether it ever entered my vision throughout my years growing up watching anime, but I only truly took notice when Owarimonogatari (first season) was airing. The character of Ougi Oshino was ingrained onto my mind. Her character design was both creepy and intriguing and from watching a single trailer, I could tell that the art and animation was just as wild. I mean, Shaft is almost always like this but hey, ignorance is bliss. Was bliss, excuse me.

Anyways, I did some minor research and was taken aback by the scale of the franchise. There was so much I had to catch up to but upon hearing that the Monogatari series was actually a compilation of short stories, I thought I could just watch Owarimonogatari, enjoy it, and leave. How wrong I was. I attempted to watch it but within the first minute or so, there was already a sense of familiarity between the character interactions. I was missing something. I couldn't get into the dialogue or the animation. There was an invisible wall blocking me off. I could see the content but I wasn't actually involved in it.

Now, you might be thinking, "Hey, he said he was going to show us how to watch the series not tell his life story", but wait. It truly is simple. I'm adding flavour text here. Content that you can relate to once you've dived in. I promise you, it's as straightfoward as it get. After all, I'm only telling you how to watch the series, not how to get involved with it. That's a different tier, one you're not quite ready for until after you've watched a few seasons of the show.

Where was I? Oh, right. Five minutes into Owarimonogatari, I backed off. I decided to do more research and I looked for the first entry to the series: Bakemonogatari. It wasn't that I was thinking of starting from the beginning. It was more that I wanted to fill in the gap. I was intrigued by the series and wanted to get involved with just Owarimonogatari but since it seemed a little too steep, I thought that I could just watch Bakemonogatari, get a feel for it then tackle Owarimonogatari. Folks, I warn you now. This is a rabbit hole you're jumping into. It's a one-way street. There is no turning back once you've entered the realm of Nisio Isin's Monogatari series.

Despite what people say about Bakemonogatari being quite slow, to me, it was different. It was unlike any anime I've seen and along with Shaft's animations, set it apart from the rest, even years after its original release. I was absorbed into it. The next thing I knew, I was watching Owarimonogatari. A month later. AFTER, finishing everything else. Every season that came before. I was a fan of the Monogatari series and very soon, you will be too.

Right, so how do you watch it? It's really simple, as I said. You ready? Watch the anime in the order it is aired. Go here and you can see the airing date of each season. The "Monogatari Series: Second Season" is collectively its own anime season so you get that whole bundle together. Basically, watch in the order of airing but avoid Kizumonogatari for the time being. It's part of the first season of the series but I highly recommend watching it only after you finish the Monogatari Series: Second Season. The story and little nuances hit you harder that way.

If you're too lazy to look at the date in Wikipedia, just follow the order below:

1) Bakemonogatari
2) Nisemonogatari
3) Nekomonogatari: Kuro
4) Monogatari Series: Second Season

Anytime after this, feel free to watch Kizumonogatari

5) Hanamonogatari (From what I remember, this is bundled together with the second season titled as: Monogatari Series: Second Season + α)
6) Tsukimonogatari
7) Owarimonogatari
8) Koyomimonogatari

To air soon: Owarimonogatari II

That's the order to watch this series (at the time of this writing). It's important that you do NOT watch the series in its chronological order (which is very different, if you were wondering). It might make sense to do so but I recommend against it unless you're already a seasoned Monogatari connoisseur.

You are now ready to tackle this series! Good luck!


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