Bakemonogatari and Kizumonogatari Book Arts!

Aside from simply being well written books, the Monogatari Series (at least, the English version) has some stunning book cover arts. Currently, Vertical Inc has translated the Kizumonogatari and Bakemonogatari books, bringing the total count to 4 books. I remembered when I got Kizumonogatari in January of last year. Waiting for the rest of the books is going to be difficult, I can tell you that.

The cover arts are absolutely stunning. They might look relatively simplistic to many but I enjoy them nonetheless. Well drawn characters, vibrant colours, mixed poses and mysterious enough to capture the tone of the books.

The spines of the book are also well made in an almost minimalist approach. The cover art stretches to cover this portion with a simple Vertical logo at the top and the title of the book and author are stated in a white box that wraps around to the front. This display is almost like a throwback to the original cover art for the Japanese novels in which the books look like old DVD covers. I ain't kidding. It's not to say they're bad but I'm not as big a fan of those as I am for these. Hey, at least we English readers get something!

There is only one book for Kizumonogatari and of course, the chosen art style has to feature our favourite vampire. Who else would it be? Araragi!? Pfft!

Kiss-Shot is in a rather elegant pose that represents both her mysteriousness and attractiveness. The way the dress sways in the wind with the petals and her side grin simply captures her character....just not in this novel. It's as though the art is deliberately showing you Kiss-Shot in another light to further deepen her character as you go through her arc in this book.

The way the tree is drawn evokes her eeriness and I quite like how she's holding Kokorowatari. The way the blade stretches behind her and slowly fades into a shadow only to turn reddish towards the end.

The back is simple with just the book tagging with the tree branches against a black background with some grey feathers floating about. The whitish mark you see in the centre is just the lighting I had and isn't actually part of the art.

The first novel entry into the Bakemonogatari series with two stories focused on both Senjougahara and Mayoi. Both very contrasting characters that play well going from one story to the other.

Hitagi in a very righteous pose (to my heart) and Mayoi in a very playful pose, both draped against a background with three colour shades. On Hitagi's side, wind is blowing her hair and skirt, throwing things into the air while Mayoi stays relatively safe from the natural hazard (Hrmm, can you guess why?). I like how the two characters are centralised, facing outwards with most of the things happening in the centre. It draws your attention to the deepest portion of the art while keeping the surrounding rather sparse.

There isn't much being conveyed in this one aside from atmosphere unlike Kizumonogatari but remember, Kizumonogatari was written only after Bakemonogatari. This is essentially the first entry to the series. I'm fairly sure and overly striking image for the first entry can be a bit much to some.

The back side looks like it belongs on another book. The sudden shift in colour scheme, the very pronounced school-themed backdrop and the obvious tease to people with a foot fetish, this certainly tells you more if the front cover wasn't enough. I like how their feet cross whilst their hairs hang from opposite ends. It's similar but dissimilar to the front cover art. Bonus points for the punching holes at the side.

Here's something a little more pronounced, what with the striking sun in the background. A kneeling Kanbaru while Nadeko sits on an invisible chair. While the previous art had a more centralised view area, they decided to shift that away to something more parallel. Both characters are obviously shifted to one side of the canvas with both of them looking in the same direction with most of their features segmented to one area (Kanbaru's bandaged arm and Nadeko's stockingless legs).

While I don't particularly like either character as much as I do the other characters, I must say that the two stories contained in this book do well together with Kanbaru playing very well off Nadeko (since the opposite never happens).

What is Kanbaru famous for? Previously, track. Currently, basketball. What is Nadeko famous for? Being a socially awkward kid that gets consumed by jealousy later on. Hence, we appear before a bright backdrop with basketballs! They also stole a portion of the front cover because just plain basketballs will convey their clear preference over one character.

Hanekawa Tsubasa and Black Hanekawa. Shinobu appears for a brief moment but apparently that's not enough to warrant her appearance! You selfish fiends!

The final novel of the Bakemonogatari series shouldn't even have existed. The original Japanese only had two novels covering the five stories but either due to content or marketing, the English version was broken into a trilogy. Can't say I mind.

A nice pink backdrop with Hanekawa posing studiously with a darker region where Black Hanekawa glimpses from the corner. A nice contrast and an obvious foreshadowing. I like how they continued with a separate set-up for the characters for each novel, this time with the two characters on opposite ends with seemingly nothing to do with each other.

Black Hanekawa's hair wraps most of the backdrop with just a brief drop in of Hanekawa's legs. Again, some foreshadowing though it's mostly connecting the front cover art. The continuation of the white feathers add a touch to this too.

Overall, I'm definitely proud of this collection! I can't wait to continue the collection but, as I said before, who knows when that'll be?

Bonus: Many weeks ago, I got myself a tiny Shinobu plate, big enough to fit one donut! Practicality aside, it was too adorable to pass up and makes donut eating time more fun!


  1. Looking forward to Nekomonogatari's covers! :D


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