Hello there. I’m Staffen. At the risk of appearing a little conceited, I’ve accepted the responsibility of being the first highlighted contributor for Mitsugimonogatari. It’s my understanding we have the honor of being the first ever English fanbook/fanzine/anthology/anything-whatsoever for this series. Please understand this will probably be a little wordier than the highlights which follow, as I wish to briefly explain why this project is being made.
And if I could summarize, it would be, quite simply:
The power of language is incredible.
In June of last year (that is, 2018) I visited Sweden, leaving my home country for the first time to meet old friends — one of whom had graciously, patiently mentored me as a writer over the course of more than a decade. During my time abroad I came to intimately appreciate something which I’d already understood for quite some time:
I’m extremely fortunate to speak English.
Everywhere I went in Sweden, every store clerk from every walk of life fluently understood English. They all grinned through my fumbling apologies as I gawped at simple questions like, “Debet eller kredit?” The road signs were dual-language. A flamboyant actor portraying Gustav Vasa at Örebro Castle greeted me in a perfect, sing-songy accent and in full character thanked me for my visit.
In my life, English has facilitated connections across hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of miles. I am increasingly cognizant of the fact I am surrounded by vastly more skillful people who put in the effort to learn my hot mess of a language; who bridged the gap and allowed me to live a richer life in their presence.
I, an American, was taught the steps of storytelling by a Swede. I can never claim to be a self-made man, nor would I ever wish to do so. I love my friends dearly, and I cherish my acquaintances. And — I value them all the more for the physical distances which separate us all. No person who has put in the effort to communicate in another language has anything less than my respect.
Having said this I am faced with an interesting problem: Monogatari is a series deeply rooted in its language of origin. So many problems across so many arcs are concerned with the nuances of names, words, and the various ways which these words can be written in Japanese. This dependency on local understanding — in and of itself a central theme of the series! — has frustrated localization attempts abroad. It seems to me that some people think it pointless to try and access this strange, foreign thing. Yet I think what makes Monogatari so special for everyone on this project is that, as a series of stories so strongly focused on characters, it has found a way to communicate to us across language and culture. We may, perhaps, find commonality through a new kind of language.
Put out of your mind the question, “What makes the Monogatari special to Staffen?” I could answer by saying, “I relate to this character, I like that moment.” With regards to the people who we highlight later, I think it’s an important question to ask— but in my case it’d be such a banal topic. Ask others we shall, and so too shall their answers be worthwhile and interesting. But as assuredly as I exist; as assuredly as I can attest that others will have valid explanations, big or small, for why they like Monogatari; my reply would bore you to tears. Instead, all I will say is that my valuing this series has made my life richer.
Just as my English facilitated countless friendships, Monogatari has once again facilitated new experiences with new people whose unifying characteristic is their appreciation for this franchise.
In a broad sense, Mitsugimonogatari was proposed in August of 2018, a month after my return from Sweden, as our way to show thanks for the emotions and thoughts and interactions this series has enabled over the last several years. The original idea was just to honor a select few friends’ enthusiasm, but over the months that “select few” started to swell until the number was so large and so logistically daunting we figured, “This has got to be everyone who really cares at this point… we’re the only ones who’ll be reading!”
We never realized just how many of you were out there!
Language truly is a wonderful thing. Community is a wonderful thing.
At face-value it is, to me, a little misleading to say this is the “first ever English Monogatari fanbook,” as a substantial number of the participants in this project are non-native speakers of English. Everyone comes from everywhere.
I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to call it a “Western Monogatari fanbook?” Or perhaps “English fanbook” is just perfect — we are, after all, tied together by the fact we speak it.
So, why a collection of fans short stories be the main feature? Why not just leave it at art?
While most interested parties in the West know it for SHAFT’s anime, Monogatari had its start as prose by one of the most frighteningly prolific authors ever seen by mankind. The fact the anime’s format effectively runs like an abridged, visualized audiobook of the series gives a feeling of greater legitimacy to fan-fiction. The writing is as important as the visual direction, though as a writer I’m speaking from a place of bias when I suggest the writing may in fact be even more important.
In closing, I’d like to take the opportunity to announce my contribution to MITSUGIMONOGATARI: Mayoi Godhead, a short story which, to probably everyone’s great surprise, has close to nothing to do with Kaiki.
Please look forward to it!
When asked what attracted her to the Monogatari series, Cam told me, “I got into it for weird reasons, to be honest.”
You might wonder, “What could be so weird?”
Cam clarified: “I collect anime figures, and I always liked how good the Monogatari figures by [Good Smile Company] were, so I started the anime to have an "excuse" to buy the figures.”
Starting a series for the sake of figures — I think that’s only as strange as two people talking across an ocean.
Perspective is probably key here.
In a sense, Cam started in on Monogatari because of the visual appeal of the characters. And having taken interest due to the character design, she explains,
“I got really into the show and loved it way more than what I thought. So basically I stayed for the characters and how unique the anime is.”
Cam, who we have the honor of counting among the 14 artists contributing to Mitsugimonogatari, hails from France.
“I don’t really know what got me started [as an artist], because I’ve been drawing since as far as I can remember,” she explained. “I got more ‘invested’ into art around 14 years old because that’s when I got my first digital tablet. But I was mostly still drawing traditionally. It’s only like 4 years ago that I started really using my tablet again because I wanted to draw fanart after not being able to draw for almost one year because of school stuff, so that’s when I started drawing consistently and developed my artstyle.”
In that time, Cam has nurtured an unmistakable style. Her art was some of the first I saw when I myself first took interest in Monogatari, and that impression stuck with me in the best possible way.
Currently, Cam studies language, having travelled a path from English literature into the fields of linguistics and translation. It occurred to me that language might have some bearing on her enthusiasm for Monogatari; I asked as much.
“Yes, it’s interesting to me,” she replied. “Related to that, when I first watched the series I was really surprised with the amount of text/narration there was (also… the puns).”
The franchise’s wordplay and verbosity are, to some, off-putting.
Not to Cam.
“It’s one of its strongest points to me,” she said.
As a series built around extensive dialogue, Monogatari is heavily focused on its characters; characters move the plot forward. This raises a question:
“Do you have any favorites from among the cast?”
“My initial fave when I started the show was Kanbaru. But now it’s Ononoki and Mayoi, also Sodachi.”
To anyone familiar with Cam, this answer may not be so surprising. After all, for a majority of the time I’ve known of her, she used Ononoki Yotsugi as an avatar.
“For Ononoki, it’s a bit different than for the others characters because I was neutral towards her at first, but she grew on me with her appearances because I thought her design was cool… then I watched Tsukimonogatari. I love that concept of her just being a doll/living corpse that still tries to act like a human (also I love her catchphrases, so cute). But I think the thing that struck to me was when she told Koyomi something like, ‘Do you think I have no feelings such as shame just because I’m a doll?’ Yeah, I think that’s how she became one of my favorites.”
She added, “For Mayoi and Sodachi it’s mostly because I’m an emotional person and their arcs really impacted me, especially Sodachi’s. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days... I also love that she’s the only girl whose arc wasn’t related to an oddity.”
It’s worth noting: it was at this point she apologized for saying too much. But if being wordy is an offense then, so I assured her, it would make me a capital offender. Therefore I indulged her further: putting aside Ononoki, Hachikuji and Oikura, does Cam have any favorite stories from the series?
“There’s a specific arc that I’ve always liked more than the others: Nadeko Medusa. Her dissatisfaction, the facade she puts up, how different she was compared to the first time we saw her, finally being able to see how she is without her mask… I just loved everything about this arc. There’s also Tsubasa Tiger. I gotta admit that I don’t remember every detail of it, because I’ve only seen it once. But it left me with this bittersweet sensation at the end, because even though Hanekawa finally faces herself it was a really sad moment.”
I find it interesting that, for both of us, Tsubasa Tiger was about around the time the series cemented itself in our minds. With the series having gone through something like 6 volumes at that point, the story had already done so much. For the series to continue, the writing needed to evolve — and with the two Nekomonogatari stories, it achieved that nicely.
With the interview starting to wind down, I showered Cam with praise for giving me her time, and for her participation in the project.
And what, you may ask yourself, is Cam doing for Mitsugimonogatari?
For your convenience:
“I’ll be drawing Ononoki Yotsugi and Hachikuji Mayoi for this anthology!”
Thank you to Cam for joining us on this project. And thank you for reading.
“I have a real rocky relationship with writing,” said Null.
“It's insanely difficult, but it's all I can do. Or rather, it’s what I have to do. My head's full of narrative all the time. It's got to go somewhere.”
The need to write; the need to create — far more than any preconceived notion of minimum output or process, these are the fundamental things which govern whether one is or is not a writer.
You think, therefore you are.
No matter how she might cut it, Null is the definition of a writer.
“I've always had an overactive imagination, and ever since I was a little kid I was obsessed with make believe. I think that's the root of my writing: make believe, the opportunity to create and explore your own world.”
Born in Tennessee, raised in California, as a child Null applied her imagination to the world around her through roleplay — roleplay on the schoolyard; at friends’ houses; roleplay over video games, and in time through text.
“Because roleplay is so much easier and more immediately exciting, you could say most of my foundation as a writer comes from roleplay… to be specific, it was Touhou RP on IRC that first got me really writing longform, I was producing an insane amount of prose all day every day. And that was with one specific partner as well — you could say roleplay is an expression of real closeness for me. I actually reconnected with that person recently and now I'm still doing that crazy Touhou RP. My interpretation of the Scarlet Devil Mansion has gone so far that I'm not sure it really has much to do with Touhou anymore…”
When it comes to roleplay, that’s a rather common occurrence; concepts tend to evolve in ways divergent from canon. The butterfly effect invoked by exploring what-ifs is in and of itself an artform.
So what was it that brought Null to Monogatari?
Null explained, “My first exposure was a Hachikuji MAD on Youtube where she sings ‘Araragi-san’ repeatedly.”
Incidentally, although the original has long since been deleted this was a fairly popular clip: the scene of Hachikuji being slammed face-first into the park sign from Mayoi Snail is used to establish a beat, which leads into Mog’s theme from Final Fantasy VI.
“I was taken by the visual style then, but I'm not sure I can recall specifically what siren song tempted me to go down the dark path of depravity that is becoming a Monogatari fan. I just decided to start watching it at some point.”
Isn’t it fascinating how fan media can reach people in ways that official advertisement can’t?
“That's certainly how it is with Touhou. There are so many fanworks all over the place that I ended up watching a bunch of them before even knowing what Touhou is. Though Touhou is righteous and pure, and Monogatari is the devil's anime; the forbidden fruit of temptation. It's too late now though, I've completely fallen to it, I'm a huge fan.”
The devil’s anime.
Used here, it’s almost poetic.
“The first time I saw one of those scenes with Hachikuji I went red in the face and had to take a break from it. But I willingly went back and chose to soldier through all the bad patches (which no one is obligated to do) and found one of the greatest anime I've ever seen. The writing is absolutely amazing, the characters are unparalleled, the visuals are gorgeous.”
Speaking of characters — out of the cast, who are some favorites for Null?
“I love Kaiki, because how can you not love Kaiki? He's fantastic. Koimonogatari is an absolute joy, seeing everything from his perspective. I love Kagenui, because she's rough and forthright and thinks in straight lines, like myself. I love Senjougahara for being such an incredibly finely-balanced depiction of a traumatized girl, simultaneously the strongest and most fragile character in the show.”
Then finally, Null added,
“... And of course, over everyone else, I love Ougi. Ougi. Ougi. Ougi. I love Ougi. I am Ougi. Everything is Ougi. Oshino Ougi is Oshino Ougi. Ougi pushes all of my buttons. Pallid skin, dead eyes, spooky and mysterious and strange, slowly pulling everything apart, taking control of the entire narrative itself. The most sincerely frightening, threatening antagonist in the whole story in a lot of ways. and then when we start to get into who Ougi really is, and why, and what that means... there's so much shocking depth there, I adore it. Ougi may as well have been tailor-made for me. Ougi.”
So — having put Ougi aside for a moment, what would be Null’s favorite arc from the series?
“The one that stands out the absolute most is Nekomonogatari Shiro, which is where I felt the writing suddenly went through the roof. The interactions between [Hanekawa] and Gahara-sama there are absolutely crucial, and I also like that the arc is allowed to play out without Araragi. That scene where Gahara finds her in the cram school... it's such an excellent look at other sides of both characters.”
Tsubasa Tiger really was the best start for Second Season, wasn’t it?
Speaking of writing… what about the story Null’s writing for *Mitsugimonogatari?* It would be unjust for Null to write about anyone else other than Ougi. And so writing about Ougi is precisely what she’s doing.
But what has that been like?
“The nature of Ougi definitely makes my job for the anthology a big challenge... there's a lot I'll have to fill in myself, and pull from myself. But I don't tend to defer too much to canon in fanworks; even if future information about Ougi conflicts with what I write now, this is my interpretation of Ougi, my own special version. It's the only way to stay sane when writing fanwork, rather than fussing endlessly over whether something is 'wrong' or not. I have to just use what's there in front of me as a foundation, and build my own piece atop it.”
In closing, Null explains precisely what her contribution to the project is:
“The story is called Ougi Parallel. It's probably one of the most challenging ideas I could have taken on for this: not only is it a story from Ougi's perspective, it's a story that psychoanalyzes Ougi. So it's just about as thorough of an examination of who Ougi is to me and what Ougi means to me as it could possibly be. Oshino Ougi is Oshino Ougi, that's the formula. This story is an attempt to define the variable. I don't think even Oshino Ougi knows who Oshino Ougi is, and it's time to find out.”
We’re grateful for having Null join us on Mitsugimonogatari. And as always, thank you for reading.
You can find Null on Twitter at @rinshankouhai
For Kreion, the urge to create transcends discipline.
“I guess to me writing and drawing have always just been ways to express things, so why wouldn't I do both if I could?”
Art, in all its forms, is hard. At least, that’s what people say. Actually sitting down and writing words on paper, or pencilling down a zigzagging line — these are straightforward and simple things. But what causes hangups for most people is probably the idea of message; of intention — just what are you making? Can you see a way to convey that properly? Constructing a concise message through artwork requires vision.
And maintaining vision through the process requires determination.
And Kreion most certainly has determination in spades.
“Aha, well it's true that some people tend to lean one side or the other but I've always seen them as both sides of the same coin.”
Kreion first started writing in secondary. He picked up drawing when he entered the English sixth form; in applying himself to illustration he averted from burnout as a writer. “I wrote less as I drew more through university, swapping out one for the other, but have always enjoyed both!
“I like bringing worlds to life and they both play into that.”
So Kreion enjoys worldbuilding. What are some aspects of that he enjoys?
“I think of, say, the original worlds which I have created or considered over the years it's generally started with liking some particular concept and just building the world around it. Sort of a 'okay, we have this one idea, how would the rest of the world react to that?' From a grand scale to a personal one, it's like filling in a painting. Building up the entire structure of the world is the interesting bit.
“From there it goes onto 'what characters might inhabit this world? why is this world like this and what's the direction of it?' but usually I think I like building the scaffolding of the world the most, before I have to deal with actually weaving a narrative into it.”
Unto its own self, this is a form of art; imagining a world that isn’t and how it would be, completely from scratch.
And in the process of erecting that scaffolding, the roots of a narrative take hold. But this raises a question: what kind of narrative is it? Regarding storycrafting, we are taught the idea that there are a set number of types of conflict in a narrative; man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self, and so-on... does Kreion tend to find he prefers a specific sort of story?
“I would have to say that I prefer that people caused the problem and people are going to solve it, or they are going to deal with it. It might be arrogant to say, but I think that at the end of the day it's all people — nature reflects what we do to it for the most part. Even the worst demon is scary because it's a reflection of us.”
A demon, such as a vampire, or perhaps a snake, or even a crab.
Monogatari is interesting in how it tends to blend those three aforementioned categories into one-another from arc-to-arc, “In the sense that oddities in the series are external representations of these characters’ anxieties and issues. Though I guess according to Yotsugi, Araragi would be the most devilish of them all.”
Araragi does certainly tend to create a lot of trouble for himself, and everyone around him.
What was it that first got Kreion into Monogatari?
“Well, it might be a surprise considering how much I love the series now, but the first time I started it back in university I stopped watching after Hitagi Crab, I think? Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but it just didn't grab me. Then maybe 6 months to a year later I tried again for some reason and couldn't get enough of it.
“I think it was just one of those series I saw recommended a lot but just passed up a lot of times because I was fairly new to anime and, honestly, not thinking that much about shows which I watched. As I grew older I started to like slower, more artistic shows and it was a perfect fit.”
Just what was it that finally pulled in Kreion?
“I think it was the atmosphere and how unique the direction of Bakemonogatari is, aside from maybe Kizu I still think it's the best looking season of the show. Up until then I think I'd never seen an anime which made as great use of its medium as that - though I later discovered some others!”
On that note, does Kreion have any favorite arcs?
“Ahh, Kizu, so Koyomi Vamp. I love the tragedy of it really, from a writing perspective and an aesthetic one it's standout. I liked Nisemonogatari in general because the whole idea of reals versus fakes is one of the more interesting points of any arc, I think. Thematically it was just a very interesting one, not taking other parts of that arc into consideration.”
“I find Tsubasa Tiger very interesting too! Another great character study on Hanekawa who gets unravelled more as the series goes on in such interesting ways.”
Tsubasa Tiger is an exceptionally good example of Monogatari’s atypical approach to introducing and resolving conflicts; and how in the process of doing so it focuses a spotlight on its characters — taking very simple concepts and exploring them in complex ways. This is something which Kizumonogatari also achieved in how it takes the classic story of a vampire demise and twists it, twice over. Kizu tops Kreion’s list, and for good reason:
“My absolute [favourite character] must be Kiss-shot/Shinobu. She is such a tragic figure and she underpins the whole story! Her design is one of my favs too. Personally I like Araragi a lot as a character and his flaws make him more enjoyable to me, but he isn't in his best state in that movie! Ultimately I think the series is hopeful though; that being happy isn't something that you can achieve without struggle.
“For Kiss-shot in this case, she could have just died. If she had, she'd never have known she could be happy again. Maybe she still doesn't want to live forever but at least she can die being happy. ”
As we come to a close, it’s important to note: Kreion is both writing and illustrating his own story for the anthology. But what is he writing?
“It's a story set after Nisemonogatari, focused on Senjougahara, and how she deals with meeting a certain someone whilst on holiday.”
And what’s it called?
“Hitagi Machine! You'll have to read to find out why…”
Thank you for reading. And — thank you to Kreion for joining us on Mitsugimonogatari.
You can find Kreion on tumblr at @kreionomonogatari
When you come across someone with such great passion, it’s usually best to let them tell their own story. So here, I present you with Theo’s story: as best told by Theo and gleefully commented on by Cake.
“I’m Filipino and a multimedia arts student. Bicolano on my dad's side and Ilocano on my mom's, if that matters to anyone, haha.”
Oh wow, as someone who’s not from there, I’m a bit ignorant on that. Are those regions?
“Yeah, it's the provinces my family's from. I've been to Bicol a few times but I've only been to Ilocos once a long time ago.“
What do you generally do as a multimedia arts student?
“These days we do a lot of web/graphic design and some coding, but we've done some basic photography and animation–a lot of fingers in a lot of pies basically.”
That’s pretty neat. I can’t believe you’ve done animation too. Are you into it at all? It seems intimidating to me.
“I'm pretty into most things, but I have to admit I don't do too well under pressure. Just doing the best I can and keeping the passion alive.”
Going back a bit, what got you started as an artist? Were there any breaking moments where you decided you wanted to keep at it or was it just something you've always enjoyed?
“I was always drawing when I was a kid!! Always getting in trouble at school for not paying attention in class. There was one time in grade school when my (beloved) English teacher confiscated my whole pencil case for the entire day. I'd probably blame that moment for encouraging me to just keep drawing forever.”
Normally, I would think an experience like that coming from a teacher you loved would keep you from drawing.
“She was one of the best, she taught English and helped me with a lot of confidence and anxiety issues. I felt a little surprised and frustrated, but I couldn't really blame her. I really was always drawing.”
You actually mentioned it had the opposite effect, that it encouraged you to keep drawing. Why is that?
“Oh, I guess it's the moment where I really thought about how much I loved art, that I let it get in the way of other things, and whether that was worth it to me. "Out of spite" isn't the right term for it… more like, "I can't be separated from this"”
It’s hard not to feel the passion radiating from your words. Honestly, Theo, you’re too powerful!
“I'm not!!! I just don't know how to do anything else”
So, everyone’s wondering, what made you get into a series like Monogatari?
“Honestly? I saw a Hanamonogatari poster thing when I was in high school and instantly fell in love with her design. For some reason I tend to get into things unexpectedly. I can plan on watching something for months, but then get distracted by something I've never even heard of before.”
Did you watch Monogatari in any specific order or did you just go by the air date? Or did you somehow watch Hanamonogatari first?
“I went by the air date!! Omg, imagine watching Hana first. [It was] a staggered airing order, since I dropped everything halfway through Nise then picked it back up a few years later. By the time I finally finished Nise, the Kizu movies came out at some point, so that was fun.”
What turned you off from Nisemonogatari? Aside from the obvious assumptions one might have.
“It was mostly the pacing. Bake had nice 2 to 3 episode arcs, but Nise seemed to go on forever. It didn’t help that Karen’s oddity problem was a big fake out anyway… (sorry Karen). But I think it was better in the long run that I postponed the show, since I feel like I can appreciate it a little better now.”
That’s completely true, Nise really did feel all over the place in terms of arcs.
“It was my first really long anime too, which might not have been the best choice. When I saw that there was an actual chart to tell you how to watch the series I kinda took it as a challenge, haha.”
Do you have any favorite characters from Monogatari?
I don't think I would've ever guessed that. Why Nadeko?
“Her arcs just kinda blew me away. I tend to get bored with most goody hero types and really like characters ranging from dickish to irredeemable garbage, and I love love love heel face turns. She's my favorite to draw, too.”
Nice, I agree, she's a really diverse character. Which Nadeko arcs did you like most?
“Medusa, but i definitely enjoyed her in [Hitagi End]. The realization that Kuchinawa was a hallucination smacked me right in the face and I loved every second of it. The best characters for me are the ones I can't help but root for even when they're doing something terrible.”
I love characters like that too.
“I feel like that's solid proof that a character is enjoyable on their own, and not just within the story. So Nadeko's that kind of character for me, where I don't care what she's doing I just enjoy her, and of course, everyone knows I have a bizarre and inexplicable fascination towards Episode”
OH YEAH, EPISODE. Can you tell us a little about that or is that too much for us to handle?
“That's the thing, there's nothing about it!! It just happened. I can't explain it. Episode Tore.”
That's fair enough, he's baby, that's all there is to it.
“He's feral and I'm feral for him.”
Okay, okay, so aside from Medusa, what are your favorite arcs in the series so far?
“Ougi Dark is the best for me. I just love when something gets teased a little bit at a time and it all comes together in the end. Especially since I got into the series a little bit later, it took a lot not to just look up all the answers, haha.”
That was definitely a memorable moment in the series. What did you think about ougi before that reveal?
“Ougi, for me, was the good kind of the mystery where I'm willing to just enjoy the ride rather than spend too much time trying to solve it before the end. Of course, I do also enjoy mysteries that I can solve. What matters most to me in any story is the journey.”
Since we've already been talking for a while and you've shared a lot of great comments with me, the final question I have is: What got you interested in the anthology and what are you doing for it?
“I've never been a part of something like this before and I love new experiences. Plus the fact that I get to do this with a lot of good friends and skilled artists/writers is a huge bonus. I will be drawing Koyomi, Sodachi, and the vampire hunters!! I'll be doing my very best for all of you.”
Thank you so much for your time. I really loved your answers, and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did.
“Thank you so much, Cake!! It was actually really nice to be able to put my love for the series into words like this.”
Thanks for reading!
Continuing with the theme of conversational storytelling, Cake presents you with Priscila's story. This is the first of four interviews that I’ll be translating from Spanish. You can catch the original versions by clicking the Spanish links below.
“My name is Priscila River and I’m from Panama and I’m currently a student at university. I’m studying Software Development (programming). I program web pages and cellphone apps. The reason I chose this as a career was because I couldn’t study what I really wanted to study at the university. Which was design.”
Wow! That’s awesome. I'm also a programmer, but never studied it in university, so I can imagine how much goes into that.
“Jajajaja, thanks, I’d like to be one someday!”
You mentioned design being what you really wanted to study. At what moment in your life did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
Continuando con el tema de la narración conversacional, Cake te presenta la historia de Priscila. Esta es la primera de cuatro entrevistas que estaré traduciendo de español a inglés. Puedes encontrar la versión traducida en Inglés haciendole clic a “English” al final de la página.
“Soy de Panamá y me llamo Priscila Rivera actualmente soy estudiante universitaria. Estoy estudiando Desarrollo de Software (programación). Programo páginas web y aplicaciones de celulares y el motivo que escogí esa carrera fue porque no pude estudiar lo que quería en la Universidad. Que era Diseño.”
Wow! That’s awesome. Yo también soy programador, pero nunca lo estudié en la universidad, así que puedo imaginar lo mucho que se dedica a eso.
“Jajajaja, thanks, I’d like to be one someday!”
Mencionaste que el diseño era lo que realmente querías estudiar. ¿En qué momento de tu vida sentiste que querías ser un artista?
“Ever since I was little I’ve loved drawing. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. The problem is that in my country, Panama, artists don’t get jobs or good economic positions. Plus my family never wanted me to be one, but that’s why I’ve taken it up as a hobby, and now I’ve even made extra income from it. I’ve been assisting at events and selling my own merchandise. Hopefully one day I can dedicate myself to drawing full time, but for now it’s just a hobby.”
That sounds rough, but I’m happy that you’re been able to turn your hobby into something more! Do you have the opportunity to go to events frequently? What’s the convention scene like in Panama?
“Well, events in Panama are usually small and don’t have too many people, around 100 people at most, they’re more like marketplaces. Actually, a few years ago they didn’t even have a space dedicated to artists, like they usually do in other countries. They would mix anime stores with illustrators. It’s also because there weren’t many artists who made their own merchandise.
“Desde pequeña me ha gustado dibujar, lo he hecho desde que tengo memoria. El problema es que en mi país Panamá los artistas no tienen trabajos o buena posición económica. Además de mi familia que nunca estuvo de acuerdo de que fuera una, por eso lo que he hecho es tomar el dibujo como una forma de hobbie y ahora se a vuelto un ingreso extra para mi. Estoy asistiendo a eventos y vendiendo mi propia mercancía, quizas algun dia me dedique a dibujar pero por ahora solo es un pasatiempo.”
That sounds rough, pero me alegra que hayas podido convertir tu hobby en algo más! ¿Tienes la oportunidad de ir a eventos con frecuencia? ¿Cómo es la escena de convenciones en Panamá?
“Bueno los eventos (con) en Panamá suelen ser pequeños con no mucha gente, alrededor de 100 personas, es más como un mercado. Incluso hace unos años no tenían un espacio dedicado a artistas como en otros países, solo mezclaban tiendas de anime con dibujantes. También es porque no había tantos dibujantes que hicieran mercancía.”
That’s all changed when Comic Con came to Panama for the first time last year. They made the first Artist Alley which finally created a circle of artists bigger than ever before. Even so, we’re still small compared to other countries, but without lying to you the Artist Alley of Comic Con 2018 was only 18 artists including the international invited ones, but we’re steadily growing.”
“Well, 18 appropriately!”
That's still impressive! In the United States we don’t have too many huge events outside of California and New York, but I can imagine how much smaller it might be in other countries. It’s honestly really cool that it's growing there. I hope it keeps growing in the coming years!
So, everyone's wondering, how did you find out about Monogatari?
“Eso cambió cuando la Comic Con se realizó por primera vez en Panamá el año pasado y se hizo el primer Artist Alley en la que por fin se creó un círculo de artistas mas grande que iban a eventos, aún así seguimos siendo pocos comparación de otros países, sin mentirte el Artist Alley de la Comic Con 2018 fue de 18 artistas incluyendo el invitado internacional, pero ahí vamos creciendo.”
“Bueno 18 aproximado!”
That's still impressive! En los Estados Unidos no tenemos demasiados eventos fuera de California y Nueva York. Pero puedo imaginar que sería mucho más pequeño en otros países. Es realmente chévere que esté creciendo allá. Esperemos que siga creciendo en los próximos años!
Entonces, todos estan preguntando, ¿cómo te enteraste de Monogatari?
“One day, I mentioned to a friend that I didn’t like harem anime and he told me about a really good one named Bakemonogatari. I didn’t believe him so I had to watch it for myself. At first, I really loved it and it was almost loved at first sight with Senjougahara. The second arc with Hachikuji bored me a little bit, but I really loved the plot twist it had. And that’s how I started loving Monogatari. I must admit that the season that really captivated me the most was in the Monogatari Series Second Season with Koimonogatari and of course a little of Hanekawa’s arc in Nekomonogatari Shiro. Ever since I haven’t been able to let go of the anime and I’ve even read the novels because I couldn’t wait for the rest of the series to be adapted.”
Jajaja, I was actually about to ask you which your favorite arcs were, but this is perfect. I really loved those arcs too! How recently was it that you got into Monogatari?
“That’s a hard question… erm I can’t remember, but I’ve been in the fandom for so long. I think since 2012. It’d be 7 years now.”
That's a long time for sure. Which characters are your favorites? You mentioned Senjougahara earlier, what do you like about her? (I love her too)
“Un día le dije a un amigo que no me gustaban los animes de harem y el me dijo que había uno muy bueno llamado Bakemonogatari. Y como no le creía me reto a verlo y así hice. Al inicio me gusto mucho y fue casi amor instantáneo con Senjougahara. El segundo arco de Hachikuji me aburrí un poco, pero el final me gusto el plot twist que hizo. Y así me fue gustando muchísimo Monogatari y debo admitir que la saga que mas me cautivo fue la de Monogatari Series Second Season con Koimonogatari y un poco la de Hanekawa sobretodo Nekomonogatari Shiro, así no he podido desprenderme del anime y hasta he leído la novela porque no podía aguantar que salieran animadas las sagas.”
Jajaja, en realidad iba a preguntarte cuáles eran tus favoritos arcs más tarde, pero eso es perfecto. También me encantaron esos arcs! ¿Qué tan recientemente fue que te metiste en Monogatari?
“Gran pregunta… emm no me acuerdo pero tengo mucho tiempo dentro del fandom de Monogatari. Creo que desde el año 2012. Ya serian 7 años ya.”
Ah okay! Ha pasado mucho tiempo. ¿Quiénes son tus personajes favoritos en Monogatari? Mencionaste a Senjougahara, ¿qué de ella te gusta? (I love her too)
“SENJOUGAHARA es mi crush, jajaja, but aside from her I would have to say Hanekawa and Shinobu. I like Kaiki, he’s a really unique character, but it’s a shame that we haven’t gotten more insight into his character.”
Do you have any favorite pairings?
“I like the official pairing of Senjougahara and Koyomi, but probably more so because of Hitagi. In the end, we all know that Koyomi will always be with Shinobu 😊”
Very true. I think a lot of people would agree with that! Speaking of, what do you like about Shinobu?
“Aside from how beautiful she is, it’s her history. Despite being a very powerful character, she’s so afraid of being alone. I find her frailty so different and unusual in a powerful character, I really liked that complexity in her.”
So you mean like kiss-shot? Sorry, I know they’re the same character, but usually people refer to Shinobu differently.
“Jajaja, yes, I’m talking about Kiss-shot in her entirety.”
I thought so! Going back to your favorite arcs, do you have a moment in the series that resonated with you?
“SENJOUGAHARA es mi crush, jajaja, pero aparte de ella sería Hanekawa y Shinobu. Kaiki me gusta, me parece un personaje muy único, pero es una lastima no se profundice más en el.”
¿Tienes algunas parejas favoritas?
“Me gusta la pareja oficial de Senjougahara y Koyomi pero realmente es más por Hitagi. Al final todos sabemos que Koyomi siempre estará con Shinobu 😊”
Muy cierto. Creo que mucha gente estaría de acuerdo con eso! ¿Qué te gusta de Shinobu?
“Más que por ser linda es su historia como a pesar de ser un personaje muy poderoso le tiene tanto miedo a estar sola, es como su debilidad y eso se me hace algo diferente y no tan usual en un personaje poderoso, me gusta eso le da complejidad al personaje.”
¿Así que quieres decir Kiss-shot? Lo siento, sé que son la misma personaje, pero en generalmente la gente refiere a Shinobu en una manera diferente.
“Jajaja, si me refiero a ella completa a Kiss-shot”
I thought so! Volviendo a tus arcos favoritos: ¿tienes algún momento en la serie que resonó contigo?
“Well, at first with Senjougahara’s first arc in Bakemonogatari what I really liked was how that arc teaches you to confront your problems and carry the weight of the things you’ve lived through, and how that really helps you overcome it. It’s also what got me caught up in the series, seeing how it uses oddities to reflect the characters’ problems in a very ingenious way. In the end, it’s about confronting or accepting your own oddities! It’s a really good and real message.”
I love your answer. It’s so true and I feel like most people ignore this part about Hitagi Crab. es tan cierto y siento que la mayoría de las personas ignoran esa parte de Hitagi Crab
Here’s the final question! What are you doing for the anthology and where can people find you?
“I’m drawing Senjougahara because obviously she’s the biggest reason I love Monogatari and I’ve always wanted to draw her but I’ve never found a perfect excuse for it. The anthology is now that. For now you can only find me on Instagram at @erien.ato n_n”
“Pues el inicio con el primer arco de Senjougahara en Bakemonogatari lo que me gusto es que ese arco enseña a enfrentar tus problemas y cargar con el peso de las cosas que has vivido y eso es lo que realmente te ayuda a superarlo. También es lo que me atrapo de la serie, ver como reflejan los problemas de los personajes con excentricidades de una forma muy ingeniosa, al final es afrontar o aceptar tus excentricidades! Es un mensaje muy bueno y real.”
Me encanta tu respuesta. Es tan cierto y siento que la mayoría de las personas ignoran esa parte de Hitagi Crab.
Pues aqui esta la última pregunta! ¿Qué estás haciendo para la antología y en donde la gente puede encontrarte?
“Pues estoy haciendo un dibujo de Senjougahara porque obviamente es la mayor razón por la que amo Monogatari y creo que siempre he querido dibujarla pero nunca encontraba una excusa perfecta. Ahora la antología lo es. Por ahora solo me encuentro en instagram como @erien.ato n_n”
I'll say it a million times if I have to: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!! I loved hearing about Panama and everything else you’ve shared!
“Oh, it's nothing thanks to you for taking your time.”
As mentioned, you can find erien on instagram at @erien.ato.
Lo diré un millón de veces si lo tengo que hacer: Muchas gracias por hablar conmigo!! Me encantó escuchar sobre la escena en Panamá y todo lo demás que has compartido!
“Oh no es nada. Gracias a ti por tomarte tu tiempo.”
Puedes encontrarla en instagram en @erien.ato.
In all the time we’ve been speaking, never once had I asked Lydric what made her become an artist.
In truth the answer is that nothing made her an artist;
She’s been an artist from the start.
“My mom loves telling everyone how I would draw on the walls with a sharpie if I ran out of paper as a child. So I guess it's just something I've always done? My family has always supported it, so I have never thought of quitting.”
So in a sense, art comes naturally to Lydric.
“I wish it was the case these days [laughs], I used to have an amazing imagination as a little kid that I'm actually jealous of now… I went through a massive art block that took me a good few years, because I only focused on working on art whenever I had the perfect moment for it. But I now realise that if I just start working, it usually gets me into the mindset I need to be, instead of doing it once a month or less.”
Exactly — waiting for “the right moment” to make art is like waiting for the weather.
“Indeed! But yeah, I don't think I'll ever stop drawing as long as it's up to me. I try to work on a few commissions here and there, test out new interesting ideas and techniques with art to get better at it, and drooling after monsters in-between things!”
Growing up in Finland, Lydric initially encountered manga in the library — and as a result she inhabited the library extensively as a child.
“I really enjoyed reading them, particularly things like Tokyo Mew Mew and other magical girl series. I stumbled upon the anime adaptation after Googling them around a bit. I actually didn't start watching anime properly until a few years later, when I was able to rent/buy videos.
“I didn't really know what I was doing, of course. I ended up watching Grave of the Fireflies when I was 12.”
This would be a good opportunity for a nice, pained laugh of solidarity.
"I focused on movies a lot, since they were easy to get, and moved on to anime series once I knew where to get them in the correct order. I think the first anime I ever finished was Chobits.”
So — magical girls, huh.
“Yeah, I really had a thing for them back then.”
What about nowadays?
“Aren't all Monogatari girls magical in their own way?”
That’s certainly one way to put it.
That said — what about Monogatari actually caught Lydric’s attention?
“You know of that scene of Black Hanekawa?”
Nyanyame nyanyajyuunyanya-do no nyarabi de nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai--
“I couldn't resist looking it up after that. It does take a specific taste, but honestly I am always excited to watch it, even if it's my 5th time.”
Who are some of Lydric’s favorites in the cast?
“Shinobu, Hachikuji, Kaiki… I do like the designs of Guillotine Cutter and Dramaturgy as well, big boys.”
Of all these — perhaps it’s safe to say Shinobu stands out for Lydric.
“Shinobu is easy. It's because I see so much of myself in her, especially with how she acts. She's always smug and bossy, yet she needs people's help even if she doesn't want to admit it. That's just one of many things I guess. I honestly think she's one of the deepest and most progressing characters in the whole series. Not only does she change so much physically, but her emotional state and stance towards the world and the people around her changes so much.”
In this way, Shinobu represents a fundamental cornerstone of the series: character development.
People can always change, but the ways they change are rarely ever predictable.
“Hachikuji is just sweet and silly, plus I love her design. It's very fitting for her and for what she is.
“Kaiki, well, who doesn't love Kaiki?”
Probably children who gave him their pocket money.
“To be honest if I was someone who he scammed, I'd be impressed to the point where I couldn't hate him anymore.”
So what are some of Lydric’s favorite parts of the series?
“I've only ever watched the anime so far, so I'd say… Koyomi Vamp, Tsukihi Phoenix, Mayoi Jiangshi, Shinobu Time, Hitagi End… something something big parts that involve Shinobu, Hachikuji and Kaiki in a nutshell. They show the best sides of all the characters and the end of Shinobu Time is just… oof, my heart!”
Shinobu Time does not end the way one expects it to end, and it is painful — and that is a pain with which the viewer has to make their peace (not knowing of events in Owari Season 2, at least).
“Exactly, it doesn't need to be a happy ending to be satisfying and great.”
These days, Lydric is honing her craft and studying for medical school. She’s recently picked up D&D as well.
In closing, Lydric shares with us her contribution to Mitsugimonogatari:
“My main focus is a cover piece for Mayoi Godhead, written by Staffen himself. I'm also looking into doing a standalone piece hopefully, if my schedule allows it!”
Thank you to Lydric for joining us. And thank you for reading.
You can follow Lydric on Twitter: 🔞 @LydricART 🔞. (NSFW mixed with SFW!)
“I've always had a passing interest in art,” explained K.O. “Like, you know how little kids doodle dumb stuff all the time? I did that a lot like most kids do. But I started getting serious about art around third grade, I think, because I saw a lot of anime and Disney films and was like ‘damn, I wish I could draw like that.’”
For American parents in the 90’s and 00’s, animation was just another form of toy with which to distract their children; at best an animation might look pretty, but the idea that animation could have theme, that animation could be mature, was alien to many of our adults.
And so it was that K.O., growing up in Colorado, was one of those early children to grow up in a world where the word ‘drama’ had snuck into the mix. Shows like The Last Airbender and Dragon Ball and Kekkaishi impressed her deeply. “They were just so different both in tone and art style compared to the other kids’ shows on at the time. So little me was like, ‘Woah! They can show some dark stuff in this style of animation, that's pretty cool!’
“I think that it’s important for kids to be able to get a taste of darker subject matters, even if it’s just through cartoons or whatever, because it forces their minds to grow and mature, even if it’s just a little bit… also, it can just make kids more creative. There's only so much stuff you can come up with if you only see the same handful of comedy cartoons on, like, Nickelodeon.”
And for K.O., perhaps most impactful of all was Evangelion.
“I remember after watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, I didn't really get it at the time [I think I was like 14 or 15 at the time], so I ended up watching a lot of analysis videos for it, and being blown away by its portrayal of depression. I think that it kind of opened my eyes to how people with depression feel/struggle and also showed me how art can be a great vehicle for showing that.”
And it was around this time, incidentally, that K.O. came across Monogatari:
“I started watching Monogatari like freshman year of highschool — so I was just a kid who was ready for some media that was a little more challenging than stuff like DBZ. I don't remember what hooked me on Monogatari, but if I had to guess it was the more ‘artsy’ use of visuals to tell stories.
Like you don't see stuff like the ‘black frame,’ ‘red frame’ etc., or the super fast cuts that Monogatari uses in more standard anime. So seeing it in Monogatari was super interesting to me.”
Indeed: Akiyuki Shinbō’s directorial style is fairly unique in anime. In many ways, he was a perfect fit for Bakemonogatari: an uncommon director, for an uncommon franchise. We’ve mentioned this before, but Monogatari is atypical in that characters are themselves the plot.
“For sure, and while I know some people prefer series with bigger sweeping plot points, I'm totally content to have a series that just focuses in on refining its characters. On the note of characters, I also really appreciate how it deconstructs our ideas of how certain character tropes should act which I also think is a big part of the series. Once you figure out that the deconstruction thing is a part of Monogatari, it makes you wonder what they're going to do with each new character introduced.”
And speaking of characters — you might wonder, who is K.O.’s favorite?
“I'd definitely say a solid favorite of mine is Kaiki. He first grabbed my eye because he's one of the few other male characters in the series and I remember back in the day being very surprised at how he went from typical villain guy to a great nuanced character in his own way… I appreciate that subtlety a lot. I love seeing all the moral greyness in Monogatari.”
Of all the cast, Kaiki is the textbook definition of nuance.
What about favorite arcs?
“Almost anything from Bakemonogatari, honestly. Maybe it's my nostalgia speaking, but when I watched it originally I just thought it was super interesting how they handled the oddities and introduced the characters. And the stories felt satisfying, but also left you wanting to see more of the characters.
“Nadeko Medusa was also fun because I did not expect to see Nadeko's character go in the direction it went at all but it was neat to see that transformation. Kaiki aside, how Hitagi End wrapped up that whole Nadeko arc was also neat and I'm glad that it showed us another side of a side-character while also dragging the spotlight away from Araragi. That was a neat choice, IMO.”
And last, but not least…
“Tsubasa Tiger was also super solid because getting to see Hanekawa explored in depth was neat. Like, she had her whole personality and what-not set up in the initial Tsubasa Cat arc, but there was definitely room for more elaboration, and I think Tsubasa Tiger did that very well. It sold me on a character I wasn't super interested in initially. I also think it was around the time of Tsubasa Cat that I started to understand the real appeal of the characters, if that makes any sense.”
Tsubasa Tiger truly just stands for itself, doesn’t it?
So, in closing: what is K.O. doing for the Mitsugimonogatari?
“I'm doing an illustration of Karen that mostly focuses on what happened to her in Karen Bee, since that's her most stand-out appearance to me, and I also adore her design in that arc. I don't want to spoil too much about it though so I'll just leave it at that! [Laughs]”
Thank you, K.O., for joining us on this project. And, as always — thank you for reading.
You can find K.O. on Twitter: @K_N_O_C_K_O_U_T
Allie’s passion flows best when she’s unrestrained. This interview includes some spoilers for Monogatari’s Off Season, but don’t worry, we’ve added a spoiler tag. To view the spoilers simply hover or click on the blacked out text. See? Not so bad!
“I'm Allie! Although I spent the first two years of my life in Japan, I grew up in a wealthy suburb of NYC. I'm currently doing accounting work and financial translation as I work toward a degree in accounting.”
Oh really? I’ve seen you talk about that recently publicly, but I never knew that! What led to you being in Japan? Have you been back there yet?
“No, but I'm kind of desperate to... someday… I wasn't actually born there unfortunately, my family moved there just a few weeks after I was born. (I'm still jealous of my little sister, who was born there...)”
Hopefully you can go back soon! Are you planning to move to Japan with your job or anything like that? Your financial translation job involves Japanese, right?
“Yep! It would be pretty cool to work in Japan but that's a question for fairly far in the future.”
True, but omg that'd be so cool. Let me visit when you move!
“You betcha 😘”
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Any hobbies or anything like that?
“I watch anime and the occasional western tv show, as well as play a few video games like FFXIV and League. I also read books and watch videos/twitch and stuff... Not particularly interesting...........”
PFFTT, Allie c'mon, you're being way too humble, I know you're way cooler than you're putting on. You've translated a lot of great stuff for Monogatari and Zaregoto. What kind of anime is your favorite?
“Oh yeah, I kinda forgot. I've translated a lot of Nisioisin books and anime like Kakegurui XX. I've thought about the anime question a lot and it's safe to say my favorite kind of anime is the Singing While Fighting genre (like Symphogear, Macross, and Revue Starlight) though I'm also very partial to anime with really good aesthetics and good music like Kyousougiga (and Monogatari).”
Such a good genre that I feel like most people aren't familiar with. I got into Revue Starlight because of you and I'm especially tempted to try Macross again.
Speaking of Monogatari, how did you get into it?
“Bizarrely enough, it was /r/anime. It gets (or at least, used to get) talked about over there a lot, and I was curious enough to try it out. I was instantly sort of transfixed by how, and I'm quoting myself now, it was ‘2000 miles up its own ass’”
HAHAHA, so you mean it was pretentious? What was the first thing you saw about it, if you remember?
“Yeah like, extremely indulgent in its own aesthetic. Oh I can't remember, this was like 4 years ago at the start of my anime adventures when I was just trying to watch enough of the "canon", as it were, to not feel totally ignorant in anime discussions. What in the show made me continue, I loved the aesthetics, the emotional heights, and the music kicked ass, especially Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari. I did almost drop it during Nise, though, but I persevered.”
I've heard some people say that about Nise, was it the toothbrushing nonsense or the pacing?
“It was just the fanservice in general, it really got turned up to 11 throughout and it made me less engaged in everything.”
Makes sense. Who are some of your favorite characters in monogatari?
“Sodachi and Nadeko. The S+ tier. It's funny, neither of them really became my favorites until I read their associated Off Season arcs. Which I won't spoil here of course. 😉”
Awww, I'd love to know a bit about it if you can say anything about Sodachi at least.
“One of the big purposes of Off Season is to give some closure to characters whose arcs weren't left in a fully satisfactory state. Well I can say that I didn't start empathizing and identifying as much with Sodachi until I was able to get in her head. It's one thing to know her from what Araragi sees of her in Owarimonogatari, but it's a much different world to live in when she's the narrator herself.”
That's so true, I'm really excited to see that. Which arc in Off Season focuses on her?
“Sodachi Fiasco of course! (that's what my twitter is named after)”
“I could talk for 10 years about Sodachi”
God I wish Off Season were out already so that this wouldn't be so much of a spoiler. Is there anything about Nadeko that you like that you could share too?
“Yeah that does kinda suck. I just think Nadeko is such a well realized character, she goes through so many different transformations so to speak, and she's really relatable. And again, she is incredibly active in Off Season as well as in Monster Season too so you have a lot more to look forward to for her development.”
If you'd like to talk about anything spoiler related I can include it with a spoiler attached so that it's hidden.
“Don't tempt me, Cake....”
Please, I wanna see you spill your heart out.
“Ahh okay, I'll try to be brief though. Sodachi has been such a big inspiration in my life. We both went through huge falls from grace due to personal pride and stupidity followed by truancy, depression, being shutin.
And then eventually a return to school and recovery, trying to figure out how our experiences shaped us and struggling with self-worth, In Musubimonogatari she has an extended appearance where she meets Koyomi again and we learn she's working as an accountant (and also bought the house from her childhood). That's the only reason I tried an accounting class when I went back to school and it's why I decided to become an accountant myself. If you read Sodachi Fiasco there's just so much that's intensely relatable. I've tried to recreate a lot of that in my Sodachi fics if anyone's interested.”
God, I'm so glad you shared that. I can already relate to most of that, so I'm really excited to see that when it comes out and in your fics especially too!
Since I know some people would rather not be spoiled, are there any arcs that stand out to you in Bakemonogatari or the earlier seasons that you really loved?
“Hmm, Ougi Dark is a legendary one, the whole sequence of Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, and Sodachi Lost. [Ougi Dark] is just a really stunning conclusion to Koyomi's main character arc. Accepting Ougi, saving himself. 😢”
So the final question is, what are you doing for the anthology and where can everyone find you online?
“For the anthology I'm submitting my fanfic Sodachi Christmas, which is a Sodachi point of view fic about Hitagi and Koyomi visiting her for Christmas Eve five years after high school graduation
Thank you so much for your time, Allie! I loved talking to you and I hope everyone reading this goes and reads your fics!!
“Thank you, it was fun!”
Thank you for reading, make sure to follow Allie on Twitter at: @tropicalesque
Koikoa's interview is short and sweet so make sure to enjoy it! This is the second of four interviews that will be translated by Cake from Spanish to English. You can catch the original versions by clicking the Spanish links below.
“My name is Inés/Koikoa, I studied graphic design and I love illustrating, I’m from Mexico.”
Oh, awesome! What interested you in graphic design?
“Being able to create my own things has always interested me. Such as typography, magazines, and everything else that they teach you in the field.”
Were there any moments where you realized you wanted to be an artist?
“The truth is, this artist thing has always been a natural way of being for me. I mean, I only really knew that I liked illustrating because I’d look at someone else’s work and I’d say “I want to be able to do the same.” Haha, but in the end, it’s thinking like that started causing me stress. I craved to be like others and I couldn’t, but I finally realized that I liked drawing but I needed to do it in my own way, otherwise it would cause me a lot of sadness.”
Thank you so much for sharing that. I think it’s something a lot of artists can relate to, but something no one talks about.
La entrevista con Koikoa es corta y dulce, ¡así que asegúrate que la disfrutes! Esta es la segunda de cuatro entrevistas que estaré traduciendo de español a inglés. Puedes encontrar la versión traducida en Inglés haciendole clic a “English” al final de la página.
“Mi nombre es Inés/Koikoa, estudié diseño gráfico y me encanta ilustrar, soy de México.”
Oh, awesome! ¿Qué te interesó en el diseño gráfico?
“Siempre me interesó la manera en la que podría creer mis propias cosas. Tipografía, revistas y todo lo que enseñan en la carrera.”
¿Hay algún momento en que te diste cuenta que quieras hacer una artista?
“La verdad esto de ser un artista siempre fue de manera natural, quiero decir yo solo sabía que me gustaba ilustrar, veía el trabajo de otras personas y decía "yo también quiero hacer lo mismo" haha al final un pensamiento así me causó un poco de estrés por anhelar ser como otros y no poder, al final comprendí que me gustaba dibujar pero tenía que hacerlo a mi manera si no esto me causaría mucha tristeza.”
Gracias por compartir eso. Creo que eso es algo que todos los artistas se pueden relacionar con pero nunca se menciona.
What kind of projects are you involved in?
“I’m currently organizing an event called “Cosmic Pool” with the objective of allowing independent artists a space for diffusion and making sure we all have a good time.”
Oh wow! That sounds fantastic. How often are these events? They’re based in Mexico, right?
“I organize them every two months, and yes, the events are based in the City of Mexico.”
That’s great. Well, since we’re a Monogatari fanbook, everyone wants to know: How did you find out about Monogatari? What was it about it that interested you?
“It’s thanks to @Buhodebolsillo that I found about the series. She helped me get into it. I must confess that what most interested me about Monogatari is that Akiyuki Shinbo directed it, since 2007 I’ve been obsessed with his work. It was the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series that made me fall in love, and well, Monogatari got my attention around that time, but I never watched the later seasons until some time later. I’m grateful for watching them later because I feel like it made me enjoy them better, and overall, helped me understand it.”
¿Que tipo de proyectos estas involucrada en?
“Actualmente organizó un evento llamado "Cosmic Pool" con el objetivo de dar difusión a los artistas independientes y que todos pasemos un rato agradable.”
Oh wow! Eso suena genial. ¿Con qué frecuencia haces estos eventos? Son en México, ¿verdad?
“Cada dos meses lo organizo, sí el evento se realiza en la Ciudad de México.”
Que bueno. Entonces como esto es un fanbook de Monogatari todos quieren saber: ¿Cómo te enteraste de Monogatari y qué te interesó de la serie?
“Fue gracias a @Buhodebolsillo que me enteré y me ayudó a estar en el, debo confesar que lo que más me atrajo de Monogatari a fue que Akiyuki Shinbo trabajo en ella, desde el 2007 estaba obsesionada con el trabajo que hacía (fue con Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei la serie con la que me enamore) y bueno la serie me llamó la atención en ese tiempo pero no seguí las temporadas siguientes hasta después de un tiempo. Agradezco verlas después por que siento que las pude disfrutar mejor que antes.”
“Sobre todo entenderla”
Shinbo’s fantastic. I think a lot of people who have seen Monogatari love Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei too, or at least that’s how it’s been for me.
Who are your favorite characters from Monogatari?
“Hitagi Senjougahara is my favorite hahahaha (even though I decided to illustrate Hachikuji hahaha) I really like her personality 💕. I love how she is. It’s weird for me to like characters like her, but her personality is just genius. She’s the complete opposite of me, but that’s why I like her.”
Ahh, I totally understand, I really like her personality too. What are some of your favorite arcs in Monogatari?
“Oh, that question is really hard to answer 😭 I think that all of them have their own moments. I could only really decide based on the animation which one I like best hehehe, but I think that wouldn’t be fair.”
Shinbo es fantástico. Creo que muchas personas que han visto Monogatari le encantan a Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei también, o por lo menos así fue conmigo.
¿Quiénes son tus personajes favoritos en Monogatari, y por qué?
“Hitagi Senjougahara es mi favorita hahahaha (aunque decidí ilustrar a Hachikuji hahaha), me gusta mucho su personalidad 💕. Me encanta su manera de ser, es raro que me gusten personajes como ella, pero la manera de ser es genial. Es todo lo contrario a mi y por eso me gusta hahaha.”
Ahh, te entiendo totalmente, a mi me gusta mucho el personaje de ella también ¿cuáles son tus arcos favoritos de Monogatari?
“Ay esta pregunta está difícil 😭 a mi parecer todas tienen lo suyo, solo podría decidir por la animación cual me gusta más hehehe pero creo que no sería justo.”
Hahaha, it’s alright! Even if it’s just based on animation I think your answer would interest the people reading this. Especially since you got into the series because of Shinbo. Do you have any arcs in mind?
“Although I think that one’s directed by Tatsuya Oishi as well if I’m not mistakened hahaha. But hey, I could say that in this one it also has the plus of the story.”
You’re right, I also think Kizu’s animation was fantastic.
Well, here it is, the last question: What are you doing for the anthology?
“I’m drawing Hachikuji, for two reasons, the first one is that she’s my second favorite character, the second is that she's a character whose personality is similar to my art style. That’s why I think it’s really easy to capture her essence. Hahaha, I guess that’s one way of putting it.”
Thank you so much for your time!
“💕 Muchas gracias.”
Jajaja, está bien! incluso si es solo por la animación creo que le interesa los que están leyendo esto. Especialmente porque te enteraste de la serie por Shinbo. ¿Tienes algún arco en mente?
“Aunque este creo que fue dirigida también por Tatsuya Oishi si no me equivoco hahaha. Pero bueno podría decir que en esta viene el plus de la historia hahaha.”
Tienes razón, yo también creo que la animación de Kizu es fantástica
Pues aqui esta la última pregunta: ¿Qué estás haciendo para la antología?
“Estoy haciendo a Hachikuji por dos razones la primera es por que es mi segundo personaje favorito y también por que es un personaje que tiene una personalidad muy parecida a lo que es mi estilo, por lo que siento que es fácil para mí captar su esencia Hahaha por decirlo así”
Muchísimas gracias por tu tiempo!
“💕 Muchas gracias.”
Pingu loves Kaiki.
This is not a controversial statement. As assuredly as the sun will rise in the morning, you can know that Pingu loves Kaiki Deishū.
In fact, it’s because of Kaiki that Pingu got into the Monogatari series.
“There was an audio post on Tumblr for Kaiki’s theme, and I listened to it and got intrigued! I found out he came from Monogatari, and from there it spiraled into madness as I tried to figure out the watch order for the sake of seeing this one depressed ossan.”
And from there it’s been Kaiki ever since. Kaiki’s arcs are Pingu’s favorites. Lavishly does Kaiki bedeck Pingu’s blogs and art.
Why would one love such a person so dearly?
What a question to ask.
“I could write an entire book about why [Kaiki’s] great... no, but okay I'll paraphrase. PHYSICALLY, he’s an ossan, he’s, uhh, he’s goth and depressed and he has eyebags that look like makeup, and also he looks like a classic VAMPIRE despite not being one. God, the contradictory piece of shit. PERSONALITY-WISE, he’s incredibly smart but incredibly dumb. He’s a good conman who wants to be a good person, but you’re not allowed to know he’s a good person. He’ll act like a villain, if that’s what it takes. And it’s, I guess, tragic that he’s always seen like that. But that’s the philosophy that’s worked with him: to doubt and take nothing as the truth.
“Kaiki is so painfully human compared to the other specialists. It’s obvious his menacing front is just that. He’s as lost and sad and stuck in his own self-sustaining contradictory lifestyle. And it makes me happy knowing even when he narrates he will deceive someone, he still helps them. He lies to himself and the audience to do good, and gwuhhh
“It’s like. God. Kaiki’s helped me a lot indirectly too, via his advice to Nadeko... specifically in how I treat my art. I used to hate looking at it, and had a self-deprecating outlook. But after Koi I just... stopped thinking that way and just kept going!!
“It applied a lot to other aspects too, with regards to 'just being able to change your mind like that,' and going from one path to another, and doing 'one sluggish thing' to 'another sluggish thing,' if that’s what makes you happy.”
Kaiki’s advice to Nadeko is perhaps some of the most invaluable advice anyone could give, or receive. It’s understandable, then that Pingu loves this man as much as he does.
Pingu is easily among the most lovingly dedicated apostles of Kaiki Deishū; so much so that Kaiki is even the reason why Pingu chose to seriously pursue art.
“I used [art] as a coping mechanism, because I got so painfully bored in class. And I'm not exaggerating when I say painful - it really did feel like something was pressing over my head…
“But I could just draw and draw in my notebook and it’d help a bit. I absorb information better when im drawing; even if it’s unrelated, I remember what the prof said when I was doodling a specific thing. And yeah, since I have class every day the improvement that came with just drawing eventually appeared (eheh)...
“I WANTED TO DRAW KAIKI.
“SO I GOT SERIOUS BABY!!!!!!!!!
“WE TALKING!! ANDREW LOOMIS BABYYYY!!
“I sat down and learned. REAL PROPORTIONS FOR THIS MAN!!!”
Family members, seeing his burgeoning talent over the years, had variously made the occasional gift of one of those many baleful “how to draw manga” books to Pingu. It did not stick quite as well as, say, Loomis’s instructionals.
“[Art] is something I’m glad I didn’t quit even when I’m well into my business course.”
That’s a sentiment I think many people happily share.
Hobbies need not be so simple as is implied by the irreverence with which we often apply that word. It’s good to be multi-faced; to, as Kaiki would suggest, be able to switch from “one sluggish thing” to another. We can apply passion to many different things without the need to focus in on one thing only.
But putting Kaiki himself away for the briefest of moments… what are some arcs of the series Pingu enjoys?
With good reason.
“But also Neko Shiro… and to be honest? Most of the early arcs. Hitagi Crab and Suruga Monkey are really good intros into Monogatari’s world. But also, Otorimonogatari, because I love all the arcs where there’s a new narrator [moe blob noises]. God, Nadeko Medusa was so INTERESTING! And SURUGA DEVIL! ITS SAD AND GAY! [moe blob noises continue] I think I cried at several points. When you learn the Thing, and [a certain character] refuses to acknowledge the Thing and it’s just, gguhhhhh… I’m so sorry Kanbaru Suruga, you just cannot catch a break!”
And now, a final question for Pingu: What is he doing for Mitsugimonogatari?
The answer may shock you!
“I’m drawing two art pieces featuring the oddity specialists, and 1 art piece to accompany a story named Ougi Parallel!”
Thank you to Pingu for joining Mitsugimonogatari. And as always, thank you for reading.
Hello everyone, it’s Cake here again with another interview with one of our contributors, this time it’s with @ClaireClockwork. This will be the third of four interviews conducted in Spanish. You can check out the Spanish and English versions by clicking below. Thank you, I hope you enjoy this one!
“My name’s Clara, I studied Fine Arts and Illustration and I’m from Spain. My interests include drawing, cinema, and listening to music.”
Let's start with the hardest question: What made you want to be an artist?
“All of my life I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to study Fine Arts, I’ve been drawing since I was little and I’ve never stopped practicing since. I think my interest [in art] comes from my dad whose hobby is also painting. Ever since I was little I’ve been observing him. That’s what taught me how to draw and got me interested in art in general.”
“I’m currently more focused on illustrating and not so much on painting, but I’d like to improve in that other field as well.”
That’s wonderful! From hearing that, It’s obvious that it’s your life long passion. I’m sure you’ll master both fields.
Hola a todos, Cake aquí con otra entrevista, esta vez hablamos con @ClaireClockwork. Esta será la tercera de cuatro entrevistas realizadas en español. Puede encontrar la versión traducida en Inglés haciendole clic a “English” al final de la página. ¡Gracias, espero que la disfrutes!
“Me llamo Clara, estudié Bellas Artes e Ilustración y soy de España. Mis aficiones son el dibujo, el cine y escuchar música.”
Comencemos con la pregunta más difícil: ¿Qué te hizo querer ser artista?
“Toda mi vida supe que quería estudiar Bellas Artes, dibujo desde pequeña y nunca he dejado de practicar. Creo que esta afición viene dada gracias a mi padre que también tiene como hobby la pintura y desde pequeña le he observado me ha enseñado a dibujar y a interesarme por el arte.”
“Actualmente estoy más centrada en la ilustración y no tanto en la pintura pero me gustaría mejorar también en este otro campo.”
Eso es maravilloso! Al escuchar eso, es obvio que es una pasión que vas a tener por vida. Estoy seguro de que dominarás ambos campos.
How did you find out about Monogatari and what interested you?
“The first time I watched Monogatari it was thanks to a good friend of mine. We always talk about what kind of anime we’re into, and thanks to his recommendation, I started watching the series and fell in love with its narrative and its art style.”
“I think that the series has a very unique style, and if we were to compare it to the grand majority of other anime that you would find currently, it’s a series that you have to pay a lot of attention to in order to capture all of its details and I find that to be fantastic.”
That’s very true, Monogatari has so much going on in its art style and even in its story that I just keep finding new things every time I rewatch it.
Who are your favorite characters in Monogatari?
“It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite because almost all of them have their own charm and they’re all so different from each other. But if I had to choose only some then I’d say it’s Senjougahara, Hachikuji, Ononoki, and Kaiki.”
I agree, it’s hard not to like them all.
¿Cómo te enteraste de Monogatari y qué te interesó?
“La primera vez que vi Monogatari fue gracias a un buen amigo mio con el que siempre hablo de los animes que nos gustan, gracias a su recomendación comencé a ver la serie y me enamoró su narrativo y su estilo de dibujo.”
“Pienso que la serie tiene un estilo muy marcado y resulta muy diferente si lo comparamos con la gran mayoría de animes que podemos encontrar actualmente, es una serie a la que tienes que prestarle mucha atención para poder captar todos sus detalles y eso me parece fantástico.”
Es cierto, Monogatari tiene tantas cosas en su estilo de arte e incluso en su historia que sigo encontrando cosas nuevas cada vez que lo veo.
¿Quiénes son tus personajes favoritos en Monogatari?
“Me resulta muy difícil elegir un personaje favorito porque casi todos tienen su encanto y son muy diferentes unos de otros pero si tengo que quedarme con algunos diría que son Senjougahara, Hachikuji, Ononoki y Kaiki”
Estoy de acuerdo, es difícil no quererlos a todos.
What would your favorite arc from the series be?
“Kizumonogatari’s arc and the movies are without a doubt my favorite. Especially all of the third part. I think everyone who’s interested in animation should be watching these movies.”
And finally, what are you doing for the anthology and where can people find you?
“My piece for Mitsugimonogatari will be a half body illustration of Senjougahara. I decided to draw this character because I love her personality and I think she’s a very complex person. On top of that, her mannerisms and way of being are really similar to my original characters and so I thought I could capture her essence well.”
Thank you so much for your time, Clara!
Cuales son tus arcos favoritos?
“El arco de Kizumonogatari y sus películas es sin duda mi favorito, sobre todo la tercera parte. Creo que todo el mundo interesado en la animación debería ver estas películas.”
Finalmente, ¿qué estás haciendo para la antología y en donde la gente puede encontrarte online?
“Mi aportación para Mitsugimonogatari es una ilustración de medio cuerpo de Senjougahara. Decidí dibujar a este personaje porque me gusta mucho su personalidad y creo que es una persona muy compleja. Además su forma de actuar es muy similar a las de mis personajes originales y pensé podría captar bien su esencia.”
Muchas gracias por tu tiempo, Clara!
Hi, my name is Lyanna, 26 years of age. Born, raised, and currently living in Italy. My sun sign is Gemini and my MBTI type is INTJ, a most unfortunate combo. I have been writing ever since I was a kid, and my dream has always been to become an author. Although I’ve also been drawing sporadically throughout my life, I picked drawing as a hobby a bit more seriously roughly three years ago. They do say that one should make the content they want to see in the world, and sure enough I wanted to see more Kiss-Shot and Deathshot 1 art. I realise it might be a silly reason to pick a hobby, but I don’t think it matters once you realise you love doing something.
I’m not sure I would be able to pick a favourite between writing and drawing — after all, they are both a medium I use to fulfil my love for my one true passion.
So let’s talk about stories, shall we?
1 Deathtopia x Kiss-Shot. Is it obscure? THEN READ ACEROLA BON APPÉTIT DAMN IT.
Let’s start with a short flashback.
The MITSUGIMONOGATARI project began with my habit of tweeting into the void. Tweet long enough into the void, and the void will answer back I guess. Either way, at the time I was finishing my first Monogatari fanfiction, and I realised the endless possibilities that Nisio Isin’s work offered. From both a character standpoint or a world-building view, the Monogatari Series thrives with possibilities. It thrives with stories. The possibility to expand on an original work of fiction is, in my opinion, the best legacy an author can leave behind. As such, the idea of creating an anthology mostly stemmed from the curiosity of seeing what kinds of tales could be weaved using the characters and/or world building Nisio Isin created.
Those who know me even a little bit are all too well aware what I love most about this legacy.
Kiss-Shot is my favourite character. In absolute terms. There is just no one else that comes even close to her. I fell in love with her when that one episode of Shinobu Time aired, and once I read through Kizumonogatari I knew my fate was sealed. After reading Acerola Bon Appétit I fell in love all over.
In short, I love Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
To me, both her story and overall character are simply the best thing about the Monogatari Series. I find it is not something discussed often — understandably, Kiss-Shot isn’t a character someone would easily relate to. Her tragedy happens on a scale that is just too grand to understand. Ultimately, though, her story is like many others: it is a tale of loneliness, of yearning for love and friendship despite being unable to ever reach for them.
The tale of Princess Beauty is more obviously a story of solitude, but Kiss-Shot’s tragedy is exactly her inability to break free from this curse. For those of you who read Princess Beauty and Acerola Bon Appétit, the irony of this will be apparent.
What I’m trying to say is that beyond the “epic” aspects of her tale — becoming a vampire, becoming a god — I think this is a story many of us know too well. For Kiss-Shot, her only way to be finally released from the shackles of her own fate was to leave behind her being, her own name. The only way for Kiss-Shot to no longer be alone — was to cease being Kiss-Shot, and become Shinobu.
Although I could argue all day whether this is satisfying or not, I think the moral of this story is that everyone can reach to the other side — to someone else — if they are willing to become vulnerable.
Which brings me to mention at least my second favourite character from the series, Senjougahara. Actually, Hitagi Crab is still among my favourite arcs in the Monogatari Series. Aside from the fact that I just love her personality, I admire how Senjougahara finds the strength to be helped. Letting others come close to you at such a critical time is not easy. To expose yourself and your problems, your vulnerabilities, your weaknesses — is not easy either.
Both Senjougahara as a character, and Hitagi Crab as a story are, in my opinion, what best represent the Monogatari Series. They sort of encapsulate everything that this series is about: facing your own demons (literally and figuratively), owning up to your weaknesses and your mistakes, and growing up. That is, to become a better version of yourself — and even though she does not get much screen time, Senjougahara keeps doing that throughout the entire series.
It is obvious that Koyomi Vamp, Acerola Bon Appétit, and Hitagi Crab are my favourite at this point. Another favourite of mine is Tsubasa Tiger, but I believe this is true for a lot of people. Kudos to you, Nisio. You managed to write the most cathartic story I have ever read, both for the narrator and the reader. Quite honestly, I wish I’ll be able to write something on this same level of perfection some day. Other honorable mentions are Nadeko Medusa, Mayoi Jiangshi, and Ougi Dark. In general, though, I don’t think there are any “bad” story arcs.
Although I do not agree with some of Nisio’s writing choices (more specifically, some humour choices), and I wouldn’t go as far as to say the series is perfect, Monogatari simply has everything I love in it. Well-written characters, supernatural elements, powerful ladies that could crush me. Thus, I can easily say that the Monogatari Series is among my favourite anime and light novels, despite its shortcomings. It has been six-seven years since I first got into it, and I enjoy it to this day because every time I re-read it or re-watch it, there is something I had failed to see before. This continuous discovery of new hints, foreshadowing, and details is personally what I love most about Monogatari.
I ranted long enough. It is time to mention what I am doing for this anthology, aside from helping as an organiser. I am writing and illustrating a short story, titled Acerola Human, which is admittedly best appreciated with a prior knowledge of Acerola Bon Appétit but that can be easily read on its own. I am also drawing two unaffiliated illustrations, one featuring Kiss-Shot and Seishirou, and one starring best Monogatari couple, Princess Acerola and Deathtopia.
If you managed to read this far, thank you.
And thank you for supporting this project.
Nadeshiko here, pleased to make your acquaintance. I stumbled my way to become an organizer for the Monogatari Series anthology, MITSUGIMONOGATARI! It is a mega massive honor... I'm not so used to this, so please be patient with me. I'm a ████████-generation ████████-American raised in ████████, ████████, and ████████. What, why no information?! You’re here for something more interesting than this!
I'm an illustrator. It's weird to use that term, but I went to an art university. I studied a lot of different mediums, and I loved every agonizing second of it. Art is the one thing that was, and is consistent in my life. Lots of clothes, fixations, hairstyles, people, places, change, but there's a connection that I have to the silly little process of drawing squiggly little lines. It used to be easier, and it used to be harder. But I love it so much because it is the most genuine way that I can communicate with this wild world.
So, how did I become involved in this project?
Let’s look at the root of this: how I delved into the Monogatari Series.
To be honest, I hated what I knew of it for the longest time. I refused to watch it because, to me, it was "that one anime with the s*scon lol*con bullsh*t," and that anime where "the protagonist borderline cheats on his girlfriend every episode with every girl-of-the-week."
But, eventually, I caved... was it the right time? Was it because SHAFT produced it? Or was it because the person who recommended it to me plucked my heartstrings? A mystery for the ages. What is certain though, is that after Hitagi's painful recollection of the moment her halcyon days ceased, I was bewitched. I devoured the entirety of the series in days.
This anime shook me at my core. It was as bad as I thought it was, but so, so, so much better than I thought it was, too. The themes, the characters, the visuals are so good, so real, so powerful, it ripped open my heart, and the series frightens me to this day. It's like... a monster, haha. My involvement in MITSUGIMONOGATARI blindsided me. I hid my love for this series for years, but the moment I decided to share this love of the series with the world, the world noticed.
My favorite part of Monogatari Series is the character that terrified, delighted, mesmerized me the most: Nadeko Sengoku. I didn't pay her special attention at first because she was "the cute one" in Nadeko Snake and Karen Bee. Simply "cute." But through Nadeko Medusa, Nadeko Sengoku became my favorite character of all time.
The world tells Nadeko to act a certain way, and she accepts it because it is the easiest thing a normal person can do. She resents the world that bestowed upon her a responsibility she does not care for. To fit in the neat little box of "younger sister," or "shy, cute, good girl," or "girl with no real ambitions, thoughts, presence." To be a girl who stays the same, no matter if six years pass.
She is a person that shuffles through life dressed as her "false self," an uncomfortable, but a familiar, skin. She blends in, right next to the furniture, where she likes it. Where no one watches, where no one suspects. But right under the surface is that "true self," that arrogant, bratty, cruel, jealous, manipulative, moronic, self-centered fiend.
Nadeko drowns in this desperation, this suffocation, this irrepressible silent scream of "I want the world to see me!" that bubbles over and spews out and burns every single person who dares to touch her, who dares to reach out to her when it's too little too late. She's done with this fruitless game, damn it!
This storm of emotions is the harsh consequence from her fear to resolve the contradiction that lies in her heart. Really, what's a girl to do? Hold onto these hollow sentiments, safe and unsatisfying, because the world hands her these strings-attached blessings on a silver plate? Or be cast out, free and defenseless, to a world that will punish her for the simple act of defiance? She decides on an untouchable rebellion: become a figurative god. To immortalize her "true" self with a pen and paper, where she forces the world to see who she is. Not who the world wants her to be. Because, while she is devilish, Nadeko is a girl with the passion, the perseverance, the shamelessness to draw mountains upon mountains of sketchbooks filled with a self-insert romantic comedy manga. That fire is, too, her "true self."
Phew, so much Nadeko! I can't help it, I adore stories where that tidy facade is shattered, and what is left is the messy, but precious, reality. When our hero dangles at the end of their rope... and beyond this they find the anguish, the misery, the fear, the freedom! So, besides Nadeko Medusa, I love Tsubasa Family and Tsubasa Tiger, Sodachi Riddle and Sodachi Lost. There are so many emotions in so many arcs... but these are the ones that left me breathless. Tsubasa's tumultuous family life, her eleventh-hour pleads to Black Hanekawa, her acceptance of the worst, and the best, parts of what makes her, her. Sodachi's emotional collapse, her oppressive trauma, and that quiet resolution to live her normal life, to find her happiness.
The Monogatari Series shares a message that I think people can relate to. To be misunderstood, to live a life that is boxed, and to live in the shadow of trauma. In order to be genuinely loved in the way your heart can accept it, you must be genuinely present. And when you are genuinely present, there is no easy way out: you have to say goodbye to the destructive things that are familiar, to the people, the circumstances, and the emotions that hold you back. You will face the truth, and bear the full weight of responsibility for your happiness. But Nisio Isin tells us that, despite the odds, you will be okay.
Thank you for humouring me, and for your patience. I have the high honor to draw Nadeko in the anthology, and the higher honor to illustrate Sodachi Christmas by Allie. Find me at @nadeko_draw on Twitter!
Please look forward to this project!
The first question is the hardest! Who are you?
That’s honestly a good question. I feel like my facets between irl, as a writer, as an artist, as a cosplayer - they’re all facets that include some qualities about the others but nothing really unifies them in one unit. Maybe that comes with being a mixed race kid, I’ve never been sure what I “counted” as, if that makes sense lol.
But if I had to sum it up, I am a little bit of everything I’ve learned. Anything that interests me, I try to learn a little about it or how to do it.
That's something that's actually really relatable. I love the way you put it. On that note, are there any moments or memories you have that got you into these things, such as art, cosplaying, writing, and everything else you've been interested in?
I really felt I had no talents as a kid. Middle child syndrome, y’know? One sibling was an excellent student, one had a real knack for color and art. All I could do was read fast. So since I didn’t feel I was that smart, I essentially forced myself to learn how to draw.
It definitely was a slow and frustrating path, but because I felt like I succeeded at teaching myself the basics, I felt if I put enough effort into anything I could learn almost anything.
So I added more random talents to my repertoire growing up! And even if I never succeeded at learning everything, at least I learned if I liked or didn’t like something. That’s one way of figuring out who you are.
That's honestly beautiful. I feel like I've learned a lot about you with that answer, and it makes me look forward to reading your writing too.
I guess it’s pretty evident why I love Hanekawa so much! I can’t help but end up agreeing with her view points.
God, I relate so much to Hanekawa, maybe that's why I find what you're saying so relatable. Speaking of, how did you first come across Monogatari? What got you into it?
I was a big fan of ryo’s songs and the members that eventually became the band Supercell. Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari and Sayonara Memories came out, and I remember finding the ED pv for Bakemonogatari and adoring the art style!!! Then I think I clicked on an amv using clips from the series. I think I just finished Jigoku Shoujo at the time so I was itching for another supernatural series and gave it a try.
And to be honest? I wasn’t 100% about it and dropped out in the middle of Nise.
It wasn’t until second season came around and I heard an arc was narrated by Hanekawa that I decided to give the series another go.
Evidently I’m here with a massive fic and two large art pieces for the anthology, so it’s safe to say I decided to stay for good that time!
Ah wow, you found it through the music! That's something I haven't heard yet. Though it's funny how I keep hearing that same experience with Nisemonogatari from so many people. They all came back for the second season too. What was it that made you drop it at that time?
You know The Scene.
LOL say no more.
So, who are your favorites in Monogatari??
Hanekawa, as I’ve said, and Kanbaru and Numachi.
Numachi is a close second in most commonly drawn monogatari character for me.
What about them makes them your favorites? If you wanna share.
I’ve never related closer to a character than Hanekawa, down to her relationship with Araragi explaining why a previous relationship I’ve had never could have worked out. I’m trying to embrace my own feelings like her after not taking care of myself. I don’t think I need to say more besides the fact that I have much of Neko Shiro memorized from how many times I watched it.
Kanbaru and Numachi kind of go hand in hand in how they handle regret. Kanbaru is so fun and yet she carries a lot with her. She admires and despises Araragi like two sides of a coin, and you kind of forget that as they grow closer. The fact still remains - her heart still harbors the deeper want to harm him. Even up to Zoku we’re reminded of that. Feelings are a lot more complex than just one or the other.
And that brings me to Numachi.
Have you ever had that moment where you didn’t realize you were so tense until someone else tells you to take a breath?
Numachi was so intent on collecting misery. Yet she forgot a very important part of her own misery that led to the events of Hana. I find that so relatable and interesting. You settle into negative language and behavior and it becomes so ingrained that you forget it wasn’t always a part of you. You forget it’s harmful. I think she has a great position as a character and what she stands for and teaches Kanbaru - and yet I still wish the scenes from Last Day of My Adolescence where they had a normal school life together could have come true.
Sorry for the wordiness, I feel like I’m saying so much more than everyone else has, hahaha!
Literature major, I can’t really help it.
Don't apologize! it's wonderful. You make me want to rewatch Hanamonogatari with how you describe Numachi and Kanbaru. I feel like their characters are really underappreciated.
What's your favorite arc in Monogatari? If you have more than one that's fine too. I wanna go ahead and guess one of your favorites is Neko Shiro with how you've talked about it but I might be wrong!
Top three is definitely Tsubasa Cat, Suruga Devil, and Shinobu Mail, I’ve rewatched them all countless times!
Not to start anything about watch order, but I actually had a bit of fun with showing Monogatari to a friend, since she was such a sucker for angst, I had her watch Kizu right before Shinobu Mail for maximum emotions over Shinobu’s first thrall.
It was successful.
She was upset at me for hurting her like that but she couldn’t help but agree it was a good place to put it for her first viewing.
Hahaha, I think that's great. Who cares about watch order when you get to experience things like that. Kiss-Shot's story is super emotional and Seishirou's character deserves more attention.
I'd love to hear so much more from you but I won't keep you for too long. You talked about it a bit earlier, but here's the final question: What are you doing for the anthology?
I’m doing art and writing! Two unaffiliated art pieces, and also did the insert art for my own fic, Suruga Flame! Oof, it sounds like a lot more than I felt like I got done now that I’ve said it. I’ve been pushing myself to go even more beyond my comfort zone with everything, so I really hope everyone enjoys! That’s all I could really ask for. :3c
Thank you so much for your time. I can't wait to see your pieces when they're released! In the meantime, where can people find you?
I can be found on ao3, twitter, and instagram at @zaphirite! And CrispyPata on tumblr, for those that still use it too. I post just about everything artsy, including cosplays and stuff in my shop on these platforms.
I'm Pen! I'm a viet-indo 16 year old high school student from Australia. For hobbies, I don't do much other than drawing. When I'm not drawing I'm usually watching anime, in order to help me draw. So most of my time is usually spent on art.
That's wonderful, pen! It's so nice to know more about you. Would you say there's anything in particular that interests you about art? What got you into it?
It started when I was really young, I would play a lot of games (particularly nintendo games). At that time I was into a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog stuff, and would try to copy the pictures from the games. I drew him so frequently that I started to draw him on my own without references and my friends and family would get really impressed about it.
It was when I had a lot of encouragement from others that I started to get into art more, and from a young age I really wanted to draw my own characters and stories in comics. I'm currently working hard to make it come true..!
The infamous sonic origins. That's great though! I'm glad people encouraged you to keep going. I'd love to see your stories in the future. I'd say your art's really inspiring and I personally love your designs.
Ahaha, it was a really fun and magical time to be honest. And thank you! I'm glad you already like them.
What kind of anime do you like?
I have two types of anime I like: I usually like peaceful, wholesome (but odd) animes like Uchouten Kazoku and Natsume Yuujinchou, but I also like loud and hyperactive animes like Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill. I'd say overall, I'm mostly driven to aesthetically pleasing animes with odd dialogue.
--and that's where Monogatari fits in.
NICE, that's an excellent way to describe those shows.
Monogatari definitely fits in that category!!! Which is what I wanted to ask you about next, how did you find out about Monogatari?
I'm a fairly new Monogatari fan, about a year ago is when I started to get really invested in the series. I knew about it way before, but never considered to watch it because I was picky about the things I watch (hence being an ecchi harem series...). Though I happened to stumble upon the song 'Futakotome', which I became to listen quite frequently that I started to check out the other openings.
I was amazed with the animation of all the OP sequences that I then went into watching clips of the series on youtube (specifically ones with Ougi). I fell in love with the atmosphere and the clean animation it had that I immediately started the series straight away.
Oh wow, that's pretty recent. I wouldn't have guessed but that's such a good way to get into it.
Who are some of your favorites from monogatari?
Definitely Hanekawa and Senjougahara! I admit, that they both didn't appeal to me during the first season. But it was when I finally got up to Neko:Shiro that they immediately became my favourites, especially Hanekawa.
Ahh, I also felt that way about them on my first watch. What do you like about them? Or more specifically hanekawa if you wanna talk about her.
They're both really interesting heroines. I really love the way they both develop throughout the series: Senjougahara becoming more open and bright and Hanekawa becoming more independent in herself but also dependent on others. For that reason is why Hanekawa is my favourite overall. Like many others, I relate to her on a personal level.
Those are great reasons. So you might have guessed already but I wanted to ask next: What are some of your favorite arcs in Monogatari?
Definitely Tsubasa Tiger (stated reason earlier)! Besides that, my favourites are Tsubasa Cat, Hitagi End and Sodachi Lost.
Ohh nice! I love those too. Do you have anything more to say about the series or those arcs? It's okay if you don't just asking so I make sure I'm not missing anything from you.
For Hitagi End, it was really interesting to have the narrator be Kaiki. I think the relationship and dynamic between Senjougahara and him was quite entertaining too.
I liked the 'detective'-kind of feeling we get in Sodachi Lost. The sort of rivalry between Hanekawa and Ougi in that arc was also entertaining too.
Also Hitagi End's OP is one of my favourites out of the bunch so watching that before the episodes always made me hype.
Thank you for sharing that! I'm sure most people would agree with you that those arcs are great.
And now the curtain falls on Penmonogatari with the final question: What are you doing for the anthology and where can people find you online?
I'll be drawing two pieces for the anthology! One of them being a Neko:Kuro piece, and the other featuring Ougi and Hanekawa.
I'm mostly only active on my twitter: @penporo_ !!!
Thank you so much pen!!! I'm sure everyone will be really excited for your pieces, I know I am!
Thank you! :D
Normally, when featuring Spanish speakers I translate their words into English but this time Arahi answered in both English and Spanish! You can find her highlight in both languages by clicking the translate links below. Please enjoy it!
Long story short: I'm a Mexican 22 year old illustrator who loves to cook, watch cartoons, and enjoys reading a lot. Also, as you can see, another monogatari series fan!
Oh wow, I didn't know you were into cooking. Anything specific you like to cook?
I'm really into spicy and salty food but also pastries!! My mom used to cook a lot at home so I learned with her since I was little.
That's awesome. I can relate to that though I bet your dishes are way better than mine. I'd love to see them sometime!
Awww thanks a lot! Sometimes I post a few pics of em, but not that often.
Normalmente, cuando tengo alguien que habla español yo traduzco sus palabras a inglés, ¡pero esta vez Arahi respondió en inglés y español! Puedes encontrar su entrevista en ambos idiomas haciendo clic a los links de traducción al final de la página. ¡Por favor disfrútala!
Soy una Ilustradora Mexicana de 22 años que le encanta cocinar, ver caricaturas y que disfruta leer mucho. Y como pueden ver, otra fan de las series de Monogatari!
Oh wow, no sabía que te gustaba cocinar. ¿Ahí algo específico que te gusta cocinar?
Me encanta hacer comida picante y salada pero también la repostería!! Mi mamá cocinaba mucho en casa así que aprendí con ella desde que era pequeña.
Puedo relacionarme con eso, aunque apuesto a que tus platos son mucho mas mejores que los míos. ¡Me encantaría verlos alguna vez!
Aww muchas gracias!! A veces subo algunas fotos de lo que cocino pero no es tan seguido.
So, what got you into illustrating?
Well, I think it started in more formal terms when I was in 7th grade, we had visual arts as a subject and my sister was in college at that moment, I knew about a couple of friends of hers that were at the capital studying plastic and fine arts after high school so I was really curious about it. After talking a lot with my visual arts teacher he encouraged me to look forward it and gave me more didactic material, years later I applied to the same school at the capital and went full into illustration.
I'm glad you got encouraged to get into it more seriously and pursue it as a passion. Your art style is really wonderful.
So, onto the anime stuff! What kind of series are you into? And what got you into Monogatari?
¿Qué te hizo querer ser una ilustradora?
Pues, creo que en términos formales empecé cuando iba en secundaria, tuvimos Artes Visuales como materia en la escuela y mi hermana mayor tenia un par de amigos que se fueron a la capital a estudiar la Licenciatura en Artes Visuales y Bellas Artes, así que me daba mucha curiosidad pensar en ello como una carrera. Después de hablar con mi maestro de Artes, me animó a investigar al respecto y me dio mucho material didáctico. Años después, apliqué para la misma universidad que los amigos de mi hermana y me fui de lleno sobre ilustracion.
Me alegra de que te hayan animado a meterte más en serio y perseguirlo como una pasión. Tu estilo de arte es realmente maravilloso.
Hablemos de cosas de anime. ¿Qué tipo de serie te gustan? ¿Y qué te metió en Monogatari?
Thanks, I'm really glad too! Haha. Welp when it comes to anime, I'm a huge romance nerd, I like action and mystery too! And besides Monogatari my favorites are KareKano, Nana, Kids on the Slope, Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, xxxHOLIC and, The Eccentric Family, FMAB and Durarara!
And about Monogatari, my best friend's brother told me about it once when I was in her house talking about stunning visuals in anime. I was really hyped so of course I watched the first 3 seasons in a month.
Oh cute, those are really good series. I like how you got into Monogatari because of the visuals. I keep hearing that a lot and it surprises me but at the same time Shaft's style is so unique that I guess it shouldn't.
Visuals aside, who are some of your favorite characters from Monogatari?
I'd have to say Hanekawa and Kaiki, their arcs have touched me so deeply, specially because they talk a lot about the construction of self identity, that's something I think many people can relate with. I think that's what I love about them both, in their own way, they have been struggling for so long with who they are and what defines em as individuals and in the end just embracing what and who they are. They both broke my heart and made me love them so much.
Gracias! A mi también me alegra mucho jaja. Bueno, creo que cuando se trata de anime me vuelvo una gran nerd del romance, me gusta mucho la acción y el misterio también! Y a parte de Monogatari, mis animes favoritos son KareKano, Nana, Kids on the Slope, Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, xxxHOLIC and, The Eccentric Family, FMAB y Durarara!
Y sobre Monogatari, el hermano mayor de mi mejor amiga nos contó al respecto una vez que fui a su casa y estábamos hablando de animes con visuales increíbles, me emocionó mucho la idea así que vi las primeras 3 temporadas en un mes.
Oh cute, esas son series realmente buenas. Me gusta cómo te metiste en Monogatari por los visuales. Lo escucho mucho y me sorprende, pero al mismo tiempo el estilo de Shaft es tan único que supongo que no debería.
Dejando a un lado los visuales, ¿quiénes son algunos de tus personajes favoritos de Monogatari?
Creo que tendría que escoger a Hanekawa y Kaiki, sus arcos me han tocado profundamente, especialmente porque hablan sobre la construcción de la identidad propia, creo que es algo por lo que muchos se pueden identificar. Y creo que es por eso que los amo, de cierta forma ellos han luchado por muchísimo tiempo respecto a quienes son y qué los define como individuos, y al final haciendo las pases quienes son. Me rompieron el corazón y me hicieron amarlos tanto como lo hago ahora.
That's such a beautiful way to describe them both. You're so right, Kaiki struggles to define himself and that makes his parts so interesting.
Which arcs in the series were some of your favorites? Any stick out to you in particular?
That's easy, Shinobu Mail made me cry so much with her and Seishirō's story, I think it was an incredible way to show the sensitiveness of Shinobu and all the weight she carried for so many years. Aside of that of course my favorite will always be Koimonogatari for sure, I can't be helped. I was so excited to see more about Kaiki plus it was a story told from his point of view. I think aside from Hanekawa's and Araragi's [narration] (what we were used to) Kaiki was a great addition as a narrator, and made me feel so intrigued about it. Also, Senjōgahara was such a fragile and vulnerable one in that arc, it made her feel really human, I really appreciate that in a story.
Esa es una manera tan hermosa de describirlos. Tienes mucha razón, Kaiki lucha por definirse y eso hace que sus partes sean tan interesantes.
¿Qué arcos de la serie fueron algunos de tus favoritos? ¿Alguno te llama la atención en particular?
Eso es facil, Shinobu Mail me hizi lkorar tango con su historia y la de Seishirō's, creo que fue una manera increíble de mostrar la sensibilidad y el peso que shinobu ha cargado durante tantos años. Por otro lado, por supuesto que Koimonogatari es y siempre va a ser mi arco favorito, no tengo remedio, estaba muy emocionada de ver más sobre Kaiki, plus, era una historia contada desde su perspectiva, creo que a parte de Araragi y Hanekawa (a lo que estábamos acostumbrados) Kaiki fue una excelente adición como narrador, me hizo sentir tanta intriga cada capítulo! Y también, ver a Senjōgahara como alguien tan vulnerable y frágil la hizo ver muy humana, es una cualidad que aprecio mucho es una historia)
Thank you for sharing that. You have such a way with words in both English and Spanish, it's lovely.
Now, the final question: what are you doing for the anthology and where can people find you online?
My pleasure!!! And thanks to you of curse, for the anthology I'm making a couple of illustrations and you can find me most of the time on Instagram and on Twitter as @buhodebolsillo
Thank you so much for your time Arahi!
Gracias por compartir eso. Tienes una manera tan hermosa con las palabras en inglés y español.
Ahora, la pregunta final: ¿qué estás haciendo para la antología y dónde pueden encontrarte en línea?
Un placer!!! Y gracias a ti por supuesto, para la antología estoy haciendo un par de ilustraciones, y me pueden encontrar la mayor parte del tiempo en Instagram o aquí en Twitter como @buhodebolsillo
Gracias por la paciencia Cake jaja
Muchas gracias por tu tiempo Arahi!
Up until now you’ve read about the wonderful people involved in this project. The artists, writers, and organizers. They’ve all played a huge part in making this happen. Before I go on about myself I’d like to appreciate them some more. So, if you haven’t already please go and read their stories from the beginning! I’ve added a table of contents for you with icons and all the good stuff [here].
My name’s Cake, I’m an organizer for MITSUGIMONOGATARI, I’ve also been a programmer for 11 years now, a joke, and many other things throughout.
I've always been interested in learning more about everything. I love creating and taking things apart. I tend to be generally really private when it comes to my life, but I don’t mind opening up some for the right occasions; this is one. My life's a never ending telenovela, but I'll spare those details for anyone who’s maxed out my social link. For now I’ll settle for brief glimpse into how I think.
When I was 11, I took apart my PC just to try and figure out what was going on inside of it. I remember plugging a cable into the wrong place and avoiding death by pure chance. I completely fried the computer. My parents had to buy a new one.
The moral of the story is that I'm a dumbass, but I still got a new computer tho.
From a very young age I took an approach to life of wanting to continuously better myself. That meant focusing on how I wrote and generally controlling what kind of habits I had. I started this when I was 14 and it went on for years. But let me just say: it probably wasn’t a good idea. I ended up taking myself too seriously. I burned out and it wasn’t fun. I’ve since learned that the best approach isn’t through forcing yourself but through smaller and even passive actions. Don't take yourself too seriously, don’t rush your progress. Take your time. That’s my current approach.
Another thing that’s really important to me is heart. What’s heart? For me, it’s my passion, my love, and my empathy. None of which are unconditional, they come and go, but as long as they’re in my heart, I fight for them. A bit dramatic, but I think that’s the best way that I can explain my drive. Heart is different for everyone but once you spot someone with heart you just know.
But who cares about that stuff? I could rant on about the nonsense that goes on in my life but I'm sure more people are interested in what I have to say about Nisio Isin and the Monogatari Series.
Anime's always been a part of my life. Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh. I grew up on those but I never viewed anime as its own medium. I pretty much just saw them as cartoons with seriously good plot. Even when in middle school where I watched bits and pieces of Inuyasha, I never really considered myself into "anime." The culture didn't click. Stories like the ones I mentioned didn't really focus on their character development. The plot drove everything and the characters were part of fantastical worlds with fantastic powers.
Then I watched FMA. That series was one of the first few anime that I really got into. It's got an overarching plot but the characters and their struggles were a huge focus. I didn't realize it at the time, but that's the kind of anime I love.
It wasn't until one of my friends pretty much begged me to watch Bakemonogatari that I really started to appreciate anime as its own medium. It was visually stunning compared to anything else I’d seen at the time, and the characters felt real. Take away the oddities and Monogatari is really just a story about people experiencing traumatic things and figuring out how to cope.
When I first watched it though, I didn’t see that. Senjougahara felt like a hit to the face. The first few episodes were like, okay, why would someone be this rude? But then you learn more about her, just like you would a real person. That’s when her personality actually starts to make sense. She’s not willingly like that; she has to be in order to survive.
That’s what I love about how Nisio writes. You become intimately familiar with the characters as the story goes on.
My favorite characters from the series might be obvious to some people already:
Senjougahara and Hanekawa.
Senjougahara closes off her heart to the world after experiencing one of the most traumatic things a person could ever experience. She ends up having to face her feelings headon because not being able to grasp their weight literally almost kills her. When her feelings come pouring down on her it’s a heartbreaking moment, but it’s necessary, she needs to feel everything in order to get past it.
I especially love that her story doesn’t end there. She doesn’t become a completely different person just because her problem is “fixed.”
She takes her time in deciding on what she wants to be next. She reveals her past to Araragi, she takes him to see someone she once loved, Kaiki. She’s being vulnerable for the first time there and it’s incredible. And then she makes the most obvious change, she cuts her hair, pretty much signifying another stage in her life.
I love that despite these changes, at the core of her character, she’s still the same. She still holds the same values. You can see a lot of that in one of my favorite parts in Neko Shiro. There’s even a gag where Hanekawa jokes that her character is reverting back. So yeah, she’s a wonderful character, and I hold her close to my heart because her story is really just about learning to open up again and figuring out who you are.
Hanekawa’s one of the most complex characters in the series. I have a lot to say about her. She has a lot going on, but ironically, when you first start the series she seems to be the most stable one. She’s the class president, she knows everything, and she’s always helping out Araragi. But you later learn she’s actually hiding herself. She’s hid her pain away and bottled everything up. Like a shaken up bottle of coke waiting to be opened, she eventually erupts. Enter Black Hanekawa.
Not many people know what it’s like to have so much stress built up that you get actual migraines from it. It’s something that I used to deal with when I was younger that I never actually understood. Most people describe migraines as “really intense headaches”, but are they? No, they’re way worse than that. Sometimes it’s like a knife through your head.
Black Hanekawa is basically Hanekawa’s way to escape herself, to explore a side of herself that she’s not been able to because of how much she’s hidden and limited herself to. She can finally relieve her stress. She can finally lash out at others. The concept is so foreign to Hanekawa that she can’t accept Black Hanekawa as a part of herself. She’s her alter ego, because she’s nothing like her, she only exists to do her bidding.
Hanekawa’s story in Neko Shiro is one of her most character defining moments. Not only is she learning a lot about herself and her feelings within, but also, she’s being constantly challenged. “What do you actually like?” (Hitagi) “Don’t expect anyone to help unless you face your problems.” (Mamaragi) “You’re so ignorant you don’t even know your own problems.” (Gaen).
Hanekawa’s brilliant academically but she’s emotionally dumb. She has no idea how to answer these challenges. She learns something important, she needs to start taking care of herself. She needs to start relying on herself. She needs to become her own person again.
Hanekawa’s story in Neko Shiro is one that ends with acceptance and self respect. She decides it’s finally time to stop running from herself. It’s finally time for her to have her own space within her own home. It’s time for her to face her feelings, her pain, and do something. She confesses to Araragi, faces his rejection, and cries her heart out. I love everything about this. Her story isn’t wrapped up neatly, it’s only just beginning, from then on she starts her real adventure.
Considering how much I’ve talked about it already, and how much more I could say, my favorite arc has to be Neko Shiro. The biggest reason is because of the way Hanekawa and Hitagi were brought together. In Nisemonogatari you see them slowly start to interact more playfully, but in Neko Shiro you can see that they’re actually becoming really good friends who care about each other. People who love each other. Senjougahara shaking Black Hanekawa’s hand out of respect despite knowing she’ll get hurt? I’ll eat that right up.
So yeah, Hanekawa and Hitagi are deeply personal characters to me. I relate to them both a lot and it makes me happy that even within the story they make a strong connection with each other. It makes total sense. Their traumas might be wildly different but both of them struggled with their own feelings and that’s how they learned to understand each other.
I’m really passionate about people and Nisio’s stories are at their core all about people. They’ve brought such a huge community together. I’ve met a lot of beautiful souls in this community and I hope that continues to happen.
I'm happy I was able to be a part of such a wonderful project.
Thank you for reading, if you want to see me spout nonsense into the void and somehow made it this far without already knowing: my twitter is @freusan. I’ve also made an ao3 account for whenever I finally get into writing fanfics, if you’d like to check it out it’s @freusan.
You've reached the end, for now...
Stay tuned for some piece previews from all of the creators highlighted!
You can find updates from us at @Mitsugimono_ENG