DVD REVIEW: NEKOMONOGATARI WHITE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: TOMOYUKI ITAMURA / SCREENPLAY: AKIYUKI SHINBO / STARRING: YUKA IGUCHI, TSUKIHI ARARAGi, HIROSHI KAMIYA / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 24TH
Nekomonogatari White is the animated tale of a young lady called Tsubasa Hanekawa, who becomes possessed by the spirit of a great white tiger and can thus assume a magical cat form. As this is an animated TV series made by the Japanese, it’s no happy tale of a girl who gets up to kittenish shenanigans, and is instead a bloody and rather tragic tale in parts. The main character, of course, just wants to be an ordinary girl.
Nekomonogatari White is as difficult to watch as it is to pronounce. There’s no dub; it’s subtitles all the way, and the dialogue is intricate and involved. There are some rather harsh scenes involving the main characters, and the central plot revolves about a young woman who can assume a cat-like form. This makes the entire thing hard work, even though the animation is very pretty and the main characters fun to watch, this doesn’t make up for the over wordiness of the storytelling. The heroes talk an awful lot.
This new collection features the whole first series and it is not recommended as light viewing; it isn’t the subtitles that are the problem, it’s that they can take up most of the screen. Each episode does tend to wander, as does the attention of the viewer. Add to this themes of isolation and domestic abuse, and what we have here is something that is less a fun romp and more an episode of Coronation Street or EastEnders but with longer dialogue and cute anime girls.
The direction, voice acting and soundtrack are very well done; all these elements combine to create a very pleasing experience. Each scene is well designed, with a great amount of fine detail gone into each significant element. The problem is that unless you’re a fan of anime, you will find it hard to engage with the main characters, even when they go through hell. Fans of Bakemonogatari will love this, the rest of us should check out Bakemonogatari first before giving this a go.
Special Features: None
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