Monogatari (Japanese: 物語, “Story”) is a Japanese light novel series written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Vofan. It centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who survives a vampire attack and finds himself helping girls involved with a variety of apparitions, deities, ghosts, beasts, spirits, and other supernatural phenomena, which often serve as proxies for their emotional and mental issues. Between November 2006 and October 2020, Kodansha published 26 volumes in the series under its Kodansha Box imprint, with plans for at least two more volumes as of October 2020. All of the series’ story arcs share the common title suffix -monogatari (物語).
Shaft has animated the Monogatari series multiple times since 2009. The first season of the anime adaptation consists of 30 episodes, which were broadcast in Japan between July 2009 and December 2012. The second season consists of 28 episodes broadcast between July and December 2013, and the third and final season consists of 42 episodes broadcast between December 2014 and June 2019. A prequel anime film trilogy, Kizumonogatari, was released in 2016 and 2017. A manga series illustrated by Oh! great adapting the series’ first arc, Bakemonogatari, began serialization in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine in March 2018.
The Monogatari series revolves around Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who has almost restored his humanity after briefly becoming a vampire during spring break. One day, a classmate of his, the reclusive Hitagi Senjōgahara, falls down a flight of stairs at school into Koyomi’s arms. To his surprise, he discovers that Hitagi weighs almost nothing, in defiance of physics. Despite being threatened to keep away, Koyomi offers his help and introduces her to Meme Oshino, a strange middle-aged man living in an abandoned cram school who helped reverse his vampirism. Once Koyomi helps solve Hitagi’s problem, she decides to become his girlfriend.
As the series progresses, Koyomi finds himself involved with other girls afflicted by “oddities” (怪異, kaii, lit. “strangeness”): the ghost of a child named Mayoi Hachikuji; his underclassman Suruga Kanbaru; Nadeko Sengoku, a friend of his sisters; his classmate Tsubasa Hanekawa; and his own younger sisters Karen and Tsukihi. To deal with the apparitions, which feed on human emotions and often take forms symbolically represented by animals, Koyomi relies on supernatural guidance from Oshino and, later, from Shinobu, the once-powerful blonde vampire who attacked him and later assumed the appearance of an eight-year-old girl.
Monogatari is the name given to a series of light Japanese novels written by the novelist Nisio Isin. The novels were illustrated by Vofan, a Taiwanese illustrator. There are a total of 24 novels, all released since 2006, with 5 more novels planned to be released soon.
The novels have been adapted into anime by SHAFT, and the adaptions have been a huge hit. The series only grew as more episodes were released. The Monogatari anime is made up of a central story as well as a number of smaller, short stories that feature different characters within the same universe. They all follow a theme of odd characters with odd afflictions, within beautifully constructed stories that hold a deep meaning, while being light and fun to watch.
The series can be watched in chronological order, but this isn’t necessarily recommended as the best way to watch the stories for the first time. The release of the second and final season has thrown the chronological order for a bit of a loop as the series was never intended to be watch chronologically. The purpose of a shuffled timeline was done to create some mystery and anticipation, and to help add in some big reveals and revelations along the way.
Although the Monogatari series is a big world with many characters, it all ties in with a common theme and feel that pulls it all together to create a complete and rounded novel series.
Here is a breakdown of the different seasons, which are vital when knowing the order to watch the series in:
First season: Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari black and Kizumonogatari.
Second season: Nekomonogatari White, Kabukumonogatari, Hanamonogatari, Otorimonogatari, Onimonogatari and Koimonogatari.
Final season: Tsukimonogatari, Koyomimonogatari, Owarimongatari, Zoku Owarimonogatari.
What about Kizumonogatari?
Kizumonogatari is actually a prequel that explains how the story actually began, but when to actually watch this series of movies is a topic of much debate.
- Before Bakemonogatari – The light novel author stated that as a prequel, watching it before everything else is a valid way to experience it, but not the most recommended way. The thing that can throw some people off is that the style of movies differs from the actual series.
- Between Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari – This is the author’s recommended spot to watch Kizumonogatari. After Bakemonogatari, you have a fair amount of information on the world and Kizu will help clear things up more quickly going forward.
- Between Koyomimonogatari and Owarimonogatari (Second Season) – The true airing order way to watch it, but breaks up the story of two important arcs. If you are on a binge watch, then it is less of a big deal.
- Between Owarimonogatari and Koyomimonogatari – This is the compromise to the airing order watch above that doesn’t separate the story arcs and makes for a more cohesive watch.
Chronological Watch Order of Monogatari
The most entrancing thing about the Monogatari series is that it has so many stories to tell in the same universe and that intrinsically gives it a lot of rewatch value. However, watching chronologically will only make the most sense if you already are familiar with the series. For advanced fans, the chronological watch order is as follows.
- Nekomonogatari: Kuro
- Monogatari Series – Mayoi Jiangshi
- Monogatari Series – Shinobu Time
- Owarimonogatari (First Season) – Shinobu Mail
- Monogatari Series – Tsubasa Tiger
- Owarimonogatari (First Season) – Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, Sodachi Lost
- Monogatari Series – Nadeko Medusa and Hitagi End
- Owarimonogatari (Second Season)
- Zoku Owarimonogatari
We hopes this helps new and veteran fans alike that need a little more Monogatari in their lives. If you have your own comments on either watch order, let us know in the comments section below.
How much Time Will It Take To Watch?
It will take you 44 hours and 18 minutes to watch all the installments in
This includes all the TV series, movies, ONAs, and specials.
If you follow the chronological order/author-recommended order, you can complete the series in 43 hours and 48 minutes.
Here’s a quick list of each installment and their run time in order of their release:
- Bakemonogatari – 360 minutes
- Bakemonogatari Recap – 24 minutes
- Nisemonogatari – 264 minutes
- Nekomonogatari: Kuro – 96 minutes
- Nekomonogatari: Kuro Recap – 2 minutes
- Monogatari Series: Second Season – 624 minutes
- Hanamonogatari – 125 minutes
- Tsukimonogatari – 96 minutes
- Okitegami Kyouko no Bibouroku x Monogatari – 45 seconds
- Nisekoimonogatari – 1 minute
- Owarimonogatari – 312 minutes
- Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu – 64 minutes
- Koyomimonogatari – 168 minutes
- Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu – 64 minutes
- Koyomi History – 3 minutes
- Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu – 83 minutes
- Owarimonogatari 2nd Season – 154 minutes
- Owarimonogatari 2nd Season Recaps – 50 minutes
- Zoku Owarimonogatari – 168 minutes
7. About Monogatari Series
The Monogatari series is based on a series of light novels by Nisio Isin, which revolves around Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who comes up against a legendary vampire during his spring break and barely survives the encounter.
In the series, Koyomi finds himself involved with girls afflicted by “oddities.”
To deal with these, Koyomi relies on supernatural guidance from Oshino and, later, from Shibonu, the once-powerful vampire who attacked him and now has taken the appearance of an eight-year-old girl.