Around midnight, under a lonely streetlamp in a provincial town in Japan, lies a white woman, a blonde, alone, robbed of all four limbs yet undead. Indeed, a rumor's been circulating among the local girls that a vampire has come to their backwater, of all places.
Koyomi Araragi, who prefers to avoid having friends because they'd lower his "intensity as a human", is naturally skeptical. Yet it is to him that the bloodsucking demon, a concept "dated twice over", beckons on the first day of spring break as he makes his way home with a fresh loot of morally compromising periodicals.
Always disarmingly candid, often hilariously playful, and sometimes devastatingly moving, KIZUMONOGATARI: Wound Tale is the perfect gateway into the world of author NISIOISIN, the best-selling young novelist in Japan today. The prequel to BAKEMONOGATARI ("Monster Tale"), this is where the legendary MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim, begins.
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Great introduction to the Bakemonogatari world
This is one of the rare occasions in which I would read or listen again to a book.
Not only the story is absorbing, but the narrators do a pretty good job at making the characters come to life.
As a Bakemonogatari fan I loved how this book explains all the things that were thrown at the viewer in the anime and never explained.
As an anime fan, it was like reading an anime series.
As a fantasy fan it is a smart urban fantasy tale with a nice, fresh spin on vampires and monsters and their relations with humans. If you are fed up with all that cliché modern fantasy novels that look like they were all made from the same mold look no further!
Having watched multiple Bakemonogatari series and knowing how western voice actors tend to always get the tone of the voice of anime characters wrong I was pretty scared by how this might have ended.
However, even though the characters sometimes sound strange (there are some times in which characters convey a specific emotion through their voice when it is obvious that they should convey another one, especially if you know the characters from previous works) this audiobook's voice performance greatly surpassed my expectations.
The main character's narrator was the best one of the three, sounding almost like the Japanese voice actor, and Cristina Vee did an awesome job when performing the lines of the younger versions of Kisshot.
"Lots of talking involved"
If you are a Bakemonogatari fan and you ended up on this audiobook I think you do not need my review to decide whether to buy it or not.
However, if you are a fantasy fan I would suggest you to give it a shot, but be mindful that some parts look like they came out of a dictionary definition of "Japanese wackiness". If you like these kind of things or can overlook some wackiness you are in for a great ride.
- Michele Bianchi