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.
©2015 NISIOISIN (P)2016 Random House Audio
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"A good start, even for the most critical fans."
I would only recommend this book to some friends, as this is definitely not a story for everyone. The story can easily be bogged down if you do not resonate with the characters inner turmoil and the thought provoking moral quandaries could just sound like teenage angst if you don't buy in to stories about kids in high school. Even for many Anime fans the verbose and palindromic writing can be mind melting giving some scenes a feeling of dragging on for eternity. Monogatari has never been for everyone, but it is for those listeners or readers who have a love for ten dollar words, being wrapped up in a flurry of wit while being sucked deeper into the rabbit hole.
Koyomi Araragi is by far the stand out character, and continues to be in later novels in the Monogatari series. He is both an everyman character, but also someone with a distinct and strong personality. Between his inner monologues and exterior arguing with himself you get a deep and rich understanding of how he thinks; thus allowing the author to almost meld the minds of the character and reader together.
The standout scene in this audiobook comes almost purely from a delivery and character aspect. Hearing Christina Vee argue with herself as two separate characters was a true joy. While I wish they had used another actor to play Hanekawa it was still thrilling to hear.
There are two very strong scenes in this book which may either make or break the story for you; the first meeting of our two main characters (Araragi & Kisshot), and their stories climax towards the end. Each novel in the Monogatari series focuses heavily on a singular character and their interactions with Koyomi Araragi with the other characters coming in as strong supports to reinforce the actions of each character. For a majority of the novels, the main support or what could be argued as a tertiary main character to Koyomi is Kisshot. Both their first meeting, and the main story element which binds them together in this novel are very strong, and emotionally draining, but every step beforehand leads you to the finale which you are told from the start will not be a happy one.
The Monogatari series as a whole isn't an easy subject matter to translate into a simple written or spoken language. Most likely why it's taken so long for anyone to try and even tackle this expansive series.
With that being said, Vertical has done an excellent job with translating the Novel but keeping dialog, character specific quirks, and the themes of the Monogatari series consistent between the anime and novels. While I would say they did only a serviceable job on the audiobook, it comes from high expectations. The source material is strong in creating an emotional resonance between the reader (or viewer) and the characters in action, so when the voices of them do not line up as you expected, it can be somewhat jarring. Even if the actors did a strong job overall. I will say that compared to the Japanese actor of Hanekawa who sounded more stern, mature, and serious; this iteration is given a more high pitched, giddy, and almost bubbly voice which I wouldn't say fits well, especially with later events in the series and I hope that Vertical reconsiders casting and brings in a different actor to play her.
I would say my main criticisms lie with the direction more so than casting, delivery, or the script. This is a biased point of view, but it seems the director definitely had the actors hold back on some scenes, opting for a bit more subdued approach compared to the anime & japanese actors deliveries. This is personal preference, but I would have rather scene the actors ham up the more dramatic scenes more, as the series has always been known to be bombastic, over the top, and incredibly verbose.
I can also say there is a definite problem with the pacing in a few areas. While this isn't a major problem, it definitely feels as though the actor playing Araragi was told to pick up his reading pace during a few scenes which could have been a little lengthier and more thought provoking. On the other hand, talking a mile a minute is definitely a key attribute to our protagonist, and nothing new the near frantic levels of dialog in the animation version of him.
"Great production quality"
Loved the vocie acting and music, the story was a bit predictable but the production made it feel like I was watching an anime. I hope more light novels get this treatment! I just wish they included a PDF with all the art
"Great all around story!"
This nothing to say but a total a master piece; Nisioisin handcrafted this book as prequel to the beloved Monogatari series. This book has thrills and climatic changes throughout the whole book. Cover to cover there is no dry points in the whole book. The voice actors, and actress were well casted and did an magnificent job on the narration of the story, Erik Kimerer did an outstanding job as Koyomi Araragi. This is the closest thing we will probably get to a dub version of the Monogatari series as a whole. It was a all round great listen and read, with only a slight errors in translation. An A++ read.
"Fantastic supernatural sci-fi story"
I enjoyed the book a ton. To keep it in mind this is a translation of a Japanese light novel and it is really well done.
To put it simply, if you haven't had much experience with Japanese light novels, manga or anime some of the moments are a little odd.
The narrators are very good and enjoyable to listen too. I am going to be listening to the following books.
Of course! and I did.
Vertical did a fantastic job with the translation. I look forward to the following books in the Monogatari series, as well as other ones translated by Vertical.
"Great story with a good performance."
The performance the three actors give is great. I really loved the original novel too.
"Worthy of the Monogatari Series"
You will enjoy this if you liked the Monogatari anime series. Honestly, it surprised me to see this on here and I didn't even have to think about the purchase. I could have been faced with food or this and I would have elected to go hungry to get it. Even more surprising was the production quality. I'm very happy with the multiple narrators as their performances blended well. Anyone not familiar with the series might find the pacing a bit slow. Still, I would encourage anyone to give this gem a chance.
if you like anime then you will love this book, the narration was awesome, some of the best I've ever heard.
if you don't like anime odds are you won't get a lot of the cultural jokes, and won't enjoy it as much but go for it anyways .
vampire , romance, ecchi, drama. and more but in less amounts some spots even make you think it could fall into a harem anime.
now I'm off to get the next one
"An Audiobook of Japanese novel at last"
Where to begin? Well I suppose I should begin with a warning. This is not an American novel, it's extremely funny but the humor is different than American comedy. It has a strong plot and good fights but again these are not the sort you'll find in American books. What does this mean? It means there is a good chance that no matter how good a book this is, it might not hit your sweet spot of approval. For me, being a young male that loves anime well it does actually hit that sweet spot and digs right in.
The story itself is fun. This is not the "oh we have to be deathly serious books," there's a lot of humor and being a Japanese novel a lot of it is lewd. Some people might find the fight scenes anticlimactic, after the hero discovers the trick to wining he does so. Some people might get annoyed with the long names, again these are supposed to be a joke since Heart Under blade blah blah blah translates in Japanese to a normal Japanese girl's name of Shinobu. Another example the hot blood yet cold blooded blah blah, is actually the definition of the Japanese term tsundere and is a hint at the vampire's personality. Also this is the first book in a twelve book series so don't expect everything to be nice wrapped up to finish. Lastly think that is enough for warnings.
1. the story isn't really about what you think it is, there are plenty of twists to it, including a surprise ending.
2. the humor, it's all over the place, this is not a serious novel in the least just remember every time the characters say or do something ridiculous, you're supposed to find it ridiculous and laugh. Like I said this is not American humor but to an otaku it is fantastic.
3. The characters are well rounded, even the supposed perfect class president though more should be revealed about her in the next book. Everyone has their own desires and many of those desires aren't as clear or apparent as they are first made out to be.
4. the defiance of the unexpected. Throughout the book every time you come up with an expectation the book will defy or challenge them, or at least most of the,
5. While there are scenes that seem to drag on a little too long for the most part most scenes are to the point and tell you a lot more than you think they did if you aren't paying attention.
1. there area few scene that drag out a little to long. A certain message in a gym locker room scene for instance.
2. the book almost needs cultural cliff notes. Like many authors the writer here merely assumes you get the inside jokes, the cultural humor and the social commentary. If you know these things it is indeed funny, but since most people here are not familiar enough with Japan these might sadly go over your head.
3. the constant use of long names does get annoying from time to time.
4. this book just might not be to your taste, which is a pity but there is nothing you can do about it.
Honestly, they couldn't have a done a better job. The narration was spot on and with luck the next book will keep this crew for the next book.
If you have some knowledge of Japanese society or just want to try a great non-American book I cannot recommend this book highly enough. However if you have never read a non-American book or need a super serious book then you might want to pass on this one. If you love anime, video games and aren't supoer strick in your listening then again I recommend buying this book. If you want a fun non-serious book again this is worth the credit. So give it a shot you may be surprised by the results.
"The story was great, the voice acting unforgettabl"
the story was much more complex and thoughtful than I had initially assumed and the voice acting absolutely blew me away.
"Something New, Different, and very Unique"
A phenomenally good book, but maybe not one for everyone.
I didn't and don't know anything about this series, but this book at least seems to have stolen my list of everything I want in a book. Humor, psychological, a protagonist that I scarily resonate with, a superb ending that makes you think, and the list goes on. What it boils down to is a book with a very unique writing style and no way to categorize the genre (humorous psychological horror slice of life?). It's just something new that will have you laughing out loud one page, then three pages later cringing, and four after that thinking about a moral quandary.
There are what I can only assume are cultural difference with two or three brief parts that might put off some people, but they are so few and handled with tongue in cheek. So, I don't think they are too bad to completely put off people, but it is worth noting.
I recommend this book to anyone who just wants something new and different. And anyone who wants to laugh as they take a crack at what amounts to thought experiments. Definitely a good book.
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