Posted by: AceRailgun | January 22, 2012

Nisemonogatari Episode 3

Before I get started I just need to say I did something stupid. Well maybe not stupid, it did give me a unique perspective on the episode however. I watched the entire episode without subtitles; I don’t know Japanese.

To be completely honest I don’t think my viewing was hindered too much by not being able to understand what everyone was talking about. I could pick up most of the emotion in the voice acting which help me piece together a vague idea of the actual conversations. Without being restricted to look at the subtitles I had more time to watch the art. I noticed two things.

Shaft don’t like animating mouths; Most of the time the characters will cover their mouths or turn away from the camera. If that is not possible their will just be a close up of something and that something is usually the eyes. If I was counting I think there would have been around twenty eye shots and at the end the Araragi’s eyes were used to relfect his soul experiences that day.

Because I wasn’t concerntrating on dialog I also had a chance to listen to the background music too. There wasn’t a whole lot of background music this episode but the one scene where Araragi met the man outside Kanbaru’s house the music took a menacing turn and made the man come across as very suspicious. He also spent a lot of time in shadows which added to the effect.

Picture this. There is no dialog in Nisemonogatari. Not a single word, the character still spend the same amount of time together on screen except all the emotion and interaction is told with music and movement. I think it could work. It could make an interesting episode.

This idea could be taken to the next extreme. A main character in an anime is deaf and that mean there is no dialog or sound effects. I would watch that anime.

In all seriousness though I’m going to watch this episode again at some point before next week so I can find out who that guy was and what Senjōgahara was saying on the phone at the end of the episode.


  1. This post makes me think about the glory days of silent films and how if done right, they can still work today. Heck, there was a silent movie released last year, under the radar of course but it sounds cool. I forgot the title but I’ll post again later when I get the name.

    As for Shaft’s animation, I already talked in full detail about why I like their style and it’s because of how quirky and cheap it may be, but still works.

    As for the episode itself, let me save you the trouble and give you a rundown:
    -Marriage talk.
    -Senjougahara continues giving masochists worldwide raging ring boners.
    -And SPOILER ALERT! The guy in red is not a good person and shouldn’t be trusted….bum bum buuuuum.
    -Lastly, Hanekawa will return next week.

    In short, you haven’t missed a thing by not understanding the dialogue.

    • It was an interesting experiment. I did catch Hanekawa’s name a few time so I suspected as much.
      I also got the vibe they were talking about long term relationships at the beginning which proves how unnecessary it is to understand the dialog.

  2. It’s an interesting way of viewing this episode. I still find it strange that a show that’s so reliant on dialogue could be viewed without it and the overall experience doesn’t change very much.

    • That’s why I tried it in the first place. I’ve though about it and I don’t think I’m even going to go and watch it again. I feel I could watch episode and still understand what is going on.

  3. this series is definitely not a good one for someone who don’t know Japanese. I have problems (and I know a decent level of Japanese) sometimes trying to understand some more complex words here…:P

    • I just love it how I didn’t need to understand the words to follow what was going on. Sure I missed bit but I don’t think I missed anything that made the experience any less enjoyable.

  4. Maybe one of these days I will also try that experiment, interesting…

    • It is worth trying at least once. Let me know if you do give it a shot. I’d like to see how someone else treats this subject.

  5. It’s pretty amazing what you can understand from just the art, animation, and voice work alone. You did a pretty good job taking in all that without the use of any subtitles or translations or anything to help assist you in understanding it. What should be even more fun is watching it again with subs and finding out all the small details and see if your assumptions were true or not.

    • I’ll go back and watch it again to pick up on the minor details. I reckon I missed a few tiny things but nothing too important. What amazes me most is that I enjoyed a dialog based anime without understanding the dialog.

  6. Cool way of viewing the show man. I should really give it a try. I’m a fan of their art, i’m sure to like it for sure. I’m also looking for their art books if there is any, it will surely help me more on designing for educational purpose.

    I thought the anime was about the fire sisters. It seems like it is still more on Araragi just like Bakemonogatari. Not a bad thing but yeah descroption from the start was a lie? -.- Gotta love Senjougahara. Best girlfriend ever!

    • I presume that the sisters will take a bigger role in future episodes but for the time being it seems we are stuck with arararagi. The advertisement was very misleading.

      I haven’t heard of any art books but If there was some I’d buy them in a heart beat.

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