There is always a hope of being wow’ed by something that comes up while watching anime. Something intriguing enough for me to actually post for the first time in months, I guess. :/
What caught my interest this time was the (I guess 1st, knowing how SHAFT does things) opening to Nekomonogatari covering the “Tsubasa Family” arc, one prequel to the story introduced in Bakemonogatari. By itself, the story of how Araragi gets to know my favorite character in the show, Tsubasa Hanekawa, as well as the anomaly that comes to inhabit her is intriguing enough as is for me. There wasn’t much necessary to pump me up for watching it (can’t wait for Kizumonogatari later on as well), but I was blown away by the opening to this adaptation: To preface though, I still have not watched the full episodes yet, so there will be plenty of randomness and likely BS to follow the video. :P
The song itself grabs me, reminding me a little bit of the Chobits 2nd ED “Ningyo Hime”, but here, “Perfect Slumbers” goes on its own path, striking a hopeful tone despite Tsubasa’s thoughts of an unrequited love. The cinematography coupled with the motifs used in the video such as the bookmarks (so many forms!) , the guitar/headphones/record, the sun becoming the moon, and the train lend help me further define her character, of which we already know a “fair” bit about. “Isolation” comes to mind here, and it helps that right until the end, she’s the only person in this OP world. And then when the guitar dissolves, and turns into a bed of flowers setting the backdrop of Koyomi prostrating himself in front of Tsubasa, as it looks like he can seemingly do nothing before the anomaly comes out is “the shot” for me. Of course, I’ll see how powerless our main hero really is in the actual work, but the shot of Tsubasa right at the end seems resigned to whatever comes regardless of any attempted interventions.
The marriage of the music and visuals together created a dazzling experience for me, and I too quickly compare it to the live action and animated (both links not safe for work) OPs that were done during the “Tsubasa Cat” arc of Bakemonogatari, which isn’t fair. Since while those do a decent job at showing the Tsubasa’s duality, despite the intensity and shock value (especially of the animated version), I doubt they will have the staying power in my mind that this opening will.
SHAFT x Shinbo already had me at Hello in animating more Hanekawa, but this is icing on a cake I haven’t even begun to have yet. It’s not a bad deal.