An anime directed by Akiyuki Shinbo that features a (justified) tsundere, a perverted tomboy, and a cute nerdy bookworm catgirl? I’m set!
Bakemonogatari (lit. Ghost Story) is studio Shaft 2009’s anime adaption of Japanese novelist Nisio Isin’s long running light novel series “Monogatari”. The series centers on high schooler Arargi who (after surviving an vampire attack) gets involved with a couple of girls to help deal with their supernatural problems.
One day, Araagi was chilling and at school doing whatever when his classmate, the withdrawal Hitagi, falls from the top of the stairs (after slipping on a banana peel). Being the good kid that he is, he catches her, only to discover that she’s near weightless. In order to keep him quiet about her disorder Hitagi threatens Araragi, stapling the inside of his cheek; warning him to stay far from her.
Rather than ignoring her warning, Araragi chases after her, and shows off his healing factor (a power he gained from being bitten from the vampire). Hitagi is shocked; the wound she inflicted on him has completely healed! Araragi offers to help Hitagi with her weightlessne introducing him to his mentor and supernatural advisor, Meme.
Throughout the series, Hitagi and Arargi join forces; tackling series of supernatural cases with other girls and their oddities with as his classmates the athletic (and perverted) Suruga and the nerdy bookworm Tsubasa, the wandering ghost girl, Mayoi, and his sister’s friend, Nadeko. Each girl’s oddity has an unique symbolism tied to them such as Hitagi staple to represent the crab, Mayoi’s bookbage to represent the snail, and Suruga’s arm and brute strength to represent the monkey.
The Monogatari series is great if you are looking for a story driven and artsy supernatural anime. There isn’t much action but Shinbo’s famous bold and outlandish directing style and the diverse cast of characters will make up for the lack of it.
Check it out on Crunchyroll or other forms of streaming websites.