Bakemonogatari Animation: Compensation or Creativity?

"It's not like I want to be low budget"

There is [used to be] a lot of talk up in the air about Bakemonogatari, one of SHAFT’s most popular works, directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. As most of us know, if you’re familiar with the anime he’s done, Shinbo likes to use a distinct and idiosyncratic animation style in most of if not all the anime he’s directed. The most prominent of these shows are Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Maria Holic, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and Bakemonogatari, with Bakemonogatari and SZS at the top. Now, if you don’t know exactly what can define Shinbo’s directing style, it’s simply energetic, jittery, and surreal use of brief camera shots of the characters, little character movement, a lot of dialogue, stylized shots of ambiguous “art,” and shots of the surrounding environment. And for the time, around the time of SZS and Maria Holic, this style was considered unique and quirky, while others generally found it distasteful (silly them). However, ever since the release of Bakemonogatari, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are saying different.
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