Look out! It’s the Bakemonogatari trailer!

As a fan of director Shinbo Akiyuki and studio SHAFT, I tend to look forward to programs they’re slated to produce with some degree of excitement. However, I’ve grown a little disheartened with the combo as of late–ever since Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- this dynamic duo has done nothing but school-related comedies. This isn’t a bad thing. Titles like Pani Poni Dash, Hidamari Sketch, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei are all brilliant in their own ways, but after a while this setting becomes redundant. Shinbo and SHAFT have a very bold and distinctive style, so seeing such a style lavished upon school comedies almost seems like a waste, especially when one has seen how it shines in darker pieces like Tsukuyomi and The Soultaker (which is Tatsunoko Pro, by the way.) This isn’t to say that having this dangerous combo’s aesthetic tastes applied to such settings doesn’t make for interesting cartoons, but it’s starting to feel very phoned in with this current season’s offering of Maria‚ĆHolic.

But now we have Bakemonogatari. It doesn’t stray from the highschool setting (what otaku-centric anime doesn’t?) but rather than being concerned with making one laugh, it seems to have another goal in mind. Based off of Wikipedia entries and testimonials from individuals familiar with the original work, Bakemonogatari looks to be more along the lines of the aforementioned Tsukuyomi -MOON PHASE- and Soultaker. So, less walls-of-text and visual gags, and more hard shadows and unique colour palettes. This is a Good Thing.

The trailer itself is typical SHAFT–cheap, but extremely effective. It runs at just around one minute long, and is primarily composed of text, a handful of nicely framed still images, and closes with about a few seconds of actual animation. The visual style applied to the text shares the same deadly serious style found in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but this time it’s used less for parody and more to set a wonderfully creepy tone. The character shots (with designs by Akio Watanabe) are set in Soultaker lighting, which tickles my heart, since I miss Shinbo’s striking use of lighting.

It starts in July. Hopefully it’ll be good!