Genre: Comedy, Romance, Mystery, Supernatural, Avant-Garde, Occult Detective
The Monogatari series revolves around Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who is almost human again after briefly becoming a vampire. One day, a classmate of his, the reclusive Hitagi Senjōgahara, falls down the stairs into Koyomi’s arms. He discovers that Hitagi weighs nothing, in defiance of physics. Despite being threatened by her to keep away, Koyomi offers his help and introduces her to Meme Oshino, a strange middle-aged man living in an abandoned building, who cured him of being a vampire. Once Koyomi helps solve Hitagi’s problem, she agrees to become his friend.
As the series progresses, Koyomi finds himself involved with other girls, each afflicted by different “oddities”, including the ghost of a child called Mayoi Hachikuji; his underclassman Suruga Kanbaru; Nadeko Sengoku, a friend of his sisters; his classmate Tsubasa Hanekawa; and his own younger sisters Karen and Tsukihi. To deal with the spectres, Koyomi relies on guidance from Oshino and, later, from Shinobu, the same vampire who attacked him, now with the appearance of an eight-year-old girl.
Most heroines have an item that symbolises their spectres, such as Hitagi’s stapler (the claw of a crab), Mayoi’s backpack (the shell of a snail), Suruga’s arm (the arm of a monkey), Nadeko’s hat and jacket (the head and skin of a snake), and Karen’s black and yellow suit (the colors of a bee). Although incorporating elements of fantasy, horror, and action, it primarily focuses on conversations between characters, containing parodies of other series, as well as Nisio Isin’s trademark word play and metahumor.