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Dated 2 October 2009: Bakemonogatari turns Panavision into shortscreen

Hitagi
Open wide.

Sometimes I think SHAFT/Shinbo is trying to be the next Gainax/Anno. Other times I think SHAFT/Shinbo is just trolling viewers. Some argue unfavorable opinions about SHAFT's avant-garde Bakemonogatari represent intellectual deficiencies or unbreachable cultural divides hamstringing impaired viewers.

< wildarmsheero> the people who dont like things like bakemonogatari or zetsubou sensei
< wildarmsheero> are just dumb americans who dont get japanese culture
<&Nakar> I may not know a japanese ghost from a hole in the ground - and I know from holes in the ground - but I know smug self-congratulatory dialogue when it hits itself on the back.
< wildarmsheero> i think youre jsut mad at the show
< wildarmsheero> because you dont get it
< Asuka`s_Hair_Clips> I totally agree with Nakar, but I also think Bakemonogatari is a brilliant slide show presentation.
< Asuka`s_Hair_Clips> It just wasn't any fun to watch.

Araragi
As a harem-anime protagonist, Araragi is as much
a loser as Urashima Keitaro. Maybe more so.

The things I don't like about SHAFT and Shinbo in general and Bakemonogatari specifically have nothing to do with Japanese culture, though. (But I guess it is possible I might still be too dumb to "get" the show.) Mostly I'm irked that they attempt to be different merely for the sake of being different while giving their fanatics a smug sense of self-importance that seems to arise out of the very act of being SHAFT, Shinbo, and Bakemonogatari fans.

Hitagi's and Araragi's hands
(1) Best use of the wider-widescreen aspect ratio all episode.
(2) God damn, Araragi has little girl hands.

For example, the 12th episode of Bakemonogatari was presented in widescreen—not its regular 16:9 widescreen—but wider widescreen. But the actual content of the episode did not benefit in any way from the aspect ratio. Is it really widescreen if there are no gains side-to-side? If it's just a regular episode with the tops and bottoms cropped off, isn't that technically shortscreen? Is that still good? Or is it just dumb? Granted, Bakemonogatari was not the first show to attempt this trick.

Raven, Break, Alice, and Oz
Pandora Hearts uses the entire screen.

The final episode of Gunbuster by the aforementioned Gainax is in black and white and widescreen. (The previous episodes of Top wo Nerae had a 4:3 aspect ratio.) Turns out Gunbuster episode six was also originally 4:3 and was matted to give a widescreen appearance as well. Without delving into a comparison to determine if Gainax made good use of the wider aspect ratio during the final episode of Top wo Nerae, or was also guilty of shortscreen shenanigans, I can at least claim Bakemonogatari was neither unique in employing this technique nor successful at its execution.