There isn't a single anime this season, outside of Mazinger, that I'm actually enthusiastic enough about to stay up to date with. Not that this is unusual for me-- I don't think it's healthy to consume entertainment on deadline-- but even though there's always plenty of good stuff running, none of it has really grabbed me. Bakemonogatari has me a little bit, though. Five episodes worth, anyway.
The show is about words: it's based on a light novel by Japanese novelist NisiOisiN and it's directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, who, if you're familiar with the guy, loves to flash words up on the screen whenever he can. In fact, no matter how much translation work goes into the show-- and my fansubs are pretty comprehensive-- you never really feel as though you fully understand everything going on, because the palindrome author is constantly punning at you. And you don't know Japanese.
The story is about one of these Salinger-type loner protagonists otaku seem to love, and his not-girlfriend, a self-proclaimed tsundere character, as the two leisurely solve mysteries related to ghosts and monsters and stuff like that. The title itself is the Japanese words for "monster" and "story" slapped together, so you can just as easily call it Monstory or Ghostory for the same effect in English, with the added bonus of getting stuffy Wapanese people really angry at you, which, in my experience, is always the cool-guy thing to do.
"It's gotta be "lost cow". The kanji for "cow" is part of how you write "snail", right? Take the "whirl" out of "whirlpool", replace the radical for "water" with the one for "bug", then follow it with "cow". And you get "snail"."
So you see what I'm saying here, right? Entire storylines hinge on this kind of thing, like the girlfriend who is weightless because she's numbed herself to some bad memories, because you see, "omoi" can mean both your weight and your feelings, and there are a million other puns besides that in this arc. You can have it explained to you as much as you want: it's not going to hit a non-speaker the way it will hit a native speaker as clever. Though it certainly is clever! The show has a lot other than just wordplay going for it, like Shinbo's distinctive style and characters who are a bit more likable and engaging than their types usually are. And unusually classy fanservice. But at the same time, I'm sure "vegetable breakfast" is some kind of clever wordplay that I'll never understand. I should probably get back to studying Japanese one day, huh?