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The Music of Monogatari Second Season

Last time, I looked at all twelve opening and ending songs from the thirty episodes of Monogatari’s first season. This time, we have ten songs from the second season’s twenty-eight episodes. I’ve moved Hanamonogatari to the end of the list, as although in light novel publication order it was the third arc, both chronologically and in terms of anime production it comes long after the end of the rest of the season. All songs continue to be composed by Satoru Kosaki with lyrics by Meg Rock unless otherwise stated.

Nekomonogatari (White) episodes 1–5: Tsubasa Tiger: Opening song: Chocolate Insomnia, sung by Yui Horie (Tsubasa Hanekawa).

The third and last opener to be sung by Tsubasa Hanekawa’s voice actress, it also marks the last arc to focus on the character, though she does make plenty of appearances in other stories. Of all Monogatari’s character-sung openers, I think Hanekawa’s songs are the most consistently high quality, I love them all.

Kabukimonogatari episodes 1–4: Mayoi Jiangshi: Opening song: Happy Bite, sung by Emiri Kato (Mayoi Hachikuji).

The second opener to be sung by Mayoi Hachikuji’s voice actress, it’s not quite as excruciating as her song from the first season, but she’s so squeaky she gives me a headache. I can’t listen to this stuff for pleasure.

Nekomonogatari (White) and Kabukimonogatari: Ending song: Sing of Love produced by Jin (Shizen no Teki-P), sung by Luna Haruna.

Not my favourite ending track, but I do like how it suddenly becomes more serious and epic-sounding at about 42 seconds in.

Otorimonogatari episodes 1–4: Nadeko Medusa: Opening song: Delusion Express, sung by Kana Hanazawa (Nadeko Sengoku).

I like this one more than Nadeko’s season 1 song Renai Circulation, but I still can’t stand her as a character. Thankfully this is her last opener. Once again the lyrics do a great job of reminding me how horrid she is (she’s deliberately written as a spoilt brat, so this seems to be the intention).

Onimonogatari episodes 1–4: Shinobu Time: Opening song: White Lies, composed by Mito, lyrics by Meg Rock, does not feature a cast vocalist.

I can’t find a video of the OP for this, it was probably removed due to a copyright strike or something, so here’s the full version. Quite a departure from the usual Monogatari opener, it features a male choir chanting words in lieu of a female vocalist singing verse. This is because Shinobu’s voice actress Maaya Sakamoto, even though she is an accomplished singer, has a self-imposed rule where she refuses to sing “in character”, only as herself. Seems like an odd restriction to me, but then I’m not an actor or a singer. This is chill, mysterious track anyway, so I don’t mind that she didn’t want to sing!

Otorimonogatari and Onimonogatari Ending song: Sonokoewo Oboeteru (Remembering Your Voice), composed by Satoru Kosaki, lyrics by Saori Kodama, sung by Marina Kawano.

Now this is peak Monogatari ending music. I love this track — epic and emotional, with funny/sad visuals. There are two versions of the visuals, though the song remains unchanged. One features Nadeko, depressed and lying on her bed, face buried while she descends into the darkness. The second features Mayoi and Shinobu in a similar room as they ascend. Shinobu gobbles donuts then Mayoi fades away… Subtle (and harrowing) foreshadowing.

Koimonogatari episodes 1–6: Hitagi End: Opening song: Fast Love, (version 1, episodes 1–3)/Kogurashi Sentiment (version 2, episodes 4–6), sung by Chiwa Saito (Hitagi Senjogahara) and Shin-ichiro Miki (Deishuu Kaiki).

Although the first version of this track is a solo from Senjogahara’s voice actress, the second version is a duet between her and Kaiki’s actor! It’s the first time any of the male characters get to sing an opener. The 80’s-inspired vibe is very different from any other Monogatari track, and the character designs are different to match. I didn’t like this much when I first heard it, but it’s really grown on me. My mental image of Senjogahara and Kaiki soulfully singing karaoke together is highly amusing to me.

Koimonogatari episodes 1–6: Hitagi End: Ending song: Snowdrop, composed by Hidekazu Tanaka, lyrics by Meg Rock, sung by Marina Kawano and Luna Haruna.

This final second season arc does an amazing job at rehabilitating previously “villainous” Kaiki in the eyes of the viewer. The way that the visuals incorporate every main character, as the camera moves from background to foreground, past to the present, is a nice way of looking back at how far the show has come. The song itself is pretty decent, but not one of my favourites.

Hanamonogatari episodes 1–5: Suruga Devil: Opening song: The Last Day of My Adolescence, composed by Mito, lyrics by Meg rock, sung by Miyuki Kawashiro (Suruga Kanbaru).

Although I disliked the arc, the opener is very good, the abrupt changes in mood and tempo coupled with images of sport and emotional turmoil match well with the story’s tone and subject matter. The last track to be sung by Kanbaru’s voice actress.

Hanamonogatari episodes 1–5: Suruga Devil: Ending song: Flower Marks -mark-, composed by Katsuhiko Kurosu, lyrics by Saori Kodama, and sung by Marina Kawano.

Again, the weakest arc has one of the best ending themes. This is great — heartfelt, with lyrics that ache with emotional pain.

Next time, I’ll be back for a third look at Monogatari’s music, with the final season. See you then!

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