I watched Nisemonogatari without Audio and have no idea what just happened (The Experiment Series)

When you’re missing information you’re missing key pieces to help you understand, appreciate and or critique, to properly evaluate a show or episode. The mindset is a different one, analogies are need, long words are used, and idiomatic expressions are required to explain from the small details to the general thoughts about a story gone terribly differently than originally intended. It’s the world of exaggerated displays of impressions when we go  against the natural order or things once again. Get a close-up shot of my best eye Nisemonogatari because this is me watching you audioless.

There’s no sound there’s no voice and I will apologize in advance if the writing is criminally boring this time around as there is absolutely no sound and no subs either to make out anything I’m watching. I’ll politely ask you to bear with me as I’m watching a show with no sound whatsoever which is as interesting as a lecture on your least favorite subject conducted by the least interesting professor ot the campus and you’ve sleep deprived for the past days. With the introduction done I ought to get started already because there’s someone below signaling me already telling me to hurry the hell up. My apologies for I was never an early bird. Cat’s out of the bag.

#Whatever are they possibly saying

Hold your horses Snail-girl for I must proceed to tell you that in this experiment I lack the hearing sense therefore I am truly unable to know what you’re saying at any given time. Yet I must make sense of a sequel I’ve only picked up just now and disabled the audio track to make it work. What I’m left to do is to read the mood and do some guess-work. This is a feat that I’ve agreed to. Yet I do get you’re upset because I can’t hear you or that squeaky voice. Please stop waving your hands in dismay. I can take a hint.

Either way I won’t completely ever hear what she’s saying even less when (either due to bad experiences or what have you) for a snail Mayoi is surprisingly fast that I find it difficult to keep up. She moves from one place to another and at times makes Detective Conan references for I’m fairly sure that they were. If I can’t catch such references I can’t call myself an anime fan. Neither can I call myself a shoujo fan. I don’t call myself a shoujo fan.

We’ve already started this lunacy but first and foremost I have to wonder how this Araragi guy starts his day every day. How does he do it? What goes through this guy’s mind when he wakes up? The man says to himself, today I’m going to meet X girl with X supernatural problems and going to help her. After that I’ll randomly run into her once or twice a week and we’ll continue this dance until kingdom come. That’s me putting many viewer’s thoughts into words. In reality that’s mostly me guessing what probably his train of thought is when he walks down the streets of the wacky, abstract, loony-ass Shaft world. And I mean it in the most positive way possible.

I’m watching (not hearing) Nisemono and I’m only looking at images. Images and moving frames that merge with the rest of the scenery like a background character who wants you to look at her as she spinning while viciously stomping on bees.

- Look at me I’m turning around.
Big whoop little sister character. Big whoop.

# OP Themes without any music

Now you don’t.  Why don’t you mess with a bee of your own size, little sister character? I’m not big on bees and bees are not big on me. I’m not big at all. On the other hand, the Bee Hating on this show is strong, strong as Senjougahara fascination for school supplies, strong as the head titling, strong as me not making sense of what I’m watching. To explain my likely to be flawed impression of the Bee Hating of Nisemono I’ll have to mention that an OP theme without music leaves only moving frames and images doing multiple consecutive actions. Any OP with no music or vocals is no more interesting than those songs that make you get up and change the station when they’re on.

To address the matter of anime OP themes further I find in Nisemono to have a lot of jumping and bouncing and lack of backgrounds to be an intriguing concept. I’d grown accustomed after watching several shows to always expect the shows to tell me more in its opening sequences. I expect hands, grassy fields, shots of the sky, shots of the school, tears, and things that flow for the sake of it, don’t ask me why (no really) followed by fancy colorful subs on the lower part of the video. That’s the world I know of. That’s the subbed and audio system I’m familiar with since the day I found the world of subbed anime. The no audio is an alien system that escapes me. Guess what, brain? Today they’re taking over for the day. Keep your shirt on.

#Like Watching a Silent Movie

Nisemono without audio is exactly like watching a silent movie. It’s essentially watching frame by frame go by while trying to make out what they could probably would be saying, only that in that full color big screen with kanji messages won’t help me either. I’m defendless. I’m like a soldier who’s been given a stick instead of a sword and shield to fight this army called silence. I’m no Persian, I’m no Spartan and this will the quietest battle ever thought where I’ll have to do with what I’ve been given. That is why, and henceforth I have to resort to my imagination to back me up as I go. That is because one of the things I notice as I watched Nisemono without audio is that I have to make stuff up as I watch it. I have to create the dialogues myself or guess what they could possibly be talking about. Granted I’m not totally lost. Having already watched the prequel I’m acquainted with the characters enough to tell what’s on their mind to a degree. On the other hand, I’m still partially lost because I haven’t watched any of the previous episodes so that puts me back to square one. Granted (again) I’m as lost as the Mayoi Snail for no one can tell what they are going to say 90% of the time. Right now, I’m gender-ambiguous character in a show whose sex is never revealed. I’m keeping you guessing yet not wearing a skirt. We’re reaching an agreement. This is one that says that I’ll have to guess what they’re saying. Let’s just do that.

Analogies on ambiguity aside the conversations between Senjou and Araragi keep taking different turns every 20 seconds. One moment she’s happy in other she’s upset, while in others she’s surprised. An event that catches my eye is one when Senjouhara goes DMC Royalguard on Araragi to counter an attack. But that’s just really just me preferring offense over defense and sucking big time at timing.

#Unknown context

Unlike with the BRS Experiment Anime Watched Backwards where there were things can be taken out of context, in Nisemono there is no context for there are no words. Things are different. Because there is no sound I start to think about things I normally wouldn’t, like questioning and corroborating what I already knew. Araragi going to Senjou’s house makes more sense than anything in the world. I can’t fathom why he wouldn’t crash over there all the time if he could. When you aren’t immortal every day counts and those years better be well spent the way you want them to. By that logic, every day well spent at your favorite girlfriend’s place is a well spent day in this book. When even the dad is ok with it it’s a crime to not go over Senjou’s place whenever the opportunity arises. See here, Araragi. “What’s wrong with you?” along with “What’s wrong with that left eye” I’d say that then again maybe there’s something I’m forgetting about this relationship that I’m about to be reminded of and that’s just me being concerned for Araragi’s soon to be atrophied left eye. Need to check this out.

Getting back to the no audio experience I feel that I’m not reading Senjouhara’s messages correctly. Never mind, I’m not reading them at all! Normally I’d read a person based on what they say, mean, and how they say it but when I don’t hear the sound of their voices I can’t know what they’re saying. You could say that it’s worse than having “no subtitles” because you could at least know their intonation and levels of emotion put in those words. Senjou isn’t even giving me that. I’m in a world without the gift of hearing and with no sounds to be heard until the timer hits the last part of this video. She is one mean girlfriend.

I expected it and there are also things one comes to expect from a Studio such as animation and designs, others things such as the numbers 90 and 45. Those aren’t just numbers those are both angles. This is one of the things I’ve come to expect from Shaft.
- Even men head tilt.

#Characters you don’t know

Normally, I’d call them random images for abruptly flashing in front of me but this is Shaft and I ought to slap myself silly if I were to question it otherwise. With or without audio I’m still full of expectations and one of them is expecting things I’m familiar with. I expected random scenes and people’s faces to be appearing in front of the screen every now and then. Equally as a suddenly out-of-order elevator Shaft wasn’t going to let me down.

Sure it’s the face of some guy, I know that. But I’m ashamed to admit that I know not who the man with manly sideburns is but I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities. One, I reckon he’s the guy who tricked Senjou in the first season. Two, I reckon he’s the step-father/cult leader they mentioned in said first season. From the get-go for sure (and without the need of the flashbacks shots) my mind can only imagine the man is up to no good. I can tell that because I got that feel in my stomach, my gut feeling that tells me that any other males apart from the lead in a harem who aren’t supporting characters tend to be shady characters up to no good. To wit they’re class +A douches, jerks or a-holes, and other adjective having the l and s letters. The many men outside the harem circle will tell you that the world of harem is a vicious, competitive, and much private club. Don’t let the wording fool you this much can be applied to most shows of the genre.

As I forget what I’m writing about and still there’s been no sound made whatsoever Senjougahara embraces herself tightly. Such things happen. Another thing that happens is me becoming overly conscious the laws of physics.

# Overly conscious of the Laws of Physics

Unless it’s for humorous purpose I stir away from focusing too much on the laws of physics when it comes to anime to avoid headaches. But what exactly am I supposed to do while watching a show without audio? I know that I’m going to start looking around the room, going to start noticing things I don’t normally do and continue to notice things I regularly do. Like Senjoughara for example but beside her the physics in Nisemono is baffling. Pencils are everywhere, first they’re down then they’re up, next thing you know they form a tower and if given enough time maybe dinosaurs or mystical creatures.

The idea is that stuff happens to stuff while dialogues and replies are thrown back and forth in the room like a huge pinball machine. It’s a real treat if you’re into that. It’s also a real treat if you’re into dialogues. It’s kinda nightmarish when you don’t hear what they’re saying at all.  Fortunately, Nisemono bumps it up to making sense when they give them meaning. This experiment has been proving to be something else. Without sound all of it is a lot to take on when the show takes me for a spin.

Here’s another one turning around. Big Wh- Oh, quit it, Keikakudoori.

# Symbolism

Building on what was just said. The crazy physics and crazy images would be only crazy attempts at symbolism if they would be simply there doing nothing. Even without audio I get that they mean something therefore they’re there. Putting it in backwards it also means they’re there therefore they mean something. It works as a halfbaked palindrome and you can find them more easily. I’m all for the symbolism even if watching them without audio and so much eye candy parade makes the head spin. I get dizzy. The Shaft world what a world. There’s some true to it that secretly I want to live in a Shaft world. A physics-defying, no traffic, full of pedestrian signs. An abstract and a mesmerizing head titling universe. Dear Shaft, I could grow accustomed things. Shaft, I grow accustomed to many things. One of them happens to be signs around town and being ok with wielding an ahoge. Out of the top of my head this could be one of the greater ones to take a penchant for.

The best example of symbolism I recall aside from the picture above is by far the tower in front of Senjougahara at 15:21, which because of the lack of audio I have no idea what was about but the tower of pencils looked like a fortress to me, like Senjougahara putting a barrier in front of Araragi that said, it shall not pass.  Sometimes, Araragi says things he shouldn’t at the worst possible time so I take it he also did it this time around. We all do it but we don’t always have someone throwing very recently sharpen pencils at our eyes.  These things also happen. Granted to Araragi mostly, but they still happen.

# Senjougahara Audioless

The Senjou, the stapler wielder, the pencil user, the fascinater, the woman. With no audio I can only stare at the screen and be defenseless to the fascination parade running for 80% of the show. Senjou’s always been something else. She gives cold stares and moves her neck around from time to time. Where I come from we call them having chronic neck pains, where Nisemono comes from it’s called the Fascination neck twisting dance. We’ll agree to disagree but I’m still fine with either. She’s Senjougahara for a reason.

Look at the time we’re near the end of this long silent episode and the more I thought about it the more I noticed I had started to interpret the character’s actions more than usual this time around. Granted, thinking of anyone in the Monogatari series as normal is as expecting common sense in anime, it exists to a degree but not many are big on it. Admittedly I’m big on Senjou’s character either way. Admittedly I similarly still found Senjougahara’s behavior to lean more toward aggressive tendencies than playful ones.  In the previous season it wasn’t uncommon for her to pull a pencil out and work her charm (to call it one way) on the decision-making to process and occasional slip of tongues by Ara-ra-ragi. As RP had previously mentioned there might be room for question when it comes to their relationship. My take on it is a similar one when I watched Nisemono with no audio for the no audio experiment. Usually I wouldn’t find Senjou’s antics to be that off with audio and all as it kinda makes you feel the atmosphere and such. I wouldn’t dissect it as much as I would otherwise either because I’m used to the Monogatari series having that peculiar style and other things that come included in the anime package.

Without audio the situation changes as I see is a couple in a room where one acts normally and the other one suddenly stars throwing pencils at the other like a talented ninja throwing shuriken. I have to admit such scenes look off from a different POV, but that’s what we’re dealing with. Personally, there’s a greater part of me that agrees to take the good with the bad and when similarly the good outweighs the bad with levels of high fascination then there are few counters out there.

Having actual sound. That’s what the fuzz is about. We’re done today and I may occasionally temporarily lose a sense or two in the future should I continue with any of the experiments. So it ends another experimental tale of watching Anime with not all the pieces once again. This time around it was about having no audio and picking the best, about picking the worst, about picking the best of the most outrageous possible shows in the line-up for such feat– Nisemonogatari the most talkative and interactive type of show of the season. The experiment was mad. Shaft delivers a show almost impossible to figure out without audio making the experiment successful in its own way.

Understanding : An abysmal 20% enough for me to bury my head in shame except being  an audio-less plus no subs combination makes anyone be completely in the dark.
Viewer Entertainment: If Nisemono is about fascination and eye candy then it is one of the currently best ones out there enough for hands to get tired for so much typing.
Blogging Entertainment: Making out sense of whatever this ep was about was fun. On the downside of things, I’ll never know what actually happens in this episode.
Randomness Level : I’m not pointing any fingers but bees were probably harmed in the making of Nisemono. I said it before these things happen.

Result: Even without audio we can still have nice things. There was no sound before now there is. I hear you track 1. I hear you.

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6 thoughts on “I watched Nisemonogatari without Audio and have no idea what just happened (The Experiment Series)

  1. Yep, you chose the right anime for this experiment. But thank goodness you didn’t use the episode from a pair of weeks ago, it would’ve been really, really awkward watching around 10 minutes of Araragi naked in the bathtub with a little girl… even with audio and knowing what’s going on, it weirds you out.

    • That would’ve been incredibly awkward to watch and to blog about especially without audio to make sense of it. There’s some things better left to the imagination and other things best enjoyed with audio. A no audio experiment with a Monogatari series is challenging and a rarity. It is so much better when the contents happen to be is easy on the eyes.

  2. Lol your the first one I know that would try this out haha.
    Even if i somehow have an undertsanding of japanese, It is not enough to even watch it RAW, the dialogue they use is darn hard.

    Now without Audio, thats something. I dont know how you managed to cope but at least with all the fanservice its most likely keeping your eyes to the screen ^^

    • It did actually get weird and weirder multiple times because of the lack of sound. Those 25-something minutes were too long a moment of silence but the much welcomed eye candy material helped tons to make carry out the experiment successfully.

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