Launching the third and final season of NISIOISIN’s massively popular MONOGATARI SERIES, TSUKIMONOGATARI: Possession Tale brings the narrative focus back to Koyomi Araragi and his strange relationship with adorable tween Yotsugi Ononoki. To all appearances, she’s just a regular girl, albeit eccentric and affectless. But in truth, this living doll is, quite literally, a doll. An aberration, an apparition, a monster. Not human. Created originally from a corpse to mimic a human being. Even more disturbing than meeting up again with Ononoki is an encounter with Yozuru Kagenui, who employs Ononoki as a shikigami, a familiar. Araragi and Kagenui have history, as do Shinobu and Ononoki. History that includes knock-down, drag-out battles, in which Araragi did not fare well.
So a new confrontation with old enemies is not cause for celebration for Araragi and Shinobu.
TSUKIMONOGATARI features a Rogues Gallery of both just-introduced and familiar characters – Ononoki, Kagenui, Izuko Gaen, Suruga Kanbaru (who happens to be Ms. Gaen’s niece), Deishu Kaiki, Ogi Oshino, and more. And of course, Araragi’s little sisters Karen and Tsukihi make an appearance, leading to further inappropriate behavior on the part of their big brother. But the underlying issue here is Araragi’s aberrant state – and whether or not he will regain his humanity or become inhuman for eternity.
Where was the legendary detective between the time he supposedly fell off a cliff and died during an altercation with arch-enemy Professor Moriarty, and his surprising reappearance in Baker Street three years later?
In SHERLOCK HOLMES: A Scandal in Japan, bestselling mystery writer Keisuke Matsuoka (the “God of Mystery”) suggests that Holmes was in Japan, helping Hirobumi Ito, an old acquaintance – and the country’s first Prime Minister – unravel a knotted tangle of politics, deceit, and international power struggles.
The trouble starts in 1891, when Nicholas Alexandrovich, the Tsarevich of Russia, is on an official tour of Meiji-era Japan, and is almost assassinated. Despite Japan’s efforts to fittingly punish the would-be killer, tensions escalate over the Otsu Incident, to the point where many fear there will be war with Russia. Enter Sherlock Holmes, to figure out what really happened and to help defuse the incendiary situation.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And it’s only because she’s desperate that Hitagi Senjogahara enlists her former nemesis, sleaziest-of-the-sleazy con man Deishu Kaiki, to use his questionable skills to thwart Nadeko Sengoku.
Nadeko Sengoku. Super-cute, super-shy middle-schooler whose disastrous mishap with snakes was chronicled in Otorimonogatari. Now, in KOIMONOGATARI: Love Tale, Sengoku is a deity, a serpent god. No longer self-effacing and timid, hiding behind her long bangs. As a matter of fact, all the hair on her head has been replaced by fearsome white snakes.
And why is Senjogahara so anxious for Kaiki’s help that she’ll even pay him? Because Sengoku intends to kill her, along with her boyfriend, Koyomi Araragi, in 74 days, right after their high school graduation ceremony!
KOIMONOGATARI, the finale to Season Two of the Monogatari series, is itself an aberration; it’s the first of these stories not to be told from the point of view of one of the main young cast members. This time, Kaiki is the narrator, and therefore, the first grown-up to tell the tale. But to assume that this shameless swindler and prevaricator is a reliable narrator just because of his age is a miscalculation. What is the truth, and who can be trusted? Is Kaiki actually in control of the con? Or is he himself being played for a fool?
In MASQUERADE AND THE NAMELESS WOMAN, Eiji Mikage introduces one of the most intriguing and complicated characters to appear in contemporary crime fiction. Seiren Higano is a highly intelligent, charismatic psychologist who has been called in many times by the Tokyo cops for advice on tracking down killers.
He also happens to be the very fiend, known as “Masquerade,” he’s being asked to help catch.
The serial killer Seiren Higano had rules.
He always wore a white lab coat when he killed. He only targeted beautiful, elegant young women. He also took one part of their bodies. And he cut off their faces. However, it wasn’t as though he cared so much about beautiful women or had a fetish for a specific body part. These rules were only meant to send a signal to others.
Ever since the death of her sister, Yuri Uguisu has been chasing the elusive serial killer Masquerade. Now a newly minted police sergeant, Yuri gets her first case with the Tokyo Bay 1st Investigative Unit: the latest of Masquerade’s brutal acts. And just to make the situation even more wrenching for young Yuri, the corpse this time is a former classmate, the alluring and mysterious Reina Myoko.
With Higano tasked with untangling the conflicting testimonies of Reina’s father, fiancé, and lover, the truth becomes even murkier. Can anyone be believed? Yuri had better figure that out soon before Masquerade strikes again.
Sword fighting (with and without swords), ninja, samurai, and secrets moves. . . .
KATANAGATARI is Musashi for a new generation.
With the first volume of Sword Tale, NISIOISIN takes you down a very different path from Monogatari. He delivers a genre-bending story combining high adventure, romance, fantasy, and humor, with a little Japanese history and philosophy thrown in for good measure.
The framework of the saga is a quest for twelve legendary swords created by a master swordsmith long ago. Shichika Yasuri, a swordless “swordsman,” teams up with a self-described “schemer” named Togame to defeat a gallery of really bad guys in their search for the Twelve Possessed of Kiki Shikizaki.
The basis of a popular animated series, KATANAGATARI: Sword Tale is now available in English for the first time. Special features include: a gatefold color insert, beautiful interior art by take, and extensive footnotes that will help you appreciate NISIOISIN’s notoriously fiendish wordplay.
KATANAGATARI: Sword Tale 2 will be released in Spring 2019, with two more volumes to follow!
In ONIMONOGATARI (Demon Tale), the spotlight once again is on Shinobu Oshino (fka the uber-aberration Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade). In this installment of the Monogatari epic, Shinobu shares with Koyomi Araragi her recollections of events that happened 400 years ago, when she arrived in Japan via a massive jump from the South Pole, and created – and lost — her first thrall.
It all starts when Araragi encounters an ominous and inexplicable Darkness. He’s riding his bicycle with Mayoi Hachikuji clinging to his back when he sees – or senses –it, rapidly coming up behind him. Surprisingly, Araragi and his clingy passenger are flung from the bike just in the nick of time, thanks to the intervention of an adorable, affectless tween aberration named Yotsugi Ononoki.
Hiding out in the cram school with three young girls – Shinobu, Hachikuji, and Ononoki – pervy Araragi should have been in paradise. But there’s no time for fooling around. They are under siege by this strange phenomenon that doesn’t seem to be an aberration. But if not, what is it???? Even Shinobu, who ran into it four centuries ago, can’t explain. And then, Shinobu disappears – apparently taken by the Darkness from out of Araragi’s shadow.
With Araragi’s link to Shinobu cut, and his vampiric powers weakened, it’s time for the crew to jump into action. A meeting with Izuko Gaen, a fixer and former associate of Mèmè Oshino, helps to clarify the situation and makes Araragi realize that Shinobu’s tale is not the only sad one in the episode.
In OTORIMONOGATARI: Decoy Tale, NISIOISIN turns the spotlight on a most reluctant subject. Middle-schooler Nadeko Sengoku is super-adorable, but shy to the point of not even being there. She hides under big hats and long bangs, apologizes profusely for everything, refers to herself in the third person or as “i” and is happiest when she’s silent and unnoticed.
Sengoku’s misadventures begin when a jealous classmate puts a bogus hex on her. But then little Miss Bangs goes and gets herself seriously cursed for real, thanks to not doing proper research and performing a grisly ritual at a forgotten shrine. Who thought it would be a good idea to chop up snakes at an altar dedicated to a serpent??
Luckily Big Brother Koyomi comes to her aid, but it’s too little too late. Sengoku’s deal with a slithering devil threatens to destroy not just Nadeko Sengoku, but everyone around her. If only Sengoku was able to move past her isolation and ask for the help she desperately needs!
HANAMONOGATARI: Flower Tale is Kanbaru’s story and shows us quite another side of this potty-mouthed former basketball ace.
Suruga Kanbaru is feeling down in the dumps. The “injury” that forced her to give up playing basketball – the devil who’s taken up residence in her left arm (her Monkey Paw, thanks, Mom!) – is threatening to wreak havoc while she sleeps. And her beloved seniors Araragi, Hanekawa, and Senjogahara have graduated high school and left town. But she manages to pull herself out of her slump and go into action when she hears a rumor about a character calling itself the Lord Devil, who may or may not be a high school girl and who’s dispensing advice to fellow high schoolers with problems. Scared that this Lord Devil could have something to do with her (be her??), Kanbaru sets out to track her down.
Much to her surprise, the Lord Devil turns out to be Roka Numachi, whose own middle school basketball career was cut short by a leg injury. Could what’s ailing Numachi be of the same origin as Kanbaru’s sidelining situation? And what’s up with her seemingly altruistic practice of helping people? Is she really doing it out of the goodness of her heart, or does she have an ulterior motive? It takes a tense showdown between the two former competitors for Kanbaru to get on top of things and get her game back.
One of the darker, more thoughtful Monogatari episodes, HANAMONOGARI is still full of the action, smart dialogue, and great characters that readers expect from NISIOISIN.
THE DARK MAIDENS is an intriguing, haunting murder mystery, set in an elite Japanese girls’ school, that explores where loyalty and truth begin —and end (badly)!
Members of the Literature Club have gathered for their regular meeting, but this time, the writing assignment is something out of the ordinary. Itsumi, the beautiful and charismatic president of the Club, has died under suspicious circumstances, and the remaining members are told to compose a short story about what they think happened.
One by one, they read their tales aloud. Each version is completely different…but equally shocking. So, which of the six girls is telling the truth? And which one is the killer?
In THE DARK MAIDENS—now in English for the first time—the characters are driven by their own unique motivations and perceptions of the truth. Compelling and fiendish, this murder mystery is at once classic and cutting-edge, offering a look at the allegiances, treacheries, and invisible tensions between friends and frenemies. It will keep you guessing and completely entertained until the last explosive revelation!
(You’ll have to read the book to get that reference, but here’s a hint: fireworks!)
Vampires. Time travel. Zombies. Araragi’s inappropriate behavior. KABUKIMONOGATARI: Dandy Tale has all your favorite elements – and some shocking new ones.
In KABUKIMONOGATARI (“kabuki” not as in the theater, but from the character for “tilt,” meaning an off-kilter attitude toward the world), Araragi sets himself the goal of saving young Mayoi Hachikuji from a terrible fate. This noble mission takes him on a journey back in time and dimension. As both chronology and perception of reality become more and more contorted and confusing – not to mention dangerous – for Araragi and his traveling companion Shinobu Oshino (fka the uber-aberration Kissshot Acerolaorion Heartunderblade), he learns that the consequences of trying to alter history can be catastrophic.
Filled with NISIOISIN’s characteristic action-filled plots, literary pyrotechnics, and witty banter, KABUKIMONOGATARi is the second episode in season two of the epic Monogatari series. And since it ends with a scene that leads you right into the next book, you’ll definitely want to continue on the adventure in HANAMONOGATARI coming next month!