The Monogatari Series consists of a complicated timeline, both in terms of release order of the light novels and anime series, as well as chronologically. There are five main seasons in which the books/anime adaptations are organized: First Season, Second Season, Final Season, Off Season, and Monster Season. Each season has its own "monogatari" installments, and each installment has its own arcs, usually ranging from 1 - 7 arcs per installment.
First Season consists of the books/anime cours: Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari, along with Nekomonogatari Black. Kizumonogatari, originally the second released book of the light novel series, was announced as an anime movie in 2012 but was put on a hiatus up until 2015 when the film had finally returned to be released as a trilogy of films starting in January 2016 and finishing a year later.
Second Season consists of five stories total being Nekomonogatari White, Kabukimonogatari, Hanamonogatari, Otorimonogatari, Onimonogatari, and Koimonogatari. While First Season consists of two books with two volumes and another two books with only one volume each, Second Season consists of only one volume, one arc books. As such, the anime adaptation, Monogatari Series Second Season consists of all five books except Hanamonogatari which was later released separately.
Final Season consists of Tsukimonogatari, Koyomimonogatari, Owarimonogatari, and lastly Zoku Owarimonogatari. This Season concludes the first major story arc in the series. In terms of anime, Final Season currently consists of another single arc book adaptation with Tsukimonogatari, another compilation adaptation with Owarimonogatari containing its first two volumes, an ONA series adaptation of Koyomimonogatari that was distributed on an app of the same name in Japan, and the adaptation of the third and final volume of Owarimonogatari that released as a two day special. Zoku Owarimonogatari screened in Japanese theaters as a special, with a six episode TV broadcast in 2019. The Kizumonogatari trilogy of films could also in a way be considered a part of Final Season in the anime series due to their time of release and original titles, though Kizumonogatari as a whole is officially grouped with First Season as with the light novel series.
Off Season consists of additional stories that occur after Final Season and throughout the series timeline with Orokamonogatari, Wazamonogatari, Nademonogatari, and Musubimonogatari. Most of these stories fill in the gaps and set up the next season. No anime adaptations have been officially announced yet, though one source from Aniplex suggested that an adaptation is in progress, and Akiyuki Shinbo has stated his interest in adapting every novel in the series that gets released.
Monster Season consists of even more stories so far with Shinobumonogatari , Yoimonogatari, Amarimonogatari, and Ougimonogatari. The rest of the season has been outlined to have Shinomonogatari release in Summer 2021. So far, it seems these will continue the story into a new major story arc. No anime adaptations have been announced for it so far.
A multitude of short stories have also been released, though it seems unlikely they will be adapted into anime.
Only the books from Bakemonogatari to Zoku Owarimonogatari have officially been released in English so far, and only a handful of parts of the series are fully fan-translated online. Many sites remove their translations after the official release.
A Bakemonogatari manga adaptation began serialization in 2018. As it seems to follow its entirely own canon, it should be considered separate from the rest of the series.
- 1 What Order Should I Watch/Read?
- 1.1 Anime Release / SHAFT Order
- 1.2 Light Novel Release / Nisio Isin Order
- 1.3 English Light Novel Release Order / "Kizumonogatari First" Order
- 1.4 Chronological Order
- 2 Visual Graphic
- 3 Unofficial Orders / Placements
- 4 Other Important Information To Know Before Watching / Reading
- 5 See Also
What Order Should I Watch/Read?
Both due to complications in orders of release between adaptations and meta narrative story telling, there are multiple viable orders to experience the series in. All have their pros and cons, so it's up to you to decide which sounds like the best option for you. Ultimately, no order should tarnish the experience by any significant margin for most people.
Note that as of the time writing this article:
- Animated Adaptations for Off Season and Monster Season have not yet been officially announced.
- Only the books from Bakemonogatari to Zoku Owarimonogatari have officially been released in English so far.
As such, there are different limitations, as certain parts of the series are currently unavailable entirely to English speakers outside of sporadic fan translations.
The following provides info on the most official orders.
Anime Release / SHAFT Order
For a long time, this was the rule of thumb order for anime only watchers (and the entire English-speaking community) as it was mostly the only plausible order for each respective group. With studio Shaft temporarily skipping Kizumonogatari and no official English translations for the series arriving until 2015, this is generally how most longtime English speaking and or anime-only fans originally experienced the series.
While there are a few other reshuffles in the meta narrative, the biggest difference with this order is that it presents Kizumonogatari, the origin story, as a mysterious missing part of the story to be anticipated later in the series just before the finale of the main story. While many don't have a problem with this and enjoy the added mystery element, some argue that it leaves too many unanswered questions that are answered too late in the series and is now made obsolete. From a narrative perspective, it works more as a happy accident than an intentional narrative, so certain plot points around the origin story don't flow as comfortably.
Some people still like the reshuffles Anime Release Order introduces outside of Kizumonogatari, therefore recommending an unofficial Hybrid Order instead of the originally intended order from the author.
Generally, go to this order if you want to experience the series as people did when it first came out, like the idea of experiencing an origin story before a finale, and or take interest in seeing how the presentation has changed and improved over the years with each installment of the anime adaptation, at the cost of missing the originally intended order by the author.
The Episode List page is another helpful resource for this order.
- Tsukimonogatari (2014)
- Owarimonogatari (2015)
- Koyomimonogatari (2016)
- Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu (2016)
- Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu (2016)
- Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu (2017)
- Owarimonogatari (Part 2) (2017)
- Zoku Owarimonogatari (2018)
- Orokamonogatari (TBA)
- Wazamonogatari (TBA)
- Nademonogatari (TBA)
- Musubimonogatari (TBA)
- Shinobumonogatari (TBA)
- Yoimonogatari (TBA)
- Amarimonogatari (TBA)
- Ougimonogatari (TBA)
- Shinomonogatari (TBA)
Light Novel Release / Nisio Isin Order
This is the completely original order in which stories were released by author Nisio Isin as novels. Unlike anime release order, all shuffles in chronological placement are fully intentional for the narrative. This makes certain plot points related to Kizumonogatari less confusing, but some argue that the anime placement for Hanamonogatari and Koyomimonogatari actually work better, though these changes are relatively minor in comparison. Instead of recommending the original release, some may recommend a Hybrid Order because of this reason.
Go this route if you want to experience the story as it was originally intended, at the cost of missing the mystery and anticipation element of Kizumonogatari, among these other minor differences in the meta-narrative.
Note that if you watch in this order, you will need to watch Hanamonogatari in between Second Season after the 10th Episode.
- Bakemonogatari (2006)
- Kizumonogatari (2008)
- Nisemonogatari (2008 - 2009)
- Nekomonogatari (Black) (2010)
- Nekomonogatari (White) (2010)
- Kabukimonogatari (2010)
- Hanamonogatari (2011)
- Otorimonogatari (2011)
- Onimonogatari (2011)
- Koimonogatari (2011)
- Tsukimonogatari (2012)
- Koyomimonogatari (2013)
- Owarimonogatari (2013 - 2014)
- Zoku Owarimonogatari (2014)
- Shinobumonogatari (2017)
- Yoimonogatari (2018)
- Amarimonogatari (2019)
- Ougimonogatari (2020)
- Shinomonogatari (2021)
English Light Novel Release Order / "Kizumonogatari First" Order
This is less of an order and more of a minor adjustment to the former. Though he said it during a much simpler time, author Nisio Isin claims in the author's note of the novel that he thinks Kizumonogatari can come before Bakemonogatari. If you'd like to experience it first and then proceed with one of the previously mentioned orders, it is another viable option. The official English release of the novels released this way and has generally followed novel release order for the proceeding parts, the only difference being that Bake and Kizu are swapped at the start. This could also be considered the "Vertical" release order, as it is the publishing company behind the English release, though they have since rebranded as Kodansha USA.
As the origin story, Kizumonogatari is arguably one of the most accessible stories in the series, having the most action and a fairly straightforward plot. This is compared to the traditional first entry, Bakemonogatari, which purposefully starts the story in the middle of the timeline to create more mystery and intrigue about its characters.
If the rest of the series seems too intimidating or unappealing for whatever reason, Kizumongatari is a decent starting point for those looking to find a different hook to get them into the series. Just note that other installments are comparatively less accessible and that watching this first will also remove the mystery element mentioned in Anime Release Order.
This order eliminates most meta narrative elements in favor of a linear, continuous story. Another mostly viable option, but most recommend it for rewatching / rereading rather than a first time viewing. It's also the least accessible order as it requires the viewer to jump back and forth between anime cours and novels in some places instead of finishing each at a time. Certain material has yet to be adapted or translated as well.
The Koyomimonogatari short stories are not included in the list, see the visual below for placement. Note that these Koyomimonogatari arcs are mostly rough estimates as most seem to take place either during or in between certain arcs and anime series episodes, making it hard to fit them in a linear list. A dedicated viewer may need to try and pinpoint exactly which episodes to watch the Koyomimonogatari shorts in between, which is another reason this order is more suitable for a rewatch.
Even if you don't watch chronologically, chronological placement should be kept in mind during traditional viewings.
- Wazamonogatari (Acerola Bon Apetite)
- Nekomonogatari (Black)
- Owarimonogatari Vol. 2
- Nekomonogatari (White) (occurs concurrently with Onimonogatari and Owarimonogatari Vol. 2)
- Owarimonogatari Vol. 1
- Wazamonogatari (Tsubasa Sleeping)
- Orokamonogatari (Sodachi Fiasco)
- Otorimonogatari (occurs around the same time as Tsubasa Sleeping and Sodachi Fiasco)
- Owarimonogatari Vol. 3
- Zoku Owarimonogatari
- Wazamonogatari (Karen Ogre)
- Orokamonogatari (Suruga Bonehead)
- Orokamonogatari (Tsukihi Undo)
Unofficial Orders / Placements
There are some fan-made orders that make slight adjustments to where parts like Kizumonogatari, Hanamonogatari, and or Koyomimonogatari should be placed. These aren't official, but are subjective orders that are more like fusions of anime and novel release order that make slight adjustments. These are viable, but aren't based on official releases, so they weren't necessarily intended to be seen this way by neither Nisio Isin nor Shaft.
This takes the Kizumonogatari placement of novel release order and combines it with the Hanamonogatari and Koyomimonogatari placement of anime release order, combining the subjectively beneficial reshuffles of each order.
- Kizumonogatari after Bakemonogatari
- Hanamonogatari after Koimonogatari
- Koyomimonogatari In between Owarimonogatari Volume 2 and Volume 3
Kizu In between Owari 1 + Koyomi
Basically a minor adjustment to anime release order, arguably makes certain plot points flow better together.
Other Important Information To Know Before Watching / Reading
- Bakemonogatari consists of 15 episodes, but most legal streaming sites only have 12. This is because the last 3 episodes were originally released online in Japan and not on television. The only consistent way to legally view these episodes currently is through the official blu-ray release, as the licenses are often changing. Funimation currently has them available for streaming.
- The Kizumonogatari films are currently only legally available through streaming on Amazon Prime Video or through the English blu-ray releases.
- The Zoku Owarimonogatari anime adaptation is currently not available for legal English streaming anywhere. There are no legal streaming sites that feature it. It is only legally available through the blu-ray release.
- Keep in mind that this series acts as a puzzle in terms of the order arcs are experienced. Don't be thrown off guard by chronological order. Unless you choose that route, arcs are meant to be experienced in a shuffled fashion.
- Each anime cour is merely an adaptation of a novel, not necessarily its own "season." As such, cours with multiple volumes such as Bakemonogatari or Owarimonogatari contain multiple arcs and a large number of episodes, while single volume cours such as Nekomonogatari Black or Tsukimonogatari have a small amount of episodes and only one arc. The anime cour known as Monogatari Series Second Season is unique in that it is a volume compilation cour that consists of only one arc volumes and is not named after a specific book.
- Even though all the arcs in Second Season except Hanamonogatari are typically grouped into one cour known as Monogatari Series Second Season, the western blu-rays have separate releases for each arc.
- A compilation of Kabukimonogatari, Onimonogatari, and Owarimonogatari Vol 2 in that order occurs at the same time as the entire Nekomonogatari Shiro arc. The three arcs are told as flashbacks during later dates.
- Koyomimonogatari consists of short side stories that are mostly unimportant to the main story besides the last 2 episodes which chronologically proceed Owarimonogatari Volume 3.