Advanced Japanese Book Club // Next: アンダーグラウンド


Author : 西尾 維新
Illustrations: VOFAN






There’s a girl at their school who is always ill. She routinely arrives late, leaves early, or doesn’t show up at all, and skips gym as a matter of course. She’s pretty, and the boys take to whispering that she’s a cloistered princess. As the self-described worst loser in her class soon finds out, they just don’t know what a monster she is.

So begins a tale of mysterious maladies that are supernatural in origin yet deeply revealing of the human psyche, a set of case files as given to unexpected feeling as it is to irreverent humor. So begins the legendary novel that kicked off the MONOGATARI series, whose anime adaptations have enjoyed international popularity and critical acclaim.

Length : 436 (physical book)
Category : easier reading, faster pace


Amazon JP
Ebook Japan

Personal Opinion

This the first book (in release order) of the Monogatari series by Nisio Isin. Nisio Isin is a well acclaimed young adult fiction writer with a unique style. Monogatari series is his best know work adapted into a popular anime franchise.

I heard it from different sources that his novels are quite challenging because of Nisio Isin’s innovative use of language. He likes wordplay, ambiguous phrases, and puns. He also likes to let the characters speak for themselves making the novel quite diague heavy. And the characters are the main appeal of the story. They are well-written and quite appealing.

Personally, I got really interested in learning Japanese after watching the Bakemonogatari anime adaptation. The anime would often display novel excerpts and show kanji of the words the characters are discussing (yes, charactes were often discussing how something is spelled and what if it was spelled with a different kanji).

I think it Bakemonogatari is a good fit fo the book club because it is a good practice for advanced readers and also simply an influential piece of contemporary fiction.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • interesting use of language makes for a fun read
  • abundunt puns and wordplay
  • appealing characters
  • culturally significant work


  • a long series with works not written in chronolgical order
  • target audience is otaku


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters