I feared going in to Nekomonogatari: Cat Tale (White), that it would come off awkward and wouldn’t live up to previous novels due to the switch from Araragi’s perspective over to Hanekawa’s. While the book isn’t nearly as comedic, or filled with the banter I love from Nisiosin’s books, this one is a much deeper book overall.
After seeing a tiger on the way to school, Hanekawa’s house burns down and she has no desire to stay with her parents whom she feels no connection to. She decides to survive on her own, but only lasts a night before Senjogahara takes her in, and eventually Araragi’s family. Black Hanekawa (AKA Afflicting Cat) comes out in a much softer demeanor through out the book.
While I knew Hanekawa had more layers as a character than previously let on, I didn’t think she could be interesting enough for a whole book. Nisiosin tosses those worries aside pretty quickly. The way he crafts her voice to be the sole focus is superb. Whether it is as her or Black Hanekawa, he knows just how to draw you in and keep you glued to the pages.
This book is all about Hanekawa being forced to look inward at herself in terms of emotions, struggles, and who she wants to be. She spends much of this book in a state of confusion, trying to figure out why she is black out again, what the tiger is as an aberration. As she works this out, we get a look at just how disconnected she has been in her life when dealing with stress, abuse, and other problems.
Nisioisin could have easily stuck to the tried and true of Araragi as the lead in Nekomonogatari: Cat Tale (White), but showed that taking chances can work out brilliantly. Fans of the series should be prepared for a fresh look with the perspective of Hanekawa. I kept reading along furiously with little pause as I became engrossed with her story of awakening to whom she always should have been.
Cover Thoughts: Has VOFAN ever let us down? The cover art of Black Hanekawa and the tiger is beautiful, sexy, and fierce all at once.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Beers
Nekomonogatari: Cat Tale (White) was purchased by me and I have received no considerations from either author or publisher.