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Monogatari: How to watch the hit anime series in release or chronological order

From crab girls to friendly vampires, we got all your monster girl types covered.

Image credit: Shaft

The world of Monogatari is full of weird happenings. Both the original light novel series and the anime version feature vampires, weight-stealing crabs, and time travel in every arc. Though the show doesn’t have hundreds of episodes, it does have a confusing, sprawling timeline that can put new viewers off picking it up.

A lot of the confusion comes from how the show is organized, with not one, not two, but 15 different stories mixed together, each with its own overlapping timeline. But fret not, fellow anime fan, for we have the best possible watch orders for you, whether you want to watch Monogatari in chronological or release order.

How to watch Monogatari in chronological order

Image credit: Shaft

Each series within the winding Monogatari timeline has its own title with -monogatari (Japanese for 'story') as the suffix, such as Bakemonogatari (monster story), Nekomonogatari (cat story), or Onimonogatari (demon story). There are 12 of these series plus three films, often with episodes that coincide with each other, making the actual chronological order for Monogatari incredibly convoluted. If you get confused, don’t worry; this is easily the most complicated way to watch this anime series and is only recommended for viewers who have already seen the show at least once. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of the dramatic tension and mystery that is the big appeal of Nisio Isin’s series of light novels.

Here is every episode and film of Monogatari in chronological order:

How to watch Monogatari in release order

Image credit: Shaft

Time travel sure complicates things, doesn’t it? Watching the entire Monogatari story in chronological order is an ordeal and actually removes a lot of the fun of the series, so it is generally better to watch it in the order it was released. That’s still more difficult than it sounds, as the anime aired in a different order than the original light novels were published, so this is often a point of contention among fans. Still, the anime release order is the best way to watch Monogatari.

We have included the upcoming series Monogatari Series Off & Monster Season in the release order here but not added it to the chronological order because we aren't sure yet where in the timeline the series will take place.

Here is the complete watch order for Monogatari in release order:

  • Bakemonogatari
  • Nisemonogatari
  • Nekomonogatari (Black)
  • Nekomonogatari (White)
  • Kabukimonogatari
  • Otorimonogatari
  • Onimonogatari
  • Koimonogatari
  • Hanamonogatari
  • Tsukimonogatari
  • Owarimonogatari I
  • Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu (Note that this is the first of three prequel films in the Monogatari series)
  • Koyomimonogatari
  • Kizumonogatari II: Nekketsu (Note that this is the second of three prequel films in the Monogatari series)
  • Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu (Note that this is the third of three prequel films in the Monogatari series)
  • Owarimonogatari II
  • Zuko Owarimonogatari
  • Monogatari Series Off & Monster Season (upcoming)

Where you can watch Monogatari

Image credit: Shaft

Fortunately, watching Monogatari is much easier than working out the order things happen. At least, it is if you live in the US. Most of the show is on Crunchyroll, though you will need to have Amazon Prime to watch the last three episodes of Bakemonogatari, which originally aired on the show’s website as a supplement to the televised material.

What’s next for Monogatari?

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The main story of Monogatari has been adapted into anime, but there are still several volumes of the light novels that haven’t been animated. These include some supplemental stories that expand the lore of the world and stories that expand on the lives of the supporting cast.

Two of those supplemental series, Off Season and Monster Season, are getting their own anime series developed by the original animation studio, Shaft. Monogatari Series Off & Monster Season, which was announced in January 2024, is sure to complicate our watch order significantly as it will cover stories that take place both during and years after the main series was completed.

What to watch if you enjoyed Monogatari

Image credit: Shaft

Because Monogatari is so unique, there are very few anime out there like it. Shows like Noragami, which follows an up-and-coming god, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the story of a group of high school supernatural investigators, will capture some of that energy, but they’re both very different from Monogatari. It really is a one-of-a-kind experience.

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