Palindromically-stylised author NISIOISIN’s Bakemonogatari (Monster Tale) is the collective title of five story arcs published over three volumes (two in the original Japanese print) that is the origin of the now-expansive Monogatari series. Like the title suggests, they are stories of monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings that its protagonist happens to encounter and subsequently deal with. The aberrations in question draw from various mythologies and folklores, ranging from obscure Japanese tales to more well-known Western publications. This is no horror story, however; Bakemonogatari is best described as equal parts occult mystery, comedy, and in-depth analysis of the human psyche.
‘You’ve been busy, Assassin,’ the girl at the desk said, without looking up.
‘But of course,’ Assassin replied, entering his Master’s quarters. ‘I was instructed not to return until I had gleaned something useful, after all.’
‘You weren’t instructed to get involved. I know about the Master you killed.’
The hospital kept me in observation for a short while afterwards, but quickly enough I was given a clean bill of health and sent home to the awaiting news crews. As it would turn out, my story would have quite the impact on the world in the coming months. My dysfunctional Life Clock caused irreparable damage to the manufacturer’s reputation. They even offered to have it replaced or disabled if I kept quiet. But it was too late for them.
When I come up with ideas for writing, sometimes I’m already seated in front of my laptop and I just start right then and there. Sometimes I might be slightly busy, so I open up a Word document and drop a quick summary in there for later. Sometimes I may be lying awake in bed at some stupid hour of the night, and I rue both my proximity to my laptop and my unwillingness to get out of bed and use it. But there are also times I’m not in a place to do any of those things, so I send myself a message on my phone with a quick summary so I don’t forget what it was.
Lancer waited at the peak of Mount Enzou for Saber to arrive. In addition to her Master’s written invitation, she had stated her intent to Saber by choosing to eliminate Caster instead of him—or, more drastically, as well as him. Really, he should ascend the mountain and prostrate himself before her in gratitude.
And then I woke. To jostling. To voices. To a sterile, white light. To a variety of things plugged into my body. To cables and tubes leading to and from various machines. Even in my alcohol-induced stupor, I knew this was a hospital bed. Haha, I thought, it happened again.
Such a sense of familiarity. That was the sensation Saber felt as he made his way through Homurahara Academy to fight the Servant that had taken up residence there. This familiarity was not for his own high school, however; if that was to be the case, he would have to be visiting one of the more modern schools situated in the Shinto district. Rather, Homurahara reminded Saber of another place he frequented in life—particularly during the years that made him who he was now—which was a school and yet wasn’t.