First things first, even with a different name, Nisemonogatari is the second season of Bakemonogatari, and without the background from the first show, you will hardly understand anything. That being said, I have mixed but generally positive feelings about the sequel.
The show did not start off on a high note for me, as I do not like Senjougahara. She has her moments, but her character tends to range from tsundere to tsuntsun, and she treats Araragi like crap almost all the time. This bothers me, even though he puts up with it because he has a thing for her. So the first few scenes felt derivative and dull.
Then Hachikuji showed up, and the show became amazing. She was by far my favorite character from Bakemonogatari, and I find her absolutely hilarious. (The R.O.D. reference didn’t hurt either, even though I hate Yomiko Readman, but that’s another post) She successfully redeemed the first episode, and then wandered off and left us with the rest of the cast.
Speaking of which, the premise as I was lead to understand it was that Nisemonogatari would focus more on Araragi’s sisters, but they hardly got any screen time during the first three episodes. I am hoping that, with the re-introduction of the old cast and the appearance of an antagonist, the show will break away from its Bakemonogatari roots and deal more with characters who haven’t already had their own story arcs. It’s a shame that Araragi’s sisters aren’t the viewpoint characters, as it would be interesting seeing this world from a new perspective.
In general, though, I want Nisemonogatari to have its own story and appeal, rather than coasting on the goodwill garnered from its predecessor. If it can do that, it has the potential to be just as good as the original, which is astoundingly rare for a sequel. But it probably won’t be better than Bakemonogatari, unless we get a lot more Hachikuji.