Monogatari S2 – Episode 7

Day late on this one – it’s been a very busy weekend. Anyway. New arc today. I’m assuming we’re back on Araragi (which I’m kinda meh towards) and the arc is apparently about Hachikuji (also pretty meh towards), but this season has blown past my expectations so far, so I’m just trying to come in at true neutral. Let’s roll.

Episode 7

0:44 – Clearly a face we can trust.  

1:07 – A three second pause… alright, I’m just gonna let Isin’s dialogue do its own thing until pieces come together in a way that might make sense. The first arc of this season kind of spoiled me, but I’m kind of used to thinking of this show’s dialogue and its visuals as two separate shows that happen to run at the same time. So my notes will probably be a bit more me-focused (just jotting down details until they pull together), since I’m not gonna pontificate on what I don’t think I actually understand. So:

Traffic light metaphor. The pause where all motion is stopped, everywhere.

1:32 – “If I designed the system, I’d make sure the lights were never all green. Everyone prefers safe over dangerous.”

1:41 – They’re really grinding in a very simple statement. We’ll need a couple more reflections to triangulate an actual point, though

1:51 – “When the world is filled with green lights signaling safety, it’s more dangerous than anywhere.”

Again, basically self-notes here. The show is highlighting and underlining this concept, so I’ll want these statements written out to reference against

2:29 – “Half the lights being green just means half the risk. If you want to be safe, don’t cross sidewalks.” That’s something more, since it’s actually nonsense, and a kind of dangerous nonsense too. Hm

3:34 – Araragi, haven’t you realized yet you live in a world where half-baked semi-profundities always come back to bite you in the ass? Often literally, too

Nice shot there, by the way

4:11 – This is gonna be fun

5:01 – Her design is so bizarre. Like a non-anime fans’ idea of an anime character. It definitely helps make her seem like some kind of creepy homunculus

5:21 – Even if I didn’t already know, it’d be pretty easy to tell this is gonna be a Hachikuji story. All this crap mirroring Hachikuji’s life story and first arc. Isin can get so self-indulgent sometimes…

5:57 – That’s awesome. I’m glad she finds that phase as embarrassing as I found it annoying

6:11 – That is an incredibly good question

7:08 – I like how the absurd, empty-stage nature of their world makes this a pretty great gag

8:12 – Hm. Why is Araragi so put off by her assumption that he’s a human?

9:16 – Must every plot element mirror another one, Isin? Katanagatari is actually one of my all-time favorite shows, but in Monogatari I think he mixes it up too much between cute parallels and meaningful ones

9:28 – This one seems more relevant. Professing resurrection in a story about another dead girl

10:21 – I’d like to see a map of this town of theirs

10:36 – Seriously, I’d hire this urban planner in a second

11:06 – Seems relevant

12:42 – Oh please. Bring back Hanekawa!

14:07 – You know how I sometimes complain about Isin using his characters as self-indulgent mouthpieces? Well, I do, and Fuck This

14:47 – It only makes sense. Another distinctive shot

15:27 – Well this episode escalated quickly

18:01 – Manipulating Araragi 101: Play to his hero complex

18:26 – She takes his watch, and then once he no longer has control of it, uses it to confirm his sense of time. Hm

19:53 – I foresee no problems with this

20:25 – This conversation is actually awesome. Time travel is always nonsense, so “going forward in time takes less energy, just like salmon!” is pretty much par for the course

21:04 – And now he’s actually trying to clarify whether he traveled through time physically or just adopted his old physical self. You’d think if he were this thoughtful about time travel, he’d have asked maybe one or two of these questions before leaping through the giant scary time-gate

21:34 – Yeaah, she is being super weird about this watch

22:04 – This is extremely adorable

And Done

Welp, ya fucked around with time travel, what did you expect?

So I guess that answers the question of Hachikuji’s relevance. Are we actually right around her Time Of Death now? Eh, plot is details, let’s talk about the craft.

This episode definitely leaned into some of my least favorite Isin-isms, mainly through the extremely cute plot mirroring and self-indulgent, character-irrelevant banter. The first half just felt clunky as hell, and Shinbou didn’t really get much of a chance to strut his stuff as far as visual-plot-illuminating goes. That’s pretty much par for the course with Hachikuji stories, even though Hachikuji has yet to actually appear – there is no sexual charge to her and Araragi’s relationship, so the camera doesn’t have all that much to talk about. The second half was a lot of fun though, mainly because Shinobu and Araragi have a very endearing buddy-cop dynamic, and because time travel is just loads of fun in general, and actually improved through the presence of genre-savvy characters. Definitely not as strong a start as the first arc, but obviously it’s going places.

2 thoughts on “Monogatari S2 – Episode 7

  1. I don’t get what you mean by self-indulgent. Are you talking about the references? I know shaft adds their own, but the ones in the story are all significant. If you understand the show or thing that is being referenced it will give you greater insight into the situation or theme, they’re like clues. For instance the reference to the wizard of Oz in Neko white about the ignorance of the scarecrow. If you recall the story the scarecrow had a brain all along he just had to realize it. Just like Hanekawa who knew all along, but had to realize it. On top of which they both shared a theme, a girl wanting to escape into a fantasy only to realize it isn’t all that great and ends up traveling back home. The references are also reflections of the characters in the same way their life philosophies are. Karen makes dekiranger and sentai references, Hitagi makes references to widely known anime like Eva and FMA both of which have a main character with a missing mother and aloof father. Hanekawa generally references fairy tales and novels like Sherlock Holmes and Sleeping beauty. Nadeko talks about older manga/anime series like she wants to appear more sophisticated and mature than she is. Araragi seems to watch/read anything entertaining he can find, In fact the reason he forgot to do his homework was because he was marathoning all of Heartcatch precure.

    If you’re talking about the pointing out of the references, that’s really more of a cultural thing. It’s the classic Boke-Tsukkomi routine where one person does something silly or over the top and the other person reprimands them generally by hitting them with a fan or by pointing out the silly thing they are doing. It is a form of comedic Back-channeling like “I see” and “is that so?” where you are acknowledging that you understand what the speaker is talking about. An easy way to upset someone is by not giving them feedback during a conversation. Funnily enough one of the songs on the Bakemonogatari soundtrack is called “Back-channeling”

    • Nice response! I hadn’t considered how their references are so reflective of their personalities and hangups, but that definitely makes sense. I don’t think it’s a particularly graceful way to characterize them, but you’re probably right about the boke-tsukkomi thing just not appealing to me as well. It often feels like they’re no longer being the characters they were before, with the specific conversational patterns they had before, and are instead acting out a bit that was written for them beforehand. Which obviously is what all dialogue is, but the boke-tsukkomi stuff just feels more canned and less true to the characters than their usual conversations are. Which is what I meant by self-indulgent – that Isin is adding stuff that is funny to him but not the best for the story. Isin might be a big anime buff and fan of long-winded puns, but making all his characters act out those interests breaks my investment in them as individual people.

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