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.
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
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
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
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
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.