Monogatari S2 – Episode 9

Well I’m certainly ready to see this kick into high gear. This arc hasn’t been as tedious for me as the first Mayoi one (which is still easily my least favorite part of the series overall), but personally Isin’s comedy is kinda hit-or-miss for me, and not really what I’m here for. So I’d say an apocalypse or something is definitely in order.

Episode 9

0:02 – Nice establishing shot 

0:18 – Sweet, they weren’t kidding. This is a lovely series of shots, too. This one in particular is very interesting – all these shots possess much more detail than Monogatari’s usual highly stylized and flat aesthetic, and here we see the telephone poles’ usual appearance (a solid block of color, usually white) shift into more color as they reach the point where the corruption/natural overgrowth has reached them. Like the normal aesthetic is representative of the clinical, controlled environment these characters normally live within, and destroying that world also destroys that aesthetic

0:24 – God damn that’s nice 

0:40 – There’s one for the “inappropriate OP transitions” highlight reel

2:17 – Another beautiful composition. Love the use of shadow here – those ominous power lines reflected in black

2:27 – Back to the flat colors. Araragi’s house has escaped the destruction

3:01 – More great shadows. Really enhances the ghost town feel

3:39 – Shinbo gets to have so much fun with composition. I get that not every show would be appropriate for such a stylized approach, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of it

5:30 – So Shinobu’s obviously got some kinda secret. Good to know!

6:16 – Seems trustworthy 

6:39 – They keep changing the color palette of this place 

6:55 – Ermahgerd this show’s design. They are really going all-out today. It’s like the characters, the talisman, and the background have all been pulled from disparate worlds

7:25 – They are making it very hard for me to get through this episode 

7:47 – God, look at it. I love the consistency of the color trick – not only does the overall image fade from green to red, but you can see the individual trees in the distance do the same. It might be stylized, but it’s like the colors themselves are the ecosystem

8:02 – The green has spread significantly since they entered. Not yet sure what to make of that

9:09 – Well this is different. Their shifting, cut-paper texture kinda reminds me of Madoka

10:09 – Today is a good day 

10:47 – And to think I was complaining about this arc. This episode’s an embarrassment of riches

11:39 – Well I can see why she had trouble telling him. Wonder where they’re going with this…

12:26 – “Me that isn’t myself.” Pointing to some common Isin topics here. Links easily enough with fate, but there’s not yet enough pieces to tie it into the red light/green light stuff

13:32 – Jeez, that’s a morbid way to reference that 

14:39 – I like that this is more of a Shinobu arc than a Mayoi arc. Shinobu secretly being a possibly unbalanced world-shaking power is something the show generally breezes over, and keeping it relevant makes the Araragi-Shinobu relationship more interesting

17:08 – An interesting play on “true self.” Shinobu isn’t actually reformed, this is just a new version of her self, and that other self still exists

19:50 – Hanekawa reforms by embracing the various interpretations of her ‘self.’ Shinobu reforms by denying hers 

20:45 – I like pretty much every shot of this episode, but here’s another particularly nice one 

21:23 – He’s even at the playground? Jeez, I wonder who they’re gonna run into

And Done

What a great episode! Goddamn. Excitement about this season = renewed. Beautiful shots throughout, digging at some interesting stuff about Shinobu’s character, and who doesn’t love a good zombie apocalypse, particularly in Monogatari’s fantastic style? Still not sure of everything this arc is really about (though Shinobu’s little “you can’t always be pessimistic and wait for things to happen” speech at the end seems suspiciously relevant), but as long as the ride is this beautiful and exciting, I’ll remain happy to find out.

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