Monogatari S2 – Episode 14

Alright, time for another pretty, piercing episode of Monogatari. This arc has certainly not been a light-hearted one – pretty much the entire running time has been split between Nadeko being told off for acting passive and playing the victim and Nadeko secretly agreeing with her snake-shaped other self’s assessment of everyone else being the problem. As always, the apparition is just an unwanted, unacknowledged, or unaddressable part of your true self, and I’m really interested in seeing how they resolve this. Outside of Nadeko’s passivity, what is there to her? Well, the resentment towards others and possible underlying guilt, represented through the snake. Her childlike obsession with Araragi, who’s probably only appealing as a caretaker anyway. Her adolescent need to belong, and equally adolescent faux-sophisticated love of retro media. When you make her address her false self, who’s she even going to be?

Let’s get to it.

Episode 14

0:22 – I love the absurdist glimpses of Araragi’s normal home life.  Nadeko calls Tsukihi and wakes her up… while Araragi’s watching her sleep. Tsukihi wakes up in her brother’s bed… and is only surprised Nadeko is there


1:02 – Looks like Shinobu’s tirade got to her.  But she’s still interpreting it to make herself look better – it’s not “I’m sorry for just coasting on helplessness and a cute face”, it’s “I’m not cute”

1:41 – This can’t be helping 

1:58 – Is it easier or worse from a friend? 

3:02 – Goddamnit, was I supposed to be pointing out the hair?  Hair’s a thing here, isn’t it? Damnit, ya got me, Isin…

Also, Tsukihi’s doing great work here. No one else has actually tried to make her own up to her feelings

3:10 – Cute little line.  It’s more of a marker of her insecurities than you know, Tsukihi!

4:05 – I feel like this episode is telling us more about Tsukihi’s personality than her own entire arc did.  Typical Araragi, making arcs from his perspective all about himself

7:20 – I like this frame.  It’s great how they’re visually juggling Tsukihi’s blunt but still ostensibly lighthearted view of this conversation with the near-panic attack Nadeko’s undergoing with each new line


8:53 – They’re using the pajamas for some nicely colored frames. I like how the lighting of the wall behind Nadeko is bending backwards under the force of Tsukihi’s questions

10:40 – Hmm. So she’s saying Nadeko’s crush is an implicit rejection of and turning away from her unsatisfying reality. I don’t know if we needed this whole conversation, but it’s certainly reframing the theme and pushing Nadeko further than the prior ones

12:33 – Man is she ever insecure. That’s her bargain? 

13:14 – True selves identity yada yada 

13:28 – There’s that critical light again. Nadeko alone in the spotlight, forced into a position of honesty and true self


14:30 – Oh my god yes it’s amazing.  Go Nadeko go (go HanaKana, for that matter)

Hah! They even have her absorb the snake’s “eeeh?!”

15:08 – Yesss let it all out. That must feel pretty satisfying

15:53 – This is so fantastic.  Her hair’s getting pretty pissed

15:59 – I love all these expressions 

16:07 – And again. Just wonderful


16:13 – Yep, Tsukihi’s speech did the trick 

16:23 – Perhaps a tiny bit of projecting 

17:43 – What a colorful world she lives in now 

18:23 – Another nice shot.  They’re so aggressive with their interpretive style, foregrounding those detail-stricken posts

18:41 – And one more.  So much symmetry, but it’s broken by that curiously designed building

18:53 – Now she actively asks to look for his object in the daytime, “her” time. The door is opened

21:15 – This episode is the best 


And Done

Ahhhh what a good episode. I initially felt the first half was possibly going overboard on the lectures, but then pretty much every point Tsukihi brought up was directly mirrored in that fantastic second half. And that explosion! Man was that satisfying – both the facial animation and HanaKana’s performance were just outstanding, and the whole scene just felt like a perfect release to the nervous tension they’ve been building all through this arc. Very excited for the finale

5 thoughts on “Monogatari S2 – Episode 14

  1. Man, dat explosion. I’d heard Kana Hanazawa do that kind of voice once before in another show the name of which I can’t bring to mind, but MAN is she good at it. It’s a nice change from the soft, whisper-quiet we hear all the time and it hits like a freight train.

  2. How do you know a show has an extravagent budget? When you’re both extremely happy and *surprised* to see the same opening twice.

  3. Tsukihi: “So I just called you an hypocrite, almost made you cry then threatened to kick you, shoved a burning light in your face, and finally deliberately told you the guy you love has a girlfriend to see you squirm. Now let’s make sure no one can hear us, so we can have a frank discussion.” Yeah I would have just ran away crying at this point.

    Nadeko: “I always see him with a different girl, but they don’t seem to be his girlfriend”: Pimping Nadeko, it’s called pimping.

    For the same price as a lottery ticket, Tsukihi will tell you that you’re an idiot instead. You’re welcome.

    Oh, apparently she will do haircuts too.

    The new Faustian bargain: your soul for hair bangs. Man it’s a buyer’s market.

    I like how we supposedly have other people for the first time in that arc, but her shoes are still the only ones in all of the school lockers.

    The complete change in personality from the hair is so fun. It goes with this whole private joke of anime character being completely determined by their look; therefore your look/accessories can never ever change. See when Homura removes her glasses, and instantly becomes a badass.

    • Tsukihi takes friendship seriously! Maybe a little too seriously in this case, but her heart’s in the right place!

      It is kind of funny how a character’s profile and look are kind of assumed to a big part of what gives them their personality. Outfit change = confidence level up! Haircut = new perspective on life! It makes sense from a viewer perspective, but it’s a good thing none of the characters realize they have this power.

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