Man. I’ve always thought Monogatari was an extremely interesting and generally compelling show, but this season…this season you guys. Absurd jump in quality. Neko Shiro is probably my favorite arc of anything in the series, Zombies versus Vampires From the Future Past was one of the most entertaining, and this one’s keeping up the hits. Great direction, a powerful portrayal and subsequent breakdown of Nadeko’s personality, and HanaKana going all pissed-off delinquent on us. And now here we are at the showdown – Nadeko’s been caught red-handed with a personality and desires of her own, something she’s only been moderately successful at hiding so far. We kind of already know how this discussion ends, but I’m game to see how we get there.
0:25 – I love his “negotiating with terrorists” routine. It was such a great choice to cast these arcs from perspectives other than his – he’s pretty much played out development-wise for now, his relationships with the girls are stable from his perspective, and he’s just too powerful in this world. Removing him creates danger, allows for more character illumination, allows the show to use its great cinematography for perspectives other than his, reveals a bunch of character dynamics that kind of get overrun by Araragi’s presence… a big part of my appreciation of this season is based on its moving the focus away from Araragi
0:38 – So great how they keep framing this as her talking to herself. The fact that the snake represents undesirable parts of herself is even more apparent here than it was with Hanekawa – and I like how she basically slips up and says “it’s okay because I don’t care if he figures everything out”, which is certainly relevant to her emotional hangups, but certainly wouldn’t do a damn thing to resolve the fantasy-snake-narrative she’s manifesting those hangups into
1:27 – Araragi and his damn poses
2:36 – Ah. That explains it. Goddamnit Shaft, we need some Kizu context!
3:01 – You made this bed, Nadeko. No one’s saving you this time
4:09 – Had to get that one
4:45 – Excellent shot choice. They’re making this incredibly visceral – it looks like we’re with Araragi again (obviously, since we’re also seeing her attack from behind his eyes)
5:24 – Alone in the spotlight again. Not safe because she’s protected, but safe because she’s killed her audience
6:13 – Nice shot. Her snake palette is pretty chilling
6:54 – Another nice one
7:49 – Yep. She ran out of people to hide behind, so she invented one of her own
9:03 – Her body as the representative object. Cute
9:27 – They keep using those trailing lines of text. Not really sure what to make of them – they also appeared on the walls of the school on the morning she exploded, and elsewhere before that
10:15 – NADEKO YOU DIDN’T. Well I for one am shocked by this behavior
11:43 – So this was part of the time we lost during that hypnotism routine? Man, what is Ougi’s game? They’ve deliberately designed her to not look human – she looks even less human than Yotsugi. She knows basically everything, and seems to drop intentional, mocking hints about stories before they even happen. She claims to be Oshino’s niece, but that… yeah, sure.
12:22 – So yeah. She set basically every variable of this story in motion. Sure, Nadeko already did have all these issues – but Ougi lit the fuse
15:38 – Unreliabler and unreliabler
16:22 – This is actually a pretty honest and brutal portrayal of what the “yandere” nonsense might build out of. A love not of a real person, but of your still, captured image of that person, your idealized version of that person that really only exists to confirm and cushion aspects of yourself. Something perhaps a little too relevant to be accidental in the context of otaku and ideas like idol “purity”
16:34 – This arc has made Nadeko awesome. Great goddamn work, Isin
17:07 – Ahaha great. I was going to kill him, but… this could be important!
20:30 – Thanks but no thanks. And back to the spotlit darkness
Also more metaness, of course
Ahahaha jeez. That certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but that’s Monogatari for you. A few minutes of tense hostage negotiation, a minute of insane yandere murdering, and then half an episode of talking to “herself” about her own craziness. And Senjougahara’s own brand of so-in-control-it’s-terrifying possessiveness saves the day! Wonderful. I also couldn’t have asked for a better ending shot – Nadeko has certainly come a long way. Hopefully we get more yandere snake god development down the line – even though she’s currently making a pit stop at “psychopathic crush-murderer”, I’m sure this is all just part of the healing process. I’m a fan.
-edit- Woops, missed the post-credits bit. Exciting times! I assume we won’t actually see any of that happen for a good five years or so, but still! Nice to see the hero squad all in formation and everything.