That’s three top-tier arcs in a row. Monogatari, I don’t know what they’ve put in your drinking water, but I like it. This arc is ostensibly about Shinobu, who’s one of my favorite characters, but I’ve heard it’s actually heavy on Mayoi, my least favorite, so I guess we’ll see if they keep it up. But this season has given me no reason to expect disappointment – Monogatari is one of the most compelling anime of the last few years, and S2 has been far and away the strongest set of episodes. Bring on Shinobu Time.
0:08 – Always good to have you back, Monogatari. I’m gonna be sad when this season’s done. Forty-some episodes and I’m still not tired of this world they’ve constructed
0:18 – Our favorite schemer. This show’s interpretation of a villain is about as skewed as its interpretation of every other story element
1:09 – These opening monologues. So whadda we got… consistency, whims, consideration. Gotta keep track, they’re not all as overt as Medusa was
1:41 – A nice one
Many shots of Fauxshino contrasted against those black birds in flight. We’ll see if that’s a thing
1:50 – And another nice one. Deep, natural greens are a pretty rare sight in this world. I think the shrine’s trees have been every color but natural green
2:33 – Even when he doesn’t end up getting ripped apart, attempting to save everyone doesn’t do him any favors. Kind of tough being the exorcist in a world where demons represent the things you yourself have to deal with
3:32 – Yep, it’s gonna be one of those conversations. Goddamnit you two
4:07 – This may very well all reflect on Shinobu or something, but I never trust these two to actually keep the story moving
6:08 – The hero we deserve
6:40 – And it’s a creepy one
8:50 – Pretty solid “chase” sequence all through here. Pretty typical Monogatari to make “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” something chase-worthy all by itself
9:53 – Friggin Mayoi stories
10:50 – Right, she’s here. And so is that other associate of Meme and Kaiki’s that Hanekawa ran into. So is this the big event that’s got all the spirit-busters worried? Possibly even the explanation for Araragi’s appearance at the end of Neko White? THE PLOT THICKENS
10:58 – Cranes as far as the eye can see. No wonder this city’s only consistent feature is construction signs
Also, yeah, this is the part where the badass usually appears, saves them, and explains everything. Hey Isin, good to see ya
11:45 – How much time are we covering in two seasons. Five days, maybe?
12:23 – I approve of this face
12:49 – Nice image.
13:00 – That’s the stuff
13:20 – This is fantastic. I couldn’t think of a more ridiculous character to have doing this
13:37 – The world must know!
15:36 – It’s never that easy, is it? Straight answers, hah
16:48 – It’s like Shinobu is the actual apparition-expert, and Araragi’s just the apparition expert’s marketing department
17:07 – This seems important. It certainly ties in with Medusa
18:32 – Oh is that all. So are we pushing the Shinobu/Araragi relationship to some kind of breaking point? But they’re adorable together!
21:27 – Yep, more about their bond. We’ll see
23:16 – Wow that shot’s lovely. This episode has been largely exposition and pervy comedy, but it certainly never fails to impress visually
23:53 – One more nice one
Well, that episode kinda lapsed into the things I was worried about, but that doesn’t really dampen my expectations. The second arc was also very slow to start, and relied largely on comedy as it set up its scenario, and the second half of that one turned out fantastically. I actually liked Ononoki for maybe the first time this episode – her appreciation of Araragi’s muscles got me pretty good. And what a buffet of Araragiservice that was!
That last scene with Shinobu was interesting, and almost certainly the one most relevant to whatever issue this is really going to be about. Her getting either playfully or actively mad about the kiss, and Araragi’s fairly surprising counter-kiss, could go in any number of directions. Mainly because their relationship itself is so weird – they’ve got an intimacy so close they’re essentially sharing the same body, and they both know that when everything else is dust, they’ll only have each other. But what does that mean in an emotional sense? Araragi’s actively dating Senjougahara – was Shinobu just yanking his chain here, and thus his response was to take that playfulness to its ridiculous extreme so he could get on with the real issue? Or does him being close to another spirit-creature somehow intrude on something she actually does believe is hers alone? This could easily tie into that “being utterly reliant on her” issue Ononoki was talking about – will this possibly be about him taking her for granted? That could definitely work – Araragi at least needs Shinobu to resolve these apparitions, but as we saw in arc two, Shinobu needs Araragi for far more personal reasons.
Well, that’s a lot of hypothesizing for one little scene. I guess we’ll see soon enough.