Have you guys seen this OP? Seriously guys. Holy shit this OP. Ermahgerd. I’m not gonna be able to say anything worth reading until we get through that beautiful ridiculous thing, so let’s just start the show.
0:40 – Senjougahara lays out an attack in her usual style, something that would leave Araragi fumbling (and the camera fumbling breathily as well, though here we’re just getting slow shots of furniture)…
0:47 – And Kaiki says, “quit screwing around, little girl.” Refusing to acknowledge her as a person who could even use sexuality as a weapon. Same as he did last week with Nadeko – his only response to her advances was a kind of awkward pity. He’s stomping right through the charged adolescent nonsense Araragi has consistently enabled
1:14 – Oh my god here we go yes. It is glorious
1:24 – A duet between the two masters of cold sarcasm that is itself a mocking riff of 80s romance. Holy shit
1:44 – Kaiki yes you are the best. Hell, it’s not hard to believe his actual sense of style and romance kind of froze sometime in the mid-80s anyway. The height of cool
2:07 – And the song itself is so perfectly hokey. This is just an incredibly thing
2:31 – She looks pretty silly in that hat. We haven’t had a single Araragi-Senjougahara scene this season, have we?
4:04 – Araragi makes her seem so scary, too! It’s like she’s just a brittle, hyper-defensive teenager or something
4:11 – An expression we’ve never seen from her. Like she got scolded by the teacher… which she pretty much did
4:34 – Kaiki suggests honesty
6:23 – His greatest power. It seems like his familiarity with lying makes him very aware of when it’s best to be direct
6:26 – These shots are so good. It’s hard to square this cute kid Senjougahara with the crazy-woman of Neko Shiro, or the intimidating sexuality of Bake #12
6:54 – Tellin’ it like it is. Araragi fucked up big time, and his mercy towards Nadeko might get any number of people killed
Goddamn is Kaiki a great presence here. SohumB proposed the idea that he’s about as close to an author avatar as we could get – Isin himself coming in and saying “look, this isn’t sexy. You’re all really weird. Stop doing that.” You all know my thoughts on this series – it wouldn’t surprise me if this were the creators just throwing up their hands and admitting the audience won’t realize the character perspectives aren’t aligned with the show perspective unless someone comes along to directly tell the characters they’re acting like children
8:40 – Again, I love the interplay of honesty and dishonesty in Kaiki’s worldview. He sees things as they really are, unfettered by people’s expectations or assumptions, and thus can see the simplest route to a solution
9:18 – An interesting position. Like she’s never had a meaningful enough interaction with anyone to see them as complex beings with more than one way of acting. Which certainly fits with her initial conception as the demented endpoint of the helpless moe girl – she has about as much ability to read people as Fuko
9:38 – Nobody home
10:12 – Hell, even her conception of love fits perfectly in with that archetype’s home – a love for stories where nothing ever progresses, where relationships don’t actually move beyond yearning and everyone stays in a happy limbo
10:52 – Kaiki, did you forget these are anime high schoolers?! Hand-holding is lewd and kissing is for after marriage!
12:26 – Man this series is good. Nice performance here
13:18 – Oh god. Is this Gaen’s fault?
It’s also great seeing Kaiki be all grumbly about the expenses he’ll incur saving their lives. I figured the Hanekawa show would be my favorite sub-show within Monogatari, but Kaiki is blowing away the competition
14:42 – Oh right, she’s always had her gimmicks. Another very Isin choice – having the characters try on different catchphrases. “Peace peace” certainly doesn’t match “by that time you’ll already be torn to pieces,” though
14:47 – He always knows just what to say
15:20 – I really like these little jump cut sequences. It’s already abundantly clear that we’re in Kaiki’s headspace here – so why do we get this drawn-out sequence of shots where he settles himself into his chair? It seems like he’s a person who’s always firmly aware of his self – his physical appearance, his poses, and everything he is visually communicating through his actions. Nothing is unchosen with Kaiki – his self-focus certainly leans into pride (as stuff like his childish disguise fight with Senjougahara demonstrates), but it clearly indicates he is always aware of his own representation
15:42 – Three million yen? Pfff. Yeah, Kaiki’s the actual hero of this story. And it’s great that we get the “thirty minutes later” before he declines – like we missed another soliloquy, with him once again convincing himself to do the job in spite of the person who was the reason he initially convinced himself actively paying him not to do it
17:11 – So Ougi disrupted a plan that involved having Shinobu become a god? Ougi’s been all over the place here – setting Nadeko on the path to godhood, offering Araragi perspective on Mayoi’s situation, possibly being the force responsible for Mayoi’s disappearance. Who is she working for? If Shinobu were intended to be a god by Gaen, thatcouldn’t be good for Araragi… right? Or would that have simply removed him from his responsibilities, with Gaen now willing to take up Oshino’s role? And why did the town need a god in the first place?
Eh. We’re gonna need more spoilers than that to sort out this mess
18:41 – What a friggin’ heartwarming arc we’re getting to end on. And hey, Kaiki solved his finance troubles!
20:25 – Nadeko you so damn crazy
Keep it up, Kaiki. Your monologue is incredibly entertaining, your perspective is welcome and continuously enlightening, and watching you play the Batman role in this universe is extremely satisfying. I’ll miss you when you’re gone, but at least you’re getting a five-episode arc to finish this season in style.