So, uh, two episodes left? Apparently reports of the season’s ending have been vastly exaggerated. Not that I’m complaining – two more episodes of self-actualized Hanekawa, grumpy hero Kaiki, and crazy-ass Nadeko sounds good to me. Let’s roll!
0:08 – Aaand of course it just skips the Kaiki-Hanekawa conversation. No, no, that’s quite all right, Monogatari. Clearly we had no interest in watching the two most interesting characters have a strategy meeting, or in seeing what was in Nadeko’s fucking closet, for that matter. Please, by all means, show us what you will
0:15 – And Kaiki relays it in the most deadpan way possible, as if to rub salt in the wounds. Petty asshole, not wanting anyone else to share the spotlight of his story!
0:43 – Oh. They were just skipping the recap segments. Sorry for getting testy, Monogatari!
Another nice symmetrical shot here, by the way
1:00 – And now we’re even getting hints of the full scale of the conflict. Kinda weird to think a series currently scattered over three seasons, two OVAs, and a movie-to-be is actually going to end up with an elegant, circular structure, but turns out Isin’s actually a really good writer. It’s easier to see the unity of a more concise story like, say, Kyousogiga, but all of this show’s themes tie together nicely into the central ideas of deception, identity, and perspective, and it’s looking like the overt narrative will be able to tie the ending back to the beginning as well
1:20 – Gaen’s initial plan makes sense. Why would she expect anyone to come to Heart-under-blade’s defense?
1:39 – Hanekawa speaks in reflection, as if describing what Nadeko herself sees in the mirror
1:44 – What’s this? Has Hanekawa not become aware of true reality after all?! Was it all a pretentious lie?!? Is Monogatari really no more than 2deep4u fanservice?!??!?!?
1:45 – Pffff haha
2:08 – Nadeko is the polar opposite of Hanekawa. Whereas Hanekawa has finally opened her eyes to an exterior reality. Nadeko has wholly trapped herself in an interior, self-invented one, where no-one else’s perspective is meaningful
2:40 – “I wouldn’t have been able to say this before.” But now I’ve got THE EYE OF THE TIGER
Okay sorry that was bad. I did hear that damn Katy Perry song right after watching last episode though, and have to admit I felt kinda vicariously fist-pumpy for Hanekawa’s sake. It’s always nice seeing great characters beat the odds
2:45 – And the room’s hue changes, highlighting our friend the spotlight, just as soon as Kaiki decides he can talk to Hanekawa as an equal
3:35 – Is Hanekawa planning on becoming an Oshino-esque character? She’s certainly more perceptive than Araragi
5:12 – THANK you
7:53 – Reminder: this is the same character who was essentially “fanservice-violated” in the first season. She is now laughing and playing with blocks. Because she is a child
It’s like Anno with his Rebuilds. “Wait, they still don’t get that it’s satire? Fuck subtlety, we’re nuking otaku culture from orbit”
8:21 – Ah, that’s pretty
9:24 – Sweet-talk us all you want, Kaiki. You and I both know these things never end smoothly
10:47 – Kinda funny that the most difficult problem of a non-Araragi arc is “how do we keep Araragi from fucking everything up?”
10:54 – Is he still teasing her? He has to know her central problem is her inability to value herself – how can he advise her to use her value as a bargaining chip?
11:04 – The very justified response. Man, I hope I never take for granted shows that actually have fully-articulated human beings as their protagonists
12:40 – I was skipping some of the flashes in the middle arcs, but I think this arc they’re required reading. Kaiki is willing to be much more honest and explicit in his thoughts than his actions. That is, if we’re willing to trust this narrative even that far
13:35 – These two have the weirdest un-rapport. They’re both liars, but Senjougahara is never honest with herself, while Kaiki can’t help but being abrasive and randomly dishonest in spite of his honest intentions
13:55 – Funny that we get one more of these gorgeous city shots while Senjougahara tells him to leave the city that only he seems to see as beautiful
14:10 – He has his pride
14:37 – Uncle, not brother. Show some respect!
16:08 – Why is everyone determined to question his motives? Well, aside from Hanekawa. Oh right, it’s because nobody understands each other at all
16:11 – Now that’s an interesting comparison to make. Is Kaiki helping people any different from Nadeko pretending she’s a victim, or Shinobu pretending she’s a god? If helping people really is in his nature, then yes
16:41 – Wow. Critical information
16:47 – And it resolved the same way Araragi’s acts of heroism tend to – total failure, and the realization people cannot be saved from themselves
18:05 – Again that defensive sarcasm. Too close
18:30 – Wow, he is angry. We definitely haven’t seen him this angry before, and the VA is really selling it. He doesnot like being analyzed like this
18:35 – Hero pose
19:18 – Repeating the past. This time, it will work. This time, he will help her. But is Gaen right? Will the world not let him help someone, simply because it’s outside of his nature as the deceiver?
19:52 – She gives him faith. He can make his sarcastic lies, because he knows that if people like her can survive in this world, the world really isn’t as callous as he makes it out to be. Man, this aaaarc
21:17 – Welcome to Monogatari, folks
22:37 – ABORT. ABORT. RETREAAAAAT
AH FUCK. What kind of cliffhanger is THAT?! Ah, those assholes
Well, great episode regardless. Another excellent scene with Hanekawa, another weirdly endearing exchange between Kaiki and Senjougahara, and some possibly true context for Kaiki’s entire worldview, as well as the real reason he accepted this job. AND HOLY SHIT NADEKO’S GONNA KILL EVERYBODY RUN.
Ahaha, what an arc to end on. Nice work, Monogatari.