Shinobu Mail started off pretty inauspiciously this week, with an episode that was half consumed by tired old Araragi-Kanbaru banter, half underserved by late-era Monogatari’s “minimalist” animation. The fight between Kanbaru and Shinobu’s old partner actually could have been pretty sweet, but the show just couldn’t back it up. And everything the two said in the episode’s first half was a retread of past conversations, which came off as particularly disappointing in the wake of the superb Suruga Devil. But it seems like this arc’s actual meat will be about Araragi and Shinobu’s relationship, and that’s one of the most interesting dynamics in the series, so I’m not too worried about one messy episode.
You can check out my full writeup over at ANN, or my notes below!
“Before we reach the end, one story remains.” So, the story of Shinobu’s original partner?
Ougi: “I’m the nemesis of lies and screw-ups”
She mentions Kaiki’s “end”
“I don’t know anything. It’s what you know, Araragi.” Support for her being linked to Araragi
This takes place two months before Ougi transfers into their school
“His life” that had continued… finally ended. Yep, almost certainly about the first partner
Araragi meets Kanbaru at the old cram school. Wordplay wordplay wordplay, sex banter sex banter sex banter
This is a really visually conservative episode so far. Really leaning on that one distance shot of Araragi and Kanbaru in profile. But I guess there’s no emotional content here, so there’s nothing to focus on
Kanbaru harassing Araragi is okay, but kind of par at this point
A weird CG set of armor appears. Kanbaru punches it, and it collapses
The samurai drains Kanbaru’s energy – like a vampire
Nice effect for the flashback
So this happens during Tsubasa Tiger, since this is when the building burns down
“The partner I’d want to die with… there’s only one.” Shinobu
He wants to survive because she’s not there to die with him. He and Shinobu are codependent