Owarimonogatari – Episode 11

And Shinobu Mail pulls out its first perfect episode. Well, I guess “perfect” is never really the right word for Monogatari. But seriously, this episode was incredible. The conversation between Kanbaru and Shinobu that consumed the second half was one of the best exchanges in the series so far, simultaneously acting as a great showpiece for both of their personalities and a strong reflection of the themes both in this arc specifically and the show overall. Monogatari is looking as strong as ever moving into the final stretch of Owari.

You can check out my full review over at ANN or my notes below!


It turns out Yotsugi actually marked Araragi so no one else would hurt him

“I want you to break up with Kiss-Shot”

He says he wants to “make amends” with Kiss-Shot

He wants to apologize for saying unkind things, and fight apparitions with her again

This is the greatest threat Araragi could have imagined

“She only needs to have one minion”

“Anyone can be your replacement, but no one could replace me”

“All the responsibility that you feel for Kiss-shot can be placed on my shoulders instead.” But Araragi always feels responsible for everyone

“I need her to return what I lent her. My sword, and my position”

And Episode appears! Saving Araragi, who was almost tricked into drinking holy water

And then Gaen just slinks out of his shadow. Holy shit

“Tonight, we fight to the death”

And then Gaen and Episode both sadly examining Araragi’s purchases. hahaha

Kanbaru telling Shinobu she should meet with the first minion

“Don’t deny someone’s feelings of love for you!” Having Kanbaru give Shinobu this lecture is great

“The vampire servant/master relationship isn’t something you think of in terms of love!” Shinobu telling herself that

“Can you say that in front of Araragi as well?”

Kanbaru’s speech here is fantastic. “a love that takes 400 years to return is too heavy”

“You don’t have the right to own a slave, or to be a master.”

Kanbaru urges her to engage directly, or let her connections slip away. Striking at the central theme

Kanbaru’s accusations work on Shinobu’s relationship with Araragi, too. Kanbaru is saying “if you treat your relationship with the first this likely, how can either of us trust your relationship with Araragi? What do your words of comfort even mean if you only stick to them when convenient?”

“Don’t think that being sociable like you is a trait everyone has.” What a great counterpoint

“Isn’t the feeling that you don’t want to see anyone also natural?”

Shinobu actually talking earnestly about her concerns now. SO GOOD

“It’s your job to hurt the man from your past”

“You want to be liked and on top of it be a good person? You want to end everything being loved?”

And Kanbaru wins

“After that, Shinobu’s next action was to pout and take a nap”

“Being told I should do it myself was very fitting advice”

5 thoughts on “Owarimonogatari – Episode 11

  1. Yeah, this was a fantastic episode. I like how it sets up the finale of Tsubasa Tiger here–how Araragi finally has to tell Hanekawa he’s not in love with her mirrors this situation really clearly. I think it’s great that you touched upon the way the episode frames Shinobu’s bond as a romantic relationship, because ultimately Monogatari is a high school drama, just with, you know, a bunch of extra flavoring.

  2. So the reason for the “mail” in the arc name is becoming clear. I’m liking how all the loose ends are starting to clear up.

  3. Really Good episode that Finally illuminated what bugged me about this show (Bear in mind I have seen all episodes up to this and even enjoyed them). When I say bugged I mean just that. Kanbaru’s argument just seems specious to me. Its clear what her position is based on her own role in her own love triangle. But if someone doesnt wanna see an Ex. Then thats a mature and responsible position. And picking on their insecuritities and guilt isnt cool. If my ex wanted to get back together. Theyre not owed a response. Especially if we parted with him being abusive. And I would hate for my friend to tell me that possibly meeting him and him possibly killing me is “the right thing”. I just disagree which is rare because I agree with you a lot and follow you on twitter. But that’s OK. I still like the show, I just now know why I don’t love it like you obviously do. I think Hope Chapman disagreed with Gatchamans views and disliked the show as a result. Keep doing you, love the writing. Especially on Monogatori

    • I don’t think you can compare Shinobu’s relationship with the first minion like you would a breakup with an ex-lover. In the first place, they never made that sort of distinction, only the highly ambiguous “servant/minion” relationship that is both dysfunctional and twisted. There was never any closure to their relationship other than it ended with the death of one. What Shinobu did after ending up with Araragi as her second minion is erase the first one from her history. She’s basically doing what Araragi did with his sister’s boyfriends and even Sodachi – he’s averting his eyes from the truth.

      Similarly, Shinobu is ALSO averting her eyes from the truth – that there’s the possibility that she’s actually delighted by the fact that the first minion actually survived, but by doing so she’d betray her own loyalties (no matter how twisted they are) to Araragi.

      It’s fascinating to see NishiOishiN work these parallelisms in his dysfunctional characters. The central theme for this season is just that – facing the truth. It’s what Ougi keeps on pressing on to Araragi since the first day he met her. Face the truth and bear the weight that it brings – which brings us to the last question: what is in this story that Araragi is so reluctant in telling to the point that he wished he never had to recall it?

    • Shinobu is the one who brought her first servant back into existence, as a monster, no less, when he was already dead (also because of her, though unintentionally). Since his fate seems sealed this time, it would be rather cruel for her to ignore him, don’t you think? You could say that his current existence is her responsibility.

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