Bakemonogatari – Episode 2

Today I return with the second episode of Bakemonogatari! This one ended up being another tome of an episode review, but we’re still in the period where I have to kind of establish “how to get the most out of Monogatari,” so I assume things will get more reasonable shortly. Particularly since we’re about to embark on Mayoi Snail, which should offer a nice opportunity to really dive into my love-hate relationship with the series. But as for now, let’s explore the second half of Hitagi Crab!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

We begin at Senjougahara’s shack of a home. “My mother fell in with a shady cult and donated all our money to them. We fell into serious debt, and were ultimately granted a divorce.”

The contrast between her decrepit home and the sexual intimacy of the moment, as Senjougahara takes a shower while Araragi waits. There’s a constant sexual tension in this show

I gotta mention how the staplers are like a crab claw’s pincers

“I won’t save you, but I’ll lend you a hand”

“You’re not going to help me out of the goodness of your heart, are you?” Immediately pointing towards Senjougahara’s lack of trust

“100,000 yen.” “I’ll pay. No matter what it takes.” Meme seems to test conviction with his fees

Yep, she immediately intimidates him with her naked body

“That’s what poor people do.” Senjougahara has her pride, but it’s a hollow pride

“I hope you haven’t become aroused by the sight of my nude body.”

“I’m putting on a big show for you to thank you for today”

And Senjougahara somewhat gracefully raises the topic of what Hanekawa is to him

“The most pathetic are merely the most stupid.” Senjougahara has such a brittle philosophy

“Until today, I’ve been subjected to deceit numerous times”

Their conversation wanders, but her body remains the focus

“I think for the first time in my life, I feel admiration for you”

This episode is certainly a hard sell for the harem audience – it’s half composed of a half-naked woman mocking a teenage guy

There’s a solid sense of depth in these sets. And the foreground objects create a sense of both clutter and surveillance

“Purity really becomes you”

The opening story is about a man who loses his shadow, and thus his normalcy and place in society. Senjougahara’s story echoes this, and this episode is heavy on shadows

Asking a favor from a crab god

This abandoned cram school really feels like a condemned building in these episodes. And the obscure lighting helps make this feel like a ghost story

“This is your place. A place where you belong”

A countdown like this is hypnosis, and then a series of questions

“What’s your most painful memory?” “My mother falling into the clutches of an evil cult.” “Is that all?”

“One of the leaders of the cult came over. Claiming it was a ritual, he assaulted me”

These memories are presented in awful, offputting fuzzy tones with the eyes cut out. Something she can barely process even now

“My mother didn’t come to my rescue”

“I can’t help thinking about it. That if I hadn’t resisted that day, at the very least, we wouldn’t have ended up like this.” Devaluing herself and her body

“If that’s the case, miss, those are your feelings. No matter how heavy they are, you have to bear them. You can’t leave them to someone else”

The crab arrives

“I can’t see it at all.” “But it’s clearly visible to me.” These feelings are real, regardless of their lacking universality. They are still real to their bearer, tangible, weighty

“If you can’t ask for something, if you don’t speak the language, then all that’s left is fighting”

“I can do it properly. I can do it myself”

“Those are my feelings, my thoughts and memories, so I’ll bear them”

“Please give me back my weight. Please give me back my mother.” As painful as it is, those memories are hers

The room looks totally different once the ritual is over

Senjougahara “cheated” by sealing herself off from the negative emotions. By creating a wall. By letting the crab carry the weight

“If you would be my friend from now on, it would make me very happy”

2 thoughts on “Bakemonogatari – Episode 2

  1. The way this show uses the supernatural to represent very real emotional problems is amazing. I find such allegories often confusing, even if I internally have a sense of what is going on. Thanks so much for laying it out so well! If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take you to develop this skill?

  2. Can’t wait for the Mayoi Snail reviews – I almost forgot that arc was 3 whole episodes! Good luck.

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