Bakemonogatari – Episode 3

Welp, we’re finally into Mayoi Snail. I expected this episode writeup to be a lot more negative than it was, but I actually ended up really enjoying this first episode. None of the stuff that generally frustrates me about Mayoi and Araragi’s material made an appearance here, and the conversation between Araragi and Senjougahara was terrific from start to finish. I forgot just how strong of a rapport those two have – the romantic tension here was as strong as basically anything I’ve seen in anime.

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

Mother’s day. Reflects Senjougahara’s story, but also Mayoi’s story to come

He finds himself in that classic park after biking around by himself

The bright primary colors and heavy white backgrounds will become a staple for Monogatari – along with its many style digressions, the show has a clean, almost “sanitized” standard aesthetic

His speech about having the park to himself eventually turns oddly lonely. That reflects how Monogatari conversations, in their rambling, often create a specific emotional tone. It’s something actual books are able to do, but anime and television in general rarely are, because the pacing-related demands of the medium generally make a more purpose-driven approach to dialogue appropriate. But Monogatari flouts that at every turn, which makes it both unapproachable and also equipped to give its characters a unique kind of depth

We see his disjointed thought fragments, as well. A moment of Karen lecturing him

Mayoi appears

And now we’ve got our second OP, which probably demands an explanation

It’s basically an OP for a different genre of show

“Ah, perhaps these feelings are what you might call ‘self-hatred’”

Araragi claims that if he hadn’t been in this restless, directionless condition, the episode with the snail might have never begun

Senjougahara greets him with snark and a smile

Time for Isin’s endless puns, which are basically untranslatable. Fun times

And we see Senjougahara’s snark is her own defense – she actually bought these clothes specifically to meet him in. She’s very defensive

Senjougahara initially defined herself as a “tsundere,” but at this point it’s clear that she’s actually what a tsundere would be like if they were a real and intelligent person – guarded and defensive, but also emotionally transparent

And he’s bewildered by her sexuality, as always

“The fact that the place you used to live has changed makes you feel as if your motivation’s being diluted”

“Would you mind if I sat next to you?”

The shots of Senjougahara’s chest are actually pretty restrained, but Araragi’s focused there anyway

Yep, as she’s trying to be honest, he can’t stop staring at her

Shots that wedge the both of them into a tiny corner of the frame, emphasizing intimacy in a wide space

She’s basically chasing him across the bench. I really like the visual comedy of this sequence

Araragi talks about not making many friends until spring break

The bars emphasize his feeling of entrapment

And then it ends on anticlimax, as she talks about “becoming friends on equal terms.” Even this joke reflects character, as it seems Senjougahara can’t be comfortable with someone she owes something to

Araragi can’t really tell that she’s flirting with him

This conversation is actually great. They have a fantastic rapport

“My desire to come to your aid is quite real.” And then they finally make eye contact

Araragi had a fight with his sister

The Fire Sisters

Araragi feels out of place with his mom, who dotes on his sisters, on Mother’s Day. He tried to sneak out, but Karen caught him. She wants them all to be together

“My own human pettiness makes me angry”

“I just really don’t want to go home”

“The whole younger sister thing is a fantasy of guys who don’t have sisters in real life”

“If I get serious, I’m going to transform.” Senjougahara likes her Dragon Ball jokes

“No matter how petty you are, I’ll never abandon you”

“Do you want a girlfriend?” “If I said I did, what then?” “You’d get a girlfriend.” “Well, I guess I don’t want anything like that.” The two of them are testing the waters in such great ways

Mayoi arrives

Araragi trying to be helpful and being ignored

The style of conversation is very different here. Araragi is more confident, gets more of the good bits

And Araragi just realizes he beat up an elementary schooler

“I don’t want to touch anything you’ve touched.” Turns out this is actually a good episode

“You’re not lost?” “Yes, I’m lost. I’m a lost snail.”