Bakemonogatari – Episode 5

We’re back with the end of Mayoi Snail, and I’m back with another episode post that’s basically an essay in its own right. What can I say – Bakemonogatari steadily introduces pretty much all of the concepts that will become pillars of the franchise, and so there’s a whole lot to dig into. This time we get more on the strange nature of Mayoi arcs, a fair bit about Araragi’s personality, and plenty on Senjougahara as well. Let’s get right to it!

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

Araragi wondering if there’s a reason each of them ran into their apparitions

Discussing meetings with parents

Mayoi says Araragi living in the same house as his parents means he can’t understand Mayoi’s desire to see them. An early gesture towards the limitations of our perspectives, how what seems normal or desirable is based in very individual circumstances

“I get the impression you aren’t very fond of your parents”

Through middle school, he was a very good kid. But in high school he couldn’t keep up with his studies, and his new relationship with his parents felt like backlash for the previous state

“I’ll always be a kid who can never grow up.” “Then you’re the same as me”

Ah, time for some sexual harassment jokes

“I fervently want to believe that that isn’t me”

There’s no actual sexual tension in this sequence, fortunately. The framing is totally neutral, a mixture of reaction faces and distant shots framing them as dancing. But you sure have to find sexual harassment of children funny to get much out of it

“I get into these kind of brawls with my kid sisters all the time.” They basically have a sibling relationship, except with more sexual harassment. Their conversations already seem more comfortable than Araragi’s talks with Senjougahara

Araragi’s still very preoccupied with his fight with his sister. Mayoi actually tries to cheer him up with her flubbing

Yeah, thinking about how he can apologize. Basically all of this episode’s overt actions reflect the characters in some other way

Mayoi had heard her parents were a loving couple, but had only seen them fighting. The obvious inference is that it’s her fault, somehow

Mayoi’s memories of her parents are framed in the same indistinct blur as Senjougahara’s terrible memories

“My father won’t let me see my mother. I’m afraid I’ll forget her one day”

Senjougahara notices Hanekawa was there, and is suspicious. And also insecure

“There was one actual truth. And when viewed from two angles, two competing truths emerged. In that event, there’s really no way to determine which viewpoint is the correct one”

“If you leave the snail, the matter will be resolved”

“If something happened, I automatically assumed that I was the one who was mistaken.” Senjougahara’s lack of faith in herself

“That child is invisible to me”

The childlike drawings emphasize Mayoi’s perspective in a poignant way

“She could no longer remember her mother’s face”

She was hit by a car ten years ago, trying to reach her mother’s house

Not wanting to go home, Araragi encountered a lost snail, who ensures you remain lost

“The condition for encountering a lost cow is having a desire not to go home”

Araragi reflects on how Hanekawa could see her, too

“Just stop following her and walk away. That’s all you have to do.” But he can’t

Araragi points out Mayoi’s kindness in trying to drive other people away from her

“Helping her get home is my duty.” “I thought you’d say that. I think I finally know who you are, Araragi”

Senjougahara realizes Araragi would save anyone. The golden lighting frames this as the moment she falls in love with him

“I love you.” YEP

The visual identity of the neighborhood, full of construction signs, always half-complete

They trick the lost cow… and arrive at an empty lot

“It wasn’t supposed to end like this…”

“You were talking about paying me back and all.” “That was just an excuse. I was trying to make you confess your feelings first”

“It’s just that I enjoy talking to you, Araragi”

I love this piano version of Staple Stable in the background

“If we don’t agree on something, let’s sit down and talk about it.” Their relationship represents the fundamental hope of the series – that even if we all live in separate realities, we can hope to understand each other through respect, communication, and friendship

One thought on “Bakemonogatari – Episode 5

  1. God, I love that last bit on the fundamental hope of the series. I’m surprised you didn’t mention in your review/notes for Hitagi crab episode 2 that the exorcism scene was framed as a wedding between Araragi and Senjougahara.

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