Bakemonogatari – Episode 11

And so we finally enter Bakemonogatari’s final arc. My review format’s gonna get shaken up pretty shortly by Crunchyroll’s lack of streaming, but hey, at least twelve is a reasonable end point by itself. Anyway, this episode was all about Hanekawa, and Hanekawa was great. I’ve certainly written enough words about it, so go read those, you big goofball!

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

We open with images of cats on the street. It’s time for Hanekawa

“It happened on April 29th, the first day of Golden Week”

We have some context – we know something happened to Hanekawa at this point, and that she doesn’t remember it

Hanekawa has a bandage on her cheek

Her current parents aren’t her birth parents – in fact, they’re a couple marriages removed

“Your current parents aren’t your real parents?” Questions of “real”

“But don’t people usually keep that kind of thing from kids?”

“In their eyes, I really do seem to be a nuisance. But they have to keep up appearances, you know.” Something she seems to have learned from them

She knows they tried to put her in an orphanage. Jeez

“That’s why I tried to be a good girl. Or I should say ‘normal,’ not good”

“For me, holidays are for taking walks. Because I don’t want to be at home”

We get some precise hypercloseups of Hanekawa that only really serve to emphasize her emotional reserve. In contrast with someone like Araragi, Kanbaru, or even Senjougahara, Hanekawa is a closed book

And now we get shots emphasizing the clouds overhead. This is actually a bad day for a walk

Hanekawa makes Araragi promise not to tell anyone before saying her father hit her. A confession that reflects the trust she places in Araragi

She’s actually defending her stepfather. Jeez

And this is a problem Araragi really can’t help with

The moment he agrees not to tell anyone, she notices the cat. This was her cry for help, and it failed

And sunlight begins to break through as well. A release from her pain

“Will you help me?” Araragi literally helps her bury the cat, her feelings

The OP is largely live-action, like the first one. “I’m not the angel you think I am”

“No matter what I do, I will never feel like I’ve repaid my debt to her”

Nadeko comes by the school to thank Araragi

Araragi asks Nadeko if Shinobu said anything to her

“It’s wrong to blame apparitions. They have reasons for appearing”

Nadeko demonstrates more personality and agency here than in her own arc. Cracking jokes, messing with Araragi, pushing back against his actions

He pulls on her skirt, but there’s no fanservice. That argument is over

Discussions on Shinobu

Nadeko runs away from Hanekawa

Hanekawa teasing Araragi is always strong

We get shots of the setting sun as Araragi brings up Senjougahara

Hanekawa mentions that people have been making rumors about how Araragi is a bad influence on Senjougahara, and warns that more stuff like that will happen

“I denied it.” “And do you believe it.” “Yes. After all, I’ve never told a lie in my life”

“You need to stay by her side and support her”

“I’m just normal.” This whole conversation is built on unhappy lies, and Araragi can’t parse it at all. He blithely wonders if Hanekawa has “someone like that” in her life

And she gets another migraine. Pressing down her feelings seems to prompt it

We get a flashback to Golden Week, and the cat apparition. “It’s a multiple personality disorder”

The birth of the “dark and evil Hanekawa”

The Sawari Neko is summoned by years of built-up stress

She would energy drain people at night to relieve Hanekawa’s stress

“Hanekawa’s stress had been relieved.” Of course, at this point in the show, it should be obvious that “a vampire drains the cat’s energy” is not a real solution to a Monogatari problem

“You really are too nice, Araragi”

Hanekawa gets the final dunk in regarding the bloomers and swimsuit