Owarimonogatari Season Two – Review

At last, the Monogatari franchise comes to something resembling a close. We’ve already got confirmation of a ridiculous surplus of arcs still to come, but as for the story of Araragi’s adolescence, this is pretty much it. Owarimonogatari somehow managed to bring this sprawling narrative to a legitimately satisfying end, something I couldn’t help but marvel at throughout my review. This wasn’t my favorite set of Monogatari arcs, but I’m still very happy to see the show end strong.

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

Episode 1

This first sequence in impressionistic watercolors is beautiful

“I don’t need friends. They’ll decrease my strength as a human.” Contrasting his initial philosophy against his current will to live. Getting friends has actually given him strength

And now this part of his outline sinking

Oh my god. This slow justification of his usual nonsense with Mayoi is wonderful

So much visual creativity applied to this standard Monogatari gag. Goddamnit Monogatari

This portrayal of that first park is also pretty compelling

“Why did you fall down to hell?” His first question, of course

Lots of solid visual comedy in their conversation

More impressionist pictures of the backgrounds, and then we get art from the ED artist used in the episode itself. Great stuff

A great depiction of traveling through hell

These visual concepts are so great!

Portions of hell are like an above-water reef. Portions are like a strange, circuitous train station

Mulling over saving Shinobu, once again

They’re actually doing an extended “life flashes before my eyes” sequence here, where Araragi and Mayoi critique all his past choices, and whether he regrets his actions

He doesn’t regret sacrificing of himself. He doesn’t regret the person he is

“More people will try to correct mistakes than do the right thing”

Some interesting use of CG sets for wild camera stuff

We even see Teori again

Apparently Araragi has lost his vampiric nature!

Teori actually had to die, to make sure this act would play out correctly

Apparently he made Yotsugi, as well as many dolls of himself

He got a specialist request to handle the disturbance in Araragi’s town

Right, the great fear is that Araragi fully embraces his vampiric nature in order to solve some case

The subtitles are really, really bad. Lots of vague non-sentences

Gaen and Teori essentially played along with the “enemy”’s plans in order to discover what the enemy was actually seeking

North Shirahebi Shrine. Gotta remember the name

We’re even reprising old conflicts like “what’s the name of this park”

It’s Shirahebi itself – that was the shrine’s original location

“I feel like there are tons of people who deserve to be resurrected more than me.” Ah, of course. His fundamental nature makes it difficult for him to believe that he should be saved when others aren’t. Climbing back into the world of the living inherently demands embracing his own value

“If you say weak-minded things so much, I might end up hating you.” Aw, Mayoi

“If you love being alive, that’s enough.” He doesn’t need to justify his life. There are things he cherishes, and wants to hold on to. He loves being alive

Episode 2

Araragi reflecting on his love for Senjougahara

Initially, he was afraid of changing

“Am I able to love myself just like I love her?”

Mayoi Hell was essentially about him learning to love himself. So is this arc centered on his love for Senjougahara, and the third more a love of the world itself?

Senjougahara demanding a date from Araragi in her very Senjougahara way

Tsukihi treating Yotsugi like a plushy is great

Hanekawa found Oshino!

Echoing the Bake date, but with Senjougahara in the driver’s seat

Even down to the planetarium destination, echoing their stargazing

Senjougahara is even studying astronomy

She makes the metaphor of stars clustering together in space being similar to people overt

And now Ougi arrives to talk of the hydra (Kiss-Shot) and crab (Senjougahara) fighting Hercules

The “snake charmer” was punished for bringing another back to life, which upset the balance of the world

It does seem like Ougi is balance itself

“It is difficult to do the right thing. It is especially difficult to do ‘just the right thing’”

In order to be the “right person,” the Fire Sisters correct mistakes

“It is my role to eject those who reject the rules”

“I am the principles of the universe”

Him becoming human may actually have let him escape Ougi’s judgment

“This time I expect, from the bottom of my heart, that you’ll make the right decision and forsake Kiss-Shot and Mayoi”

This date sequence is really, really cute

“It’s unclear what Gaen is fighting, but perhaps you are the opponent of that battle”

He pledges Senjougahara absolute obedience for the rest of his life. There it is – his life for another

“I don’t know what the right thing is, but I do know what path I should take”

“I am not ‘the darkness’”

“Please help me.” Ougi abusing his weakness

Episode 3

“Ougi. She was a symbol of my adolescence”

Yeah, the OP has Ougi in the mirror. His second shadow

The god that had been worshipped at the lake that Kiss-Shot landed on 400 years ago was a snake. That was what prompted the moving of the shrine

Gaen was planning to make Shinobu the new god of the shrine

Gaen asks Araragi what his goals are. He wants to protect Mayoi and Shinobu, with the town itself being an afterthought

He acknowledges he can’t really consider things on a societal level. He just cares about the people around him

“You’re worried about the people close to you, but not yourself.” Hm

Shinobu actually wants to return to her younger form. She’d actually found a home with Araragi

Gaen’s two goals: a new god for the shrine, and the destruction of Ougi. She chooses Hachikuji as the new god

The word “Ougi” meaning “fan” is consistently emphasized

Reflections on Kanbaru’s mom

Ougi’s fundamental nature is “unknown.” Disclosing that nature would destroy it, and her creator possibly

“A quasi-darkness is worse than the darkness itself. It refuses to give everything a clean ending. It thinks happy endings aren’t allowed.” Ougi is the “balance” of the darkness given human weakness, a sense of bitterness at the way of the world

“Even if people can’t become happy, good things happen to them… as long as they’re alive.” Yep. The best hope we have

“I just want to enjoy the present. If times like that link up, they become the future”

Well shit. Ougi’s abducted Tsukihi, another apparition

The grayscale and construction equipment setting enhance the ominous tone, as does the lack of music

The cram school is back, somehow

Ougi talking about how solving mysteries kills the fun, referring to herself

Tsukihi disagrees. “The real story only begins once you know who they really are”

“They may have accepted your true identity. But the same probably won’t be true for me. My true identity is… unsightly.” Jeez, they’re actually making me feel bad for Ougi

Araragi and Shinobu decided they’d bind themselves together again after it’s all over

“I couldn’t destroy her even if I disclosed her true identity. That’s because she has a big brother who loves her for who she truly is.”

“Your true identity… is me.” Yep

“You could say that Ougi is your own desire to criticise yourself”

Him learning about the initial “darkness” allowed him to create an apparition that mimicked its behavior, at least loosely

And the time they fought the first Apparition Killer gave it even more form

He created an apparition that attacked himself. Perfect for him

Yep. His apparition reflects his fundamental belief that he doesn’t deserve to be happy

And that’s why he kept losing contact with people

This episode is definitely more visually conservative than the first

“Go kill yourself. It’s something you do every day, isn’t it? It’s the end of your adolescence.”

“I was able to make Araragi’s adolescence more right, if not better”

And yet, he can’t let her go. Even Ougi he must try to save

“All my friends saved me. If everyone saved me, and I couldn’t save myself… I can’t allow such a thing to happen”

“I am not wrong. Just as you are not wrong.”

“I can’t make fun of you as you finally fight for your own sake”

Hah. Oshino accepts her as his niece, making her a valid part of this world

“I had believed that not taking care of myself was an act of loving others”

He embraces everything, even his own ugly instincts. Just like Hanekawa

“I’m changing. But no matter how much I change, I’m still me”

3 thoughts on “Owarimonogatari Season Two – Review

  1. It’s staggering the way all these seemingly disparate events in Second Season and Owari are tied together at the end. I was worried that the conclusion would feel empty because Araragi never resonated with me like the rest of the cast, but it ended up being quite emotionally powerful.

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