Nisemonogatari Episode 2 – Fan-service Anyone?
Does it seem to anyone else like this show is going to take an unnecessarily long time reintroducing the characters? Here we are at the second episode still following Araragi around as he reunites with everyone from the last series and not really seeing too much of a plot yet. At the very least, there’s going to be one more episode of not too much happening, because we still have to get around to Hanekawa, Senjoughara (even though she was kind of in the first episode), and of course Shinobu. But at least from this episode I can pretty safely assume that Araragi is still the primary main character instead of his sisters, which most of the information given about this show has led me to believe.
To be honest, this still feels like more of an extension of Bakemonogatari than it’s own series yet, but there were some small bits of dialogue that seem to hint that the show is going to move into it’s main plotline soon. While Araragi is at Sengoku’s House, she talks to him about how the people at her school are talking about the snake curse again, and that Araragi’s sisters are trying to figure out who’s spreading the rumors. Then later when Araragi runs into Karen, she recieves a phone call and tells him that she’ll have a good story to tell him later on, so I can only assume that means that she’s found out about the man that’s spreading the snake curse. The standard copy and paste plot summary for this show talks about Karen and Tsukihi try to stop a man named Kaiki Deisu, the one who cursed Sengoku the first time, so I think it’s a safe bet to say that that’s what Karen was talking about. Other than those two minor plot points, the episode is similar to the first; great dialogue, amazing artwork and animation, really funny, but not much happening story-wise.
The show continues it’s character reintroduction device by having Araragi continue to Sengoku’s house. She’s still her normal skittish self, but she wears her hair different, which I assume is used to allow people to know that this isn’t just a Bakemonogatari OVA that Shaft never had the time to finish because they’re absolutely abhorrent when it comes to time management. Because they don’t really have anything to do Sengoku suggests they play Life. As they’re playing, they discuss the snake curse and how Karen and Tsukihi are trying to stop it, though it’s more out of their refusal to believe in it than concern. After they finish Life, Sengoku then suggests that they play Twister, which… yeah, since she knows what it is and already said that she was fine with receiving orders in a King Game it’s seems like she’s a little more secure in her desire to bone Araragi. Unfortunately for her, her mom comes home and Araragi is forced to leaving saving him from inevitable sexual immorality, considering the position that they were in.
So Araragi leaves her house to continue on his quest reuniting with everyone he’s ever known. He decides to call Kanbaru because he already promised that he’d help clean her room, since he apparently really likes to clean things. Like Sengoku, Kanbaru is her normal self; ridiculously sexual and nonchalant about it. Also like Sengoku, she wears her hair different. I guess that when she told Araragi she’d grow her hair out to look more like Senjoughara she wasn’t kidding. So I guess changing the characters hair-style is the only way to distinguish this show form it’s predecessor, because every minor character except for Hachikuji has different hair (Hanekawa and Senjougahara both have short hair in one of the PVs, so it’s probably just a matter of time until we see that). Anyway, Araragi tells Kanbaru that he’s coming over today to help clean her room, and proceeds on his way. Now we finally meet the girl whom these first two episodes are named after.
Karen’s a little… odd. I’m with Araragi on this, I can’t really see why you’d want to walk on your hands down the street looking like a complete idiot for no reason. Most of Araragi and Karen’s dialogue is relatively normal character introduction stuff (at least normal in this show’s sense of the word); just kind of showcasing her personality. Other than that, the phone call that she receives is the only truly relevant thing that happens in her scene. It’s pretty strange how unimportant she is right now, considering that this is her arc and everything, and this episode even had her specific opening in it (I’m glad they brought back the character specific OP’s). Well, whatever the reason, I trust Shaft enough to not be too worried about it. So, after his brief encounter with his sister, Araragi once again sets out on his foray into the world of Bakemonogatari characters.
His final stop on this journey is Kanbaru’s house with is the setting for one of the funnier scenes I’ve seen in a while. Because everyone knows that sex sells, Kanbaru is naked when Araragi arrives at her home, though I don’t think he exactly took any precautions to make sure that she wasn’t. After all, she told him that she was naked on the phone and he sure didn’t wast any time going to get his bike, and I don’t think there was a whole lot of truth behind him wanting to “see her depressed”. They spend a while talking about stuff that isn’t really too interesting, and only serves for Kanbaru to help them sell the uncensored blu-rays. That is until they actually begins cleaning her room. Araragi discovers several of Kanbaru’s BL books and begins to remark about how normal they are. He claims that it isn’t too odd for girls to like handsome guys together since boys like hot girls together, and that she really isn’t as perverted as she claims. So in a argument completely backwards from what it would normally be, Kanbaru begins defending her erotic desires and claims that she has plenty of harder stuff while Araragi is debunking her opinion about how sexual she really is, considering how normal her interests are. Needless to say, it’s fucking hilarious. But what is one who is accused of being less perverted than they think they are to do? Why rape, of course. It is only then that Araragi is fully able to understand what Hachikuji has been going through.
Oh man, this show, I simply cannot watch it without smiling the whole time. The dialogue is just as good as last episode, and I honestly can’t stop to do screen shots with this show; I have to watch it once all the way through uninterrupted, then go back and re-watch it taking screen shots as I go. Hell, I’ve wanted re-watch both episodes of this show the second after I got through with them, which is pretty rare for me. Just like Bakemonogatari, because so much is going on, you’re guaranteed to miss something in the show. For example, did anyone else notice that one of the male pieces in the Game of Life that they were playing had Araragi’s hair-thing on it? You know what I mean, I’m sure it has a name, but I don’t know it. It goes without saying that the episode looked great and it seems that there’s a bit more actual animation in this series than in Bakemonogatari, which looks amazing, but not worthy of 1080p.
So, I’m going to rant about this for a minuet. If you didn’t know, Crunchyroll recently announced that they would be offering full 1080p streaming to their premium users, much to everyone’s great praise and approval. But guess what? It doesn’t fucking matter. It seems that not to many people know that made for TV anime is only created and broadcast in 720p, not 1080p. The only type of anime that are actually made in 1080p are anime movies. The only way to get real 1080p television anime is from the Blu-rays, so what the hell is the point of doing this? You can render any video, no matter how shitty the quality in 1080p, but just because you do doesn’t automatically improve the quality of the video. It’s retarded, but thankfully Horrible Subs offer 480p and 720p as well as the stupid ass 1080p.
Well, that’s all I have to say about that. Hopefully next week we’ll get through the rest of the introductions and move on to the plot, and Shinobu will finally make her triumphant return. The only thing I have any concern with is how much fanservice there seems to be in this series. Now, I know that fanservice in anime is really unavoidable and just part of it, but in a show like this, it doesn’t really seem all that necessary. Bakemonogatari had it’s fair share of it too, but it didn’t seem as constant as it is in this series, and it’s only two episodes in. But it really isn’t that big of a deal, because at least they aren’t really being to serious with it, and we all know you gotta make money, and I don’t think that a show with people talking about nothing would sell that well if it didn’t have fanservice in it. And for as much as I’m complaining about the plot, it really doesn’t bother me all that much. I’d be perfectly content to watch one hundred more episodes of the characters doing absolutely nothing as long as it’s well animated, just as funny, and has dialogue as good as the first two episodes.