Nisemonogatari Episode 3 – The Real First Episode
Well, finally, after two episodes of this show moving at a snail’s pace, Shaft’s backshelfed Bakemonogatari OVA’s are finished and the main story of the series is actually beginning. Like the last two episodes, this one was mainly dedicated to character reintroduction, though most of the last third was more focused on the story. I’m glad the show is finally getting off of it’s ass and doing something, but please tell me, where the hell is Shinobu?
So Araragi is still hanging out with Kanbaru after finally cleaning up all of the porn books and whatever else she had in her room. There’s a short dialogue scene where Kanbaru speculates that Araragi will end up marrying Hanekawa, which he says would never happen, because Senjougahara would kill them both. Although not much of what they talk about here has much relevance, at one point, Kanbaru comments on the relationship between Senjougahara and Hanekawa, saying that Araragi shouldn’t worry about it. The way she says it is kind of odd and doesn’t really make any sense, but it does come back up latter in the episode. After their conversation about Araragi’s love life, they play some game (I have no idea what it is or how to play it), and Kanbaru loses, despite claiming to be good at learning how to play games quickly. Before Araragi leaves he asks Kanbaru how she explains her arm to her family, and she tells him that her grandparents never really ask her about it. After that, Araragi leaves and we’re finally introduced to our villain in the series.
Outside of Kanbaru’s house, Araragi meets Kaiki Deishu a creepy ass dude dressed in black. He tells Araragi his name, but when Araragi introduces himself, he claims that he has already heard his name, more than likely from Karen. They have a fairly odd conversation (even for Monogatari standards), with Kaiki saying a bunch of weird stuff that doesn’t really make too much sense. He says that he’s there because he heard the Gaen child lived there. Araragi remember how Gaen was Kanbaru’s mother’s maiden name, and thinks that Kaiki may be looking for her. Though I’m not really sure why he is, I think it’s safe to say that it has something to do with her arm, given his past with Senjougahara. After Kaiki leaves, Araragi thinks about how he is similar to Oshino, but then says that they have a different way about them. Instead, he reminds Araragi more of Guillotine Cutter, the strongest of the three vampire hunters from Kizumonogatari. Although Araragi contemplates following him at first, he quickly changes his mind, saying he feels like he shouldn’t get involved with him.
Now we come to Senjougahara’s reintroduction, though she already kind of was reintroduced in the first episode. Araragi sees her while walking down the street, but she turns away from him even after he calls out to her. He chases after her (which ends with a pretty funny nod to Akira) and they have one of their classic Bakemonogatari conversations. Araragi must really be a hardcore masochist, because she still treats him pretty badly even after all their time together. He claims that she’s just using her “tsundere” label as an excuse to be mean to him, but I don’t see how you can have be a tsundere if you don’t have any “dere”. The entire scene can pretty much be summed up by saying that Senjougahara doesn’t really like how much Araragi hangs around with other girls, seeing as how he’s met up with five just today (though I’m not really sure why she would count his sister). But of course Araragi is uber Mr. Nice Guy and claims he would never think about doing anything to hurt Senjougahara, which doesn’t really seem to change her opinion on the matter too much.
As they walk home, Araragi tells Senjougahara about his encounter with Kaiki, and she responds with a knock on the head and handcuffs to the arms. So now we know what Senjougahara meant by “protecting” Araragi in the first episode. Araragi doesn’t really seem to upset about being chained down against his will (probably because he know he can break free any time he wants) and asks Senjoughara why she’s so concerned about Kaiki. Now, in the first episode of Bakemonogatari she claimed that people had tried to help her before, but nothing they did ever worked. As it turns out Kaiki was one of the people who had attempted to “help” her with her weight problem, though he really didn’t do much in that department. Instead, she claims that he tore apart her family, took their money, and vanished, without doing anything to help Senjoughara. So in an attempt to protect what she still has, she captures Araragi so he won’t get mixed up with Kaiki. Though I don’t necessarily agree that kidnapping your boyfriend and handcuffing him to a mountain of desks is the best way to protect him from someone, at least we have an explanation from that weird scene in the first episode.
After Araragi and Senjougahara finish discussing what happened with Kaiki and why she wants him to stay away from him, Araragi’s phone rings. It’s a message from his sister that simply reads “Help me” which causes Araragi’s older brother instincts to kick in and he breaks free of Senjoughara’s MacGuyverd jail cell like a badass. Although, she isn’t too excited with the idea of him leaving, Senjougahara understands why he feels the need to leave and allows him to. Then she receives/makes a call to someone and talks to them like she’s trying to buy more time to pay back a loan shark or something. Seeing how upset and worried she sounds about it, it may not come as a surprise to me to hear that she was talking to… Hanekawa? Wait, what? Why would she… shit, the episode’s over.
Well Sweet Mother Mary, this show really love to take it’s time and be subtle. There’s a lot of little pieces of foreshadowing in this episode, like how Kanbaru speaks oddly about Senjoughara and Hanekawa’s relationship, or how Kaiki mentions that the kanji in Araragi’s name have already been explained to him one before. There wasn’t really too much of anything like that in Bakemongatari, but that’s probably because that show didn’t really have a linear story line, like what this series seems to be leaning towards. Hopefully, it’s a lot more similar to Kizumonogatari in that respect. It’s still kind of odd how this show seemed like it was going to focus mainly on his sisters but I think now we can say for sure that Araragi is still going to be the main character in this series, because neither of the sisters was in this episode at all.
Another thing that I noticed about this episode was it’s surprising lack of fan service; I mean, sure you have Kanbaru being Kanbaru, but compared to last weeks episode, there’s almost none. Senjoughara is the only other female character in this episode and she doesn’t really do anything overtly sexual or fan service-y. I guess they did just dump all of their fan service in the beginning to keep all of the otaku waiting for more boobs and ass. Seems like something Shaft would do, or they could have just gotten lazy trying to think up situations when they could put it in (they tend to do that to). I kind of hope it stays this way, because if the show isn’t spending time showing half naked girls they can focus on more important things, like the story. Oh, and Shinobu. I though for sure that when he mentioned Guillotine Cutter, Shinobu was fixing to come out, but I guess I’ll have to wait another week for that to happen.
In all seriousness, this show needs to pick up it’s pacing a little bit. This is only an eleven episode series after all, so unless Shaft plans to make us wait six months at time for more episodes, they need to hurry up a little bit. Think about it, the series is more than one fourth completed are almost nothing has happened story-wise, other than the villain being introduced. Of course the dialogue is great and the animation is amazing, but stuff needs to start happening, like in Bakemonogatari. Even though that show didn’t have a real “plot” every episode had something to do with the arc it was showing, but not so with this series. This arc is “Karen Bee”; now, how many episodes out of the three parts has she been in? One. How long was she in that one episode? Five minuets at the most. I know that this series feels the need to show every single character again, but based on how the people who didn’t watch the the first series are still confused by it, I don’t think that it may have been all that necessary.