Nisemonogatari Episode 4 – Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade
Oh, Shaft, you and your head tilts. Although after last week’s episode it seemed that the story was going to start to pick up, that wasn’t the case this week. The beginning had a small amount of explanation about the overarching story, but most of the episode, as it has been in this series, was heavy on dialogue. However, I couldn’t care less about the story in this episode, because Shinobu is still a fucking badass.
At least this episode did manage to finally introduce all of the characters from the original series. Hanekawa returns in a rather odd way (she doesn’t really appear, she’s just kind of … there), now with short hair, which Shinobu jokes about later. It also seems that this show is going to make a habit out of starting episodes off with scenes that don’t really make sense at the time. Araragi is arguing with his sisters about… something… and Hanekawa is also there for… some reason or another. Most of their conversation consists of Araragi attempting to find out what Karen and Tsukihi are doing and how it involves Hanekawa, but it ends up with Araragi telling them not to get involved with things that they can’t handle (probably supernatural things) in a roundabout way. Hanekawa finally gives some explanation about what Araragi’s sisters are doing and confirms that it does involve the snake curse which Sengoku mentioned before. Apparently, Hanekawa had discovered that Kaiki was spreading the snake curse and told Karen about it, and when Karen went to stop him, he did “something” (the fire bee) to her. And that’s about all we get plot-wise this week.
Hanekawa and Araragi’s conversation was mainly focused on the plot, but it did have some points about their relationship. She brings up how he treats her differently than any of the other characters in the show, which is really due to how much he feels he owes his life to her, but she doesn’t seem to pick up on that. Their relationship does seem like it would be pretty awkward for Araragi, considering the events of the last arc of Bakemonogatari, and that she doesn’t remember it, but it doesn’t look like it bothers him too much. She also tells him about her conversation on the phone and that she told Senjougahara that she would ask Araragi to be her boyfriend if she didn’t let him go. Even though she’s joking about it, that would have really pushed the awkward level in that bedroom up a few bars. I guess Senjougahara also really sees her as a threat to her relationship with Araragi, because she sounded pretty depressed during that phone call.
But really, who cares about any of that, we have some Shinobu to see. Well… all of Shinobu to see. Finally, after waiting for a month for her to make her appearance, she does so, in the most awkward place she could possibly have chosen. I mean, both of them are naked and bathing together during the entire scene, and her body is in it’s eight-year-old form right now, so it’s kind of… yeah. It doesn’t seem like she’s changed at all through her months of pouting, because the very fist thing she says to Araragi is a joke about what he said to Kanbaru when he saw her naked. She’s also as haughty as ever, considering how easily she converses with him after all her time spent silent. But goddamn, she’s just as awesome and just as funny as she used to be; their conversation is by far the best of the entire series, and it manages to stay interesting, even though it takes up more than half of the episode. During this time, Shinobu explains about the wreathe-fire bee that is now afflicting Araragi’s sister, Karen. So it seems that she’s going to be the Oshino for this series, so much so that her knowledge on the subject comes from her having to listen to Oshino constantly ramble on about oddities when she stayed with him at the cram school. She also says that she can’t “eat” the disease like she did with Hanekawa, due to Karen’s illness being a result of the sting, and not actually the bee itself.
So, with this being the first time that they’ve talked to each other since the end of Kizumonogatari, a good portion of their talk is spent on their relationship, as strange as it may be. She still claims that she hasn’t and won’t forgive Araragi for what he did, and that she expects the same from him. Though I don’t really think that he is as upset with her as she is with him, he probably agrees with it just so he can have a reason not to kill her. Again, she tells him that his best option is to kill her, so that he can return to being fully human, and even brings up how he will likely continue to live long after everyone he knows is dead. But if Araragi is willing to forgive Kanbaru after she tried to murder him, do you really think that he’d kill Shinobu, especially after the lengths he went to to NOT kill her in the first place? It seems like she’d know that it’s a long stretch to think that he’d go along with her plan, but I think that she’s more or less accepted her current state, and that she’ll more than likely be stuck like that and be bound to Araragi until one of them dies. After all, that’s really what she wanted in the first place, but because of how much Araragi wanted to be a human again she was willing to die to allow him to do so. At the end of Kizumonogatari, she even offers him a chance to remain a vampire with her, since he was the first person she had found in 400 years who was kind to her. God, she is the best character in the whole franchise, and I really hope she gets some more development after spending the entirety of Bakemonogatari in silence.
And so, like last week, we’re left still with a very small idea about what the plot is, but instead with good dialogue and Shaft being Shaft. I guess the creators knew that they could take their time with this show, considering that it only contains two arcs spread over eleven episodes. I imagine the next episode or two will focus on curing Karen’s illness, but after that, I’m not really sure if it will move towards the real conflict of the series or just straight to Tsukihi’s arc. either way this was the best episode so far. Why? Because Shinobu is fucking awesome. Oh, and what was up with that scene at 18:32? Why in the hell does Shaft pick the most random things possible to animate well?