Nekomonogatari Episode 2 – Review
Well, that didn’t take too long, but after all, it’s probably only going to be another day at the most until the last two episodes are subbed and all that, so expect these rather quickly I guess. Also, just a PSA, if you haven’t read Kizumonogatari, you really probably should do that in order to help you understand some of the stuff that’s going to happen in this series.
With this episode, we actually get into the main story of the show and get to see Hanekawa in all of her catgirl hotness. As I’m sure I’ve said before, the story for this series feels a lot more like Kizumonogatari due to the lack of the other main characters, such as Senjougahara, Kanbaru, etc., and it’s focus on mainly Hanekawa and Araragi (and to an extent Shinobu). This episode also had a decidedly different feel and atmosphere to it than the previous one. This episode was much darker in tone and felt a lot like some of the darker episodes of Bakemonogatari.
Beyond getting to see a small scene explaining Shinobu’s affection for doughnuts, there’s also a bit of explanation about his attitude towards her at the current time. It’s only been a few weeks since everything that happened in Kizumonogatari took place, so this would have obviously been when Shinobu was still not talking to Araragi. But regardless of that (and seeing that she’s one of the only actual characters in the show) they do make an attempt to still let her show some emotion and characterization in this episode and hopefully the rest of the series as well. In my opinion, Shinobu is definitely the best character in the whole Monogatari series, so I’m always up for seeing her get to do some more stuff besides sit around moping the whole time.
The scene with the Cat version of Hanekawa was also done very well, and was obviously very reminiscent of the last few episodes of Bakemonogatari. However, one of the things that kind of irritated me about it (and I guess the whole collective series itself) is that there’s never much of an explanation to exactly what the hell is wrong with Hanekawa. I suppose it could be because of the insane Japaneseness of this show, and these creatures are perfectly normal in the folklore there, but still not really having much of an explanation for some of these things other than “They’re monsters, they do this” is kind of annoying at some times. It’s not as if all things in the series are a complete mystery, as I thought that Kanbaru’s arm and Sengoku’s curse were explained relatively well, but some of the others really leave me scratching my head.
Anyway, I thought the dark nature and tension of the scene worked very well and just got me even more excited for Kizumonogatari as that’s pretty much all that movie could have in it. I do however think that “censoring”, I guess you could call it, of the bodies of Hanekawa’s parents was kind of odd, and took away from the violent nature of the rest of the scene. But I guess never showing a person who isn’t a main character or villian is kind of a staple of the series, so I probably shouldn’t be too surprised by it. It’s also been a long time since I saw some actual gore in anime, so that was definitely and entertaining scene to me.