Nekomonogatari Episode 3 – Review
Now, why couldn’t all of Nisemonogatari have been like this, why couldn’t it have been this serious and focused? I know it’s probably due to the source material being like that – after all, none of the major conflicts are really resolved in any way – but still, I felt that a lot of Nisemonogatari was just a little too lighthearted in some parts and didn’t really have as many dark moments as the original series had. Apparently, the director heard my complaints, because this is exactly what I had envisioned the series to be like for the most part. Thankfully the show also kept with a darker tone this episode, and will it’ll probably carry over to the last one as well.
This episode (and this entire series) did a lot to help develop the character of Hanekawa, surprisingly enough, with her even actually being in it. The explanation about her home life was kind of vague and abstract, but it did a good enough job at explaining that it obviously isn’t very good. Although last episode I complained about the show hardly ever actually explaining what the hell the Oddities actually are, what they do, and how they come to exist, this episode actually gave a surprising amount of backstory and depth to what the Curse Cat actually is, how it works, and all that. Also, the “Duality of Man” aspect that it incorporated was actually pretty interesting, as you wouldn’t normally expect someone with the personality of Hanekawa to be a candidate for exploration of that theme. Under most circumstances, she should be to very obvious and noticeable example of the good that exists in people, but as Oshino said, there is no human who is only good. In addition, it makes Hanekawa seem like a much more interesting character now that she isn’t the unshakeable pillar of morality that Araragi clings to most of the time.
Like I said, the scene with Oshino explaining exactly what the Cat is was very well done, and for the first time helped me to fully understand one of the monsters in this series. Also, coming from Kizumonogatari and Bakemonogatari, you kind of picture Oshino as this all-knowing unstoppable force that can pretty much bail Araragi and his friends out of any bad situation, but that obviously isn’t the case here. I think knowing that Oshino can’t really do anything more than Araragi can makes this series feel a lot more serious and pressing, because with pretty much every other problem he’s faced, Araragi has either had him or Shinobu to kind of be a deus ex machina and save the day when he can’t quite pull it off. Now that he can’t do that, the show seems much more interesting.
The final scene in which Araragi talks with the Cat was fine enough, but it seemed like a lot of it went back over what Oshino had already told Araragi before. I feel that this scene in particular, as well as the entirety of the series, if focused a lot more on Araragi’s relationship and attitude towards Hanekawa. Obviously, considering the events of Kizumonogatari and this series, it should normally be fairly obvious that they would be love interests, but the Monogatari series is very odd about the way it goes back and forth on this. The fact that Senjougahara is introduced into the series later doesn’t simplify things, but it would seem at this point that Araragi has much stronger romantic feelings for Hanekawa at this point than he does later on in the series. Also, to it seems that throughout the series Araragi justifies his fondness of Hanekawa to the fact that he feels indebted to her for pretty much saving his life, but I still don’t really know if that’s how he really feels, or if he’s just using that as a way to cover up something deeper.