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Nisemonogatari Episode 11 – Final


Well, way to go Shaft, you made a completely awesome last episode that made me willing to wait for the next series or OVA or ONA or whatever is coming out next.  Oh yeah, Kizumonogatari, that’s going to be fucking awesome, but I’m still ready for the next chronological story.  Though this episode was good it did feel like it was really rushed, or at least the appearance of Kagenui and her monster-girl seemed rushed.  Even though they were entertaining, it felt like it was a waste to just have them show up for that one scene then leave simply because the plot called for it.

I’m almost certain that I didn’t understand everything Shinobu said, but from what I gathered, the phoenix had possessed Tsukihi’s mom, and when she had Tsukihi, she was already a phoenix-girl-monster-thing.  That would mean that Tsukihi was always a fake person; that the same Tsukihi was always Araragi’s sister.  I don’t really see Kagenui’s opposition to it though.  It’s not like she’s hurting anyone, she isn’t voluntarily deceiving her family, and it isn’t even her fault.  So I don’ really understand what the big deal is.  And really, how are Karen and Tsukihi not related to Araragi?  It would be different if they looked like they came from some other parent, but they look exactly alike – they look like brother and sister.  Either Araragi’s mother and Tsukihi and Karen’s mother were sisters or that is one of the most random occurrences ever in the history of the world.  It seems kind of unfair for the artists to cheat the viewers out of suspecting that they aren’t related simply by drawing them to look exactly alike.  I know him adding a suffix to their names was kind of a hint, but it seemed to go against the evidence of them looking very similar.  It’s probably just so they can have wincest fan-service and not have it considered taboo by their viewers.  Hell, even Araragi admits that this was their plan all along.

This episode felt much more like Bakemonogatari than any of the other episode too.  In my opinion, one of the things I liked most about the first series was that it was comical, while still being very dark a lot of the time.  I think that for the most part, Nisemonogatari lacks the darkness that Bakemonogatari had.  In Bakemonogatari,Senjougahra was overtaken because her family had fallen apart and had been roped into the occult, Kanbaru had a fucking crazy devil arm that wanted to murder Araragi for being near Senjoughara, and Hanekawa’s (hot) dark cat side would have killed Araragi if Shinobu hadn’t been there.  InNisemonogatariKaren gets a sickness that will go away on it’s own and Tsukihi is immortal.  Perhaps what I really mean is that the problems in the first series seemed to be a lot more serious than in this one, which was kind of disappointing to me.

But anyway, this episode was much more like that, with a badass older Shinobu and a badass fight scene.  They even have a really good conversation during the fight, though Kagenui’s “Don’t force your opinion of “right” on other people” sounded rather hypocritical, coming form the girl who’s trying to kill Araragi’s sister for just being what she is and all.  Unfortunately, the fight suffers the same fate of insane censorship as Kanbaru and Araragi’s fight from Bakemonogatari.  Yet, as much as they interrupt the fight  with those annoying “Red Scene” frames, they have no problem showing Araragi’s stomach being pulled apart like Dale in The Walking Dead.  Although the censorship was annoying, it was still a very good scene, even though I would have really liked to see Shinobu kick the Says Misaka as Misaka girl’s ass.

But then, as soon as it arrives it’s over.  We get a glimpse of Senjougahara with short hair and a rather predictable “To Be Continued” notice at the end of the episode, telling us that Shaft is doing all they can to procrastinate the release of more series.  So, was it as good as the original?  No, but how could it be?  Bakemonogatari was something completely different than most people had ever seen before, at least in terms of presentation, so it’s not like you can recreate that feeling.  It’s like Rapture in Bioshock 2; it just isn’t as amazing as the first time you saw it.  My only problems with this series was it’s somewhat excessive amounts of fan-service and that it never really felt quite like Bakemonogatari.  However, that could have been completely the fault of the source material, and has nothing to do with the creative team behind the series.  I still think that they could have combined more of the novels and do away with a lot of the pointless filler here – hell, even Senjougahara is barely in this series.  But I know that Japan loves to milk their franchises, so it’s something that I just have to expect form anime.

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Nisemonogatari Episode 10 – Oh Yeah, Tsukihi’s Here Too…


Well, that’s it, there’s no way that this series can be wrapped up in one episode, and even if it is, it’s going to be rushed like nobody’s business.  There’s not really any excuse for it either, as there was plenty of stuff that could have been taken out to make room for stuff like this – stuff that actually matters.  And this whole series may be going strictly by the novel, but there are some times when you don’t need to do everything exactly the same as the original work, either because of time constraints or other reasons.  Did Sengoku’s scene in the second episode serve any purpose other than fan-serivce?  How about Kanbaru’s?  It was nice to see them, but you shouldn’t waste time that you don’t have.

Tsukihi finally gets more than three seconds of screen time, which is nice considering that this whole arc is about her.  Still, she didn’t really do anything to take my mind of the much more interesting characters that were introduced last episode, considering all that she did was talk about how much of a hard-ass Karen is.  At least Shinobu was in this episode, even though most of her screen time consisted of her obsessing over donuts.  But thankfully most of this episode actually spent dealing with Kagenui and her “Says Misaka as Misaka” servant, although it comes from a very unlikely source.

Oh, well, I guess he didn’t leave, awesome!  Maybe he’ll come back and do something interesting instead of just running away at the request of some teenage girl.  Or maybe he’s just here to have someone explain about our two characters.  Is that really all Kaiki existed to do?  He was created to give Karen her illness, which would have healed on it’s own anyway, and to give Araragi information in one scene?  Oh yeah, and he was indirectly responsible for Araragi getting laid, so I guess that’s worth something.  Maybe he comes back latter in the series, and I hope he does, because he behaves pretty much the exact same as Oshino, only he looks a lot creepier.  Apparently, Kagenui and Ononoki are real version of what Kaiki was pretending to be: some type of supernatural exterminator.  Also Ononoki isn’t really a human, which isn’t too hard to accept.  She’s Kagenui’s familiar/servant thing.

So what is Kagenui anyway?  Last week, Zammael made a comment about an urban legend about the devil; that he can’t walk on the ground.  And true to form, she still never touches the ground in this episode either. From standing on Araragi’s fence to riding on Ononoki’s finger, she makes it very obvious that she doesn’t want to touch the ground for whatever reason.  But if she’s an exterminator of the supernatural, then wouldn’t she be at least partially human?  I guess it’s not too odd to believe that she isn’t human, given that one of the people who was hunting Shinobu in Kizumonogatari was part-vampire, but it still seems odd that she’d take such offense to the supernatural living amongst humans.  Unfortuately, we didn’t get any more of an explanation about Ononoki and her crazy finger attack didn’t make things any more understandable.

And of course the big moment in the episode: Tsukihi isn’t really Araragi’s sister.  She’s been possessed by a phoenix, which I guess makes her not really Tsukihi.  But plenty of other people in this series were involved with supernatural things, so does that mean they aren’t really themselves anymore?  And because this Tsukihi isn’t the real Tsukihi, is she aware that she isn’t the real thing?  Is the real one dead and the phoenix is living in her place?  How long has she been like that?  Dammit… there is now way the next episode can bring everything to any kind of satisfying conclusion.  If we’re lucky, we’ll only have to wait three months for the first ONA episodes… if we’re lucky.

Nisemonogatari Episode 9 – A Long Way to Go and a Short Time to Get There


Damn it, Shaft, you’re going to do it aren’t you?  You’re going to start an awesomely badass arc and make us wait months and months at a time to see the rest of it.  You can’t just introduce such mysterious characters with two episodes left and expect to be able to wrap it all up by the end of the series.  If all of this stuff was going to happen, why not just cut out the fat from the earlier episodes and complete everything in a single series?  If they are staying true to the novel, then I respect them for it, but sometimes things just need to be cut out in order to make everything fit.

And isn’t this Tsukihi’s arc, I mean, she’s that girl in the OP, right?  She wasn’t even if this episode, not for a single moment – she was only even mentioned once and that was only Karen saying that she had never told her something.  So now we have two things we have to wrap up in only two more episode.  First, Tsukihi’s arc has to begin before anything happens.  Then they have to find out what her disease is and cure it, but while all of that’s going on these two new girls have to be explained as well.  And honestly, after seeing them, I could give less of a shit about what willl happen to Tsukihi – I just want to know about the new characters.

Anyway, like most of the other episodes in the show, this one spent a lot of time talking about nothing though as always it was enjoyable.  The show is still spending an awful lot of time on Karen, even though her arc is over and done with.  And even though Hachikuji still doesn’t add anything to the plot of the show, other than Araragi realizing that the second girl called her “Snail Girl”, she’s still one of the funnier characters in my opinion.  Well, maybe I just enjoy seeing Araragi trying to rationalize his pedophilia and friendship towards her.  But still, even though I enjoy seeing them interact, I don’t think the show needed three separate scenes dedicated to her if she’s not going to serve any purpose other than for lolicon fan-service.  And if you’re going to do that then why not use Shinobu?  Everybody knows that she’s much cooler.

Obviously, these two new people, Kagenui Yodzuru and Ononoki Yotsugi, know a lot about Araragi and everyone around him.  They know that he’s part vampire, they know about what happened to Karen and they know about Hachikuji.  And they’re trying to find the cram school that Oshino and Shinobu lived in for the entirety of Bakemonogatari for some to establish their “base of oporations” or something.  So why do they want to do it there of all places, did they know Oshino or something, even if they do know that Araragi is a vampire do they know that Shinobu is there too?  So yeah, forget about Tsukihi and tell me about these people and what there deal is.  Apparently the first girl is insanely strong, like Oshino, and the other girl looks like some lame Hatsune Miku cosplayer with a bad taste in clothes and a retarded orange Slime on her head.  I think that’s much more interesting Araragi’s yandere sister who has yet to have even three minuets of screen time.

So that’s where we stand, two episodes left and a shitload of stuff that has to be explained.  Tsukihi has get her phoenix disease or whatever it is and these two people have to explain why they’re in the series all of a sudden.  God, I’m going to pull my hair out waiting for the rest of this series and for Kizumonogatari to be released as well, though I have much more anticipation for that than this show at the moment.  But don’t worry Shaft, I’ve already sent my first payment for your time management classes via certified first class mail, so it should be there soon and before you know it, you’ll be actually completing your projects on time.

Nisemonogatari Episode 8 – I Will Never Brush Again


Friends, after watching this episode, I can tell you this with all the confidence in the world; I have never been, nor do I believe that I ever will be, more uncomfortable watching an episode of anime, television, a movie or anything in a room by myself in my entire life.  It’s one thing for something to make you uncomfortable in front of other people, like watching The Black Swan with girls, but for something to make you uncomfortable while you’re by yourself is an accomplishment that requires some huge recognition.  I was about to explode from anticipation of what was going to happen before Tsukihi walked in and broke it up.  Oh yeah, this is the start of Tsukihi’s arc, but you definitely wouldn’t know that by watching the episode.  She’s in the episode for about thirty seconds total excluding the OP, which is probably going to be  even more obsessed over than Renai Circulation.

There really isn’t much to say about this episode, as it was mostly dedicated to making everyone who watched it feel like they need to go and scrub every inch of their body with sandpaper to cleanse themselves.  They kind of tried to reintroduce Kanbaru into the story by having Karen want to meet her, but we all know what came out of that deal.  I mean, did Araragi just forget that Senjougahara exists and that if it had been her instead of Tsukihi, then he and Karen would have both been dead the very moment she stepped foot into the room?  You might be pushing your luck a little too far this time, Araragi.

Now that’s a rape face if there ever was one.  Actually, I think I’ve figured out what this episode was.  This episode is some wincest hentai that got interrupted at the halfway point where the sex actually starts.  The first half wasn’t even really all that bad.  Even though Karen did say that she’d let Araragi take her virginity, it was pretty obvious that it was meant as a joke.  However, once that toothbrush came out – sweet baby Jesus that shit got real.  I felt like I was committing incest just sitting there and watching that whole scene play out.  And that shit wasn’t like the kiss, where it could easily be taken as brotherly love for his sister, Araragi straight up says, “I think my sister is hot, hearing her moan excites me, and I want to grope her boobs”.  But not only that, After Tsukihi breaks it up and goes to get a fucking awl to stab them to death with (surely she could have thought of something more creative than that), Araragi and Karen don’t back off and admit to each other that what they just did was in any way weird at all.  Instead, they make arrangements to do it again and also trade places sometimes.  Sure, “got along a little bit better” Araragi, whatever you say.

Finally, as this show goes on I’m getting a very bad feeling about how much time is left for Tsukihi’s arc.  Karen’s took seven episodes to complete, and though in the novel Tsukihi’s arc only takes thirteen chapters (whereas Karen’s took twenty two) I can’t help but think that three episodes isn’t enough to complete the whole second half of the series without rushing through it.  Goddammit Shaft, if you pull that ONA shit again, you and I are gonna have a few things to talk about.  And they really have no excuse to need extra episodes because so much of this series has been unnecessary in the overall storyline of the show.  Shaft, you’re making Kizumonogatari, (you’d better be), and three Madoka Magica movies, slow your roll a bit.  If you guys end up bullshitting us on the ending of this show I am personally enrolling every one of your employees in a time management class.

Nisemonogatari Episode 7 – Half Awesome, Half Meh


So Karen’s Arc is finally over, after only seven episodes.  Unfortunately, the ending was nowhere near what I expected and wanted it to be, but that may be a bit premature, seeing as how the series isn’t over yet.  In my opinion, the ending to this arc was very anticlimactic, and it seemed even more so after the first part of the episode.  Oh, and does anyone know if this twelve hour delay was just a one time thing, or is it a permanent change by Crunchyroll?

Now, what exactly is Karen?  Their fight was probably even more ridiculous than Kanbaru and Araragi’s in Bakemonogatari, but Kanbaru had the rainy devil monkey arm and Araragi was part vampire.  So how is Karen this strong, even though she’s been weakened by the bee?  I mean, she’s punching Araragi through the air into overpasses and shit, are we sure she’s really human?  Both Kanbaru and Araragi’s absurd strength was at least somewhat explained, but not so here.  Obviously, I know it’s supposed to be taken with a grain of salt, but her strength still seemed really odd to me.  Hell, she was even surprised when he didn’t die from one of her attacks, guess she was really pissed off about him kissing her.  That being said, it was epic as all hell even if it was really ridiculous, but I guess so is Araragi being swung around by his intestines and spraying pastel colored blood.  I’m always down for some badass Shaft fight scene, but perhaps they should have saved some of that animation for the real climax of the arc.

As is to be expected, they have some really good (albeit confusing) dialogue about why Karen is so fixed on finding Kaiki.  I’m not going to lie, all their talk about strength, justice, and being right is really confusing, or at least it was to me.  The main thing that I took away form it was Araragi telling Karen that even if she is right about Kaiki being evil, she can’t just go around using that and the needs of others to do what she wants and call it justice.  But who knows, sometimes I just have to go back and watch the episode again just to catch everything that they’re saying, but Bakemonogatari‘s re-watchability was one of the things that made it so good.

I’m still kind of annoyed at how unimportant the first three episodes of this show are, because Kanbaru, Sengoku, and Hachikuji have all been completely unnecessary so far.  Hachikuji’s the only one who’s even appeared a second time, and even then there was no real purpose to her being there other than to take up time in this rather slow show.  The source material is obviously partly at fault, but it’s not like everything has to match the novel exclusively.  For example, I would have liked to see Araragi and Shinobu trying to find Karen (even if it’s only for more Shinobu) instead the episode just starting with him talking to her.  The same with Senjougahara and Kaiki; they’re both just kind of standing there, there’s no real entrance or anything, which felt pretty rushed.  But it’s not like this show doesn’t, or rather didn’t, have any spare time to use for that.

Then we have the final climax of the arc, and to me, it was pretty damn anticlimactic.  I was kind of expecting some kind of fight, especially after Senjougahara “arming” herself with the pencils and everything.  I also thought that Kaiki was probably some kind of supernatural being, or at least somewhat similar to Oshino.  Araragi even said he reminded him of Guillotine-Cutter, which he definitely was not.  Kaiki even made a remark about Araragi feeling unnatural and that even his shadow seemed ominous.  Needless to say, it seemed like a fight was coming, but all we got was more talking.  But above all of that, I was at least expecting something more than Senjougahara saying “Hey asshole, leave” and Kaiki answering, “Yeah, sure”.  I think they built him up a little bit more than what he turned out to be, though the show isn’t over so I really hope that he comes back, otherwise he’ll have been a pretty big waste of a villain.  I guess the idea is that he’s just some ordinary guy, with almost no connection to the supernatural element in the series, who’s trying to make some easy money.  Now while a realistic (in fact he was pretty polite) villain isn’t really a bad thing, it just didn’t seem right compared to how creepy and ominous they made him seem throughout the show.  Was that really the guy that Senjougahara was so afraid of that she kidnapped Araragi?  That guy that calmly talked to them and fulfilled her request?  Surely he’s going to come back, because that doesn’t make any sense.  In a way, I suppose their conversation could have been their “battle”, and while it was good, it still left a lot to be desired, especially after such a long arc.

Even the solution to Karen’s illness was pretty lame.  So is that it, it’s just going to go away?  He kissed his sister to help her only to give her enough strength to run away?  I’ll bet that Shinobu probably knew that it would go away in time, but also knew that Araragi would do anything to help his sister.  I wouldn’t put it past her.  Well, even if Shinobu did trick him into doing that, at least he got laid when all was said and done.  But you’d think with Araragi being Araragi he would have definitely put some effort into talking about what happened, or at least said something about it.  Whatever, they had sex, there’s no way in hell they didn’t, Senjougahara all but said, “We’re going to have sex after this” twice. You go Araragi, you finally get something for all of the shit you’ve gone through with everyone.

Nisemonogatari Episode 6 – Let’s Slow it Down


This show is really starting to feel like a two-episode arc of Bakemonogatari being drawn out to eleven episodes.  I think I should go ahead and give up on any delusions of this show moving faster than a crippled slug, then maybe I wouldn’t be as frustrated with it’s pacing.  At this point, I’m also seeing almost no point to that three episode long character reintroduction, which slowed down the show’s progression even more.  Neither of Hachikuji’s appearances have really had anything to do with the story, and Kanbaru and Sengoku’s appearances only provided very minute details to the plot.  Sure, they’re all enjoyable, but if they aren’t going to serve a purpose then why include them in this series?  Say, for instance, some random character was introduced in Sengoku’s arc during Bakemonogatari, served no purpose during that time and then disappeared as soon as it was over; what would the point of it be?

There is some plot progression, if you could call it that, in this episode, though it basically boils down to Karen being gone and Senjougahara wanting to go find Kaiki.  We don’t even get to see the conclusion to the cliffhanger from last week; all we get is Araragi summarizing that he did indeed kiss his sister, but it only took some of the poison away.  That’s such bullshit, what a giant middle finger to everybody.  I mean, it’s not as if they’re rushed for time and they just had to skip over that to get to Araragi and Hachikuji walking around and talking.  It’s not like it was due to censorship either; this show has already had a naked eight-year-old girl taking a bath with a teenage boy.  Finally Senjougahara had a little more screen-time this episode, and thankfully didn’t occupy it by kidnapping Araragi.  Though her motives are understandable, it seems like she’s being just as reckless as Karen.  I don’t really understand exactly what she plans to do to Kaiki, or how she plans to stop him, seeing as how she has no supernatural powers of her own.  She even admitted herself that, although he is a con man, he may be more powerful than what he’s supposed to be impersonating, so what does she plan to do without Araragi?

Karen’s motives are equally idiotic.  Kaiki has already cursed her, yet she continues to go out after him even though she’s sick and may or may not know where he is?  I know being reckless is in her character, but that’s pretty damn stupid.  At least her being an idiot gave Shinobu a reason to come back out again and get back into the show.  Though with her being as large a character as she has been, it seems as if Araragi will eventually have to explain to his sisters about his vampirism, and her as well (but it would probably be a good a good idea to not tell Tsukihi about her).

Though I’ve already said it, the progression of this series is getting very annoying.  I know that Bakemonogatari never really had a straight linear story-line, but there was still always something happening in that series.  Even conversations that didn’t really have any purpose were only fillers in between the separate arcs of the show.  Seeing as how the novel only contains Karen and Tsukihi’s arcs, it’s understandable why this series is moving so slow, but I haven’t read enough of it to know if all of these other random seemingly pointless scenes actually serve as little purpose as I think they do.  I really hope that the second half of the show picks up, because it’s actually more than halfway through right now, and almost nothing has happened at present.  How about this, let’s look at the official generic copy-pasta plot summary of this series.

“The black swindler Kaiki Deishu, who once deceived Hitagi, returns to town and spreads the incantation which cursed Nadeko before.  Koyomi’s sisters Karen and Tsukihi try to capture Deishu but…”  (Plot summary from MAL)

You could literally add the line “… he curses Karen” to the end of that and it would be the summary for the entire show thus far.  That’s what you call a slow-as-Christmas show if I’ve ever seen one.  The show is halfway finished, it has five episodes left, step it up a little.  What about Tsukihi?  Please, God, don’t tell me we’re going to have to wait for months and months on end to see the end of her arc too.  If we do, it better be ten thousand times as awesome as the end of Hanekawa’s arc, which is a pretty tall order to fill.

Nisemonogatari Episode 5 – Incest is Best


Good God, this show is slow as shit.  After five episodes there is still barley any plot and Karen’s illness still hasn’t been cured, though the next episode should fix that.  But of course then Araragi will have it, and it’ll take three episodes for him to get rid of it, so that doesn’t help anything too much.

Fortunately, the show finally tells what happened when Kaiki cursed Karen, or at least Araragi’s version of what happened to her.  After Karen tells Kaiki, a grown adult male, that she, a middle school girl, is going to beat him up so bad that he’ll stop selling curses and the cures to them, he gives a long winded talk about what his motives are.  His desire, simply enough, is money (or so he claims).  And, yeah, that makes sense; middle school kids aren’t exactly the hardest market to cater to.  Think about what happened with Sengoku; she was cursed by some girl because she rejected some boy that the other girl liked  As stupid a reason as that is, that definitely sounds like some typical school melodrama, and something that a bitchy girl would do if she had the opportunity to.  So as long as there are stupid, jealous, and assholish kids around, the Kaiki will have a market for his rather pricey curses.  After Kaiki gives Karen his advice about the world and money, he curses her for being such an idiot and thinking she could have actually done something to him and leaves.

And that’s about all of the plot that’s in this episode.  Hanekawa and Araragi talk for a while as they walk home, but don’t really say anything too important.  She does make another allusion to Kizumonogatari but nothing like the big-ass spoiler that Shinobu dropped in the previous episode.  I really that for the sake of the people who haven’t read it, the show doesn’t talk too much about Kizumonogatari, but at the same time, you’re technically supposed to know what happened back then at this point in the series, so it’s possible that some parts of this series will talk about it.  They also talk for a moment about Oshino, and Araragi says that he thinks Oshino will be back to help them with Karen’s problem.  So, maybe Osino is going to come back at some point in the series, if the show is going to talk about a character that has supposedly left so blatantly.

The rest of the episode focuses on what should be a very awkward situation.  Now, maybe the Japanese are even more sexual than I thought, but I have a sister who’s two years younger than me, and I would break my own arm with a sledge hammer before I would do anything like that with her, not to mention that she would probably do the same  to me if I even asked her to.  Perhaps Araragi’s relationship with his sisters is just that good,  but I thinks it’s more than likely just fanservice.  Of course, he’s just trying to be a good brother and help his sick sister, but I don’t really think that Shaft was about to pass up on a chance to have him do this.  But not only does this scene contain Araragi stripping his sister and wiping her down with rags, it gets even more awkward.  After Karen tells Araragi that she doesn’t want to get him sick, he gets the idea to ask Shinobu is there’s a way to transfer her illness to him, similar to what he attempted to do with the snakes that were constricting Sengoku.  This being an anime, the obvious answer would be “sex”, but since they can’t show that on TV, the next best answer would be to make out.  And yes, that’s the answer.  Apparently if Araragi kisses Karen, then the illness will be transferred to him; I guess Shaft wanted to apologize to their fans for having to censor Shinobu, and they decided that wincest was the next best thing.  Sorry, but my sister would just have to deal with it if that happened to her.

I’m not entirely sure how well Karen is going to receive that request next episode, but I’d imagine about half the episode is going to be spent convincing her to allow him to do it.  Or he could just go for it and the first three seconds of the show and Karen could beat the shit out of him after, but either way, I can’t picture her accepting it too well.  Also, how does that really solve the problem?  Araragi will still have it, so he still has to find a way to get rid of it, or maybe he just assumes that his vampiric body will resist the poison.  But if Shinobu said that the fire wreathe bee is a low level monster, then it should be fairly easy to deal with, so Araragi wanting to take the illness onto himself can have only two reasons.  One: he’s so nice of a person that he’d kiss his sister to help her, or two: fanservice.  I think the real reason is probably equally split among those two.

Really, I can’t see where this show is going.  I mean, Kaiki’s kind of an asshole, but he doesn’t really seem bad enough to be a very menacing villain.  He wants to make money and has found a simple and effective way to make it, after all, if you’re good at something never do it for free.  Hopefully he’s given more depth as the series goes on and isn’t just portrayed as some douchebag who wants a bunch of money.

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?

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