Nisemonogatari is a series that gave us two… no wait three… no, actually four things that’ll stand the test of time. When nearly every other show that’s aired this year is forgotten, anime fans will still get together and reminisce over different moments. For my co-writers and many others, it’ll be the toothbrush scene. For those who debate the merits of the OPs, Platinum Disco will be on the tips of their tongues and at the forefront of their minds. And for Shinbo himself and absolutely no one else, it’ll be the many fetishistic, lovingly-crafted shots of Shinobu.
But what I’ll rave about to a bewildered audience is how Deishu Kaiki is pretty much the perfect villain. Every muscle fiber, skin cell, and nerve impulse is tailored to him being as conniving and just plain nasty as physically possible. It certainly helps that he looks as slimy a dude as possible without actually leaking mucous.But with him being the anathema to everything that’s good and wholesome in the world comes a very blatant inferiority complex (as villains are wont to have) that makes every encounter play out to the same sluggish anticlimax, in a way not giving the hero a chance to act out his/her role. You’d almost want to root for him if he didn’t make a profit off of indirectly cursing children. While this doesn’t really get a chance to shine in any moment but the first half’s anticlimax, he steals that episode and, in the process, makes the first half of the show his own.
Nisemonogatari was good on its own, but Kaiki made it for me, becoming a perfect example of how a villain doesn’t need nuance to be entertaining, as long as they go to the full extent that their shallow personality can take them. Maybe I’m alone in thinking this, but he’s probably in the running for best gimmick character of the year that’s not in Girls und Panzer.