32 CommentsMonogatari Series: Second Season / By Scamp /

Monogatari Series Second Season episode 15 – Even when she doesn’t appear on screen, she’s still Best Girl

vlcsnap-2013-10-14-16h30m03s147I’m sorry for doubting you Senjogahara. You don’t even have to actually appear on screen. The most we got in this episode was this 5 millisecond shot where her face was cut off thanks to Shaft shooting the start and end of the episodes in a wide-screen perspective for no reason, and she was still the best character in the entire arc. I saw someone describe it as a real Joseph Jostar moment. “You could kill me now, but wouldn’t it be sooooo much better if you waited until later ah go on you know you want to.” On that note, I heard from a little birdie on twitter that there’s a new season of Jojo’s in the works. You may all now start to party.

vlcsnap-2013-10-14-16h22m25s166

I know Monogatari is rather wordy and drawn out, but half of this episode was just Nadeko talking to hair realising that she’s been lying to herself. It was an awful lot of explanation for what was only 3 episodes worth of self-deception. It was a neat explanation though, rather similar to that of Hanekawa’s arc. They’re both just jealous because Senjogahara is the best girl and each had to find a way to deal with that jealousy. In Hanekawa’s case she just carried on pretending she was boring and had barely any personality when in fact she was burning up with frustration and jealousy. Meanwhile Nadeko turned full on yandere. Seriously, she suggested murdering Arararagi so nobody else could fall in love with him so she could never feel jealous again. That’s some pretty great fucked up logic.

But being yandere conflicted with her cutesy moeblob onii-chan fetish personality, so she convinced herself that none of that was happening through self-hypnosis. I was never terribly convinced by Shinobu claiming Nadeko was a big poser because she got everything her way when she’s so kawaii and shit. That struck me like saying someone is a terrible person because they’re white and therefore it’s their fault society has arbitrarily given them advantages. Instead it turns out that Nadeko did start to have thoughts that didn’t fit into her helpless victim archetype, she started pretending they didn’t exist.

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How much of this is Nadeko though? Turns out genderswapped Meme is the person that orchestrated this whole thing. Sure Nadeko had the feelings of jealousy and not being able to let her true feelings out, but that’s what makes it that more sinister. It’s preying on their already existing fears and dark thoughts, bringing them out and giving them the tools to destroy themselves and those around them. It’s very Johan Liebert, and puts quite an evil spin on her character. Why did she do it though? And how did Shinobu know that’s what happened? I suppose lady Meme did imply something about time travel or whatever, so we might learn in the next arc.

There’s not many girls left to have arcs about. Kanbaru’s arc is supposedly going to be in OVA format, which I choose to believe because it’s just too risque for TV. Nadeko, Mayoi and Hanekawa have all had their arcs, with Shinobu’s being sorta split with Mayoi. I guess there’s the sisters left, which would be awfully disappointing. Fit in an arc about the sisters together with some larger story about Lady Meme for the second to last arc so we can figure out what’s up with her. They can do their Fire Sister’s shtick before having to be saved by Arararagi like everyone in this series does, saving them with roll on deodorant which somehow manages to be the most erotic scene in anime history. Then that leaves the final arc to focus entirely on Senjogahara who spends the entire thing prancing about in her underwear. Or a bikini. I’m not fussy.

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Another surprisingly good arc comes to an end, another arc that managed to make a previously boring character interesting. I’ve been really impressed by Monogatari this season. There’s been a few misteps, but each arc has ended well and has none of the usual Monogatari problems of incredibly anti-climactic endings. I’m going to be daring and throw this assertion out there: Monogatari Second Season > Bakemonogatari. Also Senjogahara is best girl, but that doesn’t need to be restated.

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32 Comments

  1. sph965
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    “On that note, I heard from a little birdie on”

    Proofread twice, Scamp.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      argh what happened where did the rest of my opening paragraph go!!

      I mean *err-hum* I have no idea what you are talking about

      • BigFire
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Although the last arc in the television Second Season IS Koimonogatari (Hitagi End), lets just say it’s a bit of a troll.

  2. Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    The remaining arcs are Hanamonogatari’s “Suruga Devil” (which as you said will be done later as an OVA), Onimonogatari’s “Shinobu Time”, and Koimonogatari’s “Hitagi End”.

    Rejoice, boy. Best girl will have her arc.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      The funny thing is that Shinobu’s arc is supposedly a complete reversal from the last one, having more Mayoi in it than Shinobu herself. Also, ‘Hitagi End’ is narrated by someone else, either because humanity hasn’t evolved enough to comprehend the mind of Senjogahara, or Nisio is just a huge troll.

    • Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      @fathomlessblue You were misinformed.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Really, for which arc? Both?

        In any case, I guess there will be few more surprises than I was expecting, so no complaints here.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Do we really need another Shinobu arc? Eh, we’ll see what they do with it.

      • Edraii
        Posted October 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

        Yeah we do.

      • Raymondjram
        Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        The “Shinobu Time” arc is actually a trip back in time because it explains part of Kiss-Shot-Acerola-Orion-Heart-Under-Blade’s history with her first subjugate, and how she was a “god”. But something bad happens, she ends in the North Pole with only a hand of that guy (there is a picture of this scene out there), and why it is related to their present and to Mayoi.

  3. AG
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Looks like we’ll get an actual fight after their graduation that is supposed to solve the arc, which is a first since fights in Monogatari are usually an excuse to see Araragi beaten to a pulp.

    • Silverbeard
      Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, about that… It’s not happening.

  4. Gaffuwaffu
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Wait, did everyone die, or was that just Nadeko imagining things? I had thought, after watching the episode, that the next one would be the final episode of the arc. But if this is the end, do we ever get to find out what happens?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      It’s a commentary on how most anime end as soon as school ends.

      That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

      • Someone Else
        Posted October 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Killings and how school ends. I see what you did there…Or maybe that’s just me

  5. Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Hanamonogatari was likely chosen to be delayed for chronology reasons. That story would have taken away a lot of mystery from Otori and Koi. Which works fine – that’s the novel order, after all – but the added suspense is nice, too. Alas, this also means we miss some info about Ougi that we would’vego tten before the reveal about her actions in this arc. Boy oh boy, I can’t wait for that.

    And yeah, this season’s better than Bakemonogatari, which really was pushed from “quirky and pretty” to “fucking awesome” only thanks to one amazing episode. And Shaft has been been doing a lot better with a lot worse source material – ie Otorimonogatari, which was a bore to read, but ended up a really fun arc in the anime.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I think a big difference with Bakemonogatari is that in Bake there were a few fantastic episodes that masked over some of the poorer arcs and stories. This season though just keeps trucking out great episodes one after the other without any slowdown. It hasn’t had a standout episode the same way Bake had. Still waiting for that wow episode.

  6. Jhiday
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    How unexpected : a story where Ararararagi doesn’t somehow save the girl at the end. It only works so well because the formula was so established.

    (Okay, that was kinda the case with the previous arc too. Nevertheless.)

  7. Nagisa
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    How many apparitions can be drawn to these people? It seems odd that all the Ghostbusters are in the city as well.

    • Canary Paint
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      It’s like “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” Why the hell should Sunnydale be the center of mystical energies and wars between the forces of good and evil? This probably means that the Monogatari setting will eventually have to completely implode on itself.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      From what I gathered, it’s basically due to Shinobu’s presence.

  8. Redcrimson
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    This arc had some of the best use of Unreliable Narrator ever. I had thought that shifting focus away from Jojoragi-kun was just a gimmick to keep things fresh, but I was wrong. It was all just a ploy to make us yearn for the days of Homuragi’s snark-filled mind. “You thought Monogaragi was unreliable? Ha! This one’s so nuts, even the talking snake in her head thinks she’s nuts!”

    But yeah, this season of -monogatari has totally blown away everything that came before it. It’s hard not to take this whole season as a big sweeping “screw you” to moe harem nonsense when the most moe haremette of all retreats so far into her own victimization complex that she deludes herself into becoming a murderous snake god just because she doesn’t “win”. That’s some pretty biting commentary there, Nisio.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I can never take Monogatari as any sort of reaction to moe harem nonsense when it does so many of the things those shows do as well. The structure and writing elevate it far beyond its contemporaries, but it’s still doing a lot of the same things.

  9. Dynellen
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    “Kanbaru’s arc is supposedly going to be in OVA format”

    No, it’s airing on TV in 2014.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-08-28/hanamonogatari-anime-slated-for-tv-in-2014

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Ah right, that’s not so bad. Wonder if it will just run straight after this season ends?

  10. Pusswookie
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I know that this arc is mostly about Nadeko coming to terms with her actively inactive role in things that happen to her and – via everyone repeatedly bashing her over the head with it – her subsequent escapist tendencies in response to them, but, speaking strictly of the end, I haven’t seen such a perfect combination of cuteness and insanity since Yuno; her nonchalant discussion with Senjougahara about the order in which to kill them in was positively delightful.

    Honestly, I’m not sure that I’ve ever been moe for a character before now, but I think that this might be it. And I really like what she’s done with her hair too.
    At any rate, that adorably narrated trailer was fucking awesome. They ever going to follow up on that?

  11. stushi
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Unrelated:
    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=676911
    This should make you happy :P

    • Varyn
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Best News of the decade

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      I appreciate the sentiment, but…have you read the opening paragraph to this post?

      • stushi
        Posted October 18, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        Oh shit well this makes me feel stupid.
        I don’t watch Monogatari so I didn’t read it…Sorry bout that.

  12. Someone Else
    Posted October 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    My hunch is correct. She was hiding her evil nature all along.

    But somehow her Yandere personality kind of conflicts the angry honest trait she has shown on the previous episode, since that one has more caring and sincere feel…or maybe I fell victim to the show’s witty script that it feels like that. Also what I liked about Yandere characters is that you’d rather like to hate them instead of actually liking them as a twisted fetish

    It’s really impressive how she turned from worst girl to possible best girl to most hated girl. So much transformations in the shortest possible time. Compared to Hanekawa who took ovas, film and many arcs just to completely change. Maybe I should ask myself again who I find the best girl

    This arc is brilliant.

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