14 CommentsMonogatari Series: Second Season / By Scamp /

Monogatari Series Second Season episode 17 – Arararagi for Worst Girl

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Last week was just another recap episode. They recapped that weird spin-off arc from Bakemonogatari where Kanbaru and Senjogahara teamed up to compete in a giant robot beach volleyball tournament except they hadn’t realised it was a giant robot tournament so showed up in their bikinis and yet won anyway. What, you don’t remember that arc? It came after the first Hanekawa cat arc from Bakemonogatari. Some places class it as a spin-off OVA and others as episodes 17-20 so it’s understandable that you might have missed it.

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One thing I’ve been praising this season of Monogatari for is how each arc has managed to significantly improve my impressions of each character. Nadeko, Hanekawa, even Shinobu have really gone up in my eyes. There’s one character that has really dipped in my eyes though. I am done with Arararagi. I don’t find his shtick entertaining. He’s completely static as a person with nothing left resembling development. His continued interactions with the other girls makes his relationship with Senjogahara, the best part of Bakemonogatari, feel cheapened as a result. Most of what constituted as humour and character interaction in this episode was glorifying paedophilia.

I think that’s the part most of all that I dislike and about the series as a whole. I recently redid my top 60 anime list, and with Monogatari impressing so much I figured it was probably worth a shot at putting the whole franchise on the list. But then I remember how uncomfortable I feel around it and how much of that tone remains throughout the seasons. At this point Arararagi liking little girls is basically his defining characteristic.

Arararagi for Worst Girl. Hanekawa, you are off the hook for now.

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Since I’m complaining, something I’ve always disliked about the dialogue in Monogatari is when they repeat the same thing using slightly different language. I have no issue with this when the meaning is changed slightly by presenting the wording differently. Most of the problems are discovered and solved through wordplay. However not all of the dialogue is like this. It’s Arararagi repeating that he is walking down the road, and by that I mean on a road putting one leg in front of another, well except I’m on the road beside the road, a path for which people walk on, not cars but pedestrians such as myself who walk when they do not have a car.

I accept something might be lost in translation here, but from my end that doesn’t really matter. I’m still bogged down and bored by this monologuing that goes nowhere. I’m going to blame Arararagi for this again, which isn’t entirely fair. Meme did it a fair amount, and plenty of other characters like to let their mouth wander (doh ho ho geddit because there was kissing in this episode doh ho ho) but I’m in a bad mood with Arararagi so it’s clearly all his fault. Maybe this arc will pick up. Every other arc has done so this far. I think I’m just bored of standard Monogatari fixture now. If they’re not switching narrators or jumping through time then I’m just tired of the formula. That would normally spell worry for the entire franchise, but since it’s been keeping things so fresh lately it hasn’t been a problem.

Or maybe it just needs more Senjogahara and Kanbaru playing giant mecha beach volleyball.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been a fan of any Hachikuji-related stuff – I think it all follows this formula of “Araragi’s a pedophile” jokes and conversations that are far more rambling and pointless than Monogatari’s usual fare. And I definitely agree that Araragi’s possibly the least interesting character in Monogatari. Hell, I felt that way back in Bakemonogatari, too.

  2. Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Regarding your feelings on Arararagi, I sort of had the same problems with Urusei Yatsura, as due to the way the manga was adapted, the main character in that would switch from caring about people to being an unrelenting pervert to the point that it nullifies any previous development. I excuse it a bit because that’s a sitcom and they don’t have the greatest continuity ever (plus, when I find things funny, I can excuse a lot of crap) but it can make some scenes hard to swallow.

    Reason I tolerate Araragi even less is b/c it doesn’t have the girls punishing him for being an unfaithful pervert. If all the girls aside from Senjougahara actually hated the dude, I might have accepted it.

  3. Cobrah
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I found out about the monogatari series during the summer, probably when you posted the season preview. It sounded interesting, and I wanted to be part of the airing crowd, so I started Bakemonogatari in the hopes of catching up. And now here I am, and I definitely agree that Araragi’s character has been getting stale. I wish all the arcs were told from someone else’s view, just because I’m so burnt out on this guy.

    I also really miss Kanbaru.

  4. Nagisa33
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    This arc looks real interesting. Shinobu is probably my favorite character after all and if this her origin story I’ll be excited. Again, this episode hits home that Ararararagi and Dance in the Vampire Bund have a strong relationship. There was a lot of smooching going on and that can’t make the all-knowing , all-seeing Senjougahara happy.

    When Shinobu said, “What are you, an Italian!?” I thought, “Yes, yes I am!” Hahaha!

  5. Shikamaru
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Is it wrong that I’m rooting for Shinobu x Araragi? I think they would make really good couple. Nadeko is still my favourite girl but that doesn’t mean that she and Araragi would be good pairing. Also if Araragi doesn’t want to tap loli ass he could just let Shinobu suck his blood whenever he wants some adult ass.

    Didn’t like the episode because of all the loli stuff. Araragi is the main character and main characters are usually supposed to be likeable, because nobody want’s to follow a story about some dickhead. The problem is that Araragi is basically a child molester, so how in the hell I could like him. I wouldn’t care at all if he died.

    Sigh. Monogatari would be so fucking perfect if they removed all the loli stuff.

    • Nagisa33
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      “Also if Araragi doesn’t want to tap loli ass he could just let Shinobu suck his blood whenever he wants some adult ass.”
      Hahaha! Where do you come up with this stuff!?

      I like Araragi. He was the coolest with his squeeeee~ ripped shirt and long sword though. We need some more of that.

  6. AG
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I think Araragi was not that good of a character from the start, it’s mostly his interactions with the other girls that made him interesting (which is why I dont like his interactions with Mayoi since it always goes to pedo territory). If you take that away and focus on the girls character development and make arcs from their point of view like this season did, there’s practically nothing for him to offer but his ramblings.

    Also the “pedo/pointless rambling to good stuff” ratio was always a problem for the series as it always tend to navigate to one or the other which makes the show inconsistent.

  7. Nagisa33
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting find comparing two of the OPs.

  8. Shinsei
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m having the same problem with Arararagi. This whole episode was just dialogue that went absolutely nowhere except up Hachikuji’s skirt, and I don’t think Shinbo is aware that not everyone is a lolicon like himself. I did like the part when Shinobu appeared though. If this arc is just her narrating her own past, then I’m in.

  9. Someone Else
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Araragi can’t be that bad. He kinds of act as the support character now as he creates opportunities for the girls to develop, though that also means he ends up as the side character instead which is kind of interesting in a sense that he’s supposed to be the MC. Also I like those Hachikuji and Araragi conversations actually.

    “Arararagi for Worst Girl. Hanekawa, you are off the hook for now.”
    I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be happy with that statement.

  10. Jaysus
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I guess that I’m in the minority for not caring in the slightest bit about the pedo jokes. I’ve always been a sucker for perverted MCs, since the alternative is usually the indecisive or borderline retarded MCs. For example, one of my favorite harem MCs is Tomoki from SnO.

  11. Edraii
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    CRAZY THEORY TIME!

    >Very strong bond between Araragi/Shinobu…
    >Said bond can influence both of them…
    >There are romatic feelings, if very complicated ones.
    >Shinobu spend much her time looking like a little girl
    >Due to said bond Araragi gets drawn to little girls as they resemble the one he has a bond with?

    I HEREBY FOUND THE CHURCH OF ARAGISTIC APOLOGISM!

    Unless Araragi/Shinobu kill eachother they’re the only couple that makes sense in the end… If not for that everyone else is going to die LONG before either of them bites the dust.

    I’m pretty sure that most of the Araragi/Shinobu shippers are the ones that have read Kizu… and for good reason, but typing up my take on it would be spoiler galore.

    Did Scamp actually read it or is he still waiting for the Anime? I think you should just read it nao!

    • Coolwihp
      Posted November 3, 2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      I’d be interested in your theory since I’ve read it. It was so long ago that I probably should reread it and renew my reasoning/love for my ship.

  12. Coolwihp
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Many people have related Monogatari to the harem genre(rightfully so) even though it doesn’t come off as a harem because it’s so “eccentric” in it’s storytelling and plot. And so, I find it neat that Araragi has become so stale as most harem leads are boring. Araragi was interesting at the very start which can’t be said for some harem leads, but he has inevitably spurned the same attitude from the viewers as almost every harem lead does. The main attraction in harems are the girls making Monogatari no exception to that rule, but I guess it’s the fact that Araragi was interesting at all that people feel so displeased with what his character is now.

    Also, I don’t know what this says about me but I really enjoy his interactions with Hachikuji, especially in this episode.

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