20 CommentsMonogatari Series: Second Season / By Scamp /

Monogatari Series Second Season episode 19 – Where are we?

vlcsnap-2013-11-12-00h02m00s76There was a very strange moment in this episode of Monogatari when Araragi wakes up and asks where he is. The two characters take a look around and both proclaim they are not exactly sure where they are. The camera then pulls out to reveal scaffolding. I’m so used to the scenery around the Monogatari characters only existing in the abstract that to have them comment on their surroundings and try to place it was a little disconcerting. Wherever the hell they ended up, at least it does look quite nice indeed.

vlcsnap-2013-11-11-23h56m24s66I’m willing to call this episode the best of the arc so far, if only because we got to see character interaction that didn’t directly involve Araragi (I lose track of how many ra’s in Araragi all the time). Shinobu and Mayoi trying to fight each other was entertaining, and seeing various characters getting under Shinobu’s skin is fun. When she lords it over everyone she gets a bit insufferable so dragging her down a few pegs and showing her petty side is a lot of fun. Even Ononoki was fun this episode. She’s still pretty far down on the character chart though. If I was to do the character rankings I’d go:

Senjogahara >>> Kanbaru > Kaiki > Meme > Izuko > Shinobu > Nadeko > Mayoi > Ougi > Karen > Tsukihi > Kagenui > Ononoki > Hanekawa >>> Araragi.

vlcsnap-2013-11-11-23h54m37s21I’m done with Araragi. He’s not so bad when he’s an abstract concept the other characters talk about, but the more screen-time he takes up the more I start to despise the guy. It’s starting to detract from other characters too, making me wonder why Senjogahara puts up with this guy. Even if we leave aside the fact that he gropes unconscious children, which I’m not going to leave aside because it’s fucked up that this is presented as hilarious oh so wacky Araragi but let’s leave it aside anyway, he’s a boring static character at this stage. I don’t care about his story because there’s nowhere else for it to go. Please can we get back to arcs that are told from a different character’s perspective? I would take another arc with Hanekawa at this stage.

I wonder whether it’s just this arc that’s wearing me out. Part of me wants to say this is where my enjoyment of Monogatari has ended, but only a few weeks ago I was calling this season of Monogatari the best yet. At least Gaen Izuko has shown up. I really enjoyed her brief cameo last time around, so maybe she can breath some life back into this arc. If not, then welp, at least the next won’t be told from Araragi’s point of view…right? It won’t be, right? He’ll disappear for the entire thing just like he did for Hanekawa’s arc, right?

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  1. Posted November 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Kizumonogatari taking forever to release might be coming back to bite SHAFT in the ass now…

    • Zirthiel
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      No it won’t. For better or worse they are definitely going to sell DVD/Blu-rays in tens of thousands like they always do. You are underestimating or overestimating their buyer base.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        It has been steadily dropping in sales year after year. Still one of the best selling anime of all time mind you.

  2. Baphomet
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Did Araragi even have his own story? Whatever little there was, it was over with Kizu anyway.

    • Fellow
      Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Volume 14 (we’re on volume 11 in the anime now, though we skipped volume 9) is called “Koyomimonogatari”, and volume 17 is known as “Koyomi Book”, so I don’t think it’s quite over yet.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      He was a disenfranchised angsty teen in Bake, and gradually grew out of that skin. That’s what I quite liked about him.

  3. DarkEnergy
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    As far as visuals and story (but not characters, yet), I’m liking Kyousougiga more than Monogatari right now. The ending of episode 5 in Kyousougiga really hit me emotionally and I’m giving it a 9/10 currently.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Bit early for me to make a judgement on Monogatari vs Kyosogiga, but I will happily jump on the ‘Kyosogiga is great’ bandwagon.

  4. Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Been thinking about how to keep a developed character interesting ever since I finished Book of Bantorra, which started off with characters that were already developed and used that fact to tell the story. Now I don’t think Arararagi ever really had a “character” to begin with, but from what I know from keeping up with the series, it looks like Monogatari has fallen into the pitfall of not knowing what to do with a character after the story is done. Maybe I’ll write something about the issue in the future.

  5. SoulMonkee
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Considering Kanbaru´s arc is going to be OVA, the next arc should be told by Kaiki.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard elsewhere by people who read the books that that isn’t true, just a rumour proliferated by slash aye. But hey, if it is true, that would be awesome

  6. Someone Else
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    …Somehow I have mixed feelings that Hanekawa isn’t at the bottom but being next to bottom is…*sigh*

    Anyways, I must say this is the problem with this arc. Monogatari is impressive when it tells something in abstract form however in this arc it tells us everything directly that it makes the audience have very little to think about and Araragi suffers from it. The arc itself is too boring and so it makes it seem that everyone is

  7. Zirthiel
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Scamp, man the fuck up. If you are going to bitch every episode about Arararararagi your blog coverage of this show will become very boringly repetitive.

    Also while the 3 lolis have preadolescent bodies every single one of them is probably lived over 16, 18, 20 years. Whatever the arbitrary number your cultivated morale uses. So in fact one would be entirely correct in saying that he isn’t fondling children. I don’t know what you would call them but children is not a term that fits.

    Look I don’t approve of pedophilia in the slightest. But note that in Japan people have different views than Westerners and this is made for Japanese public. Discussing issues of moral form only your point of view is plainly stupid.

    Also who the hell cares if there is no character development for Arararararagi! Not every character needs or has to have it. He is a completed person after all his experiences that haven’t been shown but have been hinted. Does a character have to constantly keep evolving to tingle your fancy?

    • Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      They have an old soul so it’s not creepy! Keep telling yourself that bro. Nice cop out.

      “Look I don’t approve of pedophilia in the slightest.” Following that with a “but” says a lot. Justification or rationalisation is passive approval bro.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Beat me to it~

        I too love the “it’s not really pedophillia if she’s actually 1000 years old” excuse. Almost as much as I love the “it’s not pedophillia, it’s cultural differences you don’t understand” excuse.

    • Zirthiel
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      So apparently it is a crime to recognize that other peoples views are different than mine? And I ain’t going and am not defending it. In India and some Arab countries it is not that uncommon for a males to throw acid at women’s faces if they rejected them or offended them in some ways. Do i recognize that it happens there and some people apparently there think it’s normal behavior? Yes. Do it think that kind of thinking is FUBAR? Yes I do think it’s FUBAR. Do i think that people like that should be obliterated from the face of the Earth? Yes I do.

      Just because I understand why someone does something doesn’t mean that I passively approve of them. Get of your high horse. There is a lot of points of view in this world and I was just saying that however despicable something may seems there are circumstances to everything that happens in this world. In this case it was pretty obvious that Scamp hasn’t really put a lot of thought in his argument beyond the standard Western morale lineage. That is all.

      Also we have laws to protect people. The reason that most countries (unfortunately it isn’t so everywhere) that prohibits sexual relation with minors isn’t becuse their bodies haven’t matured it’s because their mind haven’t matured. Minors are impressionable and gullible and therefor can be exploited.

      By your logic people that have stumped growth should be looked at sexual prospects because they have underdeveloped bodies. Even thought their might be already responsible and full realized adults. I think that is insulting. -.-

      Also by your logic any persons option should be dismissed if there is a but anywhere in their sentence. Especially if that suits your own conformism and moral values. I didn’t think that pretty much everything in this world is a black and white issue. Did i miss that memo?

      Also you are attacking me and not attacking the argument so form that i conclude that you are not really arguing my argument.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t answer properly because arguing with people who are defending Japan’s culture of sexualisation of youth is tiresome and the people arguing for it always skeevs me out. But hey, since you’re in the mood:

        The excuse of “she just looks 10” is used so they don’t have to actually confront the reality of pedophilia so they can hide behind that. Don’t try to pretend the fondling of Mayoi has anything to do with the fact she thinks like an older woman. It’s the fetishing of that young girl aesthetic.

        Your original point of saying it’s pointless to discuss this is fucking stupid. Why is it pointless to criticise something based on moral standing? It defeats the entire point of criticism if everything can be passed off as being part of a culture. America fetishes guns, which is fucked up and I will criticise its entertainment for as much regardless of whether it comes from my European upbringing.

        You said yourself that something being part of someone’s culture doesn’t make it OK, so why shouldn’t I criticise Japan’s culture of sexualising youth? I’ve writing about anime for over 5 years and you really think I haven’t properly thought about the amount of loli material? Yes I will stay on my moral high horse, because when a moral high horse happens to be against sexualising children, then it’s not a horse that’s particularly high off the ground.

  8. shytende
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that keeps him for being the worst is his VA. Because, it’s clearly the only reason people would fall for him at this point.

  9. Nagisa33
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Pedobear strikes again and this time he strikes at three girls!

    In all seriousness, why is pedophilia a cultural aspect in Japan?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I’m quite interested in the answer to that question, but I’m afraid googling it might put me on government watch lists

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