There 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.
I’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.
I’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?