8 CommentsMonogatari Series: Second Season / By Scamp /

Monogatari Series Second Season episode 22 – Half blood prince

vlcsnap-2013-12-06-23h02m41s130As mentioned in the monthly roundup, I happen to be awfully busy right now. I’ve moved house and just started a new job so my life is really hectic. I’ve handed off the latest Samurai Flamenco post to one of my minions co-writers. Here’s Monogatari though, while it’s the weekend and I’ve still got unpacked stuff strewn about my room. Clearly anime blogging takes priority to living.

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I loved Kaiki’s scribbles in his notebook about each character and how he signified each house, particularly that the Araragi household was denoted by the ahoge. This signifying characters by a single part of their character design is a general trait in Shinbo anime, but it’s particularly strong in Monogatari. It took me forever to realise this, but even the blank screen colours reference the character the scene is referring to. Black for Araragi, purple for Senjogahara, yellow for Shinobu and so on. It’s a pretty cool technique, since anime fans reference girls by the colour of their hair regularly anyway. As an added bonus for the cost-cutting folks at Shaft, it’s also really easy and requires no animation whatsoever.

Animation has been a rare commodity in Monogatari so far. I remember one of the good things about Nisemonogatari was Shaft had time and money to do good animation and not just still frames for an entire season for a change, which gave us some wonderful camera work. Back in Monogatari there’s barely any movement, helped in part by the tendency for characters to just narrate their actions rather than perform the actions on screen.

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As much as I probably should be annoyed that the supposed Senjogahara arc is mostly Kaiki, I don’t mind too much because he’s a pretty great character in his own right. I don’t normally stop the video to read on-screen text because doing that in Monogatari will just give you a headache, but this episode had this one revelation that made me double-take and rewind to re-read. During his conversation with Nadeko about love, a screen popped up where he mentioned something about unrequited love and “she died in a car accident” and knowing love. I’m sure the specific wording of the translation could be off. It was just one of those bloody on-screen text boxes that flit up for a split second. My automatic reaction given Kaiki’s age was “OMG HE LOVED MAYOI” but they were 10 so that would be silly.

I like Kaiki because he’s a embittered old timer who makes snarky remarks about everyone around him but inside he will save them. He’s a retired light novel protagonist. The light novel protagonist that isn’t Yuji Everylead that is. It’s a bit like Gintama. Gintoki is a shounen hero who has since retired from his sword swinging lifestyle of the spiky-haired shounen protagonist since it didn’t work out so well for him, and now he just does odd-jobs for money and has loose morals. Kaiki is basically the same as Gintoki. On the other hand, if my earlier theory is true, Kaiki loved this girl but the love was unrequited and then she died so he became this embittered bloke who spent his life being mean to kids but inside is actually a big softie? Kaiki is basically Severus Snape.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    On top of that, note his particular focus on Kanbara, and specifically her mother, Gaen Tooe. Note the ED qesuence and the particular note of it ending on the image of Ononoki Yotsugi. Lastly, consider that Ononoki is a familiar made from a corpse.

    I like implications.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Ooooh we’ll see how correct you are. There’s not a whole lot of Kanbaru in Ononoki though

  2. Wodes
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    “Half-blood prince”
    I’d like to think I inspired this title
    I’m also totally in love with the throwback 90′s shoujo style OP

  3. Shikamaru
    Posted December 8, 2013 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    “Kaiki loved this girl but the love was unrequited and then she died so he became this embittered bloke who spent his life being mean to kids”

    Oh god no. Hopefully this really isn’t the case. Bad guy becoming bad guy just because something bad happened when he/she was young. This has been done WAY too many times. I don’t want to see it ever again.

    Kaiki is suprisingly good and bad at his work at the same time. Mentioning your name is pretty bad mistake. Kaiki calling Araragi a criminal was great. Because he is!

    I also really want to see series or even 1 OVA episode based on Kaiki, Oshino, Kagenui and Gaen when they were in school together.

    My top 3 characters at the moment: Nadeko>Shinobu>Kaiki Everyone else including Senjogahara are way behind these three.

    • Nagisa33
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Kaiki= best girl… I mean guy. I believe he’s up there in my top 3 as well. He’s blows Ararararararagi out of the water and I like him more than the other Ghostbusters.

      I like how Kaiki was dancing the line between life and death in talking to Nadeko. Even though she was superficially cheery (and an airhead), one wrong move and he would be snake food. It goes to show you how skilled the ghostbusters are, especially with their speaking skills. Speaking of their abilities, Kaiki’s ability to manipulate the parents was interesting. He got right in Nadeko’s house, played on their emotions, and nabbed some info. They didn’t suspect a thing. I’d say he’s very good at what he does, heck so are all the other Ghostbusters. I kept thinking of him as a devious Sherlock Holmes.

      For some reason I found that plane ride really funny. He got on, he drew silly pictures, and got off. It was really abrupt and his serious demeanor contrasted with what he was doing. Great stuff!

      • Scamp
        Posted December 8, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Now I want to see all the original ghostbusters doing their thang

    • Ramiel
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      I like how Kaiki doesn’t fight with magic or superpowerz. Really, the only thing he uses is words and wit.

  4. Pusswookie
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I would be completely fine if they subbed Kaiki in as the new protagonist.

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