Well this is awkward. After posting a pretty comprehensive rundown of why light novel adaptations are a load of old trollop, I’m now going to sing the praises for this light novel adaptations about a token male lead who gained super powers through no effort on his part, has a magical girlfriend literally fall into his arms and tosses in tons of fanservice to boot. Let’s just ignore this embarrassing juxtaposition and talk Monogatari shall we?
I got a huge kick out of Arararagi’s mother appearing. Firstly, she has a goddamn ahoge! It runs in the family. Secondly, I do love how they tease what she looks like, never fully centring the screen on her. Much like Senjogahara’s dad, it’s like the show doesn’t want to acknowledge they exist as people, but rather as a collection of parts and a disembodied voice. Important, but it’s not important how they look. My running theory through the Monogatari universe is that what we see is only what Arararagi will acknowledge as being important to exist. Hence why we never see the boyfriends of his sisters. He refuses to see them or hear about them, so from our perspective they don’t exist even if the sisters talk about them. Call it audience surrogate for not wanting to face the fact their kawaii imouto waifus might not be pure.
The best thing about Arararagi’s mother though? That she had very similar speech patterns and mannerisms and general personality to Senjogahara. Good old Oedipus, it’s said that the woman you marry will resemble your mother, or if you’re a girl, your father. I guess that means Arararagi will turn out like Senjogahara’s dad.
Now I get to complain about the Monogatari series not being aired in the correct order. Or to put it another way, goddamnit Shaft just animate Kizumonogatari already because I don’t have the foggiest clue who this guy is supposed to be. It’s ridiculous really. The ordering has gone 3 > 4 > 2 > 5 leaving 1 in this weird state of limbo. They announced they were going to animate Kizumonogatari about 3 years ago now. What are the staff who were supposed to be working on Kizu doing anyway? Sitting around picking their noses and flinging the snot balls at each other? Did a drunken party go horribly wrong and all the storyboards were used to clean up spilled vodka by a hungover intern? Or have they all ended up in hospital after trying to recreate poses from the movie and are now all bothering nurses about the horrible cricks in their necks?
Then we get this girl. I love how, instead of standing in typical Shaft poses, she holds her body like a proper gansta’ yo sheet bro fo’ real yeah I is proper gansta’ like. I’m a little disappointed Nisioisin didn’t write her dialogue proper gangster style. Instead she speaks very normal, if anything a little cutesy. I suppose it’s supposed to be a deliberate contrast since she’s the cutest of the four Ghostbusters. On that note, I love how the four Ghostbusters are each frightening in their own strange way. Oshino Meme gives off this aura like he could snap your neck at any time but chooses not to because he has his own agenda. Plus he acts like he’s king of his own little world, what with him living in that abandoned schoolhouse with a pile of desks as his throne. Kaiki was creepy in a slimeball, loan-shark, accountant from hell way. You wanted to look down on him, but there’s always that feeling that he has the upper hand and you just don’t realise it. The girl from last season is more straight asshole, like she can’t be bothered to deal with you and you are a mere nuisance in her way and the only reason you haven’t been crushed beneath her mighty platform boots is because she’s straining herself to be polite.
Finally we have rapper chick, whose cuteness and silly mannerisms and dress sense barely conceal that she is dangerously smart and knows everything about you. Like a secret service agent who has downloaded beingnicetopeople.exe and downloaded moderndresssense.ddl but hasn’t quite grasped the subtleties. What I like about each one of them is you always feel like they know way more than you and way more than the main characters. They’re dangerous people who are far beyond the power of even the most powerful of oddities that you see in this series. I said this at the end of Nisemonogatari, but now that we’ve seen the final member of their team, I think it’s worth repeating. I would love to see a prequel where we follow the stories of Meme and co. in university as they go about their Ghostbusting duties. Then again, we’re still waiting on Kizumonogatari, so maybe that’s too much to hope for.