What a fantastic looking hairdo you have there Hanekawa. Classy while being avant-garde. It’s a look that reflects your new personality where you embrace the non-perfect parts and become more vain and self-centred. Plus the stripes and the white reflect those two parts of you that you rejected before. Instead of rejecting who you were once before, which is what a hairstyle change this unusual usually reflects, this hairstyle is the symbol of you accepting every part of you for a change. It actually makes you stand out instead of being yet another anime girl. All in all I’d say this is a big step in the right direction to move you up the Monogatari Girl Rankings, no longer sitting down the bottom of the rung alongside Nadeko and finally becoming…
Noooooooooooooooooooooooo why did you dye it!?!? Wasn’t the whole point of this arc for you not to hide these parts of you anymore? What’s the point of the visual imagery if we’re going to hide them? Pah, back to being Worst Girl.
I’ve been trying to work out why it is people like Hanekawa. If it’s because she’s some sort of perfect nice girl who is very polite and wonderful, then this episode kinda throws all that back in your face. Not that it changed Hanekawa, but that you are a terrible person for desiring that trait in a character. By repressing her stress and her envy, Hanekawa became White as Senjogahara would put it, or Bland as I would put it. It was only when she was able to bring those parts of her back into her personality could she start to feel comfortable with who she was. By repressing it she not only hurt herself but those around her who cared for her.
I may be all harsh on Hanekawa, but I did actually like this story a lot and how it wrapped up. At least, once they finally wrapped up and stopped showing photographs from her holidays. I get that it was supposed to be a metaphor, but it went on for a little too long. It felt like the conclusion to a story that they’ve been building up with Hanekawa for a long time, and the fact it took me this long for the pieces to click together shows a fine storytelling hand at work. Or it could just be that I’m thick, which I’m sure Hanekawa fans will agree with.
Meanwhile, Arararagi comes back a bit of a changed character. My memory is a little fuzzy here, but from what I remember, Araragi was a put-upon everyman, slightly cynical but ultimately a nice guy. You know, your typical male harem lead. He only got a free pass thanks to witty dialogue and because they took the visualisation of the harem lead’s viewpoint and made it the centrepoint style of the whole show. Now Arararagi is apparently a cross between Kamina and Edward from Twilight. He’s already bearing half of his chest there in his artfully tattered hoodie, with the back half looking eerily like a cape. I mean heck, look at the sword.
Don’t mind me, I’m just going to leisurely toss this giant fire breathing tiger over my shoulder. I didn’t toss in that Edward from Twilight comparison in just because he’s a sexy vampire by the way. The entire arc was about a bland female lead who has teenage girl problems like jealousy and needing her own space, but is perfectly nice on the outside. Then she stands up for herself until the sexy male character, who just so happens to also be a vampire, swoops in and saves the day while being all understanding and listening to her problems while being slightly patronising at the same time. Maybe this is the natural progression of the harem lead. He starts as an everyman and eventually becomes every woman’s wet dream.