21 CommentsMonogatari Series: Second Season / By Scamp /

Monogatari Series Second Season episode 9 – A world with no Senjogahara

vlcsnap-2013-09-02-20h27m04s229A world with no Senjogahara is the one I live in, the one you live in, the one all we real non-fictional people (and most fictional people too) live in. Yet we are able to continue on with our lives without collapsing in despair and do you know why? Because we never lived in a world that Senjogahara existed in. We can’t miss what we never had. But for those who live in the Monogatari series, to have a world where Senjogahara did exist and now doesn’t? That is the true tragedy here. Oh and I guess friends and family and everyone they ever knew being turned into mindless zombies is also sad. I suppose you could find the zombie that used to be Senjogahara. Just lift up the skirt of each zombie and the one that has stationary equipment fall out of its knickers is Senjogahara.

vlcsnap-2013-09-02-20h25m58s86I’ve always had a fetish for post-apocalyptic landscapes. A creepy statement perhaps, but thankfully I’m in an understanding relationship with my readers and I can talk openly about my fetishes for an entire world being bombarded by toothbrushes and won’t be judged for it. I was particularly excited to see the Monogatari version of the post-apocalypse. I’ve masturba-I mean looked at many different artistic interpretations of the post apocalypse but Monogatari has such a wildly different artstyle. So what was the Shinbo/Nisioisin interpretation of when humanity has kicked the bucket? A stark wasteland where only the architecture, left as remnants of our civilisation, spread uniformly as far as the eye could see in uniform colours, clearly built for millions of people yet with nobody in sight.

Which is different from how Monogatari usually looks because…ummm…well actually it’s basically the same Monogatari except the gardener has been slacking off a bit. I still really liked the imagery, but it did basically look like Monogatari always does except everything is a bit grimier like it had been re-purposed as a modern first person shooter. The complete annihilation of the population loses a little something when Monogatari exists in a world where there are no people anyway. Still looks cool though.

vlcsnap-2013-09-02-20h32m44s41

When Shinobu started explaining what had happened with her causing the apocalypse, I was originally a little disappointed because I was secretly hoping this was all Mayoi’s fault. Because of some random time-travelling teenage boy sexually harassing her when she was 10 years old, she went on to become a super-villain and destroy the world. Then we would get to see older Mayoi, now 25 years old, as a supervillain wearing a cape and a revealing outfit like all evil supervillain ladies do because you can’t be sexy without also being evil. Or was that the other way around?

But we didn’t get that. Instead it was revealed that it was Shinobu’s fault because of something that I can’t remember. Originally I thought I couldn’t remember because it happened in Kizumongatari and that thing still hasn’t been made yet because they’re using real blood from Shinbo’s own body to paint the fight scenes and it takes a while for his body to regenerate the lost fluid. But actually it was from the final arc in Bakemonogatari. You know, the one that was aired online in something like 120p streams because they didn’t plan their TV broadcast properly and there were several month long breaks between the three episodes so even at the time I couldn’t remember what happened between episodes at the time, let alone 4 years down the line. However that may just be me and my terrible memory. I had planned to rewatch the entire Monogatari series after…wait for it….Kizumonogatari came out and I could watch it all in chronological order.

vlcsnap-2013-09-02-21h58m57s68

Hey Shinobu, I’ve got a great idea. Let’s let off fireworks so everyone can see us.

Perfect! I’ll get the sparklers.

I know I go on about Kizumonogatari a lot, but this arc especially shows the problem in not animating it yet. Shinobu’s story is based on how her relationship changed with Arararagi over time. How she’s no longer a monster who destroys with little thought to a person who actually cares about someone else. This development is a little lost when we don’t see the first part, so the emotional heart of the story doesn’t hold as much impact as it should. If anything, I feel like the entire Monogatari series is actually the story of Shinobu and Arararagi’s relationship. All the other girls are just people he’s met as a result of Shinobu. It’s their love story, not Senjogahara’s.

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21 Comments

  1. Aldonaris
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Well, you know, Hitagi might be the love of his life … but his human life will only be as long as Senjougahara and the merry band can be. ¿ 50, 60 years maybe ? After that, and only if Arararagi keeps on being half-vampite to help girls on the go, the only life ahead is one with Shinobu. Forever, and ever. It seems to be something that both of them accepted at this point, or even before in the bath (je).

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I had something to say to you, but then I noticed your username was AldoNaris aka the second worst anime character ever and I forgot everything in a red mist of hate

  2. Posted September 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Actually, you were on the right track in thinking of Kizumonogatari wrt Shinobu destroying the world. The key moment was in Tsubasa Cat, when Shinobu ran away, and Koyomi molested Mayoi before getting a tip from her that she saw her near Mr. Donut. But Shinobu’s secret plan to destroy the world and commit suicide was impossible to know, because she never told Koyomi in that arc. It’s only in Kizumonogatari that we actually learn of Shinobu’s (or actually Heart-Under-Blade’s) motivations and personality, which are entirely consistent with her actions in this apocalyptic version. Not that anyone could have predicted this, but the explanation makes a lot of sense with Kizu in mind.

    Also, Mayoi would be 10+11=21. Not 25.

    I don’t think fetishizing post apocalyptic landscapes is anything to be ashamed of of or all that rare. There’s something somber yet beautiful about them. I really liked the cold open to this one, where we got just a bunch of shots of the landscape and absolutely no conversation. I think that may be the first scene in this series where no one talked.

    • Nagisa33
      Posted September 4, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      I think post apocalyptic landscapes are both intriguing and beautiful. Something about them is quite captivating.

      In my environmental psych class we talked about a place being captivating and restorative. For a place to be restorative it must have 4 aspects: Fascination- effortlessly capture your attention, Extent- hold your attention, Being away- free from responsibilities or worries, and Compatibility- a good match between personal inclinations and purposes. Also, I just like to share psych info.

      Basically, it’s the difference between looking at a mountain with a beautiful sunrise and a parking lot. It explains why one is more interesting and captivating than the other.

      This episode reminded me of 28 Days Later with the zombies coming out only at night, the urban setting, and the beautiful day and night transitions.

      I thought this episode worked well even without the knowledge from Kizumonogatari. It keeps me guessing and pleasantly surprised, even if I am a bit confused at certain reveals.

    • philippeo
      Posted September 4, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      I don’t think fetishizing post apocalyptic landscapes is anything to be ashamed of of or all that rare.

      Agree with this.

      National Geographic have article about empty city on N-Dakota, Macchu Picchu, etc

      Sankaku have article about Empty Village in Japan that quite popular

      There are even several manga about near empty world like Kabu No Isaki and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The post-apocalyptic landscape that gets me more than any is Chernobyl, because it practically was an apocalypse as far as those involved were concerned. It was the perfect kind, the one that forces all the people to leave but leaves all the buildings intact. It’s the perfect prototype of what the world will look like after the nuclear apocalypse or whatever

  3. R1CK_D0M
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    your tags make me want to experience apocalypse now again. That being said I’d totally be ok with MC x Shinobu

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      MC X Shinobu is only OK if she turns back into that form we saw at the end of Nisemonogatari with the ponytail and the doughnut hoodie

  4. Someone Else
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    OK so what’s your opinion that Shinobu is now the woobie of the arc? I mean every arc has one of the girls as the woobie because hey this is harem anime and harem anime is about the girls (And their q_q feels). I actually expected Mayoi to be the one considering that it’s titled Mayoi Jiangshi. I think it feels sudden since the build up was scattered through different arcs of other girls compared to Hanekawa (yes I have to bring her up because best girl) where problems arise after a few reasonable events.

    Also Kizu isn’t even out yet… it’s killing me to think that this arc is going to be a whole Kizu tease

    And the first post for this makes me want to see the next episode because of the possibility of who will be the survivor (is it?) on the cliffhanger http://w3.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/1lgx5g/spoilers_monogatari_series_second_season_episode/

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I thought it would be Mayoi too, but I’m starting to realise this entire show is actually about Shinobu. We just haven’t realised it yet because Bake came first and she was completely silent in that.

      • Raymondjram
        Posted September 12, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

        This is why Kizumonogatari needs to be animated, because their relationship began in that story. I read the light novel translation at Baka-Tsukihi, and it has several very important scenes between them, even at the end. Some of the other Monogatari novels has more dialogs between them, but were edited out in the anime.

        So for those who want to understand how Koyomi and Shinobu met, try to read Kizumonogatari.

  5. DarkEnergy
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    FUCKING Kizumonogatari. At this point, I think Shinbo is just trolling us until it’s finished.

    Also, I think there should be an entry in the Franchises section for all the Monogatari stuff. And if someone can put the manga/novels in order too, that would be great.

    Also, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned anything about this interpretation of zombies. I think it’s pretty cool. Do they even crave brains? They remind me of the Anti-Spiral race from Gurren Lagann.

    • Scamp
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      There is a Monogatari section on the Franchises page. No light novel ordering though.

  6. Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    “I feel like the entire Monogatari series is actually the story of Shinobu and Arararagi’s relationship. All the other girls are just people he’s met as a result of Shinobu. It’s their love story, not Senjogahara’s.”

    SCAMP ADMITS SHINOBU IS BEST GIRL
    YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST

    I never really liked Senjougahara anyway. Realistically, dating someone like that just becomes annoying after a while

    • Pusswookie
      Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      I thought Shinobu was the best as soon as she started talking in Nisemonogatari but always wondered if that was kind of…pedophile-y. I actually like her for her personality though, as opposed to her [strike]sweet sweet[/strike] prepubescent body.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Well darn, still not used to this page’s code I guess.

      • Nagisa33
        Posted September 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        I’m no better at it. I should have cited my source up there and learning all the tricks seems fun. When I have one tiny success with coding I feel accomplished. Hahahaha!

      • Scamp
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Code like this wooh

        ::edit:: yah I think the coding in the comments broke sometime recently

      • Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        It’s not Pedophile-y, because she’s technically hundreds of years old. She’s actually the cougar here.
        And yes, I will continue to have at least one comment per post reminding everyone that Shinobu is legal because SHINOBU IS BEST GIRL

  7. Pusswookie
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a pretty massive hard on for post apocalyptic environments and movies/shows/games with them in it as well. It’s hands down my favorite setting.
    Really drugged up after tooth surgery though, so I can’t for the life of me tell you why.

  8. TienesMilanesas
    Posted September 4, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, without Kizu the whole suicide-destroy the world thingy seems out of blue. Neverminding the fact that they haven’t explained the whole monogatari powerlevels yet.
    Also, we might see either adult Hachikuji or someone like Oshino if they managed to survive.

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