16 CommentsNisemonogatari / By Scamp /

Nisemonogatari episode 3

Just as I was loading up the new Nisemonogatari episode, I paused it just as it began to get myself a hot chocolate. Lo and behold, what is the very first frame of the episode? Shaft and their wonderful obsession with close up shots of people’s eyes. I wonder if every single episode of the -monogatari series starts off with an ‘eyecatch’. Geddit? Eyecatch? Because eyecatch is the word you use for…oh never mind.

It’s the return of the meandering pointless Nision dialogue! I don’t believe in the three-episode rule many people seem to conform to. Attaching some sort of arbitrary number to the amount of time they’re willing to give something to impress is pretty dumb. But this season it’s been the third episodes of anime where my patience with little aspects of them have run their course. Nymphgear’s ‘so bad it’s good’ quality waned after episode 3. Space Pirates lack of anything happening has started to grate on my nerves. Recorder to Randsell’s lack of content beyond its concept jokes got old. With Nisemonogatari, the lack of development and pointless dialogue was running its course on my patience. What are Kanbaru and Arararagi doing, playing some friggen card game anyway? Why must you yell your damn straight man responses so much Arararagi?

It used to be the case that these meandering dialogues would be the exception rather than the norm. The conversation with Kanbaru was largely directionless, until right at the very end where they suddenly remembered “oh yeah, Kanbaru hates her family and Arararagi is worried about his own” and slotted that little piece of dialogue in. That’s where Bakemonogatari shines. I guess the problem is these dialogues from last season could be counted as introductions and setting the relationship between the characters, but this season they’re purpose is just to let Nision indulge in his nattering style. If this is what his writing looks like after an editor waded in with a chainsaw, I’d be afraid to ask what the original version looked like.

Holy crap, a man in Nisemonogatari!?! The harem paradise of teenage girls has been ruined forever! We had finally got rid of Meme and everything. I was trying to place what it was that made this guy look so creepy. His head tilts, bony appearance and ominous backgrounds were my original thoughts, but then doesn’t every character in the -monogatari series have that appearence? More likely it was just usual colour theory is plonking lots of reds and blacks everywhere. And hey, it worked. It’s easy to mock Shaft, and I shall continue doing so throughout these posts, but after watching Space Pirates and Nymphogear conduct their conversations with dull panning shots of the characters faces, it’s refreshing to have Shaft vomit all over your screen. Plus it’s a mightily improved Shaft from the one 2 and a half years ago. It’s not quite as wild, but it’s certainly more refined and calculated, and I prefer that. Like the energetic talented young footballer who matures into a gifted game-controlling playmaker.

I was starting to wonder whether I had lost my Senjogahara Fascination. I didn’t care much for her opening portion, and her drilling of Arararagi wasn’t doing much for me either. OK, she did have that fantastic line about Kanbaru putting a mirror outside her house, but for some reason her Yandere tendencies were no longer grabbing me the way they once did. I blame Yuno for this. Tying up her boyfriend in order to protect him sounds very similar to the latest twists in Future Diary. But the moment Arararagi ripped off his handcuffs, the entire scene changed tone. Of course he wasn’t in any danger, but Senjogahara has always been brutally honest so her seriousness at which she said she wanted to keep him safe perturbed me a bit. But her resulting lack of reaction when he broke free spoke volumes. In her own weird way, that was simply her showing her affection. In a…err, really weird way.

And then there was that smile. That smile! Where has that been hiding? It’s like she’s changed character. Senjogahara claims she’s tsundere, but she has never been. She likes to tell Arararagi that so he starts doubting what she says, but in reality she’s always brutally blunt and honest. Over the course of Bakemonogatari it moved from cold hostility to pre-dating flirting to awkwardness of young couple not really knowing what to do. It’s not so much that she changed than she’s actually developed. She could never have smiled like that in Bakemonogatari. Even in the romantic scene under the stars, she didn’t have the confidence to truly smile like that. I’m sorry for ever doubting you. Senjogahara Fascination is back. I’m sorry for ever leaving it.

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  1. Moomba
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    The scene with Araragi breaking free of his restraints reminded me why I really liked Bakemonogatari in the first place. Banter and wit aside (as well as his perverted nature which Nise seems to have been playing on mostly until now), Araragi was always pretty cool and it’s great to see again how his sister in danger has brought that side of him out again.

    From what I know of the series, I think we’re going to see even more development from Senjogahara.

    I too am having some issues with Miniskirt Space Pirates now – I can see no way that they’re intending to fit these developments into a larger plot. So far it seems like they’ve just opened with padding. Maybe the plot will actually kick off next episode.

    The animation quality drop in Ep 3 of Nymphogear was hilarious. I guess it’s compensation for concert scenes or something.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh god that walk cycle in Nymphogear 3 had me in stiches.They were clearly be waved about on sticks by someone standing just below the bottom of the screen

  2. ペーパー先生
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Come on Scamp, what’s not to like about eyes?!

    Anyway, I liked this episode. It finally started a semi-coherent storyline, and has found a replacement (of sorts) for Oshino. Of course its moving at the rate of a 1 legged horse, but that’s only because while Bakemonogatari was comprised of 5 stories across two books, Nisemonogatari was 2 books, with one story each.

    Besides that, I really loved the scene with Senjougahara on the phone. Just moments ago, she had been willing and ready to fight a vampire, but with a single call, she surrendered with her tail between her legs. And who was it that could boss around the infamous Senjougahara-san? Hanekawa!! And, if Senjougahara is afraid of Hanekawa, then so am I.

  3. Hogart
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    If they’ve gotta have so much dialogue I wish they’d at least make more of it go somewhere. Pointless passive-aggressive flirting is boring to me. And there really wasn’t much to look at, either. But hey, at least after 3 episodes we seem to have some sort of a plot forming.. I didn’t expect that for another ep or two.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I think I prefer just plain old agressive flirting myself

  4. Posted January 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Traitor! I can’t believe you even left.

  5. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    The Senjogahara portion of the ep has been the saving grace of the anime so far. Trust her to finally bring some proper characterisation and (gasp!) plot development into the show. You know, unless Nadeko being more forward in trying to bang Arararagi is considered pivotal to the series. Stay classy, Senjogahara!

    Again, I don’t want bash the show, I want to love it, but how matter how intelligent the sexually charged dialogue, or the creative fanservice shots are, 2 ½/3 episodes of just that is overkill! I think the people who are praising Nisemonogatari without any criticism, are just wilfully ignoring the obvious. That, or they’re unashamedly in it for the service.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Anyone who tries to claim it isn’t smut is deluding themselves

  6. Posted January 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Heh, nice to see things start to move forward finally. For better or for worse, with Nisio Isin, you know what you’re gonna get. The nice thing with his ear-bleeding levels of dialogue, though, is that he has a way of bringing things back, making things that seemed only like trivial asides early on into important themes towards the end. I wonder if Nisemonogatari will be able to do this to the level that, say, Katanagatari did, but, there are definitely some things that it is and will be cashing in on in the near future, which is pretty cool.

    There will also be a ton of fanservice as well, but, as fanservice should, as long as the underlying content is solid, it shouldn’t detract from the work.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      I believe I had this argument before, but fanservice does detract if it has nothing to do with the underlying content. Bakemonogatari’s big strength it is normally did, unlike something like Strike Witches

  7. Anonymous
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Hello Scamp. It has been a while, my apologies for that. Good to see you’re still busy, doing that which you do.

    In her own weird way, that was simply her show­ing her affec­tion. In a…err, really weird way.

    She was, but protecting him was no lie. Sometimes people have to be protected from themselves. In this episode we got bluntly hammered with, by everyone mentioning, Araragi being a nice guy.

    As for “meandering dialogue”, have you been missing the delicious Chekov’s gun? And the bluff fire this episode alone? I suspect it’s a bluff shot at least. Regardless, Shaft making more Bakemonogatari. Delicious.

  8. Posted January 23, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    The title for a recent series with a really looooong build-up still goes to Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere.

    Personally I loved the supposedly meandering pointless dialogue between Kanbaru and Araragi. It very nicely set the scene for the interrogation by and of Senjougahara later, reminded us about the awkward dynamic between Senjougahara and Hanekawa as well as warned about Sengoku (absolutely loved that Real Last Boss line?).

    I also liked how the episode revealed more back history – linking Kanbaru’s mom and Kaiki as well as between Senjougahara and Kaiki. Or rather made just a bit more explicit things that have already been lurking in the background.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I liked those specific parts of Kanbaru’s dialogue too, but there’s too much fluff surrounding those specific parts that means nothing

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted January 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Watching this show is kind of like watching condensed Bleach, or any other never ending shounen; It has some good stuff surrounded with fillers

    Posted January 24, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I think the seemingly pointless dialogue was just to give a taste of what already happend, thats why it seemed like nothing was moving forward. Re-introducing the characters in their newly found sex appeal prepping us for the king…or queen–senjougahara. Now the real show starts. & it is interesting to see how this anime develops as she shows more affection & shows signs of normality.

  10. idiffer
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    i like the dialouge the same as i enjoy talking to ppl in real life. there is a certain beauty to the monogatari dialogue partially because it’s pointless and has that feel of RL conversation. at least your “what were we talking about before we went off on this unrelated tangent” is very real for, well, ALOT of ppl. and i hold realism in high regard (related to interpersonal interactions mostly, and imho that is the part that SHOULD stay real).
    what bothers me that in monogatari, alot of the times they voice the dumbest shit on earth with their mouths. also realistic, but very annoying. a series of this caliber should topple these not so complicated topics without having characters spout bullshit.

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