36 CommentsNisemonogatari / By Scamp /

Nisemonogatari episode 5

Editing the pictures both for this post and the sidebar image was a bit of a challenge due to the spirals. I really like how they look and the unease they created in the scene, so I wanted my entire post to feature them, but after barely 10 seconds of looking at the picture my head started to spin and I felt sick. So congrats to Nisemonogatari for making me feel queasy in a slightly different way to how it usually does.

Opening conversation between Arararagi and his sister was stupid, unfunny and pointless, doing nothing to advance either character and served no purpose other than Nision masturbating through a pen. Bleh, skip this scene and onto The Good Stuff.

Now this I fucking loved. I wasn’t so convinced by our new villain after his first appearance. It had that Another problem of going “ooh isn’t this scary ooh” while absolutely nothing was happening (granted, it was only happening during his scene, but anything looks good when compared to Another). But this episode cemented why this guy is creepy. Kaiki is a completely heartless creature, in an almost matter-of-fact way, yet with just enough of a sneer to his way of phrasing everything that it made you uneasy. Everything about the scene contributed to that effect. I talked about the spirals before, but there were other things such as how Arararagi’s sister started the scene in fiery mood, only to gradually lose confidence and eventually descend to pure fear as things progressed. There was something about the music and the gradual zooming in on our creepy villain that heightened the danger the longer the scene went on.

I really like characters that have a unique way of viewing the world and that governs how they act. Once you understand the logic that drives their psyche, it enables you to understand why they act the way they do. It’s one of the things I think Future Diary does really well with its side characters. Kaike’s logic runs like one of the most corrupt capitalists you could imagine. Everyone understands the value of money, and everything can be solved with that. Every deed can be justified if it’s done for money because both sides understand that. Or something along those lines anyway. Now I’m no economist, but his reasoning did seem pretty flimsy, but Karen can’t combat his statements because she’s been rattled. This dude is in control. I mean, look at this picture.

The floor fucking warps around his feet. He is in complete control of this mindfuck, and that’s what made it so compelling. But I did find myself wondering what a good counter to him would be. Inevitably someone is going to take him on in a war of words, because this is Nision. Of course he’s going to solve everything use word puzzles and sleights of vocabulary that I probably won’t get because it involves puns using kanji. But in such a situation, what would be the counter-argument to this guy’s claim that everything he did was legit because it fueled the capitalist machine? At a wild shot:

The capitalist system is based on a concept of trust in the value of money. This jacket was as advertised as a jacket before I bought it, and is a jacket when I got it. As a scam artist, you are not giving the money the value the people handing it believe it has. You are not feeding the capitalist machine, you are destroying it.

Yeah man, getting all neo-liberal up in this shit. Not sure if this is even the best argument, because I’m not entirely sure how Kaiki views the system. Maybe he just infected the girls (eewww) and then sold them the cures later? Or were they even cures at all? I’m still a bit confused on those exact details. There is the other fact that he’s just playing up his capitalist views to pretend he has a moral grounding, but so long as you get him to admit that then you’ve won the verbal duel. I’d be interested if any commenters can come up with a better retort, although I’d say 90% of you are bored silly by this (and the remaining 10% saying “come on man, that’s not neo-liberal at all, get your new age political terms correct”).

Rest of the episode? Some pedo incest stuff bla de bla I need to take a shower to rub all this smut out of my system.

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36 Comments

  1. Moomba
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m not 100% sure, but wasn’t Sengoku the only one who developed any sort of curse because of the rumours he spread? And only because she went and tried to cure it by sacrificing snakes and stuff? So yeah, assuming I’m not wrong, I don’t think he’s going around infecting people with his diseases (though he could be given what he did to Karen) which would make him just your typical conman selling fake charms.

    Also, I apologise for being picky but as cool as they are, those techinically aren’t spirals :P

    • Crazyapple
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      That’s exactly what makes him so bad. If he was a common conman selling fakes then he wouldn’t be a problem. And if he was as knowledgeable as Oshino then he could keep things under control while he scammed grade school children.

      But he’s a morally corrupt conman who is using the supernatural as a scam. Except he’s really causing supernatural things to happen, knowingly or not.

      What’s that saying? I can’t remember but the point is; a bad man who knows what he’s doing is dangerous. A bad man who only thinks he knows what he’s doing is far more dangerous.

      I think Araragi said something to that effect.

      And that pretty much is what he’s doing. Just like with Nadeko. He’s giving people the curses to use (likely on others, as in Nadeko’s case) and then when the victims show up he sales them the cure. He’s playing both sides of the field to maximize profit. That’s good business! And it’s terrible!

      Also yeah, Nisemonogatari needs to cool it with the pedo stuff. The Shinobu scene didn’t really bother me much because it just didn’t seem perverted, I mean it clearly intended to be, but she’s a tiny girl. So I just kind of imagined the whole thing being akin to taking a bath with your daughter. Plus the sudden vampire talk was so interested I couldn’t really be bothered by anything else.

      But the sister things is getting old fast. Mayoi doesn’t really bother me either, Araragi is harmless, and they just have a silly relationship. A little weird sure, but not really perverted.

      I know Araragi is a harmless character which excuses the occasional naughty bits. But it’s getting downright tasteless and if it keeps up much longer I’m going to have to step away from the series. I imagine Senjogahara will show up eventually, and that will be the end of all his pervy hijinks.

      Have to give the show credit for the Araragi fanservice though, not many shows will do something like that because it might scare off the sexually confused and frustrated Japanese teen boys watching the show.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Yeah you both have kinda lost me on what exactly his scheme is. I’ll wait and see if Nisemonogatari explains it better in the next episode. All I seem to know now is that he’s a Bad Man

      • guy
        Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        lol

  2. RogerMoore
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Someone should make a cut of this series without all the creepy loli/incest shit. It would be brilliant.

    • Sarukah
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      For real. I really can’t take anymore of this garbage.

    • Rowsdower
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      And five minutes long.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I’ve gotten to the stage where I just accept it as part of the -monogatari package. It doesn’t excuse it, but I’m sorta done getting annoyed by it

  3. Posted February 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what to think of Nisemonogatari. I love it, but still feel it’s rather… what do you say… pointless? Just some witty dialogues with a story added. I bit of an exaggeration, but maybe you get me? Nision masturbating through a pen.

  4. ペーパー先生
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure Kaiki is the Anti-Oshino. Oshino helps people, Kaiki screws them over. Oshino smokes, Kaiki drinks. Oshino wears Hawaiian tee-shirts, Kaiki wears a suit. Oshino operates out of an abandoned cram school, Kaiki works from a ROOM MADE OF FUCKING TELEVISONS!!!

    • Shogun
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

      I like this view on his character.

      Oshino makes a living by calming a balance upset, while kaiki upsets the balance and leaves it in tatters once you drop the cash.

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I really hope the “war of words” foretold by Scamp is between Oshino and Kaiki. How amazing would that be?

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I like this view too. Particularly the clothes differences is an interesting take on the two of them

  5. Posted February 5, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    I must not be the 1st or last to tell you this, but I think you might be overthinking Kaiki’s philosophy. I don’t think Nisio is someone who writes that deep. Kaiki is just a selfish sociopath. You’re right, though, Nisio being Nisio, it’s all gonna come down to a battle of words.

    On that note, the dude’s name is Isin Nisio, or Nisioisin as he’s branded himself. Not Nision. Nisio would work fine.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I wasn’t overthinking it, I was simply rephrasing what he said in the episode. The dude’s philosohpy is clearly not as complex as that, but that’s the philosophy he pretends to have. Also overthinking anime is what I do yo

      • Posted February 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Also overthink­ing anime is what I do yo

        Lol, fair enough. And, after all, though Nisio has been (accurately, IMHO) called a “hack,” he is entitled to anything and everything that anyone reads in his works. I suppose you can go as deep as you want, and that’s what makes for fun reading.

        Though I must admit, your comment about boring the readers rung true to me… And I’m a huge economics nerd! ;p

  6. giromaster
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    you know those aren’t spirals, they are in fact concentric circles. That’s probably the reason why you felt dizzy, concentric black and white circles not only look like spirals but they also appear to spin, when in fact they don’t spin at all in the whole scene. I’m not saying this just to nitpick but to point out how those “spirals” where a really nice styllistic choice, a clever implementation of an optic illusion wich reminds me somewhat of the famous chase scene in “The thief and the cobbler”.

  7. lmm
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The free market assumes perfect information, so you could say anyone making money through information asymmetry is breaking that. But actually the whole capitalist system is based on exploiting that asymmetry – anyone making any money will be doing so – on the basis that exploiting that kind of knowledge always leaks it to the market.

    So ultimately I think the way to prove Kaike wrong is simply to beat him on his own terms – to show that con artists ultimately earn less money than legitimate businessmen. This is, in fact, true (and would be true even if everyone acted out of pure self-interest – things like professional certification bodies can easily arise out of pure capitalism. There’s even an argument that this is precisely how legal systems arose)

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I like that idea of simply conning the con man, but I don’t think there’s anyone in this series capable of doing that. Bar Oshino I guess, and he’s left the stage. To be honest, I think Arararagi’s sister had the right idea. Just punch the dude in the face and chase him out of town

  8. Posted February 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there is a way for any of the characters in the story to disprove Kaiki in his own game. After all it is his own Philosophy and his way of thinking, whether there’s holes or not like the example Scamp gave, is something that is in his system already. Araragi can add a viewpoint but that won’t change him being a conman/being a villain in this series. After all as many people pointed out, he is the Anti-Oshino.

    Oshino knows everything about what he knows so Kaiki should be the same; albeit giving the opposite effect. Though Oshino is more of an observer while Kaiki is acting as a villain in the series so things might work out differently.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      I think you can destroy someone’s old logic by forcing them to face the flaws. Again, that’s what Future Diary does. Almost every one of the villains, from the seeing eye girl to the policeman, were finished off by having their own logic system destroyed by highlighting the flaws in it. But he’s also lying through his teeth in the first place, so technically there is no logic system. Destroying it wouldn’t change him at all

  9. Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Capitalist system? Bullshit. That’s just the writers conning you into thinking it’s some smart shit. It’s really just “Kaiki’s a greedy prick.”

    The things this show lacks the most (apart from an episode free of pedo smut) is energy. Doesn’t have a pulse to it. That’s one of the main reasons I’m Senjogahara fascinated – she’s got the spark that makes me enjoy the scene, as opposed to “Mmm-hmm, okay, interesting dialogue… and?”

    Or they could just bring in the narrator of Kaiji. That guy’s dynamite.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      You’re accusing the writers of ‘conning’ you into thinking he’s smart, when in fact that’s exactly what he was doing in that scene? Conning a girl into thinking he was smarter and had the upper ground? It is just Kaiki’s a greedy prick, and that’s presented fantastically. That’s good writing right there

  10. ペーパー先生
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree that nobody’s going to change Kaiki’s mind. He has his own way of thinking, which is already concrete. Besides, I don’t think anyone can come up with a legitimate counter-argument. It’s like when a kid eats a lot a fast food and gets fat. Kaiki is the sort of person who would say that the child knew what he was buying and it’s not the fast food companies responsibility to make sure their product is used healthily. All he sells are curses and cures. It’s the clients fault if they get hurt. That’s how he thinks.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Not quite. The fat child knows they’re buying fatty foods, while the kids buying from Kaike think they’re buying proper products. That’s where the conning lies

  11. Posted February 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I can usually understand why Araragi’s “harem” is eroticized, since all those girls have some element of sensuality to them and the cinematography is emphasizing it. It sometimes seems unnecessary, but whatever. I can deal with it and sometimes even enjoy the playfulness of it.

    But what I absolutely hated about this episode was how the exact same thing was done to the sisters. Their actions are not now–and have never been–erotically charged. The camera is not emphasizing existing traits, but rather forcing sexuality onto them. I’m glad that we actually got a decent amount of plot development in this episode, but everything else in the episode just infuriated me.

    There’s a time and a place for sexiness. It’s a shame that Nisemonogatari has no sense of restraint.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Nisemonogatari and restraint in regards to sexualisation. Hahaha imagine that~

    • Posted February 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Let’s be honest here, we really should’ve seen this coming from Shaft ever since the 2nd episode of Bakemonogatari when Hitagi was walking around in pretty much nothing for half the episode in front of Koyomi.

  12. idiffer
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    imho, monogatari is just playing with other genres and their mangakas, authors whatever. it’s saying – “THIS is how you pander, you worthless pieces of crap. oreimo, i’m looking at you.”
    if you view it like that, it becomes a little easier to accept.
    and i’d say extremely stylish fanservice instead of smut, generally. come on, dat nadeko. so she’s not 18. big deal. she’s beautiful. embrace your inner pedophile.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 6, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      no

      • idiffer
        Posted February 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        both my points?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It’s all in the name of art.

  14. enigmator
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Personally, I think you’re overreacting over the show’s (admittedly weird) inclination towards “smut.”

    It’s a bit distracting, but it’s not really that big a deal once you accept it as it is, there are better things to focus on, like reading the subtitles (in my case).

    And oh yes. Kaiki is definitely the character to watch out for here. It’s been a while since I’ve found a villain to be so… engaging.

  15. luffyluffy
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    There, finally caught up!

    I love the -monogatari series but it’s so damn hard to marathon…

  16. Someone Else
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Sorry I forgot everything in the past 20mins of this episode when Araragi asked to kiss his sister

  17. skylion
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Kaiki’s ultimate goal is Shinobu. I haven’t read the source material, so I have no sense of what is really going to happen, just my dig on things. Other’s took her limbs, he’s there for the rest of her. But rather than take her on directly, he’s moving closer and closer to his goal. Nadeko was a failed result, Karen might get him closer. Now why he would do so is pure conjecture at this point, and I will admit to not knowing where to start. His trade is the supernatural; surely a 500 year old vampires heart is worth something to someone.

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