Oh Shaft. I’m not even sure how much of this is down to Shinbo anymore. It’s not like he has much to work with when it comes to Nision’s dialogue. “Author mentioned something about elements and fakes? Let’s make mannequins dance to chemical bonds”!
Nision’s long-winded dialogue is unique, and that has its benefits. How the story is snuck into regular conversation is what makes it so fascinating. But when it comes to the winding down of the plot, that’s where you start to realise why other stories stick to a more straightforward method of writing. Double this up with the character of Kaiki and you start to have much greater problems. His entire shtick is that he obscures the truth through lying and confusing dialogue. Nision². It was all right when he confronted Fire Sister #1 because she couldn’t keep up with him. The only part of that episode you needed to get what that this guy knocked her off her stride and was generally an evil man. This time around though, there was Plot I needed to follow with characters who could counter his arguments, leaving him to go further down the path of obfuscation and lying.
So I got lost. I haven’t a clue what the resolution to this episode was or meant. Senjogahara basically chased him out of town…or something? I had this problem frequently with Bakemonogatari too. An arc would end and I’d be left dazed and confused because the specific details had completely flew past me. The -monogatari series has always been about the presentation, not the plot itself. You capture the characters feelings and personality in broad strokes. As I’ve said before, that’s what makes it special. But when it gets to the nitty-gritty details of the plot having to make some proper sense, it tends to fall apart.
As much as I love Senjogahara, I still don’t really get what her story was. She was poor so loan sharks came and their family fell apart and tried to sell Senjogahara but then she got invaded by a giant crab who was a metaphor for her something something something I don’t know. I love Senjogahara because of the aura she has and some of the lines she comes out with, such as how she basically tells Arararagi here to fuck her so hard she starts seeing stars. The actual details of her history? Meh, fairly indifferent towards that.
So I didn’t really enjoy this episode, for the reasons many of the -monogatari detractors say they dislike the series. The long-winded dialogue detracted from the enjoyment rather than added to it. Hence I get the complaints you guys have. The people I don’t get are those who claim this is a new thing to the franchise. Pretty sure Bakemonogatari was this long-winded and had as much pointless dialogue and as confusing final plot twists. I think you’re letting episode 12 cloud your vision of what the series was truly like. It would be like comparing (forgive some nerdy analogies here) Night Watch to the rest of the Terry Pratchett books. Their draw has always been the amusing writing and bizarre world they inhabit. Night Watch was the only one to also have a strong plot, and hence stands out above the others. But if you start comparing the following books to Night Watch’s plot, you’re missing what drew you to them in the first place.