Getting groped by Senjougahara is undoubtedly a hair-raising experience.
|One game I like to play, knowing that Shaft is adapting Nisemonogatari pretty much straight-up, is predicting how much will be covered in each episode. I was quite a bit off in the previous episode, thinking that it would end with Koyomi talking with Karen and leave the scenes with Kanbaru for this one. With this one, I predicted it would end at… well, maybe I’m starting to get the hang of this.|
After his rather harrowing (but valuable learning) experience about sexual harrassment with Suruga, Koyomi finishes helping her clean her room. In her now pristine room, the two talk a bit, the conversation turns to Koyomi’s harem, much like it did when he was talking with Mayoi a couple episodes back. There’s also more talk about keeping secrets, as he asks her how she’s dealing with the secret of her arm from her family. Then they whip out some hanafuda cards that they found in the mess, and Koyomi proceeds to whip Suruga at the game.
Kanbaru does not like losing. Unfortunately, her luck stat is apparently 0.
It’s on his way out that Koyomi runs into the first all-new character in the series, a man by the name of Kaiki. Koyomi immediately notices a weird aura about him. Kaiki first asks if he’s a resident of Kanbaru’s home, and he mentions that he had heard that the child of Gaen – Suruga’s now-dead mother – was there. Turns out the “aura” he felt from the Kanbaru home wasn’t as strong as he expected, so he has no business there. When hearing Koyomi Araragi’s name, Kaiki casually mentions that Araragi was a name he’d heard before, and also makes a little pun on their names relating to trees (that’s actually a reference to a couple events in Kizumonogatari). Kaiki leaves, and, feeling suspicious, Koyomi tries to follow him, but something compels him to turn right back around and go home.
Reminds you of Meme Oshino? You don’t say!
On his way back home, Koyomi thinks to himself that Kaiki reminded him a lot of Meme Oshino as well as Guillotine Cutter. Now, Oshino should be familiar to anyone who’s watched Bakemonogatari, but Guillotine Cutter is a character who only appeared in Kizumonogatari (I won’t spoil anything, but he was one of the antagonists, and Koyomi took him down in a way that I can’t wait to see animated!). But before he can dwell on it too much, he runs into none other than his girlfriend, Hitagi Senjougahara, making her first appearance since that wicked cold open to the series! Plenty more Senjougahara service here, as per usual. Their conversation turns to their (abusive) relationship, as Hitagi warns him again never to cheat on her and also displays her supernatural power to detect how many females Koyomi has interacted with that day. Eventually, Koyomi has to tell her where he’s been, and mentions that he met Kaiki, which takes us…
Eyes of a woman you don’t want to get on the wrong side of.
At least she was kind enough to bandage him up. After hitting him 2 or 3 or 6 times to knock him out first.
Right back to where we were at the open of the 1st episode. Yup, the moment Hitagi heard that name, she knocked Koyomi out and dragged him to this abandoned school where he sits shackled now. She reveals that Kaiki was the 1st of the 5 scam artists she had gone to in order to fix her weight problem before Oshino solved it during the events of Bakemonogatari. So much is she scared of this man that she’s prepared to “protect” Koyomi by keeping him tied up here until Kaiki leaves town. And if he decides to move here? Well, Hitagi’s gonna need a lot more diapers, that’s for sure!
But things never go quite as planned, do they? Koyomi receives an email, and Hitagi is kind enough to open his phone and show it to him (not without copping a feel, of course!). The contents are simple: “Help Me” from Younger Little Sister. Seeing this, Koyomi effortlessly breaks the chains on his handcuffs and tells Hitagi that he’s going home. Hitagi is impressed but still unwilling to let him go, but she then receives another call – still on Koyomi’s phone – which leads to a conversation in which she’s very meek, flustered, and accomodating for once. She tosses the phone back to Koyomi who is now free to leave, and when asked who was on the other end of the conversation, she responds, “Hanekawa.”
Koyomi shows what he’s capable of (not really) when he means business.
“Go-… gomen… gomena…sai” Aww, Hitagi learns to speak her first apology.
New OP! Sort of!
We get to see Hitagi in all her non-blacked-out glory.
Well, well, we’re finally starting to get somewhere with the story now, aren’t we? Almost everything is still shrouded in mystery, not the least of whom the con man Kaiki, but the show is starting to pull back the curtains. What we do know at this point is, Kaiki is not a very good guy, and Tsukihi is in trouble, so much so that she’s texting their rather antagonized older brother for help. What about Kaiki makes Hitagi that fearful, enough to pull a Yuno on
Yukki Koyomi in order to “protect” him? (They call her tsundere-chan, but she’s actually a yandere, isn’t she?) Just what trouble has Tsukihi gotten into that she needs Koyomi so badly? Why is Tsubasa Hanekawa involved, and how did she gain such leverage over Hitagi? How does that connect to Suruga’s off-hand comment about not getting caught between in the relationship between Tsubasa and Hitagi?
And Koyomi had one hell of a badass moment to close the episode. Just one glance at that text requesting help from his sister, and he breaks through the cuffs and tells Hitagi that playtime is over. The fact that he could’ve done this at any point (actually not the case) and was just humoring her until that point was particularly delicious. Is this the first time he’s taken control from her like that? It sure seemed to turn her on. I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of Nisio’s writing, that it can be really hit or miss, and fortunately the writing in this episode managed to hit. I really enjoyed the bits with Hitagi before she knocked him out, the talk of the afterlife (which she doesn’t believe in), and her supernatural jealousy. Her way of turning every bit of a conversation into a chance to insult – even borrowing from Mayoi (whom she has never seen or heard) – is fascinating. One bit from the novel that I was somewhat disappointed they skipped (for pacing/time reasons, no doubt) was Kanbaru service early on, when she decides to play with Koyomi by calling him “onii-chan.” It’s about as perverted as you’d expect coming from her.
I continue to enjoy the visuals. The oppressive red lighting during the initial encounter with Kaiki was very fitting. At this point, you should know what to expect from the cinematography from this show, and it didn’t do anything to veer away from its standard. The production values also don’t show any signs of dropping, with yet another new OP animation, though this was a modified version of the first one, with the Hitagi silhouettes filled in. Within the episode the scene when Koyomi tracked down Hitagi on his bike was animated excellently. Shaft knows their moneymaker franchise, and they’re sparing no expense.
Still no next-episode preview; is Shaft skipping those because Karen and Tsukihi who used to do them in Bakemonogatari are now busy actually being part of the story? So let me fill that role: there will be a few more answers next episode regarding the trouble the Fire Sisters have gotten into, and how it relates to Kaiki. We will see a couple old characters return. And there will be lots more fanservice as well. If Shaft plays it right, it’ll make episode 2 look like child’s play.