Nisemonogatari – 02

Heroine Karen is pleased to make your acquaintance!

Hey, what do you know, Crunchyroll has added 1080p to their streams, and Nisemonogatari is one of the ones supported! Good news for premium account holders. Anyway, without further ado, here goes my first solo post.

The 2nd episode starts off with a little bit of the prologue, in which Koyomi briefly introduces his sisters to us. Karen is an athletic 15 year old girl and a karate expert, boyish in style though not in looks. Tsukihi is a little more reserved, but hides a very “hysterical” side to her under the surface. They are established as the “Fire Sisters of Tsuganoki 2nd Middle School,” and believe themselves to be warriors of justice, even if Koyomi looks at it as kid’s play. Then, it’s already the 2nd episode, so time to pull out a new OP!

The notorious Fire Sisters of Tsuganoki 2nd Middle School

Karen’s OP

After that, we pick up right where we left off at the end of episode 1, with Koyomi arriving at Nadeko’s home as promised. Nadeko is alone and, shall we say, suspiciously happy to be alone with him, locking the front door behind them (3 locks!), then inviting him up to her room and locking the door to that as well (PIN protected!). Oh, and she’s insistent that he not go into her closet. A hint at Nadeko’s motivations and things to come? I hope so.We’re also introduced to the first of the new character designs in Nisemonogatari, pointed out by Koyomi. If you recall, Nadeko in Bakemonogatari was mainly defined by the things that covered her body and face: her roomy jacket and baggy hat, along with the locks of her hair that blocked her eyes. Nadeko hasn’t exactly gotten a makeover, but her style is completely different here, her hair band deliberately pulling her bangs back so that her face is completely visible.

Nadeko’s new look.

The two play the game of Life, and there’s lot of flirting by Nadeko here, though it’s all completely lost on Koyomi. Especially when she brings out Twister. Yeah, there’s really only one reason for a boy and a girl play that game alone. Their conversation turns to Koyomi’s sisters. Apparently, as part of their whole warriors of justice gig, they’ve been asking around about Nadeko’s snake experience from the 1st series, but she’s been unable to tell them because they don’t believe in the supernatural.

Nope, nothing suspicious about those eyes.

Nothing suspicious about that position, either.

Nadeko pushes Koyomi out of the house when her mother comes home, cutting their “play”date short. All of a sudden freed up for the day again, Koyomi decides to give Suruga a call. He’s been going to her place a couple of times each month to help her clean up her room, and that seems like a good use of this freed day. During the call, Suruga’s grandmother happens to pass by after she stripped for Koyomi in her room, which puts Suruga in a funk. Koyomi is now truly excited to get to Suruga’s house to see her in this kind of state for the first time and books it home to get his bike, but before he could make much progress, he runs into the heroine of this story, his one and only oldest younger sister, Karen Araragi. Finally, she’s here, in all her Eri Kitamura voiced goodness, upside down on her hands on a fence! As a responsible older brother, obviously Koyomi can’t go without at least finding out what’s going on, so he decides to put his trip to Suruga’s on hold to find out what she’s up to.

Our first real look at the heroine of this arc.

Unfortunately for him, Karen is pretty opaque in describing what she’s doing. She calls it volunteer work, as Tsukihi alluded to in the 1st episode. The exchange between siblings actually goes pretty similarly to the previous one, with a clear sense that their relationship is strained. Karen is definitely more out there than Tsukihi, never content to just stand or sit and talk, but having to do exercises, standing on her hands in the street once she falls, then taking a bridge pose when Koyomi knocks her down. The girl’s a fitness nut, and that Bruce Lee style yellow track suit accentuates it. She gets a phone call, one that Koyomi doesn’t hear, but which seems to prompt her to leave, promising to talk to him with Tsukihi that evening. Naturally, she rolls away instead of walking.

This girl just can’t stand still!

When she does stand still, the height difference is obvious.

Koyomi walks into Suruga’s room to find her still naked and her mood pretty down. He helps her clean up, discovering her old basketball jersey in the process, which he convinces her to put on. And as conversations with Suruga are wont to do, it turns to her perversion. Koyomi decides to take advantage of her state and challenges her perversion level, which prompts her to prove him wrong with some aggressive stripping and groping. The episode ends with Koyomi, in the middle of experiencing the other end of such actions, resolving never again to start his exchanges with Mayoi with sexual harassment.

Looking very Sengoku/Hachikuji there, Kanbaru/Araragi.

But wait, we also get to see the new ED, Naisho no Hanashi sung by ClariS, written by ryo, with art by Hajime Ueda (latter 2 also having served the roles for the Bakemonogatari ED)! No next episode preview again, though.

Shinobu, Mayoi, Hitagi, and Tsubasa as depicted by Hajime Ueda for the ED.

Fanservice!

Koyomi’s 2 sisters, presumably in his mind’s eye. The pervert.

Twister with Nadeko is a game you can’t lose (Koyomi does win, FYI).

Believe it or not this was indeed the pose Karen had in the novel. Now, the choice of camera angle is all Shaft’s responsibility.

Wow, where to begin? My main worry after the 1st episode was the pacing, that this would start off too slowly especially compared to Bakemonogatari. But this episode put to rest my concerns, covering much more ground than I thought it would. It was visually on par with the 1st episode, still with excellent animation when called for, such as the bits with Karen and her acrobatics. And talk about a fanservice bonanza! Nadeko managed to make some progress by making Koyomi conscious about not getting turned on by her, but I doubt most viewers had as much restraint! I’m not sure where the story is going concerning her, but surely the secret closet is something that will come back at some point? Her love for Koyomi was starting to take on creepy levels at times, especially with the door locking and forcing him to take off his clothes, and her new look was a good match for her more aggressive style. And hey, she has a room that her crush must ABSOLUTELY CERTAINLY not look at, just like a certain pink haired yandere…

Then there were Suruga and Karen. During the novel prologue, Koyomi specifically compared the two, saying that Karen was like Suruga except without the respect for him, and that showed. Suruga was the same as we always knew her – except physically, with her hair grown long – laid back and teasing when it came to Koyomi. Karen was playful as well but also quite standoff-ish, bull-headedly refusing to tell her brother what she was up to. Visually, it was fun to see her in all those poses. Curious that she decided not to stand up, as her looking down at Koyomi could have been a tool to intimidate during their conversation.

Story-wise, not much has happened, but the show is dropping hints here and there, sticking to the same subjects and themes. That is, the idea of keeping the supernatural world a secret from Koyomi’s sisters, which was a major part of the Mayoi scene in episode 1 and the Nadeko scene in this episode. There are also the secrets that the sisters are keeping from Koyomi, regarding their activities as warriors of justice. Neither Tsukihi nor Karen have been at all revealing about this, the former in an obnoxious way, the latter in a playful way. Perhaps less central to the plot given the title of the arc, the theme of the secret continues with Nadeko hiding the contents of her closet. Clearly these secrets will collide eventually, and we’re meant to keep these thoughts in mind as the show progresses. One thing I’ve noticed about Nisio Isin from reading Bakemonogatari and Kizumonogatari and watching Katanagatari is that he is very good at dropping plot points here and there early on and then tying them all back together at the finish.

And speaking of secrets, can’t forget about the ED, Naisho no Hanashi (“Secret Story” in English)! I must admit, I’m not a big fan of ClariS, or at least the songs sung by them. Naisho no Hanashi definitely has the ryo/supercell feel, but you can tell that he was trying to write to ClariS’s style, much more pop and less rock. It’s certainly no Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari but hey, expecting this ED to live up to Bakemonogatari’s ED’s standard would be unreasonable. Hajime Ueda’s unique art was as beautiful as ever, though a little harder to make out with all the psychedelic lighting and colors. The new Karen OP – Marshmallow Justice – was very colorful as well, with even more particle and CG effects than in the 1st OP, especially with the bees flying everywhere. The song itself had a bit of a ska feel to it with a lot of brass.

If the show follows the novel as I expect, next episode will feature our first brand new character and plenty of Senjougahara service. Look forward to it!

About

A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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31 Responses to “Nisemonogatari – 02”

  1. Metalsnakezero says:

    Fanservice, crazy visuals, and wacky scenes. Yep, this is Nisemonogatari.

  2. Samantha Zan says:

    I’m actually a big ClariS fan from Oreimo to Madoka. Though I have to admit I don’t like the ending song as much XP. Though I definetly like the other opening better though XP

    Back with more Nisemonogatari, still same style, and fast back paced dialogue. Though nothing too much happened like you said, but I still find it intriging none the less. With the introducing of Karen and more background on the Araragi sisters, it gave me more of what the characters were like in a sense.

    Anyway, KANBARU WOOOO!!!! She looks so pretty with her longer hair! Her conversation with Araragi was very interesting XD. My favorite part was when Araragi had the Hachikuji face on ha.

    Mostly I just can’t wait for Senjougahara! :)

  3. skylion says:

    I told myself I had no business comparing Bake’s ED to Nise’s. Each is their own animal. With that in mind, I found the ClariS ED to be just darn strange. It wasn’t a ClariS tune, it wasn’t a ryo/supercell tune either (I am a fan of both). It ended up sounding flatter that I would have imagined. Like both elements were competing with each other. It sounds like the supercell element is winning, but that it doesn’t have to try very hard? Perhaps it will grow on me…

    Karen’s story is going to be a heart breaker. I haven’t read the source material, so that is simply a gut level guess. She’s the kind of person that wouldn’t give you a straight answer if you’re life depended on it, or hers. And it just might turn out that way. Whatever roll she is trying to play is going to get away from her..fast.

    Can’t say much about younger younger sister. She’s a bit of a cypher at this point; hysterics not withstanding.

    Oh, so the image of his sister naked as jaybirds is in his minds eye, eh? Perhaps this translates to vulnerability and openness. Something he wishes he had with them?

    I think we could write books on the scenes with both Nadeko and Suruga. The dynamics stand in such contrast, yet both coming from the same point. Just thank him, ladies.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, the new ED doesn’t really wow me. Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari turned me into a supercell fan almost immediately, and I hadn even heard of ryo or Nagi before watching Bakemonogatari. Certainly not a bad tune by any means, but doesn’t have nearly the same energy.

      I’m eager to see how Karen’s story plays out. There is the infamous toothbrush scene that will happen, but what confluence of events will lead to that? We shall see. :)

      • skylion says:

        The Story You Don’t Know: Fell in love with it once it mentioned Degba, Altair and Vega. Instant romantic style. Plus…rocking piano. I’ve been an Elton John, Billy Joel, Ben Folds fan for quite awhile, so I love hearing a bangin set of ebondy and ivory.

        ClariS. Connect. Perfect Harmony and powerful solos.
        Irony. Infectious Pop. You hum it despite yourself, and it instantly recalls the Ore Imo.

        Naisho No Hanashi. The Story You Don’t Know had that piano hook, very driving. This has a good bit of harmony, but doesn’t quit get there. I’ve listened to is a half dozen times now, both the TV edition and full. Why am I obsessed with this?

        Toothbrush? That sounds like source material. Should I go for the spoilers?

        • lvlln says:

          Well, I actually don’t know where to get such spoilers. What I do know is that a good portion of Karen fanart involves a toothbrush, often Koyomi brushing her teeth with it for her. Maybe she gets paralyzed at some point and wants to keep her teeth clean? I’m honestly not far enough along in the novel to know.

  4. Reaper says:

    Yes, yes, yes! This episode was so full of win! Most of the heroines had their spotlight (save for Senjougahara and Hanekawa but I expect we’ll see them very soon in the mix of things), and we also see the heroine wrapped in whispers and rumours, Karen Araragi! I haven’t read the novels but I don’t plan too now because it’ll just ruin this rollercoaster ride for me. Ah, it was refreshing to see a different side of Nadeko (I always call her Sadako in my head, don’t know why…though her eyes were suspicious) as well as Kanbaru’s unusual slump, both of which pleased our unintentionally perverted protagonist, though his punishment was hilariously ironic at the end, 😀
    Hm, no ED will beat the ED of Bakemonogatari but the bouncy beat in this one suits the story with the Fire Sisters. Too bad there won’t be any falling stars so…
    New character next ep? Cannot wait!

    • lvlln says:

      I’m actually struggling to keep ahead of the anime in my reading of the novel. I don’t really read manga, so I almost never watch anime with knowledge of the source material, and I’d like to try doing it this time. I knew Koyomi would get his comeuppance from Suruga, but I had no idea that Shaft would animate it in such a… literal way. XD

      • Reaper says:

        Well, I am NOT going to complain about that one XD and I don’t think anyone (apart from Koyomi and Senjougahara) will either :)

        • BlackBriar says:

          Hahahaha!! Wait a minute. Isn’t Kanbaru a lesbian who’s in love with Senjougahara? But she’s flirting with Koyomi.
          So what really happened was that she raped him so as to prove her innocence as a BL fan, wow that is some serious antitheses………..
          IMAGINE THE PAIN OF BEING RAPED BY A LESBIAN, MAYBE SOME WOULD BE OKAY WITH IT……..

          • Kyokai says:

            She became a bi just because of Arararaaaaagi. Sad to be him right now though. xD

  5. Jrow says:

    I loved this episode so much I wanted to watch it again as soon as it was done.

    The 1080p is nice. The screenshot comparisons I’ve seen show small improvements in the text and just edges/lines. For me though, I always stream from the iPad to Apple TV, so I’m sure the iPad doesn’t output at 1080, let alone wirelessly. But it’s good to see that you’re a paid subscriber like me (I’m assuming). I was crunching some numbers (pun seriously not intended) and I watched like 184 episodes on it.

    This show is kind of like, “hey, Highschool DxD… see you’re going the nudity route. Alright, I gotcha. Well, we’re gonna get our fans by being amazingly suggestive and putting the camera in places you couldn’t even dream of.” There’s a strange charm to DxD at the moment, but the way Nisemonogatari does it drives the imagination far more wild. (since DxD doesn’t require so much imaginating)

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, I believe the Crunchyroll apps don’t do anything above 480p. A shame, because my phone actually has a 1280×720 screen, and I’d love to get a 720p stream going. But that’s why some shows, like this one, I always watch on my PC.

      • akagami says:

        Anime on a phone? Blasphemy! I was on a bus the other day and saw the guy ahead of me watching AnoHana on their phone. I just wanted to lean over and shake them.

        I can’t understand the point of watching anything on such a small screen. I refuse to watch anything on a screen that isn’t at least 24″. I think my next monitor when my current breaks is a 30″ IPS. Better start saving up!

        • Jrow says:

          @lvlln – iOS does stream 720.

          @akagami – on a phone, I agree. Unless I had a train commute long enough to watch an episode (or a flight) or some free time at work or anything like that, I’d prefer to watch anime on a big screen. It’s good to have those options available at the least.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    I loved this episode so much. There’s perversion in every corner of it, intentional or not. Karen maybe a tomboy but she’s pretty awesome. Nice pose. And those angles, someone certainly took advantage of those.

    Sengoku’s gotten a lot bigger and nearly unrecognizable with her new hairdo. So cute. I know now why Senjougahara and Shinobu feel so threatened by her when she’s Araragi. I’d be overjoyed if she included me in her twister game.

    The best part was Kanbaru. The return of the masochist pervert was well welcomed. She’ll do and/or use anything as an excuse to do something erotic. Seeing her naked in the room was a big plus. What surprised me the most was her raping Araragi in her room as an act of “innocence”.

  7. skylion says:

    The kindness he, Araragi gives to the Oddities is as terrifying to them as the deprivations they deliver to humans. That is really what Black Hanakawa told him in the last series.

    Poor guy, he really is reaping what he sows, isn’t he.

  8. Tofu says:

    Nisemonogatari NEEDS to be watched in 1080p to be fully enjoyed ;D Who agrees?

    • BlackBriar says:

      I agree!! The best quality should be needed for one of the best animes around!!

  9. Kyokai says:

    Oh that ED art by Ueda; so nostalgic. If only we had signature supercell song with it but at least ClariS tried.

    I liked how we are getting back in touch with everyone. Tsubasa’s the only one left now. I definitely look forward to more reveal of fire sisters and what caused Araragi’s kidnap by Senjougahara to ‘save’ him.

  10. Zyl says:

    I’m really glad you also thought that Nadeko’s eyes were *not* the least suspicious haha. The slight narrowing, with the sound effect, followed by Koyomi’s innocent “tanoshimi” was pretty scary – our hero was nearly lured into pedobearland!

    Liking Karen a lot as she seems like a straight forward WYSIWYG sort of person. Even if she is insistent on keeping a secret or two from her Nii-chan, it’s not as if Koyomi isn’t keeping a secret or two from her too. But as Mayoi advised in the previous episode, sometimes you need the courage to keep a secret from your family and it works both ways between brother and sisters.

  11. akagami says:

    <(0.0)(0.0)>
    Yay, Nisemonogatari. Happy dance time.

    I’m a big ClariS fan as well, since I first heard them in OreImo. I really like “Don’t Cry”, “Dreamin'”, and “Nexus” as well! “Naisho no Hanashi” is starting to grow on me ^^. Not instant awesome but still pretty enjoyable.

    Kanbaru in a jersey is pretty cute too! I read the light novel translation after watching this episode. The “anata” lines made me laugh ^^

    Can’t wait for the BluRays!

  12. skylion says:

    OK, I got a chance to watch this a second time. I’m really loving the OP. But then, It is Meg Freekin’ Rock. And who couldn’t love a tune called Marshmallow Justice?

    ED has yet to grow on me; but I am trying it. Gave the full track a listen, and it sounds yards better that way.

    As with any good show, Bake included, Nise is building up it’s story one episode at a time. I’m waiting to watch the inevitable fallout surrounding the now infamous ‘pantsing’ incident (I swear, this show and underwear!). Or…maybe Hitagi suggested the entire scenario. It does leave me wanting to train hard and build up my own Tatami Mat Super Punch. Why couldn’t you use that when Grandma came walking by, eh, Suruga?

    I’m scared for Nadeko. I have just a little bit of forewarning, spoiled myself a touch on Wikipedia. But I don’t want to see bad things happen to her. It looks like she is going to choose a bad route again. Sigh.

    • lvlln says:

      I really like Karen’s OP as well. Sounds very different from all the other Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari OPs, and I’m a fan of the ska sound in general. Can’t wait for the full release! But Meg Rock does just the lyrics, not the composition, doesn’t she? At least that was the case for the Bakemonogatari OPs.

  13. Yippy says:

    I was looking over my shoulder the entire time for fear that some family member might get a peek at what I’m watching. And even if they did get a peek, I’m glad to say that I regret nothing. XD

    Overall, it looks like it was quite a saucy episode (the Monogatari norm), what with barely-concealed invitations, steamy screenshots and a nudist buddy. Definitely looking forward to what the Fire Sisters are up to next week.

  14. Yippy says:

    I was looking over my shoulder the entire time for fear that some family member might get a peek at what I’m watching. And even if they did get a peek, I’m glad to say that I regret nothing. XD

    Overall, it looks like it was quite a saucy episode (the Monogatari norm), what with barely-concealed invitations, steamy screenshots and a nudist buddy.

    Anyone notice the construction site-like surroundings in Kanbaru’s room? I actually thought the house was undergoing a renovation or something.

    I’m definitely looking forward to what the Fire Sisters are up to next week.

    • lvlln says:

      The construction scene is probably a metaphor for just how horribly messy Kanbaru’s room is. After all, they had a conveyor and an incinerator set up when Koyomi was helping her. It’s not so obvious in the anime due to the minimalist art (stacks of books), but Kanbaru’s room is FILTHY, and gets that way very quickly. She’s got a bit of a problem.

  15. […] why was Nadeko so secretive about it? If you recall, this is a call back all the way back to the 2nd episode of Nisemonogatari, when Koyomi and Nadeko were on friendlier terms. No real clues so far as to the […]

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