Nisemonogatari ED – Naisho no Hanashi

You sure, you saw everything?

We were told well before airing that Supercell would be returning to do the Nisemonogatari ED, collaborating with the singers behind Shaft’s Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica OP, ClariS. In the 2nd episode of Nisemonogatari, we learned that Shaft had once again hired Hajime Ueda to do the ending sequence art, just as for Bakemonogatari. In the 4th episode, we got an updated, perhaps the “completed” version of the ED, with even more of his art presented in a fast, almost spastic manner. I thought it would be fun to go through the sequence shot for shot, to see what we miss when watching it in real time. Click on the images to see the full 1280×720 versions.
Who can forget that larger of life image of Senjougahara from the Bakemonogatari ED? Not only was I happy in finding out that Supercell will be back for Nisemonogatari but the fact that Hajime Ueda would once again draw something awesome for this franchise. This time, the details are much scrunched up together and due to the fast pacing of the song, there are more than 100% chances that you will miss out the finer details. So, enjoy this detailed dish that lvlln has cooked up for Nisemonogatari fans.

We start with a shot of the now familiar heart (from the 1st ED sequence), with the Fire Sisters Araragi Tsukihi and Araragi Karen sitting around it with forks and knives, as if about to dig in.

The camera pulls zooms out, and it looks like we were looking inside the heart of this gigantic Shinobu on a roof.

Quick yellow-on-blue sketches of the (one-eyed) girls pass by:

Karen, Tsukihi, Senjougahara Hitagi, then Kanbaru Suruga. Karen’s squiggles remind me of dumbbells. Tsukihi’s spirally squiggles make her look like a peacock, fitting considering the fancy state of dress she’s always in. Hitagi and Suruga are horizontal in opposite directions.

A flash of all the sketches superimposed on each other.

Hanekawa Tsubasa, then she suddenly transforms into Black Hanekawa!

Now the lolis: Sengoku Nadeko surrounded by snake-like squiggles, Hachikuji Mayoi, then a glowing Oshino Shinobu with her trademark motorcycle helmet from Bakemonogatari. (In fact, all these sketches are of the Bakemonogatari designs)

Karen, followed by Tsukihi in the 1st marionette-like dancing and singing shot. They’re not exactly Rayman, but their limbs are clearly disconnected. Notice each has a microphone, as if singing; the transition from Karen to Tsukihi happens in time with the ClariS singers switching. Also notice their respective color palettes.

Back to that roof where a gigantic Shinobu watches while Hitagi plays Suruga like a guitar. Hm, didn’t Shaft do that sort of thing in one of their other OPs?

Hanekawa Tsubasa upside down, as if falling. Looks like she hit the ground. Ouch!

Araragi Koyomi relaxing at the edge of the roof, his hands supporting his head, followed by a quick flash of Oshino Meme at the same spot, lying down the other way.

Appears to be Koyomi’s head, with… his body below? The clouds pass by right to left, and his eye has a hard time following it.

Camera spins around the roof, showing Hitagi still holding Suruga.

Zoom to the sky to see fireworks! Watching them, from left to right: Hitagi, Tsubasa, Suruga, Nadeko, Mayoi, and a gigantic Shinobu with Koyomi locked in. They are now in their Nisemonogatari designs. Why are they facing the wrong way?

Appears to be Oshino Meme lying and watching the fireworks. Koyomi, still locked up inside Shinobu, is joining him. Chain-linked fence laid over the entire image.

Now this one, I’m not sure about. Is that Mayoi playing with fireworks on the left while Tsubasa watches? Who’s the devilish dude next to Shinobu? Kaiki?

The Fire Sisters, then the 5 Bakemonogatari heroines running around the roof. Tsubasa is reading a book, while Mayoi is running in circles around Shinobu. Notice there is a heart now inside Shinobu.

Back to the marionette Fire Sisters, but they each suddenly cut in half to reveal more drawings underneath, from the 1st ED. Notice the color palette is the same for both girls this time symbolizing their fire. They come together into the same screen before they both split in half to show the drawings.

Mayoi walking up steps while a bird flies by. Is she reaching for that heart?

Nadeko shuts a sliding door behind her. Clearly a reference to all her locks from episode 2. Sideways view of a naked Suruga looking right back at us, also from episode 2.

The Fire Sisters holding hands.

Now this is creepy. 2 drawings of Nadeko, both smiling, with the right one rocking back and forth.

Koyomi on a corded phone, coils shown as ladder steps. Electrical poles in the background.

Tsubasa and Hitagi looking back at us, with a heart in between them. The large picture is upside down and shows Hitagi whispering something to Tsubasa. Both are smiling as if sharing a secret.

A hand that seems to pop out of the wall. We rotate around to the other side to see that Shinobu is sticking her arm through.

Upside down Nadeko with an upside down heart on her forehead. Followed by Koyomi peeking in from the side (he quickly flashes from the right side to the left).

Tsubasa with her Bakemonogatari design, lying on a table with her braids stretched out across it. Zoom into her glasses, and we see Mayoi appearing to wave good bye to a yellow heart. Notice that that’s not her arm, but a part of her backpack.

Back on the roof, the gigantic Shinobu now has a heart in her, but Koyomi is out, and he’s dancing for his victory.

Phew, that’s a hell of a lot of Hajime Ueda’s insanity to see in just 90 seconds! While putting together this post, a couple of story-related things stood out to me:

  • On the roof, Koyomi is locked up inside Shinobu when everyone is watching the fireworks, and an overlay of a fence passes over the entire screen at one point. Fitting considering how they are forever bound to each other, as mentioned in episode 4 when this ED sequence premiered. Notably, the last shot of the ED is of Koyomi released from Shinobu, celebrating. A hint at things to come with respect to how their relationship will develop?
  • Speaking of Shinobu, she starts off the sequence with the heart inside of her (Karen and Tsukihi look like they want to eat it!), only to be replaced by Koyomi for most of the sequence, before the heart is back inside her at the end. Those of you who’ve read Kizumonogatari should recognize the reference. Also, Shinobu with her arm on the other side of a wall remind you of anything?
  • It’s just one shot, but Hitagi and Tsubasa seem awfully close to each other when they appear together. A glimpse into the nature of their relationship. We’ll get another glimpse in episode 6, I guarantee.

Not necessarily story related, but the last third of the ED sequence is even more hectic and fast paced than the rest of it. Likely a result of the natural progression of the sequence reaching climax, but also reflective of the pacing of Karen Bee, which starts off slowly but gets very eventful towards the end.

I agree with lvlln, that’s A LOT of information! Shaft has been notorious with their opening and ending sequences and whenever they have big budgets they do pop the creativity bottle in subtly hinting at many plot pointers and character traits. From visually lilting to feel good and even such information packed sequences have become a signature for them. It’s not surprising that now I expect something new every episode of Nisemonogatari because we have been getting a lot of variety.

Meaning wise (see an English translation of the lyrics here), the song borders on the Araragi sisters doting on their brother, who is more than thick headed in terms of their feelings. The ED version is shorter and only talks about the sisters’ annoyance of his love interest and how he’s beyond help sometimes. However the full version gives a more detailed view of their love for him, which is still a secret. They are more than annoyed at his interest over that uniformed girl and see him stray from their usual life. They almost threaten him that a time will come when their life would not remain the same and even if he bawls his heart out, it will always be too late for realization. Though, whatever the situation is they would always love and thank him.

Personally I would have loved nagi’s return but ClariS has done a good job if not the best with this song. I understand their choice because of the Fire Sisters and the depiction of their voices, clear from even the art. Heart played the biggest part in the entire ED sequence and you could actually call it the center protag-kun for this song because it appeared incessantly. The symbolism is easy to understand with this being a harem anime and even if Koyomi promises his total allegiance to Senjougahara, it doesn’t stop him from taking notice of other girls and even gawk/fondle/manhandle them like the pervert he is. All of the girls will be connected to him via one relation or the other, taking his kindness and giving their heart in return.

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18 Responses to “Nisemonogatari ED – Naisho no Hanashi”

  1. tatsuya says:

    one ..two ..one two three four ~~
    damn …it weird but it not like any other anime ED..,,other are walking ,running ..touching the sky..but this one is awesome but yet weird if you listen to it for the first time …so make sure listen at least 5-6 times

    • Kyokai says:

      Shaft definitely spends a lot of money on their OP/EDs, which is worth the details and multiple watches. ^^

    • lvlln says:

      Well, this sort of craziness is par for course for Shaft OPs and EDs. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series is the golden standard for those, I think. And, of course, the Bakemonogatari ED.

  2. Reaper says:

    So creative but also so confusing…these little hints are too much to take in…my head hurts…perhaps I should just listen to the ED instead of trying to fathom SHAFT’s awesomeness of ED animation sequences…:D

    • Kyokai says:

      Well, at least now you know what each and every frame depicts. xD They sure put a truckload of information within 90seconds!

  3. Joojoobees says:

    If there is one thing you can have faith in, it is SHAFT’s willingness to give an OP or ED everything it takes. In other shows these can seem like places where the production company tried to save some money. Instead, with SHAFT, it seems like they take on projects at times so they can do more OPs & EDs. Here, as with so many SHAFT productions, the ED itself is a work of art.

    The scene by scene breakdown was a great idea. There was a lot in there, and I doubt I could have figured out half of that myself.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, there are plenty of other excellent OPs and EDs out there – Nichijou’s and Star Driver’s OPs come to mind in recent years – but I don’t think any studio puts as much effort and experimental animation into theirs as Shaft does (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s rather run of the mill OP and ED seem like odd exceptions).

      I think Hajime Ueda was an inspired choice as artist of ED for this franchise. So was supercell. Really, I think choices of talent behind the Monogatari series were incredible and largely responsible for its success. Meg rock’s OPs, supercell’s EDs, Akio Watanabe’s character designs based off of VOFAN’s original art, the all star cast of voice actors, they all went into producing a supremely compelling package

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Yes, more Supercell music. The song went nicely with the drawings. Whoa, information overload. I didn’t even realise each picture was so extensively examined.

    Shaft’s really inventive using chalk line based drawings for imagery. Since this was from episode 4, Shinobu’s dominating most of the sequence other than Karen and Tsukihi.

    • Kyokai says:

      Shinobu has a very important role in Monogatari series because of her connection with Koyomi. We’ll know more about their never forgotten bond in Kizumonogatari (Man! When is it releasing again?), and the sisters rule due to Nise being all about them. The other heroines are bonus. xD

      • lvlln says:

        Heh, you can always check out the trailer or the first minute of Bakemonogatari to tide you over. :3

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8kIJbHANgs]
        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAnyT2G0-over]

  5. skylion says:

    The “extravaganza” that was most of Episode four, really brought the actual song home for me. By it’s end, I found myself counting along to the ‘ready’ and bopping along as the song played. This is what they called, “getting on board” with it. I didn’t think I would. After hearing the full mp3, I just think they choose the wrong minute and thirty second for it. But that is just me.

    Interesting to see you bring up Shinobu and her arm. The next shot shows her in her loli glory, but lacking limbs. Could we infer a further amount of torture delivered unto her? After all, her child form is the form lacking said things. Only her heart remains.

    Kaiki’s ultimate goal perhaps?

    • Kyokai says:

      About Shinobu, you do see one of her arm with a close up of loli glory, while the other is reaching out to Koyomi’s heart through a wall (now this wall can be debated over about being his soul or shadow). I don’t think Koyomi would allow any more harm towards her. He’s very possessive and protective about the girls in his life. He has even gotten hurt in the process of saving some of them.

      Kaiki’s ultimate goal must be to swindle even more to get moneehhs but I think it’s even more than that. Maybe he just wants to watch other humans in pain, while he cons them?

    • lvlln says:

      Well, Shinobu does have her limbs and is a loli for a different reason, but certainly that shot is meant to reference that. And, of course, her most commonly called name until Koyomi came along was Heart Under Blade. A fitting name for multiple reasons.

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