Monogatari Series Second Season – 08

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This shot presented without comment (click for gif).

What do you do when you accidentally end up 11 years in the past and are told that fate will not change based on your actions? If you’re Koyomi, you try to change fate anyway and end up destroying the world. Shaft was judicious with their cuts in this episode of the adaptation, which unfortunately meant we had to go without some of Shinobu’s best moments, but the cuts made for a very tightly paced and well organized episode that still had plenty of loli fanservice anyway.

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Shinbo ripping off Steven Seagal with the 80:9 (8.888) aspect ratio.

What started off as a journey to buy time for Koyomi to finish his homework became one to keep Mayoi alive for just one day. Maybe you saw this coming, or maybe you doubted such an obvious story unfolding. Then again, when it comes to Mayoi’s story, what else is there to deal with? As a ghost, she isn’t going to be haunted by oddities; she is the oddity. But what happens when you change something as drastic as that?

Shinobu was confident that their actions could not change fate, but clearly that handwaves over the paradox they introduced by saving Mayoi. If Koyomi saves her on Mother’s Day, she doesn’t turn into a ghost, and thus she doesn’t meet Koyomi, who doesn’t go back in time to save her. Looped within that paradox is a smaller one, in that Koyomi sexually assaulting Mayoi during his attempt to save her was what (would have) lead to her being run over. Which he then prevented (as an aside, that chase scene could have been directed and animated better; Koyomi had to rely on his vampiric strength at the moment of truth to reach Mayoi before the truck; I would have liked to see him make that mad dash).

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Somewhat reflects the fleeting connection with existence that ghosts have, I guess.

Mayoi’s new opening happy bite seemed to be channeling that complicated and paradoxical nature of time travel with the images that look right only from the one correct angle, as well as her hopping along an Escher-inspired set of boxes. No doubt that was what they were going for. I’m not so sure what that giant exploding snail was about, but I liked the opening animation with its geometric gimmicks. Satoru Kosaki‘s composing work was excellent as usual, showing his versatility with another song unlike the other openings he’s written. I liked it much better and more relaxed than the Mayoi Snail opening Kaerimichi. I don’t know what genre the song would fit into, but it reminded me of September by Earth, Wind & Fire. meg rock‘s lyrics seemed like a straightforward message from Mayoi to Koyomi (eg “You always harass me.”). Unfortunately Emiri Kato‘s singing voice really brought the song down. I think it’s that Mayoi’s voice has a really annoying, slightly squeaky quality, and that’s made even worse when she sings.

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The only other times when Shinobu’s eyes get that big involve donuts (click for a nice gif someone made).

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I know it’s Koyomi’s fantasies, but really, Shaft? None of that was in the novel, but it did have Koyomi fantasizing about how enchanting a “loli Hanekawa” would look a chapter before they actually met her.

Of course, not everything time travel touches has to be life and death. Kind of like in Henneko last season, this was a good excuse to show us loli/shota younger versions of our favorite characters. Shinobu and Koyomi really are two peas in a pod, going by their reactions to seeing the shota Araragi and loli Hanekawa respectively. Shinobu’s little freak-out was particularly funny in the book as it came immediately after her accusing Koyomi of wanting to buy “loli porn” during this time when legal restrictions were looser. Glass houses and all that (Koyomi started wondering whose influence was responsible for turning her into such a dangerous person. Gee, who indeed?). I have to admit, Koyomi’s lolicon tendencies got a bit disturbing during his fantasies about loli Hanekawa, but at least he found the strength to resist his urges.

Naturally both encounters with those grade schoolers were completely superfluous to the main story, of course. There’s a reason why fans have dubbed this volume (as well as Onimonogatari “Shinobu Time”) Lolimonogatari.

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That left shot wouldn’t arouse suspicion. That right one, not so much. And the bottom… He has the right to remain silent.

Well, most responsible for that title is Shinobu, who has been continuously on screen with Koyomi as his partner in crime. I really can’t get enough of her, and I wish some parts that Shaft had to cut for brevity could have made it to screen. The adaptation all but skipped over chapter 8, in which Shinobu tried to reassure Koyomi that time paradoxes are impossible and also admitted that fate wouldn’t have let him finish his summer homework anyway – she did it only for the donuts and to try out time travel for once in her life. This lead Koyomi to conclude that she is and always was, even as Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, an idiot. Her irreverent and carefree (or should I say uncaring) attitude regarding everything no matter the seriousness is what makes her so charming.

Another part I would have liked to see was her and Koyomi sleeping together in a park close to the Hachikuji house, squished together inside a pipe-shaped playground structure. Where Koyomi was crying out to “loli Hanekawa” and playing with Shinobu’s rib cage in his sleep (a running joke in the novel that was cut out entirely in the adaptation is that he finds her collarbones and rib cage to be incredibly sexy).

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Millions of nutbladders suddenly cried out in moe, and were suddenly ruptured.

That said, I don’t think any fan of Shinobu would be disappointed by this episode. That’s not quite how I was picturing her “hug” of Koyomi during their search for the Tsunade home – based on the text, I had assumed something closer to holding a baby with its head over your shoulder. But there was room for interpretation, and I’m not surprised that the incorrigible lolicon Shinbo decided to go the direction he did. Even better was seeing Shinobu, middle school version, modeled after Hanekawa and in the same uniform we’ve seen Nadeko in (same middle school that Koyomi attended). Seriously, those glasses and braids were irresistible, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see her like that more.

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Come on, Shinobu, you couldn’t keep those on? Also, WTF that was a wig?

Shaft has done a good job cutting up the book to episodes, ending each of the first two immediately after a time slip, at a natural cliffhanger point. So, what does Koyomi mean when he says that the world had ended? How did saving Mayoi’s life on Mother’s Day cause it – or was it some other seemingly inconsequential event like meeting loli Hanekawa or Mayoi’s father? Do Shinobu’s ominous words before their time jump about possibly betraying Koyomi have any significance? How does all this connect with what we saw of Shinobu and Koyomi during Tsubasa Tiger? Logical thinking will get us nowhere; the only thing to do is to sit back and enjoy the next twist Nisio throws our way.

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So what awaits our heroes when they return to their present? The ending sequence and last week’s flash forward should give you some hints.


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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27 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 08”

  1. skylion says:

    Millions of nutbladders suddenly cried out in moe, and were suddenly ruptured.

    This could describe the whole episode, really. I know, I watched this one like, a dozen times totally since it became available…..

    the incorrigible lolicon Shinbo decided to go the direction he did.

    He’s been on a steady growing pace since Negi and Evangeline…Akira and Mina….

    Oh, goodness, I was so cheesed by the cuts this episode made to the LN. I am crying for most of the missing chapter eight, which gives us the most depth the character of Shinobu has had so far. Yeah, she’s so baka underneath it all.

    But in all cases, this episode fully shows her willingness to be a “partner-in-crime”; she’s having a load of fun. As most can figure out, Shinobu Oshino is one of my all time favorite anime characters, if not out right favorite for so many reasons; this episode showing all of them.

    So we may cry for some missing scenes, but this one is just So Much Win.

    As for the upcoming shows. Oh, get ready for it. I have not read the last 16 chapters of the book (not available yet). But I am spoiled for the ending. Given how well they treat the franchise, I am quite anxious to see how well they hit the high notes. Oh, it’s called Mayoi Jianshi for a reason……

    • lvlln says:

      I’m thinking Shinbo will fit this arc into 4 episodes. Which is fine, but considering that we got a completely unnecessary recap episode of Neko Black, it’s a horrible mismanagement of resources. Taking things just a shade slower and providing more of Shinobu over 5 episodes would have been even more fine by me.

      So how much of the ending have you been spoiled? The sntientire sequence of events from now on?

      • Cybersteel says:

        I’m pretty the recap is important seeing that

        Show ▼

      • skylion says:

        How much? Whatever is written on the Wikipedia page for Bakemongatari…IOW, enough.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Hahaha, that pic at the start of the post can be interpreted in so many wrong ways.

    More Shinobu is always a pleasure. Looks like the show is re-enforcing the fact she and Araragi are compatible. He’s a lolicon and she’s a shotacon. She did look good as a blonde haired Tsubasa look alike but I prefer her appearance similar to Karen toward the end of Nisemonogatari.

    While I’m waiting to understand how changing the fate of one life could destroy the world, Araragi should have realized what he did would have impacted his relationship with Senjougahara seeing that Hachikuji had some influence when they were getting to know each other better.

    • skylion says:

      Shinobu is one of a kind. I love how her feelings on time paradox are very much in key with clues to her past. She probably knows that it takes more than Koyomi’s efforts to save Hachikuji to change the world.

      It reminds me of that old chestnut of a question that gets asked “If you could go back in time, would you kill Hitler?” I was asked that in a Phi 101 class. I asked the professor how I could go back in time…He said “you just can”. Well, thanks for granting me that power, the needs of the past can go hang themselves, Imma gonna become a god, thanks. Which is kinda the trepidation that both Koyomi and Shinobu are playing on.

      I just re-read the first 15 chapters. Oh, how I would have loved to have seen the scene where she mentions forgetting her full name a number of times. I love this character so much.

      Yeah, her teenage form has it’s merits, mostly in that donut fashion sense. But…..yeah, I’m liking the middle school year design and younger. Bishoujo are a dime a dozen. Excellent LOLi design is Godly.

    • lvlln says:

      Shinobu and Koyomi have been together for about 5 months at this point, and there’s some sort of vague mind/feeling connection between them, so perhaps the two have grown closer to each other, personality-wise. I wonder what aspects of Shinobu Koyomi picked up; of course, being in 1st person, the story can’t really tell us that.

      Shinobu Karen-version was pretty great, a nice melding of badass fighters. The vampiric power to create clothing sure is convenient.

  3. Highway says:

    I thought the opening was Q*bert inspired, myself.

    I like time travel stories, but they have to get to the point before I start liking them. the “possibilities of screwing stuff up” don’t make much difference to me, I want to see the consequences of screwing stuff up.

    • skylion says:

      Well…next episode should dunk a fine fine blend into your teapot…

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah I feel the same way on time travel I mean if you saw Steins;Gate you would know saving someones life only means they will die some other horrible way, but yeahhhh time travel always makes things screwy xD

    • BlackBriar says:

      Those who try to prevent an inevitible outcome will be the ones responsible for triggering it.

      • skylion says:

        So, they keep going back. Repeat. Repeat. Then, Shinobu become Walpugis, and Koyomi becomes…..Homura…no wait, that should be Senjogohara….Which makes Hachikuji….Kyubey?….

        Oh, the crossover….

        • lvlln says:

          Oshino Ougi gets her head bitten off, and Karen goes nuts after losing her crush to someone else?

    • lvlln says:

      Looking back, it kind of amazes me how many high profile or at least highly respected anime there are that use time travel as a major plot device. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya during some later arcs for example, or The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, or Masaaki Yuasa’s Tatami Galaxy, or 2011’s pair of big hits, Madoka and Steins;Gate. I’m afraid Nisio doesn’t take full advantage of the tool, but he does do a good enough job throwing unexpected curveball, like the consequences that emerge next episode.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    Dat Shinobu I died when she saw the younger araragi LOL

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yep, Shinobu is a closet shotacon. That surprised the hell out of me.

      • skylion says:

        That Shinobu is a connoisseur of all things Araragi is of no surprise to me….She is so delicious…

    • skylion says:

      You died, I made a gravtar…

  5. Kyokai says:

    Best Shinobu episode indeed and being a Maaya fan, I was delighted out of my seat. Not to mention, finally some Koyomi pervert scenes, which I realized I missed because the previous arc had SO LITTLE of him! Aaaah, my favourite seiyuu working off each other; this episode was more than a treat.

    About Mayoi, I have a feeling the dark yet lanky silhouette we saw of her when the arc began should shed some light on the changes that Koyomi fueled. Her destiny is being a oddity but the change should be interesting and I’m sure however drastic, these guys will figure their shit out as usual.

    • Kyokai says:

      Oh btw, was I the only one who recognized Koyomi’s mom in the Police station? Those eyes! *A*

      • lvlln says:

        Heh, that one is hard, because we didn’t get the best glimpse of her. And one would expect Koyomi to at least recognize her mother of when he was 7, if not necessarily completely remember. But yeah, would be quite neat if true, a nice little Easter Egg added by Shaft?

    • lvlln says:

      Maaya Sakamoto is always such a treat to hear perform. She does so few shows these days, and hearing just so much of her, as a co-protagonist really, in this show has been wonderful. Sakamoto sounds like she’s having fun voicing Shinobu, letting her rare (if ever?) loli voice come out. Not as drastic a change as when, say, Chiwa Saito plays a loli vs. normal girl, but I do feel like I’m hearing a very different Sakamoto in Shinobu.

      Oh, that silhouette… I’m not going to say that the ending is exactly the most satisfying thing ever, but I do love the journey to get there. Things sure as heck get drastic, and so quickly, too.

      • Kyokai says:

        She has become picky with time but definitely this is a rare role in her profile because usually her cue is of strong/over-powering female characters and not the loli kind. Her previous one that comes close is Ciel from Kuroshitsuji and that was a bad-mouthed shouta. xD

        And I can imagine the transformation and have already decided to accept whatever will come because its a NisiOisin thing to give the girls a new getup after every arc. Looking forward to it.

        • Highway says:

          I always thought it was interesting / funny that Sakamoto Maaya played all those strong, if not downright bad guy characters, but then sang the OP song for Tamayura ~Hitotose~, which is one of the sweetest and most supportive songs I know of.

          “Welcome home to the place of your memories,
          When you need to cry or be with someone
          I’ll be by your side.”

          (terrible translation by me)

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