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