Monogatari Series Second Season – 14: Nadeko Medusa Part 3

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In which Nadeko goes into training and comes back as a martial arts master.

Ah, so the unraveling of Nadeko Sengoku has begun. At the beginning of Nadeko Medusa, we were promised a very different Nadeko from what we had grown accustomed to, and part 3 has given us a glimpse, a glorious, hilarious glimpse. Shaft continues to make an adaptation much better than the source in this arc with its excellent visual direction, with fine voice work to boot.

Modified opening with original Renai Circulation colors and extra effects! I liked the off-color look of the 1st version better…

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So dangerously cute, yet so adorably frightening.

Has Tsukihi had a better scene in this series than her conversation with Nadeko in this episode? Neither Araragi sister has gotten that much screen time even taking into account their arcs in Nisemonogatari, so it’s always nice to see them as they are rather than just being told of how they are. Tsukihi, of course, has the reputation of being hysterical – not in the “haha” way – and now we’ve seen ample reason why she’s one of the people Koyomi fears the most. She is a sharp one, not letting Nadeko get away with her usual apology deflection, even resorting to the threat of violence. And as a friend she pulled no punches, calling out just how absurd Nadeko’s 6-years-running crush was. All with a bright smile on her face and bed head too cute for words. Every line from her mouth is so filled with acerbic wit, I think it would be exhausting if she got any more screen time than she did. She’s good for the occasional spectacular one-off scene like her love advice at the beginning of Nekomonogatari Black or her brief appearance at the beginning of her own arc.

What a great chain of events she set off with her surprise clipping of Nadeko’s bangs (not including a scene cut out entirely following Nadeko’s scream, which involved Koyomi rushing into his room and beating Tsukihi so hard she was throwing up blood. This was followed by him stating his intentions to do things to her that couldn’t be shown under the Tokyo youth ordinance bill. Even Shaft has its standards, I guess). Much like in the first episode of the arc, I have to give props to Shaft for making a meek-girl-goes-psycho scene something memorable. How fun was it to see her going off at her teacher and then her classmates, accompanied a familiar frantic tune (Perverted Cat, used in the Tsubasa Cat climax) Nadeko’s hair beginning to take on the snaky appearance from the opening flash forward? She hadn’t looked so different at first after her haircut, but the way her facial expressions changed for this scene made her practically another person. Kana Hanazawa‘s voice was full of energy and was completely unlike her regular Nadeko, aiding the effect. The level of anger, sarcasm, condescension she put into her it was far beyond what I had pictured when reading this. Just a great job by everyone to bring Nisio’s writing to life for what will likely be the highlight of the arc.

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As they say, If looks could kill…

Where the hell did that come from? The haughtiness and rudeness aside, Nadeko’s rant to her classmates was pretty mature for her age and good advice. At the same time, we can’t help but laugh because we know that she’s completely incapable of following her own advice about not letting one failed crush ruin everything and moving on with one’s life. It was also funny that she was reprimanding her teacher for being fooled by her cuteness when she had eagerly exploited the privileges of her looks up to this point. Does the blame lie with her, does it lie with those who view her, is it somewhere in the middle, or maybe it’s everywhere?

It’s a good thing Kuchinawa immediately debunked the notion that he had caused any influence, because that would be the first thing to suspect. That is to say, everything Nadeko did, she did of her own volition, so she can’t deflect blame to him or anyone. Yet his handwave for how Nadeko had taken on Kuchinawa’s style of speech – particularly that “Hah?” tic – feels a bit too convenient, much like his previous explanation about the false positive at the sand pit. It’s good to think along that line if you’re interested in figuring out just what’s going on; I was reading this, I did predict one reveal that will be coming very soon – maybe the anime has given you enough hints to figure it out too?

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That girl doesn’t look familiar at all.

Now Nadeko’s mission has reached its end with the discovery of Kuchinawa’s body between the pages of Koyomi’s porn collection (a pretty interesting conversation was cut out here, in which Nadeko told Kuchinawa about her nonexistent sense of self and why she uses the 3rd person all the time), and Koyomi has come along to throw a wrench into her plans. I recall while reading thinking that moment was the perfect place to end an episode – I’m glad Shaft thought the same. Where do we go from here? How much does he know, how will he react, and why is that bookmark in his possession anyway? Quick poll: do you think this arc will end next episode, or do you think we still have 2 episodes to go? I was met with surprise when I told someone which of those I expected, so I’m curious how others might guess.

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One of Nadeko’s first thoughts upon losing her bangs was to start looking at porn, because she had heard that being perverted was why Suruga Kanbaru‘s hair grew so fast.

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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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7 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 14: Nadeko Medusa Part 3”

  1. skylion says:

    I think it will end next episode. I don’t know how many of the next LNs the show is supposed to be doing, but time is looking shorter than ever, with at least two very big ones to tell in Shinobu Time and Hitagi End.

    Also, I don’t think they will spend an overmuch amount of time on a revealed hypocrite. That sort of character trope spends itself rather quickly.

    Hanakawa’s performance was something to hear. But part of me couldn’t help but feel it was the audio version of Milking the Giant Cow. Or a great big helping of Ham and Cheese. Those sorts of things are dashed out with such wonderful visuals, however.

    • lvlln says:

      Well, Shinobu Time and Hitagi End are the only remaining arcs this season, as Suruga Devil was delayed for a later release. And we have 10-12 episodes left, or 8-10 assuming 2 more recaps.

      What do you mean by your comment on “revealed hypocrite?” Didn’t quite follow.

      • skylion says:

        Her full character revealed in a way that she can no longer deny.

  2. Kinza Datteri says:

    Every arc of Monogatari S2 has had a break-neck speed, imho. Maybe even too fast. I wish for two more episodes, but knowing Shaft they are completely capable of satisfyingly wrapping it up in one ep. As well as getting us shafted again with a 3rd recap, which I fear immensely.

    Also, I completely loved HanaKana ranting like old bike gang member this week. That whole segment, the execution, was so hilarious it reminded me of why I love Monogatari and SHAFT so much.

    • lvlln says:

      I’d say Tsubasa Tiger was kinda slow, but the other arcs, have certainly been fast paced. By necessity, to an extent, because while Bakemonogatari‘s arcs were based on sections of the books, the arcs this season are all full novels themselves. Nisemonogatari‘s arcs were separate novel volumes, but that’s why Karen Bee got 7 episodes, and Tsukihi Phoenix was rushed. Same goes for Neko Black, which was a volume fit into 4 episodes.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    Angry Nadeko was fan-freaking-tastic! Good job Hanazawa Kana damn…I wonder how sore her voice was after recording this episode? She was almost like the yandere/M chick from Neptune again ahahaha

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Tsukihi was prying too much and being too forceful. Though the slip up that started the whole thing was on Nadeko’s part, Tsukihi forced her into a corner. She was being more of a controller than a friend. Not to mention what she said earlier was pretty much made a confirmation that she became friends out of convenience and self satisfaction because Nadeko is cute.

    The real Nadeko reveals herself and it’s about time, too. If anything should be known is that one has to keep an eye on the quiet ones and Nadeko proves that. They wear a neutral mask in public but there’s no way of knowing what’s on their mind. Kana Hanazawa was awesome using her voice as Nadeko shattered her previous appearance in front of everyone. In retrospect, she turned out to be the very example of hypocrisy.

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