Monogatari Series Second Season – 17: Shinobu Time Part 1

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Shinobu keeping things classy for her arc!

Monogatari is back after yet another recap episode. I guess that’s one way of using the episodes they freed up by delaying Hanamonogatari “Suruga Devil.” The series is slated to go 10 more episodes, with 4 of them dedicated to this new arc, Onimonogatari “Shinobu Time”. Since the final one, Koimonogatari “Hitagi End”, doesn’t have enough content to fill up 6 episodes, we’ll probably see one more recap episode between the arcs, covering the [REDACTED] arc from this season.

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That single pigtail look is good on her, at least when she’s blazing past on a bike.

So Shinobu Time starts off right where Mayoi Jiangshi left off, concurrent to the events of Tsubasa Tiger. This means the cram school will burn down in a couple days, during which time Shinobu will be cut off from Koyomi. As arc introductions go, this one was probably the weakest, dominated by the series’s trademark mundane conversations and loli fanservice with a little chase scene in the middle. I wish I had more to add, but there wasn’t anything particularly interesting in the book that got cut out. The villain this time is a phenomenon our heroes can’t perceive but instinctively want to avoid. That doesn’t make for great visuals, and I don’t know what was worse, seeing Koyomi frantically biking away from nothing, or seeing the black ball of text that was chosen to represent it. I suppose it’s appropriately mysterious at this point, but I was hoping Shaft would give us something mind-bending instead of a generic looking blob.

What I do find really curious is that Shaft injected Ougi into all those shots in the first chapter during Koyomi’s narration about Shinobu. As you might have guessed, the chapter in the book was just that narration, with no mention of Ougi. Or wind turbines. So just what are they getting at by injecting her into that scene? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Now we know that this town also has a natural gas or oil pipeline running through it…

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Besides the continuity, Onimonogatari also shares with its predecessor Kabukimonogatari the fan-given nickname Lolimonogatari, and I’m sure you can already see why. Koyomi has kissed a couple ladies in this series, namely Hitagi in Tsubasa Cat Part 2, Karen in Karen Bee Part 5, and Tsukihi in Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4, but with two of them off-screen and the third obscured in the shadows. And just like that he gets to do it plain as day twice within an episode, this time with a couple of very very young-looking girls (but it’s OK because they’re actually hundred-plus years old, right? Right?). Unlike those earlier kisses, these didn’t have a whole lot of plot significance. Ononoki had the hots for him after seeing him half naked (there’s a separate reason for the kiss revealed later, but it’s a pretty bad one). And Koyomi stole one from Shinobu mainly to shut her up and to make up for “cheating” on her (where does that put Hitagi then?). Normally I’m into the fanservice of this series, but this stuff was just too tame for fanservice while being too gratuitous to have any other meaning.

I do like that Ononoki seems to be turning into a genuine Monogatari girl after starting out as an apparent side villain in Tsukihi Phoenix. She may not have an arc named after her yet, but she followed up her surprise appearance from Mayoi Jiangshi with a strong showing here. In that arc, she had some thoughts about life after death (hey, all 3 individuals she pointed out in that conversation – herself, Mayoi, and Koyomi – are in one room! Along with Shinobu, who, like Koyomi, is a human-turned-vampire), and here she had some thoughts about Koyomi’s muscles. Her words betray a level of autonomy and consciousness not reflected by her expressionless face. Even her verbal tic from Tsukihi Phoenix – “I said with a posed look” – was explained away as her just being playful, rather than a result of her being a familiar. Her character and voice are as flat as she is, but now I’m actually curious to learn more about her as a person. That’s a good thing.

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Shaft missed its first real opportunity at flexing their animation muscle with the chase scene in this episode, but I’m hoping they can capitalize next week as Shinobu’s story from 400 years ago unfolds (if you recall, she is 598 years and 11 months old, a piece of trivia omitted from the anime adaptation). Just what happened to Shinobu the last time she was in Japan, and how does it relate to this thing that Koyomi and Mayoi are facing now? Was Koyomi on the right track with his guess that this thing was related to oddities that attack only when looked at? (hint: yes). Is Mayoi safe while fast asleep alone with Koyomi and only Shinobu there to protect her? Will we finally see the sequence of events that lead up to Koyomi’s appearance at the end of Tsubasa Tiger? Personally, I’m most looking forward to seeing what Satoru Kosaki and meg rock cooked up for Maaya Sakamoto to perform for the opening theme.

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Gotta love Hajime Ueda‘s illustrations in the ending sequence. Interesting that Mayoi features just as heavily as Shinobu in the sequence for this arc…


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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18 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 17: Shinobu Time Part 1”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Lolimonogatari. Araragi the lolicon. Just like Matou Shinji.

    Pedobear gives this the seal of approval.

  2. skylion says:

    As Di Gi sez above, Pedobear may approve, but to a critical eye?

    Most of this could have been whittled down to five minutes of exposition, at most. Former Posed Look LOLi had the best amount of screen time.

    I have to admit, this would have been shocking, if not for Nise #4. As it is, most of the service comes of rather wan. At least the bath scene had exposition and a heavy amount of character development. lvlln pointed it out correctly, “too gratuitous” for any other purpose.

    As an unabashed Shinobu fan, I’m happy to see her get more and more time in the show, I just wish it was a bit better spent.

    And yes….the Maaya OP!

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, I had thought Shinobu Time could’ve fit in 3 episodes if Shaft had been smart with the cuts. They cut plenty for this episode, but it really should have been even tighter. Hopefully they do something fun with the meat of the story coming up, which should give us plenty more Sakamoto next week. The whole novel was technically narrated by Koyomi, but entire chapters were made up just of Shinobu monologuing. Good chance for Shaft to shine.

  3. Kyokai says:

    Waddup with all the blurry 3D shots in the ED. Now that was curious even if both again belonged to the two lolis in question.

    For a note, this should be my favourite arc after Mayoi one and I’m curious to know what would Senjou do if she finds out about Koyomi kissing all these girls? :3

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Operation NICE BOAT.

      • Kyokai says:

        Ahahahaa. Of course. I can’t expect anything less from her. 😉

        Though, @lvlln, is there mention in the novels of Senjou ever finding out?

        • lvlln says:

          It hasn’t been mentioned in the novels yet, no. Though keep in mind that since most of the novels are told from Koyomi’s perspective, we’re not privy to everything that other characters know. Shinobu Time is told from Koyomi’s perspective.

          • Kyokai says:

            I would definitely like to know how Senjou reacts to Koyomi kissing girls left, right and center. I’m sure Nisio left it to reader’s imagination because of its dubious nature.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Finally, it’s Shinobu’s turn. I think this will be one of Monogatari’s best arcs like Nadeko Medusa.

    Kissing a bunch of different girls. Araragi has officially been upgraded to “manwhore” status. For his sake, he better hope Senjougahara doesn’t find out.

    • skylion says:

      Hitagi, unlike her boyfriend, is no idiot (or at least not his kind of idiot). She is probably aware of his “manwhoring” and his given her leave for him to pursue it. Just so long as he doesn’t take the affair serious.

      • Highway says:

        I think there’s really only ever been one serious contender to Hitagi, and Koyomi rejected her (even as that contender threatened Hitagi that she’d take him away). All the other girls are just vehicles for Koyomi to indulge his fetishes. And Hitagi realizes all this, and doesn’t trifle with things that are not worth it.

        It also doesn’t really change the fact that the strategy that won Koyomi for Hitagi was, at it’s core, “put out first.” 😉

    • lvlln says:

      Hopefully Shaft can keep up their streak for this arc. Oni was my least favorite of the 6 books, along with Otori, but they did a hell of a job with the latter, so there’s reason to be optimistic.

  5. PrimeHector says:

    Nadeko was right. New mistresses. What if there’s an apparition hiding under her skirt?

    • BlackBriar says:

      New mistresses.

      It was going to happen eventually. But he better not test Hitagi’s patience.

  6. Highway says:

    You know, I’m probably the only one, but whenever Shinobu shows up and starts to talk, I pretty much lose interest. Especially if she’s talking to Koyomi. Her conversation with Nadeko was probably the most interesting one she’s been involved in for me. All the rest, I just seem to tune out. The never feel important, they never feel interesting. They just feel like a way to waste time.

    Her powers are compelling. Her action is compelling. Her dialogue? Snooze.

    • skylion says:

      I don’t, really know if you are the only one. Maybe her backstory will be on interest?

      • lvlln says:

        I’ll let you judge if her backstory will be of interest. Unfortunately, with Kizumonogatari still MIA, you’re missing some major history between her and Koyomi.

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