A loli on each leg and a third on the head. Kamijou Touma is low level.
|After last week’s brief aside concerning Shinobu’s past, we’re back to enjoying the Misadventures of Araragi the Lolicon this episode. Not a whole lot for all of you who were hoping to start connecting the dots between Shinobu’s story and the void. That’s 3 episodes into this 4 episode arc without any meaningful conflict or development. Just Koyomi getting uncomfortably close with prepubescent* girls as they inexplicably fight for his affection (*but actually 22, 598, and >100 years old, so it’s totally okay!).|
Those raised hands made this scene perfect.
For what it’s worth, I do enjoy seeing Koyomi’s pedophilic tendencies come out, and not just because Mayoi is adorable getting thrown and groped every which way. It reiterates one of the main themes of this series, that these are not Good People. Outside of Mayoi and the Fire Sisters, every main character at some point or other has chosen to harm innocent people out of their own selfishness. In-story, Araragi at one point in Nisemonogatari flat out called Hitagi a bad person who hides behind the tsundere persona as an excuse (cut from the 6th episode). Koyomi Araragi often falls into the boring anime everylead trope with his sense of justice and penchant for helping any girl who so much as glances at him, but let’s not forget, he’s also an unabashed pedophile who has groped and peaked at and beat and now kissed girls (who look) young enough for elementary school. And I don’t even have to mention the sociopathic tendencies of the female protagonists shown off in their arcs. I think such harsh disconnect between heroes and their villainous actions is one of the things that has made this series so popular.
Poor Mayoi is never bored when Koyomi is around.
Some great shots of the lolis this week.
The visuals were a step up from last week, at least in that it was actually animated. I liked the use of deformed and exaggerated designs for the slapstick comedy, particularly when they involved Ononoki. Her character design adds a lot of color and silliness to those scenes when she’s getting tangled up with Shinobu, Koyomi, or both. Her color palette and clothes are so loud and distinctive, you can’t help but to pay attention whenever she’s on screen. I was also impressed with Shaft’s work in the 2nd act of the episode in the mountains. Again, it was nothing they haven’t done before, but it was a great use of color and lighting to build a beautiful and serene setting. I appreciate the use of CG to distort the gratuitous reflection shots.
Frankly, though, the only part of the arc that has really impressed has been the music. Satoru Kosaki keeps dipping into different wells for his soundtrack – not dissimilar to Shinbo’s approach to the animation – and I was a big fan of the new theme that played over some of the more dramatic moments of this arc so far. I’m not knowledgeable enough about music to properly put it into words, but there’s a feeling of tension to the theme that just fits Shinobu’s arc. Unfortunately, it’s looking likely that Kosaki won’t get to show off his songwriting skills for this arc, as I’ve read (nothing confirmed, just rumors) that Maaya Sakamoto contractually can’t sing character songs. Maybe that’s why back when Arakawa Under the Bridge was airing, she did the opening to Shaft’s other show, And Yet the Town Moves rather than to the one in which she was voicing the quirky blonde female protagonist. Is it too late to call up Aya Hirano to reprise her role from the drama CD?
This episode had the first allusions to Tsubasa Tiger, the very first arc of this season. Koyomi sent that misspelled email to Tsubasa and Hitagi, which they got when the latter first took the former into her home, and he also got separated from Shinobu who will meet Black Hanekawa at the Araragi home. So at least those questions got answered, even if we’re still on square one with regards to the arc antagonist and the mystery surrounding it. If you are the speculating type, think about the moment when the void appeared in this episode, and the similarities to when it appeared in the 1st episode. In any case, we’ve only got one episode left, with the all-knowing Gaen Izuko around to bring Lolimonogatari to its logical conclusion.
Izuko seems to attract a certain type of clouds wherever she goes, it seems.