Monogatari Series Second Season – 21: Hitagi End Part 1

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (27)

Unfortunately, the Senjougahara family’s financial troubles meant that Lasik wasn’t an option for Hitagi.

So the worst kept secret in anime is out. If you had hoped Koimonogatari “Hitagi End” would be able to offer some insights into the inner workings of Hitagi’s mind, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Yes, Kaiki will be our trusty (or not) narrator for this arc which sees Hitagi calling on his help to resolve the mess that was left at the end of Nadeko Medusa.

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (28)

Kaiki’s face upon being told he would be stabbed was priceless. It’s those down turned lips, along with the always angry eyebrows.

There’s something refreshing about Kaiki as the unreliable narrator who is very open about his unreliability. Self deception was a key trait to both Tsubasa and to Nadeko as narrators, but Kaiki can’t deceive himself because he doesn’t believe in anything. He’s the biggest cynic of all in this series that is chock full of them, and he’s proud of it. So the arc plays out a lot like a conversation with a sarcastic friend who is telling a story while openly throwing in little embellishments and white lies here and there for your amusement.

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Why draw extras when you can… not draw extras? Fun fact: Kaiki has a pass that allows him to take 300 flights to anywhere in Japan in a year, so he actually spent nothing to go to Okinawa.

But what makes Kaiki so fun here is that we can see that even his own cynicism is a lie. There’s a touch of humanity within him that he denies and covers over with his expertly constructed facade. His charitable actions of flying to Okinawa to meet Hitagi, and of hearing out her request could be explained away with Hitagi’s threats of bodily harm. What’s harder to explain are the mental gymnastics he went through to justify accepting her request, running through every conceivable reason, even including considerations for a big breasted girl he had never met, before landing on his loose connection to Suruga by way of Gaen Izuko. Maybe a self serving reason will come out from there, but it’s evident from his thinking process that he was really reaching in order to come to the conclusion he did.

Also, when did he throw coffee into Hitagi’s face? When she mentioned the possibility of selling her body for money. That really doesn’t seem like the action of someone who proudly proclaims that he values money more than he does his own life, does it? A sociopath is a tough character to sympathize with, but someone who has utterly convinced everyone, including himself, that he’s a sociopath? That’s interesting.

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Great to see Hitagi’s 2nd opening referenced. We are getting a 3rd one, right Shaft?

One thing that was fun to see this episode was just how much Hitagi is like Kaiki, which made for amusing conversations as they both let loose on each other with their dry wits or unfitting costumes. We already know Hitagi better than we do Kaiki, and we can clearly see through her cold facade. Despite her cool front, we can feel the desperation radiating from her as she carefully navigates her way through the conversation, exploding with emotion only at his callous remark referencing the breakup of her family. She can dress it up in the pretty talk about redemption all she wants, the fact is, she wants to live and to see Koyomi live. She’s run out of options, and she’s doing everything she can to make this Hail Mary attempt work.

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (57)Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (59)

Really fun seeing her perk up at the hope of Kaiki’s help, and then downtrodden at the reality of it.

I really was expecting a recap episode of Nadeko Medusa before this arc started, but I guess Hitagi End will fill the final 6 episodes, making it the longest of the arcs. I was skeptical that this arc had enough to fill five episodes, much less six, but if the rest of the episodes are adapted like this one, Shaft should be able to fill them up. If you cut virtually nothing from the conversations, it’s easy to make these scenes go on and on (and they could stretch it even farther if they decide to be less aggressive with cutting Kaiki’s internal monologue than in this episode). This is in contrast to the rest of the season up to now which was much more liberal with the cuts than prior seasons.

It worked in this episode thanks to Hitagi and Kaiki bouncing off each other so well, and Shaft offering just enough variety to keep things interesting. We’re no strangers to seeing entire settings suddenly shift in color, but having Hitagi’s glasses change – along with Kaiki’s shirt – was an extra nice touch. Still, by the end of the episode I was growing bored with the visuals that kept showing the two conversers from the exact same angles, with none of the more fancy techniques Shaft has been known to employ to spruce up conversations. They put in just enough effort to stay afloat this episode, but I sure hope they do better for the rest of this extremely conversation-heavy arc.

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (32)Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (44)Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (60)

Three distinct stages in tone in this conversation, with new joke glasses and Hawaiian shirt for each.

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (18)Monogatari Series Second Season 21 (20)

A very funny coincidence that Shaft added to the adaptation, that Hitagi and Kaiki got their props from the same mannequin. Certainly something that someone could read a lot into.

Looking ahead, well, as I’ve mentioned before, I really really really liked Hitagi End. The plot is nothing special, but listening to Kaiki is surprisingly fun. It’s perhaps way too early to start speculating about how things will end, but I’ll make the point that part of what makes Kaiki such a fun narrator is that he’s the first one in this series who is a proper adult (Koyomi and Tsubasa are 18, but that doesn’t really count). Unlike these kids we’ve been following around, he has the perspective and patience of an adult, and even some wisdom to impart on his younger acquaintances. It’s funny how often problems can look so different when viewed from a different perspective.

Monogatari Series Second Season 21 ED (2)Monogatari Series Second Season 21 ED (1)

Very serene new ending theme and sequence, a duet by Haruna Luna and Kawano Marina, the singers of the 1st and 2nd ending themes of the season, respectively. And lyrics by meg rock, the lyricist of all of the series’s openings.


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 – 21: Hitagi End Part 1”

  1. skylion says:

    This sort of episode makes me want to be able to really dig into the LN’s. Say what you like about America, we don’t have everything.

    You know, my instant reaction to Kaiki tossing the coffee into Hitagi’s face did give me the exact same reaction you had. There are some lines he is not prepared to even think of crossing. When I think about him offering his aide in this one, that also makes me think of other lines he won’t cross, that might make things more difficult for him in future.

    I’m intrigued by how much is centering on Gaen and her family. They did that particular Chekov’s Gun way back in an episode of Nisemonogatari; one where we were probably far more entranced by his entrance, or far more entertained by Araragi’s sudden twin tail moment.

    Over all I think this one is a good set up for the rest of the arc and the finale for this Second Season. With that in mind, what are the plans for the rest of the LN’s? It is still ongoing.

    • skylion says:

      Now that I think of it, Lvlln? Did the LN’s even mention Hitagi wearing those gag glasses? Or is that a SHAFT invention? I ask because it might be a reference to Groucho Marx, an inveterate con man in the Marx Brother’s films if there ever was one? Seriously, I can tell if she’s trying to be Dr. Hackenbush or Rufus T. Firefly….A set of references that might be lost to modern audiences.

      • lvlln says:

        Mustache glasses and Hawaiian shirt & sunglasses are from the book, though the book didn’t mention them changing into 2nd and 3rd sets of them through the conversation. Since it’s narrated by Kaiki, there’s no way of knowing if he bought them at the same shop as Hitagi.

        • skylion says:

          Excellent, so I am bringing my own context to the scene. This makes me a bit happy.

  2. PrimeHector says:

    Under the greatest conman also seems to dwell a tsundere. Kaiki, it is good to see you again. An arc from Kaiki’s perspective certainly didn’t disappoint.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    This is the end. So if this is the final arc for the series then I guess Kanabaru’s story will be bundled with others at another time. From what I understand, she’ll be the main character. It’s funny. I can’t explain why but I would look forward to seeing Nadeko having her way with everyone.

    It’s odd having a con artist narrating a story about truth when he, himself, isn’t very truthful. Kaiki should know better than to try and deny anything Senjougahara asks. As he likes to deceive, she could be deceiving as well acting calm and composed when she might actually be on a short fuse.

    • lvlln says:

      I haven’t heard any updates on Suruga Devil; one hopes that Shaft can release those more quickly than they did the final 3 episodes of the first Bakemonogatari, which took the better part of a year. It does indeed star Suruga as the narrator and protagonist. Kaiki is in it, as is Ougi, and also some basketball. It wasn’t as spectacular as my favorite arcs such as this one, but it was still a fun little one. A story very separated from the other 5.

      • skylion says:

        That makes me feel like it would be a commentary on the story as it is. Neil Gaiman did that sort of thing with his Sandman comics. He would have a story that was unrelated as far as plot, but very much related to theme. Am I off on this sort of thought?

  4. edo says:

    No araragixgahara this season T.T

    I think gahara has a thing for kaiki(and older guys)and he likes her too that’s why he will help(the kanbaru thing was the reason he needed)

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, Araragi and Senjougahara haven’t appeared together at all this season. I don’t think Senjougahara has any positive feelings for Kaiki, though. It took all her willpower just contact him again, when she was at the end of her rope.

  5. edo says:

    yeah you are probably right,maybe I’m thinking too much about nise..

  6. Kyokai says:

    One of MikiShin’s best roles of this season, hands down. Even when he’s bringing in a lot of variety with MikiSugi of Kill la Kill and Gintarou of Gingitsune, he’s always best with his bad dudes. Interestingly though, even after being labeled a conman, just because you know that he was Oshino and Kagenui’s cohort, you can’t really hate him. And his banter with Senjou made me look him in a new light for sure.

    I guess I like Monogatari because NisiOisin can keep adding layers to characters with every story and Shaft is just perfect for adapting long dialogues, even if they can become long-winded sometimes.

    • lvlln says:

      Wow, I didn’t know he was also playing the teacher from Kill la Kill. Parallel roles, in a way. Nisio and Shaft really were a match made in heaven, it seems. Shaft was already notorious for their ridiculous sight gags in conversations with the likes of Pani Poni Dash and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Nisio’s writing gives them a lot of chances for that.

  7. MgMaster says:

    Oh man,it’s like the whole tone of the series has changed compared to the previous arcs.We get not just Hitagi but Kaiki too?IMO,this was the best aspect of Nisemonogatari as well(and the toothbrush scene,of course) and I couldn’t be more happy with the start of this arc.

    Also,you know Kaiki’s really something when he verbally owns even the awesome Senjougahara like this.

    • lvlln says:

      I wasn’t ever a big fan of Kaiki, so I was highly skeptical when I learned he’d be narrating Hitagi End. I haven’t really warmed up to him much, but as a narrator for this series, he’s a bold and very fun and funny pick. Of course, the thrust of the plot will be around Hitagi, Koyomi, and Nadeko, but what we learn about this conman is fascinating in its own right. This should be a good arc.

  8. tatsuya says:

    another great composer meg rock..ty for the Information..i’m gonna review all her artwork now

    • lvlln says:

      meg rock is great, though she’s not the composer, but rather the lyricist. I know her for the TTGL songs. Fittingly, she wrote the lyrics to the OP to this season’s Kill la Kill as well. The composer to the new ED seems to be Hidekazu Tanaka, according to vgmdb.

  9. UpsidedownEden says:

    I absolutely loved the just straight-up conversation. The visuals kept it interesting to watch, and the tone of the conversation kept getting knocked around so keep it interesting. I really enjoy the simple conversation scenes on the Monogatari series, the way most everyone talks and they shift the mood back and forth.

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