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