Unfortunately for Nadeko, her red string of fate just loops back in on itself.
|So the race against the clock is on now, with Kaiki accepting the task of deceiving the godly Nadeko before time runs out for our heroes on the ides of March. Not a particularly impressive job by Shaft, but just like Part 1, they did a decent enough job while letting the solid writing carry the weight.|
Like Hitagi’s Fullmetal Alchemist doodles from Tsubasa Tiger Part 3, Kaiki’s illustrations – a map of the town in which the main characters live – were straight out of the book. First shot depicts 6 locations left to right: Naoetsu High School, Kitashirahebi Shrine, Nadeko’s middle school, Araragi’s home, Kanbaru’s home, the Fire Sisters’ middle school.
It’s great having a confidence man as the narrator. Yes, we can’t trust everything he tells us, but we also gain the advantage of listening to someone who is skilled at reading strangers very quickly. It was thanks to him that we got our first look and impression of Nadeko’s parents, not even present in her own arc. Kaiki didn’t say it outright, but he clearly viewed them as incompetent parents, pointing out how little they seemed to know of their daughter’s private everyday issues. Of course, it’s possible that Nadeko’s parents weren’t the most willing to share all details about their daughter to a stranger they had just met, but I chose to believe Kaiki when he said that they opened up to him at mention of their daughter. Plus, that doesn’t explain away them continuing to stay ignorant of the secrets in her closet, rather than trying to use them to find her after she’d been missing for almost 2 months.
It certainly helped to support the point made in her arc, that she was a victim in a sense due to how she had been treated throughout her upbringing. No one is more important to one’s upbringing than one’s parents, and it looks like Nadeko’s weren’t the best. That album consisting solely of solo shots of her with her awkward smiles was downright creepy, and her parents probably should have realized that that didn’t belong to a well adjusted middle school girl. Though maybe, like the closet, they never peeked inside.
Good job drawing her smiles, especially around the eyes, all look same-y in order to support what Kaiki observed.
So what’s in that closet anyway, and why was Nadeko so secretive about it? If you recall, this is a call back all the way back to the 2nd episode of Nisemonogatari, when Koyomi and Nadeko were on friendlier terms. No real clues so far as to the contents of the closet, but any early guesses on what it is? Or on whether or not it will even be relevant to the plot?
Whatever it is, Nadeko seems to have long forgotten about it by now (one of those important things she’s forgotten, like Kaiki Deishuu’s name, perhaps?) and appears fairly content, if lonely, in her new life as a god. Kaiki’s appraisal of her was that she was stupid and simple, something he found very fortunate when he made that slip up in revealing his name. Instead of being a target for revenge, he’s now the trusted first follower of his mark, a great position for a con man to be in. But one can’t help but to feel uneasy when recalling just what a big deal Nadeko made of Kaiki Deishu’s name at the start of her own arc. Don’t they say it’s best not to underestimate gods?
Interesting to see Kaiki revert to his regular hairstyle for a moment there.
At this point, it seems redemption truly is beyond hope for Nadeko. She’d rather stick with her plan to kill Koyomi and hold onto her unrequited love than take a chance on a relationship with him. It’s a fairly twisted thought, the naive adolescent “being in love with being in love” taken to a macabre extreme. Even most yanderes would back away from killing their love if given the chance to have a relationship with them, but not Nadeko. If you were paying close attention, you caught a brief flash of Kaiki’s thoughts when they were talking about this, and I would like to expand that to the full segment from the novel:
“If I could stay in unrequited love forever, wouldn’t that be happier than having the love returned, Kaiki-san?”
“… I guess it would be.”
I nodded. My only intention was to agreeably continue the conversation, but I can’t deny that that there was more weight behind that nod than I would have liked.
Unrequited love. It’s not as if I have no emotions, and when I came of age, I had such an experience as well. Actually, one could say that that unrequited love continues to this day – because she died in a car accident.
Because she’s dead, this love can only ever be unrequited. Regardless of whomever I might have a relationship in the future, this unrequited love will never end.
I’ve experienced falling in love, but not having my heart broken.
So Sengoku Nadeko’s thinking might not be wrong – if she kills Araragi Koyomi, then she gets to happily hold onto her unrequited love forever.
Without the possibility of heartbreak.
– from Koimonogatari “Hitagi End” chapter 17 (emphasis mine).
Hell of a look he can give.
I didn’t comment on the production work because there wasn’t much to comment on. That underwater sequence at the beginning at the cafe with Hitagi confused me more than anything. The other conversations were animated in typical manner, no tricks. Kaiki’s theme continues to be a delight to hear. Unfortunately, Hitagi’s opening is still missing, which makes this the 7th consecutive episode, going back to Nadeko Medusa Part 4, without an opening. Since Chiwa Saito isn’t Maaya Sakamoto, I have little reason to think that she won’t get one, but it’s still a little concerning. This is the follow up to Futakotome, the best song out of all 12 different openings this series has had, after all. This better not be a case of Shaft punting because we got Futakotome for “free” with no actual arc attached to it. Come on, Shaft, this arc deserves so much more than what you’ve put into it so far.
This seafloor metaphor is 2DEEP4ME. That’s right, I went there.