Monogatari Series Second Season – 23: Hitagi End Part 3

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Araragi had no idea that this was what Senjougahara meant when she described herself as a “traditional girl.”

If you’re keeping up with Monogatari coverage here at Metanorn, let me plug a couple of podcasts I’ve been on in the past week featuring the series. First, I was on Desu ex Machina‘s FAPCast again with Fosh to talk about the series and the Shinobu Time arc specifically. Second, we published our own podcast earlier this week in which I brought on two guests who had also read the novels for a conversation about our impressions of the show. Check them out!

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Those white karaoke subtitles really sell the opening. Here‘s a gif of the shot.

Well, after delaying for a couple episodes, Satoru Kosaki and meg rock bring us the final opening theme of the season, Wintry Wind Sentiment sung by Chiwa Saito and Shinichiro Miki, the voice actors for Senjougahara and Kaiki. It was as awesome as it was horrible. Awesome because, come on, it’s Senjougahara Hitagi with Kaiki Deishu singing a super cheesy 70s/80s love duet to each other with super cheesy 70s/80s art. And horrible because, come on, it’s Senjougahara Hitagi with Kaiki Deishu singing a super cheesy 70s/80s love duet to each other with super cheesy 70s/80s art Shinichiro Miki is an awful singer, apparently. They really couldn’t autotune that or something? His voice clashes so much against Saito’s, it’s almost painful to listen to at times. Excellent concept, less than stellar execution. Of course, I partly wish we got a proper follow-up to Futakotome, but this joke song and opening? Totally worth it. At least, it would have been, had Kaiki’s voice been tolerable.

I do wish Shaft had displayed a similar level of boldness in the production of the actual episode. Koimonogatari is shaping up to be the most visually uninteresting arc of the series. Though, as I’ve written before, the quality of writing in Koimonogatari is strong enough that the burden on Shinbo and his staff to make the adaptation interesting isn’t as much as in some other arcs. And to Shaft’s credit, they’ve done a stellar job with the facial animations in this arc, making all those conversations that much more interesting. Subtle changes in Hitagi’s eyes tell us her discomfort or confusion when meeting and talking with Kaiki, while Kaiki himself has gone through a whole lot of faces, sometimes looking like a harmless salaryman, other times like some version of the Devil (and still other times like David Belle). Nadeko’s smiles have been emphasized a lot as well, contrasting the fake smiles of her photo album with the genuine ones she has now. Truth be told, her smiles make her look much more beautiful now as a god than she ever did as a human.

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Such a priceless look upon being told by Kaiki.

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She’s got that Akio Watanabe smile working.

So quite a bit happened in this episode, giving us a lot of things to take away. One is that Kaiki has figured out Nadeko. She’s a pampered idiot, and she’s also crazy. Now, we’ve all seen that he isn’t wrong, but he feels so strongly about this that his plan involves nothing more than visiting her enough to earn her trust before telling her a bald faced lie. Confidence trick 101 stuff. It seems too simplistic for a con man the caliber of Kaiki, but certainly Hitagi seemed to be satisfied by his explanation.

Speaking of which, a second takeaway is that Hitagi was far more stressed out about this situation than she let on, breaking into tears upon being told that she and Koyomi will live past graduation. Her desperation was evident from her drastic actions just to recruit Kaiki, but her breaking her facade to show real emotions is a rare, noteworthy event. Off the top of my head, I only count 3 other times: end of Hitagi Crab, date during Tsubasa Cat, and while waking up Tsubasa in Tsubasa Tiger.

Monogatari S2 23 Hitagi Eyes

This was one shot I was eagerly looking forward to, and Shaft most certainly delivered.

Something else we learned this episode: Gaen Izuko has been filling the shoes of Oshino Meme for this town, and she wants Kaiki to back off. Her motivations aren’t clear; Ononoki theorizes that she fears the risk of great disaster should Kaiki fail, but Kaiki finds this hard to believe. If that were the case, Kaiki’s motivations line up with hers – he also realizes that if he fails, not only his life, but that of everyone in the town, is likely forfeit. Which means doom for his precious Gaen Kanbaru Suruga, his sole justification for taking this job.

Which brings us to another takeaway: Kaiki is willing to cut all ties with Gaen Izuko, not only disobeying her but actively stealing 3 million yen from her to aid his quest to deceive Nadeko. This obviously raises some big questions about his relationship with these Gaen ladies. Just what is his relationship with Suruga that he can throw away his relationship with Izuko just like that? And what was his relationship with Izuko and her sister anyway? It’s very difficult to ascertain this man’s motivations without the answers to those questions.

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Ononoki’s face never changes, but I did like the camera angles constantly changing, particularly to this shot. Peace peace~

In the meanwhile, Kaiki’s trucking along, learning more cat’s cradle to teach Nadeko and even discovering the contents of Nadeko’s secret closet. Any bets on just what Kaiki found in Nadeko’s closet? What does it take to shock this con man? I found the passage in the novel describing that scene quite amusing, so I decided to translate it for you all:

I searched within my pocket for a coin.

Thankfully, I still had change from when I bought Ononoki’s chocolate chunk scone. I took out a 10 yen coin and turned the closet lock.

Within, there was rotten corpse of a middle school boy who had been cut up with a chainsaw. Actually, that never happened; it looked like just a normal closet at first glance.

Just clothes hanging on a rack.

But I can’t say that that was all.

That is to say, those clothes were just there for camouflage, and the goods were right behind them.

“What the hell…?”

-last lines of Koimonogatari “Hitagi End” chapter 25 (emphasis mine).

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I just love those asymmetric eyes in the final shot.

About

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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25 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 23: Hitagi End Part 3”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Fun fact Kaiki’s voice actor also voices Kisuke Urahara from Bleach who also deceives people all the time! So he is a perfect choice and Gin from Gingitsune! I loved his singing in the OP I couldn’t stop laughing but it was amazing and we so called it Lvlln on that Monogatari Fapcast the OP would be a duet between Hitagi and Kaiki~

    I must know what Kaiki really found in that closet! I was expecting to see Araragi…

    • lvlln says:

      Ha, I didn’t recall talking about it on FAPCast, but I guess we did call it. I didn’t seriously think they would go through with it, probably pegged the chances at less than 1/10, but hey that’s Shaft for you.

      You were expecting to see Araragi? In what condition?

      • Foshizzel says:

        Hmmm not sure I guess I thought Araragi would be in her closet tied up or something ahaha

        • UpsidedownEden says:

          Wouldn’t it make more sense if Araragi to be captured at the shrine? He does visit there, would make more sense to capture him than at Nadeko’s house. Maybe there’s an Araragi body-pillow though..

  2. skylion says:

    Miki Shinichiro has a voice made of pure velvet, man! Now, it’s true that the velvet is snaking down around his neck, constricting his throat and making inroads to crushing his chest, but it’s still velvet! As Fosh points out, he is also doing Gin this season as well as the sexy tones of NUDIST BEACH. He’s having fun, I can tell that much.

    Something tells me that we have three cons running at the same time. Kaiki v Nadeko, Kaiki v Gaen, and Nadeko v Everyone.

    • lvlln says:

      I sure do like his role in Kill la Kill, a pretty similar character in some ways opposite the main character. A fine voice he has, but I’m not sure that singing is the right thing for him.

  3. UpsidedownEden says:

    The closet!! If I may, some random theories from someone who has never read the manga or anything, I think it’s either:

    A packed closet filled with random Araragi stuff(creepy)

    That “darkness” stuff either (A) being held back by Gaen or (B) being held back by Nadeko(I’m desperate to convince myself I know anything!)

    Something that Kaiki will see that will make him feel serious sympathy

    Just a funny way to have a fake cliff-hanger and it’s just something Kaiki finds in a little girls room that is another world to him

    Something related to the snakes Nadeko killed that freaks Kaiki out…

    Of course, I’m probably waaay off as usual, but I can at least try. It’s pretty clear it’s not a person by how he said “this” and said it pretty slowly, doesn’t sound like he’s speaking to anyone but himself.

    • lvlln says:

      Haha, I like the way you think! All good ideas. That 2nd one involving the darkness from Shinobu Time didn’t occur to me; that’d be quite the incredible twist. Nisio likes to tease at those chapter endings so much, which translates well to these episode ends. The unseen kiss with Karen in Karen Bee or how the penultimate episode of Nadeko Medusa ended right when Araragi walked in on Nadeko in his room come to mind.

      • UpsidedownEden says:

        Well, from how I see it, every god thus far has been a animal in a sort of spectral form. When Shinobu pretended to be god she, and her worshipers, were the target of the “darkness” since she wasn’t really a god, though she was pretty close. Since Nadeko is still in somewhat human form, I figure she isn’t considered a “pure” god in that sense, because she still has her human form and personality and.. pretty much everything, she just kinda has god powers. I figure there might be something in the closet that the “darkness” started to absorb before coming after Nadeko, like how it went after Shinobus followers before actually targeting her.

        /tinfoil hat

  4. Highway says:

    I thought the awful singing was part of the joke of the OP. Cause that was certainly Chiwa Saito’s worst singing effort I’ve ever heard. If you’re going retro with the song style and the animation, why not go retro with the production, and just let it be bad?

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, you’re probably right, but I’ve never been particularly receptive to the “it sucks because it’s supposed to” argument. It’s possible to have bad production values while not being painful to listen to, like, say, Miracle Mikuru Run.

      • Highway says:

        I would say that the awfulness is in the ear of the beholder. :) I really took it as a character song as well, and the idea that Kaiki (and Hitagi) really isn’t putting in the effort because he thinks it’s a terrible idea kind of came out at me.

    • skylion says:

      It was like the embarrassing karaoke moment it was supposed to be…

  5. edo says:

    lvlln do you think the adaptation of this episode was fine? did they cut funny moments or dialogues ?

    • lvlln says:

      This arc has been very sparse with the cuts so far, perhaps necessary for filling out its 6 episode count. However, most of Kaiki’s internal monologue has been cut, also out of necessity, because we can’t have him narrating every last thing in a visual medium. This was the case in Nekomonogatari White, which unfortunately meant that adaptation lost much of what made that arc special.

      From my notes, there were a couple funny pieces cut from this episode. One is that at Mr. Donut, Kaiki thought to himself, he better order an iced coffee instead of the regular hot one, just in case Hitagi decided to splash it in his face. The other is Kaiki making a reference to Dragon Quest to Nadeko when she asks him if his wish is for marriage (Nadeko’s favorite game genre being retro, if you recall). Apparently in Dragon Quest, you lose half your money if you die. His logic is, you also lose half your money if you get married, thus wishing for marriage is like wishing for death.

  6. edo says:

    I see thanks man

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Kaiki accepting Gaen’s warning to pull out might be for his benefit. He might be a good con artist but everyone eventually meets their match and Nadeko may be it. It’s nothing short of dangerous messing with someone who’s an airhead, insane and loaded with unlimited power.

    • UpsidedownEden says:

      Wait.. didn’t he take the bribe with no intention of stopping? Did I derp hardcore?

      • Highway says:

        No, he took Gaen’s money and kept doing what he was doing. I read BB’s comment as saying part of Gaen’s trying to bribe him to stop was for Kaiki’s own benefit (so he doesn’t end up on Nadeko’s kill list), not just to stop him interfering with Gaen’s plan.

        • UpsidedownEden says:

          Yea, sounds like Kaiki doesn’t really know what he’s getting into since he isn’t exactly fond of the concept of the supernatural. I was just confused on the actual leaving part, thought I was more crazy than I thought there for a sec.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Thanks, Highway. That’s exactly what I meant. If you’re playing with fire, you’re gonna get burned and Nadeko is a restrained inferno right now.

  8. dangerism says:

    Just remember that this is being told from Kaiki’s viewpoint, any behaviour of anyone that seems out-of-character might be embellishment on his story-telling part. He’s a liar after all.

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