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!|
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.
Such a priceless look upon being told by Kaiki.
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.
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.
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).
I just love those asymmetric eyes in the final shot.