Monogatari Series Second Season – 24: Hitagi End Part 4

Monogatari Series Second Season - 21 Nadeko Sake (2)

Wherein Kaiki reveals his plan B: turn Nadeko into an alcoholic, thus transferring her obsession with Araragi into obsession with a drug.

So Kaiki finds a request disconcertingly in his hotel room and meets Hanekawa Tsubasa for the first time, while also going through his regular check ins with Hitagi and Nadeko in this one. Not a whole lot that were of interest in this one other than Shaft finally bringing the visuals up to par.

Monogatari S2 24 (27)

Very reminiscent of Blade Runner, a movie famous for its spectacular cityscapes. She just needs a flashing Coca Cola (or was it Pepsi?) sign under her.

I think this episode is the best display so far of why Shaft deciding to make this a 6 episode arc is problematic. In order to fill out all that time, they needed to cut very little from the conversations. This resulted in an episode that was start to finish conversations that were not all that entertaining to listen to, even though they were quite important for the plot.

The phone call with Hitagi that made up about half the episode was a drag at times despite Shaft’s best efforts. I’ve been critical of their visuals in this arc, but they brought out the big guns for this one with the many shots of Kaiki’s hotel room and his cityscape view, along with the flashes to his cell phone screen. I hope never to sleep in a hotel room where the floor pattern is constantly shifting. Lighting remains Shaft’s forte, and these colorful, vibrant shots were beautiful and engaging despite having very little animation.

Monogatari S2 24 (12)

Had to love Kaiki’s phone flashing red upon Hitagi responding with disbelief at hearing that he ripped up the note. Yes, she’s such a badass she can manipulate someone’s cell phone screen just by talking.

Unfortunately, all that effort wasn’t enough to make up for a conversation that simply went on too long. That we could see just half of it was a big factor; their meeting in the cafe in Part 1 was just as long, but also a lot more fun due to Hitagi’s bespectacled presence. Another big factor was that the conversation wasn’t very interesting. The two traded light jabs here and there, but it’s actually starting to feel old hat already. And there wasn’t a whole lot of that either, since most of the talk was just going over plot points one by one regarding this mysterious party who sent Kaiki that message. The one part that stuck with me was Kaiki talking down to Hitagi for thinking like a child. Once again, I have to point to the significance of this arc being narrated by a fully grown adult who has perspective that an adolescent or a young adult like Nadeko or Hitagi lack.

Monogatari S2 24 (44)Monogatari S2 24 (45)Monogatari S2 24 (46)

Man, a manga artist might have been a better career path for Kaiki. The bottom 2 images were just a simple to do list in the book.

Actually, that was basically the entire episode, wasn’t it? First half was Kaiki discussing Gaen with Hitagi, second half was him discussing Gaen with Tsubasa, with a brief alcoholic interlude with Nadeko in the middle, but there wasn’t enough information in either half to be particularly interesting. As joyous as it was to see Best Girl again with her new trademark black and white locks (she neglected to dye them since she was on vacation) after 15 episodes of absence, she was awfully cryptic in her words. So she left the country to throw off Gaen, but Gaen knows everything anyway, and also by leaving, she triggered Hitagi reaching out to Kaiki, which was her plan all along. Or something. Hey, don’t look to me for answers; there weren’t any insights in the book that didn’t make it into the show.

Oh, there was that small issue of the contents of Nadeko’s closet. Which was skipped right over. Just like in the book. Well, not just like in the book; there, Kaiki did provide the comment that what he found there wasn’t of any help to him at all, and that he felt bad for wasting his time. Also, he passed by Araragi’s home on the way back to his hotel and saw that the light was on on the 2nd floor. He wondered if Koyomi was studying, or if he was just playing games. Maybe you figured this would happen based on past performance by Nisio and Shaft, specifically the kiss with Karen in Nisemonogatari. Yeah, they like to troll. You’ll just have to wait to find out if your guess was correct. Or will we not hear about this again this arc? Funny how Shaft decided to omit the part about Kaiki’s disappointment. Again, no choice but to wait. :)

Monogatari S2 24 (56)

Shaft gave her the perfect smile, described by Kaiki as “magnanimous” or “gracious.” Also, she said her catchphrase to Kaiki, despite refusing to say it to anyone other than Koyomi in the Bakemonogatari commentaries! Is this what they call NTR?

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
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

30 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 24: Hitagi End Part 4”

  1. skylion says:

    All girls are taken by this smooth talking middle aged man. Oh, and Kaiki is not bad either, I guess.

    Yes, this was the jabber jabber episode of all jabber jabber. The end of the production meeting was “just jabber, it’ll be cool”.

    I’m actually quite upset that they choose not to give away what Kaiki found as disappointing. Would have added at least a layer to this episode.

    • Kyokai says:

      That jabber jabber was accompanied by some manservice too and from Kaiki?! I couldn’t believe my eyes but with that kind of OP, Shaft sure did their thing. Seriously, I can’t think of any other studio doing this perfect of a job for keeping things interesting with such a dialogue-hogging series.

      • UpsidedownEden says:

        They do such a fantastic job at it, only show I know of that can really glue you to the screen in a talking scene. Peter Jackson could learn a thing or two from this. The Hobbit movie has such little talking in it, which is what makes The Hobbit so good as a series.

        • Kyokai says:

          Yep, they are the best in this alright. This makes that Fate/Zero scene of explaining the ‘seihai sensou’ scene with Tohsaka and Kirei’s father doing clockwork rounds around him to shame.

      • skylion says:

        I made Kyo say jabber jabber.

        • Kyokai says:

          Don’t let me turn them to jabberjays for you. :P

          • skylion says:

            I don’t know what a jabberjay is, but I wouldn’t mind knowing, even at a cost…

            • Kyokai says:

              So, you haven’t read the Hunger game books then or watched the movies yet? They are a mutated version of mocking-jay bird, who can copy people’s voices perfectly. They are used viciously to spread panic among participants of the game by voicing their loved ones in pain.

            • skylion says:

              Sounds like my night job…

            • UpsidedownEden says:

              Jibberjaying intensifies.

            • Kyokai says:

              Bless ya guys, if it’s that bad at your night job. ><

      • lvlln says:

        Kaiki is a man with some big surprises. For one, he is RIDICULOUSLY athletic, as you’ll see eventually; even more than his impressive leap to Nadeko’s bedroom window might indicate. Naturally, that means his body is quite the pleasant sight.

        • Kyokai says:

          Now that’s a surprising fact. No wonder Shaft went way out of their way to showcase Kaiki’s cuts and abs. *chuckles*

  2. Sasuke says:

    Actually talking about ntr(I don’t like the term)… now I’m sure Hitagi has feelings for kaiki and I feel a bit sorry for araragi.

    • lvlln says:

      A lot of people believe this, but I see little reason to think it’s true. If you recall, earlier this arc, Kaiki confirmed that he was just trolling when he said anything in Nisemonogatari implying any romantic feelings or relationship between himself and Hitagi.

      • sasuke says:

        How would you describe their relationship ? since you read the novel you know a lot more than us

        • lvlln says:

          Well, there’s little, if anything, regarding this topic that I know from reading the books that you wouldn’t know from the anime. I’d say their relationship is as it is presented, a con man and his mark. The nature of conning someone is to earn their confidence, so I’m sure Hitagi truly trusted him during the con, but not necessarily in any romantic sense. And after the betrayal, of course, she feels nothing but hatred and bitterness for him, which is what made her reaching out to him for help in this arc so shocking.

          • Kyokai says:

            Also, knowing how Hitagi is, I don’t think she would ever love anyone the way she does Araragi. Her somewhat of a worship behaviour towards Tsubasa comes close but not so close again. ;)

    • MgMaster says:

      Oh man,don’t even go there…This thing has gotten really ugly on other forums.

    • Emerald says:

      Neither do I see where it was shown that she has feelings for him nor do I see anything even close to NTR (well to be fair, the term lost its true meaning thanks to little kiddies). What Hitagi felt towards Kaiki was not love, but more something like admiration because he was actually ready to solve her crab-problem. But as we know, Kaiki conned her family instead of healing her which turned her admiration intro hatred. Also as lvlln said, Kaiki already confirmed that the whole crush thing from Nise was nothing but a malcious lie. But guess people want to see some drama so they scream “NTR!” to any shit.

  3. UpsidedownEden says:

    Arrgggg, waited to see what was in that closet! My mind cannot take this level of trollery.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I have a feeling whatever he saw will be used for later episodes. Kaiki shows he’s the type who always has a trick up his sleeve.

  4. Highway says:

    Were we supposed to take away the idea that Nadeko had had some experience drinking her father’s beer? Cause that’s one thing I got out of it. I don’t know if that’s something usual in Japan (letting your kids taste beer / sake) but it hasn’t seemed to be.

    • lvlln says:

      I know in Korea, I was given beer when I was like 4 or 5. I hated it, threw up, and I wouldn’t drink again until I was 18. Some of my cousins in Korea have told me of being given alcohol by parents as well, tho not as young as I was! Given how casually she mentioned it and how Kaiki didn’t think anything of it, I figured such a thing must be common in Japan, too. I mean, Nadeko is 13 already, and from what I understand, most places aren’t as puritanical about underage drinking as US is.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    So many interests from other parties that it’s all coming together like a web. Though I wonder who stands to gain something if Kaiki succeeds of fails since apparently all bets are riding on him like the letter trying to discourage him and for a con artist, he makes some very compelling conversations and analysis.

    Because he’s a con artist, it’s hard to believe him sticking to the job despite having another outlet for money by simply saying adults don’t abandon their jobs that easily when he can disappear at any time. It makes me feel like he’s working an angle.

    • lvlln says:

      Because he’s a con artist, it’s hard to believe him sticking to the job despite having another outlet for money by simply saying adults don’t abandon their jobs that easily when he can disappear at any time. It makes me feel like he’s working an angle.

      Kaiki taking the job at all has been odd, to say the least. He had to really reach to come to the justification that he wanted to save Suruga. His motivations in this arc are an enigma.

      • skylion says:

        Hmm. I think he is trying to prove himself the ultimate con man. Consummate. A request from someone a previous con damaged, against someone that a previous con caused indirect damage, and thus the situation. Can he save the day with a con? I think the first person he is fooling is himself.

  6. AOG says:

    Heh,she may have said the catchphrase, but she said it very formally. Only Araragi has gotten the informal version! XD

    And it was good to see Tsubasa back to par after so long. Made Kaiki a bit antsy. The metaphorical “melting ice” as the icebreaker to their conversation was not missed. Nice job Shaft.

  7. skylion says:

    I’ve updated my soundcloud, for those that are interested. I’ve added the alternate arrangement for Chocolate Insomnia.

Leave a Reply