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.|
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.
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.
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.
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?