Monogatari Series Second Season – 25: Hitagi End Part 5

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Well, shit.

If last episode showed the downside of Shaft’s choice to use 6 episodes for Hitagi End, this one did the opposite. Like last episode, this one was made up of just a handful of very long-winded and artfully depicted conversations (including a 6 minute cold open with dialogue between Kaiki and Hanekawa), but unlike in the last episode, they were filled to the brim with interesting and possibly game changing pieces of information.

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I liked Shaft’s surreal visuals for the most part, but it was a bit too unhinged at times, particularly with the two unnecessary full-screen rotation shots on the train platform.

Where to start? There was Hanekawa, living up to her reputation with her insights on Nadeko’s condition. I think this is the first time anyone has said it so plainly, but she’s right, isn’t she? Nadeko doesn’t really love Araragi, she’s just infatuated with her crush on him. It’s an obsession driven not based on her feelings for him but rather on the beauty of such an obsession. Fits right in line with her current preference to kill Araragi in order to keep her love unrequited forever. The Ouroboros more and more appears to be a fitting symbol for her.

Of course, this information was of little use to Kaiki, who had no interest in saving Nadeko. The contents of Nadeko’s closet were also of no use, which he finally told at least the audience when asked by Hanekawa (a previous explanation to the audience had been cut in the last episode). It’s so much like Hanekawa to pick up on such a minor detail she heard from Araragi, even if Kaiki was of the opinion that it amounted to nothing. She also raised another big question that we the audience have, which is the identity of Oshino Ougi, the self-identified niece of Oshino Meme. Who doesn’t have any family at all according to Kaiki. The plot thickens. And that’s even with skipping Hanamonogatari, which will add even more intrigue to the character of Ougi and also will make that name Numachi Rouka mean something.

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The more I see Ononoki, the more I like her. Maybe it’s Saori Hayami‘s voice, or maybe it’s Shaft putting her in such colorful poses. Or maybe it’s her way of mercilessly tearing into Kaiki while expressing nothing with her face or tone.

Though one must wonder how truthful Kaiki is being when he says he doesn’t care to save Nadeko. His chance encounter with Ononoki at the train station was the most elucidating yet with regards to his personality. At least, it could be. There’s a narrative that Ononoki has painted of him, an alternate character reading, if you will, that he actually has a soft spot for Hitagi and took various actions to try to help her – he just failed at every turn. We might have suspected as much ever since his overly convoluted reasoning for accepting her job in Part 1, but his prior run-in with the cult that took Hitagi’s mother gives it a lot more weight. I loved seeing Kaiki sarcastically play off of Ononoki’s claims; whether it was an embarrassed con man seeking to keep his image or a cynical sociopath finding amusement in such claims, I don’t know. It certainly felt like Shaft was trying to push it one direction with flashes to close ups of Kaiki’s angered face and that uneasy music playing over the whole scene.

Kaiki talked to the girl herself right before that, which had already added fuel to that fire with his little mental victory dance at hearing that Hitagi’s reason for liking Araragi had at least something to do with him. There were a couple of things I really liked in this conversation. One was Hitagi’s reiteration that she would forever hate Kaiki regardless of his helping her now. There’s no sense of healing or redemption from his deeds this arc, just doing another job. It speaks to the severity of Hitagi’s injuries from her first encounter with him and refuses to trivialize it with a cliche happy ending of forgiveness. The other was Kaiki’s pithy observation that unlike her permanent hatred for him, Hitagi’s love for Araragi is very likely temporary. Of course she took it as an insult, but an adult with a sense of perspective like him knows that he’s probably right. I keep saying it because it’s true: it’s refreshing having a full grown adult as the narrator instead of an adolescent.

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Loved this little attention to detail, one big toe over the other. How often do you see animators take care to pose something so trivial? Then again, Shaft is known to be run by foot fetishists.

Though even an adult is no match for a god, apparently. So the moment that Kaiki had been building up to all month finally came. He was brimming with confidence, giving the deception his seal of approval and even encouraging Hitagi to count her chickens before they hatched, but this god was having none of it. Nisio occasionally likes to write chapter ends to be perfect episode ends, and this was one of them, with Shaft doing a fine job zooming into Nadeko’s reaction before the quick reveal. What a pose to finish on. Now that Gaen’s fears have been realized, what fate awaits Kaiki, Hitagi, Koyomi, Shinobu, and the town at large? Are there any cards up Kaiki’s sleeve that he can pull to salvage this or at least survive this, or is he now at Nadeko’s mercy, dependent only on some sort of deus ex machina? Did he underestimate Nadeko, or was there something or someone else in play that he didn’t account for? Nothing left to do but to wait for the thrilling conclusion to this arc and season next week!

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I’m sure plan B is looking awfully attractive to Kaiki right about now.

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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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39 Responses to “Monogatari Series Second Season – 25: Hitagi End Part 5”

  1. skylion says:

    Excellent coverage, thanks for bringing back the foot fetish!

    Cat’s cradle. It’s right there like an unexploded bomb. HIs ace can’t be the sake. Right?

    Oh, goodness. How I really wasn’t expecting that ending. I knew it was in the cards, and said so many reviews back, but I didn’t expect them to play it. I expected her to toy with him alot more. That would have been fun. But, I guess that is what next episode is for. She wants to kill everyone. Her first worshipper should be no exception.

    Cliched Sentiment, indeed…

  2. edo says:

    “The other was Kaiki’s pithy observation that unlike her permanent hatred for him, Hitagi’s love for Araragi is very likely temporary. ”

    I don’t know man,I think he was just jealous and there is no way he can assure that they will break up in the future. He knows that he will loose that bet.

  3. skylion says:

    Found a sweet little tumblr out there. I would love the Shinobu prints.

  4. MgMaster says:

    I get the picture that Kaiki can’t really connect to people such as someone like Hanekawa for instance.But did he really consider Nadeko THAT stupid as to forget the fact Araragi is a half-vampire and wouldn’t die from a trafic accident? By his inner dialogue(the fast text one) it seems to indicate that he actually does.

    Then again this is Kaiki we’re talking about here so you never know.

    Overall,I’m really liking this arc.It renewed my interest in the Monogatari series after I was slowly loosing it during the Mayoi/Shinobu arcs since they didn’t really add much to the story if you ask me(don’t hate me for that mr.loli defender!).Besides that,it made me appreciate Nadeko’s arc that much more.

    • Highway says:

      You’re not the only one. Shinobu does almost nothing for me, and any arc where she’s a main character just leaves me uninterested. I did like the end of hers (because it was pretty much all Mayoi, to be sure), but other than that, not really.

      Hitagi and Tsubasa are the characters I find most interesting.

    • skylion says:

      I cannot hate an honest opinion.

      • MgMaster says:

        That’s just me nitpicking though :) If I were a fan of those characters I’m sure I’d have liked those arcs even if I don’t consider them important to the overall story as they were by no means bad and provided a conclusive ending to Mayoi’s story.

        I’m just more of a Senjougahara >>>>>> Kanbaru > Hanekawa fan.Senjougahara is like,one of my favorite female anime characters of all time(maybe my #1 if I think about it more) so I can’t help but want more of her,heh.

        Poor Kanbaru though…she appeared only once in this season.She’s a fun one.

        • lvlln says:

          Shinobu Time was really a bad arc, I think. I was bored as heck reading it, and Shaft did little to make it better on TV. Mayoi Jiangshi, on the other hand, is my 2nd favorite arc. It’s a story that simply refuses to get less crazy as it goes, somehow ending up at a world saving story. I believe it was Neko White translator CanonRap who called it a parody of sorts of stories like that.

    • lvlln says:

      Being a vampire doesn’t confer him immortality, so he certainly could have died if the accident had been bad enough. Shinobu could have died as well, though it would have been tougher, since she would have gone back to her peak form at Koyomi’s death, and this is something Nadeko is aware of. Still, if, say, Shinobu was in regular form instead of in the shadow, and if the accident absolutely annihilated their bodies, they’d both be killed.

      Yeah, maybe Kaiki should have thought that one through a bit more.

      Thing is, of course, Nadeko knows that he’s lying to her, not just that he’s relaying misinformation, which could also be a possibility since to Nadeko, he doesn’t know Koyomi and Hitagi personally and might have heard about it just in the news.

  5. UpsidedownEden says:

    The music during the Ononoki conversation was perfect, you knew Kaiki was about to go to the shrine and the music was just perfect for a build-up on that. They played that card so well.

  6. laila says:

    so there is true love between hitagi and kaiki, oh god poor my koyomi

    • lvlln says:

      If there’s anything, it would have to be one sided, since Hitagi deeply, truly hates Kaiki. So Koyomi has nothing to worry about.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I never saw their relationship that way. To me, it’s like he always does things for his own benefit and couldn’t care less about the people involved.

    • amado says:

      meh considering already how araragi nearly left hitagi to keep mayoi company as well as him kissing other girls… id say araragi has no right to complain.

  7. laila says:

    mmm I think gahara loves kaiki too,it’s not one sided.

  8. laila says:

    Like when she couldn’t say “hate” properly… or when she said she would miss him..or when she offered to see him again..

    • lvlln says:

      I think that’s reading more into it than is warranted, especially since some of that was blatant lie. She certainly feels gratitude to him for doing this job, but I don’t see reason to think it goes much deeper.

    • Stafy says:

      I hope you are trolling because these are terrible ”arguments” to prove your point.

      • laila says:

        I’m not trolling so don’t be an idiot.

        Explain me then why gahara said all that.

        • Stafy says:

          Refer to lvlln’s post. As he said, Hitagi was just lying and she didn’t mean those things you mentioned. That was even confirmed by those flashing texts directly afterwards , so pay more attention to them next time. And as lvlln said, she feels gratefulness towards him because he saved her and, more importantly, her boyfriends live, but yet she can’t forgive him, which causes a conflict in her. That’s why she stuttered when she said that she’ll still hate him.

          • laila says:

            Now explain why she said she would miss him and offer to meet him again

            • Stafy says:

              …Read my post again, and this time carefully. I did explain it, and so did lvlln before me. You are quite slow on the uptake, hm?

            • laila says:

              poor explanation

              But go to hell asshole.

  9. laila says:

    sorry to ask this:

    Hitagi said she met 5 con artists and kaiki was the 1st.
    kaiki was there to save her from the crab? or did he meet her before that?

    • lvlln says:

      As best as I can tell, Hitagi reaching out to him to solve her crab problem was the first that they met.

    • amado says:

      actually im going with “met her before that”.
      cause didnt she get the crab’s attention AFTER her family broke up? meaning it would be AFTER kaiki messed up the occult organization.

      unless im misinformed with the time the crab got to her.

      • lvlln says:

        Hitagi got the crab problem after her family broke up, but her mother’s cult was still active during this time. It was only after Kaiki met Hitagi that he encountered the cult and shut it down.

      • Stafy says:

        Senjougahara met the crab after she graduated middle school and before she entered high school. She first came in contact with Kaiki 2 years ago, hence, around the time when she starts her second year in high school. So she was already infected by the crab when she met him the first time.

  10. UpsidedownEden says:

    Goodness, seems like everyone wants Kaiki to be in love with somebody. Can’t Kaiki just be his awesome self without having to be in love?

    • lvlln says:

      Well, Kaiki himself has admitted to having been in love with someone, back in Part 2 of this arc. Unfortunately, that someone died in a traffic accident.

      • UpsidedownEden says:

        Yea, the reason I can’t see Kaiki being in love anymore is because it seemed like the sort of thing that just made him go “love is pointless” and all that fun stuff. And now he’s who he is today. Can’t see him really forming any love interest anymore. </3

  11. BlackBriar says:

    I knew Kaiki was playing with fire the moment he started playing with beings that aren’t human. Even he has limits to his abilities and here, he was seen right through in an instant. Kaiki did underestimate her in my opinion. Nadeko may be childish but I never saw her as the type to be taken for a fool because she always appeared to be holding her feelings in and now that she no longer needs to, there’s no telling what can happen.

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