Owarimonogatari – 03

Clap you hands if you believe!

“He thought things would be bad the way he was going. He thought that he couldn’t proceed righteously the way he was going. More than math, he was embarrassed by the fact that he couldn’t fulfill the just cause of ‘learning'” – Araragi Koyomi, Sodachi Riddle Part Two, cold open

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Mathematicians, Detectives, and now Secret Agents. What’s next? Supers?

Shamelessly, Falteringly

I’m really curious about why we were shown the first meeting between Araragi and Sodachi? in the form of a silent movie reel; which I might add – a reel that had color. I’ve said that Monogatari itself is a story about a story, so I guess this method makes takes it one level deeper. But in an animated story, how do you show that something is out of balance on the visual level. Well, you force a different perspective; something that Monogatari does with wild abandon.

But, out of balance? Well, yes. This is a story about how we alter our own memories. Yeah, I know the boy says he’s forgotten, and we’ll get to that later. Memories are far more plastic than we realize (I wrote about that a bit when I covered a show that had nearly that title). We would like to think that our memories are something Iron-Clad and Exact. But that’s rubbish. When we recall, we are putting today’s perspective on past events. Past events don’t effects us with the same immediacy that present ones do. In other words…the present needs take priority, so our past memories are shaped by present needs.

Another Envelope

But this is a past that shaped who and what Araragi turns out to be, if you take him at his heart. This summer of the secret cram school and the adventures in math. I was most struck by the conditions and how unrealistic they are. One, that they would always meet in that house, two, that he would tell no one they were meeting there, and three that he would give her nothing in return for the maths lessons. Only that he enjoy the lessons for the rest of his life. Well, maybe not unrealistic, but they certainly strain credulity. They seem custom made to suit the occasion, depending on who is doing the suiting that is for sure. But Araragi complies like the dutiful young man he wants to be.

But, it feels like a cold blast of reality when Ougi brings him back to present. I love the interplay between them as she suggests the term, Math Fairy, and he immediately thinks of Yotsugi, and is shown to be unhappy with that sudden thought. The thoughts from Yotsugi Doll come to mind, with him reminding us not to place unrealistic expectations on that character; she looks human, but isn’t. Then again, he was reminded of that via Shinobu. But what he places on this whole affair is also unrealistic, that it shaped him to be the person he is. Is he forgetting his parents influence? Heck, any other influences at that.

Araragi’s Indentity or Ougi the Oddity…

Or I can make it even more complicated and call this Ougi the Araragi, since the roles are in such reversal, the understudies of this play are having fainting spells. But she keep hammering him with cold blasts of reality. The part with the manga pages, which for all the world look exactly like the fantasy-driven doujinshi pages his thoughts of reuniting with Sodachi very much are, were especially cold. Ougi could stop there, but she also hammers home the need for a sincere apology, and that’s where we get down to the heart of the matter. Ougi the Oshino? Oh, berate him for the fool that he is.

Ougi knows what he knows. So….Question: Because the hate she has for him, what did Sodachi really expect from Araragi that he failed to deliver? Araragi believes that the Monty Hall letters were sent to numerous people as part of a game. But Ougi susses out they were more like specific bait on a hook, for one type of fish. The line itself is the house itself. Not a ruin at all, but in a state of dwindling repair. A sign of domestic violence in a house unhappily occupied. Perhaps getting so bad that Sodachi had to leave, transfer school, change her last name…Araragi failed to recognize her. So is she forgotten, or not?

The addition of Sodachi needing him because his parents were cops is an odd one, but more on that later. It’s what she wanted and it was a desperate straw she was grasping for. It’s probably wouldn’t satisfy all her requirements, especially the ones of saving face, sparing her family the shame, but it was a change, and it’s what she needed. At the end of this line of thinking, Araragi is forced to conclude that he did indeed take something and took it for granted all along. So, does this set the stage for a sincere apology? But first a curious exchange. Araragi feels down, and despises himself a little despite his happiness. He says as much to Ougi, who replies, “Then, that little bit is how much I will love you.” It felt oddly warm, yet chilling at the same time.

^Bonus! It’s a physics problem!^

Hanekawa ain’t taking this crap…

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Well, before Tsubasa can add her two cents, I’ll go back a bit. Araragi agrees with Ougi, that no matter how the situation with Sodachi ends up turning out, he’s left with a love of mathematics, and not matter how he may stumble on the path of righteousness, he’ll always have that. But it feels like a curse. Don’t quite know what to make of that.

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But back to the two cents. Tsubasa points out a curious fact. Araragi never made it a habit to tell his peers that his parents were police officers. So how did the younger Sodaci know that? The answer is obvious, in that there are another set of memories that Araragi has yet to retrace, has yet to rediscover. But is Ougi going to be there to open those doors with him? What we are left with is one more little math reference, one of Schrödinger’s cat. What will Sodachi be like when he opens that door? How much the fool will he be, with that sort of curse maybe?

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Yay, one more episode til Shinobu Mail! See you next time!


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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4 Responses to “Owarimonogatari – 03”

  1. zztop says:

    Mathematicians, Detectives, and now Secret Agents.

    The name’s Araragi…Araragi Koyomi.
    One Ramune please…shaken, not stirred.

  2. amado says:


    something about ougi’s OP is really enticing. ive got to say, as you can see just how she moves, with those sleaves, and matching with the tone of the song, gives her a cuteness and foreboding feeling.

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