Owarimonogatari – 07

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If you were expecting a certain blonde vampire LOLi, you might want to hold your horses…*

* Yes, I know my lead image is the cover for Shinobu Time, but it has a bit of visual foreshadowing, don’t it now?

You know, I’m wondering how much power spoopy Ouki has over the time-space continuum, and that’s a story for another day, maybe even yesterday. But for right now, we have the old Monogatari bait-and-switch tactic of lending us one name and giving us another character. Shinobu, Mayoi, Mayoi, Shinobu, it was all LOLi so it was all good, but when you say “bat” and give me “monkey“, the old LOLi-Defender may end up becoming quite cross…and it doesn’t stop there….

Shinobu Mail or Armour All…

Sometimes you can’t tell what time it is without a map; or, at the very least, a handy visual reference. There’s bound to be help for you if you get stuck. But if you were paying attention, you know where Shinobu is at this moment, give or take a couple of chapters, depending on what mood the Contrary Cat is in…So we know that she is experiencing the severing from Araragi that she got at some other point. But that’s OK, cause she got back with him at another point.

Which kinda plays loose with time and space, if Ougi Forumla is anything to think about. So if you were expecting to see my beloved LOLi scooting around with helmet and goggles firmly adorned and delivering the post, well I suppose we should get crabby and make an appointment for disappointment. At least for now….that we have the monkey…

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But, I’m getting a bit ahead of the plot. All the new Monogatari arcs begins with Araragi (with the exception of Neko: Shiro) setting out why he is telling this part of the story. But, as has become his new trademark style, he’s balking. This is part of the whole story he would rather leave out. I’ve been going under the notion that he’s not been a completely honest narrator; unreliable is the word.

He would rather admit to a minor guilt than a major one if he had his druthers. But, under Ougi’s scrutiny, and with an implied punishment for lying, he’s backtracking and filling in gaps we didn’t know existed or had suspicions thereof. This leaves me with the question of: is he afraid that we, the reader/watcher, is going to judge him, or is it his own sense of guilt?

Now, back to the monkey. Never let it be said that Kanbaru Suruga doesn’t know how to make an entrance with her flair for really really lame wordplay. But an entrance is nothing without keeping an audience, and after her rough and tumble warm up she fuels the fire with her trademark sexual banter. We know from watching Hanamonogatari, that a great deal of this is a mask, but that doesn’t mean that the good-natured ribbing Araragi must suffer is without entertainment. Notice: he isn’t telling anyone he’s without his vamp powers, but it’s something Kanbaru counts on at least two occasions…

It really is the ease with which she goes about this that keeps the narrative moving; and for me it’s a welcome treat after some of the discomfort from the Sodachi arc. It’s also a good way to play around with what is the motivator for their meeting. We know that by the end of Shinbu Time, that know-everything Gaen wants a meeting with Kanbaru, and we know it’s something that Araragi is avoiding for his own reasons.

But, thankfully, this wasn’t the thing nor the whole of the thing. For that we get a return to what makes the Monogatari series such an interesting watch, and that is the emergence of the inexplicable. A giant suit of old school Japanese style armor just comes in and busts up the scene. At first it seems easy enough to dispatch; with Kanbaru unleashing her Monkey Paw/Rainy Devil on the thing. But after that it becomes that much more strange. It took me a bit by surprise to see her comment on the state of the disassembled armor; something is missing…but what?

That would have to wait as the scene just got weirder. There is a neat little thematic line going down as the armor reassembles itself. This is dovetailing into Araragi avoiding the reason he asked Kanbaru out to the cram school to begin with. It’s something that just cannot be avoided or negotiated with. You have to hear it out, and then let the event play out. But for all intents, it looks like Shinobu’s first vampire childe from long ago didn’t completely die with the rising of the sun as she has said. But is it the missing sword that Armor All is going on about the thing that Kanbaru feels is missing, or is it something else?

Again, we are on hold as the scene gets heated up from the friction of parallel storytelling. The Contrary Cat/Kaku from Neko: Shiro is busy burning the place down. So while the foreground and background are turning to so much scortch, we do get what I think to be a lovely bit of foreshadowing as Araragi and Kanbaru dwell on dying together; causing the boy to recall the pact he and Shinobu made in Mayoi Jiangshi. Which is as good a place as any to add the sudden and explosive entrance of my third favorite Monogatari LOLi, Yotsugi. No other Oddity get’s to kill Araragi but the Doll….

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My usual ton of extras….

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This was quite the opening episode, and a far cry from the very laboured beginnings of Ougi Formula and the Sodachi arcs. Which is quite something since the entire mood was based on hesitancy; neither of our two main players are eager to do what they came there to do, both for different reasons. I loved how some little bits and pieces moved the story along and added so much to the creepy effect. Seeing the armor steal both energy from Kanbaru, and voice from Araragi is a great twist, and may even tell them and us a bit about itself.

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Going forward I think this is going to continue for quite some time and we will see some lightning while beating around the bush. Since I haven’t dropped enough earlier Monogatari arc names already, I’ll bring up Nadeko Snake as the first time these two character worked with each other to solve a problem; I’m looking forward to that team work of old coming back, as Kanbaru is a deal smarter than she lets on. But speaking of going forward, I’ve consulted some internet birdies, and I’ve got the whisper that the all time best LOLi around will be making her appearance by the next episode. So color this fan excited.


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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2 Responses to “Owarimonogatari – 07”

  1. amado says:

    come on maaya, stop being a prude and just sing.

    • skylion says:

      I remember when Shinobu Time originally came out, it was around the time when the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who was coming out as well. On one side of the world you had Maaya not doing a song for her character, on the other side you Christopher Eccelston refusing to reprise his role as the 9th Doctor; both of them citing artistic reasons. My reaction to both was simple, “Would you people stop being such divas and give the fans what they want?”. But you can’t make normal people do what you want them to do most of the time, much less someone of “artistic” sensibilities. So when I say they should let her take a stab at writing her own lyrics, which I’ve heard is the “official” reason she refuses to engage in character song, I may be going on a a huge limb even she might not want to traverse.

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