Owarimonogatari – 09

What do you mean Gaen is taking over my chatty business!!!!????

 Sometimes you can only tell what is there, when you consider what is missing. If I were a certain Hawaiian shirt wearing uncle, that’s is probably something I would say. But since I’m not, I’ll say, that someone’s absence in this story makes me feel suspicious…about a couple of things that are missing.

Vampires and Storytellers

The story has yet to answer Kabaru’s query. There is something missing about the armor, but what? She’s on the right track, and as I go deeper into this I’ll point out how she’s doing a great job of framing the overall Shinobu Mail exposition rather well, just by being herself. Well, I shouldn’t say exposition, as Gean is more than taking up that territory. No, I should say expectation. As in: she is framing what we should be thinking about as the story unfolds.

shinobutime 3-1

About time I killed a damn snake….

We open this episode as we ended the last one, with the great mutant oddity ready to square off against our heroes. As far as battles go, it wasn’t so much epic as it was, “well we certainly did something…”. Even with the snakes coming out, spurning Shinobu herself into activity (I bet she was happy to get a touch of revenge) it didn’t really register. Only I think it did on quite a few accounts.

Keep your eyes on the prize! Besides, we already know the answer to that question….

The first was the obvious lack of teamwork exhibited by both Kanbaru and Araragi. This is the second time they flummoxed the right-left thing. It’s not much for now, but it is food for later thought. The second account is the appearance of the much talked about sword, Heart-span or Kokoro Watari.

This get’s us back to what is missing. That would be the mildy talked about sword from Shinobu Time, that being Dream-span or Yume Watari; the first kills oddities, the second revives them. So far we’ve got four revived oddities….Finally, how funny was it that the monkey side of the mutant oddity was able to rip up Kanbaru’s sweater? Well, that and that explains what Araragi was wearing come the end of Nekomonogatari Shiro. 

shinobutime 3-6

Do you see the snake shedding it’s skin? Think the Shrine is still important?

I love how Shinobu gave Araragi the business while they were in transit to the Northern Snake Shrine. I could kinda tell she wasn’t so much interested in what the samurai said, as just stringing the poor boy along. She’s the master no matter what she calls him. She never stops pestering him, and I love her for it. But the idea here is that she doesn’t pay all that much mind to what this new threat is. Her attitude towards it is waning to the point she falls asleep hearing of it a second time. But once they get to their destination the capacity to play doesn’t leave her, as she is more than willing to allow Gean to declare herself another Oshino.

shinobutime 3-14

Soon, we are hip deep in the Monogatari version of Vampire 101, or at least the chapters involving the creation of Shinobu’s first minion. Gaen is quick to point out that this minion was, first and foremost, the actual Oddity Killer, and that that quality is something Shinobu got from him. I love how this little detail came and went by very quickly, with Shinobu only focusing on, and exemplifying with her typical bratty insistence, that Gaen is wrong about the minion being able to survive it’s suicide attempt. She’s evading something. At this point she’s told all she wants to about him, not wanting to pick at an old wound, or does it go deeper? Even Gaen leaves Shinobu’s whole story for another time….

On the opposite end of things, Gean is evading little, showing herself to be, not only the chief lecturer but, the one behind all the scenes, all the characters, and all the events. She’s putting on a literal puppet show right in front of them and us. She may admit to not having things go her way, but if she does indeed know everything, she knows to have backup plans; something she all but admits to, like putting the Tiger in the right place at the right time with fire, and a reforming vampire that hates it. But still, I think Tiger is being undersold by Gaen, what do you think?

She admits that Araragi goes against logic, or at least the logic she sees, but that still seems like a feint for right now. She’s showing that opening, waiting for the off-timed strike. But at the same time, she’s letting him know that she owns the stage, or to my mind has invested the most in it before anyone knows there’s anything to invest in. I love the series of taunts she agged him on with, as it ran on the verge of being very metafictional. What would you do if you found yourself in the middle of a story you thought you were telling all along, only to find out someone else is? What would you do if you found out the writer was bringing an old foe back, one that you have no real right to encounter?


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I’ve read some complaints from long-time anime fans, and followers of the franchise, that the Monogatari stories are running dry. I’ve got to say that I disagree with that sentiment entirely. I love the way these past two arcs have engaged the audience. We’ve had themes of longevity, immortality, death,  and eternal friendship, introduced in previous arcs, namely Mayoi Jianshi and Shinobu Time, especially as they pertain to Shinobu Time, reach a new stage. Now they are blending into recollections and and half-truths. I’ve said it before, there is a game being played here, and we are showm in the most obvious manner that Gaen may be the big player. She’s not shy about it, nor is she missing the opportunity to boldly state that it’s her game, and she intends to win. What the prize is, and how it’s won is going to be the rest of the story…I can’t wait…Oh, and the samurai came back fifteen years ago….who else in the series is fifteen?


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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16 Responses to “Owarimonogatari – 09”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I wonder what Shinobu is showing…

    and join Lovers Of LOLis International!

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Hail and praise be to Shinobu our Goddess! She has given me a sign after skylolion posted this post today!

    Found this not in Japan. An offering to her! Any particular other flavours?


  3. Highway says:

    I don’t know if the series is ‘running dry’ as much as it’s really easy to be tired of it by now. I know I’ve been pretty outspoken about not liking the quirks, and I think that this part of this series is really highlighting those quirks, especially things like the non-linear storytelling. You are getting a lot more out of it than I am because, to be honest, I can’t remember what shirt Koyomi was wearing in the mid-part of two series ago, and I sure don’t like the series enough to go back and rewatch that stuff. With the way the story has been spread out over something like 7 different series and 6 years, in what frequently feels like a capriciously random order, I think it’s completely understandable that a lot of people think that the whole schtick has worn thin.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, I still find value in the show. I’ve usually very very critical of non-linear storytelling. Most of the time it’s used to make the show seem more clever than it actually is i.e. Concrete Revo. But here, I find that it works to muddy the process of recollection and to underscore the idea of an unreliable narrator. For me, it works very well.

      I know you’ve, more or less, kept up with the series to keep up with it, and not because your a fan. This might explain why you’re not seeing connections here and there; dismissive going in, dismissive going out. But I submit that as an idea, rather than judgment.

      • Highway says:

        I’m definitely a fan of some of the parts. And I find that some of the parts have a strong narrative that appeals to me. But I find that other parts lose a lot of the strength of the immediate narrative, and essentially lean on the other parts for their relevance. I would personally characterize it as more disinterest in the things that don’t seem to directly connect to the individual stories.

        And I think a lot of what I *dislike* about the series is the part you like, that is the overarching “why is all this happening” that this series seems to be maybe eventually kinda sorta getting around to if Gaen can ever quit summing up things that already happened. I find I vehemently dislike the ‘unreliable narrator’ device that you like, as it seems like the whole point is to mock the viewer with “oh, you thought you knew what was going on, but we’ll have THIS character tell you what actually happened.”

        I still find much of the show entertaining, that’s why I continue watching it. I wouldn’t characterize it as ‘keeping up just to keep up with it’, as that’s really not something I do. Perhaps a lot of why I watch it is that I hope that the characters I like will have a bigger role (although I know that they won’t), or perhaps characters that were on the fence will become more likeable (as Kanbaru has been in these last two episodes).

        • skylion says:

          Well, with narrative devices, it’s all with the storyteller. The unreliable narrator and the non-linear approach will always be horrible with a tin-eared writer or director. “Hey, this looks cool, I’ll imitate it”.

          In this arc I feel they are just on the side of making it work; but maybe a bit far from making it work well.

  4. Overcooled says:

    Oh man does this show ever have gorgeous screenshotting opportunities…

    I feel like I would get more out of the Monogatari series if I had the luxury of being able to watch all the stories in order. I tend to forget what has happened when so it’s all a bit of a blur. Thankfully, they always explain things at the end in one way or another so I never fall too far behind. Man, I wanna see how this one plays out!

    I actually watched Hanamonogatari recently (I somehow missed it when it aired) and now I see why Kanbaru said she met her aunt but didn’t know it has her until after she left.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, for whatever reason, Araragi is letting Gean play along with the Izuko Oshino name for now.

      • Highway says:

        My feeling is he does not have a choice. Koyomi is always on the back foot with Gaen: She determines the narrative, she determines the modality, she determines the locations. He seems to feel he has little choice in the matter, and would suffer mightily should he try to cross her.

        • skylion says:

          Well, even with consequences, he has a choice. I find that his resistance to pull the thread off the sweater just that. Pull it! It’s not like there is a shortage of sweaters.

  5. amado says:

    I dont see where gaen is saying the tiger, or anything else, are her backups.

    also if anything, the tiger was probably the farthest from her calculations, due to the fact that hanekawa’s own apparitions are supposedly on her own and not really influenced or a result of “something” in this town.

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