Owarimonogatari – 11

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NisiOisiN to himself: The Shinobu x Kanbaru doujinshi haven’t been writing themselves, have they?

Well, last time I was champing at the bit to hear Maaya Sakamoto belt it out of the park, and that champing has been thusly satisfied, only we got a great big old versus with Miyuki Sawashiro thrown in for good measure. It’s bat vs. monkey..so who won come closing time?

Anyone can be your replacement…

Well, before we get into the basics of bat vs. monkey we could take a look at the being that started it. The First Minion, like any other Monogatari character, has a metric sh*t-ton of stuff to say about himself and the world around him; and like every other Monogatari character, a propensity to speak his own weakness if you’re paying attention.

My overall impression of the little shrimp is, well, I call him a little shrimp right there, you can assume it’s not the highest thereof. He’s very very defensive from the get go, and that line where he admonishes a conflict right out of Araragi, “sparks flying between us would benefit no one”, tells me he’s made of gasoline, so of course he has every reason to avoid a spark.

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Or, at least, it tells me that he’s not ready for an immediate conflict, just like he reads Yotsugi’s ever so congenial “marking” on Araragi’f face, as he can’t force one, as if that’s an axiom among specialists and not just a general guideline. He’s avoiding as much trouble as he can this early on. Now this might be because he doesn’t want to tip his strength to the enemy early on, especially with Episode and Gaen there, but worrying about getting his own butt kicked is probably strongest. He’ll take a duel when he’s ready for it…

But in the end, he really is pretty stalkerific. He makes assumptions about the current relationship, doesn’t really bother to test them, and in one instance tells us that testing them is beneath him. But the way he makes comparisons is off putting as well. What benefits does he gain if Araragi stays is not as important as the other part of the equation; what benefits Araragi gain for himself by leaving.

The Feelings of Being…

At first it seems like Kanbaru is projecting her feelings onto others; as in she is taking the romantic split between her and Hitagi poorly, and if she can be part of fixing a similar relationship she can fix her own as well. But as the tense conversation – and when someone is going to crush your head for saying the wrong word then the conversation is tense – continues we get the notion of the total destruction Kanbaru had to shoulder.

I don’t want to dismiss that though. Because, for the most part, the disagreement was informed by who these people are in the time that they are. Shinobu is looking at the end of her life or it’s possibility, and the reason why she wanted to is stalking her. She’s been afraid of being alone for a very long time now. Yes, there is a certain degree of naivete in what Kanbaru has to say, some virginal innocence, but it’s in earnest, and it isn’t calculated. It’s brutal and as honest as a sword-stroke. Shinobu pushes people away….and she needs to stop making excuses…

…and it was never Rainy Devil was it, that grabbed Shinobu in turn? It was Kanbaru’s normal arm vs. pretty much whatever monsterous strength Shinobu was capable of at the time. It has been human will that’s kept the Devil at bay in Kanbaru’s life. She’s had to face it head on, just as she it telling Shinoub to do. Ignoring it may work this time, but when it comes up again? And again? It’s almost like the idea of who came first in her long life is unimportant compared to where she is right now. I also like the undertone of “owning the battlefield is the same as destroying it” when it comes to what she needs to say to the First. Good stuff monkey. Yeah, you’ll devastate him! Then do that!

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Yep, it is ever so Monogatari to turn a simple act of advice given – on two counts – up to 11. This was basically, “leave her alone, she broke up with you” and “you better tell that dick to drop it or else” pure and simple, but it was given a rather epic glazing in it’s finish. Like all advice, it’s tinged with the advisers personal misgivings, experiences, and wish fulfillment. But, this story does cut much deeper than that, and that’s when do we catch a break? When are we no longer judged by our past mistakes? Or how do we get to be the good person, and the person that breaks someone’s heart at the same time? This is pretty heady stuff really, and there really is no easy answer, or at least, no easy answer for a person to swallow.  As it is we are heading for two “boyfriends” fighting over the girl next time around, but it also looks like we’ve got a set up for that to be undercut….


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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