responses: ghostory 3

The stacks of paper keeps getting thicker.

Have you checked out Peter Root’s City of Staples? You should. And then imagine a giant, hulking Hitagi towering through it like she does in Staple Stable.

Headtilt = +5 moe for females (granted there’s no facial distortion)…

Swiftly approved. As is +50 moe for anyone wearing the Sawa-chan Meido Fuku Mk II.

Sierio: Have to say I really enjoyed it when Mayoi revived and went “I just had dream I was being abused by heinous high school boy”. “Ah must have been a false dream.” Brilliant way of changing a girls opinion of you knocking them out and starting afresh.

Stay tuned next week for more “Dating Tips with Sierio.” I have high hopes for this segment.

HikkiZ: Great post. Almost up there with Paint it Red. You do realise that your best posts of the past year have all been for Shaft series but you always seem to criticise their style in places? I can only conclude our blogger is tsundere for Shaft!

Shaft being Shaft is a valid criticism. It’s like saying that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac made some poor decisions, Enron was a fraudulent company, and Lehman Brothers made some risky investments. You’re not tsundere just because you criticize someone. You’re only tsundere if you use the criticism to cover up deeper feelings. I’ve always maintained that Shaft is great for certain types of anime, but not for others. They made Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei about 25% better, but they made ef about 25% worse. I’ve been clear on this.

(Plus, my best post in the past year was about Clannad.)

HikkiZ makes a valid point, but Jason probably just doesn’t like the Shaft being Shaft… completely breaks his momentum.. and we all know Jason likes to be in control, rather than the other way around.

No, I’m okay with both the “S” and the “M”. I just don’t like being interrupted with funky art deco art that has no business being in anime during the most important scenes of an anime. Some people don’t like harem anime… some people don’t like bishounen anime… I don’t like images of baby dolls bandaged up in an art deco fashion when images of a baby doll bandaged up in an art deco fashion aren’t called for. That has nothing to do with being in control… don’t even know where you get that from. Maybe you have some perverse dreams of me? Maybe this should have been a YTAMR?

Thrashy: “I’d let her step on my balls just to see her smile as she wipes my dignity from her shoe.” Is angling for a YTAMR like intentionally invoking Godwin’s Law? Somehow I don’t think that should count. Frankly, if Bakemonogetari is going to hold my interest in the long run, Koyomi needs to start giving as good as he gets. As fun as it is to watch Hitagi demolish him every time she opens her mouth, there’s nothing quite so entertaining as two people skilled in the art of the insult going at each other with all the safeties off.

On your first point, YTAMR is highly competitive. Even if you gun for it, it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful.

On your second point, the last time I witnessed this “there’s nothing quite so entertaining as two people skilled in the art of the insult going at each other”… it was Jessie Spano and AC Slater. So I think that’s a bad thing. Hitagi’s awesome, but Koyomi doesn’t need to be foul mouthed as well to be awesome. Does Hosaka need to talk with Haruka to be awesome? Of course not. Koyomi can do other things to be awesome, like beat up 12 year old girls and gloat afterward like Rowdy Roddy Piper.

tidal: I don’t understand why you keep calling Hitagi a yandere.

Because she’s as much of a yandere as Ricky Rubio is a point guard? Yandere implies that not only is the haremette bat shit insane, she also drew some blood. That hits Hitagi pre-de-crabbing perfectly. However, now… I’m not sure what she is. She’s not tsundere. She’s not kuudere. She’s not deretsun. The closest would be a yandere, but I’m willing to accept that Hitagi Senjougahara is Hitagi Senjougahara.

(And I like that answer just with the Shaft being Shaft symmetry. Only Shaft being Shaft can produce Hitagi Senjougahara as Hitagi Senjougahara.)

(Though I would accept tsundere, since Hitagi refers to herself as one. You gotta love a girl who refers to herself in terms of meme reserved for haremttes. Like if I met a girl at Hotel Utah, and she introduced herself as a tsundere, I would definitely buy her a drink. Even if she looked like Warren Sapp in drag.)

Mentar: I’m a bit surprised however that you entirely skipped over what I consider the key scene of the episode: When Koyomi rejected Hitagi’s offer to become his girlfriend. This was the single instance in the anime in which Hitagi had no witty retort or comeback line… only a muted-disappointed “sou…”. I think that her offer was actually genuine, and she didn’t expect a rejection.

I did write about it at the 15 minute mark. Hitagi asks, “Kanojo… hoshi touka?” / “Or maybe you want a girlfriend.”

“If I said I do… what would you do?”

“You can have one. That’s all.”

Koyomi thought she was offering to be the girlfriend, but she totally shot him down with the “You can have one. That’s all.” line. That was her put down. Because she didn’t get a big reaction from him, she went “Sou…” That’s my interpretation, hence why I wrote, “(Worse or better… getting shot down by a girl who offered to a continental nakkid breakfast five minutes ago, or getting one’s Johnny stapled?)”

Though I think Koyomi will eventually realize what everyone else realizes in that Hitagi’s hawtness outweighs her craziness. He will succumb. I just hope when that happens, another hawter haremette doesn’t enter the picture, seduce him, and leave us with a nice boat ending. What am I saying… that wouldn’t be bad at all.

Hiurro: SON OF A BITCH! what the hell happened, I watched episode three, and it was enjoyable. But then I come read your blog only to find that “Superior Subtitles” skimps on the good dialog. Replacing it with I don’t know what. I was wondering why I couldn’t understand half the dialog, and why I didn’t remember the line about waking him up wearing only an apron.

Just for fun, I watched Superior’s translation… and AnimeJunkies was appalled at the lack of quality. It’s almost a must-watch for comedy’s sake. My favorite mistranslation has to be during the six minute mark, they translated “hoshi” into the noun “star” instead of the “if you would like” proposition. Only they screwed up like a dozen times since Hitagi kept using it leading to some of the worst fansub translations that I’ve seen since AJ did GetBackers.

Hankamar: Even if this ranks only fourth in the fight scenes between a 17 year old boy and a little girl, I expect it’s the only one in which the guy won.

Best. Comment. Ever.

W4: What is that horrible box doing to those two innocent girls?

I… I… I dunno. I just don’t want to see a Pizza Hut ad anywhere during Bakemonogatari. It was bad enough seeing it in Code Geass… seeing it here would be a more jarring sell-out than seeing a Nokia cellphone in Star Trek. Look, I understand they need to make money, but I’m sure there’s better ways to go about it. Like… maybe… a cross promotion with Staples instead of Pizza Hut.

Diss: Why IS he so insistent on helping people?

You must be new to anime. You can lump that in the same rhetorical question bin as, “Why do all these hawt, nubile girls go for such a loser?” and “Why do only teenaged boys get to pilot super-mega-ultra powerful mecha?”

Decal: “if you had one wish with Hitagi, what would you wish for?” I’d have her wear Kana’s “I am Boss” t-shirt.

Excellent choice, except you’d have to have Hitagi go with the double ponytails as well.

Tenkawa: Hmm … what do you do with that one wish, didn’t Keiichi show us the way? Oh shi-

It’s been twenty-one years since Keiichi has been stranded on first base. Has anyone read Fujishima’s newest work yet, Residence Paradise? I just want to know… is it better or worse than eX-Driver?

Yukimura: Were I Araragi I think I’d wish for her to be my meido for a week with the condition that she be a Mariel style meido and she be forbidden from any of her usual Matsurika-esque comments.

What?! Her verbal abuse is the best part! Hitagi without the verbal abuse is like beer… without the alcohol. *shudders* Or Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya without a progressing plot. *shudders even more*

Fiery: Koyomi isn’t that interesting as of right now, but he is generally good enough to bounce back and forth with Hitagi. Albeit he takes the abuse. And even if he did whine a little, it was solicited by Hitagi and he was voicing his own disappointment with himself and his regrets… something Hitagi had done just one episode before. I am very pleased that the show keeps characters coming back between arcs. I was worried it would just be harmette of the week.

Koyomi is a good foil for Hitagi. He’s a great straight guy, and once his abilities come to play, he’ll be a tier up from the standard Keitaro / Keiichi-type off harem lead. Keep in mind that he went to confront Hitagi after she stapled him… I think he’s more similar to Tomoya, if Tomoya became a vampire instead of injuring his elbow. One thing about Bakemonogatari is that it is kind of haremette of the week, but it’s not disposable haremette of the week. I think you’ll see what I mean as the show goes on.

(Mmm… what if Nagisa were a yandere? I feel like there’s untapped potential there.)

OverMaster: Regarding Excel Saga and SHAFT: Well, Excel Saga was animated in 1999. What was SHAFT doing by then? Weren’t they just starting?

Shaft was founded in 1975… JC Staff wasn’t founded until 1986. During the 1999-2001 era, Shaft’s main productions were the two Mahoromatic series with Gainax. Thank you, come again.

Giant Humanoid Robot: What, the JC Nabeshin version wasn’t already full of enough anime original in-your-face randomness and references?

You mean the Pedro crap? Watch Excel Saga again. JC Staff is the wrong studio, Nabeshin is never the right answer for director (unless the anime is about Nabeshin), and the anime happened way too early. I feel like if Shaft did Excel Saga in 2006 (instead of JC Staff in 1999-2000), Excel Saga would have given Haruhi Suzumiya 2006 a run for its money. At the very least, Elgala would have given Itsuki a run for his money as the biggest secondary character blowhard of 2006.

Meery: If you continue to blog Bakemonogatari, I’ll prepare breakfast for you everyday, save Sunday, wearing nothing but an apron and a snap-on ponytail. It’s on the table.

Yep… these are my readers.

16 Responses to “responses: ghostory 3”

  1. If Shaft did 7 more extended dialogues between Koyomi and Hitagi I wouldn’t mind.

  2. Yeahhh…no offense to all you raving Hitagi loyalists out there, what she says in the anime is fine (also hilarious) but i was thinking. Now, let’s say this is…you know…the REAL WORLD. Remember the REAL WORLD, people? It’s where we live. Never mind that though because i have a rant i must go on. Now, Hitagi works well and good in an anime setting (you know…the type of setting where independent high school girls have crazed lesbo stalkers because they don’t PLAY by the usual rules of the females-should-week stereotype, which is fine, because i have lots of strong female friends, but, oddly enough, not one of them actually HAS crazed lesbo stalkers, so i’m just kinda wondering where the heck they came up with that), but bring it out into the real world and Hitagi is just another girl with a bad attitude, which, on one hand is flirtsy, but at the same time…REE-HEE-HEE-HEALLY…annoying. Still, the fact that most people are liking this…it just…well…think about…what does it say for your man hood? not much stud, not much.


    Who’s got the next shift?

  4. @Darma Shoten
    That is exactly the point of anime. To experience things not possible in real life. Anime would not be fun if it featured the real world. I have to admit though, having hitagi as a girlfriend would really ruin self-esteem.

    Wait… Screw all of that. I’ll trade everything for a continental hanaka apron breakfast!!

  5. Well…maybe Nagisa was yandere…she just never felt threatened by any of the girls, so never needed to break out the cleaver she keeps as an heirloom. She only felt threatened by her own mother…and only when drunk.

  6. >> I think he’s more similar to Tomoya, if Tomoya became a vampire instead of injuring his elbow.

    This is the sort of insightful commentary that only blogsuki can provide.

  7. “Just for fun, I watched Superior’s translation… and AnimeJunkies was appalled at the lack of quality. It’s almost a must-watch for comedy’s sake. My favorite mistranslation has to be during the six minute mark, they translated “hoshi” into the noun “star” instead of the “if you would like” proposition. Only they screwed up like a dozen times since Hitagi kept using it leading to some of the worst fansub translations that I’ve seen since AJ did GetBackers.”
    I can’t speak Japanese, so I am despairing over the fact that the only exposure I’m getting to the original dialogue is the few lines you include in your blog post. I had no idea what I was missing, and now that I do… I wonder if a similar urge to cry hits Koyomi whenever Hitagi opens her mouth.

  8. Whoa…i never questioned aprons only continental breakfasts, i merely stated that it gets a little hard to watch when Koyomi, the character the “guys” are supposed to relate with, can barely stand up for himself if it’s not fighting a preschooler, and THANK GOD he won that. Though…barely won is more like it.

    Usually it’s the preschooler that wins…

  9. The lack of Elgala has left me in despair.

    All right, SHAFT staffers, I know you’re lurking in Jason’s blog. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.

  10. Why, hi there, Kyonko. Trying out a new hair colour on this loop?

  11. >>they made ef about 25% worse
    I have to disagree with this. Shaft’s crazy art direction is the only reason I could stand the awful character designs. Can you imagine s1 without the thoughtfully directed phone call scene?

  12. “(Plus, my best post in the past year was about Clannad.)” I completely agree.

  13. Oh, I don’t disagree about Excel Saga. I just found it amusing superficially that apparently Nabeshin was too silly so it should have been handed over to Shaft, when half the time you mention Shaft it’s to harp on them for adding their own silliness.

    And Shaft made ef 25% worse? Without them it probably would have ended up just another forgettable psuedo-mystical romance drama like Sola, H20, Endless Eight, or The Anime Based On A Type Moon Vampire Visual Novel That Shall Not Be Named.

    …dammit now I can’t stop thinking about a Tsukihime adaptation done by Shaft.

  14. The next bakemonogatari heroine should be a… time controlling… cicada. Yeah, that’s totally original. I can’t get enough of that time looping anime.

  15. 1.- Senjougahara Hitagi, ladies and gentleman, is the evolution of the tsundere character. She describes herself as such, but she trascends the term the moment it becomes clear that she wants to jump Koyomi. That is, a typical tsundere abuses the pathetic, useless male main character up to the moment she turns dere-dere. After that, every time the tsundere goes back to her tsun-tsun manners, the useless male and we all know it’s just acting. Not so with Hitagi. At the end of chapter 2, she goes from tsun-tsun to dere-dere in a really extreme way. But when she reappears in chapter 3, she has reached a new stage. She goes all out on Koyomi, using her tsun-tsun charms to make really clear that she likes him (as opposed to hiding her feelings like a typica tsundere), in a way that can be understood as “Yes, I like you, and I’m confident enough so I don’t need to hide it, just as I don’t need to hide the fact that you’re a pathetic excuse of a man”. Pure love.
    2.- On the other hand, chapter 3 is really about Hitagi setting up a trap to get Koyomi as defenseless as possible, and obtaining a boyfriend in the way ancient peoples without a decent army got slaves: rethorics. We see Hitagi going from “You’re pathetic” to “May I be your medio/apron-only breakfast delivery service/lover/whatever you want?” This cycles of trashing and cockteasing are supposed to wear off Koyomi’s defenses, so when she finally asks “Do you want a girlfriend?” she expects something of the likes of Koyomi asking her for marriage and offering eternal worship. Yet he stops, thinks for a second and then answers a typical rethoric retort: “What would you do if I wanted one?” Something unexpected for Hitagi, thus her comment about Koyomi’s endurance.
    3.- Of course, from this long wall of text you can deduct that, in my opinion, there’s more to Koyomi than meets the eye. And not in a Transformers way… *rimshot* Chapter two gave me some clues (but nakkid Hitagi attack was too much for him to handle, I guess), but in this one I got more convinced that Koyomi knows how to handle Hitagi in order to obtain what he wants (or to avoid what he doesn’t want, remember the slave analogy?). Maybe I’m incredibly overestimating him; maybe it’s just wishful thinking, maybe it’s just I wouldn’t like Bakemonogatari to become less stellar because of a moronic lead. Time will tell, I guess. Let’s see if knowing how to handle a Tsundere Mark II is enough to actually do it.

  16. As a response to my response, part of the point of the short term enforced behavior change was to increase tension and hopefully set up a truly epic verbal bitchslapping once the contract is fulfilled. Senjougahara seems the type to go the distance of being a polite meido for a week but I would expect her to revert back to her original personality immediately afterward. Imagine how a week of enforced politeness might compress and concentrate her venomous demeanor into something even more beautiful and terrible to behold. I’d happily sacrifice a week of insults just for the experience of that first tirade of pent up spite once she was free to speak her mind again.

    That said when I first started watching this I had feelings similar to what Darma Shoten was saying. While I like Senjougahara’s venom in general I don’t enjoy watching Koyomi just take it all without being able to say anything back as much. I’ve mostly come to accept it but it still rubs me the wrong way at times how often we’re sent the message in anime that an acceptable and even welcome consequence of a generic guy helping a hot girl with her problems is him being abused by her in some way and he’s supposed to just take it and help her anyway. Sure it gives a guy moral high ground when he can say “I didn’t stoop to her level and I helped her despite her attitude” (how very Christian). But who needs moral high ground when you can just force your opponents into submission, or a stalemate, by aggressively responding to their jabs. I’m hoping that Koyomi really is playing up his weak fool persona for some undisclosed reason and he will at some point start to crack and fire back at Senjougahara in a way that helps bring them closer together.

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