“Next episode. Is the last.”
(Shortest text intro ever. It’s like Nishio Ishin’s hands finally cramped up from all the writing.)
Almost four months and… finally! Bakemonogatari 14. Sigh. I was wondering if this would air first or would Obama have figured out health care reform by now. I’m not sure what was worse… waiting for this or waiting for the release of Super Mario Brothers 3. I’m telling you… those were some of the longest weeks in my childhood waiting for Mario 3. I just hope it’s not another four months before 15 comes around.
(One thing to note is that Shaft wanted to do Koyomi Vamp originally as per the original intro, but it doesn’t look like they managed to squeeze it in. Remember, Gainax wanted Gurren Lagann to go a different way too, which means that the TV intro made little sense when it did go another way, but was still effective. Of course, Gainax couldn’t leave well enough alone and retconned the intro to make it less mysterious (and, ultimately, less fun). But that’s another story. I just hope we get a season two soon or a Koyomi Vamp OVA. I just hope we don’t get Koyomi Vamp as the next arc in Dance in the Vampire Bund.)
“The Prez sure looks good with cat ears.”
Going from crystal clear high definition Bakemonogatari to VGA-quality web stream of Bakemonogatari is like going from snorting cocaine from the belly of hot Russian model to snorting cocaine off of the kitchen floor. On one hand, it’s a step down. On the other hand, it’s still cocaine.
I’ve got a few questions… like how did that tree grow in there like that? Assuming that the school is about 50 years old and abandoned 20 years it, it wouldn’t have been sufficient time for a tree to get that large. And, if one did, wouldn’t the complete and utter lack of sunlight from being buried under the school hinder it?
(Dammit, I’m going through Sunrise withdrawals. When in the next Mai Otome, Code Geass, or Gundam Seed series airing?)
“Her stress was just recently cleared up. How did it get this bad so soon?”
Is he talking about Hanekawa? Or about the rapidly approaching Greek sovereign debt default? I’m going out on a limb… and guess that Hanekawa is stressed from
seeing Arararagi and Senjougahara so close being the skip in the curling club.
(I love curling. I grew up watching it along with Hockey Night in Canada and This Hour Has 24 Minutes. It’s the best. It takes everything that’s awesome about bocce ball, puts it on ice, and adds in some furious sweeping. How can you not love a sport with people screaming, “HARDER! HARDER! HARDER! HARDER!!!“? Curling also features girls in skirts and guys with beer bellies… how many Olympic events can be won with a beer belly or in a skirt? Curling. Is. Awesome. “HARDER!!!”)
FYI, I’ve already taken more screenshots of Meme this episode than the previous 13. I think. Anyway, Meme never does anything for no reason, so the reason why Shinobu ran off and why he’s so calm about Hanekawa must mean he has something up his sleeves, much like how he left Koyomi alone with a homicidal Kanbaru as he secretly called Tundra-chan. Either that or Meme were smoking special medicinal “cigarettes”.
I’m glad to see Shaft didn’t fire their intern who was tasked with finding random black and white images of cloth-less gravure models. Thank goodness… *sob* Shaft being Shaft *sob*. sugar sweet nightmare is a bit weak… a Zune-like spinning triangle… nakkid, faceless gravure models… weird cat silhouettes… eh, I’m just nitpicking now, much like people who complain that LeBron is only shooting 50% from the field this season.
I like how Koyomi is feverishly biking through this metropolitan city, and there’s absolutely no one around. Eerie. Is this Vancouver after the US beats Canada for the men’s hockey gold?
(The empty chairs here remind me of Bokurano for some weird reason.)
Wait, I just saw Araragi biking through a downtown area… and now he’s at this Mister Donut… where? Is there anywhere in Japan that even remotely resembles the mesas of Utah? Come on, if he’s going to bike to Utah, go to Krispy Kreme.
One of these days, Rararagi’s going to find a Dateline NBC crew near Mayoi and have a conversation with Chris Hansen like, “Sir, do you know how old she is?” “Seventeen.” “Try again.” “Uh… fourteen?” “Are you sure? She’s actually nine.”
(Needless to say, I’ve been saving material for this post… it’s almost like the anime blogging equivalent of Simon and Nia’s reunion after defeating the Anti-Spiral… or Odysseus and Penelope.)
“Sorry, I stuttered.”
I pray to Omayufu-sama that one of the katana bearers for Katangatari isn’t a playfully stuttering maniac.
What the hell?! What the hell… what the fucking hell?
“What’s up, Koyomi-oniichan?”
That’s Nadeko’s signature line, much like “Sorry, I stuttered” is Mayoi’s. Bakemonogatari is turn into The Simpsons. Excellent neighborino eat my shorts doh! SKINNER!!!
(I’m trying desperately to divert attention away from Nadeko’s, uh, pajamas. See, this is the type of effect an anime studio has on an anime. Somewhere someone decided that Nadeko needed to be in a frilly pink pajamas while seductively leading Araragi on over the phone. I’m not praising or condoning it. I’m just stating the facts.)
“People in manga and anime seem to have it really easy, but being a meido must be incredibly stressful work.”
There we go. Imouto-waifu-material Nadeko has solved the mystery. Tsubasa’s been stressed because she’s been working at a meido cafe. Case closed.
Couple other comments about Sengoku… her room is really pink… who has four sets of drapes on a single window… and who still uses a rotary phone? Seriously? A rotary phone? I wonder if you gave a rotary phone to a teenage these days, would they know how to use it? Is this Shaft’s fault? I have a lot of questions concerning Sengoku. Like… what would happen if she were trapped in a gym storage shed with Araragi?
(Reminds me of the recent This American Life episode where the producer’s dad built a car controlled by a rotary phone. He did it in like 1968…)
“I’m Kanbaru Suruga; currently employed as Ararargi’s love slave.”
See, Koyomi gets angry when Kanbaru says it… if Mayoi says it, I’m sure he’d be more appreciative. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
“Sono koe, sono tsukkomi… Araragi-sempei de na?”
Now that’s her catchphrase. Can Nishio Ishin create characters without catchphrases? Story at 11. In the meanwhile, I really want him to guest write an episode of The Simpsons.
(Whenever Koyomi screams, he reverts back to the Zetsubou-sensei voice. Not a good thing. If the cast of Bakemonogatari were the 2010 Lakers, Senjougahara/Saito would be Kobe, Hanekawa/Yui would be Gasol, Mayoi/Katou would be Bynum, Meme/Sakurai would be Farmar, and Koyomi/Kamiya would be Artest.)
(Shinbou/Hirano would be a constant DNP-CD like Morrison. I like how she’s credited with Shinbou, yet has she had any dialogue. I think this just further shows Shaft either intended to end with Koyomi Vamp but ran out of episodes or decided to switch Tsubasa Cat with Koyomi Vamp mid-run.)
Arcades are mysterious to me. They’re like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and male-affectionate, easy to get along with, non-political agenda lesbian. In other words, I have no clue what Kanbaru is referring to.
(Alice wrote, “Might I also suggest Kevin Smith’s Smodcast? I am not a fan of his movies but check
out #90: Forgeticus! It won me over big time. Kevin is the most broken man alive.” You know what? I’m a big Kevin Smith fan. I even paid money to see Dogma. Let that sink in for a second. But I think his best work, aside from his recent anti-Southwest airlines tweetfest, are his Q&A DVDs, such as An Evening With Kevin Smith and An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder. They’re fantastic, and his riffs about Prince and his waifu are fantastic. Highly recommended. Much better time spent than watching this last shitty season of Lost, which is squarely in the post-Mulder X-Files stage.)
“A runaway? I got it. I know exactly what to do. Time to strip!”
I’m really curious what Hitagi said to Koyomi in the car now… how is Kanbaru not kinky? What did Hitagi say to him that would be worse? Was she reading from the lost pages of Sword Art Online chapter 16?
(My love for Sword Art Online knows no bounds… except someone beat me to the obligatory chapter 16 parody! How dare they! I’ll be honest, the first time I read through that chapter, I actually read it seriously and didn’t think much of the writing… but it is ridiculous writing. Let’s not kid ourselves. Nevertheless, ridiculous in a good way… like, “Her breasts curved so perfectly that it appeared, ironically, as if no graphic engine in existence could generate it.” Come on, nVidia, you gonna take that lying down? Anyway, here’s a snippet of my take on what’s missing in that chapter. I’ll stop with my beloved parenthesis to make it easier to read, but try to imagine some parenthesis nonetheless. Thanks.)
She quickly grabbed my hand, turned around, and led us to her bedroom. Everything was dark, and she kept her face from me. Not that I could see much from just the moonglow.
It was hard to think straight. The <Nerve Gear> must be overloaded with sensory input output, and I felt a lag between what I wanted to do and what I was doing. Because it was so dark and my dexterity stat was impaired with the mental lag, we tripped, but were cushioned by the firmness of her bed. I fumbled clumsily, but she seemed to still have her coordination as I hear her manipulate a few control menus.
Suddenly, candles sprang to life around the room, as if lighted by the fire demons that originally populated the fifty-ninth floor. I looked at Asuna, wondering how can she be so calm, as if she was using a high rank <Concentration> aura. She was silent.
There are no words or shader algorithms that could describe the beauty of her long hair spread out on the bed, accented with the subtle hues of the flame. She wrapped her arms around my body, and I moved closer, as if I wanted to inspect some rare treasure.
I was suddenly interrupted with a pop-up window. It was a disclaimer of some sort, but with over impaired sensory state and the darkness, I scrolled quickly through it and clicked through. I tried to move closer to Asuna, but I got another window– and another! And yet another! How many disclaimer windows and waiver dispositions must I accept? My <Adrenaline Rush> buff is running out. After finally checking “Ok” on the final window, I was presented with another option. I need to select an <Action Skill>.
I knew exactly what I wanted. It was an early skill I learned with single-handed weapons that served me well in the lower to mid levels, before I developed <Dual Wield> or even <Vorpal Slash>. It’s a simple, but highly effectively movement. I activated the skill.
(That’s a good place to cut back to Tsubasa Cat. I would write more, but the dialogue wouldn’t be much different than hearing an Olympic curling match.)
Only almost two thousand words in, and finally some Hitagi goodness. I like how she’s referred to “Girl #4” as well as the last one Koyomi called. Was he calling in order of their ages? Or how pleasant the call would be? He knew that he’d be able to trick Mayoi and that he enjoys shooting the shit with her… and then how could you not like calling someone who is going to call you “oniichan” while wearing frilly pink pajama? And then he works up to calling the crazy lesbian… and finally his yandere-quality girlfriend.
(This is why you don’t release episodes with four month gaps. You completely destroy the momentum. For example, Senjougahara remarks that she went to a video store the previous day with a friend. Koyomi just ignores that… unfortunately, he probably shouldn’t as back in episode 13, Hanekawa talked about a letter to a radio show… about someone who went to a video store with a friend. The other two letters? One from an apple-something [Kanbaru] and the other one about meido [Nadeko]. The episodes are connected, just with four months in between, it kills the momentum.)
(Wait, Senjougahara skipped school to rent a video drama with a friend… I thought she said she didn’t have friends earlier. Wha? And that’s fast– mailing a letter and getting it read on the radio the same evening. Double wha?)
There’s just no way in hell that Hanekawa isn’t attracted to Araragi. Every single one of the oddity cases have had some glimmer of affection for him in one way or another. And, of course, there’s no way Senjougahara hasn’t realized it by now. She’s a sharp one. Araragi, on the other hand… isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. It’s like watching Phil Jackson work over Mike Brown in the 2010 NBA Finals. Oops, that hasn’t happened yet? Mmm…
Judging by these props, it’s going to be one hell of a festival.
(Time to make the obligatory, “Maybe Shinobu went to live in Mina’s Vampire Bund” line. This loli vampire gimmick needs to be taken to the next level. You know what I’d like to see? A loli vampire ice skating anime, except they’re ice skating in giant robots a la Basquash. Now that would take the gold.)
One. Hell. Of. A. Festival.
“You should do what you always do, and I’ll do what I have to.”
Supportive girlfriend 4tw!
“Tsundere service: Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m worried about you. But if you don’t come back, I’ll never forgive you.”
She’s the best. I enjoyed this scene as much as “moe~ moe~ kyun~!” and Lulu’s penetration scene… combined!
(Loved that drawn-out “daaaakara“. Give Chiwa Saito a freakin’ gold medal already.)
“Come on, of course I’m coming back.”
She wasn’t talking about coming back as in coming back alive. As in coming back to her. Senjougahara knows.
(What kind of fail cell phone does Koyomi have that he can’t even have a picture of Senjougahara on it? Actually, if I were Koyomi, I would have a picture of a stapler representing Senjougahara in my contact list…)
(And congrats to Araragi for mobilizing his army of haremettes. Let’s see… he has a snail-based girl who gets lost herself… he has a frail girl wearing frilly pink pajamas… he has a bully lesbian… and his girlfriend turned down his offer… that’s not exactly like the A-Team that he’s assembled. Hell, it’s not even Celestial Being.)
Is Meme just chewing on cigarettes? He hasn’t lighted one up yet. Or is it because his torch was designed by the Vancouver torch lighting committee.
(Thanks to the 2010 Winter Olympics, we finally have a sports analogy– other than the Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills– for Endless Eight: Lindsey Vonn! Let’s see… heightened expectations that came crashing down because of repetitive deva vu-like crashes? Yep. If only there were four more downhill races that she could have crashed in.)
(JohnG: “I don’t think you can be the standalone #1 studio if you run your best franchise into the ground. Also, is KyoAni even capable of drawing anything other than moeblobs anymore?” Hard to argue that Haruhi is driven to the ground when Vanishment turned out to be higher grossing than both Unlimited Blade Works and Nanoha combined. Nitpicking Kyoto for Endless Eight is like nitpicking LeBron for missing a game-winning shot. Just fucking ridiculous. He’s going to win NBA player of the month for six months! You don’t judge something by it’s worst mistake and forget about their best accomplishments. It’s a phenomena Gladwell details in Blink where people who are just too into something and just completely miss the forest for the trees and lack any sort of holistic perspective.)
(Actually, the only correct analogy for Endless Eight is the season one cliffhanger to South Park. No one remembers this anymore, but at the end of season one, they were going to reveal who Cartman’s father was. I remember waiting in a crowded dorm room with half the hall completely anxious for the start of the second season. This was Super Mario Brothers 3-type level of anticipation. You know what we got instead? The Terrance and Philip Special. They punked us. I was mad. At least I can laugh and joke about 15,532, but The Terrance and Philip Special was just horrible. But, you know what? 13 seasons later, I’m still watching South Park. It just means Trey and Matt are mad geniuses, much like Kyoto. And Kayne West sure loves his fish sticks.)
(I feel like one too after writing full steam for over two thousand words and not properly pacing myself. Shit, I’m already tired and still have another half of the episode to go. Not good, not good at all.)
Yet Another Thing I Like About Ghostory: fantastic pajamas. We’ve seen both Hanekawa’s and Sengoku’s… and I’m convinced Senjougahara and Kanbaru sleep nakkid (no real evidence, but hey, we invaded Iraq on less evidence).
“Acting all cute won’t get you anywhere.”
I… I… let’s give Horie Yui a silver medal for all this purring and meowing. I don’t know how else to act.
“Come to think of it, Oshino-san seems pretty useless this time around.”
It’s a trap! Watching Koyomi stumble through Bakemonogatari sometimes is like watching an overmatched NFL coach. He’s not as bad as Art Shell, but he’s no Sean Payton. And that’s what’s frustrating.
My thoughts exactly.
(See, the problem with Hanekawa is that she has every tool to seduce Koyomi, except for that pesky life-draining thing. She’s like Rogue from X-Men. But I’m almost positive if there wasn’t this deus ex machina-like energy drain, there’s no way Nishio Ishin can reconcile the plot that Koyomi wouldn’t be tempted by Hanekawa. In any case, I feel like we’re being deprived of one hell of a catfight between Hanekawa and Senjougahara.)
That’s me after finding out Bakemonogatari 14 was delayed, yet again.
Araragi getting Hanekawa to say that tongue twister? His only smart move of this episode.
(If you’re going to use an alternate drawing style, I demand the Bible Black face. Anything else is unacceptable.)
Banzai! Kawaii! Banzai!
I’m so ready for reading tonguetwisters while wearing cat ears and pajamas to replace women’s hockey as an Olympic sport. Or at least this should be a video podcast where each episode would be a cute girl wearing cat gears and pajamas reading tonguetwisters. Japan… make it so!
(I don’t understand the medal thing. Like why do you get only one medal for hockey but you can score multiple medals for skiing? Sure, they’re different types of skiing, but you’re looking for the ultimate skier. There should be only one medal for the best skier, much like there’s only one medal for hockey. Awarding medals for giant slalom, downhill, etc is like awarding medals for best penalty kill, best shootout, best fight in hockey. Either give more medals in hockey or less in other sports. Let’s be fair about this.)
Did I just see Hanekawa recreate various positions from the Kama Sutra with a bike? Damn lucky bike.
(I just quickly skimmed the Kama Sutra, and there’s absolutely no guidance on what to do with an energy-sucking cat-human hybrid spirit. Nor what to do with a tsundere. I feel like it’s a book that needs to be upgraded for modern times to include those topics as well as proper sexting, how to seduce a Jersey Shore cast member, and the pros-and-cons of leaking a sex video to boost one’s fame [see Kardashian, Kim].)
Wait, he just invited her to go look for Shinobu? Why? Shinobu worked the first time because she surprised Tsubasa… why would cat-Tsubasa be willing to look for Shinobu? Is she just going to lie down and let the blonde loli vampire suck on soma? Hell no. Something is up. It’s not going to be this straightforward.
“Is this what they mean by, ‘a cat is fine too’?”
(Shaft needs less Shaft being Shaft moments and more references to internet meme. I’m just waiting for LOL cat, Rick Astley, and ON NOM NOM to show up now. You know the rules, and so do I…)
“My Hanekawa would never be amused by that bad of joke.”
Rubbish. You know and I know that if she were real, Tsubasa Hanekawa would be a frequent visitor to blog好き. I don’t know why, but I’d like to believe that it’s true. I also like to believe that my readers aren’t broken. I’m delusional that way.
This is a cute scene. How come Senjougahara didn’t offer to ride behind Araragi on a bike wearing nothing but cute flannel pajamas that are a size too small? I feel like that should be an option alongside nakkid apron, french meido, and >Tiger Thrust<.
(Also, Araragi’s bike is almost as famous as Stephen Marbury’s truck. How many girls has he given rides to on the back of it thus far?)
I just put the last two seconds of Hanekawa winking an nyaa-ing on a loop… I felt like I was going to die. And I may have had!
Let’s just say that Hosaka is watching this right now and has instantly started daydreaming about Haruka riding behind him on a bike. I feel like I have had one deprived childhood… I never had a cute cat girl smash her bosom against my back as we peddled around town looking for a donut-addicted loli vampire.
“I see. Human, Mistress’s boobs felt so good that you fainted?”
The only equivalent NBA analogy that I can think of is if Hanekawa and her feel good boobs are LeBron James. And Seikon no Qwaser is the New York Knicks. The Knicks would do anything to get LBJ on their team, much like how Sasha would do anything to get at Hanekawa’s soma.
They’re traveling through this architecturally pretty city, and there’s absolutely no one. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It’s a complete ghost town. I’m trying to think if we ever saw any background people in this anime… and I don’t think we have. They’ve either been non-existent or shown Shaft-style like the cut-outs pestering Kanbaru earlier. This is a weird, weird world.
“Hey human, what do you want me to do now?”
Araragi should just have pointed at a random page in the Kama Sutra.
If you told me that Shinbo dropped out of architecture school to pursue a life of making anime about loli vampires… I would have completely believed you.
I’m beginning to think Tsubasa Cat is a misnomer for this arc. It really should have been Tsubasa Melonpan. Good thing there’s like no one in this world… it wouldn’t be weird to see a high school student pushing a bike while he talks to a cat-eared oddity spilling out of her pajamas.
(Tsubasa Melonpan is like Kevin Durant in 2010. You can’t stop them. You can only hope to contain them.)
“We must be believed in, dreaded, feared, shunned, revered, respected, hated, loathed, and prayed to.”
I have nothing to add to that… Statutory_Grape: “Keima is Yui’s body is god tier. The fine untouched body of a ripe high borne virgin with the mind of a god(dess?), surely superior.” When I saw Keima in Yui’s body suffering with the demon spirit getting stronger and Keima made the epic, “The heroine only has to trust and wait” self-capture line, I thought about Sword Art Online. I was so close to writing about that instead of TWGOK, only I knew I would cause a riot* if I didn’t write about Keima swapping with Yui. But… that line does hold for SAO, and so does this one, if you think about it hard enough, “Sorry Mario, but the Princess is in another castle.”
(* I don’t mean an ZOMG the Saints won the Super Bowl riot. Probably more of a Winchester Prep won the Science Olympiad type of riot.)
With this olde tyme art deco art style, I would love to see Shaft and Shinbo tackle a Mad Men anime. If there’s anyone who could rival Koyomi in pimpness, it has to be Don Draper. And, of course, Christina Hendricks is a rival for Tsubasa Hanekawa.
I’m four thousand words deep into this post. That’s about 16 pages. Would you read a 16 page article about touching in the NBA? Or about layoffs? But you would about a single episode about a niche television show?
(Congrats! You’re exactly my audience. Now if I can only get a few YTAMR comments of you.)
I still say that Shinobu ran away to Mina’s place. Though it’s typical deus ex machina… whatever worked to resolve the situation before won’t work this time for some lame reason. Shinobu hasn’t done or said anything thus far, and, when she’s finally needed, she’s gone. It’s almost like Orange-kun showing up in the nick of time to save Lulu’s ass.
Let’s just say that if episode two aired as a web special instead of in high definition, it would have caused a New Orleans Saints-type of riot. I also feel like this is a superior way of animating two people talking as they walk. Much better than what’s done in Katanagatari.
(I haven’t read Nishio Ishin’s take on Death Note, but does it involve a girl and a boy walking and talking a lot? I mean… between this arc, Mayoi Snail, Nadeko Snake, and thus far in Katanagatari, Nishio Ishin is the Picasso of a girl and boy walking and talking.)
“I’m the personification of Mistress’s stress. If the source of Mistress’s stress is dealt with, I’ll go away again. … You of all people should know how to deal with it.”
Is ghost cat playing Togame’s “the only way to solve this is to fall in love with me” card?
“Listen human… my Mistress is so dirty. She loves you.”
She just did. Yep… the next line would be…
“So if you fall in love with Mistress, I think that might bottle me up.”
Not unexpected, as the headaches started once Hanekawa realized that Koyomi was waiting in the park for Senjougahara… and then the headaches got worse when Hanekawa saw Koyomi with Nadeko… and even worse when Koyomi was sharing good news about him and Senjougahara with Hanekawa.
Gotta enjoy how Araragi can smell these oddities, but he never realizes that these hawt girls who really dig him are in love with him. He. Is. Dense. He also hasn’t realized that there’s been a natural enemies in the wild kind of thing happening between Senjougahara and Hanekawa… as in, “Wait, have those two ever been in the same scene together yet?”
I like how the episode ends with Hitagi cutting something with a pair of scissors. The only thing more symbolic would be Kuroha’s cigar trimmer.
“2009”… sigh. This episode and 15 should have aired like two months ago, much like my Best of 2009 feature, which, of course, is delayed since, well, see this “2009” here?
Gosh, just a great ED. Tour de force. Seeing Kanbaru dry hump a triangle as she is wearing triangle nipple piercing is exactly how I want to end an episode of Bakemonogatari.
As much as I like the pop quiz previews and as much as I enjoy Dance with the Vampire Meido… I really think Shaft should have gone with Tsundere Service as the preview for this show. It’s just… fantastic. I demand more. Also like how the girls are talking about how lonely Araragi is, yet Araragi is the Tiger Woods of his school. Shinji Ikari… now that’s a soloist. In every sense of the word.
Hopefully it won’t be four months before the final episode. I can’t wait. And nothing would make my inner fanboy happier in 2010 than season two of Ghostory… I just hope Shaft doesn’t wait three years to unleash the worst possible plot arc on us.
(Meme as the out image when there’s a ton of Tsubasa cat options? Ugh. And why aren’t there any Bakemonogatari spreads in Megami but there are Vampire Bund ones?)