“This is more like a short essay!”
Nothing quite rings in the new year like
Psy and MC Hammer Bakemonogatari. I am really liking what Shaft is attempting: Nekomonogatari Kuro snackii, 2 cours (?!) Bakemonogatari 2nd, and Kizumonogatari all before 2013 is over. And then 2014 would have Bakemonogatari Final. This is highly ambitious, and it’s the right thing to do. The franchise is smoking hot. After they realized Monogatari is not a middling franchise and more like a cash cow, they went all out. If we’re all done with the franchise by 2014, that is quite good by modern standards and light years better than Kyoto at monetizing Haruhi (wasted opportunity) and Full Metal Whatchamacallit. Also, I like how Shaft is branding the upcoming 2 cours season as the sequel to Bakemonogatari as Nisemonogatari is just an incest-driven sideshow. It’s more like the Frasier to Cheers.
(We get a very similar recap to what started Bakemonogatari. If there is anything that I can predict for the upcoming episodes it is this: Shinbo would play it more straight. Fewer weird abstract scenes and more reliance on characters talking. Yes, it’s going to be like the Hobbit, if only you can imagine Bilbo and 12 slightly not-so-right nubile schoolgirls…)
(As to how I plan to blog all four episodes in any sort of timely manner as well as put together a thin slicing post… I’d rather not think about it.)
Kinda interesting Kuro takes us back in time before the first season yet ahead of Kizu. So basically the only characters we have now are Ararararagi, Hanekawa, Fire Sisters, Meme, and Shinobu. Of course, we start with little sister waking up Ararararagi and him being a creepy siscon. Tell us something we don’t know.
“You should just drop dead!”
One thing Shaft still cannot do: the proper emo facial distortion. What is this. Tsuhiki looks like she is opening her mouth wide for a tooth cleaning (interpret as you will). Looks like I’ll have to go back to Sword Art Online for my dose of emo facial distortion.
There are a lot of circles in perfect slumbers. There were a lot of triangles in sugar sweet nightmare. I’m beginning to think if Shinbo weren’t an anime director, he would be either (a) a geometry teacher (b) an UI designer (c) a pr0n director. I’m just wondering what the guitar is supposed to symbolize.
“How does one figure out if they’re in love with a member of the opposite sex? Basically, at what point do the normal feelings you have for someone turn into affection?”
Hormones. Especially amongst 18 year old boys. It’s just funny knowing that he is talking about Hanekawa here yet we all know his real affection is Mayoi. And maybe his sisters. I still think the ultimate twist at the end is that he was only with Senjougahara because society cannot accept his relationship with an underaged ghost. It’s just too extreme for Ja– nevermind. Theory over before it started.
(Though this explains why his sisters thought Hanekawa is his girlfriend rather than Senjougahara. And maybe Ararararagi could have used a better pseudonym for Hanekawa than “Miss H.” That just sounds… um… H.)
If there’s one thing I learned from anime, stalking is the first sign of love. And as a constant theme of this blog, the modernization of anime must continue. Tropes must be updated for a new age. Physical stalking and erotic magazines already seem so passe and archaic today (CDs). I’m sure in ten years (or even less), they’ll seem to be like cassette tapes or 8 track. Kids watching Bakemonogatari would be asking, “Why doesn’t Arararagi just stalk her on Facebook?” “Why doesn’t he just sext Mayoi with pictures of his dong?” Actually, these might be archaic by then. Okay, “Why doesn’t Arararagi just dive into her neural implant?” “Why doesn’t he just ‘have fun’ with Mayoi on the Holodeck?”
(And, yeah, this was a great creepy Arararagi montage. One of the best.)
“Do you really think I want to hear about you hesitating to buy porn?”
We’re a bit over seven minutes into the show, and there has been zero Shaft being Shaft moments. Even the architecture seems normal (i.e. no endless rooms or physically impossible designs). My gosh. Has Shaft done straight on us? Or is it that Shinbo is burned out having directed over 25 cours of anime since 2006. That’s insane. That is an average of just a bit over 1 show every season since Negima. Does this man ever take a break? Has there been a more prolific director during this time period?
Trademark Shaft head tilt. And Rousokuzawa sounds like a character from a cheesy 80s Japanese samurai movie.
“You begin by concluding that you’re in love, then climb the ladder to reach that conclusion. Maybe a rocket is more fitting. Yeah, it’s like building a rocket.”
I think the best explanation of love I have ever read had nothing to do with love. The thing that really got me about Collapse wasn’t really the details about how societies fail but rather how everyone has a different viewpoint and no one can see each others viewpoint. The first story about how Montana is a failed state is an interesting read if you replace environmental collapse with love and forests with people of the opposite sex.
There’s a farmer who wants to keep farming and wants to expand his farm, and this, he claims, will help the economy because he can be more productive. There’s an entrepreneur who wants to raze the farms, put up resorts, and this, he claims, will help the economy because the resort will employ people and pay more property taxes. There’s a wealthy Californian who wants to retire on a farm there but doesn’t want to farm, and this, he claims, will help the economy because it’ll increase land value. There’s the environmentalist, the gun lobby, the oil company, the railroad… I mean… literally dozens of different interests, and they all want this damn forest. Because they all view the forest differently and each see a different value to it. And the values are colored by many things, including education, money, religion, etc… but the end result is clear: the forest is desirable, and no two people in that book can agree on the same reason why. Just like Hanekawa… maybe it’s because she’s smart… sweet… ample… kind… pretty… but it’s not like Arararagi can pin it down. He knows that he wants to be an owl nesting in dem trees.
(A chapter I wish was included in Collapse: a chapter about Humanity Has Declined and how humans aided our demise by using our last remaining resources to make cookies for those damn pesky elves.)
A great discussion about how Ararararagi wants to fondle Hanekawa’s melonpan. Falling in love with a girl because you want to fondle her boobs is like wanting land for its oil: it’s crude.
(*rimshot* I’ll be here all week.)
Just following along with the breast fondling conversation made me jot down, in my notes, “Arararagi will fondle his little sister.” And, well, yeah. He’s as predictable as an Andy Reid offense.
“You went too far in fondling your little sister’s breasts!”
“What were you expecting?”
Best reaction possible– we all know of his fetish for younger women. I like how he latches on like a lamprey. And it also looks like a fun carnival ride. I’m sick of ferris wheels and pendulum boats. What carnivals need is a ride where you grab some melonpan, and then you get spun around until you get sick.
“You’re caught in an inflationary spiral of sexual frustration.”
I think more people would be better with finance if economics were taught using sexual terms. Basically, because Araragi doesn’t buy pornographic magazines, he creates more pent up demand, which drives up the pricing on Hanekawa. It’s all about supply and demand.
“That touch panel-like breasts of yours.”
While the connotation is that touch panels are flat therefore Tsukihi is flat, I would prefer to think that touch panels are things that people love to touch, multi-touch, pinch-to-zoom, and slide-to-unlock. Maybe UI design would be better if more classes taught UI design in terms of breast metaphors.
“You nearly mistook finding someone’s breasts appealing for falling in love with someone you don’t even like.”
Don’t be such a downer, Tsukihi. Falling in love with someone because of their hopes and dreams should be a rite of passage for any 18 year old boy. Though I just realized so far almost the entire episode has focused on breasts. No wonder the Monogatari series does so well in A-WAR!
15/10 is what I give this Hanekawa either pushing up, smashing against, or bouncing her melonpan montage. Good choice for a montage.
“I suppose I could settle for clearing my head by fondling you or Karen whenever I feel like it.”
Sisters with benefits? Oh anime and your total disconnect with reality. But it almost seems this arrangement was Arararagi’s goal in the first place…
“You should just solve that problem by purchasing a new porn magazine.” *nod* “Now that we’ve come to an agreement, go strike while the iron’s hot!”
If only world issues could be solved with porn magazines. I can definitely imagine Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon hashing things out over the pages of Playboy on Campus. Or, for our modern 2013 times, John Boehner and Barack Obama joining a Google hangout to watch some cam whores strip for bitcoins.
Without a doubt, the people who work at Shaft are perverts. That’s probably why I like them so much.
“If looking at their face makes you want to have their babies.”
I just like how sure Karen is in both her answer and her pose, and it’s just a stark contrast to Tsukihi’s response. Also, Karen is topless.
Good Guy Ararararararagi: flips over Hanekawa’s skirt to deflect her attention away from her self-conscious bandage… while providing us viewers with pantsu fanservice. A good scene that showcases both his character (the fact he did this) and Hanekawa (who immediately realized why he did it and thanks him for doing it).
Broken families a theme in Monogatari? Mmm. Makes you think that Hanekawa’s adopted parents were horrible if she of all people cannot get along with them. Also, almost twenty minutes into the episode and zero Shaft being Shaft moments. My gosh. Have they turned a leaf? Also, we’re almost two thousand words in, and I have yet to mention Code Geass.
(Still, the world is devoid of non-characters in the show. It’s kinda jarring. Has there been another anime where there are literally no other people except the talking characters? Also, would this experiment be fascinating to try to a live-action show? Imagine Full House or CSI filmed this way.)
Animation has been on the same level as Nisemonogatari and a step behind Chu2, but Shaft put a lot of effort into this bike and little to no effort into Ararararagi’s shoes. Warrants mentioning.
(Also, this whole sequence with Hanekawa has just been walking. To no real destination. They couldn’t just sit and talk but instead they are walking. I’m not sure who has walked more at the end of the day, Ararararagi or Frodo.)
“For realisies? You’ll do anything?! Fuck yeah!”
Immediately we know for the next three minutes the scene will seem like he is thinking of a billion different perverted possibilities, but we all know he’s going to do the right thing and use it to help Hanekawa somehow. This is partly why Hanekawa is affectionate to him in Bakemonogatari, and why Ararararagi gets teased for his v-card by Senjougahara.
“My indecisiveness is starting to piss me off.”
Never give a starving man a menu. Only take a starving man to In-and-Out… it’s a small menu, and the burgers are fucking delicious. Just don’t go animal style on the fries… it’s too much.
(Eh. 4 out of 10 on the emo facial distortion scale.)
“I’m starting to get a headache here, seriously.” *facepalm*
Hanekawa is definitely in the, “Just fondle my fucking breasts already!” zone. To summarize: Arararararagi uses ‘indecisiveness’. It’s super effective!
Oh what a tease. Man up and lick her for Oharuhi-sama’s sake!
“These feelings, thoughts, and desires… only continue to weigh on me.”
Foreshadowing for Hitagi Crab… if it were written in that order. (I think maybe the story would have gone better if this were placed in front of Hitagi Crab, but I’ll reserve final judgement after I watched all the episodes.)