“Save the world, and save the girl as well.”
(Not quite the tone of “Save the cheerleader. Save the world.” or “Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt.” Monogatari Series Second Season ten.)
First thing’s first… I almost got the prediction of Bills over Patriots right. Sigh. So close yet so far.
After I watched this episode, it took me a while before I realized what bothered me about it. No, it’s not the time travel or interdimensional travel (that could have been handled better, but that’s picking nits considering this isn’t a sci-fi genre show)… but rather… Mayoi got upstaged in both her arcs! In the original Mayoi Snail, poor Mayoi gets shown up by Senjougahara, who not only helps resolve Mayoi’s issue but walks away with Araragi. Now in Mayoi Jiangshi, she’s upstaged by Araragi’s other loli love interest, Shinobu, who arguably as the primary role in this arc as both the “antagonist” and the sidekick. Mayoi becomes a plot device to show Shinobu’s affections for Araragi.
Shaft and their head tilts. The ending to this arc is a bit anti-climatic in that Araragi and Shinobu prepare for this final confrontation against Shinobu Prime, and the two of them basically resign themselves to their fates and even break out the dual wield… just for Shinobu Prime to basically say, “Hey, you know what, seeing the two of you idiots together makes me feel like this has all been a mistake. So kill me.” I’m not asking for a major confrontation, but maybe something more substantial than the destroyer of worlds flopping over like a little puppy. To recap, Araragi resolved Hitagi Crab partly by allowing himself to be used as a punching bag. He resolved Mayoi Snail by walking Mayoi halfway to Mordor. He resolved Nadeko Snake by going man mode on an invisible snake. He resolved Suguru Monkey by being a punching bag. He resolved Tsubasa Cat by being a punching bag. This time… he resolves things by existing.
(You had to figure this would happen when Meme didn’t give Araragi a method for combating Shinobu Prime. You’d think he’d at least tooltip him or give him some talisman or something. I’m glad Araragi realized this fact afterwards.)
“If I’d only opened up my heart to this boy a little more…”
Great, the end of the world was caused by Facebook angst.
I did like Meme’s explanation at the beginning of the episode. It was nicely done, and the rotational effects of Meme climbing a cliff reminded me of Fez. The whole explanation reminded me of Bioshock Infinite, minus the nosebleeds. Too bad Meme didn’t leave Araragi a Voxaphone. That would have worked better, methinks.
(Araragi escorting the quite powerful Shinobu… Booker escorting the quite powerful Elizabeth… both Shinobu and Elizabeth and open and travel via rips in space time… I hope Suguru Devil is about Kanbaru and Araragi jacking cars and avoiding the police.)
There are variables, and there are constants. I guess the constant is whom Araragi ends up dating, and the variable is whether or not the world survives. It is kinda funny that Araragi’s love life is the last thing on Meme’s mind before he hands the letter off to Mayoi Prime and goes off to fight the big bad vampire. I would have loved to see a Meme OVA that was a mix of Hellsing, Devil May Cry, and Custard’s Last Stand where he and his gang go off to have an epic battle against Shinobu Prime and her army of zombie-vampires. Meme would wield a katana and an SMG while using magic. He’s a natural DMC character.
Good. Mayoi Prime calls Araragi out on “Why the hell are you lighting fireworks? Zombies man, zombies!” She also admits that she is crazy enough to go check, which I guess is because she’s lonely since she’s the last survivor. Though if I had to pick a survivor out of Araragi’s harem, I wouldn’t pick Mayoi. She seems like Crystal Maiden wearing brown boots trying to run from a radiance Spectre. Food. I would suspect Hanekawa with her smarts or Kanbaru with her ability to run to be the final survivor. Though they could be alive in this world, I guess, since I don’t think either of them live close to Mayoi.
(The zombie-vampires can be defeated with rice? How did this town get overrun this quickly then? It’s Japan! Every household should have a huge stash of rice. Meme didn’t tweet, “Hey, toss rice on zombie-vampires, it works!”? Also armed with the knowledge that rice is extremely effective against the creatures, Araragi and Shinobu decide dual wielding ridiculous looking katanas a more sane option than just obtaining a shitload of rice to toss.)
Emo facial distortion! Yes!
I like how the epilogue is basically a turn around of their normal greeting. Nice touch. It even made Araragi wonder if he is in the right world.
(So I take it as this was arc going on, Nekomonogatari White is on-going. Araragi still needs to go through more before he can rescue Hanekawa.)
(I am enjoying Watamote quite a bit, as it’s just really well written, but I read various complaints that there’s no character development for Tomoki. Like people expect her to get better. What the fuck? It’s not Free. It’s not a sports anime where the protagonist tries hard and overcomes obstacles. No, it’s a show with dark humor. I would have preferred it going darker and darker as Tomoki gets more delusional and paranoid. But I’m okay with it being character development-less. If Tomoki is supposed to be a comment on hikikomori, then she shouldn’t change because that’s not what hikikomori do. It’s a meta-metaphor on hikihomori and the audience of the show, kinda like how there were so many double doors in Bioshock Infinite that take you to the same place… just reinforces the idea that no matter what game you play, no matter what choices you are given, you gotta follow the script the developers made for you. Goddamnit Bioware. Why didn’t anything matter at the end of Mass Effect 3?! Not that I’m still bitter or anything…)
Three predictions for next episode…
1. Fanservice! If Kanbaru doesn’t give us fanservice next episode, this would be the driest stretch of Monogatari yet. Then again, when I thought Nisemonogatari got dry, WHAMMO! Dental care.
2. Eren gets eaten by a titan. Again.
3. No one wants to wear a dorkly smart watch. I know. I wore a calculator watch throughout middle school.