onimonogatari 1-4

Shinobu Time


Koyomi is into lolis. Worst kept secret in anime.

(I did like Mayoi’s final, “I bit your tongue.” If this is the last we will see of Mayoi, then it is a fitting farewell for her.)


There is something off about this arc and this season in general, and I didn’t quite put it together the last time I wrote about Otorimonogatari. I surmised then that this season is all about the haremette’s point of view: “We see everything from the viewpoint of the haremettes as they give into their selfishness and do not so great things. If you look at things like that, the second season has been from the viewpoint of the criminal/victim. The mastermind consulting criminal is a bit player. And we don’t see Sherlock until the end.” Well, I didn’t put the obvious reason why they give into their selfishness as Nadeko is writhing around like a pug in heat: they are all dealing with their unrequittable love for Araragi. They all know that Senjougahara caught the prize, and they are all dealing with that fact in different ways. It’s blunt, but the first arc is all about Hanekawa getting into Senjougahara’s face and lose to Senjougahara. Then the next arc is about how Shinobu would deal with a world without Araragi. Then Nadeko’s arc… which is as blunt as they come. Now it’s Mayoi’s turn to face the music.

(I like how Mayoi’s arc is named after Shinobu and vice-versa just to throw us off…)


This season has been all about the aftermath of the harem. It’s not like Happy Lesson or Aa! Megami-sama where the harem moves in with the couple and wacky hijinks continue but about real consequences about dealing with rejection. Araragi, though, in his nice guy mode, doesn’t actually reject them: the girls reject themselves, which create the Black Hanekawas and the Nadeko Medusas of the world. That’s why the season felt odd: the core of the original Bakemonogatari is Senjougahara and Araragi. The couple’s relationship grows during every arc from Mayoi Snail to Surugu Monkey (okay, maybe not Nadeko Snake) to Tsubasa Cat. Here, in this season, it’s all about the aftermath of said relationship, and the relationship is nowhere to be seen. As I pointed out before, it’s been over twenty episodes since Senjougahara and Araragi talked face-to-face with each other. I mean, that has got to be some sort of record. I think that’s why the season has felt off.


Another reason is that Shaft is not doing a good job. Not even Sunrise would take three recap episodes before episode twenty. They are obviously rushing through, and they are in “get it done” mode rather than “do it well” mode. It’s quite evident: the first episodes were really well-drawn, tons of fluid animation, and there were actual animated interstitial shots. This arc has been pretty much a succession of quick cuts and background interstitial shots. Shaft ran out of time, and they are cutting corners. As such, the episodes are not well-animated and resort to a lot of tilted heads talking. The trademark Shaft being Shaft style… well… it’s pretty much non-existent in this arc. To clarify, Shaft being Shaft is only a bad thing when overused. It’s not a bad thing when used prodigiously a la Tsubasa Cat or Madoka. Zetsubou-sensei? Sasami-san? Too much. Here? There’s not any. You might as well have Brains Base or PA Works animate the show at this point. I think Shaft should probably have broke this season up into two non-consecutive cours so they could arm and reload in between.

(When I found out that KILL la KILL is schedule to be two cours, well, I have the same fears. I don’t think Trigger is equipped for that kind of schedule, and I hope the final episodes don’t all look like the original Evangelion ending. Episode 24: Satsuki Turns the Lights Off at School For Earth Day.)

(The scrolling in episode 18 is really nice, but, again, it is a background image that covers up the fact that there’s no animation going on. Shaft basically painted twenty panels that episode and called it a day.)


Yet another point about this season is that each of the haremettes are harboring a secret from Koyomi, and that secret ties into the naughty deeds they do when they can’t love him, and the arcs are kinda resolved when Koyomi learns of their secret. What’s interesting is that Kanbaru has yet to show up this season. Are they going to skip her arc? With only four episodes left, are they going straight to Hitagi End, or are they saving that for an OVA?


Gaen is more of a cop out than Meme. She never answered how she knew where they were. She solves their shit for them and acts like a deus ex machina to explain things. She tilts her head every scene. And she dresses like a Pokemon trainer. No, seriously, she looks like she is about to send out Sylveon against Greninja. All she needs really is a dorky pin on her hat and maybe a gold pokemon chain necklace instead of the star necklace, and she’ll be ready to catch them all.

(Her headphones don’t connect to anything. I hate that. Shaft should have drawn her with a Zune to complete the effect of a woman of mystery. Speaking of mystery, the Fashion Czar has gotten hooked on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which has acting on par with Log Horizon. I feel like pure mystery not mystery horror or mystery supernatural is a genre that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in anime, and a fun heist show like Twenty Faces would be a good change-up right now.)


I wonder how long it took Araragi to realize that Ougi is the consulting criminal.


The bicycle ride is easily the highlight of this arc from the good animation to Mayoi looking like she was assaulted by Araragi (if people could see Mayoi that is) to Araragi telling her to ram her melonpan against him and rub to make the bike go faster. All gold.


Araragi trying to kiss Ononoki just shows how much of a player he has become. He doesn’t even care about solving the cases or oddities anymore– he just wants action.

5 Responses to “onimonogatari 1-4”

  1. Dude, I am disappointed as to how people feel about the creative use of mural-like storytelling in episode 18. Sure some things would look good with animation, but doing it this way was way better, and no use using up the good animation on a short story like this. Shaft being Shaft definitely was warranted.

    Also a few things. Hitagi End will run the entirety of the last part of this season with no more recaps, and Suruga Devil will he a standalone OVA. You’ll see why this was a smart decision when you see the arc itself.

    The entire reason that Araragi told Ougi this story is to see how she uses the information because he is suspicious of her. By the way, chronological (hold onto yourself this will get brainbending) is Araragi is telling Ougi this story in late December and they are still dealing with Nadeko (Nadeko Medusa takes place in October, specifically October 29-31). Shinobu Time’s events and Tsubasa Tiger happen at the same time. The chronology will only get weirder. And in this arc, based on how smart you know Hanekawa is, you can guess why she “took a trip” near the time of Nadeko Medusa. A lot more things happened in the interim between Tsubasa Tiger/events of Shinobu Time and when this story was told to Ougi.

  2. Gaen is no mere deus ex machina. Introducing a character that literally knows everything is tantamount to creative suicide. Fortunately you can mitigate that by being reeeeaally roundabout, which the *monogatari series has perfected to a T. Gaen says she knew where they were because she has “all-seeing clairvoyance”. Naturally. Also, Gaen’s outfit is so ghetto 90s. Positively Thugalicious.
    In the end, they’re basically being chased by The Nothing from the Never-ending Story and Araragi tries in vain to loophole the shit out of “The Law of the Universe” because he can’t let go of someone who’s already dead. (Seriously though, “ghost of a ghost”? Does that even make sense to anybody?)
    Araragi and Hachikuji’s parting scene would’ve been almost touching… if Mayoi wasn’t frikkin sitting on top of Ononoki. Not so tragic when it’s comedy gold.

  3. Well there’s at least a few Shaftisms in this arc… There’s the usual scene/chapter cards, the abandoned school with ever-changing arrangements of desks (which are also painted with hand signs when Araragi tries to molest Mayoi), and the random flooded park in the crater in this episode. Does Yotsugi piggybacking Mayoi count? But yeah, Shaftisms have been pretty lacking.

    Kanbaru did get a brief cameo in Neko White as well as Mayoi and a separated Shinobu. The other arcs probably would have done well to include more haremette cameos too.
    I feel that all the arcs in this show that have barely included Senjougahara have been the weakest. Well maybe except Neko Black if you ignore its first 15 minutes.

    Overall I’m more disappointed in Shaft’s declining quality this season than the change in pacing. I think you’re right about splitting up the cours. I don’t think Shaft has been very good at producing large amounts of consecutive episodes.

    Also, still waiting on Kizumonogatari >=(

  4. AOG, I felt the mural and story time part of this arc was perfectly played. I think it allows the us as viewers to not be blown away by Kiss-shot in full swing, as I firmly believe that she is too strong a character to show in action that way.

    There are many ways they could have handled it with more animation too, but honestly the inspiring mural art and the dialog is a perfect way to convey the history of Shinobu without overtaking her place in the current story.

  5. I’ve been trying to figure out how to summarize this season, but your first paragraph did a nice job of that for me. It’s a shame this season has been so rushed though. Neko (both Black and White) placed my expectations quite high and I must admit that although I’ve enjoyed the season thus far, it’s been disappointing overall. It seems that Sasami-san was perhaps an indication that Shaft is either slumping or focusing too much on the Madoka franchise, and this second season of Monogatari is the proof. I don’t plan on holding my breath for Nisekoi (or for a Kizumonogatari release date, d’oh).

    As a side note, I do take issue with your claim that Zetsubou Sensei overused the Shaft formula. If there is any show that can downright abuse Shaft being Shaft and get away with it, it’s Zetsubou Sensei. Sasami-san used it as a crutch, but if it weren’t for the abundant Shaft-ness, Zetsubou Sensei would just be SoreMachi: good, a little quirky, but largely forgettable.

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