Oshino tells Koyomi that the name of Nadeko’s oddity is ‘Snake Constrictor’, an oddity born from spite. It is something that is continually constricting her and is apparently incredibly painful for her, but this whole time she has been trying her best to hold in the pain. It is revealed that she was cursed by a class-mate when the boy this class-mate liked asked Nadeko out, and Nadeko rejected him. Although a curse placed by an amateur shouldn’t have a lot of effect, Nadeko’s attempts to lift the curse (performing the odd snake rituals at the shrine) only resulted in it becoming much worse.
Koyomi finds out the proper way to lift the curse and so takes Nadeko back to the shrine for the appropriate ritual. However, it starts to go a little wrong.
First of I just want to say that the Nadeko opening is insanely adorable, with a really soothing and cute pop song complimented by gentle pastel colours. I can see the reason that it’s been topping the Nico charts recently. Seriously, go youtube it if you can.
Plot-wise, this episode was very good. I was thinking that the Snake Constricter was going to be removed just a little too easily from Nadeko to be interesting, but of course, nothing is ever ‘easy’ in the universe of Bakemonogatari. There was a real sense of urgency and danger in the ensuing battle with the Snake as well. It also helps that Nadeko is a character easy to sympathise with (at least for me), so I was eager to see that her plight was seen through to the end. Although it’s something of a shame that Hitagi was absent from this episode entirely. As for the other characters, Kanbaru gets a decent part again, and we learn a few more tidbits of information about Koyomi. Previously I had wondered why Koyomi always seems to get so incredibly injured whenever he fights an oddity; so it was interesting to find out that there is, actually, a reason for that.
Unfortunately, this episode can not be considered an incredibly good one due to the fact that…simply put, a huge portion of it wasn’t even finished in time for the broadcast. I have no idea what SHAFT are doing; I know they put a lot of work into their productions (I mean they did give us that lovely new Nadeko opening whilst also working on Zetsubou Sensei and other stuff as well), but this was a bit much. Several pieces of animation in this episode are missing; most of them seemed to have been parts of characters talking. Instead of showing where these clips are, the screen shows up with ‘missing due to circumstance’. At first, I thought this was part of Bakeomogatari’s odd style, but as the frequency of this increased I realized something was pretty wrong here. Other times they use previous footage in place of the missing parts, which often doesn’t flow at all (for example, the spoken dialogue doesn’t match up, and I was getting so sick of the eye close-ups). It’s mostly apparent in the fight with the snake. On one hand, having so much of the fight unseen did make it even more dramatic and rather scary, but on the other hand, it was pretty disappointing. A lot of the parts that are animated also aren’t animated tremendously well, especially when compared to the previous episodes, but there is a lot of short clips and close-ups that are well done. (most of which I capped). I’m very interested to see the DVD release of this episode now, anyway. Next episode is going to be Tsubasa-cat, which I have really been looking forward to, so I hope SHAFT have managed to fix up whatever was going wrong at their studio in time for that.
It’s such a shame something like this had to happen, because were it done properly this would be a very good episode indeed. Because all the cuts disrupted the flow and ended up being really distracting, though, I can’t rate it as high as I would want to. Out of 5,