Notice: This will be my last blog post for an indetermined period of time, because, you guessed it, Hiatus again! The reason for the Hiatus, however, is something a little more exciting than usual; as I may have stated in a previous post I am headed off to Fukuoka, Japan for a 6-month university exchange. So the next blog post from Moeronpan will be from there; I just don’t know how long it will take to get my internet sorted out. Maybe a week or so. Until then, fare thee well.
This episode begins with a flashback in which Tsubasa talks to Koyomi about her step-parents. Through this conversation a lot about Tsubasa is revealed; how her step-father hit her, and why she spends so much time walking around town rather than stay at home.
Cutting back to the present time, Koyomi meets Nadeko again, having a reference-filled conversation that alludes back to what happened after the snake incident was resolved. Apparently they all stayed the night at an abandoned night-school because it was so late; Oshino and Shinobu included. Also apparently Shinobu spent the whole time staring at Nadeko, which unnerved her, and she noted to Koyomi that the way Shinobu looks at males (ie Oshino and Koyomi) is quite different to the way she looks at females (ie her and Kanbaru)
Tsubasa then meets Koyomi again, and she talks to him about how Hitagi had been acting different since she got ‘friendly’ with Koyomi; it could even be considered an improvement in her personality. When she has a sudden headache he recalls the time she was possessed by a ‘meddlesome cat’; when she got a headache back then, she suddenly sprouted cat ears and transformed into a strange, ethereal cat-girl who rampaged the town attacking people indiscriminately as a manifestation of her build up of stress. With the help of Shinobu, the ‘cat’ problem was solved back then…so then what could be happening now?
Talk about an improvement from last week! The start of this final arc of what I hope is only the first season of Bakemonogatari is just as slick and stylish as the first episode I fell in love with 11 weeks ago (has it really been that long?).
I loved the opening scenes; full of random shots of street cats and a wide range of interesting perspective shots of Koyomi and Tsubasa as they talk. Of course we all knew that Tsubasa; always smiling, always giving off the air of someone content with her lot in life, was not all she seemed, and only now do we get the low-down of the rather tragically difficult ‘family’ life she endures, and the stress and anguish beneath the calm surface. Learning this gave me a new respect for Tsubasa; she really is a strong character…to an extent, of course. Were she ‘truly’ strong, she wouldn’t have ended up falling victim to the oddity that helped her relieve her stress. And what an oddity it is; Tsubasa’s catgirl form is equal parts fan-service and horror, and truly does have an attractive design. (I love the way it glows white) I’m also glad Shinobu is getting more mention lately; I didn’t expect her to have played a vital role in Tsubasa’s ‘past’. Here’s to hoping that the last episode will answer all my questions about her, unless of course SHAFT have a second season up their sleeves (which, given the current number of light novels and available material, not to mention the apparent success of this series, could be possible). Likewise, I’m glad to see Nadeko; she really is adorable, and her conversation with Koyomi was pretty funny as they make obscure references to old anime (and then, quite hilariously, Koyomi got angry at one reference she made as “people wouldn’t get it and it would take too long to explain”, to which she replies “I didn’t think anyone would find it funny anyway”). However, some parts of their interaction are downright odd, with Koyomi displaying rather strange and unexplained behaviour. (Exactly why did he start lifting her skirt with a dazed expression? Is this guy really all there sometimes?)
Of course, the low part of the episode is that Hitagi is still missing, and again, her lack of presence is a downside. Koyomi and Nadeko’s conversation was witty and cute enough, but this series honestly needs Hitagi to be at it’s best. I was under the impression that she was the second most main character; where one earth has she been?
Out of 5,