Bakemonogatari – 02
This is a pretty good song accompanied with some cute stapler animation, and what got my attention and made me laugh was the shots of staplers having sex (see the video below starting around the 50 second mark).
Oshino sends Hitagi home to get cleaned up before he can help her, and she ends up telling Koyomi about how her mother got involved with a suspicious religion. That led to great debt, her parents got divorced, and Hitagi now lives with her father. She shocks Koyomi by emerging from the shower naked, and she takes her time getting dressed, teasing him in the process. The two then return to Oshino’s building and meet back up with him. When Koyomi asks, Oshino explains that they’re not going to get rid of the crab but rather will be asking a favor of the god. He also notes that gods can be careless in that they don’t distinguish between individual people. The three of them then proceed to a room that Oshino has prepared, and he gives Hitagi some sake to drink first. Getting her relaxed, he asks her some basic questions about her background, and she promptly responds to all of them until he asks her about her most painful memory.
Hitagi stays silent for a moment, but she eventually reveals that it has to do with her mother getting involved with the bad religion. Her mother had brought home one of the leaders of this religious organization to perform a ritual on her, and the guy tried to rape her. Hitagi fought him off with some spiked shoes, but her mother didn’t help her. What instead happened was that, because Hitagi hurt the guy, her mother got penalized financially by the organization. As a result, Hitagi now expresses doubts about if she should have resisted, and Oshino emphasizes that these are her own feelings. He then has her open her eyes, and she’s able to see the huge crab beside him. Oshino reminds Hitagi that she has something to say to it, but she hesitates and looks up, and the crab rushes her and pins her against the wall. With no other choice, Oshino helps Hitagi by grabbing the crab off of her, and he’s ready to use force, but she tells him to wait because she can still do this properly herself. Getting on her knees and bowing to the crab, Hitagi apologizes and tearfully begs for her weight and her mother back.
In the aftermath, Koyomi learns that what had led Hitagi’s mother to the religion was Hitagi being sick when she was young, and what ultimately happened resulted in the breakup of Hitagi’s family. That’s when Hitagi had met the crab. She had essentially cut her bonds with her mother, and at the same time that she lost those feelings, she lost her weight. Hitagi now can’t stop crying, and even though she can’t get her mother or family back, she feels that this wasn’t useless because she made an important friend: Koyomi. Later, at home, Koyomi is feeling sluggish, so he decides to weigh himself. He finds that he’s now 100 kilograms, 45 more than he was originally, and he remembers what Oshino said about gods being careless.
Well that was quite a good episode. Perhaps they could have done more with the first half of it – the fanservice was nice I guess – and I was hoping for a little something more involved than Koyomi taking a minute towards the end to explain everything/fill in all the holes (even though I like Kamiya Hiroshi as a narrator), but I love the way it concluded and how everything tied together. The whole weight loss thing finally makes sense now, and I probably should have realized earlier that it was really the feelings that got taken from Hitagi that were important (given how the pronunciation of the words for weight and feelings are both omoi). With Hitagi’s change in attitude now, I have to assume that a romance is brewing, if it wasn’t already, though maybe this is the wrong series for that. I also wonder if Koyomi weighing almost twice as much as he used to will have any actual consequences or if they’re just going to forget about it in the next arc.
Production-wise, this episode looked about as good as the first one did, and as you can see, they really showed off Hitagi’s assets. I was surprised that they even had a close-up shot of her belly button. It makes me kind of wish that SHAFT would take over animation production for a few episodes of a certain other show that seems to randomly censor this kind of stuff, but oh well. In any case, I enjoyed the first two episodes of Bakemonogatari and am likely going to continue watching it.