Bakemonogatari – 14
I didn’t really like the Horie Yui song here (of course I generally don’t like her songs despite being a fan of her voicework), but the accompanying images were interesting, to say the least, thanks to the Tsubasa cosplay, cat ears, and nudity.
After tying up Tsubasa, Oshino explains to Koyomi that reason that she became like this again is because she’s built up a lot of stress again. They don’t know what’s behind that stress, but even if they did, they still need Shinobu, and Shinobu has gone missing. Koyomi thus decides to go look for her, and he gets the help of Mayoi, Nadeko, Suruga. He tries to call and get Hitagi’s help as well, but she refuses because Tsubasa earlier asked her to help prepare for the culture festival at school. During his search, Koyomi is joined by the transformed Tsubasa who had escaped from her binds and claims to be there to help him. Koyomi isn’t sure if he can count on her, but he decides to use her senses of smelling and hearing for the search. While they’re looking around, she brings up how Koyomi has gotten involved with a lot of supernatural things recently and how she thinks that humans and the supernatural are incompatible. This talk of the supernatural leads Koyomi to realize that Shinobu is just a child right now, and the transformed Tsubasa suggests that Shinobu might not have liked seeing him get involved with so many other supernatural beings because it lessened her own uniqueness. She also explains that there’s another way to force her back inside Tsubasa without relying on Shinobu: get rid of the root of her stress. The stress is actually because Tsubasa has feelings for Koyomi, so all he needs to do is to fall in love with her.
Before anyone asks, the reason this post is so late is because the online broadcast of episode 14 caught me off-guard (I swear I checked a few weeks ago and there wasn’t any indication of when it’d air), and I wasn’t able to make any time for it until now.
Anyway, this was another fairly strong episode of Bakemonogatari and it made for a good set-up for the finale. The middle parts where transformed Tsubasa and Koyomi were talking went a little long, and I think episode 13 ended up being a little funnier overall, but it was nice to see all the cuteness of Tsubasa’s alter-ego here, even if it was essentially fanservice. What I really enjoyed, however, was how all the story threads seem to be coming together. Beyond just the fact that Koyomi is making use of all the girls to find Shinobu, I like how his involvement with them has an effect on this story, and it makes sense now why episode 12 was a significant Hitagi episode. Also, having the final shot here be of Hitagi cutting paper was a great way to finish the episode on a note of extra emphasis since she’s obviously already Koyomi’s girlfriend and not someone he’d want to cross. I’m curious now to see what his solution for this is since I can’t see him falling in love with Tsubasa just to fix her situation, and conversely, it would be a bit too straightforward and convenient if her stress got relieved by just hearing him properly reject her.
On that note, there’s no online broadcast date for the final episode yet, but given that the final DVD is due out later this month, it can’t be too far off.