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Bakemonogatari – Complete Music Works Songs & Soundtracks Disc 1 »« Nisemonogatari – 10

Nisemonogatari – 11 (END)


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「つきひフェニックス 其ノ參」 (Tsukihi Fenikkusu Sono Yon)
“Tsukihi Phoenix Part Four”

True to Nisemonogatari fashion, this final arc was resolved not with fists, but with words. Throughout this series, we’ve been presented with many questions surrounding the idea of fakes and imposters, questions that no physical fight could ever resolve. However, the most important question of all was saved for this final episode: what is the value of a fake?

In keeping with the theme of the series, nothing is safe from being revealed as a fake, not even the supernatural and immortal phoenix that resides inside Tsukihi. A fake phoenix, inside a fake sister – it’s practically F A K E C E P T I O N. I found Shinobu’s explanation of the supernatural cuckoo, the Dying Bird, to be fascinating, clever, and even a little romantic in a certain, bittersweet way. It’s not as if the supernatural bird asked, or chose to be immortal; it was simply dealt this destiny – cursed to plant its egg into a human nest, the fiery warmth of a pregnant mother’s womb, in order to reincarnate itself. It did not ask to hurt anyone, so how can it be considered evil?

I think this is where the first value judgment of a fake is made. It’s never said for certain, but when Shinobu said that Kagenui and Yotsugi lied about the phoenix, I assumed it meant that they already knew its true identity as a fake phoenix, and subsequently knew the value of a fake that is indistinguishable (for most people) from the real thing. Kagenui is a knowledgeable and calculating villain, so I don’t think it is much of a stretch to infer that she used the fake phoenix as her justification for attacking Tsukihi. In the end, her lie didn’t work because she incorrectly assumed that Araragi and Shinobu wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, and the fake was no longer indistinguishable. Regardless of the outcome, this is one value of a fake – its use in lies. And as much as Kagenui might deny that fakes have a value, as we see throughout this episode, she is a hypocrite in many ways.

The person who truly needed to make the judgment of a fake’s value was Araragi. At the end of the previous episode, I had hoped he would realize that although his sister might be a fake, she is still his little sister – one that is worth fighting for, and worth dying for. I also knew the whole situation would be a hard one for him to swallow, so it was no real surprise that after what appeared to be several hours later, Araragi was still in a state of shock as his responses to Karen came in a seldom heard, flat cadence that sharply contrasted with her energetic phrases. The setting reflected their words as well – the dying fire of the sunlight and the darkness accompanying the murder of crows lent an ominous tone that was hard to ignore. The brief moments of Karen’s whimsy that occasionally punctuated the scene weren’t enough to change the somber air. Given the tone and mood of the situation, I was surprised that she believed his fake explanation so easily because anyone who knows Araragi well would realize that something was wrong from the way he spoke – he is not one who hides his emotions easily, as many a heroine can attest to. What finally snapped him out of his stupor was probably when he heard Karen answer so quickly, without even as much as a second thought, to his questions of whether she’d die for her siblings. I think that was probably the trigger that made him realize that to Karen, Tsukihi was an indistinguishable fake, and her value was at least equal to the real thing.

Even still, Araragi probably wanted to find out for himself just how indistinguishable she is, and he does this in the only way he knows how: by kissing her to see if he feels any enjoyment from it. First, tooth brushing, then chest fondling, and now kissing – I knew this series wouldn’t end without Araragi planting his lips on each of his sisters. If you asked him though, he would probably say that he’s only trying to transfer her fatigue onto him. Surprisingly enough, the kiss serves its purposes – Araragi finally realized that even if Tsukihi is a fake sister, to him, she is still real enough that the kiss, although exciting, gave him no enjoyment. In essence, the kiss was indistinguishable from one he would give to a family member, and thus, the fake sister is indistinguishable from a real one (at least to Araragi’s logic).

Hearing his proclamation that he’ll die for his sisters again and again like an immortal Dracula along with watching him head off for a final showdown with Kagenui and Yotsugi has made me acknowledge that finally, Araragi has fulfilled the image of the helpful and reliable older brother that he’s always aspired to be, that it is no longer a falsehood. As he explains to Shinobu, he knows he has nothing to gain from fighting the onmyouji and her shikigami, but he’s only doing it for his sister – and to me, there are only a handful of motives nobler than that. I think the most powerful confirmation that Araragi is a changed man comes from seeing his left eye finally uncovered by his bangs, as it made me feel like the final part of his personality was revealed, and also as his face, and therefore his personality, had changed as well. Nothing about him – his motives, his identity – felt like a fake anymore.

Another person who underwent a change and instantly catapulted to the top of my list of favorite heroines was the vampire formerly known as Heart-under-blade. Adorable Shinobu is one thing – and I admit, she does have a certain appeal there – but a teenage Shinobu? I’m surprised Araragi doesn’t just high tail out of town with Shinobu as his girlfriend. She’s cute in her own right, and probably the least high-maintenance girl out of the bunch too. All you’d have to do is buy her donuts and apparel from Mister Donuts and she’d be eternally happy. Araragi sure is getting a lot of value out of his fake vampire, which was needed for the upcoming fight.

The build up to the final showdown between the two sides was well crafted. With one side declaring that they’re all about violence, and especially with the hilarious trash talk between Shinobu and Yotsugi, I felt the tension and gulf between the two sides was clear as day. I always knew that the vampire had a sharp tongue and an even sharper wit, but I never expected that a shikigami whose speech always had a monotonous and laconic style was capable of such sardonic insults. My one and only disappointment with this episode is that it was really a shame that we were never able to see the two fight each other. Watching Yotsugi unleash the full repertoire of the Unlimited Rulebook against a powered-up Shinobu, all the while exchanging some of the wittiest insults found in anime would have been a sight to behold, and I definitely believe it would have surpassed Kagenui and Araragi’s fight, at least in terms of visual theatrics, if not in the battle of words. Tying it all together, this is another place where we see the value of a fake – Kagenui knows that her shikigami, her fake human, is immensely valuable in a fight because a mere human would probably not be able stand up to a supernatural one like Shinobu, and yet the hypocrite that she is, she does not admit it.

Kagenui’s hypocrisy began to be evident in her banter with Araragi while she was pummeling him into oblivion. I grew frustrated with her time and time again because, unlike Oshino and Kaiki, she was really only talented at speaking with her fists – all her words and ideas continually conflicted with her actions. I think one explanation for her hypocrisy is that she never had the whole picture to begin with, and therefore had to make many assumptions. She believed that Araragi was the only family member who was part supernatural, so he would be the only one that could accept his sister being the same way, and she also thought that immortal monsters can only be proud and cruel towards humans, and never adapt to their surroundings. All these things are, in actuality, untrue. Araragi is never proud, nor is he cruel, and he’s definitely adapted well to his surroundings.

The best example of Kagenui’s hypocrisy and the glaring gaps in her knowledge is found in her philosophy of human moral innateness which subsequently affects her motivation as an onmyouji. She doesn’t believe in Mencius’ theory of innate goodness, believing it to be an ideal; instead, she subscribes to Xun Zi’s theory of innate evil because of her belief that it is the reality. Here, she displays either a lack of knowledge about Xun Zi’s actual theory, or she makes the logical fallacy of quoting out of context because Xun Zi didn’t believe that people are born innately evil. Rather, he believed that they are naturally wayward and that they desire satisfaction, and instead of any good deeds being inherently false, hypocritical, and against one’s true nature, Xun Zi believed that man has an inherent capacity to become good. Given Kagenui’s philosophical beliefs, it is easy to understand why she feels that she has to prevent evil deeds before they have even been committed, and why she chooses to judge the value of fakes as being one that is evil, one that has less value than the real thing. What is truly unforgivable in my eyes is that Kagenui acts like it’s an egregious sin for Araragi to force his values on others, when that’s exactly what she’s guilty of doing as well.

I absolutely loved Araragi’s responses to Kagenui’s reasoning as they were more powerful and effective than any physical attack a part-vampire like him could ever hope to deal her, and it made me forgive the fact that we still haven’t seen any of his offensive powers. His heroic speech about forcing his values and taking on all the evils and burdens for the sake of his family was more poignant than any speech made by the holder of the guilty crown. To Araragi, all he needs to hear is Tsukihi calling him ‘onii-chan’, and there is a certain beauty in the simplicity of his motivation. I also think that it is this speech that finally made Kagenui realize the true value of an indistinguishable fake, because that’s what Tsukihi is to Araragi.

Forget all the fanservice and all the wordplay, because what I believe a person should really take away from this series is the game that Kagenui, Oshino, and Kaiki played: a judgment of value between an indistinguishable fake and the real thing. I thought it was quite fitting that Kaiki, with whom Kagenui and Oshino attended the same college and were part of the same occult club in college, was both the cause of Tsukihi’s arc, and also in a way, part of its resolution. It was from him that the onmyouji duo learned of Tsukihi’s existence, and it is his lesson of an indistinguishable fake’s value that eventually led to Kagenui giving up on the fight. I think that Kaiki’s ‘lesson’ was an appropriate and satisfying conclusion to Tsukihi’s arc, and to Nisemonogatari as a whole. Araragi may be beset at all sides by imposters and fakes, but he doesn’t automatically devalue them or consider them to be innately evil; like Xun Zi, he understands that everyone has the innate capacity to become good, and like he and Shinobu were given that chance by Oshino, everyone needs to be given that chance as well. And that, I believe, is an idea worth contemplating.

In hindsight, the mere fact that this series is able to generate this kind of intellectual discourse makes it one worth watching.

TL;DR: @verdantRC – Shinobu fights, Araragi doesn’t. Final Q: which has more value: an indistinguishable fake, or the real thing? #nisemonogatari

* Full-length images: 21, 22, 42

Epilogue

Nisemonogatari   11   43 Nisemonogatari   11   44 Nisemonogatari   11   45

 

Final Impressions:

Like I said in the series introduction, this show isn’t for everyone – some might find the pacing too slow or the action lacking in excitement and panache, or they might end up comparing it to Bakemonogatari and then bemoan the differences in its sequel. For me, the first thing that elevates Nisemonogatari above the average show is that it knows exactly what kind of anime it is, and what it is not. From there, it is free to focus on its strengths, build on them, and shape them into some of the best examples that can be found.

This series has plenty of strengths, and I would not hesitate to compare each of them to the strengths of other shows. To my knowledge, no other show in recent memory can match Nise’s clever and witty dialogue, and sustain it at such a high level over the course of an entire series either. The characters of this series are also a strong point; each and every single one of them is immensely likeable and memorable, as can be attested to by the legions of fans dedicated to each heroine. The music, aside from the earworms of the OPs and EDs and the orchestral arrangements of characters’ themes, is woefully overlooked and underappreciated. Each piece in the background never distracts from the words and action, but instead enhances it as the best soundtracks should, and hearing a bit of international flavor in the music was a breath of fresh air compared to the usual classical scores found in most anime. Probably one of the best and most unique aspects of this series has to be the animation and art direction – very few series more deserve to be viewed in 1080p than this one. Every single scene was made with an eye for aesthetic beauty – whether it’s through the framing, coloring, or placement of elements, I had a hard time selecting screen caps because each one could have easily been made into a beautiful wallpaper. Much has been written about the absurdity and creativity of the Shinbou’s art direction, but for me, it’s yet another reason to watch this show because of how rare, unique, and above all, beautiful it is.

However, a show is more than a collection of disparate parts. For a series to be truly considered great, we just look at the main purpose of the show: to tell a story. I think, in this regard, Nisemonogatari is quite unique and worth taking a look at because of how well everything comes together to tell a tale in the most unconventional of ways. I understand that for some people the fanservice might be hard to overlook, but for those people who are willing to brave the now-infamous toothbrush brush scene, there is a gem of a show waiting for them – a multi-faceted, multilayered jewel that makes you want to peer inside and discover its true meaning.

March 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm
121 comments »
  • March 18, 2012 at 11:14 pmMike

    Agree completely. Hopefully they’ll keep adapting the light novels because I really enjoy this series.

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:57 amTorrigan

      The animation company have explicitly said they fully intend to animate all the novels since the last one has either come out recently or will soon

      • March 19, 2012 at 9:22 amMike

        That’s great!

    • March 19, 2012 at 2:20 amKTNO

      Best part of the episode was the “To be continued”.
      Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait until 2017…

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:16 pmoscuda

    so sad is over.
    I going to read your post and then comment

    • March 19, 2012 at 8:57 amAni_BEE

      I also most wished there was another episode but that’s ok. ^_^ The prequel movie should be fun.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:17 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    Extremely sad to see this end. Can’t wait for Kizumonogatari the movie.

    • March 18, 2012 at 11:18 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      Just to add.

      I didn’t feel dirty after watching that kiss. I just felt envy. XD

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:19 pmHamez

    Almost forgot it was only 11 episodes til the to be continued in the end haha. I think I enjoyed this series as much as I enjoyed Bakemonogatari, which I loved. I’m looking forward to the Kizumonogatari movie coming out this year, and hopefully they’ll announce an anime adaption of the other light novels too!

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:26 pmJel

    The animation was beautiful from start to finish, and looking forward to Kizumonogatari. Will you blog the movie at RC?

    I wonder if all the light novels will be adapted. The “to be continued” at the end makes em hopeful.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:50 amverdant

      Yeah, I’m hoping to blog the movie someday – if anything, watching this series has only made me anticipate Kizumonogatari even more

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:32 pmBananaFurikake (was KMainichi)

    I heart grown up Shinobu!

    I almost dropped this halfway but I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s not my normal “style” but I appreciated it for what it was. The thing about this series is that I really enjoyed the pure cerebral aspect of it.

    The machine gun Japanese was a joy to listen to and the verbal jiujitsu was spectacular. I’ll be very interested to see where this takes us next.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:33 pmMartianMage

    I agree with your final impressions. While I still liked Bakemonogatari more than Nisemonogatari it’s undeniable that everything that I liked in the first is also here in the sequel. I really like all the dialouges in the series. Personally I’ve never thought much about the value of a fake but Kaiki’s answer is a really interesting one.

    Anyway I hope Shaft will continue adapting the rest of the monogatari novels.

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:14 am1Lau

      6 more coming according an interview

      Take a look at this:
      http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=391241

      This show was certainly good

      • March 19, 2012 at 6:09 amMartianMage

        Hooo… that’s nice news. Shaft’s gonna be really busy. I hope they prioritize their Madoka Magica and Monogatari projects.

      • March 20, 2012 at 3:41 amkarice67

        er…actually, this is what the text of the interview actually says:

        Nishio: I’ll do 10 NisioishiN anime projects! The fourth one, the Kizumonogatari movie, is already confirmed, so I think [that 10 will happen] before we know it.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:36 pmJack

    So Koyomi had no problem groping and kissing Tsukihi but went into a frenzy brushing Karen’s teeth and *almost* groped her?

    Seems that he’s more attracted to his blood-related sister.

    • March 19, 2012 at 7:54 amdeafvader

      So the reason why he did not get turned on was not because Tsuhiki was his sister. But because he sub consciously thought “I am kissing a bird”.
      If it was the sister he would get turned on, like he went to grope tsuhiki’s breast.

      • March 21, 2012 at 8:56 pmacolyte

        Didn’t he claim he won’t get turned on by kissing his sister? XD

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:37 pmaimless

    i kept thinking that there were 12 episodes. I keep forgetting that the monogatari series has a odd number of eps.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:39 pmthenewhorde

    longest RandomC post ever, still reading it… Just want to write that I appreciate you writing all this. *goes back to reading*

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:50 amverdant

      Much appreciate you reading it too

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:40 pmWhee

    This was truly a great series for me–really, a gem. Last arc was amazing, and the talk + action was just splendid.
    Tbh, I liked nisemonogatari MUCH BETTER (than bakemono- note, I DID go crazy over bakemono too). It also didn’t suffer from the trouble bakemonogatari had wen it was on air lol

    Anyways, kinda sad that its over. I’ll just patiently wait for the movie.

    Also, anyone notice some family ideals overlaps with Papakiki recently? ;D

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:51 pmoscuda

    your writing made me rethink about the show as a whole. I can not deny that I am disappointed at the show, even thou I am a big fan and the light novel were ever translated to other language besides Chinese without a doubt I will be collecting them.

    My favorite characters were with out a doubt Kaiki and Shinobu. Their voices reflected their personalities so well that is scary. Kaiki in the donuts was just priceless and then when Aririga found out about his doing, which he let out when they talked about Kagenui.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:52 amverdant

      Whoa, I’m really flattered that my writing can make someone rethink the show, that to me is like a compliment of the highest order!

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:54 pmcancerlad

    I introduced my shrink to this series. He thought it was one of the most thought provoking shows he’s ever seen. I can’t wait to hear his take on fakes during my next appointment.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:01 amcshin9

    As much as I didn’t like Kaiki, I agreed with him that Show Spoiler ▼

    That was my favorite line of the series.

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:16 amMartianMage

      Actually it’s “a fake has more value than the real thing” (there’s a difference) which is a really interesting take on the subject.

      • March 19, 2012 at 7:49 amDude

        Just like another GAR hero said to his rival.

        “All you see here are fakes, worthless to you. But there is no such thing that a fake cannot be as powerful as the real thing.

        Here I come King of Heroes, do you have enough swords at your disposal?”

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:17 amronri

    Seeing teenage Shinobu all the more makes me excited for Kizumonogatari. *_*

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:17 ampwnzarsaurus

    for once…i want to see araragi actually throw a punch in a fight…

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:18 amKinny Riddle

    Teenage Shinobu = <3

    By kissing Tsukihi as well, Araragi has now added both his sisters into his "unofficial" harem.

    Deep down, Araragi must be a masochist for not letting Shinobu fight Kagenui, rather allowing himself to take all the pummeling and still come out the bigger person (of course his vampiric regeneration abilities help somewhat). No wonder Senjougahara digs him.

    Speaking of which, gotta like Senjougahara's new hairdo, signalling her coming to closure with her past.

    There'll be one more episode for the DVD release, wonder if Shaft will adapt something from the novels or go original?

    As for the third season, timeline wise, Kabukimonogatari, Nekomonogatari (White) and Onimonogatari would come next, so perhaps we could expect these three to be adapted. (Nekomonogatari (Black) is partially covered in the Tsubasa Cat arc last season)

    Bring on Kizumonogatari and badass Koyomi Vamp + Kisshot Heart-Under-Blade + Oshino Meme kicking ass.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:19 amkresnak

    Loved the way Shinobu stated that she would help Araragi (tsundere style), as well as the grateful look he gave her in reply that spoke a thousand words.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:20 amwaqasj

    This Series was amazing, i hope other monogatari novels are also animated.
    I want more of my kawai Shinobu.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:26 amKumakaori

    It’s always a pleasure to hear and see Nisioisin’s works adapted into Anime. His literary and story telling style are immensely entertaining to me. The monologue and dialogue are top notch, and Shaft just goes hax with the art. How~~~~ are neither of these licensed for NA yet >.<?!?!?! NIS throw us a bone here!.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:53 amfoo

    That was a wonderful ending to a wonderful series. In the finale, Araragi changed forward again, as he did in the finale to Bakemonogatari. Also, I really felt that Shinobu’s become part of his family. She likes Tsukihi, and judging by her hairstyle, she respects Karen too. And she’s got a hoodie like Koyomi, albeit with sleeves.

    The other thing that’s been resolved is Araragi’s worry from the first episode that he might accidentally kill his sisters if he got into a fight with them. That can’t happen, although he did manage to land a solid punch on Karen in episode 9.

    I love how stupid Karen is, I love how crazy Tsukihi is, and I love how awesome Shinobu is (I can’t think of a better adjective).

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:57 amc2710

    I took the chance to watch bake-… I went gaga over it.

    I fully chose to watch nise- and i got mind blown.

    In retrospect, there are only few shows that are pure gems and somewhat creates a niche on its own and both bake- and nise- are 2 of them… Right now, im psyched for the rest of the -monogatari series.

    The “legal” shinobu serves as a teaser to kizu-… No doubt about that!

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:58 amAnimesetsuna

    I like all the episodes. EoS.

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:09 amCybersteel

    Oh come on how can this be evil?

    And wow awesome post worthy of Nisemonogatari. Seriously your post really resembles Nisemonogatari as a whole and thanks for explaining the “true” meaning of Xun Zi philosophy. Well that twitter post is good too.

    So in the end is the real thing better than a fake?

    For me both have an equal value. To me a pirated Halo is just as good as the original disc.

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:10 ambishounent

    did you guys saw teenage shinobu’s sweater?

    she had donut’s on it, too cute for be real,
    good job Kiss-shot acerola-orion heart-under-blade.

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:19 amFT5Havok

    I WANT MORE ! omg!! </3

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:44 amEuzio

    “Kagenui’s hypocrisy began to be evident in her banter with Araragi while she was pummeling him into oblivion. I grew frustrated with her time and time again because, unlike Oshino and Kaiki, she was really only talented at speaking with her fists – all her words and ideas continually conflicted with her actions.”

    Completely agree. I felt like giving her a slap myself for what she was trying to do. She went on and on about her sense of justice and that people will not accept a fake. Well, the simple fact is that it is not for her to decide whether the Araragi family accepts Tsukihi or not, but for they themselves to decide. She as an outsider has no right to try and force her ideals unto other people. At least Koyomi was able to talk her around, though she still warrants some serious slapping for being totally one-tracked with her thinking.

    PS: Why oh why did Hitagi cut her hair~ she looked so much better with long hair. The short look doesn’t really suit her. She should leave that look to Hanekawa. O wellz, i’ll juz have to settle for teenage Shinobu :X

    • March 19, 2012 at 5:04 amNipah

      “Well, the simple fact is that it is not for her to decide whether the Araragi family accepts Tsukihi or not, but for they themselves to decide.”

      But I think she realized this too, as she said “You can kill a bird, but not a nesting one.”

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:49 amcow

    I think this is one of the best adapted light novel anime series since the first season of Haruhi…

  • March 19, 2012 at 2:17 amsaka

    Teen shinobu reminds me of a more sane version of Flandre Scarlet, with that side blonde ponytail & vampire powers.

    To quote arararagi, “Isn’t it hot, to have a sister that isn’t your real sister?”
    I see what you did there.

    • March 19, 2012 at 8:57 amFantomOmega

      And he didn’t even have to get into a Sororate Marriage to do it either!

  • March 19, 2012 at 2:29 amrummy

    Awesome write-up for an awesome final episode of an awesome sequel. Thanks Verdant

    I got 1-2 punched ko’ed, by the Shinobu/Senjogahara full-length images.

    Liked how the mood was set. With the orchestrated and piano Platinum disco bgms in the beginning and end.

  • March 19, 2012 at 3:21 amGenesis

    epic…. truly epic way of ending fight , not with fist but with words , love this way of ending fight better than shonen way, well this series has its own values when it came down to humor and moral lesson (fan service was already over the top from the start), which supporting each other to make completly enjoying series this will be one of the best anime this season (maybe this years)
    ohhh, and kizumonogatri is due in this fall? hope you will cover it too, because i think kizumonogatri is slightly better in story than nisemonogatari
    and finally i hope after kizumonogatri there will be nekomonogatari which tsubasa will be the main heroine(finally!)

  • March 19, 2012 at 3:22 amBeedle

    Love the Platinum Disco arrangements at the beginning and end :) Heck, the entire bgm of this episode has me wanting to fork over the cash to get the OST *_*

    Damn, Verdant! That Yomihime must be treating you well. I thought Xun Zi was just the anti-Mencius, since I haven’t heard about Xun Zi’s philosophy at all. I didn’t realize that Kagenui actually did get the quote wrong.

    The Tsukihi moment at the end was also very sweet, though her inner brocon’s surfacing when she mentioned that she was platinum mad that Koyomi has a girlfriend~

    I’m not sure if I’m reading too much into this but, I found it funny how teen-Shinobu has the same hairstyle as the one Karen previously wore…I miss Karen with that hair.

    That final scene with Koyomi and Senjougahara hit me in the gut real hard; damn, we need to see more of the new Gahara-san!

    Here’s a question though; is that To be continued at the end real or fake? D=

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:55 amverdant

      Yeah, I have to admit, I did have a yomihime help me out with that part, haha

  • March 19, 2012 at 4:07 amAzure Divinity

    “His heroic speech about forcing his values and taking on all the evils and burdens for the sake of his family was more poignant than any speech made by the holder of the guilty crown.”
    -Verdant
    My favorite line. Very well said.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:57 amverdant

      Yeah, just imagine if Araragi was in Guilty Crown instead of Shuu…I know I’d watch that in a heartbeat

  • March 19, 2012 at 4:13 amJhacks

    Nisemonogatari is just a fun watch, a good series but not that great and with a few memorable scenes (“DAT TOOTHBRUSH”) The show is just a very colorful and fun-fanservice for the Bakemonogatari fans. A VERY good one by Shaft and just exceeded my expectation when it comes to how much “erotic and sexy scene” you can put on an Anime without being a complete porn.

  • March 19, 2012 at 4:16 amThe Concoction

    seriously, i didn’t expect that “posed look” girl will end up in an instant just like that… well, can’t blame her Teenage Shinobu is just too strong…kaka~

  • March 19, 2012 at 5:29 amFaint Smile

    Goodbye Shinobu for now.. T_T
    Cant wait to see the next season/movie.. I totally agreed that this anime really has the best dialogue conversations.. Two thumbs up with a big smile!..

  • March 19, 2012 at 5:30 amLitho

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • March 19, 2012 at 5:55 amDvalinn

    Awww, it’s over. Like Bakemonogatari, I thoroughly enjoyed this show and I can’t wait for any sequels. Overall, I did like Bakemonogatari better, mostly because Karen Bee felt a little too drawn out, but Tsukihi Phoenix on the other hand was one of the best arcs in both series. I loved the new characters (and old ones with a bigger role) that were introduced and they managed to make themselves instantly memorable (Shinobu managed to become one of my favourite characters this season, go figure). I also really like Kaiki for some reason, even though he’s a complete scumbag (or maybe because).

    Hence why I’m glad we’ll get Kizumonogatari, more Heart-under-Blade, yay.

  • March 19, 2012 at 5:56 amMagewolf

    Did anyone else notice the parallels between Kagenui,Oshino,and Kaiki and Araragi’s family?
    Araragi = Oshino The cool one with a big heart
    Karen = Kagenui The insanely violent one on a crusade of justice
    Tsukihi = Kaiki The fake and the smart one.

  • March 19, 2012 at 6:05 amAex

    Outstanding. While I still want to see Koyomi fight instead of winning by surviving, this was still great. Agreed with what he was saying 100%, and Shinobu bursting out laughing was just great to watch. Beat Koyomi? Keep dreaming :P Takes more than a three-story curb-stomp to put down that perverted-ace-protagonist. I loved Tsukihi’s reaction when she fond out Koyomi has a girlfriend! XD

    While it bugs me a bit that we don’t see all the girls that often, I also have to remember that each arc is really just a few days. Time just seems to be a lot longer in between seeing them, especially when Hitagi hasn’t been seen in four episodes, but in reality it was really only a weekend. On the fence about the short hair. Still cute, but I’m not sold. The smile is a beautiful thing though!

    Grown-up Shinobu… WIN!! :D

  • March 19, 2012 at 6:20 amSheapy

    Wow. This post.

  • March 19, 2012 at 6:48 amjrj

    awesome post, verdant!!

    about the fight… if I remember correctly, the fight between the the loli shikigami and 18-year-old Shinobu was never described in the LN too well either… Araragi is the main hero of this stage (whether we like it or not). Shinobu’s outfit is inspired partly by Karen (that tail and sports jacket, I loled at the donuts on the shirt though…)

    As to why Karen believed in Araragi without any questions… two explanations: 1. Karen is sort of a Baka. 2. Karen became die-hard brocon after training with the legendary Kanbaru sensei. Whichever one fits better…

    ok, I must admit, Hitagi short hair is growing on me… (didn’t think it was possible)
    Awesome, we get another “continue” screen at the end… which means it is quite possible we will get Nekomonogatari next! Guess who will take center stage in that one :3 ?

    • March 19, 2012 at 2:32 pmAex

      Isn’t Neko like… 80 chapters long :x That’d be interesting to see animated.

      • March 19, 2012 at 3:11 pmjrj

        well, sort of… Neko is a two volume LN just like Bake was (called Neko black and Neko White, and I don’t remember which one came earlier). the first volume is about golden week, the time gap between Kizu and Bake, and the second one is the official start of the season 2 of monogatari series, so we will just have to wait and see how Shinbo is going to handle this one… :)

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:03 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    Though some might say that Nisemonogatari was disappointing, it was a fun ride for me. While it’s true that Bakemonogatari has more plot, I still like this series and will look forward to their next installment. You just have to love the characters.

    • March 19, 2012 at 7:15 pmFantomOmega

      For a few years now most people (not anyone on this page apparently) rather watch a Series that is long with drawn-out dialogue thinly stretchered and lacking subsistence for 50 plus episodes rather than a well thought, well written dialogue rich character development and interaction compressed in a few episodes and I appreciate SHAFT for doing it this way for I shudder to think what other studios would do to butcher the source material to extend it for more than one season.

      Its short, but sweet and loved every second of it! and will be looking forward to the future monogatari’s being animated since SHAFT wants to animate ALL the novels and I’m VERY excited about that

      The wait will only make the experience all the better when they finally come as for now I’ll wait for the upcoming movie and Bluray release

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:06 amMoeronic

    Dammit why does every single girl have to cu their hair? Now Shinobu and Nadeko are my only hopes left.

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:24 amoliviaven

    Woah you weren’t kidding when you said you have a lot to write for this final episode and impression (◎_◎;)
    It took you a lil more than 1 day to write that much, thanks for using up your weekend for us ^^
    Now Ill head back to reading the post again

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:00 pmverdant

      Thanks for reading it – I know walls of text can be scary, haha…now back to my regularly scheduled studying…

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:29 amCherrie

    So… I promised to read your post and now I’ve spoiled the ending for myself. Are you happy now? =P

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:47 amverdant

      I really appreciate you took the time to read it, but I didn’t want you to spoil yourself in the process! =/

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:31 amNikku

    Great post, Verdant!
    Made me think even more about this episode haha!
    Also, can we just take a minute to talk about how fantastic the last scene was? From Araragi talking about introducing Tsukihi to his girlfriend, to the very last second, I was so happy. Hitagi has grown into a fantastic character and Araragi knows that. As a huge shipper of those two, that scene went above and beyond for me. Cannot wait for the next “monogatari” series.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:58 amverdant

      Don’t you love thinking more about an episode, haha

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:55 amdeafvader

    Gahara needs no words? Picture and presence speaks for her??

  • March 19, 2012 at 8:28 amxRichard

    I also felt that Kagenui was full of crap. Wasn’t it Thomas Hobbes the man who thought humans were born evil? In his book “Leviatan” he wrote that that in a “state of nature” man was a selfish brute and a participant in a “war of every man against every man”. I don’t remember much, my Philosophy’s classes ended years ago >.>

    Nisemonogatari was an amazing, worthy of these great post by Verdant.

    Now we wait.

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:20 amJLee

    So what am i supposed to do with myself now that its over?

    • March 19, 2012 at 9:30 amBeedle

      Brush your partner’s teeth and wait for Kizumonogatari o/

  • March 19, 2012 at 11:00 ampokpokza

    Monogatari serie is Top3 light novel in Japan after Haruhi and Index project. I really enjoy this anime accually for me watching anime isn’t for enjoying myself but to collection some kind of intellectual value and make me happy so I don’t mind what hater think but I love Nisemonogatari ( My daily life is also a fake aswell ) And I impatiently wait for more Go GO Kizumonogata every girl in this serie is the best so far . More donut and Straple will make my day!

    PS. I don’t have any sisters but I’m siscon now!

  • March 19, 2012 at 11:27 amPtolemaios00

    I was disappointed when Kagenui stepped onto the ground…I thought there was some meaning to her hopping on things.

    Also, why did all the girls cut their hair? Next we’ll see a bald Hachikuji.

    NEEDS SEQUEL/MOVIE/continue FOREVER!!!

    • March 19, 2012 at 1:51 pmLuxor

      When she stepped down, I imagined it meant she was willing to take Araragi seriously without treating her own preferences and views as solid truth. And since she accepted Araragi’s (and Kaiki’s) view that a fake can be just as real, I think I hit the nail.

  • March 19, 2012 at 11:46 amEnd3rr

    Ahh I loved this show as much as I loved Bakemonogatari, though I would normally write alot more, I am also late for calculus class and I have a test so I would just like to leave one really random comment, (I would add more later after my midterms)

    - The epilogue reminded me of the last scene from Yu Yu Hakusho when Yusuke finally meets with Reiko after his affairs in the underworld ^ ^

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:06 pmSilentCid

    I love Shinbou the only female in the series that didn’t decide to cut her hair following Tsubasa-sama‘s example in cutting hers.

    • March 19, 2012 at 3:15 pmjrj

      actually… you forgot the legendary Kanbaru Sensei… her hair actually got longer…
      and I may add, I forgot that our forever loli – Maoyi also retained her hair (my inner self is trying his best to forget about that cute loli)

      • March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pmSilentCid

        Yeah I forgot about her I wonder how she will look with her hair fully grown out.

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:30 pmposeidonhands

    “Isn’t it hot having a sister that not you real sister”

    -Araragi, Koyomi


    this^ made me laugh so hard.

    • March 20, 2012 at 1:16 amjellyfish

      Incest sidestepping xD. 0 for Karen though.

      • March 20, 2012 at 4:25 amBeedle

        On the flipside, Karen did get Koyomi’s award for “Cutest Girl in the Universe” XD

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:38 pmSeishun Otoko

    This is probably not the first time I’ve said this, but wow Verdant, what a great review! Admittedly, I did’t put that much thought into all the lengthy conversations and took most of them at face value, so your insights were extremely helpful and have changed my perception of the series on so many different levels. Bravo and thank you Sir ;)

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:54 pmLuxor

    Verdant, I admit I didn’t understand the implications behind Kaiki, Oshini, and Kagenui going to the same school until your post. I never would have thought that Kaiki’s answer in the previous arc would be so important in the end.

    Anyway, you just shot up my blogger ranking. ^_^

    • March 20, 2012 at 2:23 amverdant

      Yeah, and it’s also interesting to think about how each of them became such drastically different onmyoujis, depending on their original view of a fake’s value.

      Anyway, I appreciate that I’m shooting up your rankings…I wonder who’s ahead of me so I can try to surpass them someday, haha

  • March 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm0927123

    Shinobu-fascination for me. Arararararagi, y u smile everytime u talk to Shinobu!? and y so glum with Gahara :/

    • March 19, 2012 at 3:14 pmjrj

      it is complicated… Show Spoiler ▼

      :)

  • March 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm5n

    Kaiki never met Tsukihi though…

  • March 19, 2012 at 4:15 pmsealouse

    My only gripe is that Koyomi got horribly beat up again. It was explained that he really didn’t want to fight, but it’s really starting to get freaking old to watch him get mutilated like that every time.

    • March 19, 2012 at 4:43 pmAex

      Wait for Kizumonogatari. If done even half-right, you’ll get to see Koyomi be quite the beast!

  • March 19, 2012 at 6:35 pmbubs

    An interesting thought, on the whole ‘fake/real’ deal: If something is truly indistinguishable, and truly fake, perhaps it gains value because it intends to be what it is? The implication is that the fake puts forth effort: self-defining and (possibly?) self-refining effort in order to be indistinguishable. If we value self-knowledge or self-control or self-determination, then perhaps an indistinguishable fake is worth more than the ‘real’ thing, if it became indistinguishable through some effort of it’s own. It’s more than real, is it surreal?

    Great review! :)

    • March 19, 2012 at 8:19 pmMartianMage

      Yeah that’s pretty much my take on Kaiki’s response. The real deal does not need to put any effort to be real whereas the fake gains value through it’s effort.

  • March 19, 2012 at 6:38 pmomeganx

    her lips seemed perked for another kiis when koyomi returned… breaking up with her bf soon?!?!?

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:02 pmgrey

    Everyone above really expressed everything I wanted to say about your post.
    I think this finale really wrapped up the show’s message, and was of course, pointed out awesomely by verdant. You really point into words the entire series’ strengths :)

  • March 19, 2012 at 7:13 pmcalla

    Your posts are going to be so fun to read after I watch the series. I have to be out of commission for a few weeks so I thought I would save up all have my Halloween candy to eat it all at once. It has been so ridiculously hard to not watch any episode and only lightly lightly skim your posts.

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:07 pmoscuda

    sorry for posting a question here, but I think that here is the only place that my curiosity can be answer.

    I read a little bit Tsubasa Tiger that I found translated and I really like, really like Tsubasa. She seems to me the most normal person in the whole series, her point of view is great and what she has endure almost make my heart:( weird ah?

    the question is, do Hitagi knows about Shinobu? she refer to her when talking to Tsubasa.

    thank you in advance for the answer.

    • March 19, 2012 at 9:29 pmMartianMage

      Not sure about the extent of her knowledge about Shinobu but she definitely knows Shinobu since ep1 of Bakemonogatari.

      • March 20, 2012 at 8:50 pmoscuda

        I know that she knows about Shinobu, but I understood reading that she knew about her like Tsubasa does, that Shinobu are one.

      • March 20, 2012 at 8:51 pmoscuda

        sorry, Araragi and Shinobu are one.

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:27 pmjao

    it may be true that Kagenui was acting like a hypocrite, the things she guess were true or was reasonable. Tsukihi was very bad at adapting her surroundings, to the point of getting a knife or awls out at certain moments. The way she acts may been due to her being immortal, having wounds seem less to her. She suggest that Araragi may understand her by his experiences, and question him how his family will take it. If you combine her dangerous behavior and a change in surroundings, like a familial issue that may occur if she’s unmasked as an immortal it may become a problem. even if not she still knows she’s different in someway, if she discovers it herself it will become a larger burden.

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:33 pmviss

    I’m don’t usually post my comment but I will make this an exception. It not often that a blog post can change my view of an episode itself in better light. This happens to be one of them.

    I guess there are some people who may believe that you need to become novel readers to truely appreciate the source material. You Verdant, haven’t read Nise and still managed to write in-depth analysis of characters’ thoughts and beliefs solely based on limited content provided in anime adaptation. I bet some Nise novel readers never look deeper into characters’ words and actions and make meaningful interpretations like the way you did here. Nothing beyond toothbrush scene for them at least lol.

    “There are times when a fake can become more powerful than a real thing.” Well you know what? this post could be one of them.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:44 pmverdant

      Thanks, I really appreciate your compliment, and this is exactly what I hoped to do when I started covering this series, or any series on RC for that matter – to hopefully inspire readers to think more deeply about whatever it is they watch and see an episode or series in a new light, all without necessarily being negative.

      After all, it’s easy to identify the shortcomings of an anime – anyone could probably do it.
      The challenge truly lies in being able to discover the charms and beauty of each series.

  • March 19, 2012 at 11:11 pmfoo

    As for Shinobu’s fight, I’m pretty sure she just picked Yotsugi up with one arm and launched her across the room, like Arcueid’s throw in Melty Blood. Whilst Yotsugi was preparing her big finger with a posed look.

    http://youtu.be/zFJ4pJknUV4

    Also, a fighting game with the entire Bakemonogatari cast would be awesome.

  • March 20, 2012 at 3:43 amLawrence Leong

    Mister Donut in my country…Didn’t know it’s actually an advertisement in the anime…because I didn’t know Mister Donut franchise existed…
    http://my.openrice.com/UserPhoto/photo/0/97/001TK54C0956AA0BC2CB5Fm.jpg
    http://my.openrice.com/UserPhoto/photo/0/97/001TK96B97355E4C68C932m.jpg

    Pon-De-Ring
    http://my.openrice.com/UserPhoto/photo/0/97/001TK8517AB26F4762B3DBm.jpg

    • March 20, 2012 at 3:50 amSho

      OneU mister donut =)

      • March 20, 2012 at 5:01 amLawrence Leong

        Yea..I copied them from chinese cari forum…Are you the original poster?

    • March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pmSho

      yup=)

  • March 20, 2012 at 3:52 amSho

    i just love the ending, frankly, nise’s plot are weaker than bakemonogatari, but still, nise is about shinobu, and araragi’s sisters character development =) more monogatari series animated please XD

    • March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pmLawrence Leong

      Just a bit of patience…kizumono is on the way…

  • March 20, 2012 at 5:34 amRadoS

    This is the ending? Wow my first thoughts where its finally starting to get better :D

  • March 20, 2012 at 5:34 amRadoS

    This is the ending? Wow my first thoughts where its finally starting to get better :D

  • March 20, 2012 at 6:55 pmHagiri

    Why? why? why?
    Why did Senjougahara cut her hair that short?
    I’m a sucker for long hairs.

  • March 21, 2012 at 9:08 amerikuru

    I really loved teen version of Shinobu, fromm all the girls in the series, i would choose her in a heartbeat. plus the fact that they share a long lifespan makes it even better.

    • March 21, 2012 at 9:28 am0927123

      Comrade!

  • March 24, 2012 at 1:29 amcyp

    I really enjoyed your reviews verdant. Especially great job on this one! Keep it up!

    This this series was a blast.

  • March 27, 2012 at 2:30 pmDarknemo2000

    Senjouhara with short hair looks stupid. Thats one of the most retarded things about this series. Everything else looked fine.

  • March 28, 2012 at 5:26 pmMirrored

    I think that Nisemonogatari had very limited achievement when it came to “telling a story” and is very flawed in that regard. There may be a few final episodes where this could be made up, similar to the last arc of Bakemonogatari.

    However, unlike Bakemonogatari, it does not contain a lot of real story. In Bakemonogatari we get a synopsis of Araragi’s past, the development of a romance, two romantic rivalries, an explication of his relationship with his family, five complete character arcs, a (seeming) resolution of a romance, and a resolution to both of the romantic rivalries.

    Nisemonogatari was really limited in scope, what would have passed for three episodes in Bakemonogatari was stretched into 5 or 6 in Nisemonogatari. Many things were raised but only the issue of Araragi’s family was resolved (except for his forever absent parents).

    Thematically, the gulf between the two shows is enormous. More themes and bigger themes were explored in Bakemonogatari than Nisemonogatari. Nisemonogatari filled up too much of its time with fan service to achieve much in terms of story.

    Of course, it’s top notch fanservice and they really do try to integrate story into it, but they were only marginally successful. Bakemonogatari did it better with its subtle mockery of fanservice in contrast to reality — i.e. Hitagi giving him the “Tsundere”-service call. The reality check that Araragi is harassing a grade-school girl. All of those served their purpose much better than the blatant and upfront hit.

    I’d rate Nisemonogatari a 7/10 and Bakemonogatari a 9/10. Nisemonogatari is probably more of a reprieve from seriousness than anything else, since up next is the prequel which seems to be horror oriented, and then the conclusion.

    You can also see that they used this story to do more design work on Shinobu for Kizumonogatari.

    Fundamentally we get:

    1) Bakemonogatari: Lots of story, exposition, and forward motion. Creates foundation for 2 and 0.

    2) Nisemonogatari: Downtime, minor fleshing out, gently introduces 3 through the connections the antagonists have to Oshino, builds on foundation for 0 by showing Shinobu in full form.

    0) Kizumonogatari: Established by 1, built up by 2. It’s the first step towards a resolution arc, where answers to questions from 1 and 2 are provided. It also will establish the foundation for 3, by going back into Oshino.

    3) Unnamedmonogatari: This is basically going to be a conclusion arc where whatever the author is trying to say will be said here.

    If we looked at this as a roller-coaster, 2 is a long track but doesn’t offer anything the other three should.