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Monogatari Second Season – 03

「つばさタイガ – 其ノ参」 (Tsubasa Taiga – So no San)
“Tsubasa Tiger – Part Three”

After last week’s rather boring episode that was sprinkled with a little bit of fan service for all the Hanekawa x Senjougahara fans, this third episode does justice to the phrase “give each new series at least three episodes”.

Starting on the lighter side of things, I was dying from all the various cameos that SHAFT threw into this episode. As soon as I saw Full Metal Alchemist characters showing up (albeit in sketch form), I think it triggered my brain to be on constant lookout for any other hidden gems. And while the only other cameo I caught was that blatant use of the Terminator as a simile for how the new Black Hanekawa is behaving, there was something else that really grabbed my attention.

And that my friends was just how stupidly funny this episode was. I’ve come to expect slapstick and rather cynical humor from this show but with a sudden shift to stupidly funny jokes and straight up blackmail, I couldn’t help but spam IRC with how much I was loving it. And these jokes weren’t just “haha” jokes, they were the kind of jokes that you could completely miss if you weren’t paying attention. I mean, between Senjougahara’s jab at how there are technically three aberrations around her and Hanekawa downright pointing out Senjougahara’s loveably evil personality is still there how could you not snicker? But easily the best part of the whole episode (excluding that bath scene) was watching Karen fall perfectly into Senjougahara’s trap to house Hanekawa. I can’t remember if the two were on good terms beforehand but I’m willing to bet they’re worse than they started. Because not only was she pushing all of Karen’s buttons by saying things like justice doesn’t exist but after effectively calling her useless without Araragi around, I half expected Karen to throw a punch in retaliation!

All that said, let me take a second to try to analyze what’s happened thus far. It’s already been explained how she’s as pure as the color white — oblivious or rather uncaring about the negative things that could happen to her for doing the right thing. Be it helping a friend or becoming the host of a aberration, she’s just someone who’s there to do what’s right. At the same time we’ve seen how she’s constantly being plagued with the stress of becoming indebted to everyone around her — especially since they’re going out of their way to help her. Which as we’ve seen leads to her late night strolls around town as Black Hanekawa — her other self that only appears when she’s stressed out.

All of which isn’t really new news until you add in what Shinobu said right at the end of the episode — Hanekawa and Black Hanekawa may not be as different as Black Hanekawa believes. The way I see it, and by no means is it the only interpretation, is that maybe because of how irregular Black Hanekawa is for an aberration she’s become more than just Hanekawa’s stress container? Instead, becoming a part of Hanekawa as a whole? On the surface she may be the representation of all the other “colors” that Hanekawa is missing or rather has given up, meaning she’s effectively Hanekawa and not as separate as she’s led us to believe. But as many other animes before have shown us, separating different or undesirable parts of yourself never leads to pleasant things. And what if the Tiger that only Hanekawa and Black Hanekawa can see is actually another part of herself that she hasn’t come to terms with and is throwing out the whole “be loyal to my master while waiting for her stress to ease off” ideal? Instead, opting to change Hanekawa’s ways by forcing her hand by doing things like burning everything down that she holds dear to her?

WOW! I don’t think I’m cut out for these analysis things — my head itches. Anyways, with another week separating us from possibly seeing Araragi I suppose we’ll all have to wait to see what’s actually going to happen. In the mean time, I’m going to go think about how badly I wanted Karen to pull out a toothbrush as she left Hanekawa in her older brother’s room. I mean, she did say Hanekawa could make herself at home and use whatever she wanted…

End Card

July 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm
  • July 20, 2013 at 8:49 pmoscuda

    I love Saturdays. I can’t wait for Saturday again.

  • July 20, 2013 at 8:56 pmoscuda

    so many girls, but Shinobu is one of my favorites.

  • July 20, 2013 at 8:59 pmoscuda

    funny how Senjougahara pick Karen and not the other sister.

  • July 20, 2013 at 9:00 pmmgskn

    Hitagi a cunt as always. Hanekawa black and white are just love

    • July 20, 2013 at 11:06 pmGrant

      Even if I were a Gahara-san hater I’d find that in awful taste.

    • July 21, 2013 at 11:05 pmSaki

      Go back to /a/, please.

  • July 20, 2013 at 9:05 pmvane

    Shinobu is so cute and her seiyuu is Maaya Sakamoto, that is one of my favorite seiyuus. But Gahara-sama is still my Goddess :)

  • July 20, 2013 at 9:05 pmGaze of Providence

    The burnt out cram school represents Araragi’s maturity.

    • July 20, 2013 at 9:20 pmhikaruben

      no, it represents Hanekawa’s ENVY

      • July 21, 2013 at 8:51 amNitro

        No, it represents you NOT KNOWING WHAT THE HELL A SPOILER IS

  • July 20, 2013 at 9:19 pmKorrange

    Roy Mustang, The FLAME alchemist. Alphonse, Adopter of stray cats.

  • July 20, 2013 at 9:30 pmHorus

    I literally spit out the water I was drinking when I hit the bath tub scree caps. I’m going to love this season.

  • July 20, 2013 at 10:19 pmAsta

    I can’t remember if the two were on good terms beforehand but I’m willing to bet they’re worse than they started.

    This is the first time we actually see them interact. Nise ended with Araragi promising that he’ll introduce Tsukihi(and, presumably, Karen) to his girlfriend.

    • July 21, 2013 at 1:06 pmRigelin

      That brings up an interesting point. Although it’s long you kinda have to read this blog post to understand what I’m about to talk about. http://surprisinglycomplex.blogspot.com/2013/05/bakemonogatari-behind-summer-triangle.html

      That post I think is very important to the monogatari series as a whole and will completely change your outlook on the series. This arc is done from Hanekawa’s point of view and what goes on in her head. If this is true, then (since she wasn’t present with Senjougahara and Karen) Hanekawa simply imagined that scene. Hanekawa even says in narration, “This is probably what happened,” then came the Senjou and Karen scene. This means that the dialogue and scene was simply what Hanekawa imagined to have happened; And by no means did it actually happen that way. But considering her image of Senjougahara’s personality, and her limited knowledge of Karen (i.e. she’s a pursuer of justice), and the knowledge of everyone’s reliance on Araragi, then it makes sense that she imagined the scene to be this way.

      On further analysis (no clue if this is true, just speculation), but notice how that scene (the one between Senjou and Karen) had rather normal visuals? In comparison to other scenes. The art tends to be abstract in the series, with backgrounds being random colors and whatnot. However in that scene, the houses were normal, colors normal, backgrounds normal. I theorize it’s because Hanekawa is imagining the scene and thus she had normal houses with normal coloring. Branching off this, since monogatari story is based on someone’s perspective, then the reason that other scenes (particularly ones that the protagonist experiences in real time) are abstract is because we often only focus on the thing in front of us, and thus the background becomes abstract, just random shades of color. Also, depending on what we’re focussing on, things may be magnified and whatnot (thus explaining some weird scenes we tend to see). This may be a message from the director, a message on how we humans perceive daily events in our life.

      • July 21, 2013 at 1:34 pmRigelin

        I realize that not everyone will read the blog post I put a link to (in the comment above), so I’ll summarize in short in this comment so people aren’t completely lost reading that comment.

        The monogatari series is a character study, i.e. it’s based on a characters’ thoughts and point of view. It’s like the first person point of view for books. What’s important is not what actually happens, but what the main character thinks happened or how he felt it happened. This is why scenes where Araragi gets beat up, there’s a full array of colors and rather gruesome visuals. That’s because that’s how he felt when it happened, it may or may not actually be that gruesome or painful.

        This also explains why sexual scenes tend to be so dramatic or overly emphasized, because it’s how Araragi or Hanekawa felt/thought at the time. Our brain naturally exemplify sexual scenes, and thus the anime portrays that.
        It also explains the black scenes (it’s when the character blinks), and why there tends to not be any other humans (because our main characters don’t pay attention to them), and why every bike looks the same except for specific ones like Araragi’s (it’s because it’s his bike, and so it’s special and different from the others).

  • July 20, 2013 at 10:23 pmHayate

    considering this is after Nisemonogatari, Tsukihi-chans hair is freakishly long, considering Kanbaru, who has her hair grow a bit faster than normal still grows only a bit

    not that i mind, as i can see her naked anyway
    oh boy the doujin after this…

    • July 21, 2013 at 3:26 amAnanas

      Hanekawa actually mentionned it in the LN, even comparing it to Kanbaru. She also mentionned that Kanbaru’s longer hair made her look more feminine, probably because of Araragi.

      • July 22, 2013 at 3:30 amAce

        I remember that myself. At the time I read this in the LN, I thought of her parents saying “Hey hun, have you noticed that Tsukihi’s hair grow freakishly fast and every time she scraps her knee it immediately heals?”

  • July 20, 2013 at 10:27 pmMarc

    The tiger is her bankai.

  • July 20, 2013 at 10:35 pmgawrshness

    ah Shinobu I had missed you so!

  • July 20, 2013 at 11:10 pmxephx

    Yay Shinobu’s back!!! That alone elevated this episode for me

  • July 20, 2013 at 11:11 pmc2710

    I say…. Monogatari series is definitely one of the series that I have no regrets following. Right from the first episode of Bake-, I’ve been thoroughly sold into it

  • July 20, 2013 at 11:16 pmGrant

    Well, it clearly shows that at the very least Gahara-san’s suggestion about Hanekawa not truly loving Araragi is incorrect (having read the relevant book makes it a foregone conclusion though). Hanekawa is having trouble sleeping in Araragi’s room and wearing his clothes. Even if she was in shock after the fire, she never had open trouble over not sleeping in a room for years and she knew it was abnormal.

    But it is interesting that she didn’t know what his parents did. I didn’t really get that, no matter how much I thought. She might not know everything, but this wouldn’t escape her notice. My best guess is that it’s revealed this way specifically to reveal it to the audience.

    And Takaii, some good points, Show Spoiler ▼

    . I can say that Show Spoiler ▼


  • July 20, 2013 at 11:33 pmSwarz

    Nice post Takai-chi. Good to see you’re getting the hang of it.

  • July 20, 2013 at 11:48 pmGeoff

    What I really like in this series so far is we get to see all the background talking, how the characters really see each other, and talk to one another without a single hair antennae in the way.

    The whole talk between two supernatural creatures without a single human was also pretty darn interesting.

    • July 20, 2013 at 11:52 pmGrant

      And just think about that for a moment. This is a series where it’s just two characters (admittedly several of them are pretty important) talking to each other for over twenty minutes. And it still manages to be funny, exciting and creepy at different points. It’s not easy, but this is how you do extended dialogue.

  • July 21, 2013 at 12:54 amechykr

    I miss Senjougahara’s long hair.
    I miss Kanbaru’s tomboy cut.
    I miss Nadeko with her bangs down.
    I miss Karen’s ponytail.
    I miss Hanekawa’s pigtails.
    (Of all the girls, only Tsukihi with her constantly changing hairdo, and Mayoi and Shinobu being immortal oddities, remained constant)

    In short, I miss everyone’s old hairdo. I understand that each character’s new hairdo represents said character’s determination to forge a new path for themselves, but still… :3

    • July 21, 2013 at 5:37 amWanderer

      Hitagi’s beautiful long hair… oh how I miss it. :(

    • July 21, 2013 at 5:47 amEuzio

      The only thing I missed is Hitagi with her long hair. Personally, I think she looked alot better with long hair. I do like Tsubasa’s short hair look though.

    • July 21, 2013 at 8:53 pmHaseo

      Actually i liked Kanbaru with her longer hair better but the pig tails she has now a just ugly! Bring back hot long haired kanbaru she too sexy.

  • July 21, 2013 at 12:56 amGinobi666

    Shinobu….. enough said

  • July 21, 2013 at 1:03 amechykr

    Senjougahara just performed “Inception” on Karen-chan impeccably without relying on any of those fancy Nolan-esque conscious invading tricks. XD

    First Hanekawa’s house, now the abandoned school. Is it the Tiger’s doing? Specifically targeting places which Hanekawa has dwelled in? This could make the Senjougarahara and Araragi residences as well as Naoetsu High School at risk of being burned down as well.

  • July 21, 2013 at 1:13 amEuzio

    After 3 episodes, the first male character we see in this series (not gonna count the Tiger) is not Koyomi but Hitagi’s father XD

    • July 21, 2013 at 1:56 amMgMaster

      That guy makes me curious.Like,he didn’t say anything when his daughter was talking to her friend about apparitions,in detail even.But I appreciate a parent who doesn’t butt into his child’s business,assuming that child’s old enough.Especially in the case of a father & daughter relationship.

      • July 21, 2013 at 5:45 amEuzio

        Well, Hitagi’s father was not surprised about the aberration talk because he already knows about them. Hitagi herself was struck by the crab aberration and their family did go bankrupt because Hitagi’s mother got herself involved in some cult to try and cure Hitagi. So its not entirely surprising for her father to be rather indifferent to all that talk.

      • July 21, 2013 at 7:37 amMgMaster

        Lol right,how could I forget about that -.-

      • July 21, 2013 at 12:06 pmGrant

        Actually it’s reversed. Hitagi nearly died from some affliction (I forget if it was aberration related or not but I don’t think so), her mother joined that cult as a result of the illness, nearly let her daughter be raped and ultimately Hitagi threw away her relationship with her mother when she met the crab god.
        And Hitagi’s father definitely knows about that part. He was very grateful to Araragi for doing what he couldn’t, helping her.

  • July 21, 2013 at 2:06 amlegwkio

    I didn’t even need 3 episodes to love this series. Ever since Bakemono’s first scene, I was hooked.

  • July 21, 2013 at 3:01 amFlappy

    lol havnt watched the episode yet, what are my FMA characters doing here??

  • July 21, 2013 at 3:12 amAnanas

    That was quite better than the previous ones. Anti gravity Shinobu in particular.

    • July 21, 2013 at 5:46 amEuzio

      Notice how Shinobu’s hair can’t defy gravity but apparently her dress can :P

  • July 21, 2013 at 5:22 amBhebylhavz

    things got interesting..

    thou am still wondering what shinobo meant by her and araragi are severed.. part of the story or a whole another thing…

    • July 21, 2013 at 7:29 amAex

      Next arc. There’s an Araragi story running parallel with all this that doesn’t have much to do with this story, but at the same time, it has a lot to do with it.

  • July 21, 2013 at 7:26 amedo

    hitagi played the villain but her relationship with karen didn’t get worse after this.

    To my surprise hitagi and the fire sisters are in good terms

  • July 21, 2013 at 7:33 amharo

    gahara mentioned the monkey, the vampire & the cat as the remaining oddities left in town.

    but she left out the snail & the immortal cuckoo.

    • July 21, 2013 at 12:08 pmGrant

      She shouldn’t know about Tsukihi and she might or might not know about Mayoi (it’s always left uncertain whether anyone besides Hanekawa and Araragi are capable of seeing her).

  • July 21, 2013 at 9:44 amMi-Chan

    I only stopped here because I saw my anime idol Colonel Mustang xD

  • July 21, 2013 at 10:33 amewok40k

    Senjouhagara trolling level: over 9000!
    She has played poor Karen like musical instrument, pushing exactly all the buttons needed to get Hanekawa a house to sleep over in.
    My hat is off to her!
    Also, second place in a row – and a very memorable one! – getting burned down? I dont believe in that kind of coincidence…

  • July 21, 2013 at 10:40 amGhostalker

    Now, this is the Monogatari that I know…

    Nice to see the series finally picking up!

  • July 21, 2013 at 3:04 pmShrubbery

    I didn’t even notice the FMA characters xD

    Shinobu <3333333

  • July 21, 2013 at 10:49 pmWhee

    so THATS what the muffler-like hair around tsukihi’s neck was supposed to look like!! o_o

  • July 22, 2013 at 2:57 amDorian

    ^_^;; I honestly thought Tsukihi’s hair was like a scarf or something at first.

  • July 22, 2013 at 10:08 amTechim

    Takaii, there aren’t that many references in this episode compared to series like Nyaruko-san.
    You noticed FMA & Terminator, while I think I noticed two more.
    I think Hitagi was arranging the sugar cubes in the form of Space Invaders,
    & Shinobu was definitely referencing Doraemon when she mentioned Shizuka whilst discussing about the king who loved baths.