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Owarimonogatari 2nd Season – Hitagi Rendezvous

「ひたぎランデブー」 (Hitagi Randebuu)
“Hitagi Rendezvous”

Being the second act of this season of Owarimonogatari, one would be forgiven for thinking that Hitagi Rendezvous would be a bit soft, but it turns out that it’s actually a very important chapter in our story. Which is how it should be, I suppose, because this is Monogatari, and there’s always something to read between every line of the script, and since every scene is basically just imagery and dialogue (more on this later), every scene is packed. Want to focus, though, on the one big takeaway from this arc:

Senjougahara looks much better with long hair.

This is a settled issue now, right? We can stop cycling through hairstyles now, right? Let the girl grow it out, for heaven’s sake.

It just goes to show how long it’s been since Senjougahara (I suppose we should call her ‘Hitagi’ now?) has had an arc for herself, because I could have sworn the last time we saw her (be it at the end of Koyomimonogatari or last season of Owarimonogatari) she was still wearing her hair sinfully short. She’s right; it’s been a long time since she’s had a proper appearance, and to compensate I’ve made sure the screencaps contain copious amounts of the First Lady. It still doesn’t seem quite enough, though, does it? It’s not just that she has the best head-tilts, or the flair she brings to the dialogue, or Saito Chiwa always being brilliant performer, or the great chemistry she and Koyomi have. She’s just a fascinating character. Everyone around her, and even she herself, are quick to call her ‘the tsundere girl’, and perhaps she is, but her routine is interesting because she is self-aware. So she plays the part of the overbearing girlfriend, tying herself into rhetorical knots to justify a day out before she even gets a reply, to compensate for being very insecure. She craves intimacy, but is very bad at it, and thus her dramatics. It’s something we can all empathise with on some level, I think, which makes her the most fascinating human member of the cast. Because she’s so human, though, she’s hard to utilise in Monogatari. She’s just trying to puzzle out her relationship. She has no quarrel with the supernatural. Notice how her scenes have become the least surreal of Monogatari (questionable geography aside)—the car is just a car, the food is just food— contrasting with the dream imagery with Ougi or in last episode’s hell. And while Monogatari is almost always talking, Hitagi is allowed quiet scenes to just be adorkable with her man, with no subtext whatsoever. I would happily watch an entire season of the two just flirting with each other and building their relationship, but that’s not what Monogatari is about. Hitagi represents a thing. She is a normal sort of happiness. She’s something Koyomi cannot have right now. And so when he runs off again to help vampires and ghosts Hitagi, with undue patience, waits.

Ougi poses the question, though: why does she have to wait? Koyomi can go enjoy his human happiness fully right now. He’s been de-vamped. He’s full mortal. He can leave the supernatural world behind and go cavort around with his girlfriend, flunk out of school, and all the other usual teenager stuff. Sure, it may be out of character for him, and he might lose some respect, but nobody should really fault him for such a choice. In fact, Ougi makes the case that it’s the only right choice, and Koyomi’s converstion with Mayoi in hell comes to mind again. Ougi, it seems, is an amoral creature. She doesn’t care about morality, about doing the ‘right’ thing. She cares for rules. And breaking the rules always comes with consequences. It’s interesting to think of her version of the balance when we were just in Buddhist hell last month. I’m sure if I was actually Buddhist I could get much more philosophical about this, but I think there’s some contemplation here about the nature of karma. Is it something repaid in a spiritual afterlife? Is it about the cause and effect of the universe? Or is it something more perverse, in that no good deed goes unpunished?

The thing is, though, I don’t think Koyomi cares. Gaen has her grand agenda, yeah. Ougi has her grand agenda, yeah. Koyomi just likes to help damsels in distress. There’s another thing about being a normal teenager: it’s still a time when the world is very simple.

Full-length images: 03, 20, 22.

 

ED2 Sequence

ED: 「SHIORI」 by ClariS

August 17, 2017 at 9:00 am
18 comments »
  • August 17, 2017 at 10:25 amMistic

    Definitely, Senjougahara looks best with long hair. Also, it seems she wanted to channel some ‘Hanekawa vibes’ here.

    Because she’s so human, though, she’s hard to utilise in Monogatari.

    Indeed, that has to be her main disadvantage from a narrative point of view. In your usual high-school story, she would be undisputed queen, the most fascinating character in the cast by a large margin. But she isn’t in that kind of story. Even if she has a frim grip on Araragi’s affections, she has to compete for the attention of fans and writer alike against underage ghosts, exorcist dolls, cat girls, snake goddesses, spooky shadows and a certain vampire loli with an adult-sized mode.

    Tough competition. Sometimes I think that, had she not been the official girlfriend, her spotlight would have plummeted.

    Ougi, it seems, is an amoral creature. She doesn’t care about morality, about doing the ‘right’ thing. She cares for rules. And breaking the rules always comes with consequences.

    I’d say the opposite: Ougi doesn’t care an ounce about rules (since she breaks them when she sees fit) and instead she’s as obsessed about what is “right” as Araragi is. It’s just that her definition of “right” may be very twisted. The Darkness does care about punishing the rule-breakers, but Ougi herself drops the bomb at the end of this episode: she’s not the Darkness.

    That brings us back to what Araragi was discussing with Hachikuji in Mayoi Hell:

    “If you keep correcting mistakes, if you crush mistakes one by one, will it be a pure white kind of right someday? If I had to pick, I’d say it would be a pitch black kind of right.”

    (Damn, it’s difficult to talk about Ougi after Ougi Dark without spoiling things, isn’t it?)

    • August 17, 2017 at 7:36 pmPasserby

      We’ll talk more about Ougi in Ougi Dark for sure, but I think that rather than a moral compass she has an internal logic she follows rigorously, to contrast Araragi’s loose impulsiveness.

  • August 17, 2017 at 10:32 amdanes256

    This entire part is made for Senjogahara and it did its job well. No better send off to the character of Senjougahara than this episode. Shinbou Akiyuki have done well to give her the send off she deserves in this series, easily one of the most interesting and loveable character in the entire series.

    • August 17, 2017 at 7:35 pmPasserby

      *salutes*

  • August 17, 2017 at 11:06 amSol

    Oh man, they still milking the blahblahgatari franchise? Buck up, Japan! You’re capable of much better than an anime about an author masturbating to his own writing.

    • August 17, 2017 at 7:27 pmPasserby

      Yeah, it’s somehow still so strong and loved by so many. That just bizarre, isn’t it?

    • August 24, 2017 at 9:24 amKoji

      Never understood why people look at something someone else enjoys and tries to bring them down just because they don’t like it themselves.

  • August 17, 2017 at 12:19 pmAngelus

    He can leave the supernatural world behind and go cavort around with his girlfriend

    Well, I blame Nekomonogatari Shiro and perhaps a hint that was dropped in the Bakemonogatari LN, but I really can’t imagine Senjogahara “cavorting” with a guy.

    • August 17, 2017 at 7:25 pmPasserby

      I could have sworn that Hitagi and Koyomi almost broke into a hop and a skip at some points in the episode.

      • August 18, 2017 at 1:40 amAngelus

        I just watched it again and nope, I don’t think that happened.

        I suppose it’s because I regard their relationship as more cerebral than physical that I find the concept of Senjogahara “cavorting” with Araragi so difficult. Of course it could just be NisiOisiN’s words-words-words style that makes it seem that way to me.

      • August 18, 2017 at 5:45 amPasserby

        Figuratively mate, figuratively. Nobody’s saying they’re going to break into song and dance in the streets. Though princess carry is almost as good.

  • August 17, 2017 at 5:51 pmsealouse

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • August 17, 2017 at 8:43 pmHanabira.Kage

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • August 18, 2017 at 1:57 amVolta

    Nisio always shitting over crab,
    she’s literally garbage in everyone’s mind since 3 seasons ago.

    Not that it ultimately matters because Shinobu is best monogatari anyway.

  • August 18, 2017 at 3:13 amonion warrior

    Interestingly enough, i just found out about the Monogatari’s final LN, the Musubimonogatari. And when i rewatched and pondered back at this episode, i think its all make sense.

    *spoiler alert* And god, im somehow still a bit sad for Hitagi and her relationship with Koyomi in the future (though they do have good ending).

    Im a huge fan of Senjougahara Hitagi and this particular episode is a huge blessing for me. She has been my favorite girl ever since she firstly introduced. I starting to like Hanekawa in season 2 though, esp when they became best friend.

    - “She craves intimacy, but is very bad at it, and thus her dramatics. It’s something we can all empathise with on some level, I think, which makes her the most fascinating human member of the cast. Because she’s so human, though, she’s hard to utilise in Monogatari.”

    And you’re right, thats why i love her the most.

    http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2020.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2023.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2059.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2060.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2054.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2057.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2062.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2053.jpg http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Owarimonogatari%202nd%20Season%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2058.jpg
    Bae is forever bae. My fascination of Senjougahara Hitagi <3

  • August 18, 2017 at 6:53 pmvinny

    meh. this is alright. Hanekawa deserves better than this hetare koyomi. personally I like it if she got togueter with either Meme or Kaiki. it would be a fun read to see how that would happen in her search of knowledge. she is kind of like izuko gaen in that regard.

  • August 19, 2017 at 3:37 amZhon1

    Oh man hitabi could be any less freaking irrelevant? she’s such a waste of time to hear and watch,
    I heard in the future books she’ll even threat to kill herself if she’s dumped by araragi.
    What a disgrace of character.

  • September 6, 2017 at 10:00 amVelvet Scarlantina

    All hail the Empress

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