OP1.5 Sequence

OP: 「二言目」 (Futakotome) by 斎藤千和 (Saitou Chiwa)
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「かれんビー 其ノ參」 (Karen Bii Sono San)
“Karen Bee Part Three”

The Eye of Horus, a symbol of ancient Egypt representing protection, royal power, and good health, is originally personified by the goddess Wadjet – but a more modern-day personification would be the tsundere goddess Senjougahara Hitagi. After two episodes of character reintroductions and development that some people found too slow for their tastes, this third episode wasted little time in developing the plot instead.

The episode began on a lighthearted note as Kanbaru continues where she left off by flirting with Araragi while they take a break from cleaning up her books, which is great because I can’t get enough of how straightforward she is compared to the other girls in his life. The relationship map where Kanbaru describes herself as Araragi’s 2nd mistress was hilarious to see especially considering the fact that she thinks that he’ll end up marrying Hanekawa while truly being in love with Hachikuji. I absolutely think she’s spot on when she says that there is no way he’d refuse her if she really pursue him. I know I wouldn’t be able to resist a mistress like that.

In hindsight, several of Kanbaru’s lines in this episode made me think that she knows far more about the overall plot than she lets on. The first line that stood out was when she reassured Araragi about Hanekawa and Senjougahara’s relationship. At first, I thought it was merely because she didn’t approve of the way the two girls are off in their own world, but given the events at the end of the episode, I now think she actually knows about Hanekawa and Senjougahara’s plans. It also makes me wonder if Kanbaru’s game of Hanafuda wasn’t simply a ploy to avoid Araragi getting tangled up in the plans of the two girls. Then again, maybe it was all just a plan for her to win and get Araragi to enter a sexual pact/act with her. Another line that seems foreboding was Kanbaru’s reference to Nadeko as being the true final boss that Araragi is not yet aware of. I don’t know how this will pan out, but it will definitely make me pay more attention to Nadeko’s behavior.

Concerned about having to tell his sisters about his vampirism, Araragi asks Kanbaru how she explains her Rainy Devil arm to her family. All I needed to know about how she felt was written plainly on her face and in the hushed tone of her voice. The mood and environment had quickly darkened (and reddened) and I knew something serious was coming up, which turned out to be the introduction of the con man Kaiki Deishuu (Miki Shinichiro) standing outside Kanbaru’s house. I’m not very familiar with any of Miki Shinichiro’s roles as an “evil” character so I don’t know how he is at portraying those archetypes, but his brief performance as Kaiki has been convincing so far.

With the setting sun at his back filtered through the claws of dead tree branches, SHAFT sure knows how to animate an artistic and ominous entrance. Even though Kaiki’s interest in Kabaru, the presumable child of Gaen, worries Araragi, his resemblance to both Oshino and the Guillotine Cutter is probably the reasons why Araragi quickly abandoned pursuing him. Kanbaru’s connection to the Kaiki through her mother is yet another reason to suspect that she might know more about the situation than she lets on.

Araragi escapes one danger, only to ignore all the warning signs and rides his bike right into another danger: Senjougahara, who takes full advantage of her tsundere status in this episode. I’ve heard a lot of guys would love to have her as their girlfriend, but upon further reflection, I don’t think I’m a part of that group. She somehow knows about every misdeed you commit, can read your eyes like a book to see what girls you’ve been with, constantly peppers you with insults (admittedly, they are some of the wittiest insults ever), and threatens to kill you and every woman you have been involved with. The deadpan manner in which she delivers her lines does take a lot of the edge off her words, and when she does happen to show emotion, you know that it is genuine – like the abrupt change in her demeanor once she heard that Araragi met Kaiki.

Now back in the present day, we finally learn why Senjougahara kidnapped Araragi – to protect him from Kaiki until he leaves town. I guess her earlier comment about bee poison in the first episode was just a red herring. Like Araragi, I noticed how unusual it was for her to hold such animosity for someone, but we quickly found out the reason was because of the role Kaiki played in her past. He was one of five con men who started Senjougahara’s problems in Bakemonogatari, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is also the person that the Fire Sisters are searching for as source of the curse rumors. Tsuhiki’s text-message plea for help only further cemented my suspicions and led to my favorite scene of the series so far: Araragi breaking free of all his restraints once he heard that his sister was in trouble. No sparkles here, just sheer, understated awesomeness.

Kanbaru was right: Araragi and Senjougahara truly make a great couple. Her vow to protect him at all costs was rare moment of real emotional affection, as she didn’t want to lose yet another important thing in her life. The scene that really has me rethinking my membership in Senjougahara camp is her blushing heartfelt declaration of love upon seeing Araragi as a man of justice who stops at nothing to save people. This whole episode encapsulates why we find tsunderes so appealing. It is often said that a courtship resembles a game, and a tsundere represents the highest goal of that game. We endure their attitude in hopes of being the only one to witness the rare moments when their temperament undergoes a drastic 180-degree turn, like Senjougahara does during her phone call with Hanekawa and afterwards as well. Who knew the silver-tongued beauty could stutter like that?

I didn’t think there was anything more that Nisemonogatari could do to make the wait for the next episode even more excruciating, but I have never been so glad to be wrong. We’re given more questions than answers in this episode, but when those questions revolve around such interesting characters, can you really complain?

*Araragi’s hair does look like a sapling coming out of the ground
*Full-length image: 04

81 Comments

    1. Ohh.. I’m actually trying to recall who Guillotine Cutter was from Bakemonogatari.. but did he actually appeared there? or at least mentioned before? Because Araragi’s mentioning it like the viewers actually know who the heck he is.

      nagi
      1. I think MAYBE Guillotine Cutter was in the Bakemonogatari anime for like less than half a second during the first few scenes of the first episode that quickly skimmed through the Kizumonogatari timeline.

        Ptolemaios00
    2. Guillotine Cutter is the character from Kizu-. It was something along the line of Araragi turned to a vampire by Shinobu and the Guillotine Cutter defeated her. I believe he was the vampire hunter similar to Alcard in Hellsing.

      Chaos
  1. I seriously want to find out what Hanekawa said to make Senjougahara stutter like that. If only my moonspeak was good enough to read the light novels.

    Amazing wordplay as usual in this usual. And I guess SHAFT decided to pony up some dollars to finish the OP.

    ReshenKusaga
  2. that was some talkative stranger!
    nanda ka, iya na kanji ga suru na
    i dont want my girlfriend to physically and mentally abuse me like that, but if its senjougahara, well i might i enjoy it 🙂
    i was kinda lost in the phone call scene, dunno why.

    ryuuzaki
  3. The that fact Arararagi can break chains that easily really proves that he is a maso. Blushing Gahara is the best. Actually scratch that. Any Gahara is the best. Loved her ‘adultery’ detection (d’aww Arararagi plays with his grandma) and imitation of Hachikuji even though she’s never talked to her… Also had some flashbacks of last season’s ep.12 when she was reaching around for his “phone”.

    I wonder what Hanekawa and Gahara are up to…

    Man these episodes are too short.

    Saya
    1. I’m guessing that you’re referring to my comment from last week? Haha no problem. Song is a classic for me. And I wouldn’t have known any of my favourite artists (composers, singers even illustrators) today if I never looked up the genius behind it. :3

      Then read it again! \:D/

      Saya
    1. ThIS XDD

      I am a happy araragi x hitagi shipper, but my inner fanboyism just can’t ignore the deliciousness of yuri; may that be hitagi x hanekawa or kanbaru x hitagi <<<33 if i may please, i would prefer these two to happen over the het one.XDD

      AiRiSuDaiSuKi
  4. The weekend has ended w the episode. I can’t wait for the next one.

    I don’t care what detractors say about nise- but being the SHAFT fan that I am, this MIGHT be the best show of winter or 2012.

    That aside, i have to agree with what verdant says about kanbaru. She might know more than what i thought. Also, hitagi in any hitagi mode is still an absolute win for my. The representation of my ideal partner.

    After hearing what kanbaru says bout sengoku and hanekawa’s phone call, i think i may need to reevaluate my thoughts bout them.

    EP 4 please come quick!

    c2710
  5. Hitagi continues to be awesome. She does make a good couple with Araragi. I laughed at her Hachikuji impression. Though, I find it suspicious how quickly she folded to Tsubasa. Its giving me lots of weird perverted thoughts.

    fragb85
    1. Hitagi is not as strong as she pretends to be. This is best illustrated in eps 1 of Bakemonogatari where Araragi is taking her to see Oshino, and her dialogue shows she’s paralysed with fear.

      hurin
  6. Finally something is happening. I like this series but I don’t remember the 1st season being so slow moving with next to nothing happening storywise. I’m glad its picking up.

    Karmafan
    1. I think you’re forgetting that Nisemonogatari might have a different pace considering how it only has 2 arcs in comparison to Bakemonogatari…..just saying. Besides it’s not like Nisemonogatari has to keep to the same pace as Bakemonogatari, if anything this feels like a more drawn-out story than the quick snappy vibe Bakemonogatari had.

      ronri
  7. It only takes a few syllables of dialog to recognize Miki Shinichiro is at work. You right you don’t see him do many villains but he does melancholy and serious so well it shall be interesting to see him preform Kaiki.

    Ani_BEE
  8. I wonder if all the girls are going to have a new OP or if its just going to be Senjougahara and the Fire Sisters. Great episode it remainded me why I liked Senjougahara. However I guess I really am the only person that likes Kuuderes more than Tsunderes.

    xephx
  9. can’t wait for next week’s episode +10086…

    I am shocked at how well this episode played out… SHAFT is amazing at animate that atmosphere with BGM and visual when Kaiki finally made his debut… I can even say the scene is in some way even better than the LN!

    and Guillotine cutter, as several people have pointed out, is one of the vampire hunter Araragi faced during Kizumonogatari, and I may add, he is a priest that deals with monsters. Thus the comparison between him, Oshino, and Kaiki…

    and I must say… Nisio Isin is too clever with his spoilers… Kudos to him and to SHAFT!

    jrj
  10. Wow!..this episode is just wow! Yeah, amazingly done you know? Yeah, just wow!

    I’m glad I’ve watched and loved Bakemonogatari, and I’m very glad that I’m watching and loving Nisemonogatari right now. This is the Madoka Magica for me for the winter season 2012.

    This season is certainly great, lot’s of shows I’m loving watching right now. All together, this new year kicks off with a great start.

    About this episode, it’s great and all they continue right where they stop last episode, ahh…all those Kanbaru goodies. Also, it’s good that they finally introduce the person I presume to be the villain of this series (or at least to this Karen Bee arc?) The best moments of this episode thought still will be the Senjougahara part, every minute of it is like reminiscing why I like watching anime in the first place…for moments like those. It’s good and all that Araragi made an impression to Senjougahara to the point that she actually blushes on how good a person Araragi really is. I wish it’s already next week, of the brutal wait.

  11. This was a good episode. I also got the impression Kanbaru knew more than what she was letting on. Every time I saw Araragi in the chains, I kept thinking how easier he could probably break them. I’m almost have expecting the call for help to be ‘fake’.

    Now if only Shinobu would come in…

    Avalanche
  12. After seeing Kaiki and rewatching Nise ep2, I think I now know what happening in this arc!

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Now to figure out what Hanekawa’s doing to Gahara-san :/ Their conversation sounds a bit like Class Rep-chan’s blackmailing Gahara-san…

    hrmm… I wonder if the important thing Hanekawa had to do in episode 1 has something to do with Gahara-san o_o…

    Beedle
    1. hmm… you are getting part of the story correct, but there are still some details that you are missing… but still, good job on figuring it out…
      hope you still enjoy the story 🙂

      jrj
  13. Koyome and Hitagi are so perfect for each other that I feel bad for the other girls, if they try to get close to Koyomi hitagi wil kill them that´s for sure but in the other hand Koyomi will never fall to the temptation and beinf unfaithful to the only woman he loves (needless to say that he will be torture to death if he ever dare). Who says the vampire has to be the dengerous one in the relationship?. I´m in the Hitagi ship to the end.

    haseo0408
  14. i honestly do not see hitagi as a tsundere. she’s more of a anna kyoyama to me. a bit of kuudere that has a sharp tongue and a tad abusive. XDD i hate tsunderes in general, but the fact that hitagi is a unique case makes me love her more than ever. and damn, just look at that burashiing face. <<<<<333

    AiRiSuDaiSuKi
    1. LOL you mean english translations? Too much anime. You can read it at Baka Tsuki, it’s labeled under Monogatari series. And Kizu is the only one fully translated unfortunately.

      Dizzy

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