「かれんビー 其ノ貳」 (Karen Bii Sono Yon)
“Karen Bee Part Four”
Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade 「キスショット・アセロラオリオン・ハートアンダーブレード」, where have you been this whole time? I’ve waited 18 episodes for Oshino Shinobu (Sakamoto Maaya) to finally speak, but this entire time I expected her to have this fragile and quiet voice befitting her appearance in Bakemonogatari – not a haughty vampiress who struts around in her birthday suit like it’s no big deal.
Looks like Araragi’s show of bravado in last week’s episode was all for naught because whatever trouble the Fire Sisters were in had already been resolved by Hanekawa, and all that was left for him to do was to hear Karen’s heroic tale. I would’ve really liked to see the two older siblings get into a tussle and yelling match because that’s how they usually work things out, but unfortunately Hanekawa’s presence put a stop to that. I think it’s also worth wondering whether Karen usually bites Araragi in their fights, or if this is actually a side effect of her curse because Araragi seemed to have a bit of a shocked expression after hearing about the strength of her teeth. Seeing the two sisters revert back to their “sweeter” personalities in front of Hanekawa brought back some memories of Bakemonogatari, but it also served to show that they can be imposters in more ways than one. I thought Araragi really summed it up best when he pointed out that even though they were doing the right thing, they didn’t have the strength to become true heroes of justice.
One person who does possess strength but is loath to accept it is Hanekawa – looking cuter than ever. She’s already my favorite heroine of the series, and ditching her glasses and long hair has only further cemented that status. Their conversation just rehashed what we already know about the situation and spelled out what I and many others have already guessed at: Kaiki Deshuu, the ill-omened con man, is the one responsible for both spreading the curse and afflicting one on Karen. I thought it was creative of SHAFT to play the scene of Hanekawa and Araragi’s when they first entered his room on his TV. They probably didn’t want to leave anything out from the novel but was limited by time constraints, so this is the compromise they came up with. I too, have wondered what kind of clothes Hanekawa wears. SHAFT, make it happen.
The rest of their conversation had some peculiar word choices that stood out to me. The first is Hanekawa’s observation that Araragi’s worry for his sisters seems more “desperate” than his worry for the rest of the heroines, making me wonder what the basis of this remark is. Could it be that Hanekawa is jealous of his sisters? I’ve also had a feeling that a mutual attraction exists between her and Araragi, an idea that gained some steam after she revealed that the phone conversation that made Senjougahara turn so dere was actually a threat to ask Araragi to become her boyfriend. The second is when Hanekawa made fun of Araragi using the suffix “-chan” when referring to his sisters. He hasn’t shown much endearment for them yet, so I’m interpreting this as a sign of his true feelings towards his sisters.
I had completely forgotten that Shinobu lived in Araragi’s shadow, but can you really blame me when she never even said a word until now? I didn’t know what to make of her sudden arrival other than the fact that it completely shattered the image that I had imagined based on her prior appearance. This is a good thing though, because it makes this cast even more memorable with the addition of a Mina Tepeş type character (from Dance in the Vampire Bund). She probably has one of the best opening lines a character can have too – even Araragi was left speechless at her entrance (although the true pervert he is, that might be from seeing her naked or from the thought of marrying her). I haven’t read Kizumonogatari so I don’t know the exact details of their past, but I do know that she is the reason why he was once a full-fledged vampire. Although the two of them might not ever forgive each other for whatever happened, they at least were able to reconcile and share some tender moments, like when he washed her hair and when they shared his tub and embraced at the end.
Even though Shinobu hated hearing countless stories of ghosts and monsters from Oshino, it did make her useful as she immediately identifies the creature that is afflicting Karen as well as the paralyzing flame-like fever that accompanies it. Shinobu can’t consume the disease to heal Karen, so it’ll be interesting to see what Araragi pulls out of his bag of tricks to save his sister, all while probably fighting off Kaiki who is sounding even more dangerous by the second. “A fake who can be more real than the real thing,” is an ominous prediction indeed, especially if the fake is a monster too. One thing that I’m not as clear about is that I thought Araragi had his own vampire powers which enabled him to break Senjougahara’s constraints. Finding out that Shinobu was actually the one who cut the chains leads me to believe that she is the source of Araragi’s powers somehow – a theory which was bolstered when she suggested that he kill her so that he wouldn’t have to worry about his vampire bloodline extending his lifetime. Araragi’s strong character shines through when it needs to. Even when faced with a future without his loved ones, he clings to his idea of justice to do the right thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the two vampires’ interactions in this episode, so I’m really hoping I won’t have to wait many more episodes until Shinobu graces us with her voice.
* Araragi’s version of planking
* What did Shinobu mean when she said she likes “pon-de-ring” but golden chocolate is her favorite? Is it wordplay, or is she just remarking on something that Araragi did in the past, seeing as they can share emotions and senses.
* Tsuhiki’s taken notice of her brother’s muscles, is that why she’s so jealous.
ED: 「ナイショの話」 (Naisho no Hanashi) by ClariS
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼