「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…