「つばさタイガ – 其ノ伍」 (Tsubasa Taiga – So no Go)
“Tsubasa Tiger – Part Five”

After four episodes of Hanekawa and watching her twiddle her thumbs, I think this was probably the best outcome we could have asked for. While I’m not entirely sure what to make of all that information that was thrown at us, I do have to admit that some of those scenes during her inner-monologue were absolutely stunning.

But the real star, at least until the very end, was definitely Black Hanekawa. After watching her transform from this simple aberration that had the misfortune to become Hanekawa’s stress keeper into this integral character can stand toe-to-toe with some of the best, I was loving every second we got to see of her. Sure she says that her actions are dictated by the passion she has for Hanekawa but after watching things unfold, I’m willing to bet that this entire time she knew about the true feelings Hanekawa had for her. I mean, why would an aberration sacrifice so much for the sake of a human unless there was something driving that passion?

On the other hand, you have the other camp who watched this episode and felt that Hanekawa got what she deserved — a smack in the face from reality for not facing her problems and creating problems for her loved ones. While I didn’t see this point of view until I started writing, I can honestly see how someone could feel this way. Not only was Hanekawa living an unhealthy life to begin with but going as far as to reject all of her negative emotions and in turn create aberrations to handle these emotions is completely her own fault. But then to pretend that nothing’s going on while attempting to be a “pure” person just makes her seem downright selfish! And let’s not forget that during this whole ordeal she’s been channeling all these emotions straight to the aberrations she created, fueling their passion to express these feelings!

But in the end, as rushed as it felt, I was a sucker for how Hanekawa was able to realize all of these things and attempt to repent for it. Between her inner monologue and finally accepting that these aberrations were just as much her and she was, I was getting all giddy waiting for some sort of spectacular finish to really wrap things up. Which is why I squealed in joy when Araragi appeared in the nick of time to save Hanekawa from herself. Because, if trying to fix your problems only to fail and then getting rescued by your knight in shining armor isn’t every girl’s dream, I don’t know what is.

Boy, what a way to end an arc! Between all the sexy scenes and a really deep look into what makes up Hanekawa as a person, I don’t think there was more you could ask for. And not only does everyone get a somewhat happy ending but there was so much foreshadowing throughout this arc that I have no idea where the story is going from here. From Oshino’s senpai to figuring out how Araragi became so epic, I don’t think there’s a way for SHAFT to shaft us out of a good show.

End Card


    1. Black Hanekawa getting pet was just so adorable, and Hanekawa’s narration saying how this was exactly what she always wanted melted my heart. It was slow going the first 4 episodes, but I couldn’t be happier with how it ended. Did justice to my favorite of the novels. Now I’m hyped for Mayoi Jiangshi.

  1. I have such a mixed emotion.

    I’m a huge Araragi x Hitagi fan and I usually despise that “other girl” who is also in love with the main character in other animes just because she is the “love rival” but there is no way I can hate Hanekawa. I’m honestly so glad she is now taking steps on her way to happiness especially with her family. I must say, I wouldn’t of minded if the pairing was indeed Araragi x Hanekawa because their relationship is just so interesting and dynamic. I can relate so much to her character and the problems she faced in this arc regarding herself, and I think so many people can also relate.

    But for now I am looking forward to more Araragi x Hitagi moments to come 🙂

      1. Believe me.. Nision Isin trolling everyone in “Hitagi End”… I believe that Hitagi has a crucial role in the last novels (unreleased yet).

        About this episode, I loved that part in the LN and now in animation. I also fully support AraragixHitagi but I never disliked the others girls. All them has an important role. I loved see the confirmation that Araragi truly loves Hitagi. Oh… and Hanekawa, I’m really happy for her… she finally moves foward. It was a beautiful episode.

      2. @vane

        It’s one thing that always saddens me about shows where there are multiple girls that I like. If the ML choses one, then the others lose out with their hearts desire and I want to see a happy ending for all of them. In this case, it’s especially bittersweet because Araragi loves almost all of them.

  2. After sitting thru neko shiro, Hanekawa seems to remind me of Kanoe Yuuko.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the reason why she reminds me of that ghost is that both of them chose to reject black in order to remain white

  3. I’m glad for Hanekawa. It would be a shame to see her spawn a horde of apparitions by severing one unpleasant emotion after another from her heart. Only to end up as an empty shell of an adult commanding an army of oddities. … Wait a minute that sounds like a reasonable plot idea!

    1. This would make her resemble Father from Fullmetal Alchemist if she kept up with that, becoming an emotionless being while all her “sins” manifest itself in 7 sorts of malevolent forms.

  4. The hero/star always arriving late is a cliché, but DAMN it was good, and it was done right! I seriously wasn’t expecting it. When Kiss Shot’s demonic blade rained down from the sky it was such a rush of awesome. The hero has arrived. I never considered him such a hero before, but this time he’s definitely not faking it.

    1. i guess its okay to think that araragi is still on battle form when he arrive, he got the kokorowatari and he grab the tiger’s head with ease. he really looks so cool when he is like that(darn i sounded gay LOL)

    2. I think the reason it worked so well is because unlike most things that try to pull this cliche’, we really had no inkly of what Araragi was doing, where he was, or anything this entire series so far. We were fully led to believe that this was going to be a Hanekawa only battle to the death… in that respect you could almost say it’s a little disappointing that she had to rely on Araragi, but it definitely made it a (good) surprise when he showed up.

      After 3 series, a movie, and many OVA it’s definitely a surprise that he showed up in full bad-ass mode. As far back as the first season we gets little hints, but the series never really comes off in such a way that you expect to see anyone a true “fighter”… I just hope it doesn’t come at the cost of all the word play that has come to define the series. A good “boss” fight from time to time is okay, but the battle of whits has always been what made this show epic to me.

  5. actually, after reading kizu, hanekawa grew more on me that i even considered her and hitagi equal. that confession and instant rejection almost broke my heart. gah!!
    err.. so kabuki next? i really hope that they animate koimonogatari too.

      1. correct me if im wrong, i guess maybe the confession scene is the first time araragi saw hanekawa in casual clothes. i remember reading in kizu that he really wants to see it.

      2. They dropped this scene, but in the book it had this:

        “Actually, I dropped everything and came running after I saw that picture you sent of you wearing casual clothes!”

        “Oh, no, no, no.”

        Please let that be a joke.

        Besides, those clothes belonged to Araragi-kun.

    1. Yeah was I the only one who notice how freakishly strong Araragi was? One hit KO the tiger with a sword from the top of a building at least a few yards away and he even picked up the tiger that’s the size of a small care with ONE ARM AND ZERO EFFORT!!? When did he get that strong and if he’s always been that strong he should have easily won all the fights he’s had so far instead of getting beat to a pulp.

      1. I think Araragi didn’t want to win those fights because he knew it’d be better to lose them. Also he didn’t want to hurt anyone because even if they hurt him, he’ll just regenerate whatever got torn off (or out like the fight with Kanbaru’s apparition.)

  6. Well, consider me raging feminist (though I am guy!), but I see no need for knights in shining armor – or even fanserviceably unarmored – to rescue main heroine – at least not always. In fact princess rescuing the hero in trouble is as much interesting (see: Leia, Han).
    Having said that Araragi had one hell of a cool entrance. Plus, he had the decency and guts to make his feelings clear and understood. That was one ship – and one posssible nice boat – sunk with a deadly efficency of a heavy torpedo breaking the keel… See
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwWzFSePevw for graphic reference
    And finally I love the new black-n-white Hanekawa
    She has accepted her darker side, and now is a full personality without the need to create oddities!

    1. Nekomonogatari Black had Shinobu (well pre-Shinobu anyway) save Araragi and again in Tsubasa Cat.
      Suruga Monkey had Senjougahara talk the Rainy Devil into giving up after Araragi was thrown around by his guts (and he could have accomplished that from the start if he had told Senjougahara what was going on).
      Nadeko Snake had Kanbaru forcibly remind Araragi that he’s supposed to be saving Nadeko (though I think there’s some cultural dissonance there) and keep him from getting himself killed by the snakes. Gender and saving are varied in the Monogatari stories.

      Of course, you could say that Hanekawa is always being saved by someone else. In Nekomonogatari Black and Tsubasa Cat it’s Shinobu draining the Meddlesome Cat and making the human Hanekawa come out. In Nekomonogatari White Araragi saves her life from Kako.

      Sadly, while I do know the basic spoilers for the rest of the series I have no idea how much she saves anyone in the future since a lot of the stories are very detailed (and so not easily learned from a summary). I will say this, even though it’s pretty clear that she dreamed of Araragi as a prince who would save her from her awful life, it was only after she decided to change herself that Araragi actually did save her life and he still refused to directly ease her suffering.

      1. This series is an odd one for gender.
        It has clear harem leanings, but the male lead is in a definite relationship with a girl already (and if not for Tsukihi’s damned advice it would have been the same with Hanekawa) and ironically the character he seems to have the most sexually-oriented interaction with (besides the very uncomfortable scenes with Mayoi) would probably be the lesbian Kanbaru.

        Occasionally they try to settle problems with violence (something usually associated with masculinity), but that only works in a handful of cases and generally the female characters are the ones who are physically powerful (Shinobu, Meddlesome Cat, the Rainy Devil and Yozuru).

        I’ll admit that in general it’s female characters who need Araragi’s help with an issue, so there is that problem. However all this actually might go a long way to explaining the popularity of the series (besides the word plays and colorful cast). This series is willing to toss gender roles around, something pretty rare in sports, martial arts, action, harem, reverse harem etc. series. I know that when people start reading and watching something, they usually don’t ask themselves ‘am I going to see a subversion of the regular gender norms’, but this still is probably refreshing after one too many ‘and then the tsundere girl hits him for accidentally seeing her in the bath’ scenes.

      2. Here the guys and girls take turns molesting and being molested!
        No gender bias present here! No, siree!
        That said, Araragi is the only one that does take physical beatings at most times, at the hands of Mayoi, Karen, Hitagi, Kanbaru and anyone that feels like relieving stress.
        Still, setting aside the fact the author clearly saw a demand for a situation that resembled a harem, aberrations/youkai are drawn more to people with emotional problems and its more convincing from a writer’s perspective to depict a girl’s emotional struggles rather than a male’s, not to mention more appealing to the audience regardless of gender.

        Giorno Giovanna
    2. black-n-white Hanekawa actually brough back some memories for me. I knew an asian girl in school that had the same hair but it was from a sun sensitivity condition she had (I not sure what it was). It look really cool but it was more peppered than solid streaks.

  7. Not sure how much Hanekawa ‘deserved’ this as much as it was a natural outcome of her circumstances and actions. It’s rather unfair to expect her to just know that this would result in the creation of an aberration (I prefer the term ‘Oddity’ personally).

    1. I agree. I don’t think you can blame Hanekawa but I don’t think it’s fair to hold it against her. All she ever was trying to do was be like a normal person, to be real. However she didn’t know how, and in her attempt in doing so she seemed more saint-like and less humane. It’s hard to change a fundamental way you look at life, and she should be commended for being able to change it at all. Not to mention the way she did it was more spectacular and amazing than what anyone else could’ve done in accepting their faults and learning to love them.

      1. Not doing something on purpose doesn’t negate your responsibilities for those actions.

        It’s very childish to say “well I didn’t mean to!” and try and wash your hands of the situation. Hanekawa herself knew this. When she had her realization that these aberrations were from her, she never pitied herself and went “but it wasn’t my fault!” she took responsibility to correct the issue.

        Yes, she created them on accident. Yes it wasn’t her intention. She still realized she couldn’t run away or blame others for it. This really was a tale of Hanekawa growing up. It’s intention not just to show HER growth, but to inspire growth in the viewer. You’re supposed to come away with something akin to “Wow, I put her on such a pedestal because she’s beautiful, smart, funny, and pure. That was just as childish as her pretending to be those things.”

    2. It’s not like any told her you have the power to split or personality in semi-deities either. Most people just develop multiply personalities with not supernatural powers involved in extreme cases.

      1. I’m still not entirely sure how she actually did that. My best guess is that she is simply so pure that her abnormal purity resulted in something that should have been impossible.

        Of course if you follow on Oshino’s comment from Nekomonogatari Black (and think it further than you really should) that might suggest that many people who were pure figures who were loved for stopping monsters were actually people who accidentally created those monsters from their own unhappiness and gained acclaim for stopping them.

  8. She dyes her hair everyday? Isn’t that gonna smell? Forgive the ignorant here, but I remember having to dye my hair and it left a pretty bad impression on me that the chemical smell lasts for days.

    1. I suggest you don’t get cheep stuff from the supermarket if it smells for days! Dying your hair, particularly with pigment dyes is not particularly hard on it. What is bad is bleaching your hair!

      1. Dying your hair is an intricate chemical process. Most true, permanent hair dye products do in fact incorporate hydrogen peroxide because an oxidizing agent is needed to first remove the hair’s natural color. If for some reason there isn’t any peroxide there should be another oxidizer involved instead which is equally capable of causing the same kind of oxidization damage to your hair…

  9. Got what she deserved? She deserved unfeeling hateful parents who abused her psychologically abused her? Black Hanekawa was her mind’s method of protecting her from the unbearable pain of this. As a child she didn’t have the reasoning capability that she has as a high school senior. By being the “good” girl she was able to endure her situation, but that cut off her emotions and desires. Her heartbreaking crying when she was rejected by Araragi was not from her “punishment” but the accumulation of all those feelings she had suppressed. She finally let herself feel things again. I saw it as a reward rather than a punishment. Even though it was painful, it also allowed her to experience positive emotions once again.

      1. Yeah, I saw this somewhere else from a guy who read the novels:
        The love history in monogatari has always been in foreground and background about Koyomi NOT ending with Hanekawa.

        So the author has some grudge with her or is a masochist, to make her clearly the most complex person and best girl in this saga.

      2. That is not correct. You should check out Nekomonogatari Black again. While her advice about what is love did confuse him for a bit he came to the realization himself that he did love her, and also to the realization that what he was in love with did not in fact exist .. that she was a fake.

        Also her advice was not incorrect. To a large extent his feelings were lust not love.

      3. if you read kizu,
        Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I had mentioned this a number of times in many discussions: I also get the feeling that Koyomi’s connection with Hanekawa is one of the stronger one out of his connections with the more “mundane” girls (not including the ghost girl and the vampire). Tell the truth, and I know I will get downvotes for this, I didn’t think Araragi loved any of his haremettes as much as he cared for Hanekawa (or lusted, whatever). His declaration of love about Gahara always sounded more like lip-service to me, but this is probably because of the unreliable narrator thing. Or probably because I didn’t read the novel.

    2. It’s really sad, actually. They don’t date not because he realized that she was “a fake,” but because of how she answered him after the final fight.

      “It’s all right, Hanekawa. We are not altogether up to scratch, but…… we are supremely unhappy, absurdly unappreciated, broken beyond all repair, but…… we’ll be like this together our whole life, but it’s all right!” Released by the vampire little girl, Hanekawa had completely turned back as before, and while lying down as if sleeping, still in her underwear–“No way that’s all right,” she said, as if she was having a nightmare. Ah. You are right. What you say is always right.

      This is when he realizes that Hanekawa–at least in her current state–will never be able to accept him with all his faults, because she needs everything be pure, white, perfect. This is why he later says his heart was broken for the very first time. Ironically, this is the very part of her personality that she gets rid of in Neko Shiro, but it’s too late, since he’s already dating someone else

      1. Honestly, if that was what he really thought, that she rejected him when she said that, he would be the biggest fool alive. That had no relation on whether she wanted to he white or black, she said that because he just said that they would be unhappy all their lives. Anyone would interject with a “there is no way that is right”. If he really did think that, it makes things even sadder.

  10. Araragi’s been watching too much Problem Children lately, coming in just like Izayoi and one-shotting Kako like that. That badass. XD

    Also, Shaft, Y U NO show more striped-haired Hanekawa!? >__<

  11. Kudos to Hanekawa and Black Hanekawa.
    Both were brilliant and deserve all the glory they can get, though I’m kinda sad about the fact that I probably won’t be seeing my favorite Neko. As for Hanekawa, she fought a good fight and got an honorable defeat. It’s admirable, how she faced all her problems head-on. She deserves nothing but a wonderful life.

  12. Wow, is it me or am I the only one that got chills when Hanekawa started crying? I’m surprised they didn’t hint at the scene where Black Hanekawa told Araragi in Bakemonogatari episode 15 that Hanekawa was in love with Araragi, she didn’t confess her feelings because Araragi was dating Hitagi – there’s a (imagined from Araragi’s POV, I assume) scene of Hanekawa standing before Araragi, smiling sweetly then bursting into tears, crying and screaming. Nonetheless, the screens they did show from previous seasons definitely sent chills down my spine.

    This is my favorite episode to date. With Bake, Nise (can’t remember her much in there?), Neko and now this arc – the apparations, Black Hanekawa shifting her view point from being a mere apparation to being a part of Hanekawa (Being a “family”), it has added a new layer of depth to Hanekawa’s character and makes me appreciate her all the more.

    The ending line with Black Hanekawa’s chicken-scratch handwriting tied everything up neatly and made my heart skip a beat. I knew from the beginning that they were going to reference the letter at the end, I just didn’t know what. I certainly was pleasantly surprised.

  13. It is nice that the conclusion has been consistent with the other arcs. Oshino’s saying of “You only save yourself” is not meant to be taken at face value, though hardly a single thing in this series is either. Every arc has had someone face their problems, but it has always been with help. It is definitely hard admitting that there is a problem and that you do need help with it, which has been the crux of Hanekawa’s arc.

    Hanekawa doesn’t just ask for help from herself. Even if she can’t say the words, that doesn’t mean she isn’t reaching out for help. Her photo which was described in the novels as “Being like a picture used for a funeral” was her way of asking for help from Araragi, It is why he is there after all. She might not have been able to just outright say it, but she was sending the signals that she could. Though not expecting him to pick up on them.

  14. That’s the second time in a few weeks that a Kamiya Hiroshi character has made a badass entrance in the nick of time. Last time was as Corporal Levy in Attack of Titans, hacking off Titan necks like it was nothing, now he’s come with a vampiric blade.

  15. The close of this arc sees Hanekawa accept her stress (Meddling Cat) and her jealousy (Hystery Tiger), wiling to bear the brunt herself and get hurt in the process, rather than let these two feline apparitions lash it out at others.

    By accepting them and willing to be sad at Araragi’s reluctant rejection of her due to him already being taken, she can now truly find closure from this unrequited love and move on to a new chapter in her life.

  16. The kinetic montage sequence in the opening scenes has got to be one of the most breathtaking visual montages I’ve seen from Shinbo Akiyuki.

    It shows Hanekawa, as she narrates her letter to Black Hanekawa, metaphorically travelling to the ends of the world to seek answers for herself, with the guitar gently playing in the background.

    If I have to show anyone some of the best of Shinbo Akiyuki, this scene would be amongst them.

  17. aww really loves the last scene ..and really broke my heart when she started crying.. but atleast hes moving forward now.

    Araragi really got complicated relationships with the leading female cast… (and once again he didnt call his lover by name .. gahhh Nisio Isin!)

    well the relationships he has with the main cast is complicated

    Show Spoiler ▼

  18. Now that we have the the full story, looking back at episode 1, I think Mayoi was deliberately baiting Hanekawa with her choice of words. You can imagine what Senjougahara would’ve reacted if she heard what Mayoi was saying about Araragi, but Hanekawa actively ignored from pursuing a line of questioning that would’ve labelled Araragi as a dangerous pedo kidnapper.

    … finally we get that feel from season 1 again, where watching a second time gives you new perspective on things. Perhaps I should watch the Hanekawa episodes from all seasons again now that we know what’s the skinny on her now.

  19. This is one of my favorite endings to any arc in the monogatari series. It has my most beloved character final coming to terms with her emotional dilemma, “how do I live a good life and still be true to myself”. For me Hanekawa has always been the most relatable out any girl in the series and her oddity was really badass. This end shows that you have to love yourself completely or you will ever really live. She alway denied who she was in some vain attempt to be a real person and to be kind to the people around her. However she end up being becoming a fake and almost killing the people she loved. But she put down the white noise, used in to hiding her pain, and was able to deal with it in a health manner, by being truthful about your feelings. She also learned that you can be honest with people and they will still love you. This had such an amazing end to such an astonishing arc. I only see thing getting better from here on out.

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