「しのぶタイム其ノ參」 (Shinobu Taimu So no San)
“Shinobu Time Part Three”
After two weeks of spectacular storytelling, this third episode really kicked everything up a notch. And by everything, I mean everything from the ridiculous amount of fan-service that we got during the first half to the really upset and depressing mood that filled the second. But before we dive into the whole black ball of death issue at hand, I need to ask — if you were in Araragi’s situation where three cute girls (using the term girl loosely) were asking who you liked the most, what would you do? Because if it were me, I don’t know how I’d be able to contain myself in such a heavenly situation.
I mean you have a ghost, a corpse, and a vampire who are all in the form of cute girls — all of whom have some sort of repressed feeling for our main protagonist. Put them together in the same room with an awkward question lingering in the air and you almost forget that there’s a rather odd oddity lurking right around the corner. You know, it makes me wonder how well a spinoff of this series would do if it solely focused on the humor/fan-service. Kind of like what the Fate series does with all those crazy shows they’ve spawned — can you imagine a Magical Girl Shinobu?
On a more serious note though, I’m still not sure what to make of the current situation that the story has thrown us in. While I’m sure we’ll get a lot of answers from the mystical Gaen-senpai next week, it really bothers me to think about how Shinobu might be suffering out there. Unlike any other heroine and their corresponding arc thus far, this one seems to really be taking the cake in terms of how sympathetic it’s made me feel in general. And while I may not be able to exactly describe what’s doing it, there’s just something about the mood that Araragi has set by beating himself up combined with knowing that he’s not able to do the crazy things he was once able to that really drives the point home.
So we have Araragi and Shinobu completely separated from each other. With both of their strength slowly succumbing because of their missing link and a completely broken ball of darkness that’s constantly on the prowl and the whole thing is starting to feel rather hopeless. Luckily there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the all-knowing Gaen. But just like in real life, there’s probably not going to be a clear and simple answer for this problem. Hopefully though, this’ll mean that something amazing will happen to close out this arc!
P.S. I totally agree with Araragi about the whole “fondling” notion. If it’s not 1 on 1, it’s just not worth it!