「そだちロスト 其ノ貳」 (Sodachi Rosuto Sono Ni)
“Sodachi Lost Part Two”

Here in the happy nanny state of Australia we have a fairly interventionist and, er, enthusiastic Department of Child Services, so I was somewhat surprised that a horror household like the Oikuras (or rather, one based on what we’re told of it by Sodachi and what is implied; the Oikura parents are never on screen to make their own case) can go on for so long without attracting heavy hand of the government. At least, once the kid was in protective custody, I wouldn’t imagine that any half-motivated social worker will just let her waltz back. Respecting the wishes of the child is fine and dandy, but the place was obviously not healthy for her, especially if she was going all Stockholm over it. I suppose it’s probably just a matter of Japan being different, but the more logical conclusion is: Sodachi a wizard, and she needed to live with her family to protect her from Voldemort.

Something else that Japan does differently is their discussion of mental health, in that they seem to have implicitly agreed to not discuss it. One of the things this episode does very well—and makes the full three episodes for Sodachi Lost seem worthwhile, is the way it makes Sodachi seem truly unstable. She goes from haughtily posing in her PJs to losing her cool and hurling tea (miraculously saved with arcane wire-fu techniques that I can’t quite discern) to wide-eyed denial to complete breakdown. Even as she tells her life story, Sodachi switches between emotions and voices rapidly, matching a deliberately jarring procession of visuals. Props again to seiyuu Inoue Marina for delivering quite the chilling monologue. I feel like its effectiveness is diminished though if, after all the effort into making Sodachi go off the deep end, she is brought back from the edge by little more than a rousing pep talk and some warm feelings. It’s just a bit trite, don’t you think? I expect slightly more depth from Monogatari, but here’s a girl who subconsciously blames herself for everything that has gone wrong with her life (as impressed upon her by her parents), and the best we can come up with is, ‘yeah, it kinda is, you’re not trying to be happy.’? Yeah, I know it’s important to not let oneself get trapped in the downward mental spiral, and Hanekawa has some authority on this topic, but it does seem to trivialise domestic abuse somewhat. If anything, Araragi and Hanekawa should have waited around for the social services guy, because Sodachi is definitely not okay.

Thankfully, there does seem to be more to it, and this is where the supernatural angle, a requisite of the Monogatari Series, can come into play. What did happen to Sodachi’s mother? Sodachi was suspiciously specific (and fervent) in denying that she wished her mother gone, which means she almost definitely had something to do with it. Surely, Hanekawa and Araragi were not so interested in the circumstances of Mrs Oikura’s disappearance just because they needed to keep the conversation going. If you recall, the case of Hitagi Crab, when Senjougahara wished for the removal of her ‘weight’, was about mothers as well. So Sodachi is similar there, and she’s got family issues like Hanekawa, and has inconsistent problems with Araragi’s name like Mayoi. Hmm. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Sodachi is turning out to be a pretty interesting kettle of fish.

Full-length images: 06.

End Card


  1. My theory: since Sodachi claimed her mom had sealed any point of entry/exit from the dark room, Sodachi’s mom never actually left; she died there due to malnutrition (the smell of the corpse masked by the stench of garbage in the house) and when Sodachi searched the room, the biological remains have decomposed entirely.

      1. True, she simply could have hung herself, but with the room being “dark” and all, she probably would not be able to even if her eyes had adjusted. I’m also referring to the fact Sodachi’s mom stopped eating after some time – which leads to malnutrition, and later death. But hey, it’s all theories until the episode comes =)

    1. That’s what I thought as well. It’s already been hinted she couldn’t leave the room and from the sounds of it she was too depressed to do so anyway. I’m no expert in how long it takes for a body to decompose but it;s either that or a super natural theory.

    2. I don’t think bodies decompose that fast, especially out in the open without the aid of anaerobic bacteria. Bones, especially, will last for literally ages. Yet Sodachi claims that her mother ‘disappeared’ and wants our duo to find her. I’d say that either Sodachi is in extreme levels of denial, or there are shenanigans at work (likely both).

  2. The only sensible theory is that Sodachi’s mother died in the house; as far as I’m concerned, the only supernatural occurrence within this arc was with that void classroom. But everything else seemed pretty “normal”, in the sense for Monogatari.

    I really like how Hanekawa was meticulously included into this arc because as you said, of all people in the room, she definitely knows where she’s coming from if you want to talk about unhappiness and family drama/disputes.

    Sodachi’s VA left me speechless, probably second best to Hanazawa Kana if you want to talk about a roller coaster ride of emotions just hearing her pouring her heart out. Speaking of Hanazawa Kana, I suppose this is the only cameo for Nadeko, who’s already showing the creep signs of yandere prior to her arc.

  3. “I expect slightly more depth from Monogatari, but here’s a girl who subconsciously blames herself for everything that has gone wrong with her life (as impressed upon her by her parents), and the best we can come up with is, ‘yeah, it kinda is, you’re not trying to be happy.’?”

    I’d agree with this if both Hanekawa’s and Araragi’s argument would center around the classic but usually ineffective notion of “how about just cheering up for once”, but it’s ought to be kept in mind that both of them are people who have personal experience with this sort of thing, they realized it by now that while life can damage you on a pretty severe level, at the end of the day it “only” makes you sabotage your own salvation you could attain otherwise but not merely via someone else; and putting said salvation on a higher, unreachable pedestal than it needs to be. This especially stands true to Hanekawa, to someone who was so broken and lonely she genuinely asked why would Araragi ask about her situation when her father hit her in Neko Kuro despite her being in good terms with Araragi, and even Araragi knows about the weight of Oshino’s “people only help themselves” motto by now to know better than to imply he’s underestimating Sodachi’s problems.

    It’s not unreasonable of Sodachi to think of happiness this way, but it’s also true that she stopped trying to be happy in the first place, which is the cornerstone of the whole matter. And asking Araragi to be her scapegoat in order to get at least some peace of mind is just a shortcut that doesn’t lead to actual happiness, similarly to how Araragi being the “hero” of Hanekawa didn’t have worked out without Hanekawa acknowledging that her life was in serious trouble that needed to be remedied (even more so when it escalated to the point she was legit endangering other peoples’ lives and homes), and that also wouldn’t have worked without her realizing that at the end of the day, it’s her who had to do most of the workload, with others only lending encouragement and aid to this. It’s also important to note that both of them are willing to visit Sodachi every day, so they’re also aware how much Sodachi is needing company right now.

    1. I definitely see where Araragi and Hanekawa are coming from, and I don’t disagree with much of what you’re saying. What I’m afraid of is the story underestimating the problems it has established for Sodachi. I agree, Sodachi’s mental state is definitely at issue, and she does ultimately have personal responsibility for her own happiness, but it also wouldn’t do to address the underlying issues behind why Sodachi is the way she is, that she has suffered from prolong, systematic and violent abuse. I think if Owarimonogatari went all the way to set up something so serious and make Sodachi such a genuine mess, it wouldn’t do to just kinda sweep it aside.

      1. I get where you come from with this (especially when in comparison how Hanekawa was in a bad enough state that more drastic measures had to be done in order to realize how broken she was), but I think the way both Araragi and Hanekawa said and phrased the things they said is the important point, especially when Sodachi didn’t even seemed to really “tried” to be happy even when her mother sealed herself away and the girl got some “freedom” so to speak. The issue of abuse is still there, it’s just the word “try” has a different connotation: it’s not about Sodachi being a lazy sod of anything, and both Araragi and Hanekawa are trying to make it clear that she cannot be happy when she doesn’t even realize one bit that she’s missing the one thing that would be needed for this in the first place. And the way they said what they said is the important thing, they both behaved in ways that implied they knew what they were talking about – Araragi was hot-blooded about his pep-talk enough to give away he’s speaking from experience (with how it’s very implied even in previous installments that he was in very similar shoes before the end of spring break), and Hanekawa was calm and on-the-point enough to say it face-to-face without coming off as arrogant, or as someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about (personal experience with abuse, and didn’t put particular “meaner” emphasis on the word “try”). And it helps for both of them that they were civil enough to listen to Sodachi without cutting into her words or acting like her issues didn’t amount to anything. Hanekawa for instance easily could have went into a mode of “bitch please, I didn’t even had a room, let alone a home to be cooped up in until a month-month and a half ago”, but she too was patiently listening to Sodachi pouring her soul out, and then responded in a manner that didn’t indicated detached or ignorant behaviour.

        That isn’t to say I still don’t get where you come from (again, I could bring up Neko Shiro/Tsubasa Tiger as a counter-example), but I think it helps Monogatari’s case a lot that the franchise always put emphasis on how words are being expressed instead of just their content alone, and in this case I think both Araragi and Hanekawa handled the situation in a way that may not seem as troughout or “epic” compared to the franchise’s previous outings, but it’s effective in its own way. Especially when the “treatment” is being done by the two characters who are THE centerpiece in the show’s world in terms of helping others, even when they were in the darkest times of their own lives.

      2. I agree that Ararararararagi and Hanekawa said their piece reasonably enough, but what I wanted was a recognition from the narrative that perhaps there is only so much their piece can be worth (though it could still be a significant amount). Sodachi’s issues are her own and also deep-seated, which I judged from my admittedly limited experiences with similar cases to seem to be a very tangled web of mental thorns. What I’m saying is, I feel like it should need more to cut through than just the somewhat cliched encouraging speech (no matter the quality) and epiphany moment, otherwise it does a minor disservice to others who suffer domestic abuse in real life. Thankfully, there’s still an episode of Sodachi Lost, so my initial concerns may well be alleviated.

    1. This is probably happening right now, a young and hot blooded H-doujin mangaka working furiously at their office to make it happen! (And the doujins will be sold by Kaiki at the next Comiket) XD

  4. Damn this was painful to watch. This whole season so far has been tolerable just because Ougi has been around and this episode didn’t even include her. Like other people have been saying, this is all too normal and where’s the supernatural element? Also I really can’t believe Araragi wouldn’t remember anything about the past. I’m sure it’s a trope and I really really hate that.

    1. if ougi came along, she’d just draw out the truth in an agonizing way on top of making both of them miserable, which is not a good thing to do with how sodachi’s close to being suicidal. not to mention sodachi and araragi might have gotten into a fight as ougi doesnt seem to be the type to calm down the situation.

      also whats the problem with not remembering? not everyone has good memory you know, especially with something in their childhood. do you remember every person who visited your house for 1 day, cause thats what sodachi’s only presence back then. its as hanekawa said, sodachi didnt make any significant impression for araragi to remember her.

  5. not sure what to comment on this week. think Sodachi’s story hit a little too close to home to treat it as an anime this week. I always felt Hanekawa’s situation a little bizarre as she could’ve easily left and wandered the streets and find shelters to stay in, there were no actual obligations or ties to the place.

    sodachi, on the other hand, have a very different and actual problem where her existence is a mistake, as repeatedly announced by her mother. at that point, i had to pause and stop awhile. seeing her background and world views reminded of a younger self, i suddenly found her to be the most easily empathized character in monogatari to date.

    1. “I always felt Hanekawa’s situation a little bizarre as she could’ve easily left and wandered the streets and find shelters to stay in, there were no actual obligations or ties to the place.”

      The “wandered the streets” part is true though, as is the part about her having no ties to that place, or even the part about the shelter. She was almost always shown roaming the streets in Bake and Nise (and even in Neko Kuro after being hit on the face), and even when the beginning of Neko Shiro showed how her mornings go, she still noted something akin to the lines of “… and left the house right away” (not even *my* house) when she was done preparing for school, so if anything, that house was the very shelter you were mentioning, even if it still was just a place she could sleep with a roof over her head. Though there’s the factor too that unlike Sodachi’s place, Hanekawa’s household could be considered exceptionally “peaceful” – even if that peacefulness is made out of the level of toxic coldness that didn’t even made domestic violence happen for 17 years, and made a teenager outright traumatized when her supposed parents made effort to reconcile as a family without giving a thought about her.

      Not that I blame you on finding Hanekawa’s situation bizarre compared to Sodachi’s, but her very situation was more bizarre than the “usual” in the sense that the abuse she got was an exceptionally passive and subtly damaging one starting from a VERY young age, while Sodachi got a more “standard”, direct case of it, to put it that way. And in a way this reflects in regards of their personality as well: Sodachi may have gotten a more “standard” abuse but she similarly seems to be a more “standard” person even in regards of how she’s showing her broken personality (I’m not meaning this in a derogatory way, hence the quote marks), while Hanekawa may have gotten a more bizarre case of abuse, but she herself is a person who isn’t a usual one either, considering how she was mentally strong enough to still be a much more upstanding person than others are in their healthier state. Both of them had it worse than any person should deserve, but IMO it matters a lot that both the girls themselves and their abuse are very different from each other, and this reflects how their damage was shown in the series.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say you’re wrong for finding Sodachi’s case easier to get into, it’s just I personally still find Hanekawa’s case more interesting and compelling (especially because it’s essentially about an unusually subtle way you can fuck up a child’s entire life starting very early on), even if Sodachi’s is still better than what I was expecting after Hanamonogatari making me go “eh, whatever you say Isin” about Numachi despite her also being someone who was retroactively added to the show’s past.

    2. I did find Sodachi’s case to be the most (unfortunately) ‘realistic’ one thus far, or at least the least metaphorical, and certainly the most ‘raw’. Which is not to take away from Hanekawa’s version of suffering, but her’s was more esoteric, in that the particular mix of neglect and abuse she had to deal with was not something we see as much, and combined with the more metaphorical coping mechanism makes her case less easy to empathise with. It is, as Dodgers says, plenty interesting on an intellectual level but, not prying into azalea’s own childhood, less likely to be an experience to directly relate to.

  6. All I kept thinking through this episode was that Sodachi needs therapy. Not saying anything against Sodachi as a person but that is a ton for shit to have to deal with all her young life and you can’t just get over it on your own.

      1. Catching up, so just finished this episode.

        So oddly, I kind of get a feeling she might be seeing therapy or something. She at least admits she has a problem. And it looks like there are Social Services folks who come by to her place to check up on her to make sure she’s doing alright now if they hadn’t before. I also kind of got a vibe here that towards the end she was looking for ways to get them the hell out of there rather than actual pepped-up. I get this vibe she doesn’t think they can find her mom and in so doing she’s more or less giving them an excuse to waste time for at rade-off she doesn’t want to give.

        Though I might also be giving writers more credit than they deserve on this. We’ll see next episode I guess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *