「そだちロスト 其ノ參」 (Sodachi Rosuto Sono San)
“Sodachi Lost Part Three”

I was hoping that Ougi was out of the game for the rest of the arc, because her meddling has never been good news for our heroes, ever. Indeed her re-entrance was heralded by as much foreboding as a Transylvanian stormcloud. I guess it’s too much to expect that Hanekawa’s breasts had banished Ougi for good; if anything, it just makes her come back with a vengeance. Ougi is definitely a serpent, of the biblical variety, whispering subversive words and spitting passive-aggressive venom. I’ve always found that a much more sinister image of Satan than the stereotypical red, horned demon (or, I guess, America), and Ougi pulls it off very well. Even Hanekawa, Araragi’s goddess, has to put in desperate effort (and enter zebra-mode as a byproduct) just to match Ougi. I’d chalked Ougi up as the ‘final boss’ for some time now; she is the prime candidate for the role.

Well, I’m glad that Hanekawa managed to figure things out as well, because I actually don’t think I’d be inclined to just trust an Ougi-only version of the solution. Not only do her ulterior motives make me wary (whether she’s telling the truth or not), there do seem to be some flaky logic and circumstantial arguments that do not build the most robust case. For example, the idea of a corpse simply disintegrating, or being accidentally taken away by garbage collectors is a bit much, though I suppose I can accept a deranged Sodachi having a cognitive failure about her mother. It simply means her denial was super strong; gone full Psycho, even. Her mother starving to death out of depression is the simplest theory, but it would also mean an even greater social services failure; Mrs Oikura evidently needed psychological help no less than the younger one. I guess with the arc ending with Oikura having to move away because her financial support had been halved, it’d be unfortunately fitting. Still, I would have liked these potential plot holes to have been addressed with a bit more depth, because I’d hate to have to take Ougi’s word for it just because she’s omniscient.

Considering how sordid the entire affair was, everything was resolved rather painlessly; if this were the Alfred Hitchcock version, Sodachi would have stabbed a few people before she was through. The explanation was that Sodachi already suspected that something was off, but considering how strong her cognitive dissonance was I didn’t expect her to be serene about it. I don’t begrudge things ending neatly, returning to the status quo, but it’s also no good to be too neat. Too neat, though, and one starts to wonder why Araragi has to beat himself up so much over this. All this trauma, all this crazy, and all he had to do was to tell her straight what happened with her mother. Not to diminish the task of having to tell a girl who professes to hate you like hell itself that she’s not sane, of course. I wouldn’t have blamed Araragi if he had decided to back down since, when one thinks about it, very little of this is his responsibility, unless we were to argue that an Araragi not even old enough to spell ‘melancholia’ should be faulted for not understanding Sodachi’s silent cries for help.

So, what was that all about? There was hardly anything supernatural about Sodachi’s case, and it was strangely intense until it got the ol’ happy ending anyway. Mostly, it was just a personal story of Araragi’s, about him having to face up to some uncomfortable truths that were buried in his past, about healing a relationship with an old something-like-a-friend. What was Ougi’s interest in something like that, with her driving the plot in her unnatural way? Her interest in Araragi is clear, but to what end? She spoke of ‘balance’ again (or is it for the first time, chronologically?), but I don’t really have a good grasp of what she means by that. Does she mean that Araragi did good, and deserves his happy ending? Or does she mean to bring balance to the Force i.e. kill all the Jedi? Even though Sodachi’s arc is over, there’s evidently a lot of Owarimonogatari left to uncover.

Full-length images: 05.

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  1. like Ougi said its a shame, she is well cast and that we will not see oikura again but we will still remember her an integral part in araragi’s life and development. What i really love about this arc is that it tugs on your emotional strings that happiness it subjective, different from person to person but everybody seeks it till the very end. This arc has a sad ending but satisfying and i smiled at oikura wishing she will find, even just a small hint of solace, happiness and a thing about herself that she will love.

  2. This story wasn’t as supernatural as the others, but I, for one, liked it. Apart from that double-length first episode (still the best in Owarimonogatari, I think) and the mystery around Ougi, it was just human drama.

    As Passerby says, I was also disappointed by how neat the ending has been. Not because of the plot hole of how a body can become garbage to the point they cleaned the house without anyone noticing (my guess is that Oikura was the only one who didn’t notice; the same as Hanekawa entertained the idea of not telling her the truth for her own good, maybe that’s what happened back in the past), but because, in the end, everything is resolved with good words and that’s enough.

    I think it was discussed in the comments of the previous episode: how anime (or most fiction directed to teenagers, really) tends to avoid depictions of therapy. When was the last time someone in fiction with a severe depression was cured with therapy and antidepressants instead of a pep-talk?

    1. Well, the solution they came up with was that Oikura took care of her mother’s corpse for 2 years until it became unrecognizable as a person, making Oikura think she left. Shaft animated that house as dark, clean and very cluttered, perhaps what Araragi pictured as he listened. What I pictured was a house like those shown in a documentary about people whose job is to make mistreated, full of garbage houses habitable. If Oikura’s house was even a little like those houses, I can imagine why the cleaners didn’t want to take a closer look at what they were throwing away.

      That said, it’s still a weird hard-to-believe story.

  3. In my country there’s a lot of family and child abuse though… The goverment can’t do much, since most of them never got reported, unless it’s way too late with someone dies or physically crippled and it becomes a massive case for mass media. For a moment after that people will vehemently talks about it but after a few while the tension dies down and everybody will forget about it until the next big case, without any sort of sensible solution out of it.

    Sodachi getting social support from the government is already a good treatment, in my country, she will only receive at most half of the original financial support she should be receiving since the rest will be corrupted by the officials handling the case. My close friend got similar case and he got even less than 25% from the original amount.

    Sodachi’s last episode “Everybody else is having this kind of troubles aren’t they? I’m not the only one with broken homes, so don’t pity me…” probably strucks realy close to me and my country’s childs…

    Welp sorry I got out of topic.

    1. Unfortunately common, yes; it’s definitely one of the social issues of our time. I’m fairly lucky to live in Australia where there’s public concern about domestic abuse (and even luckier to have had swell parents, I suppose). Even then, I’m aware that it’s all too easy to fall through the safety net. No doubt there are many in the world who have it pretty bad. But it certainly shouldn’t be accepted as the norm; any outrage will be deserved.

  4. I called it last week, and I was proven right by this episode. Mrs. Oikura never really left the room, she became malnourished, and died.

    If things had gone a bit different in her past (Sodachi’s parents never had a divorce, she had a happy childhood and/or family, etc.) could she be a romantic contender in Araragi’s harem?

      1. Unless her childhood plan worked and Araragi helped her to be free of her parents. In that case, she might have stayed around, he would remember her better as the girl who taught him the love for maths and she wouldn’t feel hate for him.

        Really, I can’t fault her because she was a kid back at that time, but I guess asking the honest child of law-abiding parents not to ask her name or pry into her everyday life, expecting him to get the hints, was a big mistake.

  5. What made Ougi’s creep factor even higher was the final scene where she met Araragi on her bike:

    – “Looking for a lost child”
    – Exact same scene to the beginning of Nadeko Medusa

    Also, how tolerant can one be of an extra invasive person that they only met/known for a few days. I’m not Japanese so I do not understand the complexity of the kouhai/senpai relationship, honestly shocked that Araragi and Hanekawa really put up with Ougi.

    In the end, I was more frustrated at Araragi than I was at Ougi. It was his exact same behaviour and rationale that kinda led Nadeko from bad to worst.

    1. What made Ougi’s creep factor even higher was the final scene where she met Araragi on her bike:
      – “Looking for a lost child”
      – Exact same scene to the beginning of Nadeko Medusa

      I understood that to be placing this in the chronology right before the Nadeko Medusa scene. So this was to tell us it happened right before that all starts. Perhaps I have my times mixed up though?

      1. That’s a thing about Monogatari series, you can watch each individual arc and be just fine,
        Its the mentally-guessing-the-chronology-of-events thing that’s confusing if you don’t ask people for a recommended viewing order.

        As far as it goes timeline wise, Kizumonogatari is the earliest, Hanamonogatari is the furthest.

  6. Interesting. There’s been little hints here and there that Ougi isn’t all she’s meant to be.

    She was originally a guy, but that didn’t let her get close to Araragi, so she changed herself into a girl. Because Araragi seems to have little interest at having friends who are guys.

    She hinted that Araragi doesn’t exactly look at things correctly. Or rather, she put it that she was surprised that the very first thought he had was so polite. As in “hey, that wasn’t the very first thing you thought of”. I think she knew that Araragi thought of something worse than that.

    I’m quite sure that Ougi is a bakemono of some type that’s tied to Araragi’s darker side. Though when I say darker side, I’m thinking more the thoughts that he tries keeping locked up. Like Sodachi, how he became who he is, him becoming a lesser vampire, etc.

    I think that’s the point of this. That’s why it wraps up the way it does. It isn’t nicely. It isn’t pretty. In fact, this is the calm before the storm.

    I do think she’s like other bakemonos that come across Araragi though. She’s smitten with him. After all, the jealousy that she has against Hanekawa is more than someone who wants to help her. When Ougi and Senjougahara meet up, that should be entertaining.

    Though I’m not exactly sure what the end game here is. She feels more like the ultimate version of “save me Araragi” than a final boss. Though, that in and of itself could be a final boss, since she doesn’t want saving, yet does.

    Oh yeah. She’s looking for Mayoi right? Also how come Shinobu hasn’t met Ougi yet? I mea… Aw nuts.

    This is going to be in spoilers, because, oh boy if I’m right about this.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    …I probably should’ve given this a few more minutes in the mind oven. I feel like I’ve built on my previous thought about Ougi with this.

    If there is really a real “bad guy” in Monogatari, I’d say it is honestly Oshino. Everyone seems to be cleaning up his messes, even Gaen. So if there’s some final boss, he’s it.

    Dorian S.
    1. Interesting theory. If it’s correct, it would explain why she has these yandere undertones around her and why she is so good at manipulating Araragi and her poisonous influence on others around him. In a way, she would be Darth Araragi.

      Pretty much boss material, if you ask me.

      1. Ah, but does the boss have to be evil? In Monogatari, the conflict tends to be more about understanding the issues than about defeating “evil”.

        If you are right, she’s boss material because she fulfills the narrative of the Shadow Archetype in the Jungian sense of the term. In fact, it’s because of that heavy parallelism that you’re theory is not only posible, but narratively desirable.

        It’s so fitting that it’s scary:

        It’s interesting that in Jung the Shadow is dark, but not necessarily evil. The desired goal is to assimilate it into oneself. “How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.”

  7. Damn… being able to withstand that stench from a decomposing corpse for 2 years and not confirming what’s the source of that stench. Something’s really wrong with Sodachi, mentally.

    1. You’d be surprised how much people can get used to an unpleasant environment. It wouldn’t take 2 years for her brain to just accept the smell, especially if the house was already full of garbage and odors to begin with.

  8. So what’s next? There’s only one thing i really want to see and i don’t even know if it exists, but if they continue from when the last airing left off that would be good too.

    1. First, it wasn’t her but a “he” a victim of one of his snake curses.
      And second, he didn’t die (he just lost most of his teeth)
      No need to confirm anyway, as he appears alive and well in Hanamonogatari.

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