OP3 Sequence

OP3: 「mein shatz」

「しのぶメイル 其ノ壹」 (Shinobu Meiru Sono Ichi)
“Shinobu Mail Part One”

(My heart goes out to all those who suffered in the terror attack in Paris, but my moping here on an anime blog isn’t going to help any. And what better time is there for a distraction than now? I don’t know how much funny I can muster right now, but let’s have at it all the same. Keep calm and carry on.)

How long has it been since we’ve had any of the Monogatari Seriesblatant fanservice? After the Completely Serious Business of Sodachi Lost, where even Hanekawa’s Breasts were played for drama, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to pull the tension in the opposite direction for a while, and who better to disrupt our sombre mood than the monkey, Kanbaru? It also helps that Kanbaru, besides being an even denser clump of libido than Araragi, is also nominally this anime’s action girl; after an arc that was mostly either dialogue or monologue about heavy subjects, it’s a refreshing change of pace to have a straightforward Kanbaru just punching things. It’s also appropriate to start a little goofier since this is a new arc, and if nothing else the looser mood lulls us into a false sense of security before a new challenger appears and various things hit the proverbial fan. Hence the use of Kanbaru, who is basically the biggest gun the Monogatari Series has in terms of broad appeal, all too eagre to throw herself into providing fanservice, action, old references (not that any character is spared from playing dressups, really) and, of course, the nonsense banter that is the hallmark of Monogatari. This is one of those episodes where I really feel sorry for whichever poor chump was tasked with speed-translating Owarimonogatari Japanese is nothing but puns! It’s untranslatable! That’s a bit of a shame for the English audience, but remember, there’s still broad appeal. By which I mean, explosions! Need a ratings boost? Blow something up! It’s a rule to live by.

Needless to say, it’s unlikely that Shinobu Mail is going to be all fun and games. There are hints of more tragic backstory for Shinobu and, if can extrapolate from Shinobu Time, stories revolving around our cutest little vampire don’t lend to much happiness. Having dredged up the spectres of Arararagi’s past in Sodachi Lost, it’s only appropriate that we do the same for his partner, Shinobu, and I doubt it’s going to be any less painful for those involved. I mean, listen to that new OP; it’s quite a bit removed from the heady pop we usually have opening Monogatari. Very gothic. If the dangerous new adversary that has Kanbaru playing the Worf by being defeated in record time is not enough foreshadowing, I think the general mood of the OP/ED indicate that we’re in for something dark. That’s how vampires are, right? They, by their very nature, aren’t much for sunshine and rainbows. No, none of that sparkles rubbish.

For now, though, it’s questions, questions, questions. It seems that this particular episode is set around the time Tsubasa Tiger was prancing about celebrating Guy Fawkes (this is where Hanekawa was squatting, right?), and there are lots of holes to be filled from then. Where’s Shinobu? With whom was Araragi trying to get Kanbaru to meet? Was it Yotsugi? Is her master involved? What’s this about Shinobu’s sword? Should I have been paying more attention in Shinobu Time? And, as always, there’s the overarching question of why Ougi is meddling. Why does she need Araragi to keep remembering his past? Araragi apparently needed to tell this tale, or else end up like Kaiki. What kind of racket is Ougi running? Are Arararararararararagi’s kneecaps in danger? There’s six episodes of Shinobu Mail, apparently, so we’ll have plenty of time to learn more in this End Story.

Full-length images: 10, 18.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「さよならのゆくえ」 (Sayonara no Yukue) by 瀧川ありさ (Takigawa Arisa)

End Card


  1. Yes, you should have paid more attention during past arcs 🙂 This is a summary of what we can surmise based on Shinobu Time and Tsubasa Tiger:

    – During Part 2 of Shinobu Time, Shinobu narrates of her meeting with the “Oddity Killer”, a samurai who was the original owner of the Kokorowatari. Unfortunately, the Oddity Killer perished when Shinobu was attacked by the Darkness. Left alone in Antartica, Shinobu decided to revive the Oddity Killer by turning him into a vampire; however, they guy was not exactly happy (he was, after all, an enemy of oddities) and ended up committing suicide by throwing his body into the sun. After dissolving, he left behind the current Kokorowatari (formed from his flesh and bones). Shocked by the events, Shinobu decided never to create another vampire minion ever again.

    Given that in this episode the suite of armor tries to locate his “master” to get back the sword, we can be almost certain that its identify is the Oddity Killer, or at least his remains.

    – During Part 4 of Shinobu Time, Koyomi meets Izuko Gaen, who offers to help him with the Darkness case as long as he agrees to help her and Yotsugi in return with some other matter. Given that Tsubasa met Gaen in town the same morning, we also know that Episode, a vampire hunter, is involved too. Gaen asks Koyomi to bring Suruga on board for some reason, and he sends her a message asking to meet in the abandoned school at night; this is confirmed by Suruga to Tsubasa in Part 3 of Tsubasa Tiger.

    Based on this information, we know that the current arc starts the night of the same day that Shinobu Time ended.

    – In Part 3 of Shinobu Time, we learn that the connection between Shinobu and Koyomi has been severed for unclear reasons. This is confirmed when Black Hanekawa meets Shinobu in Tsubasa Tiger part 3. The pair head for the abandoned school, but they arrive too late, since Kako has already burned it down (which is what we saw on this episode). We cut to the morning of the day after, when Tsubasa wakes up at the Araragi mansion, discovers the truth about Kako, and goes to confront her at night; Koyomi arrives holding the Kokorowatari and slays Kako.

    Therefore, the current arc must cover exactly one day (from night of the day where Kako burns down the school, to the night after), taking place simultaneously with the events of the last day of Tsubasa Tiger.

      1. That’s useful to have. This series can be a bit confusing sometimes, even if it’s commendable the effort they do so that every arc can be enjoyed on its own.

        Ah, shame about that. She’s just become my favourite character in Monogatari.

  2. The first episode of Shinobu Mail is already reminiscent of Tsukihi Phoenix, despite being Shinobu’s arc, there’s no sign of Shinobu anywhere.

    And more questions:

    – How did Kanbaru recognize it was Hanekawa’s (unintended) handiwork from the burst of flames though? I’m pretty sure nobody else, other than Senjougahara knew about Hanekawa’s tiger problem (before Gaen did at least).

    – How did Ougi know/heard of this incident?

    1. – How did Ougi know/heard of this incident?

      You can find the answer on the Owarimonogatari wiki, but do be warned, reading there will give you massive spoilers; particularly on Ougi’s purpose and intentions and the timing of her appearance.

    1. Doesn’t make much sense either. She does so much other stuff, like this season’s Asterisk‘s ED, that you know it’s not the singing itself that she avoids. Voice actors avoiding certain subjects like politics, religion and the like is nothing new, but I’ve never heard of a seiyuu going out of their way to avoid doing something like a character song. That’s a new one by me.

      Ryan Ashfyre

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