「しのぶメイル 其ノ貳」 (Shinobu Meiru Sono Ni)
“Shinobu Mail Part Two”

It’s a good thing that Araragi lives in a part of town where nobody is phased by a building exploding, because otherwise he’d have had no time to get kinky. Aren’t we underestimating the power of the curious bystander here? Even in the dead of night, crowds can just materialise out of thin air as long as there’s a dangerous spectacle to be witnessed. They’re the people who loiter about and die in a disaster movie. I refuse to believe that, after narrowing escaping fiery death, Araragi would still have so much lazy time to just fool around. What I’m saying is, there should have at least been a passerby.

No jokes here. No jokes.

I’m sure veterans of anime and sports dramas of all kinds are familiar with the rousing pep talk, but this is the first time I’ve seen one set to strange S&M instead of soaring music (in before strange S&M set to soaring music. You’re welcome for that image). I’m sure it’s, er, symbolism. Yes. More likely, though, the entire scene meant nothing and it’s just Monogatari offering up it’s usual distractions while characters do a lot of talking. It’s a safe bet by now that whenever Monogatari starts getting sexy there’s a monologue on the horizon.

Kanbaru doesn’t count. That’s just what she is.

Awkward footsies aside (she’s a zombie, remember. Think about it. Think about it), Yotsugi did have a point. Araragi does have a worrying tendency to run off by himself, which is usually well-intentioned but also usually poorly thought out. It’s part of why Araragi has been described, by others in Monogatari as a half-hearted existence; he really does want to play the white knight, but he’s really not very good at it, and doesn’t really keep in consideration that he’s not very good at it. As it is, he mostly ends up being bailed out by one haremette or another. Which would really be fine—behind every great man stands a platoon of greater women—if only Araragi would acknowledge his own limitations more. If he wants to save the day, he’s probably going to get his friends involved in some way. If he wants to keep them out of trouble, then he’s going to have difficulty saving the day. In this case, if he really wanted to keep his promise with Gaen, he’ll need to involve Kanbaru, and if he really didn’t want to involve Kanbaru, he should have given up on keeping that promise. Really, getting involved with the affairs of Gaen, the one who apparently knows everything, seems no healthier than getting involved with Ougi, the one who pretends to know nothing.

…Well, I think that’s what Yotsugi was on about. I was mostly going full OCD about how she managed to get her stocking on before she actually put it on.

The trouble that Araragi is being bailed out of this time is especially curious, because they sure do remind us of the apparitions he’s faced in the past. Kanbaru helped get past the ‘snail’ thanks to advanced Senjougahara sensors, Shinobu (who popped up again suddenly just to star in a hair product commercial) had fought a terrible battle with the ‘monkey’ (the kind of battle that is too awesome to be shown onscreen, apparently) and the new challenger is… actually, it looks like a lost One Punch Man reject. Well, I guess it serves as the ‘crab’.

Following the general theme of Owarimonogatari, it seems like Shinobu Mail is all about the past, and this is before we even factor in the suit of vampiric armour out for Shinobu’s ancient sword. It’d a bit too contrived for Araragi Inc. to just happen to meet all these deja vu apparitions at the same time, so it’s likely that there is a greater force in the works—the Darkness/Ougi/whatever we call whatever. As we know from the chronologically later arcs, Ougi does seem quite interested in dredging up bits of Araragi’s past (and probably Shinobu simply by extension). Is this more of that?

Well, we’ll fine out. Until next week, road signs! Ah, Bakemonogatari was crazy about those. How nostalgic.

Full-length images: 11.

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  1. Aren’t we underestimating the power of the curious bystander here?

    Ah damn, technically, this is one of those anime episodes you don’t want curious bystanders to catch you watching (to avoid misunderstandings)..

  2. As you mentioned in episode 2 of Owarimonogatari, Passerby, I think that a lot of incongruities can be assigned to Araragi’s unreliable first-person perspective. The whole series is what Araragi feels, not what it really (there is even a “real” part?) is.

    The rest is oddities, of course.

    Despite the very, very strange pep-talk, I think the lesson was good, and not only for Araragi. After all, he doesn’t have a monopoly on being plagued by self-doubt, or having to choose between two lesser evils, or making decisions with not enough insight or reflection. In hindsight or from afar, everything is clear. Trouble arises when you are the one to decide.

    Or maybe it was all an excuse so Ononoki could indulge in her fetishes without Araragi protesting XD

  3. I used to think Kanbaru was the most unappealing character cause of her short hair, voice and acting,not counting how easily she uses sex as an escape though, but now with the only real girl with long hair, she starting to be the girl I like the best…..

      1. I’ll second that, but then again Nisio is an unrepentant troll when it comes to long hair. Every. Single. Time.

        And if he does to Shinobu, that’s gonna be the straw that done broke the camel’s back. >_<

        Ryan Ashfyre
    1. Probably a metaphor about how personal criticism may be enjoyable for the critic but uncomfortable for the criticized, sometimes leaving a highly visible mark that others can see even if one is oblivious to it. However, enduring it is necessary to avoid repeating mistakes and to mature as a person.

      It’s either that or podophiliac fanservice. Take your pick.

  4. >so it’s likely that there is a greater force in the works—the Darkness/Ougi/whatever

    The darkness is the thing that was chasing Mayoi Snail. And that was ‘defeated’ in a sense at the end of that arc.

    These events are happening directly after that. Shinobu and Arrarararagi are separated due to the events of the previous arc.

    1. Rly? No disrespect to Nisio, but I thought the Sodachi Arc was the single most boring one in the entirety of Monogatari thus far. Was there even a point behind it? Sure, Ougi-chwan gave some random comment at the end about gauging Araragi’s reaction to a classmate, but that’s hardly satisfying, amirite?

      I know it’s in the original novels, but even now the whole thing just felt like a filler arc.

      Ryan Ashfyre
  5. Is it my imagination or is this series a lot more talky then previous ones? I really liked the previous years but this one feels like nothing much happens each week. Just lots and lots of exposition.

    1. I don’t think it’s much talkier, but it is slower (Shinobu Mail is 6 parts, which would make it the longest one yet) , which gives the impression that it’s talkier. As in, Monogatari has always been almost exclusively dialogue driven, but now they hold dialogues about whatever topic at greater length, and things don’t progress as fast.

      Every arc of Monogatari usually takes some time to build momentum, so I expect it to pick up further in.

      1. Kinda agree to some extent but I don’t remember a moment in the first six episodes of Owarimonogatari where the characters just ramble sentences that basically mean the same thing (cue the last parts of this episode).

        In its defense, it really felt like the continuation of Shinobu Time for better and for worse. (That’s my least favorite Monogatari arc perhaps the reason of my less than lukewarm response in this arc so far)

    2. We’ve finally got Yotsugi and Shinobu back after the epic slog that was the Sodachi Arc. I’m willing to put up with some extended exposition ’till things get rolling. 🙂

      Oh, wait.

      Curiously, given that this is a crab and all, might Senjougahara (no, I most certainly will not call her Senjyogahara. Blergh.) have anything to do with it?

      Ryan Ashfyre

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