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Koyomimonogatari – 03

「こよみサンド」 (Koyomi Sando)
“Koyomi Sand”

Koyomimonogatari seems to be going in order of introductions, which means it’s Mayoi‘s turn this week to feature in a short story of her very own. Of course, like with the previous short stories, Mayoi only serves as, at best, a cameo appearance, having nothing to do with the actual tale other than playing the witness and but it’s still good to see her again after her so long since, in the Monogatari present, she’s been put on a bus without much possibility of a return trip. In fact, I get the impression that this entire side story was an excuse for Mayoi and Ararararararararagi to break out their comic routine. The bantering about nothing took a good half of an already short episode—which means they’re keeping with the classic Monogatari formula. The mystery itself wasn’t all that mysterious, and in any case Mayoi had no part in its solution. As long as we have deus ex Tsubasa around, there’s nothing to worry about.

It does make me think, though, that Araragi has been having it a bit easy recently. He hasn’t actually solved anything in a while, hasn’t he? At most, he does some of the grunt work, maybe scales a building now and then, but mostly he just gets the solution handed to him one way or another at the end of the episode. Now, these aren’t exactly very deep mysteries or have much weighing on the solution—more idle gossip than anything else—but since Araragi is nominally the protagonist, and also gets this entire story collection named after him, you’d think he’d have a more active role. At best, he’s just confirming things that everybody else seems to already know, which seems a bit unfair to the poor fellow since I, at least, have no idea how Hanekawa got her hands on this story, let alone when she actually went and worked it out. People around Araragi just seem to know things, and also seem to enjoy keeping him in the dark. I think he’s being bullied.

Maybe all this is the point; Araragi’s general obliviousness has been commented on by Monogatari before. This is probably just more character development for him, in which he learns to take better stock of things around him. After all, this is still relatively early in his oddity-busting career, and he should rightly feel like a scrub. One important lesson is probably to distinguish what is an oddity. Last week he learnt that humans can do odd things. This week he learnt that nature can do odd things. Neither amounts to the supernatural. To be able to catch oddities, he needs a keen eye on exactly what is not. Hence it’s instructive for him to be collecting stories and gossip, just as Oshino does. He just needs to be more effective at sorting through them.

Alternatively, we’re just here to watch Mayoi act cute. That works too.

January 26, 2016 at 8:16 am
  • January 26, 2016 at 10:48 amAzsurance

    And with that, Oshino’s gone, I certainly enjoyed his two episode appearances. After Tsubasa Cat, it only makes sense that Araragi sees himself as a surrogate oddity solver in the absence of Oshino.

    If this is headed in girl oddity appearance order, that means Kanbaru’s next.

    P.S – Did Oshino REALLY ask payment for Mayoi’s case? I think I really need to rewatch her arc.

  • January 26, 2016 at 3:55 pmMistic

    Well, maybe he’s had it easy, but Araragi has rarely solved mysteries on his own. Conflicts, yes, but mysteries? Not so much. More often than not, it’s other characters who explain what is really going on in each arc (it was Oshino Meme’s raison d’etre to begin with).

    Nevertheless, it seems this mobile series’ message is that not every strange thing is an oddity. So far, every mystery has had a pretty mundane twist behind it.

    Ok, if it was Tsubasa, Hitagi and now Mayoi, does it mean it’s Nadeko’s turn next?

    • January 26, 2016 at 7:06 pmPasserby

      Suruga Monkey before Nadeko Snake, by my recollection.

      • January 27, 2016 at 7:35 amMistic

        You’re right. Still, I wonder which order they’re using. If it’s the chronological order, shouldn’t Shinobu have been the first, since Kizumonogatari is chronologically the first novel? If it’s the publishing order, shouldn’t Hitagi have been the first, since Hitagi Crab was the first story to be published?

        Or maybe there isn’t a specific order at all. If there’s a girl per episode, and there are 12, there are 9 left. Suruga, Nadeko, Karen, Tsukihi, Shinobu, Yotsugi, Yozuru, Izuko and Ougi, perhaps? Did I forget someone?

      • January 27, 2016 at 6:52 pmPasserby

        I don’t think there’s any particular need to use one girl per episode—noting that Hanekawa Tsubasa is in this one, too—but it would fit nicely, as you note (I’d like a Kaiki episode or something myself, though I don’t see it happening). In any case, the Koyomimonogatari stories themselves seem to be in chronological order; they’ll probably at least stick with that.

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:15 amsamui

    Anything with Mayoi being an active character spells good for me. So yay! In this episode.