「こよみサンド」 (Koyomi Sando)
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.