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Koyomimonogatari – 05

「こよみウインド」 (Koyomi Uindo)
“Koyomi Wind”

They used the no-hat Nadeko OP this time (the DVD version), but honestly, she looks better with a poofy hat. Maybe it’s because I’m blogging Dimension W as well this season, which has made me grow fond of hats that look like they can swallow your head. They’re cute, and that’s basically the only reason Nadeko is around for this episode—to look cute. Maybe that’s a deconstruction of her character? After the events of Nadeko Medusa (which hasn’t happened yet, sure, but we know), I think it’s only natural that we see Nadeko in a more complex light (which is arguably a good thing, considering her relative shallowness as a character without such insight). At the very least, it’s difficult to avoid inferring a level of sinister in Nadeko. She does, after all, turn out to be the most murderous of the Monogatari cast—a cast that was already slightly unhinged in the first place. Still, we should be fair to this pre-apotheosis Nadeko, and considering that Araragi was not supposed to see her again after Hitagi End it’s nice to have her pop up again, even if just in a flashback story.

What I enjoyed more, though, was the reappearance of Kaiki, who played an excellent foil to Nadeko in Hitagi End (and really, as the jaded adult plays an excellent foil to most of the pubescent cast). I said I wanted a Kaiki episode last week, so consider me mostly satisfied (if only they played his theme too, then the episode would be complete). Kaiki’s one of the best characters of Monogatari, in my opinion, and we just can’t have too much of him. I know he popped up again in Hanamonogatari, but I still hope that he’ll have another role to play before we through. Until then, Koyomi Wind will have to do. Like with Nadeko, our extra knowledge of Kaiki’s character really sheds a different light on everything he does. Koyomi Water takes place during Nisemonogatari, so I guess Kaiki is still nominally a villain (not that he ever stops being a villain in Araragi’s eyes), but is he really as sinister as he appears? Sure, he takes more of Araragi’s money again, but if he didn’t he wouldn’t be Kaiki. In fact, if he didn’t take a fee I wouldn’t have trusted anything he said because, being Kaiki after all, he is obliged to lie.

Kaiki doesn’t actually deviate much from what he has already told Araragi—and us—in his other monologues. He claims that, when we get down to it, he doesn’t really do anything—he’s just a con man, after all. He just taps into negativity that already exists. Which is, really, a much more challenging conclusion than the alternative. It’s more comforting to know that there is a arch-villain, or a devil on one’s shoulder, or some single entity that one can just defeat. Perhaps that’s why Kaiki plays the villain, it’s too hard to recognise evil without one. But what Kaiki is saying, and what Araragi may not fully understand, is that in his role he doesn’t have to do anything dastardly at all. It’s not him. It’s us.

Or maybe… that’s a lie too?

February 7, 2016 at 8:14 am
14 comments »
  • February 7, 2016 at 8:33 amAzsurance

    Is this even a pseudo-oddity episode? It’s more of a discussion of how rumours rise/fall/spread.

    I find that this episode is a huge turning point because of how many characters were mentioned/showed up (Karen, Tsukihi, Kaiki, Shinobu, Gaen).

    • February 7, 2016 at 12:17 pmMistic

      Well, the mystery seems to be how Kaiki managed to spread rumours so easily, and they wondered for a moment if there was something supernatural about it. Kaiki may not be an oddity, but he’s from the same class as Meme and Gaen.

      Of course, Kaiki just took advantage of the situation and human weaknesses. Which is pretty villainous, by the way. Viewers may have a soft spot for him after Hitagi End, but at this point he’s far from a nice guy.

      • February 7, 2016 at 6:00 pmPasserby

        It depends on what you think of Kaiki’s motivations, I suppose. My reading is that he believes he does more good as a villain, and has only ever screwed things up trying to play the hero, so that’s what he does. But of course, I do have a soft spot for him, since he was our villain in Hitagi End.

      • February 8, 2016 at 3:40 amMistic

        Well, he said he’s in it for the money, didn’t he? XD

        My problem with Kaiki is that he’s quick to lecture others on their actions and motivations, despite being a Karma Houdini himself. Like here, when she lectures Araragi about the rot in a generation as if that made him free of responsibility. Ultimately, most of the supernatural havoc surrounding Nadeko wouldn’t have happened had he not been the con-man he was, a point he only realizes when Show Spoiler ▼

        But maybe that makes him likeable too. For a villain, he’s too human. When he plays the petty criminal, it bites him in the ass sooner or later. Ditto when he wants to play the hero. The guy can’t catch a break.

      • February 8, 2016 at 9:10 amPasserby

        But of course Kaiki is in it for the money. He would be betraying his villain charter if he didn’t act completely egocentrically.

        I actually gushed a great deal about Kaiki a while back. I consider him a character of many complexities.

      • February 8, 2016 at 12:36 pmMistic

        That was a good read. Thanks!

  • February 7, 2016 at 10:18 amsamui

    Kaiki IS now the best character in the whole Monogatari universe. Well, since Mayoi and Oshino are gone. </3

    Nonetheless, all my favorite characters are in this episode! Welp! Color me happy with Koyomimonogatari this week!

  • February 7, 2016 at 2:46 pmWanderer

    THERE NEVER WAS a storyline where Nadeko went insane and murderous, and THERE NEVER WILL BE. She is sweet and adorable. ALWAYS.

    • February 7, 2016 at 2:54 pmkaiba_CEO

      This is why girls hate the prettiest girl in school. You get bullied if you are super pretty and if you are super ugly.

    • February 7, 2016 at 2:55 pmDorian S.

      She knew exactly how much Araragi could take and never did more than that. She also never was insane because she was exactly this way the entire time.

      So yes. Sweet, adorable and completely scary instead of insane and murderous.

    • February 7, 2016 at 5:53 pmPasserby

      Of course, of course. I’m sure she would have killed Araragi and everyone he loved in a completely adorable manner.

      • February 7, 2016 at 6:53 pmWanderer

        *sticks fingers in ears* LALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

  • February 7, 2016 at 8:01 pmSiberDude

    Kaiki was just filling the hole in whole-less lives.

    http://randomc.net/image/Monogatari/Koyomimonogatari%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2014.jpg

    And asks for just desserts.
    Or maybe… it was all just a cake!

  • February 12, 2016 at 1:38 pmmaiku

    i do not why i do have the same feelings for nadeko that araragi has…..

    She is just a little annoying brat…

    I´m all in for lolis like shinobu and hachikuji,

    but this one is………mehh