「こよみウインド」 (Koyomi Uindo)
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?