「こよみツリー」 (Koyomi Tsurī)
“Koyomi Tree”

You might have assumed from the title that Koyomi Tree would be about, er, a tree. Not so. Since Araragi Karen (unfortunately short-haired, despite the OP) is basically Kanbaru-light, fanservice is obliged to stand front and centre. And even without, isn’t the entire subtext of the Monogatari Series about breasts anyway? My takeaway: it’s all just a story of Araragi Koyomi going through puberty. You get to that age, you’re just a bag of hormones, your body’s changing in unfamiliar ways, you become a vampire. Y’know, puberty. Hence Koyomi Tree is really about breasts. Trees, breasts—they’re more or less the same thing anyway. They both give men wood.

Sorry, sorry. I have an inner child, and he makes all the decisions.

Ignoring the Freudian metaphors, there’s actually a more sinister edge to the story of Araragi helping her sister save a tree. When one gets down to it, it’s a story about manipulation and deception. Leaving aside the somewhat implausible idea that a group a people could totally forget about a tree in their yard and on noticing it decide to cut it down in a fit of hysteria, it’s notable that there’s no suggestion that they should have tried to explain things to Karen’s fellow students to calm them down. Hanekawa (Koyomimonogatari would like to remind you that she has breasts) compares the situation to a pandemic, but apparently does not believe in actually curing the disease. Letting a pandemic just play out is rather dark, don’t you think? ‘Oh, if enough people die, there won’t be enough infection vectors to sustain the disease!’ Hurray. In the same vein, I suppose if Karen killed everyone at the dojo, there won’t be anyone left to chop down the tree. Ah, yet another problem that can be solved with murder.

Perhaps this was all a commentary on the nature of superstition and spirituality, which would not be unusual for Monogatari. In this world, the very act of worship creates gods, so Araragi’s sophistry about his lie being okay because there’s a minimal possibility that it’s not falsehood is not as bad as it initially sounds. Fear and reverence are two sides of the same coin anyway, hence the adjective ‘godfearing’. There’s only some brief discussion of the topic in this short episode, though, so if you want to see it explored with more depth then Mushishi has a similar sort of story that deals with humanity’s relationship with spirituality very well.

Actually, even if you didn’t want more of this, you should watch Mushishi. This has been your Mushishi plug of the season.


  1. I already watched Mushi-shi and has been transformed into a new being because of it…
    …. back to Koyomimonogatari.

    I guess my enjoyment really depends on the characters by whom Araragi is with. Kaiki has still one more episode to show himself. I cannot wait.

    This week is just as sinister as last week. Koyomimonogatari has fangs after all.

  2. Have Karens breasts always been so big? I feel they have been smaller in previous arcs.

    Ok I got it: Show Spoiler ▼

    1. In the early arcs her clothes are fairly baggy, she doesn’t start wearing the tight fitting clothes until later on in the series so it would have been hard to notice. Also she is a developing middle school girl.

  3. I found hilarious that after lecturing his sister with Meme’s mantra (“only you can help yourself”), Koyomi proceeds to ask Hanekawa for help.

    Not that I criticize his choice, mind you. Actually, I’m with Karen in this regard. Despite Meme’s line sounding so deep and meaningful, the whole Monogatari series actually proves how wrong it is, since more often than not Araragi has to be saved by either Meme himself, another specialist or his harem.

      1. Was it?
        Show Spoiler ▼

        However, it’s true that Black Hanekawa tried to make him see the hypocrisy of his words, since it was a disservice to the people who wanted to help him and because they didn’t match his real feelings. But given that months later Koyomi still uses the same mantra, he didn’t really learn his lesson in Tsubasa Cat. The author loves exploring the psychology of his characters, so I wonder if it will be addressed in future plots.

      2. @Enan84
        I know, but that happened in a last desperate moment and until then Araragi’s speech and the narrative supported otherwise. I could have bought that the final moral of the story was that, in the end, Meme was wrong and (Black) Hanekawa was right, but since Bakemonogatari Araragi doesn’t seem to have learned the lesson and continues to parrot that line.

        So either Araragi is deluding himself with a motto which deep inside knows is wrong, or the series suffers from theme myopia. Given what we know of the author, I think the former is more likely.

    1. Nice catch. But to be fair it was obvious to both of them, that citing Meme is a lame excuse to turn Karens request down. Now is Memes mantra not so deep to begin with or does Araragi simply misinterprets it? I lean towards the second possibility. In my opinion memes quote means that nobody can improve the lives of others, but them by their own. (Ok you can stop to oppress them, but that’s not the norm.) Obviously it doesn’t apply in states of emergency or to simple request (“Can you give me the water?” “No, you cannot help people, only you can help yourself”).

      So I disagree to your statement that “the whole Monogatari series actually proves how wrong it is”. Do you agree with Kaki that “If [Araragi is] around, that girl [Nadeko] will just be useless.”? If so, can other relations in the franchise can be seen the same way?
      This leads to the crunch question of the franchise: Is Araragi in miserably condition because he is too dependent on Hanakawa? (Things add up nicely if you interpret the show in this way.)

      1. Now is Memes mantra not so deep to begin with or does Araragi simply misinterprets it? I lean towards the second possibility.

        Me too. Although, in the end, Meme’s words are not Word of God. Kaiki and Gaen are other specialists with vastly different philosophies, with their own strengths and weaknesses, and have had a chance to showcase them too. “No one is completely right” is probably the most likely scenario.

        This leads to the crunch question of the franchise: Is Araragi in miserably condition because he is too dependent on Hanakawa? (Things add up nicely if you interpret the show in this way.)

        Not only on Hanekawa; on his own harem. But is he really miserable? He may feel he doesn’t want to burden others, and it wouldn’t hurt him to use his brain more often, but in the long run everyone around him has become happier. Probably that’s why they put up with him always needing their help XD

  4. All I could think about regarding this episode was the infamous “toothbrush incident”. Karen did say she wants to be the best imouto Araragi can get.

    I’m also a little anxious as we move on from one episode to the next. People need to be reminded we’re really strolling through the monogatari timeline, and it’s already past Nisemonogatari and Tsubasa Tiger as of this point.

    Getting closer to where Owarimonogatari stopped off :s


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