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Koyomimonogatari – 07

「こよみティー」 (Koyomi Tī)
“Koyomi Tea”

I know many of you will be disappointed with this week’s Koyomimonogatari. After last week’s breastacular breastathon courtesy of Araragi Karen, her twin sister takes the stage this week and… nothing! Not even a wardrobe malfunction! And then Kanbaru is sortied as reinforcements and… still nothing! She has only a few minutes of screentime, but remains fully clothed for its entirety! Are we watching the right show? What would anime be if its characters do not strut around for our crude amusement? It’s madness, I tell you.

I suppose if we’re not getting the sex we’ll have to settle for violence instead to satisfy the base entertainment quota, but Tsukihi makes a very poor Senjougahara. First Sodachi, now Tsukihi. Everybody wants a piece of the heroine’s turf. But stationary based combat is not so easily mastered. With so many women out to murder Araragi, Tsukihi is at best a second-class yandere. The fact that there’s a competition in the first place, though, says a lot about he cast.

As for the ‘theme’ of this episode, as each short story of Koyomimonogatari likes to have, Koyomi Tea follows on from Koyomi Tree in appropriately rhyming ways. Once again there’s something of a ghost hysteria spreading, and the question is asked why people believe in such ‘irrational’ things. But ghost stories, and conspiracy theories in general, are not strictly irrational. Rather, they are unfalsifiable. That is, they cannot be proven to be untrue, and such hypotheses are discounted by the scientific method because they are not useful. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be believed. Scientific rigour is not the same as rationality (though we can argue the pedagogy, of course).

In the Koyomi Tea example, there’s all manner of rational reasons why Tsukihi’s tea club would believe in a ghost story. Consider a simple chain of logic: I prefer my life to be interesting, the existence of an ‘eighth man‘ is interesting, therefore I will believe in the ghost story. ‘Rational’ is an extremely low threshold. And so it is with the lie Araragi Koyomi tells his sister. It’s not really based on any evidence. But Tsukihi chooses to believe it anyway, because it will allow her to make internal peace with her friends. That’s a completely rational choice to make.

Sure, it’s easy to scoff at a person’s belief in ghosts, or UFOs, or even their religion. But there are all manner of reasons for believing whatever, and it’s not so easy to call them invalid.

February 23, 2016 at 11:11 am
  • February 23, 2016 at 12:04 pmsosbrigade1991

    Tsukihi has always had the least amount of development and is the hardest to pin down because of her inconsistency as a character. Therefore I would it difficult to form any kind of meaningful story around her. Maybe that’s just me though.

    • February 23, 2016 at 2:03 pmGuile

      But she has a catchphrase! Nobody else has a catchphrase.

      • February 24, 2016 at 6:19 amSK

        Hanekawa, Oshino, and (sorta) Yotsugi all have catchphrases though…

      • February 24, 2016 at 1:25 pmMistic

        As SK says, there are several characters with catchphrases. Heck, there is even a trinity of “knowledge”, as if they were trying to analize the concept from different philosophical perspectives:

        Izuko Gaen: “There is nothing I don’t know, I know everything”.

        Tsubasa Hanekawa: “I don’t know everything, I just know what I know”.

        Ougi Oshino: “I don’t know anything Araragi-senpai; you do”.

        I wonder, who would the oracle of Delphi say is the wisest of the three?

  • February 23, 2016 at 5:00 pmAzsurance

    Wasn’t Shinobu or Gaen the one who said man is the one to give rise to oddities because they acknowledged and believed their existence? Oddities can’t be oddities anymore if this basic condition isn’t even met.

    I think this episode also addresses a very important issue of Araragi and gang’s sense of normality, having being immersed into this world for a very long time. Naturally, if it were possible, I wouldn’t want to encourage nor have anyone else close to me be involved in this supernatural world as well.

    Tsukihi’s yandere tendencies remind me of Senjougahara, the episode was also nice to remind us of Nadeko’s upcoming arc (Nadeko Medusa takes place after this one). This is probably how Tsukihi got alerted to Nadeko and Araragi.

    I personally think that the ‘fun and games’ end from this point due to the nature of the remaining cast:

    - Ougi (she’s up next)
    - Shinobu
    - Yotsugi
    - Kagenui
    - Gaen

    • February 23, 2016 at 6:17 pmErimaki

      I’m pretty sure Yotsugi and Shinobu have proven they are very capable of fun and games. (Shinobu more than Yotsugi I suppose)
      Ougi should be capable of turning even simple fun and games into morbid mindscrew material, even by monogatari’s standards.
      Gaen too but with less morbid.
      Kagenui fits fun and games as well as a foot in a glove, but that’s precisely why I could see monogatari going for that.

      I could see it going either way honestly. I wouldn’t mind if the whole Koyomimonogatari was all fun and games.

    • February 24, 2016 at 1:42 pmMistic

      Ougi, Shinobu, Yotsugi, Kagenui and Gaen? Is that the order of the future episodes?

  • February 23, 2016 at 5:43 pmVoyager

    “Uhm, yes, we didn’t get any sex this time,
    but the opening was Platinum Disco so I got that going for me, which is nice.”

    Bill Murray

  • February 24, 2016 at 2:31 amsamui

    This is the most sinister Koyomimonogatari episode to date, isn’t it?

    • February 24, 2016 at 1:17 pmMistic

      In a way, it is. As always, there was no oddity involved and everything ended in a positive note, yet there were many themes that can look darker depending on previous knowledge of Monogatari.

      -Araragi has grown more cynical. Thanks to Ougi and the first episode of Owarimonogatari, we know how badly he took a similar scenario in which the moronic majority overlooked the truth in favour of a convenient lie.

      -The “do you believe in ghosts?” question would be funnier if it wasn’t Tsukihi asking it.

      -Again, deceiving his little sister carries different undertones given Tsukihi’s secret. And Kanbaru’s last question at the end can be interpreted for that secret too.

      -In general, realizing that people will never believe the truth even when the evidence is right in front of them can be a bit despairing for those who think dialogue and logic can solve any problem.

      • February 25, 2016 at 7:58 amsamui

        … and people will always be happy believing what they want to believe even if it does not exist anymore (eg. my ex’s affection for me). Kidding. My emo side slipped.

  • February 24, 2016 at 1:27 pmMistic

    Wait, I’ve realized something: how can Tsukihi be Karen’s twin when she’s younger?

    • February 24, 2016 at 11:18 pmPasserby

      One comes out first?

      • February 25, 2016 at 3:56 amMistic

        But Tsukihi is a year younger, isn’t she?

      • February 25, 2016 at 9:19 amPasserby

        Er, was she? I’m likely just wrong and confused, then.

      • February 25, 2016 at 4:23 pmGuile

        I don’t think she is, no. They gave Karen huge boobs at some point.

      • February 26, 2016 at 5:13 amMistic

        I’ve checked the wiki and it says Karen is 15 and that her birthday is in June, while Tsukihi is 14 and her birthday is in April.