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Koyomimonogatari – 08

「こよみマウンテン」 (Koyomi Maunten)
“Koyomi Mountain”

Uh oh, the Ougi episode. Despite her seeming affection for Araragi (or, perhaps, especially because of that affection), Ougi’s always been something of an ill, creepily-smiling omen in the Monogatari Series. And so while when characters like Mayoi or even Kaiki show up in Koyomimonogatari it feels like a welcome cameo, I don’t think we can give Ougi the same kind of warm reception. Besides, while Mayoi or Kaiki have been MIA for a while now in our current Owarimonogatari timeline, it hasn’t been as long since we saw Ougi and she’s still hanging around. Like an obsessive stalker. Maybe Kanbaru (and Nadeko, about to go crazy) has competition.

Appropriately, Koyomimonogatari puts away the fun and games i.e. the ‘mystery’ of the week episodes aside for now for what we could, perhaps, call plot. Yeah, there’s still something that’s nominally mysterious with the moved shrine and all that, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that’s the main thrust of the episode. Koyomi Mountain can actually be considered something of character development for Ougi. Specifically, we learn more about her motivation for all the meddling she does. Chronologically, we’re in the middle of Nadeko Medusa right now (with Nadeko slightly pre-apotheosis) and Koyomi Mountain ties into it (unlike some of the previous stand-alone stories) by giving much needed context for why the entire sordid affair even kicked off. Turns out, Ougi’s not in it just for the evulz—not that one necessarily should have assumed that of her in the first place, unless one has a very low opinion of both her character and the writing, but it’s good to have some confirmation all the same.

To be honest though, what Ougi actually intended to do went over my head a bit. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been paying attention, or got tripped on the translation, or if I’m not supposed to get it yet. Maybe all of the above. As far as I can tell right now, Ougi’s sense of ‘balance’ and the proper place for things are rather arbitrary, or at least follows rules that are not immediately apparent to us. I would really like to see Ougi and Oshino meet face to face, and not just to test Ougi’s dubious claims about being his niece. Both of them have a philosophy about balance, but they probably won’t see eye to eye on it, considering Ougi’s disapproval of Oshino’s ‘quick fix’. A conversation between the two would be fascinating. ‘Balance’ is one of those nebulous concepts that gets thrown around far to easily, and it would be nice to see the two hammer things out. You may recall that Anakin Skywalker brought ‘balance to the force’—by killing all the Jedi. In hindsight, that was a really lousy prophecy. Maybe Ougi intended to pull a similar stunt with Nadeko Medusa. Maybe she intends to try again.

February 28, 2016 at 9:23 am
10 comments »
  • February 28, 2016 at 10:21 amEnan84

    I disagree with your opinion that we can’t give Ougi a warm reception. She is still one of the cutest villains in anime history.

    • February 28, 2016 at 12:22 pmMistic

      Oh, yes. Where’s the ‘Spooky Ougi of Cute’ meme when you need it?

      Also, wasn’t Passerby a huge Kaiki fan? I think it may be a bit of a grudge because Ougi had the last laugh at the end of Monogatari 2nd ;)

      • February 28, 2016 at 6:47 pmPasserby

        Guilty as charged! Though I was mostly talking about Ougi in terms of rooting for the protagonist. Sure, enjoy Ougi’s character, but she’s not exactly good news.

      • February 29, 2016 at 4:01 amMistic

        I understand. Although I’m rooting for Ougi too. At least more than I’m rooting for Kaiki.

        It’s interesting what the watching order can do to perceptions. My first contact with Ougi was in Owarimonogatari, where she was nothing but helpful to Araragi. Sinisterly so, but helpful nonetheless. Then I went to Monogatari 2nd and witnessed why people thought she was the evilest evil in the world. Now this episode of Koyomimonogatari shows she had her reasons to do so and she tried to make sure Araragi (and the viewers) understood the situation.

        Meanwhile, I first knew of Kaiki with the Karen fiasco, which also made him the root of Nadeko’s supernatural problems. I didn’t see him in his more heroic side until much later, only to watch him reappear in Koyomimonogatari displaying the moral bankruptcy of a weapons dealer that sells guns to children and then criticises them when they start shooting at each other.

      • February 29, 2016 at 10:14 amPasserby

        Ah, your viewing order explains some things. It’s as Kaiki says; it all depends on perspective ;)

  • February 28, 2016 at 10:53 amSeconal

    Except “villain” is a misnomer for her.

  • February 28, 2016 at 12:10 pmMistic

    No one expects the plot! Not me, at least. I heard that the last episode is going to be important. Didn’t expect this to be so too.

    Not surprised that Ougi’s goals weren’t as evil as they seemed, though. I mean, this is Monogatari, the series that teaches us that there’s darkness in light and light in darkness. Also, I suspect that she was no different from Gaen in this regard. After all, it was Gaen who gave that talisman to Koyomi, so it’s likely she also wanted a god in that shrine. She probably expected Koyomi to give it to a more stable person than little Nadeko, however.

    And yeah, I want more on the concept of ‘balance’. Because it’s tricky in Monogatari too.

    Meme believed in the “live and let live” approach, but it’s not as if all his colleagues agree. Gaen and her usual allies seem to prefer their solutions more expeditious (except Kaiki; he’s in it for the money XD). Who’s in the right? As Ougi points out, it’s possible that moving the shrine in the first place was a mistake, and bringing a new god is only desirable because it’s easier than moving the shrine again. Exorcists can only do so much.

    • February 28, 2016 at 6:54 pmPasserby

      I recall that Gaen intended to enshrine Shinobu, but of course that didn’t work out.

      I tend to see Ougi and Gaen as basically foils for each other with Ougi being nominally the Big Bad and Gaen being nominally being the Big Good. But of course, there’s no such clear allegiances in Monogatari; both are generally bad news for Araragi.

      • February 29, 2016 at 5:02 amMistic

        True. A final clash between those two is to be expected, now that we know that the conflict isn’t over. Gaen explained in Shinobu Mail why there were so many oddities in the town, and the cause seemed to be over, but here Ougi says it could happen again if that damned shrine isn’t taken care of. With the end of Nadeko’s arc, the situation is back to square one.

  • February 28, 2016 at 5:15 pmAzsurance

    I was right after all, it starts to get relevant to the main plotline and no conceiving stories for the sake of involving the character (the worst of which so far, being Tsukihi). They were being really precise and obvious to the hints that Ougi and Nadeko dropped about themselves and the impending future though.

    Trust Araragi to be the dum-dum to miss it all completely. In the end, Ougi was just “scouting” the place (the shrine), isn’t she?

    Shinobu next week!