「こよみマウンテン」 (Koyomi Maunten)
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.