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Koyomimonogatari – 09

「こよみトーラス」 (Koyomi Tōrasu)
“Koyomi Torus”

I don’t actually have a good, dedicated doughnut place around where I live; other than the bad franchise chains, most places where they sell doughnuts are actually coffee shops, because the only thing Australians crave for more than empty carbs is caffeine, preferably through a drip line. Which is a shame, because I need a better way to feed my breadlust, and also because I can’t fully take part in the technical doughnut analytics that are integral to the understanding of this episode. I don’t have enough experience with either dessert pastries or type two diabetes. Forgive me, readers, I have failed you.

It is spelt ‘doughnuts’, though. It’s made of dough. Please.

So while I’d much rather talk about tasty, tasty junk food, which this episode of Koyomimonogatari dedicated to celebrating, instead I’m going to talk about Shinobu, which I understand is a topic both less relevant and less interesting. Don’t worry, we’re not going to discuss anything serious—nothing could be as serious as doughnuts, anyway. Let’s just chat about useless things, because I don’t have enough blood sugar to do much more. I could really go for a doughnut right now.

I wonder when Shinobu became such a gag character, as well as fetish fuel. The latter I can sort of understand, since part of the gothic appeal of vampires has always been sexual (see granddaddy Dracula, for starters), and the loli-vampire seems to awfully popular in Japan (see Touhou Project, Blazblue, etc). But consider our first, Bekemonogatari impression of Shinobu, where she just sat in the corner as little more than furniture. She’s sure come a, er, long way since then. I’m sure if Kizumonogatari had come out sooner it’d be an even stranger experience watching Shinobu rave about confectionery like she was auditioning for a part in Dagashi Kashi. Mind you, I don’t really have a great problem with this; I’m just wondering how she got this way, because we don’t really see Shinobu transition from unresponsive lump to chatty doughnut aficionado. I was hoping that Koyomimonogatari would cover that, but I understand that there were more important developments to occupy us.

The other thing I wanted to see this week was an encounter between Shinobu and Senjougahara, who has a non-speaking role this week. I don’t recall the two having interacted much, if at all, and they seem to have personalities that will mix like oil and water. Now, while Senjougahara is nominally the girlfriend, I actually consider her a bit of an underdog in the whole Araragi harem race, especially compared to Shinobu. Sure, in some other harem ‘girlfriend’ is a clear victory, but here it’s a titled being weighed against ‘eternal life partner’ (who lives in Araragi’s shadow, to stack the deck a bit more). At some point Shinobu just wins by default, which is lame. Even with the talk of love in this episode, I still have a slight but definite bias for Senjougahara. Life advice: if your girlfriend would take time from exam preparations to hand-make doughnuts for you, she’s a keeper. I’m also biased because her ex (arguably Kaiki) is cooler than Shinobu’s ex (arguably, the Count from Sesame Street). I hope she gets to throw down with Shinobu at some point. Or girl talk. I can see it going either way.

I’m not actually going anywhere with this. I know I talked about matchups last week as well; I don’t know what that says about me or the show. Let’s just say: a Monogatari fighting game will actually be pretty viable.

March 6, 2016 at 5:52 am
12 comments »
  • March 6, 2016 at 8:22 amClayton Barnett

    1. AFAIR, Shinobu’s been rather playful with Koyomi since she started talking. However, I agree that she’s become an increasingly… unserious character as this series has unfolded. Her take-down of MeddleCat was awesome. One can watch her dance with doughnuts only so many times.

    2. I, also, have long wondered about a “meeting” between Senjougahara and Shinobu. As, er, possessive, as Senjougahara is, I can’t quite imagine “hey, there’s this loli-vampire that lives in my shadow and will always be more a part of me than you!” would go over well. At all.

    But it’d be fun to watch. Good review; thank you!

    • March 7, 2016 at 7:24 pmChaos

      She can be serious when she want to be, but for the most part, she play around with Araragi. Through her past stories, one can deduce that she “fits” in with whichever servant she is with. For example, her loli form instead of her full vampire form, which just happens to be Araragi’s liking.

      As for Hitagi, they both knew each other existence since the beginning of Bakemonogatari. They have briefly met, but never spoken. Hitagi was long called a tsundere by everybody including herself. To Shinobu, Araragi is the only person of interest to her. Being immortal, Shinobu thinks Hitagi is nothing of concerns for her and her existence is but a time frame. After all, Araragi is immortal, too.

      Not sure how the series is going to end, but it was pointed out several times that all the anomalies are caused by Shinobu’s appearance. She is there because of Araragi. So it is either gonna end one of two ways: Shinobu leaves or harem continues.

  • March 6, 2016 at 8:55 amMistic

    It’s interesting that from a viewer’s perspective Senjougahara is the “first girl”, and thus her having the short end of the stick as his girlfriend is a disappointing irony, but from Araragi’s perspective Shinobu is that “first girl”.

    In a way, you can feel that each girl fills a different place in Araragi’s relationship chart. From trusted advisers like Hanekawa to partners in crime like Shinobu, not to mention family members, Araragi has a different relationship with all of them. And no one will fill more than one position (sorry, Hanekawa).

    It isn’t bad per se. I’m a bit tired of romantic stories assuming that one person, and one person only, is destined to be the “everything” of another person.

    • March 7, 2016 at 7:31 pmChaos

      Hanekawa was actually the first girl. He liked her at the beginning of high school, but she didn’t pay him any attention so he gave up on her. When he met Shinobu, she became his second. And it has been that way since. Hanekawa started liking Araragi after Neko incident. Senjougahara was third and then the rest of the girls.

      • March 8, 2016 at 3:56 amMistic

        Araragi may have had a crush on Hanekawa, but, as you said, it didn’t amount to anything. The same as someone can have a crush on a classmate but it will look ridiculous when compared to his first girlfriend.

        Araragi’s first meaningful relationship with any member of his harem was with Shinobu. And since it was the relationship that kickstarted his adventures in the supernatural field, nothing, absolutely nothing, can reach that level of impact in his life.

      • March 11, 2016 at 8:50 pmGrace

        Agreed that Hanekawa is “technically” first girl (in Kizu Araragi pretty much thinks she’s his personal goddess). Also seems to be Nisio’s favorite??? Author unfortunately has something against Senjou – he talked about this in an early interview (but at that point had already written Bakemonogatari so she stayed as Araragi’s gf, but he stopped giving her huge parts in later novels)

        Shinobu mentioned that in Araragi’s life the three most important people are herself, Senjou (“the tsundere”), and Hanekawa (“that class rep”), but even she wasn’t sure which one he valued “the most”

  • March 6, 2016 at 4:23 pmBear

    OTOH, maybe Senjougahara just sees Koyomi as a landlord and Shinobu his tenant, though normally the landlord is considered the bloodsucker. :D

  • March 6, 2016 at 8:50 pmAzsurance

    It’s interesting to note that throughout the whole series, both Senjougahara and Shinobu knows about each other’s existence, but have never met nor spoke. This episode gives a little insight on what Shinobu thinks of Senjougahara (a tsundere apparently).

    We’re still in the middle of Nadeko Medusa fiasco, so nice of Shinobu to remind us. The mystery theme of the series seem to have toned down as they are more about life lessons for Araragi now (even to some extent, Ougi).

  • March 7, 2016 at 8:07 amillusion

    Yep, Shinobu still a best and miles ahead of the “competition”.

    • March 20, 2016 at 7:09 amstrelka

      Well everybody knows that gahara is shit compared to shinobu

  • March 7, 2016 at 6:54 pmsamui

    I forgot to absorb this episode on an analytical level but what I know are:

    1. This interaction is the most playful so far in Koyomimonogatari.
    2. This counts as the lamest mystery ever in this series.

  • March 7, 2016 at 7:40 pmChaos

    Anybody else finds it ironic that instead of any other desserts, Hitagi choose to make doughnuts, which she damn sure know is what Shinobu liked the most. Even more than blood.

    If it was me, I would eat one doughnuts and give the rest to Shinobu. However, I like the lesson here. Shinbu taught Araragi that love is a selfless thing where you give it your all and expect nothing in return. Ironically, Senjougahara did the same by making Araragi those doughnuts.