「こよみシード」 (Koyomi Shīdo)
Once again, I have to start with an apology this week. Two, actually. First, ugly watermarks; I have no ability to clean those. Maybe draw a smiley face over them in MS Paint, but no. Second, I found it really hard to pay attention to much of the episode because the first half was mostly YAY and the second was… wah? Hanekawa’s right about Ononoki and Araragi’s search being deliberately conspicuous, but not because of Araragi’s visibility. The way he stands just boggles the mind. Look, he’s not standing on either feet! She’s balancing the gap between his shoes on her finger. It wasn’t right, and also very, very distracting. I had thought that Kagenui just had a very good sense of balance, but it turns out it was crazy zombie magic all along.
From what I could tell of the episode, Koyomi Seed is right before Tsukimonogatari. Also, not about a seed at all. It’s moral, as the Hanekawa of your nightmares would have you know in a completely unsubtle manner, seems to be to pick at the Oshino Meme motto of having to save yourself as opposed to relying on someone else to save you. This is as about a good a time to do it, I suppose, as the Nadeko Murder Clock is counting down and meanwhile, unbeknownst to Araragi, a great many people are working to save his life (not just his, of course; it’s a package deal). Ononoki’s watching out for him in Koyomi Seed, of course, but meanwhile a certain con man is trying to trick a god, and he had just gotten a cash injection in a roundabout manner from Gaen, and he wouldn’t be there in the first place if Senjougahara hadn’t secretly commissioned his aid. In the end, Araragi is saved without any input on his part.
Of course, there’s counterexamples as well. For starters, Araragi never seems to put much priority on saving himself in the first place. One gets the feeling he continued trying to un-god Nadeko for her own sake as much as anything else. And one of the most striking scenes of Nadeko Medusa in my opinion, is when Kaiki and Araragi finally meet again. And Kaiki tells him, there was nothing he could do for Nadeko. Him trying to save her was a futile, even counterproductive effort.
Since it’s mostly philosophical, Meme’s principle is likely intended to be vague and inconclusive like this. I doubt Monogatari is going to fall on either extreme, at least not at this stage. The most useful thing is that Araragi continues to learn, one way or another. Remember, he started as a person who neither accepted help from others, nor helped himself. Whatever one’s interpretation of Meme’s life advice, Araragi had room to grow.