「こよみデッド」 (Koyomi Deddo)
So, who saw this twist coming? Or maybe it’d be faster to ask who didn’t; on my part, I thought that titling the story Koyomi Dead just gave the game away far too easily. It didn’t help that I didn’t much trust Gaen in the first place—she leans more towards Saruman than Gandalf as far as plot-wizards go, if you ask me—so when she started talking about how all pieces were expendable except for the king, the warning sirens started to go off. Don’t get me wrong, the deed itself was still quite the effective scene, but it didn’t pack quite the oomph that a true shocker would have had.
We’ve also already had Hanamonogatari, though, so we also know that Araragi doesn’t actually die, or at least gets better. So having his life flash before his eyes may have been overdoing it. I still wonder, sometimes, why Monogatari has chosen to tell its story out of order. It certainly has an effect on how we everything else. Is it comforting to know that everything more or less works out? Or does it drain tension out of certain climatic twists? Or does it just remind you, ‘hey, Kizumonogatari‘?
I guess we don’t really know what happened to Araragi, just as we don’t really know what happened to Mayoi, just that she’s supposed to be snuffed (again). So the two of them somehow meeting again actually just raises more questions than it answers about Rarabai’s fate. Poor guy. He’s just someone to whom things happen to at this point. Gaen describes a chess game, but Araragi hardly knows who the players are, let alone the stakes, or even the board. Such is the tragedy of Araragi Koyomi; as a piece he is important enough to kill, but not important enough to know what’s going on. If he is not the king, then which piece is he?
I feel a bit silly even trying to write a ‘final impression’ about a show that ends on a cliffhanger, and was really just a collection of short stories in the first place. Evidently, none of it was really meant to stand alone, with each story being addenda to the main arcs of the Monogatari Series or, in the case of this two-episode finale connects to the rest of Owarimonogatari that we have yet to see. So we’re basically still in the middle of the narrative; what am I doing giving a ‘final’ impression? And in any case, there’s been so much of the Monogatari series by now, and I’ve spent so many words on it, that as long as Koyomimonogatari didn’t deviate too much from the general Monogatari style and writing, that every new season is more or less business as usual.
So, yeah, we’re basically stuck here until the next season of Owarimonogatari, whenever that may be. Everything here may as well be a giant tease. In particular, we finally get to see Oshino after what seems to be forever (or, since earlier in the season, if we don’t go by in-story chronology), proving that he’s still alive and still only has that one shirt. I was actually pretty glad, last week, that signs were that Koyomimonogatari will end with something heavier than just the side stories. Sure, those were amusing distractions and arguably necessary character development for the titular Araragi Koyomi, but something meatier would have been nice to give Koyomimonogatari its own identity as a series. I suppose we got something of the like here, but again, cliffhanger! I suppose there’s nothing to do than to wait for more. I wouldn’t argue against more Monogatari, but I also do want to see how it actually ends, after all this time circling around the ending, so I really hope we actually get there one day. When it happens, I’ll probably still be here. and we can do this dance again.