November 10, 2017

Oh dear. I have forgotten about this. Initially I thought Koyomimonogatari would be some sort of a recap series. I didn’t even know how I ended up coming to that conclusion seeing I had no information or done any research whatsoever. Perhaps it was the synopsis that is about Araragi who goes around helping his female characters and solve their problems at hand. You know, their oddity problems that we have seen throughout the Monogatari Series? Of course I realized I was wrong. Had not the second season of Owarimonogatari series came out, I would never have remembered to watch this. Besides, each episode is only 12 minutes long. A departure from the standard half hour episodes of its prequels.

Episode 1: Stone
Hanekawa talks to Araragi about a stone statue in school that could be the school’s ghost story. The thing is, the stone was there all the while and not the altar. Over these 2 years, it’s like somebody turned this stone into an altar and something like something to be worshipped. Could it be an oddity? So Araragi talks to Oshino about this and the question is not whether it is an oddity because it is being worshipped but rather it’s being worshipped because it is an oddity. Araragi is confused since they mean the same to him. So as Oshino has him draw the shrine for him, Araragi mentions it looked familiar but can’t put his finger on it. Oshino tells him to ignore all ghost stories at the moment and try looking into the school’s curriculum. Araragi goes back to talk to Hanekawa for more explanation. She mentions a few art clubs in school and one of them being woodwork. Apparently a student created a little house but it was deemed a failure after something went awry. Instead of bringing it home to only be thrown away, he decided to sneak it in to the school’s garbage. Speaking of which, it is near that altar. Hence that house became the stone’s altar. Because of that, the house and stone complement each other. The house became a shrine and the stone became a worshipped object. Hanekawa is relieved and thanks Araragi for it. It seems Araragi is that student who made the house and put it there. Immediately he properly throws away the house. He thought his thoughtless actions turned this stone into an oddity. Perhaps it turned from a normal stone into the stone statue he needed and from there into an oddity. Then he realizes something amiss. The stone is actually just a piece of concrete.

Episode 2: Flower
While walking on the streets together, Senjougahara spots a bouquet of flowers on the roadside, an indication an accident had took place. However she saw the same bouquet on the school’s rooftop. The funny thing is, throughout its history, there has been no deaths whatsoever. Talking to Oshino about this, from what I understand that such places where high accidents and deaths occurred could be due to geographical and location reasons instead of the supernatural. While no deaths may have occurred at school and it might look like the bouquet is like a curse asking for future accidents to happen, could it not be the opposite? Araragi thinks about this and tells his conclusion to Senjougahara. It is some sort of control or protective charm to prevent accidents. When people go up and see it, they would think that some sort of accident occurred and would be careful. Hence, something like a warning. Also, they misunderstood the whole thing. If something had actually died, the flowers would be placed on the ground instead on the rooftop. Because Araragi dangerously climbed to the rooftop to ascertain the bouquet as per instructed by Senjougahara, the school has taken drastic safety measures. They’re really spending to establish a new fence. He hopes the school would never find out as in addition to his expulsion, they might link it to Senjougahara who suggested it. So instead of making this a secret between them, she wants them to forget about it.

Episode 3: Sand
Araragi stumbles into Hachikuji in the streets. He tells her Oshino has left town and they talk about Araragi’s debts. He claims he has cleared them all or at least returns the money he borrows. Hachikuji decides to sell him a ghost story for 50 Yen. So cheap? Well, that is all that story is worth. She tells him a sandbox at the playground has a face of a demon. No matter how you mix it up, it will eventually return to that demon face. Could it be the work of an oddity or human? So he goes to investigate it. The demon face is there as he messes about with the sand. Nothing happens so he goes home. He then gets a follow up call from Hanekawa who just got a report from stalker Senjougahara on what he was doing. She is ‘mad’ at him for not following this up thoroughly. There is a third option on what causes this: Natural phenomenon. Not just wind or rain. So Araragi goes back and digs the entire sandbox and he finds a fissure at the bottom. This crack is what made the demon face and the reason why Hanekawa was ‘angry’ was because of the danger if the crack gets bigger and kids continue to play in it. Time to alert the park’s manager. He notes the scariest isn’t oddity or human but nature. Because it is both as scary as the oddity and human.

Episode 4: Water
After cleaning Kanbaru’s messy room, Araragi takes a bath. She teases him about some erotic stuffs but then tells him a mysterious story as it isn’t so much of an oddity story. The bath he is in, apparently when his father was young, he would see the face of his fated one in the water’s reflection. Back home, Senjougahara calls him and her first words are for him to die for being at Kanbaru’s house. But since he says how much he loves her and all that, she rescinds her death sentence. Telling her what Kanbaru said, Senjougahara comes up with her interpretation. As the surface of the water reflects but not as perfect as a mirror, it could be possible that Kanbaru’s dad mistakenly saw a reflection of himself as a woman. Of course when he grows up and he becomes more aware, that reflection stopped showing up. So it is when he met his wife he remembered about this. Hence in romance, you tend to look for someone who resembles you. To summarize, if Kanbaru’s dad’s explanation was right, Kanbaru would have seen her fated partner. If Senjougahara’s explanation was right, then the image could be her mom. He calls Kanbaru to ask what she says. Her boobs. And she is excitedly explaining how it always thrills her. Hang up…

Episode 5: Wind
Sengoku is at Araragi’s place to party. It’s just the 2 of them… As this takes place in the aftermath of Sengoku being conned, they talk about how rumours spread. Because from what she heard it wasn’t from the conman himself but rather the wind. You mean in that literal sense? They further discuss if you want to spread rumour, it is faster to let someone do it because if you leave it on its own, won’t that just be a coincidence? So Araragi goes to talk to Kaiki about this. He confirms he doesn’t have any wind power or that sort. In fact, it is not the wind but a windless condition that is important for rumours to spread. When something is popular, something else isn’t. A conman targets not the wealthy but those who are dissatisfied. Those whose hearts are in disarray and nothing to rely on are easy targets. That is why he came to this town to prey on school girls. However it is not because his conned them into buying into his charms and caused deterioration in human relations. But rather they feel their human relations have deteriorated and jumped into buying his charms. Now that Kaiki has let him know his trade secret, he wants a fee for it. Did he just get conned?

Episode 6: Tree
After rubbing her boobs on her brother’s head, Karen takes this as a chance that he must listen to what she says. It’s so nice being a woman… At first he isn’t interested but with her fierce personality showing up, he’d better. It seems that there is a tree that popped up behind her dojo. The funny thing is, nobody noticed it until recently and because of that, they feel it is something ominous and want to chop it down. Of course Karen is against this but she has no power to overturn this decision. So Araragi sees the tree and assures he will help Karen solve it. And by that he means begging to Hanekawa for help! Pushing his responsibilities, eh? He will allow her to do anything with her own boobs! WTF?! Hanekawa likens this panic to pandemic-like level. There is one way to solve this. In the end, the tree is not cut down because Karen told everybody that tree is the same wood that made this dojo. So when you consider a pandemic spreading, it will spread until it cannot spread anymore. So what they did was shift the goal post. The next step of fear is reverence. Now that everybody thinks the wood is what made the sacred dojo, nobody will be foolish enough to cut it down. They feel bad it is a lie because in actual fact there is no way that tree’s wood is the same as the dojo’s. Because of that, there is a possibility they might create an oddity out of it. An oddity that watches over those undergoing training.

Episode 7: Tea
Tsukihi tells Araragi that there is a ghost in her tea ceremony club however there is no evidence of it. Well, duh… If no evidence, no ghost! If you want Tsukihi to stab your eye with her pen then you better give her a better answer. You see, her club has only 7 members and everyone insists that there is this ‘eighth member’. They laugh at her for saying it is a ghost so she fells insulted that they believe the ghost more than her. It all goes back to her asking him if he believes in ghosts. He doesn’t. He believes her club members are wrong. She should stay the way she is and stay true to her own correctness. Tsukihi accepts but she doesn’t look satisfied. Later Araragi talks to Kanbaru about it. She wants to help Tsukihi because they deal with oddities so they understand what it’s like. After all, Tsukihi who is trying to deny oddities is sacrificing herself for reality. There is a way to satiate her although it involves deceiving her. So Araragi tells Tsukihi that everyone believed in the ‘eighth member’ for Tsukihi’s sake. As Tsukihi often takes the club’s inventory as she pleases and so as not to make this a big fuss where they will get club activities suspended, hence they hypothesized and ‘eighth person’ to account for the shortfall in inventory. Tsukihi immediately buys it and is satisfied that it was her selfish attitude that was the ghost. She’ll let herself fall for it. After Araragi tells Kanbaru about this, she wonders whom Tsukihi let herself being deceived by. Is it Araragi or her club members?

Episode 8: Mountain
Ougi and Araragi are trekking up the stairs to a shrine on a mountain. It is believed the shrine built there was a mistake and Ougi wants to fix the problem of its balance. This is the shrine that Araragi and Shinobu were last summer and they tore up the place. Ougi talks about snakes being gods as well as their nature and what it represents. Also, this shrine used to be in a different location but it was transferred to this place. However the issue is how the people relocated the shrine here with minimal construction since the steps to this place did not exist before. Also, no supernatural powers were used. Just normal humans. It was the ‘moving’ that was very annoying. Back at his home, Araragi tells this to Sengoku and she is able to deduce the answer right away. The spot where the shrine was built, they cut down the trees there and used the wood to make the shrine. That way, they didn’t need to carry heavy lumber up the mountain. Wait. Wasn’t the shrine relocated? What ‘moving’ meant was the bodies of worship. Basically it’s like shifting to a new building and keeping its original name. They ponder if the shrine would be rebuilt again. Araragi doesn’t think a new faith will be born then but rather it will continue. Sengoku maintains optimistic if it is rebuilt, it would stop being a place for bad things to gather and the snake god would return to it.

Episode 9: Torus
Shinobu is delighted there are doughnuts for her to eat. However, they look different from the ones she usually gets from the store. Well, these are handmade by Senjougahara for Araragi is motivation for him to study for his exams. Shinobu then asks weird questions like the doughnut’s hole. Not really trusting it, Shinobu eats one to test for poisoning. Tastes good. However she thinks it has delayed effect and wants to experiment on the rest. At this point, Araragi believes it is her ploy to eat all his doughnuts. Hand it back or else. Then it turns into some talk about negotiations and secrets. Hence a game is suggested. She will hide the doughnuts somewhere in his room for 5 minutes and he has that same time to find them. He can it the doughnuts he finds and those he could not will belong to Shinobu. Of course he is sceptical that she can eat all of them in that time span and he will never find them. Shinobu assures she will stick to her word. In the aftermath, Araragi calls Hanekawa and tells her about this. He found 3 of them but the last one was never found. He could only think Shinobu ate them. Hanekawa points out that the doughnuts were of different size. It could be that she hid the smaller one in the larger one and used the fillings as adhesive. After all, the evidence is now in his stomach. Why did Shinobu do this? Wasn’t her goal to eat the doughnuts? For her to abandon that goal and being selfless were the points she was trying to teach him: Love.

Episode 10: Seed
Yotsugi wants Araragi to help her find something or she’ll not stop harassing him. Fine. So what is it that she is looking for? Well, she’ll know when she sees it. So the reason she roped him is because he is comparatively taller than her and she might need to look at a view from a different perspective. However they are not going to piggyback ride one another. She makes him stand on her finger like as though she is hoisting a flag! Some chatter I don’t really get it as they walk around town looking. Yotsugi mentions something one is looking for but may lose sight of it when you start looking for it is a smile. In the end, they couldn’t find what she wanted. Araragi calls Hanekawa for answers. She asks him a question what is hardest to find. But his answer doesn’t matter. Then she asks what is easiest to find. Same thing. So what Yotsugi wanted to find was nothing. You can’t find something that doesn’t exist. This is linked to what is easiest to find and for that, something needs to stand out. Nothing stands out more than a person searching for something. So why was Yotsugi trying to make him stand out? Earlier in the year, there is a person in town he shouldn’t have met. Same thing for that person. So by making him stand out like that, people avoided him and hence Araragi avoided contact with Kaiki. Yotsugi didn’t want him to worry and nothing happened thanks to somebody’s consideration. Thus it is possible that the nonchalant consideration is the hardest thing to find of all.

Episode 11: Nothing
Araragi calls out Kagenui to fight but gets his ass handed to him! Apparently he wants her to train him but she notes he will die before he gets to learn anything. That is why she sent Yotsugi to his place. He feels uncool for girls protecting him. That’s why he can’t move carelessly and so do the girls. Araragi asks why Yotsugi always refers to Kagenui as her sister. She will not tell. However if he manages to land one shot on her, she would. So he goes back and seeks Karen’s help. He’ll fondle her boobs if she does. I mean would she rather let her boobs be fondled by someone she doesn’t like? Anyway, based on him being a useless person, the only right way is to run. She points out that he has been thinking on how to hit this person instead of whether or not his question will get answered. So it isn’t about him winning but how to lose gracefully. He should think about that himself but if Karen was in his shoes, she will try to think of a way that won’t make it so obvious. And so Araragi comes up with this dumb plan of getting a toy gun. After all, Kagenui did say one shot, right? Be it a punch or a bullet. He is expected to lose as he makes his way to face Kagenui. However he realizes she is gone.

Episode 12: Dead
Kagenui has been missing for a month but Araragi continues to visit the shrine every day. Also, ever since all oddities, rumours, gossips, ghost stories, urban legends, you name it, all has stopped. Like as though everything just died. One day Araragi sees Gaen before him. She tells him Kagenui has been defeated. Rather, she had been eliminated in order to render Yotsugi powerless since she is her master. There are 2 possibilities now. Either Yotsugi continues to serve him is an ineffective bodyguard-cum-doll or Yotsugi will wake up to her human side and protect him on her own free will. She then points out about Shinobu. Recently she has turned nocturnal, a sign that she is moving away from being an oddity and can’t protect him 24/7. Talking about shogi how if you try to protect all pieces you will lose as pieces except the king are needed to be sacrificed to win, since Araragi doesn’t consider himself as king, the problem is that this town has no king now. This means nobody wins or loses since there are no more rules. That is why many problems are happening. With that vacant spot, Araragi believed Kaiki was to fill it. Oshino could have filled it with his spiritual stability and Gaen by only her appearance. She entrusted this to Araragi but he failed. Putting Yotsugi close to him as a restraint also failed. Kagenui is missing, Kaiki isn’t showing up, Oshino’s whereabouts are unknown and the situation is at a dead end. Thus she has no choice but to act. So she is going to stop it by putting an end to Araragi’s actions. Araragi may not have intentions to act but without Yotsugi, he has that potential to act. Besides, he has his other side that is most likely to act. Either way, that potential for him to act makes it dangerous. But she has a solution. He must die. She cuts him down with the original Oddity Killer sword that was supposed to be eliminated a long time ago. Araragi wakes up in a strange place. Before him is Hachikuji who jokes that today’s punch line is about him failing to go take his exam and thus he failed.

Paranoid Story
Oh well. What a fine mess that Araragi has gone into. Since this is relatively a Monogatari Series, there are some parts which I don’t really understand. It is perhaps more ‘enjoyable’ for me compared to the other series is because it is short and each episode are not related to each other. Even the penultimate and final episodes are not technically related to one another. Each stories are standalones so if you don’t really see them in order, you won’t lose much. Of course if you haven’t seen the entire Monogatari Series, you’ll still be at a lost. I guess I’m the worst since I have been following it since Bakemonogatari and still can’t come to understand the deeper aspects. Although I did find out that each of the stories here are actually in chronological order throughout the Monogatari Series’ timeline and they do play important roles in the Owarimonogatari instalment. Too big of a gap for me to put the pieces together.

Now, the other aspect that makes it much different than the other entries in the Monogatari Series is that how each of the ‘problems’ are not supernatural or oddity based. While it might sound and look like one, the eventual answer (or punch line-cum-epilogue as narrated always by Araragi) has nothing to do with the supernatural but using common sense. In fact, some of the answers I could actually guess correctly and because of that I feel smart and proud! As though like it was trying to tell us that we might be just overthinking stuffs as the solution is just a simple one. Making us paranoid, huh? So perhaps this might be the point that either fans will love or hate. As Monogatari Series has been dealing with great supernatural and oddity stories all the while, to have an entry that has nothing to do with it feels like a slap in the face. On the other hand, this non-supernatural solution gives a fresh take and twist and easier for dumb people like me to understand and enjoy.

I would love to dub this series as Koyomi No Harem No Monogatari (Koyomi’s Harem Story) since each episode dedicates a ‘problem’ to a girl in his unofficial harem. You can tell which girl is featured from the opening credits animation (more about this later). Though, the some of the girls do appear more than once later in the epilogue punch line segment to help Araragi answer the question at hand. With that said, I noticed that there is a girl that hasn’t popped up. Remember Sodachi Oikura who made her debut in the first season of Owarimonogatari? Remember that childhood friend of Araragi? Not a single appearance of her. I guess this means she wasn’t meant to be part of his harem since at the end of her story, she transferred away to another school. Also, there was another girl, Rouka Numachi from the Hanamonogatari section but I suppose she was more involved with Kanbaru than Araragi so it’s understandable she isn’t in here. So these cute girls aren’t in his harem but Kagenui and Gaen are? Oh wait. Why am I assuming they are part of his harem?!

Speaking of the opening credits animation, they are nothing new as they are taken from the openings from previous instalments. Some of the catchier ones I remember vividly like Senjougahara’s Staple Stable, Sengoku’s Renai Circulation, Tsukihi’s Platinum Disco, Shinobu’s Mein Schatz and Yotsugi’s Orange Mint. There are no opening themes for Kagenui and Gaen since I suppose sh*t was going to get real. Ah, so I suppose they aren’t truly part of Araragi’s harem anyway. Wait. What the heck am I thinking? The only new song is the ending theme, Whiz by Trysail. Sounds like your typical genki anime pop. Just average and nothing extraordinary.

Overall, this series could be a hit or miss depending on how you like your Monogatari Series. It is somewhat like a light appetizer before the main dish that would see the end of the entire series. This little series entry did give me some motivation and hope that I will be able to enjoy the final instalment although in reality I doubt the opposite will be very much true. Unique or confusing, every story is up to each of us to interpret and come to our own conclusions. If only the solutions to the supernatural are as easy as this, the story itself would not have been so interesting in the first place. Araragi getting into all sorts of troubles and hence making the stories in all the series amazing and interesting, is that an oddity itself?

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