Impressed!! Nisemonogatari 10-11 FINAL
I may be tied up a bit with my Japanator Saimoe duties at the moment, but I felt I should at least say a few parting words for Nisemonogatari. Despite my criticism of the series lolicon/siscon tendencies, I still feel it was the most artistically fulfilling (and therefore best) show of the Winter season and deserves a little closure.
Fittingly there is no shortage of impostors in Nisemono and the final two episodes reveal Tsukihi and Yozuru’s true nature. Honestly though, just about every character is exposed as a fake in some way. Even Koyomi embraces his “fake” side, determined to shield his family from the strange world he’s gotten himself tangled in. The real thought-provoking material is the Real versus Fake debate between the three adults. Could you say Karen’s brand of justice or Tsukihi’s fraternal bond are better or worse than the real thing? It’s an interesting question.
In casting final judgment on Nisemono it might be worth bringing up NisiOsiN’s notes from the original novel. In short, he claims it was a work of self-gratification he never intended to publish. If you felt Nisemono was perhaps a little too perverse in comparison to its predecessor, that particular grain of salt may explain why. It’s also kind of ironic that a story about fakes could be something so potentially revealing about the author himself. But no matter what weird stuff he might be into, the -monogatari series leaves no question NisOsiN is the real deal as a writer. His sharp dialogue and characters combined with Shaft’s stylish visual interpretation of his work has given us one of the most entertaining anime series in recent memory.
Now everyone yell at Shaft to hold off on that Madoka recap movie and get Kizumonogatari out already!
HHNNGGG!! of the Week
HHNNGGG!! of the Week
Impressed!! Nisemonogatari 9
And so the plot rises from the ashes.
With a only a few episodes to cover “Tsukihi Phoenix” I was kind of expecting Nisemonogatari to come out with some sense of urgency, especially after wasting so much of last week’s episode on oral hygiene. Well that didn’t happen, but I suppose the series never has been in a hurry to get anywhere.
Although the bulk of the episode was simply more hijinks with Karen and Hachikuji, we are introduced to a new potential antagonist in Kagenui. Karen assesses she must be strong but probably not evil, an interesting contrast to Kaiki, who was menacing but physically weak. Based on where she was headed I have to wonder if she has ties to Oshino, and I’m sure she’ll be tangled up in Tsukihi’s business soon enough.
The other thing that stood out to me is Araragi’s continuing fascination with Hanekawa. His enthusiasm for calling her seemed a little out of place to me. Personally, I’m kind of afraid of her. Every time she appears she says something that seems just a little… sinister. Overall I love the direction her character has gone, but being a big Senjougahara fan it’s not exactly endearing me to her. It’s kind of sad we probably won’t have time to explore their relationship any further, that is shaping up to be one of the more interesting plot lines the series has going.
One final note: I love Kanbaru. That is all, see you next week.
HHNNGG!! of the Week Video Edition
Super prolific voice actress and Queen of HHNNGGG Kana Hanazawa announced her solo singing debut at a
Powerpoint presentation party this past weekend. Her performance was a bit shaky, but I think pairing her with Round Table is a great match for her voice. There will be four singles released with each one apparently being inspired by a season, the first of which, “Hoshizora Destination”, hits stores April 25th. In the meantime you can currently catch Ms. Hanazawa in Black Rock Shooter, Bodacious Space Pirates, Nisemonogatari, Inu x Boku, Aquarion Evol… OK, just watch any anime this season and you’ll hear her somewhere.
Impressed!! Nisemonogatari 8
If only she had walked in sooner.
I try and keep things PG-13 with my posts, so to be honest I didn’t even feel like screencapping this week’s Nisemonogatari. The series has really behaved itself the last couple of episodes and I guess it had to let some of that pent up perversion out. Such is the double-edged sword of the -monogatari series I suppose. But what particularly irked me, aside from the obvious sister thing, is we just spent quite a bit of time on how much Araragi and Senjougahara love each other. Plus, for the most part we’re supposed to believe Araragi is a pretty good guy. So to me, pulling stunts like this just undermines our perception of their relationship. Again, that is the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS SERIES, so that does not sit well with me. A lot of the other issues I ranted about back in episode 4, so I won’t get into all that again. Even if it wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously, the majority of the episode simply wasn’t necessary.
Moving along, there were two non-oral-hygiene-related developments that did catch my attention. First, I’m curious why Karen wants to meet Kanbaru. There most likely isn’t a reason beyond what was already covered, but wouldn’t it be interesting if the Fire Sisters had been on to her attacks from earlier? Second, I found it both hilarious and intriguing that Koyomi and Karen are terrified of Tsukihi. This is her arc after all, so I guess they had to toss in at least some characterization for her.
On an unconditionally positive but ultimately irrelevant note, the streak of great OPs continues with Tsukihi’s opening song. I’m kind of sad this will most likely be the last one we get, unless they decide to animate the rest of the novels. We’ll save that debate for later. For now, I am going to go brush my teeth. BY MYSELF.
Impressed!! Nisemonogatari 7
Spinning Bird… Dialogue?!
In case you were not aware, in Japanese “nisemono” means impostor or some other counterfeit item, the connection which is made abundantly clear this episode as the “Karen Bee” arc reaches its climax. Karen is exposed as a “kid playing a game”. Kaiki is a con man and a liar. But perhaps the greatest deception of all was making us think this story was about Karen when it is, as always, about Araragi and Senjougahara.
The fantastic verbal showdown that makes up the bulk of the episode had some of the best dialogue the series has seen, including Senjougahara’s “I’m not a hero, I’m an enemy of evil” speech that further cemented her as one of my favorite characters ever. In a few minutes she more eloquently exposes the futility of the Fire Sisters good intentions than Araragi ever could while drawing him closer to her than ever. More than just a musing on the meaning of justice, the entire story arc is a part of Senjoughara’s ongoing healing process and a rather elaborate “I love you” between our two main characters. As she mentions, she would have fallen in love with anyone that helped her, basically she was looking for a hero. Fortunately, she found a real one, not a fledgling or fake but someone with the strength and natural inclination to help sort things out. That my friends makes for a great love story and more than makes up for any of the complaints I may have about this series.
I know it’s only February and there’s five episodes to go, but Nisemonogatari is already in the Anime of the Year discussion as far as I’m concerned. The art, music, story, just about every aspect has been top notch quality. We’ll see how things go with Tsukihi’s arc starting next week, but I have high hopes for what’s next.
HHNNGGG!! of the Week
I couldn’t decide which moment was more HHNNGGG worthy this week, what do you guys think?