“It was all burnt to the ground.”
Senjougahara coincidentally runs into Karen (outside Araragi’s house) and manages to
coerce persuade Karen into letting Hanekawa stay with them for the time being. That night, after Hanekawa falls asleep, the cat makes a return appearance, noting that Hanekawa’s stress has not yet disappeared. Engaging into conversation with a visiting Shinobu, the two eventually head off to Oshino’s cram school – only to find it in ruins.
The Monogatari series has always prided itself on its dialogue and character interaction, and this episode confirms that brilliantly. And once again, tsundere queen Senjougahara-sama takes the helm with her Gahara jokes. What a legend. (School? What’s that?) I love how she casually manipulated Karen into letting Hanekawa stay at Araragi’s house – poor Karen had her own sense of justice poked and probed. What’s up with those new hairstyles by the way? Karen’s short hair is cute, but it looks like Tsukihi’s got a bit of uh…novelty going on there xD Senjougahara also mentioned something about Hanekawa’s “whiteness” – her accepting, pure and innocent nature. By feeling no ill will, or never asking for help herself, she doesn’t think much of her own survival. There’s no sense of alarm there. It’s admirable to have such a selfless trait (sacrificing yourself to help others) but to be honest, I don’t think it’s very useful in the real world. As Senjougahara said, it means she’ll “fail in the wild”. Survival of the fittest and all that. It’s probably what the tiger meant by her “white lies of ignorance”, too. Perhaps this is what’s keeping the cat out every night, as the source of Hanekawa’s stress?
Oh, and we had more of the casual fanservice that we’ve all come to know and love xD Naked bathtub Karen, anyone? Surprisingly there was very little censoring. It’s great that SHAFT are so liberal about these tiny details 😀 More worrying is their tendency to include so many still frames – I know they love that sort of thing, but I felt it was a bit excessive this week. They’re pretty affluent these days, so surely they can spare more than 180 MB for each episode of a popular series?
Anyway, Shinobu! It’s such a pleasant surprise to have her randomly show up! I was under the impression she was off adventuring with Araragi, being part of his shadow and all. If their master-servant pairing is severed for now…something big has to be going on at his end. Chances are, he’s gotten himself into yet another fun mess and needs Kanbaru’s monkey paw to help sort it out – if Shinobu isn’t with him, he’s also probably in a lot of pain. We don’t know why he’s after Kanbaru specifically (or rather, her Rainy Devil) but we’ll find that out in another arc. Anyway, it was nice to see our loli vampire talk amicably with the cat – the last two times they met Shinobu was the one who knocked her back into Hanekawa after Araragi was pushed about a bit. I don’t think we’ve ever seen two oddities just calmly chatting like that before o.O Similarly, the cat’s willing to help Shinobu get to the cram school – I suppose Shinobu’s Terminator reference is kinda accurate (even though a noble vampire shouldn’t be saying something like that). While I hoped she might be able to lend a hand with Hanekawa’s tiger problem, it might be different story if no-one else can see it. Who knows? I doubt Shinobu’s too happy with it now that it’s burnt down the cram school.
Overall, it was a fairly quiet episode. There was less plot development than I’d expected, but seeing Shinobu again was enough compensation for that xD How long do each of these arcs last, anyway? If we assume the six arcs are evenly split into four episodes each…then Nekomonogatari (Shiro) should end next week.