“I love you a whole lot.”
The Tsubasa Tiger arc concludes with this episode, and I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the Monogatari series. In retrospect, a key theme has revolved around Hanekawa discovering herself – and I think we’ve finally gotten somewhere. While Tsubasa Cat and Tsubasa Family have mainly focused on a short-term solution to the problem at hand (i.e. subduing Black Hanekawa or dealing with her current stress issues), Hanekawa herself has decided to change this time, symbolised by the black and white tiger-striped hair she now features. It must be such a hassle to dye that black every morning…
A key part of Hanekawa’s change has been the relationship she’s built with Black Hanekawa – that letter she wrote had her openly ask the cat for help, relying on it and trusting it to bring her other “imouto” home. And the cat has reciprocated these feelings. It’s now looking out for Hanekawa in so many ways, and is willing to get hurt and suffer for her sake, despite being an oddity that will vanish after a prolonged period of time, if left alone. I think I quite like this cat, actually. Black Hanekawa’s lost so many features that defines apparitions, and in that sense, she’s merging with Hanekawa as a single entity – someone who accepts her and calls her family. Their relationship is actually pretty good! Perhaps not on the level of Araragi and Shinobu, though.
I love how the tiger refused to be moe 😀 True to its symbol of Hanekawa’s negative emotions, Kako really did resist to the very end – it really must have been a strong incarnation of envy to have been that powerful. Black Hanekawa couldn’t even last against it for more than 10 seconds – her degree of envy far exceeds her stress levels. Though you could argue that envy naturally results in stress as a side effect. There was an interesting connection made with the things Kako wanted to burn down – the source of that wasn’t the “places she spent the night at”, but rather connections she “feels jealous” towards. Places like the Senjougahara household. Kako’s description of Hanekawa was also quite scary…imagine if she’d just kept going like this. With each new negative emotion, she keeps creating more and more creatures until she has an army of negative monsters causing havoc everywhere. Being an angrier, selfish person – traits that all make us human – is an alternative anyone would prefer.
Araragi sure knows how to make a cool entrance. It’s the first time we’ve seen him in ages, and he’s not looking too good himself. But hey, the long sword he’s holding must mean something 😀 It was also the most gentle rejection I’ve seen in some time – unlike other protagonists, he decided not to mince his words at all. Though he probably left out the bit about Senjougahara killing him painfully should he decide to cheat on her.
We’ve got Mayoi Jiangshi next! Anyone up for a bit of time-travelling?