Bakemonogatari Episode 10: Nadeko Snake, Part Two
That was probably the most sickeningly cute and adorable song I’ve heard all month if not all season. I can’t seem to get it out of my head either… On a side note, I didn’t realize that Hanazawa Kana is only 20 years old.
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
When Koyomi goes to see Oshino about Nadeko’s problem, Oshino identifies this as a case of a jagirinawa, a snake spirit sent by a person’s malice. In Nadeko’s case, it was a female classmate who cursed her after Nadeko rejected a boy that the classmate liked. After finding out about it, Nadeko had read up on snake curses to figure out how to get rid of it, and that’s what led her to kill snakes. The problem is that Nadeko did it wrong, and she had some bad luck as well. When Shinobu, the legendary vampire, came to this town, a lot of bad things began to gather at that old shrine, and the jagirinawa acted in this case because Nadeko was killing snakes there. To get rid of the jagirinawa, Oshino gives Koyomi a charm for Nadeko to pray with at the shrine. Along the way there, Koyomi asks Nadeko about why she turned down the boy who confessed to her, so she reveals that there’s someone else she likes. She then asks him how much of the past he remembers and finds out that he doesn’t remember much.
At the shrine, Nadeko starts praying, and as she does so, she remembers back to how kind Koyomi was to her when she was young. Oshino’s charm meanwhile starts working, and the snake scale markings start to disappear. During this time, Koyomi tells Suruga of how he and Oshino talked about how he could try to forcibly remove the jagirinawa, but it would then attack him. And even if he got away from that, the jagirinawa would then return to the classmate that cast the curse. The problem that Koyomi comes to realize, however, is that, although the charm appeared to work, Nadeko is still in a lot of pain, and not all of the markings are gone. He quickly figures out that they were wrong: there wasn’t just one jagirinawa, there were two. This means that someone else had cursed Nadeko aside from the original classmate, and Koyomi thinks that it was the boy. This leaves him no choice but to forcibly remove the jagirinawa, and although he’s successful, he gets his arm and leg bit in the process.
The fight leaves Koyomi reeling, and right as things are looking really bad, Suruga pushes Koyomi down. She warns him not to get excited because of the poison in him, and she knows that snakes are cowardly by nature, so if Koyomi can stay quiet, the jagirinawa will just leave. Koyomi tries to object because that means that the jagirinawa will return to the person who cast the curse, but Suruga reminds him not to lose sight of who he’s trying to save. Moments later, just as Suruga suspected, the jagirinawa slithers off, and Koyomi can only apologize to her. Nadeko is fortunately okay, but when she tries to thank Koyomi, he feels that she shouldn’t.
While I was okay with the story itself, particularly how it ended on a less than ideal note, I thought the execution here by SHAFT was pretty lacking. It wasn’t bad animation quality though, it was just a significant dearth of animation, period (note: it’s hard to show it via screencaps because I typically choose important shots). It actually didn’t bother me much for the first half of the episode, but it was laughably bad during the second half. They spent so much time focused on Koyomi’s eye, the shot of the sky, and those red/black/whatever placards, and they spent very little on what was actually happening. I had a hard time following that action scene between Koyomi and the jagirinawa because practically nothing was being shown.
I was also a little disappointed that the episode just ended normally without the usual epilogue with the ED playing over it—the previous three arcs have all ended with Koyomi waking up to his sisters and then some sort of aftermath chat. This might be my expectations talking, but the ending here was rather sudden, and it made this arc feel less special than the previous ones. Patrik informs me that the novel had more, so maybe for the DVD version they’ll properly animate the episode and give it a proper epilogue. Regardless, I guess now we’re headed into the final arc about Tsubasa, and apparently only two episodes of it will be broadcast normally, with the rest being streamed online at some future date.