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Bakemonogatari Episode 11: Tsubasa Cat, Part One

つばさキャット 其ノ壹, Japan, 18 September 2009, Raymond Santos Estrella

Back at the end of April, at the beginning of Golden Week, Tsubasa had explained to Koyomi how her current family has no blood relation to her thanks to a series of marriages and remarriages. Her current parents saw her as a nuisance and sometimes hit her, so Tsubasa decided to be a good girl and stayed away from home when she could, but she made Koyomi promise not to tell anyone about it. On that day, the two had then found a dead white cat on the road, and Tsubasa had wanted Koyomi’s help in burying it. In the present now, Koyomi leaves school to find Nadeko waiting outside for him. She wants to thank him again, and since Suruga was in a rush earlier, she gives him the swimsuit and bloomers that she washed to give back to Suruga. The two also talk about how the supernatural aren’t at fault for what happens and how Nadeko shouldn’t bother with them and should just return to a normal life. Their conversation is then interrupted by the appearance of Tsubasa, and Nadeko gets embarrassed and runs away.

Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.

Story

With Tsubasa, Koyomi talks about how the snake problem was settled, and she tells him the rumor about him being a bad influence on Hitagi. The conversation is cut short when Tsubasa suddenly experiences pain in the form of a severe headache, and even though Tsubasa claims that she’s okay, Koyomi is worried because he still remembers what happened during Golden Week. Back then, Tsubasa experienced the same pain, and it resulted in her hair turning white and her growing cat ears. When Koyomi had gone to see Oshino about it, Oshino had attributed it to a sawarineko and multiple personality disorder, and he suggested that the other side of Tsubasa appeared because of stress. What this led to was the alternate Tsubasa randomly attacking people and draining them of energy to reduce her own stress, and her victims included her parents. When her target had been Koyomi, however, he had the help of Shinobu, and she had bitten Tsubasa and drained her. As a result of this, Tsubasa had returned to normal. Back in the present, Tsubasa reassures Koyomi that she’s okay, and she changes the subject away from what’s bothering her.

Conclusion

This episode really didn’t feel like the typical first episode of a Bakemonogatari arc. There’s still plenty of exposition and dialogue, but because of the flashback sequence, it was like there was a mini-arc where a problem already got explained and solved. Obviously that wasn’t the real end of the problem though since Tsubasa is still having headaches and since this is only the first episode of a five-episode arc. Regardless, I’m enjoying the arc so far, and having so much Tsubasa screentime is great since I like hearing Horie Yui in this role so much. Of course, that being said, I think Nadeko wins in terms of being the most cute character. It’s just ridiculous how cute she is this episode.

On a different note, I’m glad that the animation quality went back to normal this episode, and I was actually able to tell what was going on in the action scenes. It was pretty cool too to see Shinobu attacking Tsubasa, especially given how she’s usually so idle. In fact, it made me curious how they got Shinobu involved in the first place or if she just showed up on her own to protect Koyomi. I also liked the whole kaleidoscope effect scene—it was kind of mesmerizing. Hopefully the quality won’t drop when they get to the online-only episodes after the final TV broadcast episode next week.

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Comments (43)

  • seacat

    seacat

    20 September 2009 at 01:06 |

    Looks quite interesting!

    reply

  • seacat

    seacat

    20 September 2009 at 01:07 |

    Looks like an interesting episode!

    reply

  • Math

    Math

    20 September 2009 at 01:11 |

    Shinobu is voiced by Aya Hirano isnt it?

    reply

  • Stigmata25

    Stigmata25

    20 September 2009 at 01:28 |

    Yeah! Nadeko is quickly becoming a favorite! She’s soooo cuuuutee!

    reply

  • Feenix

    Feenix

    20 September 2009 at 01:33 |

    They skimped on last episode cuz they want people to buy DVD for the loli sukumizu snake torture scene :O

    reply

  • astridstarr00

    astridstarr00

    20 September 2009 at 01:45 |

    Looks good, but I miss Senjougahara…

    reply

  • Panther

    Panther

    20 September 2009 at 02:05 |

    Catgirls FTW. Nadeko FTL. Hitagi FTextremeW.

    reply

  • Fat Cat Lim

    Fat Cat Lim

    20 September 2009 at 02:11 |

    I miss Senjougahara too…will she play a role in Tsubasa’s arc?

    reply

  • End0rphine

    End0rphine

    20 September 2009 at 02:14 |
  • the story you don’t know

    the story you don’t know

    20 September 2009 at 02:14 |

    oh come on… when will senjougahara have another screen time??

    reply

  • Twilante

    Twilante

    20 September 2009 at 03:07 |

    Raymond… that was so… instructive.

    reply

  • liborek3

    liborek3

    20 September 2009 at 03:46 |

    looks great

    reply

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    20 September 2009 at 03:51 |

    two things:
    - Where the FFFF is senjougahara?
    - and damn, Nadeko is…is…

    reply

  • Anomnom

    Anomnom

    20 September 2009 at 04:03 |

    Hey Raymond, just curious but how well is this show doing over in japan? Do you think its popular enough to get a second season?

    reply

  • Actarus

    Actarus

    20 September 2009 at 04:14 |

    Tsubasa sawarineko looks a lot more appealing than the normal one…without eyeglasses and and with those wild hair she could ever compete with Senjougahara…and obviously she was already fallen for Koyomi…like any other female ever spoke to him…the snake girl, the snail…

    reply

  • Actarus

    Actarus

    20 September 2009 at 04:19 |

    ah…no…there’s the lesbian…but still he helped only females…the good guy that helps everybody. :D

    reply

  • arigatou

    arigatou

    20 September 2009 at 05:17 |

    Well we can forget about Tsundere-chan for a while and focus more on the lolis start listening to Renai Circulation in endless loop.

    reply

  • Megas

    Megas

    20 September 2009 at 07:05 |

    Its so sad…how yall folks just love tsundere, whatever. There are more girls than just her in this anime you know. Nadeko is completely unbelievable as a character but if Koyomi had a third sister, it would be her. She would definitely lighten the load on him from those other two over-zealous brats which are getting hardly no screen time except for the previews. As for Kitty-chan: -FINALLY- :P

    reply

  • Math

    Math

    20 September 2009 at 07:11 |

    @Anomnom : I think it is, this show got the first place in all votation for ”Best anime of the Season” on 2ch

    reply

  • Gahara-ism

    Gahara-ism

    20 September 2009 at 08:54 |

    Don’t worry, guys.
    Senjogahara will have plenty of screen time in the next ep, a dating episode.

    reply

  • stk frdm

    stk frdm

    20 September 2009 at 09:29 |

    WOW! Bakemonogatari was rate 1st place at zomgaime!!! (20th september 2009) XD

    reply

  • matroid

    matroid

    20 September 2009 at 11:31 |

    I don’t know if Bakemonogatari will win the Best Anime of 2009, but I’m sure that it will receive many votes. Except for Episode “5.5″, the story has been smooth and interesting. Its storytelling technique has been superb. (This episode, in contrast, has been a little rushed comparing to other previous stories.) Each “monster” is reflective of a social problem and a growing pain of adolescence. Characters are nicely drawn and even have emotional depth. (And the director is not shy of magnifying the flaws of the main characters.) It is a much welcomed addition to the “experimental” genre.

    reply

  • Remy

    Remy

    20 September 2009 at 12:35 |

    Am I…the only one who is wondering why the hell Koyomi lifted up her skirt and why she didn’t react with a mallet to the head?

    reply

  • treble89

    treble89

    20 September 2009 at 12:59 |

    No Remy,i’m been wondering the same thing too…and i’m so bored about the same dialogue between Tsubasa n Araragi,they just dun get enough of it. I almost laughed out at the part they revealed the power of black Tsubasa, when i saw the way Tsubasa drained her parents energy, it’s more like she shock them with electricity. But i like the graphic of this episode though, and i hope there’s one episode where all the character could gathered, must b interesting

    reply

  • TJ

    TJ

    20 September 2009 at 13:26 |

    It’s proven now that Araragi is lolicon. But then again Nadeko is quite tempting lol.

    reply

  • Kincaid

    Kincaid

    20 September 2009 at 14:24 |

    People I know watch this for three reasons:

    the fanservice segments
    the character design
    the animation

    I’d personally give this show a 7 or 8 so far, just waiting for the final episodes.

    reply

  • Canti

    Canti

    20 September 2009 at 16:16 |

    Needs moar senjougahara.

    reply

  • Moocow

    Moocow

    20 September 2009 at 18:13 |

    Jesus crap Nadeko’s so freaking adorable. I would love to see some doujins where people put her in a box and just keep petting her.

    She and Hitagi are probably the two of my favorite female in this anime.

    reply

  • Silver

    Silver

    20 September 2009 at 22:57 |

    @ Moocow

    Yes, she’s freakin adorable. But…. putting her in a box and just keep on petting her? That sounds…. weird.

    reply

  • the story you don’t know

    the story you don’t know

    21 September 2009 at 00:07 |

    @moocow

    what kind of “fetish” is that… just kidding.

    we need more H-I-T-A-G-I!

    reply

  • 7

    7

    21 September 2009 at 00:47 |

    need more nadeko.

    reply

  • 7

    7

    21 September 2009 at 00:47 |

    OH and I second that putting her in a box and petting her thing.

    reply

  • sean

    sean

    21 September 2009 at 01:40 |

    im pretty sure the cause of her stress this time is araragi and senjogahara dating and no senjogahara is pissing me off!!! also shes not an interesting character because shes tsundere (most tsundere characters are just really annoying) shes interesting, becuause instead of a little cute girl heroine shes a super awesome one almost like haruhi suzumiya but a lot less bratty and a lot more funny to watch.

    reply

  • X

    X

    21 September 2009 at 03:46 |

    @Actarus: Very true! Tsubasa for sure is in love with the guy, the fact that Koyomi went out with Hitagi is probably very stressful for her! LOL! Especially because Koyomi talks to her about everything, supernatural, school, other people’s fast, etc. even asking her for advice, so I bet she gets “stressed” hearing him talk about his girlfriend lol! I heard that Kizunomonogatari divulge further into both Koyomi’s as well as Tsubasa’s past, is that true? or is it only about Koyomi?

    reply

  • Mabo

    Mabo

    21 September 2009 at 06:39 |

    Well, i like the others characters a lot, but… Senjôgahara is my favorite. I mean, she’s the most interesting one. Her behaviour is so… WTF \o/, not a moemoe or an Araragi fanatic x_x

    Senjôgahara, please, come back and kick some asses xD

    reply

  • illusion

    illusion

    21 September 2009 at 14:25 |

    @moocow

    I’d put her in a box and “pet” her if you know what I mean.

    reply

  • ZeroFive1

    ZeroFive1

    21 September 2009 at 21:19 |

    Doesn’t Cat-Hanekawa look like Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade?

    reply

  • lvlln

    lvlln

    21 September 2009 at 22:10 |

    So far, they’ve started off arcs with Koyomi talking with the previous arc’s heroine, so the fact that Hanekawa was the first one caught me as a bit odd (if we go circularly and assume Hanekawa’s the last heroine, then it even connects to Hitagi Crab that way). And Koyomi almost molesting Nadeko was weird as well. I didn’t really have any idea what to make of that.

    I think that Nadeko was more than just embarrassed by Hanekawa, but actually fearful. I’m wondering if there’s something about Hanekawa that she can see but hasn’t been revealed yet. Clearly Hanekawa’s going to have to revert to her catgirl form at some point in the near future.

    reply

  • CHIBI

    CHIBI

    21 September 2009 at 22:23 |

    I would pet Nadeko all over. With my chinpo.

    reply

  • Solaris

    Solaris

    22 September 2009 at 05:27 |

    I wonder why are there so many fans of the overannoying senjogahara. Tsubasa is far better than her. Tsubasa would have been a better chose in the snail arc. That arc wouldn’t have felt so forced with tsubasa, who could actually see Mayoi with respect of making up Senjogahara playing dumb and pretending to see the invisible child just to save the subsequent episode’s plot twist. Did you notice they put the annoying stapler girl everywhere she was useless and didn’t put her where she was needed? How amusing :P In the snake episode only god knows why there’s Suruga instead of Senjougahara, wich was so fitted for fighting stuff AND the main char’s girlfriend! Sure she’s stronger than Koyomi himself as he only proved to be so strong enough to beatt a child ghost up now. When the fights got really serious the outcome was so different. This is another amusing peculiarity of this anime :D

    reply

  • TOP2NE1

    TOP2NE1

    24 September 2009 at 06:25 |

    Anyone else catch the SZS reference at around 7:59? Still… the Gaijin 4koma from 09… Shaft if pretty funny.

    reply

  • Ant

    Ant

    24 September 2009 at 21:01 |

    So why is the next episode the last of the TV broadcast episodes? Not that it’ll really affect any of us, just curious.

    reply

  • Jeremy

    Jeremy

    25 September 2009 at 11:20 |

    @TOP2NE1
    Yeah caught that one! Thought he was gonna shout :”Zetsuboushita!”.

    reply

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