Bakemonogatari Episode 5: Mayoi Snail, Part Three
While Hitagi is gone, Mayoi and Koyomi talk about how he used to be a good boy who ended up struggling in high school and felt like he’d never grow up. They then get into another fight after Mayoi learns that Koyomi groped her during their earlier scuffle. Once they’ve calmed back down, he tells her about his argument with his sister, so she tells him about how her parents fought and separated. When Hitagi finally returns, she is able to smell that Tsubasa had been there, but more to the point, she feels that she should apologize to Koyomi. Oshino had told her that the way to be released from the snail is to leave it, but Hitagi applies this to Koyomi and shocks him by revealing that she can’t see Mayoi. Given this, Mayoi explains that about ten years ago, she tried to visit her mother on Mother’s Day, but she never reached her mother due to an accident.
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
Hitagi had only pretended to see Mayoi so that she wouldn’t seem strange, and by this point, Koyomi finally understands that he’s the one who met a snail. Oshino had explained to Hitagi earlier that the condition to meet a lost cow was not wanting to return home, and Koyomi realizes that Tsubasa fit that description too, just like him. Even after Hitagi makes it clear that Mayoi is already dead though, Koyomi still wants to help her reach her mother’s place because he knows how it feels to be alone. All this causes Hitagi to realize that Koyomi is the type of person who helps and saves others, and before leading Koyomi and Mayoi to Mayoi’s mother’s house, she confesses that she loves Koyomi. As it turns out, Mayoi’s mother’s house is no longer there, however Mayoi starts crying and disappears in a bright flash of light after declaring that she’s home.
In the aftermath, Hitagi wants an answer from Koyomi for her confession and admits that she was using the idea of paying him back as an excuse. She doesn’t actually feel very indebted to him because she’s realized that he’d help anyone, but even if he hadn’t helped her and had helped someone else, she’d still think he was special. She also admits that she had fun talking with him and wants to do it more often. Koyomi has a condition to add to their relationship though, and that’s that Hitagi doesn’t pretend to see something she can’t or vice versa. She agrees, but she also wants him to put their relationship into words, so he uses a phrase she thought up earlier in the day, tore (a higher form of moe), in regard to her. Koyomi then returns home to his sisters and promises not to leave during Mother’s Day the next year. The following day, on his way to school, he runs into Mayoi. She reveals that she’s gone from being an earth-bound spirit to being a wandering spirit, and she’ll be wandering around here for a while.
Now that was a good episode. I had mentioned last week that it wasn’t clear to me what was important and what wasn’t, but it all finally makes sense now. In fact, everything came together incredibly well, from the main plot with Mayoi being lost to why Hitagi didn’t want to be alone with Mayoi to even little things like the tore line at the end (which, in case you don’t remember, is a reference to something Hitagi came up with near the beginning of episode three). The twist with Mayoi being dead was one I obviously didn’t see coming, but it was a good one, and as it was pointed out to me, it’s reminiscent of the one in the Sixth Sense. It’s a shame she reappeared though at the very end because it was much more satisfying to think of her as having reached “home”, a place like the afterlife where she’d be happy.
As if all that wasn’t enough, this episode also had Hitagi finally confessing to Koyomi. Part of me is just glad they didn’t beat around the bush for the entire series and were actually honest with each other. The other part of me can’t wait to see what will happen between them because the two have some unique interactions and are very fun to watch.
Unfortunately, it looks like the schedule for the next episode and next arc is somewhat complicated. Currently, TOKYO MX gets the first airing of Bakemonogatari on Friday nights. However, it and most of the other stations next week are airing a Bakemonogatari special instead of episode six. MBS is not following suit and will be airing episode six in its normal Saturday slot on August 8th. But then MBS is taking two weeks off while the other stations catch up, and it looks like Teletama may become the first station to broadcast episode seven the Sunday after that (August 16th). It’s hard to explain it any clearer, so you’re best off looking at the schedule. Regardless of what happens though, I like the series too much now to let it affect my watching and blogging.