Monogatari Second Season Episode 26: Hitagi End, Part Six
It’s been a damn good ride everyone. As another well known anime character has loosely said, to live is to lose. And even with this chapter of Monogatari coming to a close, there’s still a lot more to look forward to over the horizon. But before we even get to that point, let’s talk about this week’s episode shall we?
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
After getting caught red-handed, I had no idea how Kaiki was going to escape his rather precarious situation. With a river of snakes both holding him down and swirling around him and a red-dress Nadeko just waiting to snap his frail body in half, his chances of survival felt a bit slim. Amazingly though Kaiki’s saving grace came in the form of what Nadeko was hiding inside of her closet.
But really, manga? Or rather, Nadeko’s super clean and well drawn manga? Are you trying to tell me that after such a dramatic scene and subsequent freakout when the topic was brought up was all because of a large stack of well drawn but cheesy manga!? Then again, I suppose I should have expected something as unexpected as this with this show’s track record of taking something ubiquitous and turning it into something special. And as cheesy and the whole thing was, I loved the message that Kaiki managed to attach to the moment. Besides being one of the most satisfying things I’ve heard in quite a while, it did a great job of illustrating just what kind of person he is. While I can’t really put it into words, just listening to him encourage Nadeko to follow her dreams and give up on the things that aren’t good from the bottom of his heart just resonated with mine so perfectly that I couldn’t help but love every moment of it. That and, you just know he’s a good guy inside when he creates something as stupid sounding as a “slug tofu”.
On the other hand, I was so pissed off with Ougi that when the last few seconds of the episode flashed by, I was ready to shove my fist into someone’s face. Carrying over that negative vibe from the end of Hachikuji’s arc, it became even clearer just how much of a bitch she is. They say hindsight is 20/20 but after realizing how much meddling she’s been doing and witnessing the outcome of that meddling, you really have to wonder what she gains from doing all of this! And as much as I’d love to see someone Vampire-Punch her in the face, I am curious to find out just what her plans are. That and, am I the only one who thinks she might be the reason Oshino is missing?!
Amazingly, after a bit of research, it sounds like he somehow makes it through this ordeal. Apparently, he shows up in another book which is supposed to be way in the future chronologically. Then again, because of how jumbled up the order of the anime is, please take what I just said with a grain of salt.
After that crazy cliffhanger last week, this week’s episode did delivered everything that a show like this deserves. Pulling out all the stops and even throwing Araragi back into the fray right at the very end, it once again became clear as day why this show is so popular. With a strong cast and wonderful story that only gets stronger with each episode, what more could you ask for?
But if I were to pick my favorite arc, it would definitely be Hachikuji’s arc. While I may be a bit biased since she’s one of my favorite characters, there was so much honesty and emotion being thrown about throughout that arc that it hurts a little to even remember—especially when you take into account just how important Hachikuji and Araragi are to each other. But when the last episode of the arc rolled around and the tears started flowing, you couldn’t help but sympathize for the two friends who could never be together with each other. But honestly, this image is so cute as it is heartbreaking that I don’t even know how to describe it in words.
All in all, I would have to say that this production from SHAFT was a complete success. With crisp animation and clean lines filling the screen combined with a compelling story and unique characters, Monogatari definitely nailed the formula while somehow making it even better. But what it also gained from being the sequel of a sequel with OVAs and movies filling in the gaps, was the emotional appeal that the previous seasons lacked. Something that helped certain arcs reach highs that I didn’t even think were possible! To end, I’ll leave it at this—Monogatari and all of its other derivatives are completely worth watching. While I’m willing to bet this whole Second Series could stand up on its own, there’s definitely something special gained from watching everything in order.