Nekomonogatari (Kuro) Episode 4 [Final]: Black Hanekawa
“I will die, killed by Hanekawa. I will die for Hanekawa’s sake. Damn. I couldn’t be happier.”
After much begging, Araragi manages to get Shinobu to lend him her Kaii Killer sword, which he decides to swallow and hide in his body. By pretending he was under attack, Araragi manages to get Hanekawa to come to the abandoned cram school, where he gives her no sympathy, instead offering himself up as a way to alleviate her stress.
Throughout the entire Monogatari series, I don’t think we’ve ever had any parental appearances at all – now and again Araragi mentions that his parents are asleep upstairs, or in the house, but we’ve never seen them on screen. The same goes for Hanekawa’s parents, and instead we get Oshino reporting back after a visit to them in the hospital. It’s strange getting their viewpoint on all of this, and it’s even stranger to be thinking that to an extent, I can sympathise with their situation – Hanekawa is ridiculously perfect after all, and we already know that her parents aren’t exactly good people. Even if they were, they couldn’t be as flawless as Hanekawa is, and their situation must have slowly gotten worse after living with such a benevolent girl for 20 years. In contrast to an angel like her, the flaws and issues her parents have were constantly exposed, and her foster father got pissed to the point of hitting her so hard she hit the wall. And yes, it’s almost sickening to see Hanekawa smile and calmly reprimand someone who just assaulted her. But here’s the thing – it might have been a nightmare for them, but I still can’t agree with violence being used for the father to take out his stress. Well, Black Hanekawa paid it back in kind anyway.
I thought it was strange that Shinobu was willing to lend Araragi her Kaii Killer, as they hadn’t reconciled yet at this point. The demon sword would have gotten rid of the oddity without harming Hanekawa at all – but instead, it wasn’t even a case of Hanekawa being possessed by the cat. Hanekawa took the cat into her willingly, and it was Hanekawa’s personality that came running when Araragi called for help, as well as Hanekawa’s personality that realized he wouldn’t have sympathy for her. Typical Araragi to offer to selflessly take in all of her stress and die for her, though it was also pretty clever of him to hide the sword inside his body much like Shinobu did. So when Hanekawa tore his body apart, she struck the sword inside too, and damaged the Curse Cat inside her. If Araragi had just attacked and killed the cat, it wouldn’t have changed Hanekawa’s stress, and so he decided to die for that instead, to repay everything she did to help him during the Kiss-shot incident. Man…it must have hurt like hell though, even more than normal. I know he’s pretty much used to taking large beatings and surviving through them (e.g. vs. Rainy Devil, or vs. Kagenui) but it doesn’t look fun even so. Except when Shinobu turned up, tore off her arm, and used her vampire blood to put Araragi’s body back together while teaching him the right way to handle things.
…That was SO cool xD
What was slightly surprising to hear was that the cat could have left Hanekawa right after she energy-drained her parents, as they were the main source of her stress, except she drew it back even deeper into her, where it stayed until it reappears during Tsubasa Cat in Bakemonogatari. It’s probably for the best that Hanekawa can’t remember any memories Black Hanekawa had, as I doubt it would have been that easy to reconcile with Araragi after that massive conflict they had.
“I climbed the stairs”, which ends the arc, is an easy reference to the start of Hitagi Crab, and Bakemonogatari, which means that really, Araragi doesn’t get much of a break in between dealing with all these oddities. However the next arc, Nekomonogatari (Shiro) is apparently in Hanekawa’s perspective instead, and apparently has something to do with a tiger. From what I know, this’ll be part of a 26-episode TV series airing later in 2013, the other arcs being Kabuki-, Hana-, Otori-, Oni- and Koimonogatari, making up the second season of the Monogatari series. I doubt it’ll air in Spring, so Summer or Fall are more likely seasons it’ll turn up in. In particular, I’m looking forward to Mayoi Jiangshi (Kabuki), Nadeko Medusa (Otori) as well as Hitagi End (Koi), which seem to be the more exciting of the arcs from what I’ve read about them.
Anyway, Nekomonogatari (Kuro) was definitely a fun watch, and did explain more about Hanekawa’s cat and it’s first run-in with Araragi. I felt it didn’t quite live up to the brilliance that was Bakemonogatari, even though I noticed a lot of its style incorporated into this arc, which I didn’t see as much with season two. For those that haven’t read the prequel light novel to all of this, you must be asking questions about Shinobu, Oshino and just why Araragi feels so indebted to Hanekawa, and so I’ll end with yet another question – Kizumonogatari where?