Monogatari Series: Second Season Episode 1: Tsubasa Tiger [First Impression]
“So white…white lies of ignorance.”
After meeting Mayoi on the way to school, Hanekawa comes across a tiger – a massive, white tiger who speaks to her before leaving. While discussing it with Senjougahara (in Araragi’s absence) the two see smoke rising from a building far away…a building which happens to be Hanekawa’s house.
Character development. Engaging dialogue. Thought-provoking themes. Deep symbolism. Add on a couple of lightning-fast walls of text, as well as a few insane camera angles – welcome back to Monogatari, guys. I’m Vantage, your host, and we’re kicking off with Nekomonogatari (Shiro), the second part of Hanekawa Tsubasa’s arc. But first, have this suggestive image of Mayoi bending over.
Oh god, don’t do that…I don’t think my heart will last much longer. What is this blatant fanservice? I don’t think I can blame Araragi for dragging her away (I wonder what they did :D) though it’s worrying that she’s talking about how she “managed to escape”.
It’s never really been said outright, but subtle implications are more than enough – Hanekawa doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents. Not only has her surname changed a few times (indicating that she’s an adopted child) she doesn’t even have a sense of identity, and her house itself is proof of that. Everyone doesn’t even share utensils in that house – I saw three separate rice cookers there. When they wash the dishes, they do so separately, each having a different bar of soap and a detergent bottle. Instead of family, it’s more like they’re strangers who just happen to live in the same place – with this sort of environment, I’m not surprised Hanekawa ended up with that cat taking over her body. Even Senjougahara said it herself – Hanekawa calling her parents “mother” and “father” is an act of kindness on her part. While I’m unsure of what role the tiger has to play in all of this, a giant white tiger that talks is almost certainly an oddity (or apparition, whichever you prefer) who almost certainly burnt down Hanekawa’s house. What does it mean by “white lies of ignorance”? Hanekawa’s ignorance? Her refusal to accept something?
As Araragi is away, the queen of tsundere Senjougahara takes his place instead! Senjougahara is absolutely right in talking about Araragi – he has this habit of helping girls before they ask for help. While it’s a fairly standard trait, it’s pretty fun watching him get beaten up as a result xD Then he heals due to vampirism and promptly gets beaten up again. He must be caught up in something bad if even his texts have typos in them…looks like they’re on their own. Anyway, is it just me, or has Senjougahara become more open recently? I’ve always remembered her as being more reserved somehow. Of course, she was very much upset over Hanekawa sleeping overnight in the cram school – at first I wondered why she was so worked up, but then I remembered she’s had some unpleasant rape experiences herself. It’s a side of Senjougahara we don’t often get to see – but then again, we usually see her through Araragi, and I’m sure she wants to look cool in front of him xD
The scene at Senjougahara’s house was basically an exercise in fanservice – and I appreciate it. I think Hanekawa looks cuter with bed hair, after all. And they definitely made a big deal out of Senjougahara undressing…that’ll boost sales for sure (SHAFT, you greedy bastards, you). Actually, I feel cheated! They spent ages talking about showering together, and they cut the episode before they got anywhere near the bath! We never got to see them shower for Araragi-kun…
I suppose this is a “first impression” post, so I should probably mention the technicalities. Both the OP and ED were cool – no ClariS this time round, but they did keep the hand-drawn visuals for the ED, which was nice. The walls of text from Bakemonogatari became lines of text that flashed across the screen rather fast. I believe that’s Hanekawa’s narration of her arc, which is nice to read but rather unfortunate for whoever’s typesetting this. It’s also painful for me, who has to take screencaps of frames that flash by in a few seconds. Anyway, this season will be two-cour, and will cover quite a few arcs involving all the girls thus far – it’ll definitely be a blast :D I was a bit disappointed at not being able to see Shinobu though. Dammit Araragi, where the hell are you?
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed