On-going Thoughts Nisemonogatari 11/11

A fulfilling season finale.

On-going Thoughts: Episode

The episode starts by the telling of the tale of The Dying Bird, a supernatural type of cuckoo [not actually a Phoenix, just shares similarities in appearance]. The “Cuckoo” exhibits aggression when it comes to raising its young. For example, in the bird world. the Cuckoo would destroy the eggs of another species of bird, then lay its eggs in its stead; making the oblivious mother-bird raise the young. Comparing that to the current situation, the Phoenix, “destroyed” Araragi’s sister in the womb, and replaced it with Tsukihi, effectively making Araragi’s mother the “victim”, and not Tsukihi. The story was explained kind of ambiguously, may just be a sketchy translation, but it’s insinuated that the Cuckoo lays its eggs not to raise more young, but to reincarnate itself; making Tsukihi a bird. Regardless of what it does, the Cuckoo is considered to be harmless, it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s just immortal.
But if it’s immortal, then there really isn’t exactly a point in laying your eggs to reincarnate. You’re not producing more young, just yourself. Not sure if I messed up on the interpretation, or if there’s more too it.

Karen returns home, and questions Araragi on the state of the front door. He gives a nonchalant answer; it was probably a hit and run. He’s clearly bothered by something, his thoughts are probably preoccupied with thoughts on what to do with Tsukihi. There’s plenty of black crows in this scene.
Before returning inside the house, he casually asks Karen if she’d die for him; she casually responds with a “Sure”. Then he casually questions her if she would the same for Tsukihi; she casually replies that she would, with a smile on her face.

“She’s my little sister, of course I could.”

About the dialogue here, a bit sketchy on the interpretations of it. He questions her if she could die for her sister, she replies with a “I could.” However, he asks her if she would die for him, she replies with a sure. It’s probably insignificant, but Nisemonogatari does revolve around dialogue, and it doesn’t make sense to break up the parallel structure, unless it’s just a sketchy translation. Anyhow, that aside, it appears that they’re fairly close as siblings. During Mayoi’s arc in Bakemonogatari, it was mentioned that they get into fights incessantly, in Nisemonogatari, that’s accentuated. However, they’re still willing to kill for each other.
He leaves her by saying that he’d die for her too.

“Again and again, like some immortal Dracula. I’d die every day until I was dead.”

Call it overly-sentimental, but watch Nisemonogatari for the dialogue, not the toothbrush fetish. It contains a ton of substance; unfortunately, that’s overshadowed by the blatant awesomes and the blatant touchings. The subtle developments and allusions to both seasons make the show, along with the characters. I’ll probably do an entry on explaining most of it eventually, I just need the catalyst to spark it.

I’ll clarify this. Araragi is not a lecherous asshole who wants to screw his sisters. It’s nothing but bickering, he’ll joke about innuendo, and he’ll do some raunchy things, but he’s not exactly lusting after his sisters. That’s their relationship, they’re just ridiculously close siblings. Araragi will screw around with every other chick, but he views them as being friends just friends, nothing more. His actual romance is dedicated to Senjougahara, as sketchy as that sounds. He’ll fuck around, but at the end of the day, he’s willing to die for his friends and family, that’s just his character. And it’s a great character, how often do you exactly see the overused cliche of a love-triangle in Nisemonogatari? It doesn’t exist, it’s more lax when it comes to romance, it’s not driven by the paranoid mind of every other teenage girl. Rather than going, “Hey, he might be cheating on me.”, Senjougahara goes “He’s just helping out a friend.” [her jealousy rants are dealt on purpose , it’s the tsundere archetype she admits to imitate, it’s not a serious outlook, she does it because it’s ridiculously cute and adorable, which it is], and that’s usually true. The characters in Nisemonogatari have common-sense, that’s partially why I watch even the unconstructive fillers with a bright outlook, it’s enjoyable to watch because of the close-knit character relationships and the great dialogue. Anyhow, I’ll stop the rant for now, back to the episode.
Oh for fuck’s sake, he just clarified this with his next line.
[Now, if this was a generic shonen show, the brother would freak the fuck out that his sister’s a fuckin’ bird. Therefore, the brother would abandon the sister, and catalyze a chain of endless,redundant melodrama. Nisemonogatari on the other hand, handles the situation flawlessly.]

He begins his sentimental monologue. He begins by mentioning a point in time where he didn’t have any sisters. For the first three years of his life, he was an only child. Another year later, he had one sister, the year following that, another sister. But it’s funny to think of it that way, Tsukihi has been, and always will be his little sister. His little sister, as well as Karen’s little sister. He then basically gives the exact same sentimental speech I just gave, like what the fuck Araragi? Anyhow, I’m glad that he did, for the illiterate assholes that watch Nisemonogatari purely for the action and the fan-service at least. The gatari series excels at character development, it’s not just with Nisemono and Bakemono, but Katanagatari too; all three are great shows, and that’s a compliment on the verge of fanboyin’ given my elitist-asshole, illogical rating system.
He tells Karen to watch the house, and he leaves. The instrumental of staple,staple played during that one scene in Bakemonogatari, the instrumental of Futakotome is playing during this scene, therefore, it’s parallel structure essentially.

He converses with Shinobu on his ride, she questions him on his actions. Why is he doing this? He replies with “for my sisters”. She asks him what he gains from that, he replies with a nothing at all. She alludes to Tsukihi’s name, she likes the name. He questions her on why she does.

“I like the “tsuki,” from “moon,” part. The sun is my enemy, but the moon has been quite good to me. And so, perhaps I shall repay it.”

That’s basically her way of saying, I’ll help you confront this too, not because I give a damn about her name, but because I genuinely want to help you and your sister.
I guess I’ll begin my speech on their relationship now too. Koyomi isn’t lusting after Shinobu, they’re portrayed, and emphasized as essentially being together as one. The bath scene wasn’t a circlejerk of lust and foreplay, it was emphasizing how they’re basically the same, making a bath together seem insignificant in the grand scale of things. I’d need to watch or read Kizumonogatari to get anymore in-depth then that, but as of right now, that’s the grand scheme of things.

Shinobu gives Araragi power-placeholder

They get greeted by the pair; she quotes Oshino with a “Oh, you’re late. I’ve been waiting for you.”
He retorts by saying that Oshino was never so violent as to mimic the Kool-Aid guy when entering homes. She laughs at the accuracy of that statement. She then questions Koyomi on his intentions; she doesn’t mind breaking into an outright brawl; they prefer violence, and both sides include a human and a monster.

The matter is settled Shinobu challenges Yotsugi [blue-hair], with Koyomi taking on the human[as you can tell, I have difficulty remembering names]. Anyhow, Yotsugi accepts her challenge, even after Shinobu’s power-up from Araragi, she’s still weaker than her. Shinobu initially makes fun of her young age, she retorts by mocking her old age.

The characters on this show, have the best insults. The insults are intertwined with wit. They leave for their fight, the situation at hand shifts to Koyomi and Kagenui.

Araragi questions her on the relationship between her and Oshino. They’re essentially old friends, it’s insinuated that they haven’t exactly been in contact. Kaiki, Oshino, and her, were all university classmates. They had similar studies, and they played Shogi with an upperclassman. He learns that Kaiki was the one that informed the pair about his sister. This clearly means that there’s a subtle reason to the happenings, I don’t believe Kaiki to be a truly,heartless asshole. His methods aren’t exactly the most conventional, but they work wonders. He’s essentially the Lelouch in this case, taking on the blame, but while taking on the blame, he resolves conflicts like no other. Much like the last episode of the Karen-Bee arc, he did amazing shit during that episode. Read the entry if you want, I personally like his character.

He resumes his serious demeanor after spewing disdain for Kaiki on the roof; he’s here because of his sister. Kagenui tries to cripple his heroism by asserting that Tsukihi, isn’t actually his sister. Could he truly love a “fake” as much as he did before?

“I can. No, I’ll love her even more. Isn’t it hot, having a sister who isn’t your real sister?!”

Best fucking quotes ever, seriously. Anyhow, onto the ensuing battle.

Shinobu questions him on his doings. She seems to have effortlessly defeated Yotsugi. It appears that Yotsugi and Kagenui are sisters, she challenges Shinobu to fight, not in anger though. Shinobu begins laughing maniacally, she won’t fight. She laughs at her request for a “final round”, she simply states that, her master hasn’t lost yet.

He hasn’t conceded yet. Not to her fists, and not to her words, he hasn’t accepted either.

“Didn’t you listen to me. Whatever you value…What you consider right is up to you. But don’t force those ideals onto other people.”

The irony of that statement is astounding.

“It’s not other people. It’s my family. I’ll force my ideals upon my family. And since they’re family, I’ll lie to them. I’ll deceive them. I’ll cause trouble for them. I’ll make them worry. I’ll own them things… Things I’ll never be able to repay. However, I think that’s okay. Kagenui… Miss Good Guy… If you say that being a fake is evil, then I will shoulder the burden of that evil. If lying is evil, then I’m fine with being evil. I don’t need them to like me. I’m fine with being the worst kind of person.”

As long as he’s considered their older brother, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect them.

She shifts the subject to “Theory of Fundamental Good, and Evil” In the Theory of Fundamental Good, it’s said that humans are born fundamentally good. If the Theory of Fundamental Good is an ideal, then the Theory of Fundamental Evil is simple realism. Human nature is driven by desire, which inevitably rules them [much like humans desire justice, therefore their concept of justice drives them]. As the antithesis, The Theory of Fundamental Evil posits that humans are born inherently, evil. Thus, if an “evil” person does a “good” deed, it’s not their true self, but a lie, effectively making everybody “good” a “fake”. All good is thereby hypocrisy, and therefore, it constitutes a deliberate attempt to be good. She mentions this because Kaiki and her once had this conversation, given the “real” thing, and an “indistinguishable fake”, which is worth more? Her response was, the real thing. Oshino, on the other hand, asserted that they were worth the same. But Kaiki’s argument was that the fake was of far greater value, in it’s deliberate attempt to be “real”, it’s more real than the real thing.
Let’s do an analogy. Basically, if you’re born “inherently evil”, but you try consistently to act “deliberately good”, you’ll do far more good things than the person born “inherently good”, but who acts “deliberately evil”. It’s a grand scheme of irony in other words, if I’m born with the impulse to steal shit, I’ll assert to myself constantly, “Don’t do it”, which works. But if I’m born “inherently good”, I have a battle with myself telling to steal shit, going “steal that shit”. Therefore, the details of how you’re born are trivial, it’s how you decide to act that constitutes you as a person. The guy who was born “inherently bad”, will inevitably steal less things than the person who was born “inherently good”.

They concede defeat, and leave. They’ll consider his harmless sister an exception, just keep a close watch over her. She mentions how he didn’t exactly plan on fighting them; I’m essentially predicting the entire episode with accuracy. Koyomi mentions that he didn’t have a desire to kill because she treated him as a person. She said “human and a monster” on both sides, in technical terms, it’s a human and a monster against two monsters. The only other human to refer to Koyomi as human, was Oshino. Thus, she enters the room portraying Oshino, and leaves it like Oshino; she assumed the role she tried to avoid. However, she leaves by saying something that Oshino would never say, “Goodbye”.

He arrives home to his sister. He tells her the truth, he was fighting a human like a monster, and a monster like a human, for their sakes. She casually thanks him, and tells him to not overdo it. He tells her to let him, he does it because he wants to. She knows that he loves them, but he says that he actually hates them. He tells her that he’ll introduce her to his girlfriend, needless to say, I intend on using needless and anyhow in every entry, however, she’s also platinum-mad at this new development.

On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts

Nisemonogatari managed to be really good, it’s something you don’t enjoy as much without spending two hours writing a blog-entry on a twenty-four minute series. The lesson behind Nisemonogatari, the recurring motif, is that there is no inherent evil. Everyone’s driven in what they believe in. Koyomi is driven by his love for his family and friends, Kaiki claims to be driven by money, Karen’s driven by protecting the weak, while Kagenui claims to be driven by preventing “heart-break”. Each character is unique, and the development is done excellently through dialogue, that’s a rarity. There was no melodrama in this series, that’s ridiculously rare in anime where the gold standard is “If you can’t think of a dramatic situation, go for every cliche possible”. Overall, a good watch, there may be some additional extra episodes to the series on blu-ray, if there is, I’ll be doing entries for them. I don’t think I’ll be doing a Concluding Thoughts for Nisemonogatari, it would be an injustice to do it with a series so heavily intertwined with great dialogue. Consider every other entry as being fragments of it.

Thanks for readin’

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5 Responses to On-going Thoughts Nisemonogatari 11/11

  1. Heisuke Matsudo says:

    I recently read your blog and I find it highly amusing.
    To answer your question on why The Dying Bird has to reincarnate itself, this is my hypothesis: The Dying Bird has “eternal life” but it does not have “eternal youth”. Let me elaborate, “eternal life” is when someone is immortal BUT it suffers from aging (ie. a decrepit 1000 year old man), on the other hand “eternal youth”, as the name implies, is immortal AND DOES NOT suffer from aging (ie. Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood comes to mind). Tsukihi ages, from birth to toddler to childhood to adolescence to adulthood and lastly to sinescence, and eventually when her body needs to renew itself it implants itself to the womb of a woman. AGAIN THESE ARE MY HYPOTHESIS.

  2. FoundOnWeb says:

    Did you notice, in the final scene on the beach, it looks like Gahara-san has cut her hair, just like Karen, and Hanakawa.

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