Well..that (almost) escalated quickly. Last week I was bemoaning about how the characters do nothing but talk about nothing, lo and behold, ask and you shall receive. There was only one problem though, aren’t the turn of events developing a little too quickly?
Just averting your eyes isn’t running away
Before I get to the main point, Hanekawa found out that she
has been sleep-walking has “been up to no good” during the night again. Looks like her partner in crime has been negligent in getting rid of the evidence. The only question in my head though is – I thought Hanekawa had no recollection of her alter ego because her memory was sealed or something (by Oshino)? That was the part that confused me a little, unless I missed another memo somehow.
Suddenly a wild Araragi mom appears. And she actually has a proper face! Interesting. The more peculiar thing is that she immediately sniffed Hanekawa out – in the sense that Hanekawa sort of treated the Araragi household as her own (due to her family problems), which in turn meant that Hanekawa has been “escaping”, except that she isn’t. Rather than running away, Hanekawa has accepted her situation (being the person that she is), hence Araragi mom said that she was merely averting her gaze. Why is this so important? Simply because in order for a person to properly receive help, they have to acknowledge the fact that they need help. Rather than sorting her family issues out, Hanekawa accepted that her house burnt down and her temporary life in the Araragi household. They (Hanekawa’s actions) may seem similar in nature, but there is actually a subtle difference in terms of her actual mentality and perspective.
When this particular shot showed up, it summed up my thoughts at that point in time. Who is this guy, and why did he try to kill Hanekawa? While I understood that there was a massive leap in chapters as explained by Hanekawa at the start of the episode (which might be related), I still don’t remember this Mr.Episode dude appearing in prior Monogatari shows, unless he’s some minor characters which I quickly forget. If one new
guy vampire + vampire hunter isn’t enough, add in Gaen Izuko, yet another mysterious individual who claims to know everything (in contrary to Hanekawa, who always says she knows nothing).
This Gaen fellow may well know everything (though she’s definitely fishy), she knows about Hanekawa’s tiger problem; Hanekawa’s affection for Araragi; how the cram school ground burned down and even the notion that Hanekawa doesn’t even know that she herself doesn’t know anything (that’s quite a mouthful). She also made a punny joke about how she kept saying 無知 (mucchi, meaning ignorance) which also sounded like she was talking about a voluptuous (mucchi mucchi, same pronunciation) body, both clearly in reference to Hanekawa. On that note I guess I learned something new today!
It’s not an everyday occurrence that one would see Hanekawa look so subdued, because she is usually the one in the driving seat; the one who advises others; the person people around her look up to. As the saying goes, one mountain is always higher than another. In any case, at the moment both of their purpose is unknown (at least to me), so I think they will probably reenter the picture later. For now they’re just saying hi – in roundabout manner, if you know what I mean.
Despite Gaen lecturing Hanekawa for the most part, she did leave behind a “hint” – that the tiger is called Kako. But what is the actual definition of Kako? Hanekawa thinks it might be an abbreviation of the saying: “Bad politics are more horrible than a tiger (kasei ha tora yori mo takeshi – hence the kako“, however Senjougahara thinks it might be related to the past (過去, kako). By the way she also makes another Gahara-joke on the word trauma, which sounded like a tiger-horse (tora-uma). More importantly, there was a crucial connection that Hanekawa overlooked – the places that she slept in had been burned down in that order (first her home and later the cram school grounds). Going by that theory, Senjougahara’s place would be next, followed by Araragi’s house.
Vengeful flame of a thousand suns
Back at the Araragi household, there was some talk about the words “fire (火, hi)” and “flame (炎, hono)”, and what it meant to the fire sisters. Nothing of real importance worth mentioning, until the topic changes to love and subsequently boyfriends (oh girls’ talk), where Hanekawa is surprised as the both of them actually have partners. Upon asking how they are like, they replied in unison: “like big brother!”. Yup..these siblings..I don’t really have to say any more do I?
Hanekawa’s train of thought then shifted towards the word jealousy/envy (because Araragi refused to meet the boyfriends, probably due to jealousy), which then connected back to the whole “fiery” topic earlier. In turn she related that feeling to herself, because Araragi was avoiding the issue, much like Hanekawa is.
What you say I no get you
Long story short, this episode was helluva confusing. I had to re-watch many parts of this episode multiple times to ensure that I understood everything that was being said correctly, which is not an easy feat considering that Monogatari tends to be quite convoluted with its philosophies and whatnot – something I’ve come to love and hate. Therefore absorbing and understanding it is one thing, trying to translate and convey it is another. So if anything sounds off or senseless, it is probably just me going off on my own.
On one hand I like to figure these underlying theories out, on the other there’s also a reason why I also watch “brain-dead” shows – so that I don’t need to think too much. Personally I found it strange that they chose to cram a lot of exposition into this particular episode, while nothing of real substance was featured in the previous. In what seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Hanekawa decides to write a message to her other self, the contents currently unknown, although we could surmise that it was related to the tiger oddity. Now that the gears have started shifting into full motion, I’m pretty sure we’ll finally get some long-awaited action soon.
PS: Senjougahara is seen folding a thousand paper cranes, signifying that she is praying for Araragi’s safety. There’s also a reference to Hitagi crab, Mayoi snail and Sugura monkey, the first three arcs in Bakemonogatari.
PSS: When Hanekawa puts on Araragi’s clothes, she couldn’t button the outer shirt, for obvious reasons.