Nisemonogatari – 01 Review
Nisemonogatari – 01 Review
I was contemplating waiting for a full release of this so I could park my bum on the chair and watch it all at once, however, I thought it’d be better to have to wait each week (tension for the win) so I am starting my review 4 weeks behind! Let’s go….
The episode opens up with Araragi chained up in a chair at the old cram school, as it turns out Hitagi has put him there to ‘protect him’. She is being her usual cruel, yet amazing self, and Araragi is seriously stumped and doesn’t really understand why he is there. He submits to her many requests revolving around water and food and she continues to make fun of him. Araragi then has a flash back of the day or day before he got kidnapped; Saturday, July 29th.
We then cut to Araragi in his household where he is waiting for Hanekawa so they can study. Something on Hanekawa’s end pops up and she cannot come over for exactly two days so Araragi is then bored. He remembers Sengoku’s offer of coming round her house and decides that is what he shall do, this is after he chats with his smaller sister Tsukihi. It turns out Araragi’s bigger sister, Karen, is out helping people solve their problems and Tsukihi get’s quite angry as she tries to put that point across and encourages Araragi to not interfere with anything Karen is doing.
After Araragi calls Sengoku to inform her that he is coming over he tells Tsukihi that she should come too, where she then informs Araragi that should go alone as Sengoku is probably expecting that as well due to her unrequited love (which Araragi blatantly misses, clearly).
Araragi then ventures outside on the way to Sengoku’s house where he spots Hachikuji and after much mental preparation while thinking about how much he ‘hates’ her, he then decides to chase her down and toss her in the air numerous times while kissing, licking and feeling her. Hachikuji’s fingernails grow like a cats and she climbs the top of a nearby telephone pole, she then recognises Araragi and comes down.
The two walk around for a little discussing Araragi’s problem; Araragi cannot find the courage to tell his family that he is an ex-vampire and that if he got into a serious fight with his sisters (which he tries to avoid) he could end up killing them. Hachikuji informs him that he shouldn’t tell his family his problems unless he needs to in order to save them, otherwise it involves his family in everything he is caught up with and only complicates and endangers their lives also, should any danger present itself.
Hachikuji also adds that her suggestion sounds very wise because of her addition of “courage”, stating that “You can make almost anything sound positive by adding the word “courage”.”. The two disagree as Araragi doesn’t think that Japanese can be that simple. They make a bet, if Hachikuji can convince Araragi that adding “courage” to a suggestion does make it sound positive he shall do a handstand as a better form of bowing on the floor. Conversely, if Hachikuji cannot convince Araragi then she must do a handstand in her skirt, exposing her kiddy panties to the world!
Araragi is convinced and does the handstand, he then comments on Hachikuji’s panties as he is lower than her skirt line (by performing the handstand…), Hachikuji is shocked at his conclusion and judgement on what she is wearing and tells him to take a closer look as it would otherwise ruin her image. Immediately after a random pie hits Araragi in the face, probably to symbolise his surprise or shock, or whatever.
They then finish their talk with Hachikuji explaining that Araragi should only expose his secret if his families lives are in danger (as explained earlier). Araragi doesn’t want Hachikuji to disappear (rather contradictory since he ‘hated’ her earlier, :P) and says that he would save her if she was to get into trouble again. Hachikuji explains that Araragi spends too much time foisting his problems onto herself and Shinobu as well as worrying about others, but this is said and meant in a good way. The episode then closes here, the credits were also playing during the final sequence (this paragraph) so there is no ED this time!
One of the many reasons I loved Bakemonogatari was because of it’s style and charisma (and the hair on Araragi’s head which is a symbol of his emotional state, reaction, mood etc…).
It is a gripping anime full of verbose (in a good way) and gripping conversations with characters whose individual style is in and of itself, a prodigy. You cannot stop paying attention for a moment because if you are foolish enough to do so you will miss a tiny detail, misread a word in the subs or worse still; not be looking at the amazing animation.
As expected Nisemonogatari is everything Bakemonogatari is and possibly more as it expands onto Araragi’s sisters lives, whereas Bakemonogatari was mainly focused around himself. There are also a few interesting points regarding this. The episode is titled: “Karen Bee, Part 1”, so we know that this is the first part of the bee apparition, or something similar. However, Araragi’s sister is named Karen and she was away helping people solve their problems which leads me to believe she is herself already in trouble or this is the effect of the apparition. Maybe it ‘helps’ people by hurting them, I don’t really know since I haven’t watched episode 2 yet.
Furthermore, Hitagi is protecting Araragi from something. The summary for Nisemonogatari reads:
The black swindler Kaiki Deishu, who once deceived Hitagi, returns to town and spreads the incantation which cursed Nadeko before.
Koyomi’s sisters Karen and Tsukihi try to capture Deishu but…
So, Hitagi must be protecting Araragi from this “black swindler”, since she would know of his return as he was involved with her before and let’s face it, this is Hitagi we are talking about. However, the incantation that cursed Nadeko was a snake. Hmm…. Without knowing anything else other than the vague catch-up-introductory style information in this episode I would say that the current situation is along the lines of this:
Araragi’s sister is involved with an apparition, the black swindler has returned and Araragi’s sisters try and catch him. This is how Karen gets involved with the apparition. Furthermore, Hitagi is trying to protect Araragi by hiding him from Deishu but Araragi needs to try and save his sister, Karen. He just doesn’t know it yet. Better yet, since this is more focused on Araragi’s sisters maybe Tsukihi tries to rescue Karen!
All that aside this episode was truly lovely. We immediately get a glimpse of Hitagi’s cruel and loving nature as she torments Araragi just as she did when he visited her house for the first time. The style is a continuation of Bakemonogatari’s, which makes sense. It is just as beautiful and unique as ever, each cut-scene is always relevant to the plot. I really do love the jump cuts and faces the characters make, especially in their monologues.
We also see some similar techniques in Nisemonogatari as it’s predecessor and what I mean by this is: meta-fiction is here! I love this! For those of you who don’t know what meta-fiction is I shall explain. Meta-fiction is where the author of a frictional novel or other work alludes to his fictional work inside of the work itself. For explain, during Bakemonogatari Hitagi says: “What is this, an anime?!”, that is meta-fiction. The below shows where it is this episode meta-fiction-epicness occures, and I hope there is more but only in small amounts.
The soundtrack for this episode was also lovely and calm, I haven’t spotted anything similar to Renai Ciruclation, my most favourite track EVER, but it is looking like a lovely OST. The OP wasn’t as good as Staple-Staple, however.
For all this and more I think this episode really does deserve this rating.
Episode rating: 10/10
Posted on February 5, 2012, in 2012 Anime Reviews, Nisemonogatari and tagged 01 review, Araragi, episode 1, Hachikuji, Hanekawa, hitagi, karen bee, Mayoi, nisemonogatari, renai circulation, review, Shinobu. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.