Monday, December 09, 2013

10 Second Anime - Monogatari Series Second Season - Episode 23

Monogatari Series Second Season - Episode 23

"She's a total ditz."
"Yay, yay, peace, peace."
"It's me, Nadeko!"

Kaiki has a full day getting to know his mark, and he thinks it's time to report to Senjougahara. The important thing he has to tell her, is that it will be very easy to fool this Mad God, because, he says, "She's a total ditz." People may not have realized it, because they gave her a pass due to her cuteness, but she's an idiot. Actually, part of Nadeko's ditziness, according to Kaiki, lies with part of her madness. She has no ability to trust people, but she also has no ability to sense malice in people's intentions. She will literally believe anything any person tells her. Except for Senjougahara and Araragi, which is why they must die. Because Nadeko can't sense even gradations of malice, when she does realize something bad has happened to her, she also can't let it go. No malice or all malice. Finding out her crush has a girlfriend should not have been that big a deal, but it was an infinite deal to Nadeko, and now that she has the power to destroy a small town, well... Even Senjougahara picks up on the risk involved with Kaiki trying to deceive a Mad God with no sense of perspective or proportion. However, Kaiki has removed a huge burden from Senjougahara, who had not seen a way out of her coming death. She has a small cry in the bathroom, and thanks Kaiki for giving her hope.

However, other people are also aware of the risk involved in trying to fool a Mad God, even if this ditzy god is totally credulous. Gaen sends Ononoki to give Kaiki a message, "Back off." Ononoki has developed another strange habit, besides pointing at things with her palm up and making a spin to turn around, she is now flashing the peace sign. It seems like a throwaway gag, but in the Monogatari way of telling stories, this is a clue for whom she's been spending time with. I'm betting on Kanbaru the Monkey Paw girl, the relative of Gaen, and the sole reason Kaiki took this job to begin with. Ononoki has some other news too. But first, we spin.

Through Ononoki, Gaen tells Kaiki that she has been trying to quiet this town of a larger than usual number of aberrations. Her original plan was to make Shinobu the new god of the shrine, but something interfered and made Nadeko the god. We know it was Ougi, but as to her reasons, we don't know yet. Kaiki trying to fool the Mad God, even with the high probability of success, still has too much risk of destroying the town if he fails. Gaen will even pay him 3 million yen to walk away. He takes the money, of course.

Kaiki, also of course, has no intention of quitting the job, even though it would make him an enemy of Gaen Izuko. Oh well, she was more of an enemy these days anyway. This also lets us know that the love for someone in the past related to Kanbaru was not for Gaen herself, but probably her older sister. Well, we'll see. Kaiki's plan to gain Nadeko's trust is to make a hundred visits to the shrine. This bookends neatly with what Nadeko was trying to do in ridding herself of her original curse, in killing a hundred snakes, and angering the original snake god of the shrine. As if a 10,000 yen bill was a summoning talisman, as soon as it enters the collection box, out jumps Nadeko. His conversation with her about his wish, which we see his long con starting, proves to him that his impressions of her are true.

She's a total ditz, but also utterly insane.

Part of his con will involve figuring out what drove her to this madness, so he has to go back to her closet. His shock at what he finds is our nice, neat cliffhanger.

Two extra things that struck me in this episode are the new opening credits for this show and the hidden presence of Ougi. The opening made me laugh, because it was a love song duet between Senjougahara and Kaiki. An added touch was the switch in animation styles between the late 1980's and modern tastes. Perhaps referencing the times in which Kaiki felt that passionate love, and Senjougahara's more recent present.

Now Ougi is an enigma, but her hints are drawing me to connected speculation. She is related to that nameless darkness that "corrects" or eliminates aberrations not acting like they're supposed to, but I also think she is the first aberration hunter's sword. Specifically the one that resurrects oddities instead of killing them. We already see that she never shows her hands, and when Heart-under-Blade escaped the nameless darkness 400 years ago, she took the right hand of that hunter with her. Araragi killed the Polar Snake God at his shrine to save Nadeko from his possession, but through Ougi's machinations, the Polar Snake God has been resurrected. We shall see how close any of my speculation tracks the story as it is revealed.

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