I’m fully aware that this is the kind of episode that would’ve gotten me quite excited about this show months ago, never mind the incest smut [LOLOLOL IT DOESN’T COUNT BECAUSE TSUKIHI IS NOT HIS REAL SISTER]. There’s violent tension, and Shinobu is here not just to be naked and bathing. Instead she’s dangled in servile fashion as a promise of loli vs. loli violence! I bet clothing will be the first casualty.
But no, I’m not thrilled at all. The show has broken my expectations of being something more like Bakemonogatari. This show is an overstretched short story of the Araragi siblings filled out with large expanses of kimoi otaku fanservice. It’s high-production trashiness without the transcendent joy that a show like Aquarion EVOL has in buckets. In a big budget trashy donut show vs. donut show battle, Aquarion owns Nisemonogatari handily: more nudity per episode, equally good if not better puns, overage lolis, cannons, manservice, sheer number of characters (creeps, lonely dudes, fujoshi, the works) and episodes; and yeah, GIANT ROBOTS.
BUT DON’T UNDERESTIMATE MY ABILITY TO GET MYSELF EXCITED ABOUT ANIME. I’ll get myself into this episode of Nisemonogatari even as I write this post.
Yes, I do like the things I like in this episode – the difference they all make is insignificant, is all.
That dude, that con-man in Karen Bee makes a great cameo. I shouldn’t use the word “great” because he’s just there as an exposition dumper, but I enjoyed his scene. I like how there’s some kind of continuity to all this Ghostbusting business, and the thread between Oshino, con-man, and NEW FINAL BOSS is established to a degree. Fuck I can’t be bothered to read back a few posts to remember his name. I may remember that awesome Hitagi moment and feel bitter about how shitty this show has become and ruin the good will I’m sharing.
The potential violence is exciting. Sure it’ll involve lolis in various states of costume damage, but there’s always something exciting about animated violence. There’s a complexity to the movements that takes skill to present well that I always appreciate. I expect glorious sakuga action next episode and this is a good thing.
Yes, I was able to squeeze this much out of the loli that speaks in a robotic manner using a hissatsu level attack to rip Tsukihi in half from the waist up, only to demonstrate her Fire Bird immortality by showing her put back together again – minus the top of her costume. BRILLIANT.
Since I compared this show to Aquarion EVOL, I’ll need to dig, dig deeper. It’s because HOLES ARE DEEP. Let’s make an oil well out of this pimple shall we?
Nisemonogatari stays consistent with the theme of authenticity (and inauthenticity). Here we are immediately presented with Tsukihi’s idea (or lack of ideal) of justice. Her participation in the activities of the Fire Sisters is not as purely driven as Karen’s. Then we are shown really authentic behavior: Koyomi grabbed Tsukihi’s exposed breast because they were there to grab and he wanted to know how it felt like. Then we are reminded of the con-man – the very representation of inauthenticity. Then we get to listen to Shinobu’s bluff, which calls into question – is she really still a vampire? Is Koyomi? Are the formerly afflicted still supernatural creatures? And finally, Tsukihi is revealed to be a fake sister altogether.
All this provokes the question of what is it about this show that fans (not just any casual viewer) really like?
Can liking this show be so compartmentalized that I can excise the Hitagi x Koyomi x Tsubasa piece as if to deny the rest? This is, I think at the very heart of the Otaku as Database Animals conversation too. However, to keep it real, I’m not to thrilled to get into at this point.