You Made Me Hungry for Curry, but Served Me Sukiyaki Instead; It’s Kind of Awesome Really, But Still… RAEG! Katanagatari 04

katanagatari 04 ganryuu island blown up the curry that never was

I never saw that coming, and this I think is a good thing. Just when I thought that I got Katanagatari figured out, how linear the fetch quest seems – with the twist being the would-be final boss is actually the opponent in this episode. I thought Sabi Hakuhei would even win, and the finale would be a rematch with a chastised but improved Yasuri Shichika.

Shichirin was even being set up for a fall, with all his talk of pride as a sword and a swordsman, how he has this rather surprising ambition to be regarded as the best. The fight is set up to be a big deal, and hopefully well-animated. BOY WAS I WRONG OR WHAT? Sure it was a big deal. Sure it was an exciting, close fight that Shichika didn’t quite win but rather avoided losing. BUT IT STINKS THAT THEY  DIDN’T SHOW IT. We got the equivalent of a narrated recap episode with ZERO FOOTAGE OF THE BATTLE. Togame and Shichika were just eating like pigs while talking about how the fight went down.

katanagatari 04 nanami mantis claws

But that was just half of the surprise. The other half is the plot twist that revealed the super-b0rken h4xx0rz of the flagship loli (with all the charm of the sick moe persuasion) of the show: the elder sister Nanami. The 6th head of the Kyotoryuu did not train her not only because she was a woman, and had a weak body. She was a demon freak of fighting.

Similar to the first Maniwani Head that Shichika fought, who could mimic almost everything about a human being down to the clothes, Nanami can learn any martial arts technique if she observes it once. Worse, she can master the technique if she observes it twice. To add color to her character, she is given this angst of never knowing how it is to earn something in life (apparently, she’s also seems immune to dying lol).

Everything comes so easy. Nothing is ever in need of effort. Unsurprisingly, she is bored. Unsurprisingly, she is hinted at participating in the sword hunt. It won’t surprise me anymore if she ends up being the final boss – that Nanami will get most of the other swords, and for some reason refuse to give them to Shichika. Maybe the swords will poison her. After all, like in the case of Sabi Hakuhei as Togame tells it: the purer one is, the stronger the poison of the swords’ effect on the person.

katanagatari 04 nanami praying over the maniwani graves

Now sick moe onee-chan is pure, isn’t she? Or was; filled with nothing but concern for her brother until she showed a willingness to kill and even torture.

Compare this to the ‘purity’ in Shichika, who is naive in a way Nanami isn’t. Togame’s internal monologue at the beginning of the episode suggests an asexual distinction to the purity of Shichika. He has no problems killing a woman. In the battle with Meisai in the previous episode, Shichika wasn’t fighting a woman, as far as he’s concerned. He was fighting a worthy opponent. When he was victorious, he was joyful.

A sword’s purpose is to cut and to kill. There is joy when purpose and reality have unity. This is the truth of Shichika’s life. When my friend and co-blogger mechafetish were talking about him and episode 03, he called Shichika some kind of monster.

katanagatari 04 togame thinking of shichika's asexualitykatanagatari 04 shichika's asexuality was key to killing women duelists

Now think about their father, the 6th Head of Kyotoryuu. Part of his reason for not training Nanami is because she is a woman. Shichika does not have this consideration, or at least has never shown it. Furthermore, she has fought Nanami to a draw, there is already a context for fighting. There is also a context for conflict: Apart from the angst of never having to exert effort and therefore never ever earning anything in life, not being chosen by her father despite her being eldest and despite her talent (or because of her talent), Nanami may have this chip on her shoulder.

She makes sense as the final boss don’t you think? But Katanagatari may surprise me yet again. It’s become quite unpredictable to me. That said, I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN IT FOR NOT ANIMATING ANYTHING (not a damn thing at all!) FROM SHICHIKA’S BATTLE WITH SABI.

Further Reading

Previous posts on Katanagatari here on WRL [->]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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20 Responses to You Made Me Hungry for Curry, but Served Me Sukiyaki Instead; It’s Kind of Awesome Really, But Still… RAEG! Katanagatari 04

  1. Shinmaru says:

    Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, but I think the father said the sole reason he didn’t teach Nanami was because she was so damn powerful; her being a woman and having a weak body had nothing to do with it, even though people may have assumed those reasons to be the case.

    Anyway, yeah, this episode serves up a big ol’ bowl of “What the hell?!” even though the misdirection is not an unfamiliar technique. When the bug patrol went to attack Nanami, I thought something would pop up to make it more difficult, but Jesus. I’m trying to remember if there are any hints of Nanami’s power/crazy in the first episode, but my memory is unfortunately poor.

  2. Rakuen says:

    It was quite a masterful troll, and it got everyone, even some people who have read the novels. The fights in this series are quite short, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the fight was actually in the preview for episode 4.

  3. DonKangolJones says:

    I knew somebody wasn’t gonna like being trolled like that. And I’m sure you’re far from being th only one. I was actually expecting more “RAEG” in this post. It sounds like you’re like me, a bit bitter that you didn’t get the fanservice you palette craved, but you still respect the balls and/or creativity of the staff of this show. I can only hope they’ll throw us a bone, since this show now seems so self-aware, and give us a glimpse at the fight in some form later. Damn they made such a beautiful preview for the fight, they gotta have something right?!

    When it comes to Nanami though, I wasn’t surprised that she could fend for herself on some level. But they did such a good job of using the 3 “Maniwani” (it is shorter and more convenient afterall) to illustrate how much of a threat she was. It felt like they did something that even the best shounen jump mangaka don’t always do, make a character really seem frightening and genius-like.

    • They may come back to the Sabi fight given that Sabi is the kind of sage character who gave Shichika some advice. This advice may be referred to in flashback form but I find it hard to imagine they’ll fluidly animate thrusts, parries, and combos just for a flashback to the advice.

      The only relevant shonen series that I’m familiar with is Ruroni Kenshin, and I do think that Nanami is better presented than many if not all of the supposed badasses there.

  4. kaiserpingvin says:

    B-But that they didn’t show that fight was by far the greatest part of the episode, wasn’t it? :c

    It’s rare for jokes to be so elaborately well prepared. I don’t think any kind of fight, regardless of how awesome, would have compensated the loss of this mother of anticlimaxes, really. Katanagatari never was about the fights anyway.

    However if Nanami ends up FINARU BOSS I will rage.

    • The greatest? The greatest annoyance for me, sure. I can appreciate the joke and what makes the joke so special is that it bothers me as much as it does I suppose.

      The first episode led me on with Shichika’s ‘ultimate move’ and made me expect more or better combat animation.

      If Nanami becomes the final boss, and Shichika kills her it will be in blackout mode because they never really show girls get final attacked and killed (see Meisai).

  5. Caraniel says:

    I really enjoyed the episode as Nanami completely surprised me with her scary, ruthless fighting ability…..but at the same time I was bitterly disappointed at the lack of shark slicing.

    As trolling goes, this is how to do it……..but I do hope we get the Sabi Vs Shichika fight at some stage!

  6. Jack says:

    “That said, I HAVE NOT FORGIVEN IT FOR NOT ANIMATING ANYTHING (not a damn thing at all!) FROM SHICHIKA’S BATTLE WITH SABI.”

    Actually, during the previous episodes preview for this episode they animated part of the fight. This is what made the troll extra good.

  7. Jo says:

    Actually it is shown in the first episode how perceptive/strong Nanami is. When the Maniwani first attacks the house, it was Nanami who pushes her brother and Togame onto the floor to avoid the attack.

    • Sure that makes sense in hindsight, but that moment of quick thinking and reflexes… does it really prepare anyone for Nanami to beat a Maniwani ninja? Let alone 3?

      That feat would be remarkable even for Shichika. So I seriously doubt that first episode event is a satisfactory demonstration of strength that would prepare us for this episode. What do you really think?

      • Jo says:

        Maybe ‘strong’ wasn’t the right word to use. It just seems that in that moment, though easily missed ( I missed it the first time around), Nanami isn’t as weak as originally made out to be.
        To me it wasn’t just reflexes, Nanami was able to sense and react to the attack, whereas Shichika had no idea.
        Anyways, it was a cool episode regardless.

  8. EvoIce says:

    I want my bifurcated shark!

  9. Sunagan says:

    I totally didn’t see this episode coming xD. But nanami was cool. and so cruel 0_0! It’s like the show threw me off guard with its cruelness.
    I still think I liked this episode best so far; how katanagatari always does at least 1 thing you don’t expect at all ^_^

  10. Pingback: 6 Reasons Why Katanagatari is Kind of Awesome | We Remember Love

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