When Inauthenticity is Fanservice, It’s a NICE MONOGATARI BRO (Nisemonogatari 06)

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.32_[2012.02.12_07.44.46]

[Nisemonogatari 05]

The  manipulations of this show lends to an amazing symmetry.

No, I don’t want to talk any garbage about “trolling.”

Here’s the manipulation: There are two value propositions in Nisemonogatari that on the surface at least, work at  cross-purposes with each other: Smut, vs. the core story about bakemono and love, etc. The kimoi love the former, and the elitists love the latter. While there are those who genuinely love both without privilege or distinction, let’s leave those weirdos out of this.

The smut pushes people’s butttons and not always in boner ways. And yet, they don’t quit the show. The pedophiliac smut in it has not fully driven me away from this show. Just as Araragi at some point doesn’t know why he’s dating Senjougahara. I love this show, and that means taking it in, smut and all. It’s turned me into a tsundere for it, and this realization cums after this episode that is an essay on tsundere service.

It’s inauthentic to keep hating on a show one truly cares for.

It’s also very authentic to keep criticizing a show because one truly cares for it.

So here we are: handcuffs, ridiculously sharpened pencils, box cutters, bullying, sexual harassment, harsh words. This is to love Nisemonogatari.

For those who need me to spell it out for them, the 6th episode of the show as well as that of the “Karen Bee” arc is structured in three dialogues with tsundere: Mayoi, Shinobu, and her lordship Hitagi herself.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.09_[2012.02.12_07.46.08]

Hachikuji Mayoi pushed the smut buttons by revealing that she enjoyed and expected the sexual harassment inflicted upon her 10 year-old body by the perverted Araragi. Her squirming and complaints are made just to “play the part” and so he won’t stop. The smut machine gives her the lines “What did you think, No actually means No?” This is what I talk about when I say the smut here pushes buttons. This is a rape joke. Mayoi obviously cares about Koyomi and would vie for his affections to rival Hitagi if she could. Her being dead is the supernatural barrier that keeps the equilibrium and symmetry of the harem in place. So yeah, lots of tsun, and the dere reveal.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.02_[2012.02.12_08.00.24]

Shinobu Oshino pushed the smut buttons HARD in the previous episode. The smut denialists provided a whole lot of meta entertainment pathetically trying to rationalize the pedophiliac smut as if it doesn’t exist (so there’s no reason to be hung up and disturbed). There’s a parallel to be drawn between the smut denialists of this show and the BL denialists of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE. Both provide a lot of laughs even if they can be infuriating with their ignorance and/or hypocrisy. But going back to the GOLD in this episode, her statements about she wouldn’t be showing up if she really didn’t intend to help Koyomi and how she needed to be ordered as if she didn’t want to do anything for him naturally is there for her to save face is both touching and brilliant. It’s the show deconstructing the inauthenticity as it is delivered as tsundere service is one of the best things about this anime franchise. This is a crowning example.

I reversed the order because I like Hitagi’s the most, and that it is the “other” core value proposition in this franchise.

[HorribleSubs] Nisemonogatari - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.02_[2012.02.12_07.56.32]

Senjougahara Hitagi … there’s too much goodness going on in this scene for me to comment on in full. Let me just say that the strength of the show is also in the love story of this unlikely couple. The unlikeliness is reinforced by Hitagi needing to act so tsun (and this in itself is fanservice), which then provokes Koyomi to say something mature and manly. Her reactions to this display are amazing to watch in its dark, comic way. Her motivations are stark, clear. His love for her is unclear, but at the same time inevitable. What a nice couple. I love them to bits.

If there’s anything that really intrigues me is this Hanekawa bullying Senjougahara angle. I don’t even… but oh my goodness this is delicious. Anyway, best episode yet.  To love this and to deny all the spectacular smut I’d rather not have seen would be inauthentic. But to say that I’d rather have more pedophiliac smut in my Nisemonogatari would by lying and stupid. I hate this show. Tsundere service.

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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37 Responses to When Inauthenticity is Fanservice, It’s a NICE MONOGATARI BRO (Nisemonogatari 06)

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    Seeing many anime featuring tsundere and all associated variations these past few years (these series range from enjoyable all the way to rage-inducing; and the specific characters do so as well – YMMV), it can be assumed that Nisemonogatari is an essay on what makes successful tsundere. You could replace “tsundere” with “smut” and this would hold true.

    • Well, you’ll have to take in Bakemonogatari first for it to work as you say.

      But what does it mean to say “successful” tsundere anyway?

      • Shinmarizu says:

        I agree with watching Bakemonogatari first.

        Perhaps subtlely in exposition, detail in nuances? Or do we throw caution to the wind and full on embrace it? (Hm. This series does both, with respect to tsundere and smut.)

        I wonder, if I didn’t include the word “successful,” what sort of havoc would arise from the general fandom? (Assholes and know-it-alls predominantly….)

        • Shows like this invite morons to wax idiotically. Not really news.

          I liked Bakemonogatari pretty much from the get go. A lot of that love is inherited by this show. It’s a rich account this show withdraws from.

  2. Xard says:

    >endless bitching over too much fanservice for five episodes
    >finally episode with barely any blatant service and people are angry as fuck about it not being there

    fucking anime fandom

    Best episode so far, easily. Remove Senjougihara and her relationship with Araragi and you take away all that’s genuinely good and meaningful about the show. Thankfully this ep did just the opposite, making it the best offering so far

    Well, Shinbo’s directing started to really irk me at times though. Like sweet gracious lord stop those fucking ridiculous head tilts, enough is enough. Gahhhh

    • The fanservice is always there, it’s just that these kimoi shits now want it explicit and obvious. I mean after Kanbaru basketball jersey, Nadeko twister, and Shinobu bathtub, where do you fucking go?

      In this episode you get male gaze — the slow pan of the camera from Shinobu’s legs, up her naked back, and then her DFC profile. Creepy ass shhit.

      Head tilts are just as much a part of this show as are stuttering, power point slides, and ahoge expressions.

      • Xard says:

        I’m not saying it wasn’t there, it was just more toned down compared to previous eps in style and execution

        (oh, and the slow camera pan thing didn’t really register to me because…well, Shinbo overuses that trick all the time so I barely pay any attention anymore to such things 😛 )

        Head tilts are always there with SHaft and it can’t be helped. I like them quite deal generally but this ep felt ridiculously overdone. Like, good god Senjougihara’s neck must hurt

  3. Digdri says:

    And all the fanboys of the previous episodes suddenly go “Stupid perverted show, its not like I wanted your fanservice anyway. Don’t be so full of yourself with your trolling. Seems like you had some plot after all which isn’t totally pathetic. Its not like I watched you for the creepy smut or anything.” (°3°)

    Yeah this show is really nice meta entertainment 🙂

    • Haha, fandumb so funny.

    • Xard says:

      when there’s fanservice viewers bitch

      when there isn’t viewers bitch

      it can’t be helped

      • Digdri says:

        Perhaps as a whole this is just an exercise in tsundere service on every level for SHAFT .

        Between the characters going totally meta on the whole tsundere tropes, fans claiming this is not really there cup of tea just guilty pleasure the like to watch every week and SHAFT showing there love for the fans by trolling and teasing I wonder if this has just become one big tsundere contest. 😉

        (But they still have a long way to go to beat what Endless 8 / KyoAni did to people in this regards. XD )

  4. megaroad1 says:

    Whenever I finish a chapter in this series, I always rewind and watch the bits between Araragi and Senjougahara. I find their interaction absolutely delightful and this episode was no exception. What I find refreshing is how readily those 2 verbally express their love for each other. This lack of ambiguity is something that surprises me when there is a harem type dynamic in the show.

  5. Zammael says:

    By far the most nuanced and “meta” blog/review/analysis of Nisemonogatari to date. Is it a meta-discourse of fandom, as opposed to the naive offerings of those other shows for our inconsistent judgments? Remains to be seen.

    Personally, I would spend less time on the polarized reactions of the unhappy (collective) consciousness and more on the aesthetic merits of Nisemonogatari, though.

  6. bob says:

    I think loli hentai is not unethical, nobody is harmed, it´s like saying one shouldn´t glorify violence in fiction…While child pornography is a really really hateful crime, drawing lolis isn´t. Same thing with real murder and murder in “the matrix reloaded”
    Most female desirable attributes in all societies are linked to youth, innocence, fisical beauty, vulnerability (so you can feel awesome protecting her) etc etc etc
    It´s very wrong, having sex with a child, exploting children etc, as evil as evil gets, I agree with that.
    Drawings are something completely fucking different, characters don´t have any rights okay?
    Was it inmoral to kill off Maximus family in “Gladiator”?
    Is it inmoral to have an incestuous dreams? Or a dream where you murder your dad?
    Or to fucking draw lolis?
    It is not
    so please please stop it with the “oh smut, oh how corrupt!”
    It is insanely gay

    • Keep telling yourself that as you fap to children saying no but meaning yes.

      Smut is morally problematic, i.e. it’s a very grey area — there are probably ways to justify it but these are dubious and I’d rather err on the side of caution. Smut of children, despite being “only” illustrations and/or animation doesn’t necessarily/by default make the fantasy of fucking them so out there that it’s actually okay.

      So do I think it is corrupt? It probably is, yes.

      Will I stop you from fapping to loli hentai? No, go right ahead.

      As for glorifying violence in fiction, it’s not as simplistic as you put it:

      Maximus’ family’s getting killed wasn’t pornographic. We weren’t shown how glorious it is to run the child over with a cavalry charge. We weren’t shown how his wife was executed in painstaking detail. The example you’re looking for in this movie is the action in the arena. That’s violence glorified.

      Now if we were shown arena fighting between 12 year olds or younger, do you think a movie like that would be mainstream? Acclaimed? 12 year old boys or younger, cutting each others’ heads off? Would this be enjoyable? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

      No. It would be very problematic and I’d find it personally difficult to watch.

      Now, on the other hand you have Son Gohan, Trunks, Son Goten getting the crap beat out of them etc. Is this problematic? I think so too, but the presentation isn’t violence pr0n, I don’t get that feeling from it. This is the same with the super robot shows I’ve watched as a child. There’s a difference in the violent action portrayal in the shonen anime/manga than with the seinen stuff like Eden: It’s an Endless World, Alita: The Last Order, Ninja Scroll, etc. If Ninja Scroll was done with the cast of Naruto or younger, then it’d be the kind of violence pr0n you desperately want to compare with loli hentai.

      Now, I’ve treated you and your disrespectful comment with dignity and decency. Please reciprocate.

      • bob says:

        so you have never dreamed or imagined anything inmoral in your life. You don´t think fiction should incorporate inmoral things.

        • Zammael says:

          Gotta love this holier than thou attitude. The same mentality that accused Freud of being perverted cuz he detected the fundamental role of sexuality in human psyche and the hypocrisy that pretends morality is actually transparent.

          I apologize for ever commenting here.

        • Of course I’ve done immoral things over the course of my life. Would I want to continue doing so? No. People who make fiction can do whatever they fucking want. The price of this freedom is judgment by the public they offer their fiction to.

          Also, there’s fiction that presents moral problems in an amazing way. They’re there for consideration and reflection and that is part of the entertainment value of the work.

          Smut doesn’t reflect on the moral problems it raises. In general it ignores these or celebrates these. One certainly doesn’t reflect on moral grayness while fapping to smut of any kind.

          Am I against smut in general? No. I enjoy some kinds of smut, and is probably morally problematic as well despite being boringly about consensual sex between adults. But smut of elder brothers being seduced by their 10 year old sisters? I’ll leave that to you kimoi otaku.

          And if it isn’t obvious to you, I’m not trying to say I’m so fucking superior and you should all rot in jail, etc. etc. Trying to polarize this conversation isn’t productive. Trying to act like you’re the victim and making me look like some fascist for thinking loli hentai is morally problematic doesn’t really work.

          As you’ve seen in these replies. I engaged you in conversation. I’m not talking down to you or insulting you the way you lectured me in your original comment. I’ve given you an opportunity to reciprocate, and I don’t think you’ve done so.

  7. bob says:

    most stories are about in mainstream media are about some dude murdering his dad and fucking his mom. FACT.
    I don´t think you should ever ask fiction to ask for forgiveness. Life is pretty inmoral you know?
    Civilization is built on mountains of crimes and horrible acts, pretending they aren´t there will only make them fester inside you. There is a therapeutic, cathartic dimension to fiction that deals with uncomfortable themes. The modern world´s obession with children is frankly, creepier I think than loli hentai or whatever.
    You know, Alfred Hitchcock discored this thing, that people allowed themselves to enjoy murder stories only if the culprit was caught at the end. In his series he used to just end his episodes with him stating “oh, and the guy went to jail later”
    That kind of ridiculous hipocresy is so dangerous I think.
    Also, Japan has an extremely low rate of child rape etc when compared to usa or europe, so the argument for loli helping vent stuff so that I won´t need to be carried out in reality is a pretty strong one.
    Also, I am not a lolicon, I have a girlfriend who is older than me and a big milf-cougar fetish.
    I also like futanari (hermaphrodite hentai), furry, and sometimes even gay art (even if I don´t find the later erotic, just aesthetic)
    what does that make me?
    Censorship is ALWAYS wrong, ALWAYS

    • Did I censor you? What are you arguing against? I offered no conclusions except that smut is morally problematic i.e. grey, and you act like I’m robbing you of your rights to pleasure yourself to smut.

      This anime blog isn’t for stopping you from doing what gets you off. All your ranting doesn’t change Nisemonogatari fetishizing female children’s bodies sexually in a smutty way.

  8. bob says:

    you are advocating the moral need to censor this sort of thing on the grounds it is morally reprehensible.
    I don´t jerk off to nisemonogatari, I just think it´s the best anime of the season. But I think fetichizing whatever you want is cool. You have completely missed my point btw, and haven´t responded to any of the arguments and observations I made. You sound like a christian nutcase ranting about the evil in the dance moves of Elvis.
    I have said what I wanted to say.
    I just responded because I actually like your blog quite a bit.
    Anyway, I understand that, as a father, you deal with repressing sexual ideas about your children on a daily basis (AS ALL FATHERS HAVE SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME HAVE BTW)
    so you can´t help but be particularily sensitive to this kind of themes in fiction.
    You do run a cool blog here and all, and I ´m sorry if I have offended you. I went to artschool so offending people is something I tend to do without even meaning to.

    • Thank you.

      If you’ve been following the discussions here about Nisemonogatari, you’ll notice my attitude about “offense” and “insult” — which is, I have to take offense to be offended.

      This is completely distinct from making a stand on something. Censorship doesn’t necessarily follow ethical problems. You have to hear me say “stop this show. Censor this show.” You jumped to that conclusions. Actually no, you want to portray me as a censorship nut because your way of discussion isn’t authentic. You don’t want a conversation, you want to show me up.

      I addressed your arguments in the first response. You compared loli hentai to graphic violence. You did not acknowledge my complete and utter refutation of your misguided idea and instead try to paint me as some religious fundamentalist (I am atheist). This is a weasel move and you know it.

      So do I take offense? Fuck no. I’m thankful for your compliments and your readership. It can be argued that you’re just manifesting in part the tsundere dynamics I speak about in this post, but that’s a stretch and I know it.

  9. bob says:

    well ok, whatever, if that´s your stance you have the right to dislike loli sure. I think demanding fiction to be moral is really misguided but I mean, whatever. I do appreciate your commentary on the series and all. I´m a bit defensive I guess because as I said, I´m an art-person and moral outrage surrounding fiction exasperates me at best and scares me at worst,

    • LOL you are not a “bit” defensive (you are hilariously out of proportion defensive and hella guilty), and calling my posts “outrage” is inaccurate. You seem to forget that you lumped me with religious fundamentalists. Your “bit” of defensiveness has more outrage in it than I could ever muster.

      Art? I’m sure you privilege art as some supreme act and that’s fine. There are pieces that prove beyond mere spectacle and entertainment. That will differ from person to person. Is smut art? I don’t know. It’s another of the problematic things that is associated with the whole notion. But I’m of the idea that art is pretty intrinsically meaningless because anything is art. I can appreciate anything as art.

      Replying to comments is an art, and I’m the goddamn Caravaggio.

      Enjoy what you want, but acknowledge the things worth reflecting on. In B4 censorship/hitler/mccarthy/spanish inquisition ad hominem bullshit.

      • bob says:

        alright alright, fair enough. I wanted to have a retarded internet argument, but I guess you´re too sane for that to happen.
        You did say some pretty “high and holy” sounding things and I reacted to those.
        You do have of course the right to judge the show. As I said before, I react pretty badly to people drawing lines separating what´s “okay” to draw-paint-say and what´s not. But you did clarify your position afterwards, I just didn´t see it.
        “smut” is a funny word to use
        it does sound like something a ranting priest would say, you have to admit that.
        Sometimes one just wants to say stuff and the internet becomes sort of a stage. You´re right, I was not interested in having a serious discussion, my bad.
        “is smut art”?
        that was a good one
        you should look up Jeff Koons “made in heaven” series…
        or just check out this passage from Nabokov´s “lolita”

        I saw her face in the sky, strangely distinct, as if it emitted a faint radiance of its own. Her legs, her lovely live legs, were not too close together, and when my hand located what it sought, a dreamy and eerie expression, half-pleasure, half-pain, came over those childish features. She sat a little higher than I, and whenever in her solitary ecstasy she was led to kiss me, her head would bend with a sleepy, soft, drooping movement that was almost woeful, and her bare knees caught and compressed my wrist, and slackened again; and her quivering mouth, distorted by the acridity of some mysterious potion, with a sibilant intake of breath came near to my face.

        etc etc,

        • I read Lolita a number of times maybe 10 years ago. It was well-written indeed, especially the smutty parts. Here’s my money quote:


          Despite her advanced age, she was more of a nymphet than ever, with her apricot-colored limbs, in her sub-teen tennis togs! Winged gentlemen! No hereafter is acceptable if it does not produce her as she was then, in that Colorado resort between Snow and Ephin-stone, with everything right: the white wide little-boy shorts, the slender waist, the apricot midriff, the white breast-kerchief whose ribbons went up and encircled her neck to end behind a dangling knot leaving bare her graspingly young and adorable apricot shoulder blades with that pubescence and those lovely gentle bones, and the smooth, downward-tapering back. Her cap had a white peak. Her racket had cost me a small fortune. Idiot, triple idiot! I could have filmed her! I would have had her now with me, before my eyes, in the projection room of my pain and despair!

          She would wait and relax for a bar or two of white-lined time before going into the act of serving, and often bounced the ball once or twice, or pawed the ground a little, always at ease, always rather vague about the score, always cheerful as she so seldom was in the dark life she led at home. Her tennis was the highest point to which I can imagine a young creature bringing the art of make-believe, although I daresay, for her it was the very geometry of basic reality[…]

          Lolita had a way of raising her bent left knee at the ample and springy start of the service cycle when there would develop and hang in the sun for a second of a vital web of balance between toed foot, pristine armpit, burnished arm and far back-flung racket, as she smiled up with gleaming teeth at the small globe suspended so high in the zenith of the powerful and graceful cosmos she had created for the express purpose of falling upon it with a clean resounding crack of her golden whip.

          Lolita has smutty parts indeed, but it is far less smutty as a whole as Nisemonogatari the anime is. The proportions and gratuitousness are way too different. You should be able to discern this. Humbert Humbert is portrayed to be this regrettable deviant, sympathetic but not necessarily forgivable — he ruined his Carmen. Araragi Koyomi is portrayed as a totally kimoi pervert but forgivable because he’s a fucking superhero vampire ghostbuster.

          An attitude towards fanservice isn’t communicated through a single blog post. I’ve been doing this for a few years and I’ve posted a fair bit on fanservice. This post isn’t a knee-jerk reaction as I’ve written about all of Bakuman as well. Your reaction to this post definitely has some knee and a whole lot of jerk.

  10. Considering how dodgy I’ve been about Nisemonogatari on the whole, I was honestly shocked at how impressive this one was. Tsundere service indeed.

  11. Elevencyan says:

    Bob is a troll but he does have a point. Your spamming of the word “smut” makes you come off as some sort of repressed puritan. As for the debate on morality, I will alway defend porn because it has been proven that diminution of porn censorship is linked to diminution of sex crime rate. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/11/30/legalizing.child.pornography.linked.lower.rates.child.sex.abuse

    • Smut is such a superior word for pornography. Just try saying the two words, you’ll feel the distinction.

      I don’t mind smut so much but I do mind some kinds — loli hentai is something I mind.

  12. Elevencyan says:

    I don’t see what’s superior to it. Both mean sex in a pejorative sense. I would call that “erotism” If I wanted to be perfectly objective. You may view erotism as a bad thing when it’s “adult on children erotism” but it’s still only erotism, meaning only “representation of love and sexuality” which is the definition of “eros”.
    Pornography has gained a status of neutrality through the necessity of separating erotism (which is often, mistakenly, linked with “soft” porn or “undertones of sexuality” in ficiton) to actual representation of sexual behavior. that is the reason I would use porn instead of smut to talk about erotism in ficiton (that is IF I want to have a “clean” logical argument about something and not let my personal feelings apear as the true motivation behind it.) smut being, as far as I know, directly pejorative without any redeeming factor neither in it’s definition or it’s common use.

    • First of all, it’s funny. Smut is a funny word. Erotism on the other hand kills boners, which makes it a terrible word.

      And before you complain, yes, the root of all humor is that it’s at the expense of something. In this case, the glorious art of sexuality (or something like that). Of course, it’s not so simple really is it?

      We can agree that erotism is distinct from smut, but we won’t in the case of Nisemonogatari. We can draw venn diagrams until our boners go flaccid. Erotism is a larger circle that encompasses smut, but it doesn’t negate smut. Just because you have a nice and supposedly neutral politically less harmful word it doesn’t mean that smutteriffic smut doesn’t exist.

      The smut in Nisemonogatari, given the banquet that it is, has range.

      You can argue that the car scene in Bakemonogatari episode 12 is not smutty. I’ll agree. But wait, we’re talking about Nisemonogatari. Sure, maybe take a few frames from the 6 episodes and you can put together some samples of not so smutty erotic fanservice. Otherwise, you get loli tits, loli sexual harrassment gags, close-ups of Nadeko’s middle schooler cooter, etc. Cheap smut produced with incredible craftsmanship. Not so cheap anymore in real money terms, but otherwise, it is what it is.


  13. Pingback: Them be fighting words… | Numbers and space

  14. Andaer says:

    Just watched for the first time. Best episode up to this point. I’m Senjougahara-fascinated again, this is exactly why I watch this show, there were so many stills to screenscap! But then shock! Now this dreadful moment when she’s going to cut her gorgeous hair is dawning. After that the whole scene seems to say “I’m sorry” all the time. Araragi for sure will feel like dying.

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