Impression – Monogatari Series Second Season, Episode 02

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h24m23s148|Nekomonogatari: White – Tsubasa Tiger Part Two|

SHAFT really loves to deliver their fanservice.

Amazingly, they ended up showing Hanekawa and Senjougahara taking a shower together. I absolutely thought SHAFT was just teasing the fanboys in the previous episode, but I didn’t except them to go through with it. And with any SHAFT fanservice, it’s pretty ridiculous. I can’t think of any high school girls who would take a shower together, let alone play splash around the soap and scrub each other’s bodies. It’s like SHAFT can’t decide whether to make it look absurd or NSFW.

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h18m42s71Senjougahara continues to play host and keep Hanekawa company in her home. I’m still not completely used to this new Senjougahara. Her sharp tongue and deadpan delivery are still completely intact. She’s as quick as ever to come up with a clever remark for everything and makes her usual off-topic conversations. But rather than malice in her voice, she seems to have toned down quite a bit and actually just sounds like an extremely nosy friend. If it wasn’t for her bluntness and deadpan speech, she could almost pass for a normal girl. Almost.

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h19m44s186This also marks the reappearance of Black Hanekawa, the Meddlesome Cat that manifests whenever Hanekawa is under great stress. Those missing chapters turned out to be plot points rather than SHAFT just being SHAFT and helped reintroduce her to us. And already, I’m liking this current incarnation of the sawarineko. I prefer her short hairstyle over her long hairstyle from her previous appearances. In a way it makes her look more mature, which again helps to demonstrate her character’s growth since her previous appearances.

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h20m06s124We still don’t know a whole lot about the Tiger oddity. Both the Tiger and the sawarineko are familiar with each other, though the former doesn’t think too highly of the latter. The tiger must have something to do with Hanekawa’s house going up in flames, but for what purpose remains to be seen. Although it is nice to watch two oddities have a stare down.

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h21m23s146 vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h22m03s33Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot is going on (this episode only had three voice actors!), it really shows just how much Nisio Isin excels in writing character dialogue. With Araragi still absent, we get to really examine Hanekawa’s character a bit closer. And in true Senjougahara fashion, she is able to analyze Hanekawa over breakfast (well, lunch to be precise). I’ve never heard of anyone comparing using food tastes to talk about love. That whole scene was fun to watch and clever in the way that only Monogatari can deliver.

vlcsnap-2013-07-16-02h18m31s117I’m sure Blu-Ray sales will go through the roof thanks to this episode. SHAFT sure knows what the fanboys want, and boy did they nail it with Hanekawa and Senjougahara. Showers aside, it gave them an excuse for some excellent character development and clever dialogue between two of the most complex characters in the entire series. All this in only the first two episodes of the season! If that isn’t a testament to how well-executed this show is, I don’t know what is.

Lingering thoughts:

  • “Similar taste in food, similar taste in men.”
  • There should just be a spin-off with Senjougahara hosting a cooking show.
  • All we need now is a shower scene with Araragi and Meme.
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