— Temporal Vortex

Nisemonogatari 01 – Spotlights and Contradictions

I wasn’t exactly excited over Nisemonogatari since I was pretty much expecting already that they’ll really adapt the rest of the Monogatari series given that Tsukihi and Karen haven’t had their respective arcs yet. But right after I saw the trailer, I can’t believe how much I missed the characters, especially Hitagi. The surreal backgrounds and settings, the walls of texts, and the eerie architectural design of the abandoned cram school, to name one, still fascinates me up until now.

The start of the first episode remains to be a mystery but Hitagi is still the same old Hitagi who loves to speak in a cold and condescending manner. And as usual, her actions to show her obsession love for Araragi are still very outlandish. She still has that overbearing and domineering personality. Watching her tease a restrained (because of unknown reasons) Araragi and banter with him totally made me remember why I liked Bakemonogatari.

I don’t know if it was Penguindrum’s influence or just my imagination but it looks like Akiyuki Shinbo has started to project some symbols in the series. I must note that despite the intriguing design of Hitagi’s house, it’s just one of those creative styles used by Shaft. Meanwhile, in the Araragi residence, if one could notice, the ceiling of the lounge where Tsukihi was lying while watching TV is filled with stage spotlights. Rings a bell? In the latter half of the episode, Hachikuji mentions that experiencing reality is like being on the limelight – a stage where everything and anything happens. But on the contrary, witnessing supernatural occurrences  seem to happen only in the back stage. Karen’s absence might be a foreshadowing to what we all know as the Karen Bee arc.

Another thing I noticed were the contradictory statements made by almost all the characters. First, Hitagi’s “Wouldn’t it be better if you died?,” which is obviously a statement made to simply mock Araragi. Then there’s Nadeko’s lie that she’s busy everyday except that day (obvious lie is obvious). Tsukihi’s wordplays on the meaning of trouble, trust and worry, and of course, Hachikuji’s “courage” positivity illusion on phrases. The one that really made an impact to me though would be the dialogue between Hachikuji and Koyomi about family.

Hachikuji mentions that it is rather expected for someone to have at least one secret to his family and that telling it to them means that they’ll be sharing the burden. Koyomi agrees to Hachikuji’s advice that it is proper not to do anything until he can’t hide his secret anymore of being a demi-vampire to his family. Meanwhile, shifting it onto the topic where Koyomi asks if Hachikuji would eventually leave the city, Koyomi mentions that he’ll be angry if ever Hachikuji won’t tell him if ever she ran into trouble. In a way, it’s contradictory that Koyomi decided not to tell his family about his condition even though he prompts other people (Hachikuji) not to hide anything from him once they’ve got trouble and that he’ll gladly share the burden.

I don’t know if the title has something to do with it but I’ve read Kizumonogatari and I don’t think there were situations/statements like these. Then again, it might just be Nisio Isin’s penchant for wordplay in general.

I would have loved to see everyone in the first episode but I guess that was asking for too much. I greatly enjoyed the somehow overview episode for what has happened so far after the events of Bakemonogatari. I was definitely surprised that majority of the first episode’s character development went to Hachikuji considering she’s the least involved to everything. I guess it also builds up my interest on what really happened prior to Koyomi being kidnapped since the first episode ended right at the middle of the flashback.

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image credits: pixiv user こうじ

2 comments
  1. mangaNo Gravatar says: January 16, 201212:57 am

    I hope that you have watched the second episode now. One of the reasons Sengoku acted like that is shown there 🙂 So it isn´t as much of a lie as you think it is.

    But yeah, it is good to see the old crew back in busniess doing their ordinary stuff. This is a must see this season.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: January 16, 20129:42 pm

      But I'm guessing her parents aren't also around the next day, and won't be busy. Her tone during the phone call sort of insinuates that Nadeko would always find time for Araragi, just so he'll drop by right at the moment he calls. So far, the second episode seeds some clues to what the siblings are up to and I'm quite amazed how Shaft is doing it alongside fancy fanservice.

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