With Senjougahara's crab-based weight problem done and dusted thanks to the work of Oshino last episode, it's time for the beginning of a new story arc as Bakemonogatari hits its third episode.
If you were worried that the apparent change in personality exhibited by Senjougahara after regaining her weight might put a permanent dampener on the rest of this series, fear not, because she's right back on for the entirety of this episode. This third instalment takes place on Mother's Day, and sees Araragi just sitting around in some random park, mainly so that he can avoid going home to his irritating pair of sisters and their mother who dotes on them both entirely too much. It's while sitting and musing over various things that Senjougahara makes her appearance, leading to a huge chunk of the episode consisting solely of dialogue between the two characters. This may sound dull normally, but giving Senjougahara lots of time to speak is a sure-fire winner for me and throughout the episode she sparkles with her quick-witted and frankly evil put-downs, while still somehow managing to belittle Araragi while showing concern and some extend of caring about him. Indeed, much of Senjougahara's dialogue is not far short of genius, giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
This flow is only interrupted by the appearance of a seemingly lost young girl at the park named Mayoi Hachikuji; a girl that Araragi tries to help out, with frankly hilarious consequences, coupled with a hint or two at what will doubtless be the utterly bizarre goings-on just around the corner in the next episode.
You know, it's really difficult not to get carried away in my praise for Bakemonogatari, as it continues to feel like a show that was almost "built" for me. Aesthetically it continues to hit all the right spots in terms of characters design, backdrops and locations (with so many of those wonderful touches we've come to know and love from SHAFT), while it's leading characters are utterly fascinating, feeling very much surreal in their behaviour and patterns of speech and yet still entirely human and really quite believable. This episode in particular also managed to blend in some fantastic humour, from some of Senjougahara's throw-away lines (I love a girl who can dish out smart-alec put-downs like they're going out of fashion) to Araragi's rather unorthodox handling of the sullen, aforementioned young girl. The only thing I can't really comment on this episode is the story, which appears to be somewhat in hiding until next week; to be quite frank though, who cares about the story when you have visuals, characters and dialogue like this?