Sunday, 20 September 2009

Bakemonogatari - Episode 11

With Nadeko's problems solved (or at least shifted elsewhere) by the end of the last episode, it's time for a new (and final for the TV broadcast episodes) story arc within Bakemonogatari, and this time around it's Tsubasa Hanekawa that gets to be our focus.

In a sense, there's two aspects to Hanekawa's story in this particular episode, but aside from even that we also get some extended dialogue between Koyomi and Nadeko following on from the lifting of her curse. There are some moments within these exchanges, more specifically within Araragi's behaviour, that are decidedly hard to pin down here as to whether they hold any greater significance within the arc as a whole or they're simply quirks of the storytelling on show here, although knowing this series I'm going to assume the former.

That aside, the episode is split between the present and flashbacks to Golden Week - A period where Araragi learns of Hanekawa's difficult family situation (to put it mildly), while also covering the period where she was "possessed" by a meddlesome cat which caused her to attack and drain the energy of her parents. This state of affairs was fixed simply enough by the judicious use of Shinobu, but as the whole thing was stress-related on Hanekawa's part the suggestion is there that the problem could return, fitting in to the headaches we've seen Hanekawa suffer in both previous episodes and this one.

Meanwhile, the present day Hanekawa is, apart from that headache, largely satisfied to talk to Araragi about Senjougahara, noting how many are talking about how she's changed since meeting Koyomi and how she thinks that this is a good thing. It all seems pretty straightforward, but this being Bakemonogatari I rather doubt that's the case.

Compared to some of the straight-up fantastic episodes this series has delivered, I'm not too sure what to make of this particular instalment - Sure, it wasn't bad, and if anything the animation was well and truly back to its best and beyond compared to episode ten, but in terms of dialogue and characterisation it felt a little "empty" without a Kanbaru or Senjougahara to turn things up a notch. The scene has clearly been set for "something" (although we don't know yet what), just not in as compelling a fashion as I might have expected given the quality of previous story arcs. Hopefully my criticisms will be made to look foolish come the next episode...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but I can't wait to see what happens next. Since I can't see any spoiler tags I'll keep it vague. IMHO, the stage has been set since the first few minutes of ep 1, and every time Tsubasa makes an appearance in each of the other arcs. It might not be the whole problem, but when you put together the interactions and the subtle maybe-hints along with who's known whoever the longest/best in the series, it adds up to some serious conflict to deal with.

Non-Tsubasa fans, of course, might not care too much about that particular storyline that's been running through all of the arcs.