Monday, 28 September 2009

Bakemonogatari - Episode 12

With all of the focus on Tsubasa Hanekawa last time around, you'd be forgiven for thinking that she'd also take centre stage in this, the final TV broadcast episode of Bakemonogatari. Well, you'd think wrong, as this episode closes out the broadcast series by returning to concentrate on the relationship between Senjougahara and Araragi.

In short, that means a full episode which gives us nothing short of the pure, unadulterated awesomeness that is Hitagi Senjougahari, as she bluntly and (to be frank) rather hopelessly invites Araragi out on their first date... A date to which they travel via a lift from Hitagi's father. Can you say awkward? However, for all of those tense and embarrassing moments, Araragi is well and truly compensated thanks to a beautiful starry night sky and... well, Senjougahara.

In all honesty, I can't tell you how much I loved every second of this episode, as it rolled along as first a masterpiece in situation comedy, and then a beautiful study of blossoming yet akward first love. Of course, Senjougahara stole the show with nearly every line as she teased and ordered Araragi about, fondling him, whsipering utter filth into his ear and deferring Araragi to her father whenever he used her surname rather than her first name in conversation. Aside from being utterly hilarious, it also brought the various aspects of Hitagi as a character into relief, from her naivety ans possessiveness on the one hand to her sharp-witted and biting humour on the other - A fascinating concoction that made for one of the best dialogue-heavy episodes of anime you'll see this side of Spice and Wolf. There were no oddities or strange goings-on here, just too teenagers who don't really know what they're or doing or why but going with the flow because it seems like a good idea.

Really, this episode sums up the series so far perfectly, veering as it did from top-notch animation to missing cuts, and with fantastic dialogue between intriguing complex characters at its core that just leave you wanting more and more and more. Thankfully, some more is exactly what we'll be getting once the final few episodes appear online, although when that will be I have no idea. It can't come soon enough that's for sure - How else is a guy supposed to get his Senjougahara fix?!


Unknown said...

Truly epic ending. It has been such a good season. Thanks Andy :)

Hanners said...

Don't thank me, thank SHAFT for bringing the goods every week! ;)

Martin said...

All I can say, really, is that I was speechless at this episode. Honestly, how I'm going to write any sort of post of my own, I don't know! The quirky visuals, the side-stories of snails, monkey's paws, snakes and cats, all paled in comparison next to a simple yet oh-so-effective story of the two leads. All that was left was that wonderful dialogue and a starry sky...marvellous!

Unknown said...

I loved what we got to see of Senjougahara this episode. While I have always loved her wit, this was the first time I felt we broke through her...I don't know what to call it...her "act". It was pretty much the first time I felt that she showed her sincere feelings for Araragi. Not that she'd been lying before, but always veiling things with barbed wit.

If I should criticise anything, it's the pacing - leaving a plot line like Hasegawa's just hanging in the air not to be resolved until the extra episodes, that's just not cool.