Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nisemonogatari - Episode 3

Book clearing duties may be over, but Araragi's conversation with Kanbaru isn't quite over as episode three of Nisemonogatari begins, with the latter proving to be rather astute at picking up on the interest other girls have in the form - not that it's difficult to be more astute than Koyomi as he continues to even clock what the whole Nadeko "Twister" incident had to do with anything.

It's when Araragi leaves his friend's house that things begin to take an interesting turn however, as he bumps into a rather morose fellow who goes by the name of Kaiki - a man who rouses memories of Oshino on account of his looks and aura, although by the same token there's clearly something very different about him.  Considering whether he should follow Kaiki as he goes about his unexplained business, Araragi is sure that there are ill omens surrounding this man, but such thoughts are quickly shelved when he bumps into Senjougahara as she goes about her own business.

Of course, Hitagi isn't too pleased to see her boyfriend skipping a study session, nor is she exactly thrilled by his cavorting with other girls (although at least Araragi has an excuse for the first part), leading to some painful reminders as to who wears the trousers in their relationship.  Such trivilaities go out the window once Kaiki is mentioned however, returning us to Araragi's state of kidnap by Senjougahara that we saw in episode one as she explains her own prior dealings with the man and why she wants to keep Koyomi far, far away from his influence.  When a text message arrives from younger sister Karen reading simply "help me" however, even Senjougahara is unable to keep her beloved under lock and key.

After having a bit of a moan about the overuse of fan service and sexual elements last week, this felt far more like a "proper" episode of Nisemonogatari - still teasing and flirtatious throughout, but with its core story pushing to the fore the move towards more focused story-telling had an evident positive impact on proceedings.  Then again, I also suspect that it's the return of Hitagi Senjougahara that does just as much to pull this episode to a higher plain; her one-liners, snarky comments, terrifying threats and (amazingly) evidence that there is a stumbling "dere" side to all that "tsun" cast a glorious, glittering spell over the instalment as a whole - very much a reminder of the smart and entertaining dialogue that made Bakemonogatari great to watch over and over again.  In short, things are finally on the up for Nisemonogatari, and hopefully next week's instalment will propel them even further in the right direction.

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