I imagine nothing could "top" (and I use that term lightly) last week's Nisemonogatari and its love letter to the humble tooth brush, but if nothing else this second episode of the Tsukihi Phoenix story arc still features... well, an abject lack of Tsukihi.
Instead, we carry on from where we left off last time... well, not quite (there's no dental hygiene involved this time), instead moving forward to arranging a meeting between Karen and Kanbaru as promised. With that decided, off Karen and Koyomi set, although they're quickly side-tracked by a discussion of a sure-fire way to win at rock, paper, scissors. On account of it being a dumb idea, Karen's punishment is to carry her brother on her shoulders for the duration of the journey - something which proves to be more uncomfortable sexually than it does physically.
On the way there, the two Araragi siblings meet a woman with a penchant for standing on mailboxes in platform heels - a woman named Yodzuru Kagenui, who is looking for a particular cram school. Thanks to a quick phone call to Hanekawa, Koyomi learns that this school is in fact the former "base" of Oshino - coupled with Karen's comments as to the woman's strength, it's clear that this individual is not exactly normal, and it's a feeling reaffirmed when Koyomi meets a similar character while chatting with Hachikuji. It seems that Yotsugi Ononoki is also on the look-out for the exact same cram school, making it clear that something is afoot in this otherwise sleepy town.
While there was still plenty of fan service and sexual connotations from this week's Nisemonogatari, at least things felt on a slightly less awkward level than the previous instalment of the series, thus allowing me to focus on other things rather than a treatise on the place of post-modern fan service in anime. Even more luckily, this shift also allowed for perhaps the funniest episode of the series so far, as it had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions from Koyomi's shameless marriage proposal through to his disastrous attempt to run and molest Hachikuji. It still isn't a patch on Bakemonogatari, but when it entertains me this much I can cut it some slack at least.