Friday, 4 January 2013

Nekomonogatari: Kuro - Episode 4 (Completed)

Come the end of the penultimate instalment of Nekomonogatari, Araragi had seemingly decided that he would quite happily die for Hanekawa's sake.  "Be careful what you wish for" is what I'd normally say here, but Koyomi is the kind of lad that actively pursues his goals...

That said, Araragi's choice of behaviour after his latest meeting with the "meddlesome cat" seems rather odd, that being prostrating himself before Shinobu for the remainder of Golden Week.  There is a method to his madness however, as eventually she tires of his begging and yields an almighty treasure - a rather impressive sword named Heartspan, which has the ability to kill oddities without so much as touching anything that isn't an oddity, rather handily.

Thus, the only problem now facing Araragi is how to track down Hanekawa - not a problem at all it turns out, as he simply messages Hanekawa requesting her help.  Possessed or not she soon arrives, seemingly in complete control of her "meddlesome" body - not that this makes her any easier to deal with from Araragi's point of view.  In fact, his plan is centred squarely on winding up his opponent, which means some drastic measures are required before we get to see the even more drastic measure Koyomi has taken in an attempt to win the day.  It's therefore rather a bummer when this final desperate effort looks set to backfire; cue an appearance from Shinobu to save the day, and her master.  Thus, Hanekawa is safe and sound, and Araragi has an answer about the extent of his feelings for Hanekawa, even if he won't even admit them to himself.

So ends an intensely pleasing four-parter that, after a first episode that went in the wrong direction, succeeded in being closer to Bakemonogatari than Nisemonogatari.  Then again, I'm not sure even that's particularly correct - Nekomonogatari: Kuro goes to darker and more vicious places than either of those other outings for the most part to the point where it's emotionally affecting despite being overblown at times.  This series also feels like the best opportunity we've had as viewers to get the measure of our protagonist to boot - this story might have been about Hanekawa, but it was just as much about Koyomi, the fascinatingly contrary and loathsomely lovable fellow that he is.  This isn't your milquetoast would-be harem lead for sure, and as a fully fleshed out individual he actually stands up to Senjougahara as a character you could write a book about.  With that kind of characterisation and those constantly eye-catching visuals, it's hard not to like Nekomonogatari a lot.  Which is probably why I liked it.  A lot.

No comments: