Saturday, 6 July 2013

Monogatari Second Season - Episode 1

Araragi is back!  Actually, that's not true at all, as he isn't even present during this opening episode of Monogatari Second Season.  Really, if you can't even make it for the start of the series you're the protagonist of, what is the world coming to?

Instead, it's left to Tsubasa Hanekawa to fill Arararagi's shoes (sorry, I stuttered) to kick things off - a decision which immediately brings us plenty of items of interest to consider.  If Hanekawa's sleeping arrangement in her own home isn't interesting enough (and of course we were already given a pointer about that previously in this franchise), or the fact that her family owns a Roomba, a chance meeting with Mayoi Hachikuji follows with a rather more unusual meeting - with a talking white tiger.  With a comment about "white lies of ignorance", the tiger is gone, but it's still enough for her to engage Senjougahara in discussion about its appearance.

On top of all of this, Hanekawa then learns that her house has been burned to the ground - with nowhere to stay and little interest in where she ends up on her parent's part, she decides to slum it at the abandoned cram school, only to be awoken by a tearful and angry Senjougahara who has been roaming the streets out of concern for her friend.  Thus, it's off to Senjougahara's house to offer a more comfortable place for Hanekawa to stay, while thoughts return to (amongst other things) whether that tiger might just be responsible for the destruction of Tsubasa's home.

As an opening gambit for this series, you really couldn't ask any more of this first episode of Monogatari Second Season - SHAFT have somehow managed to up their game once again visually, great quips and laugh out loud moments punctuate the script nicely, and the show's ensemble cast of characters are at their best here.  In particular, we seem to be all set for another season of so-called "Senjougahara fascination", with this episode opening up new, previously unseen sides to her character.. .oh, and her prancing around in her underwear for half an episode again.  It's the fan service that again threatens to derail the series, but then again when everything and everyone looks so damn beautiful it's hard to work up too much irritation with it all, and above all else this episode feels like a taste of Monogatari at its best, which is promising indeed for the weeks to come.

No comments: