Sunday, 8 December 2013

Monogatari Second Season - Episode 23

Having met with Nadeko - and more specifically her new Snake God form - Kaiki is keen to speak face-to-face with Senjougahara to update her on his progress.

Thus, the pair meet and head for Mister Donut, wherein Kaiki surprises Hitagi somewhat by stating that not only is everything in hand, but that tricking Sengoku into not killing Araragi, Shinobu and Senjougahara will be a piece of cake.  Essentially, such is the level of Nadekos' naivety and downright stupidity that he believes it will be no problem for him to befriend her and then inform her that Koyomi and Hitagi have died in a car accident - provided neither of them later reveal themselves to Sengoku at her shrine, that should be the end of the issue.  It's a big surprise for Senjougahara, and also a massive relief to the extent that her usual mask slips for once.

However, it seems that not everybody is quite so thrilled with Kaiki's work and activities, as he's later visited by Ononoki and warned off continuing down his current path - a message which comes all the way from Gaen.  Such is her eagerness for Kaiki to leave town and not disrupt the current status quo that she's willing to pay him a significant amount of money to do so - money that he's more than willing to accept, even if he has no intentions of giving up his work for Senjougahara.  But can he really trick Nadeko so easily?  And just what is hidden away in her closet back at home?

We're still waiting for any real payoff from this current story arc (unless its delightful opening animation which makes its debut this week counts), although it seems as if this may be on the way next week, and in the meantime this week's instalment again provides just enough wonderful character moments to carry it through.  Seeing some emotion from the normally deadpan Senjougahara is a notable moment in itself, Ononoki's appearances continue to offer some delightfully silly comedy, and above all else I'm still really enjoying following the story from Kaiki's perspective as a wonderfully dry and deceptive story-teller.  It may not be enough to recreate the magic of Bakemonogatari (and to an extent this series is still relying on those fond memories at times like these), but it's still hugely entertaining in its own right.

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