Thursday, 2 January 2014

Monogatari Second Season - Episode 26 (Completed)

He thought it to be impossible, but Kaiki has failed in his plan to pull the wool over Nadeko's eyes - worse still, she's seen through his ruse to convince her that Araragi and Senjougahara are already dead in an instant.  Of course, she's not exactly happy about the whole thing.

Before he knows it, Kaiki finds himself awash in a sea of snakes as Sengoku rants and raves about the liars and deceivers that surround her, and although she's fully prepared to keep to her promise not to kill her main targets until after they've graduated, there's nothing to say she can't put an end to a few other related individuals in the meantime, right?  If all looks bleak for Araragi and anyone concerned with him, Kaiki still has one last trick up his sleeve - knowledge of a secret that would break any person, particularly a self-conscious teenager....

...knowledge, perhaps, of how and what Nadeko liked to draw in her spare time.  Yes, the deep, dark secret in Sengoku's closet is, in fact, that she's a budding manga artist, and rather a good one at that.  However, for Nadeko herself these drawings are the one things that she never wants another person to see, and Kaiki's knowledge of them leaves her mortified to the point where she starts beating him senseless.  This has, however, given him just the traction he needs to point her in the right direction - a direction that doesn't revolve around needless adoration of Koyomi, and one that involves doing what she wants for herself in the knowledge that there are always other options if one thing doesn't work out.  It's enough to calm Nadeko down and allow Kaiki to provide the finishing touch - removing the snake residing within her, and replacing it with a temporary, harmless apparition.  With Araragi's appearance allowing him to also understand that he needs to let Nadeko live her own life, all's well that ends well.... for most of the cast, anyway.

Monogatari Second Season hasn't always hit the mark, but this was another finale to a story arc that nailed it absolutely - Kaiki's lecture to Nadeko was heart-warming in its honesty (not bad for a professional liar), and a pretty obvious monologue to the viewer as well as Sengoku herself that I can certainly get behind even if it felt like the elongated end lecture from a Saturday morning cartoon of yesteryear, and it brought a mostly satisfying end to a series that has largely been incredibly entertaining - for all of its moments of comedy and silliness, it knew how to grab the viewer's heartstrings and tie them in a knot in an instant when the narrative required it, and in that sense it is perhaps Monogatari at by far its most powerful.  The disappointment of Nisemonogatari has now been thoroughly watched away, and my love for this franchise is at a high point once again.

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