Nisemonogatari 01 The Courage to Accept

Mayoi is taking on a much more important role

Writing on Nisemonogatari was a hard decision, mainly in that there was a lot of excellent writing on Bakemonogatari and I thought my own writing would never come close to that level. I’ve already written on Amagami and Pirates this season, so I may as well have a go with something much, much deeper than that. I also have to be willing to accept that some of my posts are going to failure. With that out of the way, I present what I thought of the first episode of Nisemonogatari.

Another season of Senjougahara Fascination, I can live with this

The thing that always struck me about Bakemonogatari is that the settings themselves are very post-modern, but they also add to the action that was really taking place in the dialogue between characters. There’s three of these set piece dialogues and they take place out of order chronologically, but they are really going backwards.

Not the most comforting assurance of protection, but you know she is deadly serious

The first of these scenes takes place last chronologically. With Koyomi firmly in a relationship with Hitagi, I took their conversation to be about love itself. The setup is contrived with Koyomi handcuffed to broken down desks, but this was a fascinating conversation. The fact that he is unable to move represents his being in a relationship with Hitagi and this was about breaking down his resistance.

The lack of freedom he perceives from such a relationship has it’s advantages. She shows herself to be someone who accepts him for what he is, and though she is the one in control of the situation, she does what he asks on her terms. All Koyomi has to do is accept her love for him, an incredibly deep love, and he will have someone who fully accepts him for who he is.

Shinbo sure loves his exposed rafters and lighting

The second conversation is between Koyomi and his sister Tsukihi early that morning. The conversation is really about Koyomi having to deal with growing up. The key message from Tsukihi early on in the conversation is that fighting is a valid form of communication. In the past Koyomi used to fight his sisters all the time over various things as siblings do. This conversation was interesting because this was almost entirely a one-sided fight.

Tsukihi seemed to be talking as though she was in the middle of an argument with Koyomi. Whether it was over the fact that he wasn’t referring to his sister’s by name or the nature of his relationship with Nadeko, it seemed like she was fighting with him. Koyomi, on the other hand, was apathetic, seemingly hiding by his own becoming a vampire to separate himself from his siblings. Tsukihi is just afraid that by rolling over he’s leaving them behind.

The courage to have one's own weapon used against them

Finally, there’s the conversation with Mayoi. The interactions between these two always provide an opportunity for Koyomi to be at his most infantile, and this was no exception. There’s the beginning where his own base feeling of hating her just drives him to do stuff that will bother her; grabbing her and kissing her in all sorts of places that aren’t appropriate given their ages.

They engage in wordplay over the nature of the word courageous within Japanese as though they are kids. There whole relationship plays off like two small children in love though they don’t know it yet. Eventually, their conversation leads to Koyomi opening up about his whole situation with his sisters in a way he wouldn’t do with anyone else, except for Oshino as Mayoi puts it. This I found interesting because whenever Oshino became involved earlier, it almost absolved Koyomi of all responsibility. He became a child in his own his own mind.

Perhaps his journey to Nadeko’s house, which will lead him to being handcuffed will lead him to courageously accept responsibility for his own future.

10 thoughts on “Nisemonogatari 01 The Courage to Accept”

  1. Excellent.

    In my excitement to read Araragi as the essay on the viewer I didn’t think too much on the nature of the conversations. I really like this reading you made and it makes a lot of sense to me. I like the show even more as a result. A lot more, I think.

    This too is what a blog post does.

    1. There’s just so many ways these characters and their actions can be interpreted. I’m not really in tune with the otaku angle as much as others, but more views can only be good

  2. Appreciated the analysis, I hope you’ll be keeping this up. There’s plenty of room for you in the Nisemonogatari blogosphere/blogoverse. Araragi definitely still has a lot more room for growth, and Senjougahara is still smoking hot, so I’ll be following this show attentively.

    1. Thanks a lot, I think Araragi still has plenty of room to move, I just hope it is more of the proactive taking control of his life type of development rather than just reacting to events.

  3. I applaud you ability to not only make it through this episode, but find meaning in it. I had to turn I off midway through the scene with the little girl. The terrible dialogue drove me up the wall.

  4. Given the nature of Nisemonogatari (and Nisio Isin series in general), I’m sure that you won’t run out of anything to talk about anytime soon. Of course, with Shinbo at the helm, there’s always the otaku-friendly factor, but really one can interpret the scenes (and the witty dialogue) in a lot of ways.

    1. That’s good to know, and something that I’ve learned over the last couple of days. I know all about Shinbo’s distinctive directorial style, but Nisemonogatari maintained most of that while also looking way more polished than anything I’ve ever seen him do.

    1. Fanservice is far too easy a topic to get caught up in when initially forming an opinion. It’s meant to be obvious after all. I think someone who wants to get meaning from an episode would be able to look beyond that.

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