The third episode of Nisemonogatari sees the introduction of a new character, a return to the beginning location of the series and a plot that begins to move with Hanekawa looming large in the background. Koyomi finishes cleaning Kanbaru’s room before they talk some more over cards before he leaves. He immediately runs into a man named Kaiki who has a very ominous presence and much more. Finally, Koyomi runs into Hitagi before their usual conversational topics turn to Kaiki which ultimately led back to the scene at the beginning of the first episode.
The opening scenes involving Kanbaru really reflected two common ideas that have frequently. Those would be the ideas that Koyomi is far too kind to the women around him, but at the same time those same women have no one else to turn to when they are in trouble but Koyomi. Kanbaru makes the first point early on as she diagrams what she thinks would be his harem relationship future; married to Hanekawa, with Nadeko and herself as mistresses. He nervously insists that he will marry Hitagi, but there didn’t seem to be much sincerity in those words.
Kanbaru points out that his kindness can be exploited quite easily. The first case in point is simply the fact that the conversation continues. She brings out a card game that she doesn’t know the rules to just so she can talk to him a bit longer. He promptly trounces her despite not particularly caring before it moves on to the second case. He brings up learning about Twister from Nadeko, but passed it off as though there was nothing to it. Kanbaru knows that was actually mid-level seduction technique.
Finally, Koyomi asks her a rather obvious question; had anyone asked her about the fact that her arm was wrapped up. She just simply explained it as an injury to those close to her, but her mother didn’t seem to care about it at all even though her grandparents were concerned about her. However, she doesn’t want them to ask. Kanbaru clearly has family issues where she’s built walls around herself until she no longer has to live with her family.
After that came a conversation with Kaiki, a man who could symbolize dead trees as much as any character that could be created. There wasn’t much that I got out of this particular conversation. He already realized he was pretty much evil as hell by telling Koyomi that kindness would be wasted on him. Koyomi thought he had a similar vibe to Oshino, but that was about it.
Then Koyomi ran into Hitagi which began the start of the prolonged conversation they would have at the beginning of episode 1. The conversation on the bridge has to do once again with the attention Koyomi lavishes on other girls. At this point in their relationship it still looked like neither was quite sure what to do. She continued to maintain that she wanted him exclusively, he was noncommittal simply because he still didn’t understand what it meant to be in a relationship. They each say that they are working hard to maintain their relationship, but there doesn’t quite seem to be the gravitas to back that up.
So when Kaiki is brought up by Koyomi, that is when Hitagi made the decision to kidnap him, for his own protection. He had been the first person brought in to deal with her weight issue, which explained the similarity to Oshino. Their conversation didn’t really revolve around that point that much.
If the conversation in the first episode was devoted to Koyomi having to really accept how Hitagi felt about him, this conversation went the other way. In this scene, Hitagi went from viewing Koyomi as a possession that she absolutely had to protect from the danger of Kaiki. That changed immediately after receiving the text from Tsukihi pleading for help. He said he was going home, though she said she wasn’t afraid to fight him, which is why he loved her. He quickly turned it around and asked her if she would love him if he did nothing. Of course she loved him for the way he put himself in danger for others, but she just had to overcome the possible perception that she let him put himself in danger. It’s a surprisingly touching scene considering the circumstances.