The 6th episode of Nisemonogatari begins with Koyomi mitigating Karen’s issue with the bee temporarily and then having to deal with trying to get to Kaiki. In the middle of this journey, he runs into Mayoi, Hitagi and Shinobu while searching for Karen. In the meantime, Koyomi gets to learn a bit more about the women around him while also confirming his own feelings. This episode breaks down into four separate acts, which revolve around Koyomi’s dialogues with Mayoi, Hitagi, Tsukihi and Shinobu.
The meeting with Mayoi gets off to an awkward start because of what Koyomi doesn’t do. For the first time, he simply greets her as a normal person would. Mind games are clearly at work as he’s able to sense her defenses going up while his approach is full of intent. However, I think he subconsciously pulls up and decides to be normal for once.
This leads into a conversation about growing up because Mayoi finds it boring that Koyomi would do something so normal. This was about the point where the conversation went way off into a dangerous place. Koyomi, as the only person who can see Mayoi, has always enjoyed the privileges that come with being able to commit sexual harassment against her without having to face consequences. That he doesn’t do it here means that Mayoi is either suffering from some form of Stockholm Syndrome or Koyomi has actually moved beyond being titillated by such things. Thankfully, the conversation goes toward the latter.
The point where Koyomi asks Mayoi when people become adults is where things take a bit of a turn. Mayoi shows a surprising level of insight in giving both legal and perceived definitions of when adulthood is reached. It just remains rather hazy as a way to explain it to Koyomi’s younger sisters. They both agree, however, that kids who think they are adults are much easier than adults who think they are children. Mayoi, in trying to adjust to Koyomi’s growing up says she has an adult brain in a child’s body.
Koyomi then moved on to Hitagi’s house where he was given an absolute lesson in tsundere mentality. She starts by implying that she felt bullied by Hanekawa even as she says she wasn’t. Then, she knows how to contact Kaiki and shows how to Koyomi, but she doesn’t want him to go. She then seems impressed with his taking on half of Karen’s illness even as she shoots pencils at him to express her displeasure with what he had done.
However, the big draw is the continuation of her story of how she initially became involved with Kaiki. She feels responsible for meeting the crab, for ending up meeting Kaiki to solve the problem and for the collapse of her parents’ marriage. This was intended to show that she sees it as her own problem to deal with, but the mere fact she is telling this to Koyomi means she wants him involved as well.
They talk some more about Koyomi’s sisters and the mission at hand for a bit before she tells him that she plans on punishing Kaiki for what he has done. At this point, Koyomi calms her down by confessing his love for her, even though he can’t find the words to describe why. It’s a love so powerful that he would see her in prison everyday, but he knows absolutely that he wants to be with her. She’s delighted by this confession though expresses it in the same straight-faced manner she always does, but he got what he wanted out of her; the ability to see Kaiki, even if there were conditions he doesn’t yet know about.
Koyomi returned home to rest only to be stopped by Tsukihi as soon as he entered. Koyomi found himself in a position where he had to solve another problem that he had created. By improving Karen’s condition, he now has to take responsibility for the fact she escaped to go after Kaiki again. Tsukihi asks that she go with him to find Karen, but he bluntly tells her that he doesn’t trust her. I thought this was both an acknowledgement of his own limitations and the line that should have confirmed that he was an adult to Tsukihi at the very least.
Finally, there was the reappearance of Shinobu to help Koyomi in finding Karen. This was tsundere on a much more superficial level. After their pseudo-reconciliation in episode 4, Shinobu was far more easy to understand here. She appears to him when he needs some assistance, and she’s more than willing to help him with it. However, drawing off of Koyomi’s preference in women, Shinobu decides to say that she doesn’t really want to help him, but she can’t resist orders from him. She has to put up this ridiculous front to save face, because willingly helping him would seem too much like forgiveness. She complies with his “order” eventually and points him in the right direction where episode 7 will pick up.
For all the complaints about fanservice being everywhere in this series, this could probably be the first episode where there was almost nothing of the sort visually. All we know at this point is that Karen was kissed by Koyomi, though she probably resisted since it was only a half-measure. Karen is on the loose trying to get revenge on Kaiki, while Koyomi chases after her. Meanwhile, his ticket to seeing him is anticipating that he gets some rest before the final encounter. So it may still be another 2 or 3 episodes before this is resolved then.