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Monogatari Second Season Episodes #04 Anime Review

3 min read
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Monogatari Second Season, Episode #04

Tsubasa uncovers some of the details of what’s been going on around her, and has to decide what to do next…

What They Say:
The bee apparition is now gone, and summer vacation where the phoenix apparition averted harm is over– Around Koyomi Araragi and the girls who started a new trimester, apparitions, or perhaps threats even worse, were creeping in ever closer.

Tsubasa Hanekawa, Mayoi Hachikuji, Suruga Kanbaru, Nadeko Sengoku, Shinobu Oshino, and Hitagi Senjyogahara. Their soliloquies, confessions – and farewells. 6 new are starting now.

The Review:
It’s beginning to dawn on Hanekawa that rather a lot seems to be happening while she’s ‘asleep’ – she can find little hints of that, and she soon realises she’s been turning int Black Hanekawa again. She just doesn’t know what her inner pussycat has been up to – although she’s determined to find out. Before she can learn much, though, she runs into an old acquaintance, and the woman who’s summoned him back to town – Gaen Izuko, who clearly knows a lot about a great many things. And who tosses out enough clues to lead Hanekawa and Senjougahara to a worrying conclusion about the pattern behind the fires…

To a certain extent, there’s a lot of treading water this episode – scenes that don’t appear to serve much of a purpose (at least yet – *monogatari has a habit of making things that are significant seem less so to start with), scenes dealing with the sidelines rather than the real story, and what have you. At the end of the 22 minutes, Tsubasa may be a little wiser to what’s going on around her, but you never really feel that there’s been much progress made.

Which makes this a strange little episode to watch. Even the usual banter between the characters – including a few new faces this time around – feels restrained, somehow muted and unimportant, even though you know that’s probably not the case. While the visual flair is very much still here, it’s missing from the dialogue to a large extent – and with that really being the heart of any *monogatari episode (for me, at least), the episode ends up falling flat compared to the ones that came before it.

It’s not even as though there’s no new information here – between mysterious woman Gaen and her summoned sidekick; what Tsubasa and Senjougahara are able to work out from the hints that Gaen gives; and a strange little conversation between Tsubasa and Koyomi’s mother, there are things here that are worth taking note of – as ever with this series, it pays to pay attention. You never know when it’ll come in handy.

In Summary:
Ultimately, though, this episode is missing something – the usual appeal isn’t there, despite all the elements being in places, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. But the pieces seem to be in place to start working towards the arc’s resolution, so hopefully next week will see the show back to its usual standard again.

Content Grade: B

Streamed By: Daisuki

Review Equipment: 27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.4

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