Sit back, and let Shinobu tell you a story…
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.
Shinobu tells Araragi the tale of the first time she made someone her servant – an event from several hundred years earlier, the time of her first visit to Japan. The unusual events surrounding her arrival caused her to be mistaken for a god, a misunderstanding that she was happy to take advantage of – for a while, at least. Until she met the man who would become her first servant – a vampire hunter…
This is by way of explaining her first encounter with the Darkness that attacked Araragi and Hachikuji, in case last week’s events have slipped your mind. It’s the talkie episode to end all talkie episodes, heavy on the words even by Monogatari‘s standards – but strangely, feeling as though it’s lacking in the wordplay. This is not two characters having a conversation, but rather Shinobu telling a story, in the style of reading from a book – which frankly isn’t as entertaining or enthralling as we’ve gotten used to, leaving the episode feeling very ‘off’.
That isn’t helped by her story being accompanied by what’s more or less still-frame images rather than animated scenes. I suppose that’s in keeping with SHAFT’s tendency to try and use visuals that are different from the norm, but the combined effect here creates more of a feel that Shinobu’s delivering a lecture than anything else.
And all the while, Hachikuji lies unconscious at the top of her tower of tables, more or less ignored in favour of other things. If there’s one good thing to come out of the episode, though, it’s a good look at the ‘real’ Shinobu – or Kiss-shot, to use the proper name – and some insight into the life of a vampire, that surprisingly is more solitary and unhappy than you might have expected, especially when compared to the way that present-day Shinobu behaves.
Overall, though, this is rather ‘meh’ as Monogatari episodes go, which has been a common theme for a lot of this season. A little of the magic that Bakemonogatari had has disappeared along the way, and while there are occasional flashes of it to be found in Monogatari, at the moment it’s in hiding. I hope it doesn’t stay there for long…
Content Grade: B-
Streamed By: Daisuki
Review Equipment: 27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.9