What They Say:
In the aftermath of the previous day, Araragi is about to enter his classroom when Hanekawa informs him that a student absent all year is finally attending. The story pushes further into the past, as more of “what” makes Koyomi Araragi is revealed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a brief scene showing Ougi and Araragi have relocated to the latter’s alma mater middle school campus, we backtrack to where the previous episode left off, Araragi about to enter his classroom, knowing full well that Oikura is there, anticipating him.
Even with Oikura having only been introduced just one episode ago, she already proves herself to be a strong addition to the cast, addressing Araragi in such a seething and spiteful manner that is simultaneously underplayed and over-the-top. For reasons yet to be explained in its entirely, Oikura despises Araragi and her two years of being home-schooled have shown that such spite has yet to subside by any means.
To say that their reunion in the classroom is a slow burn eventually ending in a blazing inferno would be somewhat misleading. Rather, she comes off as incredibly rude and accusatory towards Araragi from the get-go, with things going from bad to worse as the scene carries on. The sheer amount of verbal abuse Oikura spews out towards Araragi is both impressive and scary, as she mixes mindless ramblings, guilt trips and surprisingly eloquent (and quotable!) prose in a borderline tantrum manner. Add to this the funky camerawork blended with the animation as well as music/SFX (the slight slap you hear as Oikura grabs her own face is subtle, but powerful) that the Monogatari series is known for and it leaves you wondering how the remainder of the episode will play out.
Fast-forward to Ougi and Araragi, having traveled to Araragi’s middleschool to inspect his old shoe locker. Finding three letters addressed to Araragi, the two follow the letters’ instructions leading them to what seems to be an abandoned mansion. What follows is the standard meandering-but-somehow-still-relevant dialogue exchanges that are par for the course for the series. However, rather than Ougi being the focus of attention, Araragi ends up being the insect under the lead female’s microscope for once.
With barely any prompt on Ougi’s end, Araragi begins to talk about his parents, and how them both being police officers have led to some strict parenting over the years. He further hints that the mansion they are currently snooping through has been a place Araragi has been to before, having promised to meet someone there when he was younger.
All the initial hype over Owarimonogatari leaned more towards Ougi and Oikura. That said, it’s a surprising but welcome change of pace to finally have Araragi be the center of attention for once, rather than being the character who happens to involve himself in the drama of another. To have so many episodes of the Monogatari series without much known about Araragi’s family life is curious to say the least, and now that the subject is brought to the table, I eagerly anticipate what will be going down in the coming weeks.
Episode two of Owarimonogatari felt like watching a sequel to a series immediately followed by a prequel, yet for some reason the two mesh well together. The first half of the episode builds off the history and characters the series has built up until this point, while the latter half begins to establish Araragi—a central character to the series that’s been able to get away with revealing little of his personal life without coming off as secretive in any respect until now. In a sense, it’s as if two arrows are traveling in opposite directions, but are bound to intersect with each other regardless.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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