What They Say:
Hanekawa reveals her concerns about Ougi as she and Araragi go to visit Oikura.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With 60+ episodes worth of story now, it’s safe to say that the Monogatari series’ cast has settled nicely into their characters, acting less out of it being a shtick and more because that’s just how the character would act in such a situation.
The episode opens with Hanekawa being the first of the cast to bring up what’s been on the back of viewers’ minds since her initial introduction to the series—what’s the deal with Ougi? It’s been a mere three days since she’s been introduced to Araragi, and yet she’s found out such a great deal about him. It’s even more curious when you stop to consider Araragi voluntarily gave her the majority of information on himself, never hesitating to answer any questions she asks. Hanekawa’s concerns for the mysterious underclassman are immediately dropped by Araragi, not out of wanting to dodge the issue, but due to his honest ignorance of her being seen as any kind of threat, more concerned with Oikura.
The dynamic between Hanekawa and Araragi has always leaned towards the type of dynamic you would expect from an intellect and an idiot, and the opening scene of the episode plays out accordingly. In the wrong hands, Araragi’s cluelessness would come off as painfully intolerable, but as it plays out here, it’s lighthearted and enjoyable, mainly due in part to the series’ BGM which doesn’t show any signs of being sinister until Ougi shows up.
With both Senjougahara and Oikura not showing up to school ever since their (one-sided) fisticuffs a few days prior, Hanekawa and Araragi decide to pay the two a visit—Hanekawa visiting Senjougahara and Araragi visiting Oikura. Araragi is about to leave when he is almost immediately intercepted by Ougi. Having already been primed by Hanekawa’s suspicions earlier, we as the viewers are immediately more cautious of Ougi—her actions and mannerisms that helped progress the plot episodes prior now seem more insidious. Araragi lets slip that he will be visiting Oikura, and you can practically see the gears in Ougi’s head turning, as she slowly but surely directs the conversation into having Araragi invite her to tag along.
Such underhanded verbal manipulation is clearly something Araragi is ill-equipped for and you begin to feel frustrated at the situation to the point that you’re relieved when Hanekawa makes her way into the scene.
What commences is one of the series’ more intense dialogue-exchanges in Owarimonogatari so far. Unlike the one-sided conversation between Araragi and Oikura, or the brief fight between Oikura and Senjougahara, the back-and-forth between Hanekawa and Ougi is entertaining in that both parties are fully capable of maintaining a cordial exchange of words while still trying to nudge the other into seeing things their way. On the surface, everything is kept incredibly polite, but underneath all the niceties it is clear that Hanekawa is defending Araragi from the threat she sees in Ougi. Even at its worst, the exchange feels like an argument minus any yelling.
Pair the exchange with the slowly reddening skies and sudden appearance of factory-like houses spewing smoke in the background, and it makes for a more entertaining moment than it should be, especially when considering it takes up the latter half of the episode. The slow buildup and realization that Araragi is still present in the scene makes its eventual resolution all the more satisfying.
In terms of plot progression, very little was actually achieved this episode. However, such has always been the norm for all Monogatari series. Going down the list and systematically checking off plot points has always been secondary to working in actual human interactions between each character. Allowing a proper amount of time for older cast members to reach conclusions about newer cast members is equally important as the overall plot, and that’s just what was done. Hanekawa and Ougi’s back-and-forth was like witnessing a dance of sorts, each person skillfully weaving their way around the other and making for an interesting episode as a whole.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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