What They Say:
During the month of October of his third year in high school, Koyomi Araragi is introduced to a transfer student named Ougi Oshino, who tells him she has something to consult with him. This reveals a tale that brings to light “what” makes Koyomi Araragi.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ougi Oshino was always one of the more oddball characters in the Monogatari series mainly because the anime introduced her with this assumption that you as the viewer already knew who she was. It was a rather unceremonious introduction that ended as quickly as it started and is only now showing signs of paying off. Similarly, what was originally shrugged off as a throwaway line from Senjougahara in Bakemonogatari about Araragi not being the most studious person now receives something of a backstory when he and Ougi end up being locked in a classroom that is inexplicably frozen in time.
Trying to calmly assess the situation, Araragi takes a seat in one of the classroom’s desks, to which Ougi questions why he chose that desk in particular to sit in. The combination of meandering conversation and seemingly out of place but nonetheless beautiful visuals that the series is known for commences, only to be brought to a brief halt when Araragi inspects the contents of the desk, finding one of his old textbooks with his name on it.
As it turns out, Araragi does recall a moment in his first year of high school involving being stuck in a classroom. The incident in question involved the entirety of his class meeting after school to discuss the possibility of a recent math test’s answers being leaked by somebody beforehand. Class president Oikura gathers her peers together in their class, insisting that nobody leave until a culprit is found among them.
Flashbacks of the classroom “trial” are excellent as expected of the Monogatari series. Quick cuts and overlapping statements made by faceless individuals creates tension in what would otherwise be a rather humdrum scene that no one would ever assume to be the source of any paranormal creations along the line. Class president Oikura comes off as the standard uppity president that wishes for nothing but answers. From the get-go, she is immediately detestable, but as the trial continues and things take a turn for the ugly, you begin to sympathize with her. Each plot point brought up in the trial flashbacks feels very intentional, and set up so the cliffhanger reveal of Oikura’s return to school feels like a proper reward as well as reminder that this series will be running the length of a full season rather than the OVA-esque runs of Monogatari predecessors like Hana- and Tsukimonogatari.
All the while, Ougi is clearly the captain of the plot as she steers Araragi into answering questions about his past and the classroom trial in particular. Similar to her Uncle, Ougi never comes off as too strong, which is in direct contrast to her occasionally blunt statements. If anything, she acts merely as a guide for Araragi to solve his current predicament himself than a major player in her own right. In that respect, Owarimonogatari feels like a back-to-basics approach rather than the continuation of an already existing story like Monogatari Second Season.
The Monogatari series makes exceptional use of plot threads originally thought to be resolved (or just plain extraneous to the overall series) and forming fully realized, interesting stories from them. Owarimonogatari is no different, with Ougi finally coming into the spotlight, albeit mainly to act as the meta character, prodding along Araragi between plot points. The added introduction of Oikura is a welcome bonus, as her introduction properly establishes her character archetype while also serving as a major focus of the story.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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