Home > Check-in Station, Episode by Episode > Check-in Station: Monogatari Season 2 ep1 (my spirit animal is actually a spirit animal!)

Check-in Station: Monogatari Season 2 ep1 (my spirit animal is actually a spirit animal!)

Senjougahara! Welcome back! Hanekawa! Welcome back! Even you Mayoi! Welcome back! Araragi- Araragi? Araragi? Hey! Where the hell is the main character?! We’re starting a series here!

Hanekawa has an interesting life. Conversely, Hanekawas also has a bland lifeless life. We see in the opening scenes how plain, segregated and lifeless her household seems. While Araragi’s home can appear rather empty at times, his sisters add some life to things. But here, it’s all Hanekawa alone. When she’s speaks of family, we never see them. When she speaks of family, only the barest of interactions happens. It looks like her home life has a story, a lonely, stark white story.

On the way to school, Hanekawa runs across everyone’s fave underaged snail apparition. Mayoi rushes up to her and inquires cheerfully if she’s seen Araragi. Hanekawa is ignorant of his whereabouts, and Mayoi then tells her the interesting story of their night together. This is all done while giving playful teases of an upskirt of course. Hanekawa ignores the flammable statement about being dragged away to his house and tells her that if she sees our hero, she’ll tell Mayoi.

Almost immediately after Mayoi scurries off, Hanekawa reaches an intersection. Once there, the wind starkly changes and she finds herself frozen in terror, faced with the spectacle of a giant white tiger (one of my favorite animals). The giant tiger (which has to be an apparition) talks to her, mentioning something about how beautiful and white her lies of ignorance are. *shrugs* I guess he’s a poet? Fortunately for her, the giant tiger walks by and disappears without incident… or so we think.

At school, Hanekawa immediately finds Senjougahra and tells her about the crossing with the tiger apparition. Senjougahara being as leveled headed (relatively) and beautiful as she is questions her judgment in coming to her instead of Araragi with such a strange incident. Hanekawa informs her that the loser isn’t around today, and after Senjougahara playfully makes fun of her boyfriend for being such a loser that people don’t even notice him when he’s blatantly absent, they start talking about how to address the situation. And that is by directly trying to get a hold of Araragi and asking for help. It’s very telling that Senjougahara points out that no one ever asks him for assistance. He generally jumps at the chance to do so before it can even be brought up (a quality so awesome, that it’s probably the reason he’s dating her). Hanekawa is told that she’s going to have to be more up front if she expects his assistance.

The conversation is unfortunately interrupted by the sight of smoke coming from over the buildings. It’s almost suspicious how quickly Hanekawa realizes that it’s her house that’s on fire. And boy is it on fire. Once Hanekawa arrives, it’s been rent to the ground. Nothing but debris is left.

This takes a toll on Hanekawa, but a toll that she keeps inside. We’re reminded again in this scene how lifeless her homelife is, as her and her parents merely move on to the next logical step, which is finding a place to stay for the night. Hanekawa volunteers to stay with a unnamed friend and leaves with her bare essentials. Again, we don’t actually see or hear directly from the parents. Even more strange, Hanekawa chooses to not ask anyone for help, and a place to stay, but instead chooses to slum it in the abandoned cram school that Oshino once called home. Sure the place is filled with memories, but not much else. I’d hardly call it shelter.

GEEEZ! Why won’t this girl ask for help?!

Which is a question I was asking myself just as Senjougahara shows up to sceam at and slap Hanekawa. And though she comes on strong, I can definitely understand how she feels. A friend and comrade of hers (and romantic rival) just disappears after her home is burned down, and no one knows where she is? Senjougahara went through hell trying to find her. And it was at the last place she looks that she finds her.

Hanekawa is wisked away to Senjougahara’s home, where again there are no parents available, nor are they planning on being at the house for the night. (Man, if this crap happened in real life, there’d be so much teenage sex.) It’s interesting to see Hanekawa reflect on the burned out building she used to call home.

What happened after that, I’m not entirely sure of. I know there was some talk of handling the tiger themselves, since Araragi was away probably handling some serious mess for Mayoi. And then I remember a lot of bras, panties and talk of a joint shower. When I woke up, there was blood all over my keyboard and monitor. I think someone assaulted me while I was at my desk.

End of episode.

YAY! YEAH! WOO-WEEEEE! The Monogatari series is back! And it feels so good to watch it again! Everything feels right! Everything seems to play out just the way I want! And Senjougahara is the most beautiful woman in anime! AAAAAH!

OK, OK, I’m sorry. Let’s put on our scholar’s hat, relax and think about the episode.

I really have to wonder how bloody haunted this town is. What horrible thing happened to humanity or nature to make this town such a hotbed for apparitions and malicious spirits? Given her lifeless (yes, I’m gonna keep using that adjective) home life, and all these spirit related incidents, I’d say she has a high concentration of good and bad vibes going. It’s funny, my views on her have changed quite a bit since I first saw her in episode one of Bakemonogatari. Then again, we know a hell of a lot more about everything than we did in the beginning. And Hanekawa and Senjougahara have really molded themselves into diverse, memorable characters. I’m still left wondering how Hanekawa connects with that tiger apparition and the fire. It seems fairly obvious that the tiger possessed her and allowed her to lash out at the house. But I’m not going to jump out and say that’s my conclusion. This is a very weird show, even though it’s often the simplest, most honest answers that are correct in it.

Senjougahara… long hair, short hair, I don’t care. You are beautiful to me! It was funny watching her interact with Hanekawa and often give her the same teasing treatment she gives Araragi. Despite their romantic rivalry, there’s still a deep friendship there. Perhaps it’s something similar to soldiers who’ve gone to war together. They’ve both been through a lot. And they’re not out of the wood, yet.

There isn’t much of a need for me to go into details about the animation, music or direction. If anything is steady and reliable in the Monogatari series, its that stuff and the heart-pounding sexuality of the visuals. If you haven’t watched the other series, especially Bakemonogatari, then you’ll probably be quite confused. Then again, why haven’t you watched Bakemonogatari, yet?! It’s amazing! Go watch that, Nisemonogatari and Nekomonogatari (Black) and then watch this! Go!

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