Monogatari S2 ep2: what makes you tick? Or do you tick just because?
Interesting how this episode used the maximum amount of wordage to get its point across. Though it still adds enough flavoring to make it palatable, to me at least.
The scenes with Hanekawa and Senjougahara were very wordy, but I thought it was an interesting dialogue where we get to see the budding and increasingly intimate relationship between the two unfold. We also get to see a lot more of Senjougahara’s budding and incredibly goofy personality. The first part of the episode is an interesting juxtaposition of the final, but we’ll cross that bridge in a moment.
The middle of this episode shows us the supernatural side of this setting. As we see the (triumphant?) return of Black Hanekawa. I find her a bit annoying – mesmerizing, but annoying nonetheless. In Hanekawa’s sleep, she takes it upon herself to leap out and find the White Tiger (such a majestic beast) and confront it. Basically, she states that she knows it is the reason that Hanekawa’s house was burned to the ground. And the Tiger keeps repeating something about how her very viewing of him is enough of a reason for these events to continue unabated. The cat apparition’s appearance seems to be nothing more than a futile effort. but it’s also a clear sign of the immense built up stress inside her host. Her night ends surprisingly when she meets Senjougahara at the entrance to the apartment. In a way, it feels like we see the old and new Senjougahra here, as she demands that the cat wipes its feet, but also to shake its hand. A nice moment for sure.
Hanekawa wakes up none the wiser, as we see she once again has no idea her stress is being vented by a supernatural being that’s taken over her body. And it’s not last night’s strange events that spark interesting conversation, but the breakfast served to the beautiful Senjougahara once she returns from her job. What she arrives at is a very well-made, very healthy, very bland meal (except for the bacon, no one can claim bacon to be bland). At the beginning of the episode, the conversation between the two girls lead to Senjougahara to believe that they had similar tastes, tastes in food, and tastes in men. But what she surmises from this breakfast is that she’s guessed totally wrong. It’s not that Hanekawa has similar taste, but that she doesn’t have a negative opinion about any tastes. Her plain food shows that she’s willing to deal with anything just the way that it is. It’s a lot to gather from one meal and some basic questions about seasoning, but given Hanekwawa’s personality, it’s not too strange a leap. What did surprise me a bit was that she then plainly, seriously asked if Hanekawa really did love Araragi. Heh. Has someone been scouted out, or does Senjougahara just have too much time on her hands without Araragi around?
I got a good amount of enjoyment out of this episode, and it wasn’t just because of two hot ladies playing with each other in the shower either. I’m intimately familiar with these characters now. And any thing that helps me see deeper into their psyche makes me happy. If the almost blank slate that is Hanekawa can be colored in a little more, then I’m more than happy to have as much conversation as it takes.
As for that troublesome tiger apparition, I’m not versed nearly well enough in Eastern culture to know what it’s appearance means, nor what effects it’s exactly having on Hanekawa’s life. It’s quite clear that more digging needs to be done. And I have a suspicion that Senjougahara is digging into that solution right now.