Home > Check-in Station > Check-in Station: Monogatari S2 eps12 – 15 (goodbye Nadeko Sengoku)

Check-in Station: Monogatari S2 eps12 – 15 (goodbye Nadeko Sengoku)


How did things come to this? I leave the Monogatari series for just a little bit and the formerly cute, formerly disturbingly sexy Nadeko has become a monster!

Scratch that.  The Nadeko we know isn’t a monster, she’s dead and something else is in her place.  Either that, or this is her true form, and we’ve been fooled all along.

Episode 12

Hell of a start to this life. It’s beyond clear that something’s wrong with Nadeko when you see her in huddled under rubble, talking to a snake that appears to not be there. As the episode starts, things slowly unfold, and we learn that what we’re watching may be the conclusion, not the beginning. But something familiar has reared its ugly head regardless, there’s a nasty, nasty oddity inhabiting a girl’s body. And I have a feeling she’s fallen this far partially because of her love of Koyomi. How did we get to this point?

It appears this story starts for Nadeko around Halloween, well after Koyomi has rid her of the snake curse.  She’s just heading on her way to school when she’s nearly run over by someone on a bike, though they miss her in spectacular fashion, crashing to the ground down the street.  It’s Ougi Oshino, the chick we saw a few episodes before at Koyomi’s school.  And she’s speaking quite strangely, as if she’s the narrator of the story, or at least has the narrator’s knowledge of it.  Either that or she’s a time traveler, which as we just recently learned, isn’t out of the question.  And what we get from her talk is that she’s got a very pointed tongue when she wants to have one, openly referring to Nadeko as a victim, perhaps even a willful victim.  In the end, the conversation with Nadeko takes much longer than the poor girl expected.  And as Ougi takes off down the road, she wonders if she’s had her time stolen from her.

As Nadeko gets to school, we learn a lot about her school life since the incident with the snakes.  Apparently, Kaiki’s actions from Nisemonogatari had a very hard and lasting effect on her class.  Leaving the atmosphere there quite strained and exposed.  Also, Nadeko keeps seeing white snakes that disappear like mirages as she goes through the school.  She’s troubled enough by her state that she calls Koyomi to ask for help.  Though he’s puzzled by the circumstances, and the lack of clues, he of course will help.  But he opts to wait until nightfall, when Shinobu has awakened.  He’s hoping her expertise can help solve the problem.  The funny thing is that no sooner does she get off the phone, then the white snake hallucinations start up again.  Even worse, a voice appears in her head, mocking her, telling her she’s not a victim.  In his words, there are no such things as victims, and he tells her to meet him at the polar snake shrine.  There she sees a tree covered with mutilated snakes.  It’s quite clear now, that what is plaguing her is an oddity of white snakes.  Possibly the snakes in their deaths each cursed Nadeko for what she had done to them.  Regardless, the huge white snake apparition appears to her, and makes a deal.  A deal that likely will take her body away.  The question now is, what does the snake want?

I am left wondering after this episode just how much evil is residing in Nadeko.  Though maybe the word evil is the wrong one here.  Perhaps the word is malice, or maliciousness?  But there’s definitely something dark inside her that readily accepts these oddities.  I can’t fathom what would make her go and do something like kill and mutilate dozens of white snakes.  And given the world these Monogatari novels are set in, such wanton and malicious actions only invite bad karma and reprisal.

Episode 13

Things start off on a bad note here.  Nadeko has already accept the white snake oddity, and now she’s hidden it from Koyomi.  On top of that, her new oddity has already given her a task.  He wants her to find his corpse.  Ew.

During the day, we learn that the snake oddity hides on Nadeko’s wrist, masquerading as a white scrunchie.  It’s a convenient enough disguise, but the fact that he chooses not to make himself invisible shows that he’s not all that powerful right now.  He’s also quite the chatterbox at school, despite saying otherwise.  Making comments in class to the point that she has to leave and tell him to shut up.  At night, Nadeko is required to undertake the task of finding its corpse.  The reason for this is that apparently it was a powerful idol that was worshipped at the shrine, but it’s gone now.  It seems also that Shinobu is responsible for his problems as well, twice over.  Once probably being when he was initially killed hundreds of years ago, the second time being when she used all the evil energy at the shrine to time travel.  Though in the end, it really does seem like the snake is just taking advantage of Nadeko’s guilt.  He even says so himself.

He’s not the only dirtbag though, as Nadeko is getting pressure from multiple angles.  Her own homeroom teacher has tasked her with improving the atmosphere of her tense and silent class.  And even the snake can see that that’s not a job any one ordinary student should undertake.

Speaking of tasks, nightfall comes and Nadeko and her snake master begin their search for his body, with the snake oddity mentioning that his body would vibrate like a cell phone once the body was close.  And at first, it seems that they’ve already hit the lottery, but it’s a bit of a false alarm.  the snake explains that his spiritual energy must have been dispersed all over the place.  And it’s not a good sign for their first night of searching.  Even worse for the search is that Koyomi finds Nadeko on her late night stroll.

Koyomi gives her a bit of a talking to, warning her that such action are dangerous and could get her in a lot of trouble.  It seems that Nadeko’s jail break did not go unnoticed and they called the Araragi residence to ask one of her friends, the Fire Sisters, if they knew where she went.  Tsukihi lied and said that she was spending the night over there, and when Koyomi overheard, he panicked and went out looking for Nadeko.

Despite the weird situation of finding Nadeko building a giant sand castle in the middle of the night, Koyomi buys her story about being stressed and tells her that she can stay the night and rest.  He even loans her Tsukihi’s clothes and his bed.  A bed he’s more than willing to share– oh never mind!  Shinobu’s awake now!  And with one swift Dragon Punch, Koyomi’s the one asleep!

With Shinobu safely preventing Koyomi from doing anything perverted (aside from bathing her child-like body), she turns her attention to Nadeko.  Nadeko would’ve been fine, if she could have kept to her specialty of staying silent, but with just a few comments, she’s sucked into Shinobu’s momentum.  The loli vampire figures her out pretty clearly.  Pegging little Nadeko not as the smart, but silent type everyone believes her to be, but as the quiet, demure air head who has the ability to enchant all those around her with her ability to play the victim.  Man!  I just loved this scene!  You really got the sense that Shinobu was the predator and Nadeko was the prey.  Not only was she hiding  the snake oddity (who had fallen silent this entire time) right under Shinobu’s nose, but she was trying to hide her real personality as well.  And that failed miserably.  Shinobu closes by telling Nadeko that she can just keep on living her life the way she does, making Koyomi worry about her every move.  She just finds it fortunate for her that she’s cute enough to pull it off.

Yikes!  I’m somewhat at a loss for words after that last scene.  Shinobu just tore her down to her core.  Picking apart Nadeko’s every motive and emotion to a tee.  She knows that Nadeko is just a passive manipulator, and she uses the fact that Koyomi is unconscious to her full ability right here.  And I found it very telling how the snake oddity just shut up completely inside the Araragi household.  I don’t doubt he was hiding his presence to the best of his ability, probably after sensing Shinobu.  I just wonder if Shinobu could sense it back?

Episode 14

This episode starts off as a sort of character study of Nadeko, as if Shinobu’s talk to her wasn’t already enough of one.  Tsukihi is surprised to see Nadeko in her brother’s bad, when she realizes that he must have found her and just let her stay at their house for the night, so as not to call out Tsukihi’s le.  Though Nadeko’s shaken demeanour entices her to delve deeper into Nadeko and how she feels, in the process soothing the wounds left by Shinobu, but at the same time slowly turning into an interrogation about Nadeko’s true motives for saying she’s in love with Koyomi.  In a way, it’s just what a curious, protective, meddlesome sister would do.  It’s just done in Monogatari’s traditional super stylized way.

The most pressing part comes when Nadeko presses her about her motives for still being in love with Koyomi despite him clearly having a girlfriend.  To Tsukihi, Nadeko seems like a girl who is merely treating Koyomi as a target of affection, like some big screen idol or something.  Her actions and words don’t necessarily match up.  On one hand, Nadeko admits to being in love with Koyomi since grade school, on the other hand, she’s surprisingly understanding of his relationships, and even more puzzling, she has no problem inviting Koyomi over, dressing provocatively for him or flirting.  In the end, Tsukihi admits that she wanted to root for Nadeko from afar and quietly, but she’s done with that now.  And just as sudden as anything, she whips out a pair of scissors and snips Nadeko’s bangs right off!

Nadeko freaks out and blacks out after that, and an hour later finds herself outside trying to deny reality, though the snake oddity won’t have any of that.  He finally decides to start speaking now that no one is around again.  On the way to school, Nadeko starts noticing that things are a bit different without her bangs, but is still extremely self concious about them.  The snake oddity tells her that he’d be willing to fix her hair if she could find his body.  Matter of fact, he thinks that last night’s encounter with Koyomi may have given him a good idea of where his body is, though he shuts up quickly again when Nadeko’s homeroom teacher comes around for her at the school.

At first, the teacher doesn’t recognize her with the new hairstyle (which is pretty lame), but once she confirms her identity he once again asks her if she’s done anything about the atmosphere in the homeroom class.  Nadeko tries to her usual routine of looking away and avoiding conflict, but it doesn’t work this time.  She suspects that it’s the new hairstyle that has changed things.  After all, her face and its expressions are more clear now.  So instead she decides to use her voice to try and avoid the situation, and that’s when things change…

The normally sweet and quiet Nadeko turns into a foul mouthed, loud, verbally spiteful being, who belittles and screams at her teacher, and herself!  She then storms off to her homeroom to finally do what her teacher requested.  She kicks in the door, storms in, and screams at her classmates to get over themselves and their petty differences.  And it may have been a slightly uplifting speech if she wasn’t belittling them like a drill sergeant the entire time.  Holy crap!  Nadeko’s changed so much that even I didn’t recognize her at a glance!

Needless to say, her day of school ends early.

With time now on their hands, the snake oddity tells Nadeko that that outburst wasn’t his fault, but merely a side effect of merging with him, allowing the shackles she normally puts on herself to come off.  Nadeko still blames him, but also says she wants to put an end to their endevour and find his body since they have free time and the knowledge.  The snake oddity  instructs her to go to Koyomi’s house, believing that someone probably found his body before them and entrusted Koyomi with it.

Once there, he has no issue breaking into the house.  As they search, Nadeko is surprisingly honest with herself and the snake.  Admitting that infatuation with Koyomi was one of convenience before all other things.  How else could she be in love with someone she hardly knew for six years?  Though despite her honesty, she still manages to get distracted rummaging through Koyomi’s stuff and finding dirty magazines.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The snake oddity’s body is found between the pages of one of those magazines as a bookmark.  Well, it’s not necessarily a bookmark or his body.  It’s a talisman.    The snake oddity couldn’t be happier, it seems his body was preserved on the talisman as a drawing.  He can hardly contain himself, and asks Nadeko to hurry up and feed him the talisman.  And he also promises her any wish she wants.  And what Nadeko wishes for, is for Koyomi to reciprocate her love.

Though Koyomi tells her that’s impossible as he stands there in her doorway.

!!!!

Wow!  This has just been a winding road of discovery in terms of Nadeko’s character.  She’s so easily painted the villain, even as she sits there in the most perfectly cute and innocent ways.  And the whole time Tsukihi talks to her at the beginning of this episode, you can see her hitting the nail on the head over and over again.  But I guess what Shinobu said about enchantment was true.  Nadeko’s routine was a perfectly weaved spell of deception.  We saw the real Nadeko burst forth it seems.  And it was kinda scary.

Still, at the end of the episode we see that perhaps Nadeko did such a good job of being the cute quiet one, that she even deceived herself into not believing that she really, really wanted Koyomi.  Because when she’s given the chance to have anything in the world, she chooses for Koyomi to fall in love with her.  That’s kinda stunning.  And now that we’re to this point, I can see how things got so crazy in that opening scene from episode twelve.  I don’t think Nadeko is going to take the combination of being exposed and being rejected very well.  And I think the snake oddity (soon to become a snake god again) is going to take this opportunity to take his revenge.  He’s like a guy who just got out of jail, he’s not going back to not having a body again!

Episode 15

The best efforts of man are never enough, it’s always intentions that play the critical part.

We get to see the last moments of sanity in this episode as it begins and Nadeko is faced with a choice.  Right before her is her crush, or faux crush (things are getting confusing fast), trying to play negotiator here and talk Nadeko down from her precarious perch.  She’s in a pretty awkward spot, not only sneaking into Koyomi’s house and room, but by holding a talisman that contains the corporeal remains of a long dead and forgotten snake god.  And I’m not sure we’ll ever know exactly how things would have turned out if Koyomi was merely left to talk to Nadeko, because right in the middle of it, Shinobu pops up (it’s the middle of the day, you’d think she’d be napping) and starts belittling the Nadeko, essentially pick right back up from their little spat two episodes ago.  Shinobu’s brow beating and threats, coupled with Nadeko’s own realization that the white scrunchie on her arm was just a hair piece, and that the oddity was in her head the entire time probably sent her over the edge, and she eats the talisman.  Shinobu tries to beat her to the punch by attempting to eat her, but it’s too late.  The snake god is reborn in Nadeko, and she wrecks the two of them in an instant, poisoning Shinobu with a dozen snake bites, and piercing Koyomi over and over again with a spear-like snake extension.

As the scene shifts back to what we saw at the beginning of this arc, we hear the Nadeko and snake talk things out.  He explains that the mere belief she had in him was enough to revive him in her mind.  And that her belief in him was so strong, that it was enough to revive him all by herself.  To make matters simple, everything up until she swallowed the talisman was just her own delusion, her talent for escapism was so strong, that it lead to this very disaster, and the revival of a god!  Pretty crazy.

Even more crazy is how all the clues were there for her, but she just seemed to forget or ignore them.  Whether it be the constant visiting and praying at a shrine, the research she did at the library, or even the knowledge of the snake’s talisman that was given to her by – Oshino Ougi!  *smacks forehead*  How the hell did I forget about that?!  Damn those creepy empty eyes of hers!  So distracting!

Everything that has happened up to this point has actually been a well calculated plot by a young girl who is absolutely insane!  Granted, the door opened by Oshino Ougi left her an open path to this conclusion, but in the end, this was all Nadeko’s ambition and plotting that brought everything to this point.  It just boggles the mind that with just the right moves, she’s become a god, and the big bad for this story.

As things settle in, Nadeko starts to come to grips with her predicament and makes the decision to kill Shinobu and especially Koyomi.  They’re only saved by the most convenient of phone calls, as Senjougahara calls Koyomi’s phone, expecting to get Nadeko.  She bargains for their lives by telling Nadeko that if she’s that serious about killing them and since she’s a god, she can afford to listen to her request and give them time.  How much time?  Until graduation.  Nadeko finds this hilarious, and agrees.  It seems the only thing she fears is the warning Senjougahara gives her about who to kill in what order.  She fears a fully powered Shinobu, who would be a god above her abilities.

End of arc.

I’m so tired after watching this episode.  And it’s not for any bad reason, it’s just that this episode builds and builds and builds up to the very end, where we find out that Nadeko is a completely insane god who couldn’t be more satisfied with wiping out Koyomi and anyone he’s ever cared for.  In essence, this whole arc is a slap in the face of anyone who found Nadeko to be a boring and almost pointless character, a statement that I’m sure plenty of people agreed with before this arc.  I still just can’t fathom how much this adds to everything in the series up to this point.  You could say that every girl in Koyomi’s harem has played the villain in some way up to this point, though you’d really classify Nadeko much more as a victim than anything.  Yet here we are staring at the youngest and most naive member of this group, and she’s just insane.

This feels like a brilliant reveal to me.  I just keep thinking back to all those times she’s been confronted about her attitude, her fascade, her lies.  I chose to ignore those and give her the benefit of a doubt, even as the show told the audience up front that she was a calculating liar.  Even as we saw her explode in the previous episode, we now realize that that had nothing to do with the snake.  That was all her!  That was all her real personality.  It’s striking, and I’m a little short for words on this subject right now because of it.

Looking back over this arc, it really has done an outstanding job of transforming this little girl with what appeared to be no personality outside of her silent crush on Koyomi, into an insane yandere god!  And I guess looking back, all those years ago in Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari, it should have been a warning sign that she seemed to be so fixated on Koyomi.  The funny thins is that there was never a clear sign though that she was going to explode like this, not until she ran into Oshino Ougi, who I very much am confused about in terms of where she fits in the story.  There’s so little really known or confirmed about her, yet she seems so powerful.  It’s hard to guess whether she’s the end game, or merely a troublesome and powerful manipulator.  But after seeing what she’s just instigated, I can’t say anything good is going to come from her further interventions.  I also wonder how much more trouble she’s already caused we don’t know about.

The rabbit hole is deep my friends, and we’re so deep into this story we can’t even see the light from the way we came.

Further Reading:

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  1. October 14, 2013 at 04:09

    It wasn’t that fun to watch for me… Especially because in last episode I identified some traits of my personality similar to Nadeko’s. And the next thing I know she becomes psychopatic murderer god.. -_- I don’t even… Anyway, great as always. This show has the highest rewatchability level I’ve ever seen in any show in television. Since the original (abridged, lol) TV release I’ve already watched Bakemono four or five times, the rest of the series at least twice and I know I will watch it many times more. I always find something new in their story and characters – it’s fascinating.

    As for Oshino Ougi, I think she might be what Nisio Isin would describe as a Devil. If you think about it, Devil is definitely in close relationship with the Priest (Meme and his niece) and everyone knows how stereotypical western devil behaves. No, even the eastern ones are sometimes so twisted you don’t know what to think about them.

    • October 14, 2013 at 04:18

      A great comment, thanks!

      And I wouldn’t take the extreme turn of events for Nadeko to heart. The Monogatari franchise does push the limit of personality traits.

      And Oshino is definitely otherworldly. And considering that we’ve already dealt with so many other strange supernatural entities, having an actual devil just show up in the story almost seems over due. Then again, I hear Kanbaru will have her own devil arc eventually.

  1. December 1, 2013 at 03:59
  2. January 16, 2014 at 02:45

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