After the slow pacing of the last episode, this week’s picks up a little bit; however, I did still find it lacking compared to the episodes before. Following the fight with the samurai-less armor, Araragi and Kanbaru are saved by Ononoki. We get some playful back and forth between the two of them, as well as some useful information and a barefoot face massage. The emotionless corpse girl sends them on their way to find Gaen, or as she calls herself to Araragi, Big Sis Gaen. Along the way, Araragi and Kanbaru get to have a few sweet moments together, but not without a few dirty jokes from the underclassmen. In the end there is an anti-climactic reunion with Shinobu, who up until this point has been severed from her Master’s shadow since Shinobu Time.
At the start of the episode, Ononoki gets quite a bit of screen time giving us some fun dialogue between herself and our hero. While Araragi finds it to be a good idea to leave Kanbaru behind at home, Ononoki reminds him that his duty was to bring her to Gaen. Throughout the entire Monogatari series, we constantly find Araragi willing to put himself at risk in place of others, so it’s understandable at this point that he’d want to keep Kanbaru out of this, especially after finding out that this case will most likely involve Shinobu. We also find out that Ononoki happened to be at the cram school when the fire broke out not by chance, but rather because she was on a job sent by Gaen, and somewhere along the way the case she was working on tracking down an apparition that happened to somehow turn into the samurai armor.
One thing I do love about this arc is that it is more fan-service than the last – and yes, I understand that not everyone loves the fan-service, yet I believe it can be one of the many qualities of Monogatari. Considering we’re seeing more than just one of the Monogatari girls at a time, it’s safe to say we’ll get more of the patented, perverted Monogatari scenes. With Ononoki, as usual, Araragi tends to creep on her, sometimes getting a bit handsy, and in this case he lets her put her barefoot on his cheek and give him a face rub (but not without our perverted protagonist trying to slip a peek up her skirt). Kanbaru, on the other hand, tends to be overly sexually charged for Araragi and makes all the sexual jokes at his expense. She uses her body and her sex appeal to get him somewhere between “hot” and “bothered”. Lastly, with Shinobu he seems to swoon at her cuteness, something that I believe that Shinobu plays at very well. While she is still a thousand-year-old vampire, the blonde bombshell taps into her clumsy loli almost knowing that Araragi loves it.
On the way to visiting Gaen, Araragi and Kanbaru get lost, a la “Lost Cow”, and give Big Sis a call. Like all the specialists, she plays coy, yet knows all. She instructs that Araragi ask her niece for help, mentioning a bit about leaving her talents “untapped”. While that does irk me a bit, it was such a small mention in the dialogue that we’ll just have to wait to see where that takes us. As for Araragi, Kanabaru takes him to the park finally where they find Shinobu asleep on under the swings giving us some cute, clumsy moments that Kanbaru fawns for. While it was a less than dramatic reunion, they catch up and immediately are faced with an enemy in order to get Shinobu returned to her Master.
This episode is still rather slow compared to the pacing at which the previous went. However, I have been enjoying how much more playful and fun the dialogue and banter has been in this episode. We’re slowly ramping up to it, but I feel like we’ll start seeing more action soon. Also, I’m also pro-Shinobu, so I may be biased.
The less dramatic the episode is, the less head tilts. This episode was heavy on the fan-service and humor, so getting only five head-tilts isn’t so surprising.