tiistai 17. syyskuuta 2019

Update on Monogatari Retrospective

I have not started it yet.

There. I said it.

Zoku Owarimonogatari was released this June, and it has been 3 months since. My situation has changed again (I have started at a University), so my time will be limited.

However. I will start the rewatching and writing process NOW.

It has been too long, and it all comes to an end.

I will probably do it all in a long-form video format instead of text because I feel like it deserves it. However, this means that it will take a long time.

So, until that time.

lauantai 22. syyskuuta 2018

I'm coming back


Zokuowarimonogatari is released on October, I think. I hear that while not the final part in the series, it does have a sense of finality in it, being the end of Araragi's school life.

I have not actually followed the series since, what, 2015? I'm planning on watching and rewatching everything up to this point. I don't even know what happens in Kizumonogatari even though I have it as a book.

Anyway. For the people who are interested in hearing the dying words of the Surprisingly Complex series, I will probably make it as a video essay, though with a different username. I am too busy to start working on SuCo again (I have a working life now, involving a lot of writing), but I need to get this series off my shoulders. I know Musubi had some new plot threads, but I will get to them when I see animation of those. Maybe.

sunnuntai 25. lokakuuta 2015

Owarimonogatari, Part 3

I didn't update last week, I tried to, but couldn't write anything of substance. But now I've come back, but... Sadly, having accidentally read spoilers (Damn you non-alerting writers / commenters on the internet!) about Ougi, some of the post will be whited out to avoid spoiling people. Because like this series often likes to do, the change of perception before and after the twists are massive, so after the twist is revealed, feel free to check this post again! Ironically the spoilers I've seen have been really non-descriptive, so their true nature might be wrong in my head. Anyway, let's get this party started. 

Surprisingly Complex: Owarimonogatari, Part 3

How formidable a foe is Ougi? Formidable enough for Hanekawa to use her last resort? Nope. Even more formidable. Formidable enough for Hanekawa to make mistakes.

By mistake I mean Hanekawa's last line in the episode. It implied that Araragi took Hanekawa's offer seriously, where he himself just thought that making the offer itself was a point strong enough to choose her. Such a little slip of character might be normal for other people, but not for her. It just is to show how much she's taking in. Take a look at the scenes going on, it would seriously seem that Hanekawa is out of her element. Not being able to resolve a conflict that ended in violence (Oikura and Senjougahara), not being able to argue Oikura about her clothes. It's like she's being pushed into situations where she has no time to plan, and cannot use her knowledge bank to her advantage.

If Ougi is even remotely the reason Oikura came back, one of the reasons might have been to throw Hanekawa out of the loop. Having to confront a two new people who seriously affect Araragi at the same time would throw her out of the loop pretty bad, and it seems like Ougi was rather successful.

Before Ougi, Araragi is zero, nada. That is why in the first episode of Owari, he stated that all is zero before Ougi. While it is true in his case, it's only true in his case. Only Araragi seems to be so absolutely affected by Ougi. While she has power over others (Nadeko, for example), her powers are not nearly as absolute as when she's dealing with Araragi. 

And then there was this. I don't think I have ever seen that kind of expression on Hanekawa before. One of the first times her normal self has even shown an negative expression. It's kind of amazing, really. To get such a strong reaction from Hanekawa means that Ougi is business.

And going back to the beginning, let's talk about Araragi's amnesia. He had forgotten Oikura, and he had also forgotten Nadeko before. Is it connected to the Class Assembly? Or did something happen before starting High School that made it hard to remember? Or does he simply have an extremely bad memory? We know that his face memory seems to be pretty bad, but his name memory is good, (Which might explain why he forgot Oikura, as he never heard her name). But it doesn't explain Nadeko... Perhaps he these incidents are separate, and he forgot about Oikura before the Class Assembly, and forgot about Nadeko after the Class Assembly? We may know at some point.

And next, a very swift thing that one might miss: Hanekawa presumed that going to the ruined house was Araragi tagging along with Ougi. It might seem irrelevant, but do not forget who we're talking about here. Hanekawa even elaborated later that they weren't on the same page as Araragi didn't undestand that when she was talking about a dangerous person, she was talking about Ougi, not Oikura. She then said that "It's as if you're diverting the point of this conversation on purpose." It seems as if Araragi is subconsciously trying to avert talking about Ougi. Weird...
And wasn't it weird that Ougi knew things like where Senjougahara and Oikura lived? Even though she just now heard that Oikura lives on her own? And knew the addresses well enough to know that Senjougahara lives further away? Weird...

Does this look familiar?
Does the picture of traffic lights seem familiar? When was traffic lights last mentioned in the series? Was it... Ougi?

Ougi talked about traffic lights way back in the beginning of Kabukimonogatari. Interestingly, the placement of this seemingly random part of the Second Season is still kind of ambiguous, but I would place it somewhere around here in the timeline. Exact day and time is uncertain to me, but I think it could be during the first episode of Owarimonogatari, when they went to the third floor of the school building.

The original idea behind the traffic lights was that when people are vigilant of danger they are more safe than when they take safety for granted. I am unsure if it connects to the matter at hand or if the traffic lights and the rush hour in the street was just allegories thrown around in the novels.

Okay, now let's see this again from the perspective of spoilers. Unspoiled people, I really hope that you won't spoil yourselves!

[Drag to see spoilers: Ougi is apparently an apparition created by Araragi's unconscious, and thus IS Araragi, or as I like to think right now, his doubts and secrets]

Now that we've got that out of the way, taking that into account, I can continue theorising. Everything will be in white though so unspoiled people don't have to look at them.

In this new light, Araragi diverting attention away from Ougi in the conversation seems obvious.  He doesn't want to doubt himself.

Araragi being absolute zero in front of Ougi makes sense now, because fighting one's unconscious is pretty hard.

Hanekawa knows about Ougi's true nature, maybe not entirely, but she knows that Ougi is an apparition, but realizes that as she is connected to Araragi, she cannot just say that Ougi is an apparition to him.

Though, if Ougi is an apparition created from Araragi's mind, does that mean that Araragi has started doubting Hanekawa? If taken from this stance, I'd actually say... That Hanekawa has tried to grasp the situation of Ougi from afar, resulting in her absence during Araragi's recent adventures. She does this because she knows that interfering could be dangerous, ironically creating a vicious cycle where her calm observation creates more doubts for Araragi, making Ougi stronger as consequence. Of course, as she noticed this, she took action and stopped Ougi on her tracks. Interested to see how this develops.

And of course Ougi knows that Senjougahara lives further away than Oikura. It's Araragi's knowledge, after all. Like she said before, she knows nothing, only Araragi's knowledge matters.

keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2015

Owarimonogatari Part 2: √ARARAGI

Surprisingly Complex: Owarimonogatari Part 2


Oikura hates Araragi. Araragi cannot hate Oikura.

Araragi = Araragi cannot hate Oikura.

The equation is incomplete, we need more variables.

My horrible attempt at witty math aside, this somehow holds true. Almost as if the fact that Oikura DOES hate Araragi makes him unable to hate her.

Guilt? Pity? Both? Something else entirely? We will know when all the pieces have been placed.

Wasn't it odd, though, that Ougi was mentioned in the intro, without any particular meaning? I think it's a clue toward Ougi's true character, which is still a mystery to me.

Anyway. Let's start with the opening:

Mathematical theme, unsurprisingly, knowing Oikura's fondness of Mathematics... Now I can only wonder what Araragi's opening would look like... Excluding a million pantyshots, of course. We may know when Araragi Stories and Kizumonogatari come.

Anyway, sadly, there is no translation for the opening song, so I cannot analyze the lyrics, but I can analyze the imagery. Remember when I said that I don't actually care for theoretical mathematics? I did mean it, but I happen to know most of the things that appear in the opening (Which is, by the way, one of the best IMO. Owarimonogatari started with two REALLY STRONG openings. Maybe Mr. Haneoka is at his best with Openings?).

There are fractals, tori (torus) and tesseracts, all of which represent, more or less, the fourth dimension. I think that's what they we're going for. The fourth dimension is time, so it might be relevant.

Anyway. After the Opening, we start at the middle school Araragi attended. They're retracing the steps of the mystery that is Araragi (I'll stop using that, I swear). Anyway, to find the root of Araragi that Oikura so desperately wants Araragi to find, they need to retrace Araragi's movements from five years past, back when he was just a wee seventh grader.

It becomes apparent that Araragi didn't even know Oikura was in the same class as him, and suddenly when he had "solved the puzzle", Oikura returned to class. But I'd say that it isn't that simple. Of course, it NEVER IS that simple, eh? I'd say that it's more probable that Ougi is a reality-bender (and made it happen than) believe that it was just that simple. Or even so simple that Oikura replaced the culprit, the teacher.

Though, Ougi being a reality bender would not surprise me at this point. All her/his appearances have had this eerie feeling. Changing sexes? Causing memory loss? Weird coincidences and being unable to lie to her/him? Yeah, I'd say Ougi is a reality-bender, or at least a perception- or memory-bender. Something akin to that. Probably not "there" at all.

They find the envelopes that were conveniently in the locker. Of course, I'd rather say that they never went to the middle school. Araragi was just telling it in story format to Ougi. My proof? There's no point in going there. Araragi just skimmed over the middle school part, which was to prove that your initial, snap logic, might be wrong. Afterwards they just go to the ruined mansion, but first, Oikura.

Araragi seems to be taking well the fact that Oikura was asking all these private questions about him from Hanekawa. He thought it would be easy cake, because why would anyone ask those questions unless they're in lov- Yeah, no. 

He then very indiscreetly (Allegory, shown with his exaggerated movements and tone of voice) confronted Oikura. Trying to get her attention by calling himself being the former attendance number 2. He's probably just trying to stay within his life's more irrelevant facts, because he knows that Oikura remembers him.

What's with this "Thanks to you" business, honestly?
She then blows up and starts telling Araragi how much she hates him. Like he had killed her parents or something. Araragi uses that line a lot, and I think it might actually be what this is about. I would theorise Araragi being the indirect cause (At least in the mind of Oikura) for a death of a person close to her. Or better, her parents. Of course, rather often these kinds of things turn into red herrings, so it could be anything. Anyway, Oikura feels that Araragi has seriously wronged her in the past, and now hates him with passion. Note: Oikura's breakdown was most probably overplayed a lot. Araragi's perception of how she broke down might be way different from the reality.

As Araragi tries to calm Oikura, she decides to stab his hand, for she already told him not to touch her, and he just did. As Araragi walks back toward his seat, he realizes that not only was not Hanekawa done with her thing, another person had come also. Senjougahara. Just the second I knew it was Senjougahara, I just stopped the video for five minutes. I knew this was not going to end well. 

I was surprised when Senjougahara just went "hmm" in an interested matter... "I will kill you." Okay, this train has wrecked. Evacuate the citizens, please stay in line, don't walk over other people. We're done.

Hanekawa is trying to stop her (Shown as her clinging to Senjougahara futilely), but she is rather unsuccessful. Isn't it interesting how the dynamic between Hanekawa and Senjougahara suddenly changed? Usually Hanekawa is very much in control, but now, she's unable to stop her.

And then a little surprise (If one read the quick notes, it might be less surprising), Oikura and Senjougahara knew each other. And if you rewind the last episode, you remember Oikura asking Senjougahara specifically for her opinion. And it was OIKURA who started the class assembly, suddenly it makes sense for Senjougahara to be there. But this also leads to something way back. Oikura was probably one of the first people to help Senjougahara with her illness. I think it is relatively important to note that she was one of the first. How do I know she was one of the first, if not the first?
Senjougahara lost her weight at the end of middle school, and Oikura and Senjougahara were close to each other (Thinks I) by the time of class assembly, July 17. if I recall correctly. That's only a few months of difference, so her being one of the first to help is not a hard equation to complete. Only under a year after this was when Senjougahara threatened Kanbaru with the stationery knife, so I deem that part of her life pretty important for her hardening of character.

In the conversation, we hear tidbits, such as Oikura taking care of people below her (It was probably just Senjougahara provoking her), and Oikura believing that anyone can actually care for Araragi... Interesting that only when Senjougahara bluntly told Oikura that she wants to be with Araragi does Oikura slap her. Weird, isn't it? The other things she said were way more provocative, and that happens to be the single thing that triggers Oikura. Like she doesn't want to admit that anyone might not hate Araragi.
*Double KO*

Jump back to Araragi and Ougi. They go through the Monty Hall problem, and how it works. Notice how Araragi does remember what the letter contains before even seeing it. He hasn't forgotten.

AND HOLY SHIT I REALIZED ONLY NOW. GODDAMNIT OUGI. GODDAMNIT. Don't go looking at Nadeko's shoe locker. Stay one million miles away from it.... So, post-foreshadowing for that. Took me a while to realize that.

After they break into the broken mansion, we get to know that Araragi's parents are police officers. Thus, unsurprisingly they are seen very rarely. And they are also obviously the source of the Araragi family's obsession with justice (Of course, this might stretch more generations). Ironically, they all have different concepts of justice, but they are all equally enthusiastic about them.

Ougi then explains the exchange between Ms. Tetsujo and Oikura, but this is probably a red herring, in my opinion. The real reason is Ougi doing something shady again, probably. But, if we DO go with the presumption that this exchange happened, there is an interesting thing to explore. What was the reason for the class assembly if Oikura knew that Ms. Tetsujo was to blame? Was it to frame Araragi to be the cheater? Was it to make the truth bend with the opinion of the majority, so she could forever be the winner, for Araragi was the culprit?

Ougi then explains that Araragi not knowing his roots is the problem why Oikura hates him. But isn't this odd? Instead of going through his own character, he jumps and starts talking about... Oikura's justice. As if he already knew his part of the story. The only mystery is Oikura's part. But that most probably is the fact. 

Then we go back to Araragi's inability to lie to Ougi. I accidentally read a spoiler left loose in the comments of a video, so now I'm slightly mad. But I didn't understand it completely, so whatever. And then Araragi starts to tell a story of his roots. So he does know them. 

Okay... Sorry this one took so long, but... I was busy this week. And there wasn't too much I could squeeze out (Contrary what one might think from the length of this post).

Well, basically there was just a little post-foreshadowing and other cool tidbits, but otherwise I've been a dry well, to be honest.

sunnuntai 4. lokakuuta 2015

Owarimonogatari, Part 1

We'll see if I'll make these on schedule again. I hope I will, I hope I do.

Opinion time: Love the opening, can't wait to read the lyrics. And Haneoka Kei really keeps growing on me. He really stepped up and really has made Monogatari's music his own. I still think Master Satoru is "better", but this is simply magnificent.

Kizumonogatari PV
HOLY HELL! Maybe we'll finally get it?! My god. The old crew is back, it has the same director as Bakemonogatari, and Satoru is back on the mixing board. I am so goddamn excited, even though I know that it might get delayed once again... Now I'm just wondering whether I should read the book before the movie comes out, or after. And doesn't that PV just look... Awesome?

Anyway, the first episode of Owarimonogatari also came, so here's what some people may have been waiting for:

Surprisingly Complex: Owarimonogatari Part 1

A double episode to start with, and lots of things to talk about.

Visuals / Lens:

Holy crap. That visual flair was insane! And we actually see new things about Araragi. 

People: During several wide shots of the class assembly, all people save Oikura, himself, and during the one short part with Senjougahara, people are seen as their names. This can mean several things:

-Araragi has a horrible face memory
-Araragi has an excellent name memory (I couldn't tell the surnames of all my classmates, not by a longshot. And with kanjis? Even harder)
-He personifies people by their names

Or it can mean absolutely nothing. 

The Classroom: The classroom is glitched. It is an anomaly that does not exist in time and space. The only times it is seen "normally", are parts of the flashback and before and after the lockdown. 

Looks like hugging at first, advances to a mental chokehold
Ougi: You think Ougi was violating Araragi's personal space? So does Araragi, shown by her (At least the alleged gender Ougi has at the time) extreme closeness (Hugging from behind, chokehold, sitting on lap). But! It might not be PHYSICAL space she violates. It might be Araragi's privacy and memories she is violating.

Space: We know from before that Araragi is an astronomy nerd, so it showing up when he's thinking about the beauty of mathematics is not surprising.

Red and Green: Kinda simple, made to show how much Oikura and Araragi differ from each other. Most of the episode is focused on green colours, Araragi's colour, with the background being green for most of the time while "glitched",

Lucky cats: A visual motif during the episode no doubt. They just simply express automatically raising one's hand / arm.

Favorite visual? I loved it when Oikura went to the front of the class and shouted, the chaos of desks and chairs suddenly stops and they go back into neat lines. This, after seeing Araragi get stressed in the middle of the colourful chaos, just nails in the power of Oikura.

So, onto other things...

We start with talk of the Euler's Identity. I am not a mathematician, but I did some research on it. Euler's Identity is a mindboggling theorem that is still a mystery. It is a theorem that has been proved, but not understood. From what I've understood, the idea is that it represents the perfect circle, created by using all the most important parts of mathematics, which results a perfect circle, zero.

I won't even try to claim to understand it. I don't. I'm way more into pragmatic mathematics than theoretical, but Euler's Identity still interests me. Anyway, how does the Euler's Identity connect to the story at hand? It is an metaphor of Ougi. Even though it is said indirectly, what does it mean?

Some would use this to say that Ougi is the most beautiful existence in the world, or to imply that Ougi is a god. I think it means that fundamentally we, the viewers, cannot understand Ougi (Because to most narrators cannot). But she's still there, he's still there, and does things that leave us scratching our heads.

The next thing is going through Araragi's change during and after this class assembly. After the assembly and before meeting Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, his catchphrase was:
"I don't need friends, because if I make friends, my strength as a human decreases."
It is an statement against the fact that if enough people tell a lie, it becomes "true". We can deduce that this actually has a lot to do with the fact that Araragi is a math genius. If we induce that his prevalence in math also causes him to see himself as a "logical" person, this sort of illogicality would definitely be distasteful, if not revolting to him.

But here's the kicker: He is not like that anymore. What happened? Well, naturally, Hanekawa happened. Every time I start deducing anything, Hanekawa always comes into play at some point. That is why I'm so excited to see Kizumonogatari, to see the pinnacle of Hanekawa, so maybe, finally, I could start to see what is going on in here...
But once again, we've found more evidence on how Hanekawa saved Araragi. She saved him from the curse of self-inflicted solitude. More reason why she is so important to the series (If I haven't hammered that point down enough times already, there's some more).

And to think we haven't even started on the mystery itself yet... To be honest though, the mystery, while being the star of the episode, does NOT have that much I could grab hold of, for me at least. Of course, the story being told from Araragi's point of view, some details are muddy.

Authority level < 9000, or is it?
Araragi said that what is important is not assembly itself, but the outcome. But what about the reason why the assembly itself was held? One could say that Oikura is a justice freak, or that it's her duty as class president, but this might be more personal.
Hypothesis mode activate:
It's invalidation. She resented Araragi for being better than her in mathematics, her favorite subject. But what triggered this was the fact that she feels that her efforts are invalidated by the fact that even when she "cheated" in the test without knowing about it, Araragi still beat her.

But back to the conclusion of the assembly. More than half of the class raised their hands to vote for Oikura, and after that she never came to school. This made Araragi uncomfortable at school, making him become a slacker. He also never got a perfect grade in mathematics again.
The way it was told, the last one would seem to imply that it was more or less intentional, like he's afraid of getting a perfect grade in math. 

Oikura wasn't the top student, hmm? Senjougahara beat her by one point. 
Well, I did not stay long on that subject, but hey, I can't control when and where I get my realizations.

So, we all probably know that the reason Oikura is back because Araragi finally solved the mystery, right? I'd bet the opposite. I'd bet the reason, while still being connected to the classroom, is not the fact that Araragi "solved" the mystery, but something else entirely. Can't say what though.

Ougi is a metaphor for Euler's Identity, the reason for why the assembly was held was revealed to be Oikura's insecurity, and as surprisingly as ever, the obligatory cat was let out of the bag.

torstai 24. syyskuuta 2015

I'm Back! and Re:Re

Well hello again... I started posting again on tumblr, but I thought I could spread words more efficiently here... This blog STILL has some traffic every day, and it amazes me. Well, enough of that, now for some more Gatari!


In case you missed my Monogatari Revamp and Rewatch part 1, they're here:
Rewatch 1/?

Well, what the heck is Re:Re then? It is about theories that I figure out after writing the original post, like Meta Redux in the older posts.

So, today's subject will be Senjougahara again. Actually it's just an amusing point about her staple item, the stapler.

Because what does a stapler do? Connect things to each other. In the first episode, Araragi was stapled, and interestingly enough he ends up being connected to the one who stapled him.

One can also meander deeper to the nature of stapling, such as taking it as a FORCEFUL union, which does seem to fit those two. Both are more or less constrained by their union, but trying to separate them would probably result to rips and tears.

maanantai 20. lokakuuta 2014

Extending my reach


You can find me there by the same name, but the things I discuss there will be more bite-sized (and sometimes aren't even about anime), so maybe I'll keep doing this blog, for all the insane walls of text that look really unappealing in people's feeds.