lauantai 5. joulukuuta 2015

Monogatari DUMPED and New horizons


I have let you down, you three people who read my posts. Again... Especially the two of you who read mainly my Monogatari posts...

I am cutting off Monogatari for an indefinite time. I've grown a distaste toward the series, and I need a long break from it. I tend to put things on a pedestal, usually alone, and Monogatari had hogged that pedestal for so long that I didn't even realize how distasteful it was for me. But for every broken pedestal a new one comes. Even though this one won't last as long, obviously because it's not a long ongoing thing, but a single experience... (Well, I ain't sure, Bioshock held that pedestal pretty good for a time, I suppose)


Yes, I fricking love Undertale. Spoilers ensue, but let me tell you (Like every person in the fricking universe apparently), if you haven't played it, please do so. Even though it might not be everyone's cup of tea, if you're reading THIS BLOG? Definitely at least around the edges of your cup. I can't say much without spoiling, because the most interesting things about the game are so integrated to the experience of the player that it cannot be expressed without spoiling. But it has a lot of meta and philosophy within those layers, if you are ready to dig deeper.

It doesn't hurt though that it's also a damn fine game in on itself.

I will start writing a post sidelining Undertale right now, so definitely check it out, because spoiling yourself of Undertale is not a good idea. If you do... You're gonna have a bad time.

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.

keskiviikko 24. syyskuuta 2014

Hyouka: Of character and mystery

Oh well... I didn't finish Hanamonogatari yet, so here goes.

Surprisingly Complex: Hyouka

If I may start gloating, this was one of the magic series again, grabbing me with great intensity from the beginning, keeping the grip tight, then suddenly changing hands and gripping even harder. One of my top five currently, beat Clannad to the sixth on my list of favorites... But anyway, let's bite straight into this ice cream. (Hue hue hue)

Even though "characters" is before mystery in the title of this post, I will get the mystery out of the way so we can delve more deeply into these characters, mainly our two male protagonists, as they have more things that I especially can talk about. Not disregarding our female leads, but this time the men get some of that delicious analysis pie.

Mystery, the very genre of this series, is actually pretty much a ruse. Especially when the series goes further more and more, it even becomes a thing: Houtarou is not solving these mysteries, he is creating theories that satisfy the curiosity of Eru. He just happens to be right often, and he notices it later in the series. He even stated it in the movie arc: "I'm not a detective, I am a mystery novelist." Taking that out of context is practically the whole story of his life in the Classics club. He just comes across mysteries, and he has to give Eru satisfying solutions to those mysteries. He says that he is just lucky, and he is right. Solving the mystery is not on his menu, he just happens to be right. There comes the problem...

Ain't that amazing, guys...
But how could it be a problem? Because he is mistaken for a genius, a superb mind of deduction. In the end he never tries to solve the mysteries, he just wants Eru to not pester him about it anymore. Yes, that makes him sound like a selfish dick, but the quicker he can give a satisfying solution to her, the quicker he can go back to conserving energy, which is also his way of life (To which I can absolutely attest to). But that tells us something about his character too. He just wants to chill, but the circumstances absolutely deny it. He just cannot say no to those eyes.

So what about our other main man, Satoshi? By the end of the series, the situation between him and Mayaka is left in mystery, but that is not the point.

Satoshi, by his own words, does not want to obsess. He doesn't, because it quickly makes his life boring. It also means that, to him, those years trying to obsess over things were not worth it, and he regrets being a person like that. He has changed, but not easily. He has had struggles with the change, so much so that he can see himself being obsessed to something to undo all that process and make his life boring again. Solution to this is to try to maintain the status quo to make the changes stay.

We know he's done goofed, but still it's understandable
And there comes the X, Mayaka. She is the part of his past that he is afraid of. A girl he loves, but a girl he sees himself regretting loving. Perfect match for him, but not for him that he tries to be. This then presents the main question of the character: if you have achieved happiness, and try to hold your integrity of character together, would abandoning that integrity (and possibly the happiness) in the hope of more happiness be worth it? This question becomes more apparent when you take into account that the happiness gained will not most probably be his, and not even too lasting.

Integrity of character is one of the running themes of the series, from Houtarou questioning if the path he has chosen in life is right, or even right for him, to Satoshi questioning if the path his development is the one that will lead him to happiness. Even though the questions are often thrown in a comedic light, it doesn't devalue them, as the characters (Especially Houtarou, because he is the narrator) ponder about them time to time.


Hyouka definitely asks some heavy questions, if you look into it... And yayyy, the return of the pictures!