lauantai 1. kesäkuuta 2013

Nisemonogatari: To be a fake (Complete rewrite)

More Monogatari, hopefully this time, also more sense put in there

Surprisingly Complex: Nisemonogatari

Detours. The story of Nisemonogatari is all but linear, starting in medias res and almost every episode a self-contained story. This doesn't really make it worse by any means. It actually enforces the point that life doesn't go on rails, with all the important things happening in order. While some may just point out that most of Nisemonogatari is filler, I tend to disagree. In this kind of series, the filler is more important than the stories themselves. Monogatari is characterization in it's heart, and that's why the actual "storylines" are less important than even the goofier "filler" moments.

I can give you an example. Which was more important to the Monogatari series, the part where Tsukihi is blown into half and made Araragi rage for the first time we've seen, or the bath scene with Shinobu. Exactly. The part where Tsukihi is blown apart is not even important in it's own right, only it's consequence is. Because Araragi doesn't see limits of family going between blood, but with emotion, we get to see more character of Araragi... Which has nothing to do with the scene actually. On the other hand, deepening the relationship between Shinobu and Araragi is so goddamn important to the story at large, just not the particular part of story where it's told. Weird, isn't it?

Heads up: This guy talks HC philosophy
And there was a good segue I didn't use. Araragi's development in the very end is actually crucial, as the same exact philosophy is told to us by Kaiki just few episodes before. He tells us about a fake being capable of being more than the real counterpart, as the fake must deliberately try to obtain it's goal, which for the real one, is given. It's one of the most important philosophies of this show, and even though this part of the series was not even supposed to be canon, it still effectively makes the series as a whole much better. The philosophy of being a fake can be applied to all parts of the series, before or after Nisemonogatari, and it always gives a new point of view in the matters.

Let me de-rail a bit, but it may be skipped if you want to continue on Nisemonogatari.

Meta-Redux: Bakemonogatari

There's a reason she hammers that line
Bakemonogatari didn't have such a strong main philosophy as Nisemonogatari, as it had many. Two most important ones are that only you can save yourself, and that things rarely change, only the viewpoints change. But applying the philosophy of Nise to Bakemonogatari is easy. Starting with Hanekawa. She deliberately tries to be normal, and as we sometimes see, fails at it. Normality can be seen as a kind of reality. She thinks she can somehow redeem herself from her miserable life by just enduring and trying to be as normal as possible. The problem is that she surpasses normality and becomes kind of a saint. It's also touched upon that her ability to surpass normality and becoming as good as she can is her downfall. Her perfect self reflects everyone else's problems, and they are seen in many different ways. Where as Araragi doesn't see her perfectly normal and good intentions reflecting his own misdeeds, he does see it, in a different way: lack of experience and information.

Yes, I just said that the whole idea of Hanekawa knowing everything is in Araragi's head. He sees his own stupid deeds not as a moral problem, but as an informational one. Thus creating Araragi, and us, the watchers, an illusion of Hanekawa knowing every possible thing there ever could be. To be normal, Hanekawa researched everything she could (But not everything period), making her the perfect human. Now, if we were to say, that she wasn't human, oh boy. I don't know yet, Kizumonogatari might explain it.

Meta-Redux END

On the second time watching Nise, I realized there's also a lot of talk of MONEY in the first arc. Like one of the better jokes being love sold at the convenience store for 298¥, Kaiki talking about philosophy of money and I would even count the flying money during Sengoku's and Araragi's Game of Life to be counted as some kind of foreshadowing for it. Thinking about the philosophy of money, and comparing it to the overall philosophy of fakes, you could see money as some kind of fake justice. And that leads to you know what is behind the character of Kaiki. Money can be just as good as real good, if it's used to make the cogs of society spinning and thus making good for everybody.

And from that, back to the main subject:

Araragi is a problematic case. He hypocritically says that his sisters' fake justice is just playing and nothing really to be taken seriously, even though it's lampshaded that he does the exactly the same thing, difference being between justice and helping being actually pointless, as the Fire Sisters most probably do the things they do just to protect their friends too. This makes them all three fake, but as one is not more fake than the other, it doesn't really matter. They do their thing just to make sure to see people with smiling faces, and they usually succeed in that, where as real "justice", carried out by law, leaves many with tears

Goddamnit Araragi!
Araragi's moods and feelings jump disturbingly much, almost enough to confessing that in a case of if he could, he would probably cheat on Senjougahara with Hanekawa (It's contradictory to what the very next part of the series tells us). Goddamnit Araragi. At this point I want to remind you, that even if it's not played with much, Araragi is just a high school hormone monster, and with vampire blood in him, who is to say that it doesn't actually enforce it even more.

There's also hints to the fact that Araragi is not with Senjougahara of love and that Senjougahara fascination was just bull he made up to lie to himself. There will be more of it in the Nekomonogatari Black.

Also, Toothbrushes.


Filler is more important than the main series, trust me, I'm a genuis (typo intended).

7 kommenttia:

  1. What did you mean by "Two most important ones are that only you can save yourself, and that things rarely change, only the viewpoints change."? Please elaborate and give examples. The way I see it, all the girls but Hitagi were saved by others. For example,
    Mayoi saved by directions given by Araragi & Senjougahara
    Kanbaru saved by Senjougahara getting in the way. And that was Oshino's doing.
    Nadeko saved by Araragi wrestling snake
    Tsubasa saved by Shinobu biting her.

    As for the perspectives, only in Nisemonogatari did Kaiki say that they only 'think' they have the oddity. But, it doesn't explain Hanekawa turning into a cat monster or Araragi having vamp powers. This is merely his opinion as a fake specialist, but the fact is that the oddities exist. The solutions to the oddities are also not relating to the perspective. What did you mean when you said "Things rarely change, but only perspective"?

    1. Hoo boy. I really aren't up to speed with these things anymore, note, I wrote this like two years ago, and even then, I usually wrote these up in a burst of mind. My edge on these matters have dulled, and the answer I would have come up with two years ago would probably be much, much more detailed and satisfying, but let us try:

      It depends entirely on the idea of "saving": Was any of those people saved from oddities, truly? If you've watched the entire series, up to Tsukimonogatari, you would know that no, many of them weren't saved.

      Let's just cut my crap: I have no idea what I was babbling about when I wrote this, to be honest, except of the genuine-fake thing. I have lost all my threads of thought that I had back when I watched Bake and Nise for the second time (Which was when I wrote this).

      Anyway, continuing with the saving of oneself.
      Hitagi wasn't saved until only later, when she herself accepted the fact no matter what, her family was not going to become one again, for example.

      "Saving" is not treated in the way of "getting out of a particular mess", rather than getting along in one's life. Kanbaru was saved when she accepted the demon arm as a part of her, and acted accordingly. Nadeko was never saved (my god she was not). The saving is not about getting out of trouble, but of a change of perspective. To get along with one's life (and thus be "saved") you have to accept yourself.

      And that segues to the change of perspective. The fact that Hitagi's family will never be one again is a fact that doesn't change, only her perspective about it changes, and thus she is saved. The fact that Kanbaru has the demon arm is a fact that doesn't change (until x), but taking it in and understanding it makes her capable of coping with it, thus she is saved, etc etc.

      About how things rarely change, the characters in Monogatari often stay similar, but the character development is not actual development, but just seeing the character from a slightly different perspective (Kaiki is the best example of this). The character themselves rarely change, but new sides already existing within them are shown alight, and thus the characters "develop" in the mind of the viewer. With rewatchings of the show it really shows. Like, look at the development of Araragi's and Senjougahara's romance. If you've seen Nekomonogatari Black before, you can see signs of the romance's reality, but if you watch it for the first time (hopefully after Bake), you will be hit with the thing that seemed to bother you with the weirdness of the interaction (At least I was).

      TL;DR: I have no idea how good I am in this anymore.

    2. Thank you for your quick response. I misunderstood what you meant by 'save'. I have only watched up to Nise thus far, so I stopped reading halfway into the last paragraph to save myself from spoilers... Thank you for sharing with me a different perspective, hahaha.

    3. Heh. Well, offering differing perspectives is absolutely what I created this blog for.. I just don't really have time to update it regularly. Work, life and TRPG:s take my time too much. Well, maybe I will get to doing the Monogatari Retrospective once the whole series is Finished. Probably.

  2. "They do their thing just to make sure to see people with smiling faces, and they usually succeed in that, where as real "justice", carried out by law, leaves many with tears"
    I disagree with this interpretation. In episode 7, Araragi tells Karen that 'justice' is what you do because you believe in it with conviction, not because you push the reasons onto others. For example,

    "If you can't give up on the idea of self-satisfaction, and be content with self-sacrifice, you need to shut up" (episode 7)

    1. Uhh. This one's harder to answer, because I kinda wanted to throw that sentence away as I read it again just today, but I had other things to do so I decided not to. I never thought anyone would read it again, but apparently I was wrong.

      I think it was said somewhere that in the end they just want to see their friends and people close to them with smiling faces. But I ain't sure about that.

      And true justice, fake justice, something something, I ran out of juice when I wrote that other reply. Sorry...

    2. Oh to clarify, they didn't say anything about "they just want to see their friends and people close to them with smiling faces." at the end (i just watched nise yesterday, so my memory is quite clear)

      The thing Araragi said at the end was "to hear Tsukihi call him as a brother, that is enough for him to be willing to lie to his family, and be a bad person, etc"

      The justice part wasn't really mentioned at the end, besides "don't force your ideals onto others", said by Kagenui.

      Oh well, I guess if you can't remember, it's no biggie... No point forcing a debate on something old, anyway.

      Once again, thank you for taking the time to answer me.