White Album 2 – 10

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Learning Touma is going to move to Europe with her mother, Haruki meets with her at Narita airport, to her surprise, skipping out on Setsuna’s party. Haruki and Touma take the N’ex back to Tokyo, and Haruki chastises her for trying to disappear. Touma rebuts by stating how painful it is to see him with Setsuna, confirming her feelings for him; Haruki pleads ignorance. Flashback to when Touma first met Haruki and gradually developed feelings for him.

Both Haruki and Setsuna are using this party as a test. Setsuna wants to know if she and Haruki are meant to be together, and Haruki wants to know the same, but he can’t until he meets with Touma one last time. Somewhat unsurprisingly, he learns that while he may be an idiot when it comes to picking up on Touma’s feelings for him, he’s an idiot Touma happens to love, a reality he previously thought had only reside in his head. The reason for this is not that Touma hasn’t expressed her feelings for him, it’s that she does it in a totally different and far more cryptic way than the more upfront, direct Setsuna, who Haruki was more able to respond to.

Even though Touma knew Haruki longer, Setsuna beat her to it with that direct approach, which Touma simply isn’t capable of emulating. But just because one person is more successful in winning the heart of another doesn’t mean they’re the one that person is supposed to be with. The Touma-focused flashback almost reads like a testimonial for why she and not Setsuna could/should be with Haruki, if only she had been clearer. At this point we don’t envy Haruki’s predicament, but given the choice between the relative “ease” of a life with Setsuna and the more involved challenge of Touma, we’d have to pick the latter.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Koimonogatari – 01

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With 74 days until Graduation Day, when Sengoku will kill her and Koyomi, Senjougahara Hitagi meets with the swindler Kaiki Deishu in Okinawa Airport to request that he make amends for the trouble he’s caused them by convincing Sengoku not to kill them, something within his abilities. Kaiki struggles to find the proper motivation to carry out the request, eventually settling on Kanbaru Suruga, the niece of his former senpai, Gaen Izuko.

Watching the Monogatari Series in the order in which it has aired requires a certain degree of patience. Gratitude is seldom instant or even timely, as resolutions to conflicts may occur in a different arc. This week is the final arc in the second season, in which the story of Otorimonogatari continues. Senjougahara, once deceived by Kaiki, now seeks out his help in deceiving Sengoku, whose curse he also caused. Her only other option is to beg, which probably won’t work. Physical attacks didn’t work either.

This introductory episode unfolds from Kaiki’s perspective, and he reiterates to the audience that we shouldn’t take anything said or done as the truth. As we learned from Nisemonogatari, this is a man who values the fake over the real, and uses his words as weapons. But the snake god is no slouch in the deception and persuasion department. If anyone can talk Sengoku out of killing everyone and everything, it’s Kaiki, but it would be nice to see him struggle a bit in his initial efforts. In any case, we always dig former enemies teaming up to fight a bigger enemy.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)