Now it seems awfully silly for me to end my post on episode 14 with “I think I know what’s going to happen next!” (which I did mostly because I was being lazy and couldn’t think of a better way to end that post,) since this episode certainly played out far from how I would have thought it would. I’ve already said this about a few other episodes for Monogatari S2, since it’s already overall an even better series than its predecessors, but this was quite a whammy of an episode and one of the best that Monogatari has offered.
The majority of the episode is largely Sengoku talking back and forth with the now revived Kuchinawa, going over the whole arc and explaining what exactly happened. The conversation is a bit confusing since the events in the flashbacks play out differently than how they were presented throughout the arc, but the important thing to remember is that this is based off of a light novel series where the characters talk in the first person. Up until this episode Sengoku has acted as an unreliable narrator, and the scenes as they were presented were different from what actually happened, as we saw them through the eyes of a delusional Sengoku.
Up until she ate the talisman and became a god, Kuchinawa was just a part of Sengoku’s imagination or a hallucination, fabricated in order to convince her to eventually break into Araragi’s house and devour the talisman. All this time she’s been driving herself into a corner and becoming a victim (while also trying not to be a victim,) and it was actually a deliberate part of her plan. Not quite sure what that says about the whole “victim vs. wrongdoer” theme in and of itself, but it was nicely used as a thematic tool to frame Sengoku’s descent into villainy and becoming a “wrongdoer.”
Going back to that conversation with Ougi, she ended up having much more to do with triggering this series of events than simply introducing the whole “victim-wrongdoer” dichotomy; she gave Sengoku the idea of stealing the talisman from Araragi and reviving the real Kuchinawa, as well as giving Sengoku the scrunchy that she would project that fake Kuchinawa onto. Ougi is starting to seem much more like a possible antagonist now.
Nice how from when Sengoku devours the talisman up until she gets the phone call from Senjougahara, the color scheme of everything becomes more absurd. Like with Araragi’s room suddenly turning blue and pink as soon as Sengoku swallows the talismen, and afterward the shrine and forest are purple and blue with yellow rain. Monogatari has a great use of colors as always, and it’s cool how in this episode it highlights Sengoku’s whole ascension into godhood and descension insanity. And then the colors return to normal as soon as she gets a call from the sane Senjougahara.
The final closing scene before the credits is done perfectly; the colors return to the zany red and purple once Senjougahara insults Sengoku; she hangs up, and then Sengoku looks up to the sky smiling, now having lost everything. And then with great timing the ED starts up—leaving the audience confused that Otorimonogatari really did just end on a cliffhanger like that. The post-credits scene was also a creepy “preview” for the what’s to come, with Sengoku apparently slaughtering everyone and shoving Araragi into a box; I have to wonder if that’s actually what will happen or if Monogatari is just trolling us again.
Curious how this will affect the later story-arcs, since now three of the main characters have an impending threat of getting slaughtered by Sengoku as soon as they graduate high school. I also wonder what exactly happens in Hanamonogatari, since it was meant to be read before Otorimonogatari even though chronologically it takes place afterward. Then again, all the story arcs for the most part have managed to only hint at what happens in Kizumonogatari without giving away what exactly happens in it, so maybe that’s not that weird of a story structure after all.