Kaiki, you sly bastard you ;_;7
Gosh, towards the end of the arc I was already feeling a little down over how we probably wouldn’t get another story arc with Kaiki in such a major role, and then they had to go and kill him off. And there couldn’t have been a better way to end this story arc too—with Kaiki and everyone else involved in Sengoku’s ascension to godhood deceiving each other for their own goals.
With Kaiki’s dramatic dialogue with Sengoku, he basically tells her that she needs to stop focusing on Araragi so much and do something more productive with her life, like pursue a career as a mangaka. Whether or not he was just saying that to get her to give up being a god, it is pretty true that that’d probably be a lot better for her.
Kaiki really is good at what he does, piecing together everything about Sengoku that he’s learned, and using what was in her cloest as the trick up his sleeve—embarrassing manga manuscripts. It’s a bit ambiguous just how much of his conversation with her he meant though and which of it was just him spouting generic bullshit to convince Sengoku to step down from godhood. Kaiki tells Araragi that it was all just deceiving, but that could just be him trying to look cool in front of Araragi (remember that he thinks it’s embarrassing to be seen as the good guy.)
Either way though he does note that life isn’t really about being happy, but doing what you want to do in life, so he must have at least meant the bit about how Sengoku needs to stop obsessing over Araragi and do something better with her life.
Funny how Sengoku really wanted to be a mangaka and that was the ominous thing hiding in her closet. There’s some author placement going on here too, since Nisio Isin has said in interviews that he can have pretty low esteem about his works in spite of their popularity.
Neat how Gaen and Senjougahara were taking advantage of Kaiki unwillingness to pull out of anything, although Kaiki might have seen through it from the start. Gaen’s actual motives of getting rid of Sengoku as opposed to keeping her in place make a lot more sense too. Since she did say that she originally wanted Shinobu to act as the god, but we already know that that wouldn’t work out.
And Kaiki never does figure out who Ougi is. The previous episode (which I didn’t do a blog post on, sorry,) confirmed that her being the neice of Oshino was a lie, and with her causing the death of Kaiki it’s certain that she must be the next main antagonist of the series.
I was already quite a of fan of Monogatari Series ever since I watched Bakemonogatari, but it’s Second Season that has solidified this as one of my favorite franchises in general. Second Season finally struck a good balance between all the things that makes the Monogatari Series enjoyable, and then goes further to expand and flesh out all the characters and make them more fascinating then they were before.
It also branches out a bit from the formula of past entries and deals with some common complaints about the series. For one we had more than just Araragi as the sole narrator, with several story arcs narrated by other characters. Two of which were narrated by0 the “worst girls” that everyone rags on (lol), and another being narrated by Kaiki, a.k.a. one of the best villians/anti-heroes ever. I myself haven’t gotten too tired of Araragi and his perverted antics, so I wasn’t groaning whenever the story returned to him as the narrator. But having the perspective switch around to other characters was still highly refreshing.
Concerning the “worst girls,” Hanekawa and Sengoku’s story arcs in particular have quite a bit of character development. Hanekawa’s arc went more in depth into why Hanekawa is such a “perfect” mary sue, and why she has such low self-esteem in spite of that; with her stepping up to finally deal with those issues. And Sengoku’s arc dealt with why she’s so shy and quiet with her eventually turning into a psychotic yandere snake goddess, which pretty much acts as huge middle finger to all the imouto fetishists who wanked off to her shyness in the first place.
As far as visuals go, Monogatari S2 is what happens when SHAFT finally has a decent budget to experiment with visuals, but actually experiments in ways other than finding revolutionary forms of fanservice. The way they play around with composition, color theory, angles, and set designs among other things to convey the story is quiet a treat to the eyes. If there’s one thing this has over Bakemonogatari aside from more fleshed out characters, its that the series is more visually engaging and thus easier to follow along the large stretches of dialogues.
All in all this is definitely the best that Monogatari Series has had to offer so far, and I can’t wait to see what the adaptions of Hanamonogatari and Final Season have in store for us.
>Insert obligatory joke about how Kizumonogatari will never be released