Welcome to Winter Watch, a look at the latest anime season. Among the many shows being broadcast, Nisemonogatari is perhaps the most anticipated one as it is a direct sequel to fan favorite Bakemonogatari.
Episode 10 & 11: Tsukihi Phoenix, Part 3 & Part 4
Summary: After a brutal attack on Tsukihi, Koyomi and Shinobu team up to take down Yoduru and Yotsugi.
Air Date: March 10 & 17, 2012
Run Time: 24:10
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episodes here first.
The finish line is in sight.
Shinobu alerts Koyomi to a doughnut sale and the two head out to pick up a few treats. Before leaving, however, Koyomi notices that Tsukihi seems to be missing a scar and decides to strip her to confirm his observation. Afterwards, he and Shinobu head toward the doughnut store where they discuss the two odd women that they came across in the previous episode, Yoduruand Yotsugi, but are startled to discover Kaiki sitting behind them enjoying the sale as well. After a brief discussion, Koyomi and Shinobu head home and are surprised to find Yoduru and Yotsugi there and ringing the doorbell. Koyomi is confused by their statement that they aren’t there for him, but finds out their true intentions too late as Tsukihi opens the door and is immediately bisected by Yotsugi. Enraged, Koyomi goes on the attack but is quickly defeated by Yoduru, who takes the opportunity to point out that Tsukihi has been magically healed of her injuries and that she is actually a supernatural creature. Having said that, she agrees to confront Shinobu and Koyomi on a later date and leaves. Later, Shinobu explains that Tsukihi is actually a supernatural phoenix that crept into her mother’s womb when she was pregnant and was born as Koyomi’s sister. Koyomi accepts this and leaves with Shinobu to face off against Yoduru and Yotsugi. The battle is short lived as Koyomi finds himself unwilling to fight Yoduru with his full potential and Yotsugi proves no match against a fully powered Shinobu. After saying that he loves his sister, no matter who or what she is, Yoduru and Yotsugi agree to let things stand as they are and leave the city.
Shinobu REALLY likes doughnuts.
If you’re as much of a Shinobu fan as I am, you’re in for a treat as she is heavily featured in both of these episodes in two distinctly different ways. Episode 10 kicks off with Shinobu alerting Koyomi that her sleuthing skills and data gathering have led her to a critical piece of information: there is a doughnut sale going on. What follows is easily the cutest scene she’s been in so far as she isliterally like a kid at a candy store once she enters the doughnut shop. At times, the imagery is straight out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Shinobu floating through a fantasy land filled with massive, human-sized doughnuts with sparks of joy and smiles for days. If moe doesn’t really float your boat, fear not, for smack talking, ass-kicking Shinobu shows up in full force later in the episode to protect Koyomi and Tsukihi. In episode 11, an adult-sized Shinobu makes an appearance (while alluded to previously, I thought that she was permanently stuck as a child) to talk the talk and walk the walk against Yotsugi, whom she beats the living daylights out of in an offscreen battle. Either way, Shinobu is awesome in these episodes and they left excited to see the upcomingKizumonogatari feature film that tells her origin story.
No worries, Tsukihi shows up in a major way.
In the previous article I speculated that the series might do a bit of trolling and keep most of the Tsukihi related content off screen. I’m happy to report that I was totally wrong about that. Unfortunately, we get a tricky incest scene involving Koyomi and Tsukihi, but it is short lived. More important, however, was the reveal that Tsukihi is and has always been an immortal supernatural creature and what that did for the story. Shinobu’s explanation of Tsukihi’s origin was one of the more poignant scenes in the entire series, filled with the beautiful artwork that the show is known for. Additionally, I found the story and lore of it to be a genuinely interesting tale in both concept and execution. It also led to Koyomi having to deal with what he would do with this information and whether or not he would reject his sister, having found out that she has never been what he thought she was. Koyomi’s decision to love her no matter what was a touching scene of platonic brother-sister love that I could relate to on a personal level with my half-siblings by my father and stepmother.
Nisemono takes its place at the head of the class.
Nisemonogatari closes out on two of its best episodes in a series filled with great episodes. The combat sequences in both were visually impressive, but that was simply one of the plethora of things that makes them great. The combination of story, characters, art, and animation come together like Voltron to deliver something far greater than the sum of it’s parts and offers an experience that may be similar to others in some regards, but is executed at a level far higher than anything else I’ve seen in its genre. That applies to both these episodes and the series as a whole. Nisemonogatari is an ecchi, moe, harem series with some bits of action in it. On paper, this is something that’s been done ad nauseum a hundred times before. What separates it from the pack is quality. The arty style is vivid and unique rather than bland and generic, the writing and dialog are consistently top notch rather than merely good enough to get you from one panty shot or breast jiggle to the next, and the animation is always high caliber rather than just a scene or two here and there. Nisemonogatari is a harem show made by people who never bought into the idea that harem means you have to do nearly every technical and artistic area of creation and production at a poor level. Its genres certainly aren’t for everyone and some of the content is undeniably risque, but this show has been pretty fantastic on a regular basis, which is rare for any medium. It’s an easy recommendation from me to anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in the genres it falls into.
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Additional Nisemonogatari Articles & Blogs
- William Taylor (sickvisionz) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionzand on Tumblr at In My Lifetime
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