Now that the hustle and bustle of the convention is over, it’s time to return and finally finish Hanamonogatari. The previous episode ended with a meeting with an older Araragi that gave some advice to Kanbaru. Don’t take other’s advice, do what you want, and live your life. Kanbaru seemed to agree with Araragi, but what does she want to do? It’s nice to see Kanbaru in a more positive mood, but it does not eliminate the choice that she was struggling with earlier in the show.
1:30:18 – Kanbaru returns to her messy life and stops running away. In retrospect the light could represent running away, because Numachi committed suicide and the light corresponds with the phrase, “the light at the end of the tunnel” which is so often used in death scenes.
1:30:41 – That’s kind of creepy.
1:30:44 – Alright, I was wrong. It felt like the right place to stop though!
1:30:56 – I am still confused about the letters NH, and what it means.
1:31:07 – This dim basketball court with lit up lines actually looks really cool.
1:32:23 – Simple, but cool image of Numachi as a devil.
1:32:59 – Numachi embodies everything Kanbaru hates about herself, and thus whenever she looks at her is reminded of her own weakness. The fact that she made a wish to the devil arm still haunts her.
1:33:26 – The lighting in this shot is really interesting. It seems as if it’s coming from the right of Kanbaru, but that doesn’t make sense in the context of the setting. Still looks good though.
1:33:39 – The lights of the basketball court changed to green from yellow right as she decided to challenge Numachi to a match. Earlier during Hanamonogatari the basketball court looked interesting. There were three extra courts drawn on each half that were perpendicular to the normal basketball court. The three extra courts were drawn in colors: red, yellow, green. Those colors are often associated with a traffic light, and the change from yellow to green has been made. It is time for Kanbaru’s life to move forward.
1:35:42 – Kanbaru is finally doing what she wants, even if it ends up harming others.
1:36:50 – The fog of uncertainty is rolling in.
1:37:01 – Numachi mentions an interesting idea of the mind housing the soul. I always thought it was the common belief that the heart housed the soul. I tend to lean more on the philosophy of physicalism myself, but in a world where apparitions exists I would be more inclined to believe in souls.
1:38:04 – The long hair twintails with the basketball uniform is just too cute.
1:39:23 – Kanbaru finally realizes that Numachi herself does not knows she’s a ghost.
1:39:41 – I think I finally get the references to water. After coming to the above realization, Kanbaru realizes the difficulty of her task and that knowledge slows her down. Moving through water is difficult and creates drag. I finally understand Kanbaru’s mother’s quote, “If you can’t become medicine, become poison. If you can’t do that either, then you are just water”, telling Kanbaru to be anything but stagnant in life.
1:41:45 – Shedding light onto Numachi. Bringing her the truth.
1:43:26 – That’s some determination on Kanbaru’s face.
1:43:53 – Heavily implied that there was something between the two before Kanbaru liked Senjougahara. This awkwardness makes me laugh.
1:44:33 – Nice shot with the light again. The whole color scheme of the stadium changed and is much brighter now.
1:46:20 – Even with uncertainty, Kanbaru still tried.
1:46:35 – 100% certain on the traffic light thing now. Looking back on the Monogatari series, I wonder where else this was used.
1:46:47 – The light shines down on Kanbaru as she learns as well. Also the sound direction for this whole thing was fantastic. It really drove the emotions home.
1:47:01 – Akiyuki Shinbo just loves using imagery constantly. I enjoy his cinematography even if it gets a bit repetitive at times. Just can’t watch too many Shaft shows in a row or it loses its flair.
1:47:15 – I really just want to meet the artists for this show.
1:48:07 – Kanbaru’s surprised face was interesting, and back to the normal Monogatari fan service.
1:48:24 – A rather bold statement, Araragi.
1:48:38 – I wonder if this references another anime.
1:49:14 – Kanbaru is adorable in that baggy shirt. Also this scene was interesting, Araragi and Kanbaru view each other as better people than themselves and emulate each other.
1:49:48 – Cool looking but difficult to read. It makes sense that Araragi would hate Schaudenfreude though, he does everything in his power to stop other people’s misfortunes.
1:50:05 – What is even happening.
1:50:33 – A lot of comedy in Monogatari I don’t get because of foreign word play, but I have to admit I laughed at this one.
1:50:52 – Araragi is weighing the benefits of each scenario.
1:51:59 – Not sure if I get what the books represent. I keep getting distracted by Araragi’s hands, they are so fucked up in this picture.
1:53:30 – The scissors from god.
1:53:32 – This was a cool touch. Cutting away Kanbaru’s hesitation and fear.
1:54:13 – I like this hairstyle on Kanbaru better. Welcome back!
That’s the end of our 5 episode journey of Monogatari with Kanbaru Suruga. Monogatari’s strongest showing and my favorite arc so far. Kanbaru has trouble creating an identity for herself after Araragi, and Senjougahara graduated. So much of her daily life had been consumed by their interactions that without them she became lost. Attempting to move forward, for the first time, Kanbaru was uncertain, and with this uncertainty came a fear of choices. Numachi was Kanbaru’s apparition. She embodied every fear Kanbaru has been considering, and represents a life that Kanbaru could have had. With different choices, she could have been Numachi, and that fear paralyzes her.
The themes were focused and poignant. They hit me like a truck, and I feel as if Hanamonogatari went over my life story. I was a competitive swimmer from the young age of 6 and continued until I was 18. Having moderate success I had the choice of continuing but chose not to due to being a little sick of it. I easily clocked in 20 hours a week of practice and was getting worn out. Though after making that decision, I became paralyzed like Kanbaru. Having those extra 20 hours every week, I had no idea what to do. I was floating around with no direction, and as a high school graduate, my next choices weren’t exactly simple. How the rest of my life went could easily be a result of my next few choices. That idea frightened me constantly, and made me consider every choice as the wrong one. But time goes on, and forces one to choose. Though uncertainty and indecision still plague me today, I have to stop my anxieties of the future, and continue living life to the best of my ability. Thinking what could have been only slows one down.