Fives: Nisemonogatari, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi

Same deal with Nisemonogatari this week. A couple things are accomplished in-between long conversations. The ongoing arc shows no sign of stopping soon, but that’s all right. This time we actually get to see an event! Well, it’s a flashback, but still …

At which point Araragi nearly strangled her.

Conversation 1–Araragi/Tsuhiki: a rehash of “don’t be mad, big brother.” Considering her sister is threatened by a supernatural bee poison and is in a high fever because she went up against something she couldn’t handle, it’s a bit late for requests. What’s amusing is Tsuhiki’s attempts to change the subject, with Araragi knowing full well what she’s up to, but finally letting her do it anyway because it seems to be the only way to get the information out of her. Having regrets seems to be the topic. Do the girls have any? Then, this being Nisemonogatari, Hanekawa shows up and Araragi drops his towel.

Conversation 2–Karen/Kaiki: the first conversation I can remember that doesn’t have Araragi in it. It’s being told to him or it’s put together by two different sources. That’s perhaps why it’s the most superficial and simplistic conversation we’ve had yet. Honestly. “I’m a con man, I’m doing it for money.” No dancing around the subject at all. Unworthy of this show. On the other hand, Kaiki IS talking to a middle schooler who isn’t very subtle about her actions, so maybe he dumbed it down for her sake. It’s also ridiculous. He tosses out some absurdly false comparisons between monetary and psychological value and states them as truth in that buttery voice of his. Poor Karen has a lot to learn.

Conversation 3–Araragi/Hanekawa: After Hanekawa’s ridiculous breast-touching coupon bit we get more “Don’t be mad at the girls,” and “What would Oshino do? or Shinobou?” Brief, but it has the prettiest backdrops of the episode to make up for it.

Conversation 4–Araragi/Karen: the most compelling of the lot. Karen brings up a good point while being toweled down by her brother. Bringing up the question about strength, what do you do if you see something wrong and yet aren’t strong enough to do anything about it? Do you ignore it? There’s no indication that Araragi’s moved by this question, but he has no snarky comebacks. Instead he finds an answer, or goes to help to find the answer, leading to:

Conversation 5–Araragi/Shinobou: who is not in the same room with him, but apparently in or down a drain or pipe. Never mind, we can hear her. Araragi’s found the answer for Karen’s question, and, thanks to Shinobou, it will also lift the disease/curse from her and give it to him. What do you do when someone you know can’t handle a problem? You take it on yourself. That’s Araragi’s answer, anway. And that leads to … well, never mind.

Natsume Yuujinchou Shi 5 gives us a rare look at how other people see Natsume, so it should feel like more than it turned out to be. We meet a girl named Yuriko, injured after a fall but lucky a sprain is all she got, thanks to an invisible force. This somehow makes her think back to middle school and the strange boy who transferred in and out. And for about the first time we get to see how Natsume’s interactions with an unfriendly Youkai would look like to an observer: they would think that Natsume is stark raving mad. We also see that Yuriko is one of those rare people who try and see beyond such things and so becomes the sort or person Natsume needed the most. Too bad he was transferred out again. The second half shows us Natsume’s point of view, the usual unpleasant Youkai trying to make his life miserable until Nyanko became his muscle. It doesn’t satisfy partly because I wound up liking Yuriko for being nice to Natsume and would have liked to see more out of her. She would have fit in well with his new friends. Alas, I doubt we’ll see her again.

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