As I said last post, I’ve fallen three episodes behind in Monogatari, so rather than go through everything in my head (My brain still hurts from doing all those new shows), I’m going to rattle off basic stuff.
If feels incongruous for Nadeko-chan to break out of her invisible cute-girl state by having various people lecture her, but at least she does get proactive at the end of it. Episode 11 (Nadeko Medusa 2) was all such talk. Shinobou, or maybe the snake, starts it out. Shinobou suggests rather cruelly (or maybe that was her form of tough love, which in this series means how insulting the talk is) that Nadeko had nothing but her cuteness, that she depended on that to get things accomplished, and that suggested a rather nasty real self underneath. And it may or not be true, but Nadeko had never thought of it that way, especially now, working on that snake-killing guilt she’s got going. We see her fumbling for her thoughts (as usual, projected in slides nearly too quick to read) and unable to raise a defense. Episode 12 looked like more of the same, as Tsukihi, for reasons of jealousy, or shared emotional response to Araragi (and the less said about that the better), pretty much accuses her of being wishy-washy about her love, knowing it was fully unrequited and using it as a crutch to avoid other relationships that might actually hurt. Then, for reasons I may have already mentioned, Tsukihi goes a little psycho and cuts Nadeko’s bangs. Trims them, really.
How many Monogatari girls have cut their hair by now? I don’t know, but whatever the number, it seems to have the biggest effect on Nadeko. Cutting the hair of a “medusa” is a dramatic thing, after all. Realistically, it prevents her from hiding her face and using her cute weaponry, and that was probably the trigger for the most satisfying couple of scenes in the arc so far. Nadeko lashes out first at her homeroom teacher for dumping his responsiblity on someone maybe he thought couldn’t say no (well, she’s class rep, but she was forced into that), saying rude and nasty things I didn’t think she knew about, or at least could say out loud. Then it’s on to the classroom where she does the same to her classmates, telling them to get a grip, make a compromise, grow up and fuck off. While I watched with a grin.
The actual plot, finding the snakes’s body, seems inconsequential after that episode, but Nadeko’s further evolvement, or devolvement, depends on us getting back to that rainy shrine where she stabs the shit out of Araragi and Shinobou, then has a conversation with the snake, or a monologue with herself, if you wish, about the selfish lies and deceit she wove to establish a delusion that had a snake curled around it. It’s hard to say if this possession or whatever was the thing that made her insane, or whether this is just an extension of what she was all along. And I’m a little confused. Was she an oddity all along, or did she get some help from the snake who was “real?” Doesn’t matter, she’s insane now, and it takes a phone call from Senjougahara to delay death. We don’t see her, but this might be Senjougahara’s finest moment. The only weapon she has is words. Fortunately, she’s a master of them. Not only does she talk Nadeko into delaying the murder for six months (what’s time to a god? Or to us? We only have to wait a week) but she gets off a cold-blooded insult as well. Next week should have quite a battle, or more likely, conversation.