The worst thing about watching this Kaiki arc of Monogatari SS is that dour cello music that plays throughout. While not the worst piece of music to listen, especially in the holiday season, it sticks in my head long after the episode.
The other thing that bothers me is that there are only two episodes left in the season, and the action seems to be slowing down even more than usual. We start with Kaiki discovering a note telling him to back off, and long speculation as to whether Gaen sent it, which is unlikely, but if not her, who? So he calls Senjougahara for our first real conversation which boils down to her telling him she doesn’t know who could have written it. On the way the two seem to be almost flirting again, and we get to see Senjougahara projected on the side of a building, Blade Runner style. At one point she even takes a pill! I’m going to write that off as Shinbo being playful rather than try to analyze it. I’m tired enough.
The other big conversation was with Hanekawa, looking adorable in her two-toned hair, and the two agree to exchange information. WHAT information they have to exchange I have no idea, and the show managed to put it off until next episode. Instead we hear what she’s been up to, and, not knowing the full context (maybe next week) it makes little sense. She’s trying to fool people into thinking she’s still out of town. Did she come back specifically to talk to Kaiki about Nadeko? What could she add? So we have what she’s going to say, plus the mystery of the note, and meanwhile the actual business at hand (Nadeko) is nowhere near completed. How they’re going to wrap this up in two more episodes is beyond me.
Do I really have to write about Coppelion 11? I can’t even figure out what’s going on anymore. The highlight of the episode was not Haruto’s brave death, because who cares, but the fight against the giant robot spider with the evil sisters thrown in. It was fun and nutty, and some of it was filmed so that we appeared to be there with the characters. In fact, the first time Ibara shoots at the underbelly and it loses control was a terrific moment, all violence and noise as the monstrosity passed by and we wondered exactly what happened. It works similarly to later scenes where the guys in hazmat suits and shouting, discussing, and bickering offscreen while we watch something else. The show can do a good job delivering to us the mood of crisis situations where too much is happening at once. Alas, too much IS happening. We got that spider fight, then we hop to the train, then to this part of the tracks and that, and where did the crazy girls go? Hell, where did Ibara go? Oh, don’t get me started on Aoi’s newly-discovered SUPER-POWERS! Or the spider crashing into the building where the 1st Division guy was kept … Geez.
NouCome finishes after only ten episodes. A shame. It’s the show I’ve laughed at the most this season, and joins Love Lab as a 2013 example of silly concepts rescued by execution. Love Lab might be a better show, it’s certainly more tasteful, but NouCome deserves some credit for its excellent voice actor work and the sense of timing the script and direction had. A shame, too, that the finale wasn’t up to par. They had to get Ouka to cry to clear up a challenge, and took half the episode. They built up some nice tension with the final “ERABE!” partly because it threatened to destroy the harem, partly because it allowed Kanade to make an ethical choice, but after that they had nothing to do but go crazy and have snow falling at the water park and lots of chasing around involving all the characters, including ones you had forgotten about. The end leaves us the possibility for a second season, and I will certainly give it a try, but chances are it would have further explain what’s going on, including all those gods, and that would take the fun out of it. Still, it deserves a chance to prove me wrong.