Monogatari, the series that I’d been planning on rewatching for a third time since 2017. It’s time to start diving into this series, one episode at a time. These will be more long-form posts, however I may not cover everything. Whatever I think is worth pointing out in an episode, I’ll point out.
And of course, knowing all that I know from the series, there will be times where I hint at connections to future events, but I will try to avoid explicit spoilers. I will be pointing out foreshadowing without revealing what is being foreshadowed.
I’ve never gone through this series one episode at a time like this, so I think this will be quite fun!
Koyomi Araragi catches a falling girl at school – Hitagi Senjougahara. Hitagi is afflicted with an ailment that has robbed her of her weight, literally. After being threatened by Hitagi to keep quiet, Koyomi instead pursues Hitagi and takes her to a specialist, Meme Oshino, who deals in these sort of things.
We learn that the affliction is called Weight Crab, although it goes by many other names, and has many other forms. A god that both exists and does not exist, it requires very specific circumstances to appear. Regardless, Hitagi is in luck as Oshino claims he can solve this issue of hers…
The episode takes place on May 8th, after Golden Week, and after spring break. A lot has happened since then, although technically we don’t know about everything yet. The episode is packed full of imagery and references to the past, and this is because so much has already happened prior to May 8th.
We see glimpses of Koyomi’s meeting with Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, glimpses of Black Hanekawa. The Koyomi we see here is a veteran, at least of a few ordeals, since last spring break.
It’s very interesting to watch this episode and experience all of this. At first glance, it appears cryptic, and it is, unless you know what it’s referencing. The references and imagery serve as a cryptic message of what is to come (although it has already happened) in the series, but also as a refresher for those who already know what is to come.
Hitagi Crab, Part One
The world of the Monogatari Series begins with Hitagi Senjougahara, and the Weight Crab. While an issue that seems simple at face value, especially compared to other afflictions, much of the root causes aren’t revealed until later on.
What we do know at the moment is that a crab has taken Hitagi’s weight. It happened when she was in middle school – she used to be an athlete, skilled in track and fiend, until it happened. Afterwards, she began spending many days missing school and seeking help – but the 5 people she had spoken to previously were all “frauds”. Despite her tough front, Hitagi is self-conscious about her condition, causing her to threaten Koyomi with stationery.
“Curiosity… such a thing can be compared to cockroaches.”
– Hitagi Senjougahara
Once Koyomi reveals to Hitagi that the wound from one of her staplers had already healed, she opens up to him enough to hear him out. On the way to Oshino he explains that he used to be undead (spring break), and so his body heals faster than normal.
And after that, Oshino tells all about the Weight Crab itself, or at least, it’s mythical roots, as well as it’s nature. Much of what he says doesn’t appear to make any sense, but then again much of it only begins to make sense once we learn more about Hitagi and the situation she was in when she first met the Weight Crab.
Bakemonogatari pulls no punches and doesn’t hesitate to confuse the first-time watcher. The beauty of the Monogatari formula is that it has no qualms creating countless questions for the viewer, of which the answer may be revealed next episode, or perhaps not until next season, or the season after that…!
There are a few things to look at with the series.
First is the timeline itself. Monogatari does not sequence events in the order that they happen on the world’s timeline, instead opting to hop around on the timeline from past, to present, to future. So the first thing to keep an eye on in the series is the dates in which episodes occur, and to try and build an idea of what happened when.
Second is the individual characters – their desires, personalities, and pasts. Each character has a story to be told, although it may not all be revealed at once. Keeping tabs on the timeline will help to keep tabs on the characters as well.
Building a proper idea of the series’ timeline, as well as each individual character’s story, is the key to experiencing Monogatari.
And so that’s what I’ll try to do as I go along here. I’m going to try and make mention of the date, where the current episode relates to the overall timeline, characters and their stories… There’s no use in me rating the episodes, or the seasons, because they’d all get a 10/10 or close to it anyways.
Although I may also write posts for each season as well, trying to recap everything and summarize everything before moving onto the next..
There’s much more to come, so let’s cut it here, with one final note.
While watching this episode, I noticed that Koyomi’s given name is spelled with the kanji 暦 – which means “calendar” (my kanji studies have finally paid off!!). Is this a hint to the entire timeline-jumbled story that is the Monogatari Series?
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
- Hitagi Crab, Part One
- Hitagi Crab, Part Two
- Mayoi Snail, Part One
- Mayoi Snail, Part Two
- Mayoi Snail, Part Three
- Suruga Monkey, Part One
- Suruga Monkey, Part Two
- Suruga Monkey, Part Three
- Nadeko Snake, Part One
- Nadeko Snake, Part Two
- Tsubasa Cat, Part One
- Tsubasa Cat, Part Two
- Tsubasa Cat, Part Three
- Tsubasa Cat, Part Four
- Tsubasa Cat, Part Five