Bakemonogatari Episode 2 – Hitagi Crab, Part Two

All right. While Bakemonogatari makes no real efforts to “introduce us”, we have been “introduced” to Koyomi Araragi, the former undead high school boy who happens to know someone that can possibly help Hitagi Senjougahara with a problem of her own – she has no weight.

And with that, we’ve made it to episode 2 of Bakemonogatari…

Synopsis

Hitagi and Koyomi go back to her residence – a small one room apartment that she shares with her father. There Hitagi and Koyomi shower in order to purify themselves prior to meeting up with Oshino again at midnight. Oshino then takes them to a makeshift shrine that he has set up, and they proceed to “pray” with heads down. All the while, Oshino asks Hitagi several questions about herself before hitting her with the big one – “Up until now, what has been your most painful memory?”.

Hitagi wavers, and responds. After telling her story, the crab appears before her. Hitagi breaks down in fear, all the while Koyomi and Oshino cannot see the crab. After her hesitation, the crab attacks Hitagi, and Oshino, while he can’t see it, grabs the crab and throws it off of her. But before Oshino can finish the crab off, Hitagi gets down on her hands and knees and thanks the crab for it’s concern, and then begs for her weight back. Her wish is granted.

Hitagi’s Story

Hitagi Senjougahara was in 5th grade, when she was diagnosed with a serious illness. Her mother, desperate to seek help for her daughter, began seeking “spiritual healers”. At which point she became involved in a cult.

Hitagi had major surgery, and survived with no lasting issues. However, her mother became more and more involved with the cult. Hitagi’s relationship with her mother was strained as a result. One day, just prior to Hitagi’s middle school graduation, her mother came home with a high-ranking member from the cult… and he tried to rape Hitagi. She resisted, and injured the cultist. Her mother was punished, and their family broke apart.

Soon after, Hitagi met a crab.

Hitagi’s Feelings

Soon after meeting the crab, Oshino reveals that it is also known as an “emotion god”. The exact nature of how it affects emotions isn’t stated, the the gist of things is that the crab allowed Hitagi to suppress her feelings, which in turn, repressed her weight. An odd connection, but that’s the way it was.

Perhaps the crab “cuts” Hitagi’s ties to her feelings, or perhaps it bears the weight itself, as the crab was next to Hitagi prior to the ritual, although it was also everywhere at the same time.

In short, Oshino describes what Hitagi had done, as cheating herself.

She suppressed all of her negative feelings, and her relationship with her mother, in order to move forward with her life. But in reality, she hadn’t moved forward at all, as those feelings, the crab, followed her from then onwards. And the manifestation of this emotional “baggage”, the loss of her weight, via that crab.

And I’d like to point out that Hitagi’s baggage isn’t just feelings of trauma from the attempted rape, or feelings of betrayal from when her mother brought the cultist home and didn’t come to her aid, or feelings of sadness as her family broke apart. She also felt guilt, for having resisted the cultist.

“If I hadn’t resisted at that time, maybe my mother wouldn’t have fallen into such a pathetic state.”
– Hitagi

“Then, miss, those are your feelings. No matter how heavy they are, they are things you must carry with you. You can’t push them onto someone else.”
– Oshino

Oshino’s words at that moment tell the full story. Hitagi’s feelings were heavy, and the crab bore the weight of her feelings, allowing her to forget about them. But she never truly forgot about them, she had only cheated herself into thinking this.

Cheating

Here’s an interesting bit of dialogue between Koyomi and Hitagi prior to the ritual, while Hitagi is drying her hair after her shower:

“But being optimistic isn’t a bad thing, is it?
It’s not like you’re doing anything bad.
It’s also not like you’re cheating either.”

– Koyomi

“Not doing anything bad, huh?”
– Hitagi

“Isn’t that so?”
– Koyomi

“That’s true.
But… it may be considered a form of cheating.”

– Hitagi

An interesting bit of conversation. The devil is usually in the details, although I admit it wasn’t until I noticed the word “cheating” used once again later on by Oshino that I remembered this conversation.

Hitagi had suppressed her feelings towards her mother / what happened to her, and as a result, she stopped herself from feeling optimistic in life. Or perhaps she simply lost the ability to feel optimism as a result of the suppression.

My interpretation of this is that Hitagi feels like she cannot be optimistic because of her penance. “I’m not allowed to be happy, because of my burden”. Hitagi’s guilt never truly left her, and therefore she wasn’t allowed to be optimistic.

This could also apply to the fact that Hitagi was deceived by several others claiming they could help her. I can see her also just not being optimistic anymore whenever someone claims they can help after having been deceived so many times before by people making the same claims.

Wrapping Up…

Something else that I feel like I should point out early on with the Monogatari Series is Koyomi Araragi. While it’s not explicitly mentioned, Koyomi is a delinquent. He misses a lot of class, he spends many nights out late at night, and he doesn’t really socialize with anyone at school. Because of the visual style of the anime we don’t really see any other students aside from the main characters, so this point isn’t really emphasized very well.

But Koyomi is a delinquent, and you can see this more clearly through other character’s interactions with him. Hitagi teases him and treats him like an idiot, his sisters are always complaining about his behaviour… things like this. While I don’t think it’s entirely important to Hitagi Crab specifically, it’s still something to note going forward.

In regards to Hitagi Crab, perhaps Hitagi would have acted differently towards Koyomi if he had a different reputation. Perhaps it’s because he is a delinquent, a social outcast, that she felt she could believe him. This is pure speculation though.

Anyways, this marks the end of Hitagi Crab.

One other fun little point to note was how Hitagi made a remark about how heavy clothes were, and that she was not used to wearing them. This is because she spent so much time at home, having missed so much class. I liked that little touch, although it doesn’t really explain how she can carry so much stationery on her!

Finally, there are so many nuances to the various arcs of the Monogatari Series that I can pretty much guarantee there are details, angles, connections, et cetera, that I’ve missed. I can only notice so much in a watch through. It’s just something that’ll happen, so while I’m writing these posts with a semi-authoritative tone regarding what is happening, I’m by no means catching everything.

Plus, there are many other connections that can be drawn to abstract concepts, like “Hitagi’s story is an allegory for divorce”. Personally, I enjoy just sticking to the anime and concepts introduced within. So while there are certainly parallels that can be drawn between the anime, its characters, and outside concepts, typically I won’t jump into things like this. It’s never really been my forte nor my interest when it comes to analyzing an anime.

There’s an interesting story at the beginning of this episode.

It describes a young man who sold his shadow for money, thinking that his shadow had no practical use anyways. But then he was persecuted by those around him, claiming that it was abnormal for him to not have a shadow.

He had sold his own normality.

He searched for the man who had purchased his shadow, but no matter how hard he tried he never found him.

The episode begins with this story, and I’ll end my post with it.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Bakemonogatari

2 thoughts on “Bakemonogatari Episode 2 – Hitagi Crab, Part Two

  1. Dez Polycarpe

    I love the symbolism of the Crab holding the weight of Hitagi’s trouble past. Which is the easy way out, but she didn’t want to lose that. Then when you see her take it all in and you see her cry. It is one of those moments that you just feel for her.

    Liked by 1 person

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