Bakemonogatari Episode 6 – Suruga Monkey, Part One

Let’s take a look at just another day in the life of Koyomi Araragi.
The latest development?

Koyomi is now dating Hitagi Senjougahara.

Synopsis

Koyomi is on his way home from school when he runs into Mayoi Hachikuji, the wandering spirit. They chat for a bit, until a girl from Koyomi’s school runs and jumps over Koyomi. Mayoi disappears, leaving Koyomi to converse with the athletic girl – Suruga Kanbaru, star of the school’s basketball team. They talk about nothing for a while, and then Suruga leaves once she finds out that Koyomi is heading over to Hitagi’s place to study for an upcoming test.

Koyomi then chats with Mayoi some more before heading over to Hitagi’s place, where they chat about their futures, relationship, and then Suruga. We learn about Hitagi’s past relationship with Suruga. Koyomi leaves in the evening, and calls Tsubasa Hanekawa on his way home. We then learn more about Hitagi and Suruga, and how they used to be called the “Valhalla Combination” in middle school, as they were the track and basketball stars.

After the phone call, a hooded creature attacks Koyomi, leaving him bloodied. Hitagi then arrives, as Koyomi had forgotten something at her place.

Promises

Hitagi and Koyomi talk about many things, and a lot of their conversation is more fun moments where Hitagi throws verbal jabs at Koyomi. Once Koyomi brings up Suruga, Hitagi goes on the offensive, threatening his eye with a pen. After a panicked response, Hitagi lays off, leaving to this dialogue:

“One of these days, you are going to kill someone.
I know it.”
– Koyomi

“Well, when that time comes, I suppose I’ll pick you, then.
I’ll pick you as my first opponent.
I won’t pick anybody but you. I promise.”
– Hitagi

“I don’t want such a warped romance!”
– Koyomi

“There’s nothing wrong with it. Just accept it.
Basically, me killing you means that the one closest to you when you die will be me. Isn’t it romantic?”
– Hitagi

“No. I’d rather anyone kill me but you!
No matter who I’m killed by or how I’m killed, I feel it would be way better than being killed by you!”
– Koyomi

“What are you talking about? I don’t want that.
If you are killed by someone other than me, I will kill whoever did it and screw the promise.”
– Hitagi

A great conversation and the signs of a healthy relationship…

Not only is it a comedic conversation that ensues between Koyomi and Hitagi, but it’s also worth noting. Hitagi essentially made a promise that the only person who was allowed to kill Koyomi was her. No one else, as anyone else will then face Hitagi’s wrath without hesitation. While it’s an interesting scene, it’s actually important to remember, as Hitagi is not the type to make promises lightly.

The reason I wanted to bring that dialogue up is because of what happens later in the episode. Koyomi is attacked in a manner that likely would have killed any regular human. And then Hitagi shows up.

Hitagi had entrusted Koyomi with the money she owed Oshino for helping her with the weight crab, but he forgot it at her place. So she went out after him, only to find him covered in blood on the ground. What happened to the creature that attacked Koyomi? It likely would have finished the job and killed Koyomi, had Hitagi not shown up…!

Valhalla Combination

Tsubasa reveals to us the middle school past of Hitagi and Suruga, as she went to the same school. Hitagi was the ace of the track and field team, and Suruga was the star of the basketball team. The school idolized them and paired them together as the “Valhalla Combination”.

Valhalla coming from the word “Baru-Hara”, which stems from their surnames: Kanbaru and Senjougahara. As Baruhara sounds like Valhalla, and Valhalla has symbolic meaning, the nickname stuck.

Hitagi herself mentioned that she used to be friends with Suruga, although Suruga looked up to her as an idol. Suruga is one year younger than Hitagi, which is likely why she looked up to Hitagi as her star athlete senpai. But then Hitagi met the crab prior to graduating from middle school, and so she never continued with athletics in high school.

Suruga ended up going to the same high school, found out about Hitagi’s weight issue, offered help, and Hitagi threatened her just like she did with Koyomi. But unlike Koyomi, who pursued Hitagi regardless, Suruga backed off completely.

Once Suruga found out that someone was dating Hitagi, it seems she took an interest in what sort of guy Hitagi would be interested in. Or perhaps she felt jealousy, that someone else was able to get close to Hitagi after she had failed to do so. I’m thinking that both are true in this case.

One final point about Suruga that Koyomi mentions is her introduction to high school. He describes their school’s basketball team as worse than pathetic losers before Suruga joined as a freshman – and after that, they made it to nationals. An athletic prodigy.

Wrapping Up…

We’ve already heard it many times, almost once per episode, and we heard it again this episode..

I don’t know everything.
I just know what I know.

Tsubasa Hanekawa

Tsubasa often takes on the role of advisor, as she is not only the top of her class in terms of studies, but is also just all-around intelligent. Koyomi tends to take advantage of this, and generally asks her for information when he’s trying to figure something out. Like in this case, wanting to learn more about Hitagi and Suruga’s past.

I won’t jump too far ahead here, but it’s worth noting that Tsubasa isn’t perfect, and we know this because she had an incident over Golden Week. What exactly happened hasn’t yet been revealed, but it’s one of those “loose ends” right now that one could easily wonder about.

Anyways, I’ll finish off by saying that when Koyomi seeks information on something, it’s not just because he’s curious. Koyomi doesn’t just haphazardly gather information or try to figure things out – he’s a delinquent who suffers with his studies, not the type to just want to learn for the sake of it.

Which tells us one thing – Koyomi, after finding out about Hitagi’s strained relationship with an old friend, due to the crab, once again is planning on using his time to help someone else. The moment he left Hitagi’s place and made that phone call, it became apparent that Koyomi’s plan is to try and repair that friendship between Hitagi and Suruga.

Until a beast appeared and nearly killed him, at least.

We’ll have to wait for Suruga Monkey, Part Two, to see how things play out next.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Bakemonogatari

2 thoughts on “Bakemonogatari Episode 6 – Suruga Monkey, Part One

    1. I don’t really know how much philosophy there is, but I don’t really go into external analysis often and try to apply concepts that way. I just like connecting the dots within the anime itself.

      But it is a real trip, thats for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s