Bakemonogatari Episode 7 – Suruga Monkey, Part Two

We’ve now been introduced to Suruga Kanbaru, an athletic underclassman who has a past with Hitagi Senjougahara. After meeting Suruga, Koyomi Araragi began collecting information on her and her history with Hitagi. And that night, he was attacked by a monster in a raincoat.

Hitagi then arrives to find Koyomi on the ground, covered in blood.

Synopsis

Hitagi, ignoring Koyomi’s condition, first chastises him for forgetting Oshino Meme’s money at her place. She then questions Koyomi as to why his bike has been utterly destroyed, and he looks like hell. Koyomi, unironically, tells her that he fell.

The next day, Koyomi visits Suruga’s place. There they converse about several topics – the attack, Hitagi, and Suruga’s condition. Suruga was the one who attacked Koyomi. Suruga used to be in love with Hitagi (and still has lingering feelings). Suruga’s left hand has become that of a beast, which Koyomi surmises to be the Monkey’s Paw.

After their talk, they head over to the abandoned cram school where Oshino hangs out. When they reach Oshino, Suruga tells him her story. We then learn that her arm is not the Monkey’s Paw, but something else – a Rainy Devil.

Valhalla Combination Pt.2

While I call it that, this will just cover Suruga’s relationship with Hitagi, as we learned more about it this episode. As it’s pivotal to what is happening, it’s important to continue noting the developments.

One small and comedic detail is the origin of the name Valhalla Combination – Suruga was the one who came up with it. While Koyomi scoffs at this, it’s actually worth noting. Back in middle school Suruga created the name Valhalla Combination in order to describe the pairing that was her and Hitagi – why?

Because, as we learn, Suruga loved Hitagi, and still does to a certain extent. So the name was a result of that love – Suruga wanted to be grouped together with Hitagi, and so she created a name that would pair them together. While Hitagi personally didn’t care about it, we see in this episode that it meant a lot to Suruga.

And then Hitagi graduated from middle school and moved onto high school. Suruga found out that Hitagi had become ill, and was no longer able to partake in club activities. This meant that her pairing, the Valhalla Combination, could no longer exist – where she definitely would have liked for the Valhalla Combination’s reputation to continue in through high school. And so Suruga sought Hitagi out and tried to help her, to disastrous results.

“I was the one who tried to save her.
I could do something about her problem.
Even if I couldn’t, I could be by her side and heal her heart.
That’s what I thought.
I was hopelessly rejected.”

“I don’t even think of you as an underclassman, let alone a friend.
Not now and not ever.


“She said that clearly to me.

So from then on, I’ve kept my distance from her.”

– Suruga Kanbaru

Now perhaps I’m being a little cynical here when I say that Suruga only wanted to help Hitagi because of the Valhalla connection. It’s clear in Suruga’s words that there was more to it than that, because she loved Hitagi. But personally, I believe that the Valhalla connection was still a strong motivator in Suruga’s actions.

What sticks out to me about Suruga’s words is when she says “I could do something about her problem”.

Monkey’s Paw / Rainy Devil

While we learn that Suruga’s hand is in fact, not the Monkey’s Paw, and it matters in a one sense, in another it doesn’t. Because the moral of the story is the exact same whether it be Monkey’s Paw or Rainy Devil – your wishes will be granted, but you best believe that there will be a price attached, one that you have no control over.

We learn that the Rainy Devil, just like the Paw, gives three wishes. The price? Your soul. The Rainy Devil assimilates with it’s owner, feeding off the owner’s life and presumably, their emotions.

This brings us to the following question: how many wishes does Suruga have left?

My guess is one.
One wish left.

Her first wish was spent in order to turn her into an athletic prodigy. Koyomi noted last episode that she wasn’t physically taller than an average girl, or particularly built any different – but she somehow was able to singlehandedly dominate all of her competition in basketball. Given the state of her arm, we know for a fact that she has used at least one wish, or else she wouldn’t have a beastly arm.

However, Suruga also admits to using a second wish. After witnessing Hitagi chatting with Koyomi in comfortable manner, of which Suruga herself had never even experienced, she became immensely jealous. This of course brought all of her feelings for Hitagi back to the front of her mind, and she made a wish – “I want to be by her side”.

That’s two wishes, leaving only one left. Considering the Rainy Devil only offers three wishes, I imagine after the third wish Suruga will lose control of herself completely. Or perhaps, she will lose control of her left arm completely, and it will gain a mind of it’s own, Parasyte style. Regardless, Suruga isn’t there yet, which tells me she has one wish left.

Suruga was able to gain popularity and athletic ability thanks to her first wish, and after that it seems she was content enough to leave the Rainy Devil alone. It was only when she saw Hitagi with Koyomi that she became filled with such desire that she caved in and made a second wish – and the price of that wish was her left arm.

Last episode Suruga mentioned that she isn’t currently playing basketball because of her “injured arm”. In reality it’s because she had made that second wish prior to her encounter with Koyomi, and lost her arm in the process. And she can’t exactly play basketball with a bandaged up arm, it’d be too suspicious. Probably.

Anyways, that particular detail makes me think that Suruga’s first wish didn’t leave any physical marks on her body, or take any part of her left arm.

White Lie

Perhaps it isn’t a white lie, but Koyomi must think it is. It’s interesting to note how just a few episodes ago Koyomi scolded Hitagi for pretending she could see Mayoi – his condition for their relationship was that they’d maintain an open dialogue! And then this happens and he tells a bold-faced lie to Hitagi’s face.

“Did you get hit by a car or something?
There’s something over there that resembles your previous bike,
which is pretty beaten up, or should I say, rammed into a telephone pole.Unless you were hit by a convoy of trucks, how would that happen?”
-Hitagi

“No, I just fell on my own.
I was on the phone, pedaling, and I ended up crashing into the telephone pole”.
– Koyomi

So much for open dialogue.
Not only was Koyomi not on the phone, but he was physically attacked.
I know this is obvious, but this just drives home how obvious his lie is to us.

Why would Koyomi tell a lie?

To protect Suruga, and to keep Hitagi out of it. Koyomi is the type of person who will not hesitate to pay the price on someone else’s behalf. And this is exactly that. He doesn’t want Hitagi to go after Suruga, but he also doesn’t want Suruga to hurt Hitagi. At the time remember, he doesn’t know that Suruga loves Hitagi, just that they have a past connection.

He also didn’t explicitly know that it was Suruga, but he had a good hunch that it was based on the timing and how Suruga was one of the only people that knew he was going to be studying at Hitagi’s that day. If he had said that he was attacked, Hitagi would have immediately suspected Suruga, and then, who knows what she would have done.

That must have been Koyomi’s train of thought.

Wrapping Up…

Suruga made the wish to be by Hitagi’s side, and the Rainy Devil decided that the first step towards accomplishing this was to take Koyomi out of the picture. Or perhaps it was Suruga’s inner desire, born from jealousy. Suruga claims that she didn’t have control of herself when she attacked Koyomi, and I believe that.

But at the same time, I also believe that Suruga wasn’t explicitly against attacking Koyomi either. Typically with stories involving the Monkey’s Paw, the bearer of the Paw becomes consumed with selfishness. While this is technically not the Paw, but a Rainy Devil, I still believe that this quality applies. While she is open to talking to Koyomi, there is a selfish and jealous part of her that desires him gone. And the Rainy Devil can help make that happen.

As this episode ends, we have to realize something:
Suruga’s second wish has not yet been fulfilled.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Bakemonogatari

One thought on “Bakemonogatari Episode 7 – Suruga Monkey, Part Two

  1. Pingback: A Mystery Blogger Award has appeared. It’s super effective – In Search of Number Nine — An anime blog

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