Bakemonogatari Episode 14 – Tsubasa Cat, Part Four

Part Four?! That Tsubasa Hanekawa is getting quite the arc here, even if one episode of hers was actually hijacked by Hitagi Senjougahara…

And there’s still one more part after this!

Synopsis

Black Hanekawa is tied up on the roof of the cram school. Meme Oshino then re-explains to Koyomi Araragi that the reason Black Hanekawa has manifested is because of Tsubasa’s stress, and that last time Shinobu Oshino hadn’t rid Tsubasa of the Meddlecat, she only drained it’s energy. And now, it’s back. Meaning that Tsubasa is feeling the stress, once again.

The only problem is… Shinobu has gone missing. So that solution can’t be employed again, unless she is found. Koyomi then calls in help to search for Shinobu before heading back to the cram school, where a certain cat hops onto his bike and offers to help him. Koyomi and Black Hanekawa then proceed to walk around looking for Shinobu, all while Black Hanekawa teaches Koyomi the error of his ways in how he has been viewing aberrations.

Eventually, the conversation comes to a climax with Black Hanekawa telling Koyomi that there is another way to fix the problem, something that he could easily do… because Tsubasa loves him.

Banter At It’s Finest

I mentioned how much I love the banter in Monogatari last post, and so I had to mention it again here. Last episode, Tsubasa told Koyomi three jokes she had heard on a certain radio by anonymous listeners who had wrote in under pen-names. And this episode, Koyomi calls Nadeko, Suruga, and Hitagi to ask for their help – and in all three phone calls, they tell him one of the three jokes that Tsubasa had mentioned before. Koyomi’s reaction to each of them is hilarious.

I just had to bring that up here, because I loved these moments so much.

There was another excellent little moment too this episode, when Black Hanekawa approached Koyomi offering to help him find Shinobu. Koyomi, unable to help himself, has her say a tongue twister that is full of the “na” sound, causing her to say a whole bunch of “nya”s. (“Meow” in Japanese is “nyan”, hence the nya). It’s a funny and cute moment!

Aberrations 101

Black Hanekawa gives Koyomi some good insight into aberrations, and how they are to be viewed and treated by humans. There’s quite a bit of dialogue, so let’s just get right to that.

“So what you mean is that I’ll never be able to get along with aberrations? It sure seems that way.”
– Koyomi

“No, that’s not what I’m trying to say, meow.
For example, have you considered why that vampire ran off?”
– Black Hanekawa

“No clue.”
– Koyomi

“See? That’s how little you really know about us.
That’s probably why the guy in the Hawaiian shirt’s guesses end up being right. After all, he’s at least polite.”
– Black Hanekawa

“Polite?”
– Koyomi

“He knows his place.
We must be…
Believed in, feared, be afraid of, avoided, respected, worshiped, hated, despised, and receive wishes.

That’s why we exist, meow.
Getting along with us is pointless.
Approaching us as a friend is just annoying, meow.”
– Black Hanekawa

“Wait, you said that’s why you exist, right?
So by treating Shinobu like a little girl, I destroyed Shinobu as an aberration?”
– Koyomi

Koyomi’s perspective has been changed here, because Black Hanekawa has helped him to realize that the way that he views aberrations can have an effect on their existence. He stopped viewing Shinobu as a vampire, and started viewing her as a little girl. Or, a former vampire whose powers are so weak she may as well just be a regular human girl.

It’s an interesting prospect to just all of the sudden bring up. Oshino understands how to deal with aberrations, he has a better understanding of their nature, all the different types, how to deal with them, how to treat them, et cetera. Koyomi doesn’t, he just sort of goes with what he sees in front of him, and assumes that what he sees is what he is getting.

But then as Koyomi is getting all existential about Shinobu, Black Hanekawa continues…

“A vampire drinks human blood.
But drinking it for a meal and making a follower are pretty different.
Maybe that’s exactly why she ran away, meow.”
– Black Hanekawa

“What do you mean by that?”
– Koyomi

“You’re really dense.
She couldn’t have enjoyed watching you get involved with so many of us without even a break.”
– Black Hanekawa

“You mean she feels less special being held up against all of you?
That’s why she couldn’t stand staying there?”
– Koyomi

“Dense.”
– Black Hanekawa

Earlier, Oshino had mentioned that Shinobu had gone on a journey to “find herself”. Now, Black Hanekawa is telling Koyomi that maybe Shinobu left because he’s encountered so many aberrations.

But Koyomi doesn’t understand what she’s getting at, at all. Reason being, because Koyomi never thinks about himself. Never. So he assumes Shinobu was jealous or something.

That’s not it at all though. Black Hanekawa continues…

“Except for what’s going on with my master, perhaps you’d be better off without the vampire? After all, with her gone, you can go back to being human.”
– Black Hanekawa

Do you see what she has been getting at? Perhaps Shinobu left, not because of anything to do with herself, but because her very presence was causing Koyomi to encounter so many aberrations. And we know that Koyomi has been near-killed several times in these encounters. In other words, she may have left in order to try and help Koyomi. If Shinobu leaves, Koyomi can just go back to a regular human life.

Oshino has also stressed this before:

“Araragi-kun, if you abandon Shinobu-chan,
you can turn back into a normal human being whenever you want.
I don’t want you to forget that.”
– Oshino
(Nadeko Snake Pt. 2)

While this scene may not have revealed exactly what happened to Shinobu, as Black Hanekawa is only posing a possible perspective of Shinobu trying to protect Koyomi by leaving him, it does tell us a lot about Koyomi. As I mentioned, this is something about Koyomi, the selfless hero: he simply never thinks about himself. Even here, it just goes right over his head.

Confession

We end out the episode with Black Hanekawa essentially confessing to Koyomi on Tsubasa’s behalf. Finally, we get what has been hinted at for a while now: Tsubasa loves Koyomi. And this is the source of her stress, her love for Koyomi.

It explains why she was constantly bringing up his relationship with Hitagi, chastising him for how he treated his girlfriend, why she would get headaches whenever Koyomi was around, why she had brought up the possibility that Koyomi had charmed her (and the other girls)…

It was all because of love.
Although it’s very possible that Tsubasa herself still doesn’t quite realize this, which is why she was searching for some other reason, such as being charmed… Plus I doubt Tsubasa would want to get inbetween Hitagi and Koyomi, she wouldn’t want to cause any trouble there..

Well, Black Hanekawa has introduced a potential solution at least, for Koyomi, should he not be able to find Shinobu.

Wrapping Up…

Speaking of Shinobu, there’s one last quite I’ll throw in here. I know I’ve used a lot of dialogue this post, but this is the last one. This is Koyomi referring to Shinobu, after Black Hanekawa mentions he could just leave her and go back to being a regular human.

“I can’t just let her go!
I don’t even care if she kills me.
That’s all I know.
If she dies tomorrow, I may as well die too.”
– Koyomi

It’s an interesting piece of dialogue, because Koyomi had never really expressed any real feelings towards Shinobu prior to this from what I can remember. Usually his interactions regarding Shinobu were just “don’t mind her” whenever he was bringing someone to see Oshino.

The thing is, we still don’t fully know what happened between Koyomi and Shinobu. We don’t know Shinobu at all either, she’s just been a silent little girl this whole time.

But we’ll get to that story soon enough, after we wrap up Tsubasa Cat!

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Bakemonogatari

One thought on “Bakemonogatari Episode 14 – Tsubasa Cat, Part Four

  1. Pingback: Blogger Recognition Award (+ tags) – A Geeky Gal

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