With the first Kizumonogatari movie, it’s time to go back and take a look at Spring Break, where it all began…
Koyomi Araragi is a seemingly regular high school boy, one that has no friends. However, one day while walking around during spring break, Koyomi runs into a girl from his school – Tsubasa Hanekawa. Tsubasa chats Koyomi up until they end up in front of their high school. There, Tsubasa gives Koyomi her number and email before leaving.
Later that night, Koyomi was out once again, on a mission. This was disrupted when he came across a trail of blood leading into the subway. He follows it to find a vampire, bleeding out and missing her arms and legs. She begs him to give her his blood, and after some deliberation, he convicts himself for death and gives it to her.
But then, Koyomi awakes several days later to find that he is still alive. And after a harsh lesson from the sunlight, he learns that he is a vampire, the servant of the one he saved – Kiss-shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. Kiss-Shot, in the form of a child, asks Koyomi to obtain her limbs from the three vampire hunters that had taken them from her, so that she can achieve her full power, and restore Koyomi’s humanity.
Koyomi departs, but is ambushed himself by all three vampire hunters. He is saved by a man named Meme Oshino, before taken back to the abandoned cram school where Kiss-Shot awaited. There, the three of them formulate a plan to separate the vampire hunters and get Kiss-Shot’s limbs back…
Koyomi Makes A Friend
Remember how much I stressed that Koyomi was a loner and delinquent in Bakemonogatari? Well, now that we’re back in the past, we can see even more of this, clear as day. Koyomi begins this movie with no friends, until he runs into Tsubasa. Here’s some dialogue that further enforces who Koyomi was when it all began.
First, some teasing from Tsubasa after Koyomi reveals he knows about her (because she’s famous at their school, top of their grade in everything).
“Why do you know so much?
Could it be that you’ve been stalking me?
Maybe that’s going a little too far…”
“That’s not it.
I heard it from my alien friend.”
“What? You actually have friends?”
“Ask whether or not there are aliens first!”
“Well, my impression was that you were always alone, and kept to yourself.”
“Well, you were right.
I admit I don’t have any friends.”
You know, I feel like I’m just picking on Koyomi by constantly pointing out that he used to be a loner. But the reason for it is because when I first watched through the Monogatari Series, I sort of assumed that Koyomi was a regular guy. After all, from the very beginning of Bakemonogatari onwards, he really seems that way. He starts out friends with Tsubasa, is sociable, and ends up making many more friends.
In a way, he feels a lot like a standard harem protagonist.
He gets along with all the girls.
But that is precisely why I have to drive the point home that Koyomi was in fact, a loner and a delinquent. Loner aside, he was also a delinquent because of his attitude of school, in which he had all but given up on. He even admitted as much here, as he balks at Tsubasa when she mentions going to study during spring break, telling her that he doesn’t even know if he’ll graduate. He also has no issues going out late at night, which for a high school boy, can also be considered a delinquent thing.
Ok, so once again, I’ve reinforced Koyomi’s “reputation”, something that the anime doesn’t explicitly tell us, but that we can clearly see once we put it all together.
On the topic of friends, there’s one other interesting piece of dialogue I want to bring up, and that’s Koyomi’s initial attitude towards friendship.
“If you’re this easy to speak with, it’s strange that you have no friends.
Why don’t you make any friends?”
“Because if I make friends, my strength as a human decreases.”
After Tsubasa shows visible confusion…
“Well, I meant…
How do I put it…
If I had friends, I’d have to look out for those friends. right?
If my friend got hurt, I’d get hurt too.
If my friend is sad, I’m also sad.
In other words, I think it means you become more vulnerable.
That’s clearly being weakened as a human.”
“But if your friend is having fun, you’re having fun too…
and if your friend is happy, you’re also happy.
So it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re becoming weaker.”
When my friend is having fun, I feel jealous…
and when my friend is happy, I feel envious.”
In other words, Koyomi was a total edgelord!
But, edgelord aside, what struck me was when Koyomi said “If I had friends, I’d have to look out for those friends”. That’s quite the assumption to make, isn’t it? Normally, I don’t think people would necessarily go that far in their definition of a friend. Or I guess I could say, there are different levels of friendship, so it’s interesting that Koyomi immediately jumps to what sounds like the closest relationship possible for a friendship.
I mean, I’m sure I’m not the only one who had plenty of what I call “school friends”, people you talk to and sit with in classes and whatnot at school, but then you don’t really see them much outside of school. A very casual form of friendship, but I’d still call it friendship. I had many friends who I was happy to discover were in one of my classes at the beginning of a new term, who I’d go to lunch with everyday, but never really hung out with them outside of school aside from the occasional time.
Anyways, the point here is that Koyomi skips past all of that, and goes right to a level of friendship that’s probably best described as something like “blood-brothers”. If Koyomi’s friend goes to battle, Koyomi will be right there with him, ready to lose a limb. If his friend is outnumbered in a fight, Koyomi will still jump in and take a beating with him.
That’s actually what Koyomi sees friendship as. And, it reveals a lot about his character, reinforces a lot of what we already knew from Bakemonogatari. Koyomi is the hopeless, selfless hero. Or I guess you could say: the selfless friend.
He also mentions this being a weakness, and I think it’s ironic because arguably Koyomi’s biggest weakness is that he simply is unable to think for himself, always putting others first. I almost think it’s self-aware of him to call it a weakness, but then he clearly doesn’t realize just how it is a weakness for him based on how he acts in Bakemonogatari, the future.
Which makes it just a very ironic thing for him to say, because in a way, making friends does end up revealing his weakness, although I suppose at times you could say that it is also a strength. Clearly being able to use proper judgement and know when to rely on others as opposed to defaulting to bearing the weight himself is the ideal though.
All I really wanted to get at with this was just another illustration of Koyomi’s character in the beginning, and how his views on friendship, at least the “I’d have to look out for my friends” portion, ends up becoming a core part of Koyomi’s character. I suppose it always was, he just never had any friends until now.
Tales of a Vampire
The final topic I’ll mention for now is what Tsubasa herself brings up: tales of a vampire in town. You know me and my love for dialogue, so let’s get some of that in here:
“If there actually was a vampire, I think I’d like to meet it.
Something superior to humans like that…
It’d be nice if it actually existed.”
– Tsubasa Hanekawa
An interesting thought. I see this as the “link” back to Bakemonogatari, where Black Hanekawa tells Koyomi about how Tsubasa fell in love with him when he was a vampire over spring break. The very fact that Tsubasa brings up the rumours of a vampire in town indicates to me that she has possibly been investigating this on her own. It doesn’t seem like a very well-known rumour.
What we do know is that Tsubasa would like to meet a vampire. I believe there are certain “traits” that would cause someone to want to meet a vampire… things like being dissatisfied with their current life, the desire for excitement… I’m sure there are some analysis posts on this sort of thing out there, considering “young girl meets vampire” is pretty much a trope at this point. Just picture one of those girls and apply them to Tsubasa, and you have that sort of idea of what Tsubasa is feeling here.
For this first part, of the first movie, I wanted to focus on Koyomi / Tsubasa. As you can see.
Next we’ll get to the other side of the movie, which of course, is Kiss-Shot, vampire Koyomi, and all that good stuff.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
- Kizumonogatari Part I: Tekketsu-hen (Pt. 1)
- Kizumonogatari Part I: Tekketsu-hen (Pt. 2)
- Kizumonogatari Part I: Tekketsu-hen (Pt. 3)
- Kizumonogatari Part II: Nekketsu-hen (Pt. 1)
- Kizumonogatari Part II: Nekkestu-hen (Pt. 2)
- Kizumonogatari Part III: Reiketsu-hen (Pt. 1)
- Kizumonogatari Part III: Reiketsu-hen (Pt. 2)