Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen (Pt. 2)

With the Koyomi and Tsubasa interactions out of the way, we can dive into the vampire stuff. It’s also time for Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. I’m going to be dedicating this post to Koyomi’s meeting with Kiss-Shot, because it’s such a powerful scene and deserves it’s own post.

Just a warning, there will be images of the very bloody and limbless Kiss-Shot in this post. So, be warned of that.

Meeting Kiss-Shot

Koyomi follows a trail of blood into the subway.

At the trail’s end, he finds Kiss-Shot, lying in a massive pool of blood.
Her arms and legs have been cut off.

Dialogue time, because I really, really love this scene.

“I will allow you to save me.
Did you not hear me?
I am saying that I will allow you to save me.”
– Kiss-Shot

“H-Hey…
Are you alright?!
I-I’ll call for an ambulance right a-“
– Koyomi

Koyomi then picks Kiss-Shot up, only to discover she is missing arms and legs. He panics and drops her body on the ground. This entire time Koyomi is having a panic attack due to what he is seeing.

“An ambulance?
I have no need for such a thing…
So why don’t you…
Give me your blood.

My name is Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.
I am the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, and cold-blooded vampire.
I will drink your blood and take it into my own flesh.
So why don’t you… give me your blood.”
– Kiss-Shot

“If you’re a vampire, aren’t you supposed to be immortal?”
– Koyomi

“I’ve lost too much blood.
I can no longer regenerate or transform.
At this rate… I will die.

You’re a lowly, insignificant human.
You should be honoured to become part of my flesh and blood.”
– Kiss-Shot

“You say you need blood?
What about a blood transfusion?
How much do you need?”
– Koyomi

“If you give me ALL of your blood, that will be a stopgap.”
– Kiss-Shot

“I see… all of my blood…”
– Koyomi

Koyomi’s panic level increases, as he tries to pull himself away from Kiss-Shot, tries to run away. His mind is going crazy as he realizes that he has to get out of there. But he’s having trouble executing that plan, still frozen in terror at what he sees in front of him.

“What’s the matter?
Give me your blood. Hurry!
Hurry up you slowpoke!
Do you think such an honour exists anywhere else?!”
– Kiss-Shot

Koyomi has managed to turn and run a little, before turning around towards Kiss-Shot again. He takes more steps back, with the panic clearly visible in his face. Kiss-Shot then sees this and realizes that he is scared to death, and leaving her.

Her face turns to complete and utter despair.

The emotion in her voice for this next moment is simply amazing.

“Hey!
Y-You’re kidding, right?
Aren’t you going to save me?”
– Kiss-Shot

Kiss-Shot breaks out in tears and begins having a colossal temper tantrum, wailing, flailing, and throwing blood everywhere. She then tries to crawl towards Koyomi, despite missing arms and legs.

“I don’t want this!
No! No! No!
I don’t want to die!
I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!
Save me! Save me, please!
Please… save..
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
– Kiss-Shot

Kiss-Shot gets close to Koyomi, who had slipped on the blood and fallen. Tears of blood trail down her face, stricken with absolute panic and desperation. Finally, Koyomi’s mind clicks back together and he high-tails it out of there as fast as he can, leaving Kiss-Shot there in a bloodied heap.

I’ll be honest, this might be the most powerful scene in Monogatari. At the very least, it’s definitely near the top of the list. I love it so much, that this entire part 2 post is dedicated to it! Which is why I decided to put the entire dialogue in there, with some descriptions, to jog your memories if you’ve seen it before. If you haven’t, well I hope I did it justice, but really you should go check out the movie!

Calm, Composed to Total Breakdown

We begin with Kiss-Shot, a proud vampire, casually mentioning that she is going to die, and proclaiming that the pathetic, insignificant human Koyomi should be amazed at the opportunity she has presented him, of being able to donate his blood to the high and mighty Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade!

Her voice is completely calm, as if everything is under control. After all, who wouldn’t want to give their blood to her? Such a thought is unthinkable.

But then, Koyomi begins to step away from her, struck with fear.
And it clicks for Kiss-Shot: this human isn’t going to save her. She’s going to die. For real. The transformation in her face alone is amazing, it tells the whole story of what was going on in her mind at that very second.

And in that moment, she completely loses it.
From a proud, 500 year old vampire to a wailing child in mere seconds.

What I really love about this moment is that it reveals something important about Kiss-Shot. She may be a legendary, 500 year old, rare and powerful vampire… but even she can be brought down to the level of a human, an animal, an ant… to nothing. While she is lying on the floor, limbless, Kiss-Shot is completely helpless.

I feel like this scene was so important because it shows us this. Kiss-Shot, despite all her age and power and whatever, can still be immature, can still show vulnerability, can still beg a lowly human for her life.

Before the breakdown, you get the impression that Kiss-Shot is something more, above humans. She’s too powerful and wise to lose composure, even when facing imminent death. But it’s all just a front. Because we soon find out that she’s absolutely terrified inside. Absolutely terrified.

I guess what I’m trying to say here, ultimately, is that this scene deconstructs Kiss-Shot from scary vampire to something more.. human-like. In reality, her breakdown feels more human than anything else.

Saving Kiss-Shot

After Koyomi ran away, he took some time to gather his thoughts, and figure out just what was going on. And he comes to the conclusion that he will give his own life to save Kiss-Shot. I think that her breakdown played the pivotal role in this. By revealing human-like vulnerability to Koyomi, his selfless hero drive kicks in. He has to save her, because she’s just a helpless woman, begging for her life.

Had she remained proud, perhaps he wouldn’t have decided to save her. Had she remained proud, and said something like “Leave me human”, perhaps he would have done just that. But Kiss-Shot, full of fear, cast aside all of her pride and begged Koyomi, like a child, for her life.

And Koyomi, despite telling himself that he doesn’t have to save her, physically cannot stop himself from going to save her. His selfless hero drive is so strong that even when he knows he shouldn’t do it, he can’t help but do it. Even if it costs him his life, all of his blood.

Kiss-Shot’s reaction when he returns is just as amazing as it was when she fell into despair. This time, it’s absolute shock. She clearly hadn’t expected Koyomi to return at all. She was probably readying herself to die. And then he returns, and she can’t believe it.

With tears rolling down her face, she thanks Koyomi before partaking in his blood.

What a humbling experience Kiss-Shot had in this scene. We didn’t really know anything about her, except that she was a proud and powerful vampire. And yet, even this immortal creature that has lived so long and seen so much, and is so powerful the world is her plaything, was completely humbled by this near-death experience. At least, in this moment.

I love it.
As I said, it’s probably one of the most powerful moments in Monogatari.

The raw emotion and expressions of Kiss-Shot, the transformations she goes through, it’s all just so perfect.

Wrapping Up…

I should also mention that I love Koyomi’s actions in this scene. They seem perfectly in line with how a human would act, with the exception of the part where he gives his life. That’s where Koyomi switches from a regular panicked human into the Koyomi Araragi that we know.

But his expressions, actions, the way he tries to run but can’t… it’s all amazing. Just raw emotions, on both sides.

Anyways, with that we’ll be moving on to the rest of the movie.

I originally was only going to write two posts for the movie, but then I really, really wanted to include the dialogue for this meeting scene. And it ended up being long enough that I decided it’d be best to just dedicate this entire post to it.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Kizumonogatari

9 thoughts on “Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen (Pt. 2)

  1. Pingback: The Bee Love Tag – A Discussion of the To Love Ru Franchise – Average Joe Reviews

  2. I have no nose and I must Sneeze

    I really liked how different this scene played out to you, it shows me just how deep and strange this film really is. I personally saw something much more carnal. We know what he was doing beforehand, buying porn, which made the moment where he picked he up so bizarre to me. When she fist called to him it reminded me of other older vampire stories, where they command humans by some power they have. Then Koyomi moves towards her, but it almost looks like he’s being pulled in against his will. He needs to move towards her.

    The lifting part I definitely disagree, it’s too crazy of a thing to do, even for a person in shock, and the images we see because of his actions are pretty sexual, even if she is close to death. He lifts her up high above himself, and she shines in the light, the scene highlighting her breasts for some reason, and showing a faint lining of he underwear until he notices she’s lost her legs. Then he throws her a good 6

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    1. Interesting perspective, not one I’d have ever thought up myself. I feel like the moment anyone sees that much blood, any sexual desire would vanish pretty quickly. I imagine walking through the empty subway station, following a trail of blood, to then come across a body in a pool of blood, would quickly quash any carnal desires he was feeling.

      And while it does seem crazy to pick her up, people do stuff like that all the time when someone is injured – move them when they shouldn’t. To the point where it’s a common warning to not touch / move someone until paramedics arrive because you can make things worse. When put on the spot people tend to not think straight, which is why it takes Koyomi so long to sort himself out and run away.

      The way he lifts her is interesting though! I wonder if he lifted her up so high because he didn’t expect her to be as light as she was, as he hadn’t noticed her missing limbs.

      Anyways interesting thoughts. Personally I don’t think Koyomi is THAT much of a pervert that a bloody scene like that would invoke any carnal desire, but anything is possible I guess!

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      1. I have no nose and I must Sneeze

        Yeah, maybe I’m reading too far into it. I also just finished watching the Film Hausu. They both are intense and goofy at the same time, so I’m probably just comparing too much. I straight up thought that movie was gibberish, but the Critereon collection has an interview with the Director, and he explains that the whole movie was a piece based on his life and the effects of the war (and more specifically the atomic bomb) had on his friends and mind. What does a floating head biting a girls but have to do about WWII? I still don’t know.

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      2. Reminds me of the whole “Why did Edgar Allen Poe decide to make the door red?” sort of question in English class, where the answer has to be some deep meaning like “To symbolize his feelings of passion and anger” when in reality it’s possible he just did it because he wanted to.

        It’s always interesting to hear the director’s thoughts on that sort of thing. I haven’t read the light novels but I’d be curious to see how Nisio Isin illustrates this particular scene versus what we see in the movie.

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    2. I have no nose and I must Sneeze

      (sorry I miss-clicked won’t let me edit my first post) He throws her a good 6 feet. I also realized that he looks to the sides in some of the cuts like he’s checking to see if he’s being watched. These moments completely shocked me, and I can’t figure out why he would feel the need to throw a dying person that far, hysterical or not. It makes me think that the sexual imagery is connected to his action of throwing her. It reminds me a little bit of the wind scene, after seeing up the girls skirt they both speak, and the first thing he does is try to get out of the situation by walking away.

      I’m interested in what you think about this idea. I just watched this film, and plan on watching the other two soon.

      Besides that, I think you are spot on about everything else. The emotion from kiss-shot reminds me a lot of passages from Bram Strokers Dracula. One of the plot points explains that Dracula as basically reborn, centuries old, but at the turn to his monster state reverted his mind to that of childish demeanor. Pretty interesting.

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      1. Sorry I guess I replied too soon then.

        I feel like the sexual imagery is more just a feature of the Monogatari Series, and that maybe the use here was more for the purpose of Kiss-Shot’s character introduction. I’m sure there’s some reason like that for it. Once again I just feel like as perverted as Koyomi is, I don’t know if being at a bloody crime scene like that late at night would really turn him on any.

        Speaking of the crime scene (so to speak), I just figured he was looking around the way he was because someone could be around or something. I mean there’s a bloody soon-to-be corpse on the ground in front of him, and someone had to have done that to her, so it’s possible they might still be around or something.

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  3. I have no nose and I must Sneeze

    Oh man, I could talk about/debate theories about the history and writings of E A Poe forever, but I feel like I’d be taking your blog hostage at that point.

    Thanks for the conversation, and strong insight into this movie. I really appreciate that you took the time to reply to me.

    Like

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