Now that I’ve said my part regarding Tsubasa, let’s look at Kiss-Shot, someone that I love just as much as Tsubasa. And this movie was really good for showing us Kiss-Shot!
The movie opens up by revealing an important detail to us. See, Koyomi couldn’t understand why he, someone with no vampire or fighting experience, was able to defeat three vampire hunters – but Kiss-Shot was not able to. Even if she was ambushed they wouldn’t have stood a chance.
However, it all makes sense once Oshino pulls out Kiss-Shot’s heart.
His reasoning for having taken her heart – to maintain balance. But what does he mean by this? If balance was achieved by physically stealing her heart, then why is he now working to help her regain her full strength? Why did he give Koyomi the heart back? Originally, he had planned to fight Koyomi over it.
And the reason for this sudden change is that the situation changed. Prior to Koyomi meeting Kiss-Shot, things were out of balance – they were heavily in Kiss-Shot’s favour. She essentially is the king of aberrations, as powerful as they come, and no one could have any hopes of stopping her. Knowing this, Oshino took her heart. This weakened her, and tipped the scales away from her. Balance.
But then, Kiss-Shot’s limbs were stolen and she was left for dead. Koyomi saved her, but she was extremely weak. So what does Oshino do? He begins to help her, to regain her lost limbs – but NOT her heart. That was something that Koyomi was going to have to fight him for, because he originally did not intend to give it back. It was his way of keeping the balance, and lowering Kiss-Shot’s power level.
However, something happened that changed all of this: Kiss-Shot promised to return Koyomi’s humanity. And Oshino knew that there was only one way she could do that – by dying. With that, her power level no longer mattered, because Kiss-Shot had made a promise that involved her death.
Remember when Oshino glared at Kiss-Shot in the first Kizumonogatari movie? I mentioned it in my 3rd post. He was glaring at her because of the promise. It was his way of asserting to her that he was going to ensure she follows through with it. Like a warning.
Oshino and his methodology of maintaining the balance is very interesting, because one moment he works against Kiss-Shot, and the next he helps her. In addition to her power level, restoring Koyomi’s humanity was another way to maintain balance. A full powered Kiss-Shot AND her minion together is something Oshino wouldn’t have allowed. The promise was important.
One Last Night Together
Kiss-Shot and Koyomi prior to this night hadn’t spent all that much time together. However, they did spend enough time for Kiss-Shot to realize that she liked Koyomi. This last night, Kiss-Shot tells Koyomi she has something she wants to talk with him about. When he asks what it is, she just asks him to converse with her.
“You didn’t have something you wanted to talk about?”
“I suppose the way I phrased it was not quite right.
I did not have any one thing I wanted to converse about,
but rather I merely wanted to hold a conversation;
the subject matters not.”
“And is doing that something which is essential in turning me back into a human?”
“It is vital.
To me at least.”
Kiss-Shot reveals that she has led a very lonely life. 500 years, and she’s only had a single other minion to talk to before Koyomi, and that was 400 years ago. And so, the two chat, laugh, and have a good time. Koyomi leaves to get some food, in very high spirits, after enjoying his time with Kiss-Shot.
Of course, his perspective would completely change once he saw her eating human flesh before his very eyes.
Before their fight, having spent the daytime apart, Kiss-Shot says the following to Koyomi.
“Servant of mine, whilst the sun was shining between us,
I managed to grasp the intent behind your feelings.
I understand why you grew so irate.
I understand the reason.
I think I did not give you due consideration to your position as a former human.
So just this once, I will ask this of you:
Return to my side.
Live alongside me.
My life was saved by you.
You are an eccentric fellow, but that is exactly why I feel I can live alongside you. Do you have no wish to exist with me for all of eternity?”
Pretty tempting isn’t it? I mean, to live alongside Kiss-Shot, an incredibly beautiful and powerful vampire, forever. Many would kill at the chance. But, Koyomi arrives with his intentions clear, and so the offer is refused.
What this offer represents is Kiss-Shot’s final chance at life. If Koyomi accepts, then she doesn’t have to die. But she knew he wouldn’t accept. After Koyomi refuses, and tells her that he now understands he was wrong to save her, she says the following:
“I wanted to hear you say that.
Now I can extinguish all hesitation.
Dear servant, I had an inclination from the very beginning.
I thought that you were perhaps that sort of person.
Your kindness was only directed towards me while I was weak.
That’s right. I understood.
Now that I have regained my full power,
I think that you have no interest in my any longer.
You did not save me because I was me.
You would have saved anyone, had they shown weakness.”
Yes, Kiss-Shot has understood Koyomi completely. This is all why that scene, where Koyomi meets Kiss-Shot, was so important. As I mentioned in my post about it (Kizu I Pt. 2), Koyomi probably wouldn’t have saved Kiss-Shot had she remained proud. The fact that she showed weakness, fear, despair… that’s the reason Koyomi saved her.
After Koyomi has drained Kiss-Shot’s blood, here’s what she says about that moment.
“I was already looking for a place to die.
I thought it would be nice to die.
At least, I thought so.
However, at the last moment, I became afraid of death.
After 500 years of existence, I was terrified of suddenly disappearing.
The thought of no longer existing scared me, frightened me to no end.”
Kiss-Shot’s First Kin
On the night that Kiss-Shot shares with Koyomi, Kiss-Shot tells Koyomi the story of her first kin, how he was a strong warrior that she trusted. But he committed suicide within a few years of becoming a vampire.
What she didn’t mention at the time was that he wanted to return to being a human, but she would not die for him.
And so he jumped into the sunlight and killed himself.
But on her own deathbed, Kiss-Shot explains further.
“It was the first time in my life that a stranger lent me aid.
From neither a human nor vampire had I ever received assistance.
And so, as I was extracting your kind blood, I began to question my actions.
So please, allow me to die for your sake.
I could not die for his sake.
I could not bring myself to die for him.
I could not bequeath his humanity unto him.
We know that Kiss-Shot had come to Japan prepared to die. She wanted to die. I think that the guilt of not helping her first kin, combined with 400 years of loneliness, drove her to seek her own death. But then as she says, she became afraid of the prospect.
Now though, Kiss-Shot has resolved herself to die for Koyomi’s sake.
It’s a very powerful moment, getting to see Kiss-Shot’s conviction here. She’s found a reason to die, something that she has accepted. But she’s in a vulnerable state, and we know that Koyomi’s weakness is his hero-complex. Koyomi is weakest towards those who are weak.
Luckily for us, Koyomi’s weakness gives us much more Kiss-Shot, or I guess I can now say Shinobu. With the solution being one where “everyone is dissatisfied”. Although after enough time passes, it becomes evident that isn’t the case. We’ll get there soon enough, with Nisemonogatari and eventually Owarimonogatari.
There’s one other interesting bit that happens, and it’s between Oshino and Kiss-Shot. After Koyomi calls Oshino out, looking for another solution, one that doesn’t involve killing Kiss-Shot, we get this:
“Don’t get in the way, brat.
Wasn’t that the deal?”
“I have no recollection of making a deal with you, Heart-Under-Blade.
I merely wished to accumulate all the information I could acquire.
In order to save Araragi’s humanity, your choice of self-sacrifice suited my needs perfectly, is all.”
Remember that glare Oshino gave Kiss-Shot? Now, it’s possible that these two actually conversed, but I don’t think Oshino would lie here when he says he made no deal with her. I think what happened was that Kiss-Shot knew Oshino knew she was going to sacrifice herself, and so the two, without speaking, arrived at a mutual understanding.
It’s a neat little bit of dialogue added in that ties back to the earlier movies.
Let’s end this post with the conclusion to the movie, the final moments of Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. For now, at least.
Just like back on in the subway station, Kiss-Shot’s eyes widen and she breaks out in tears, realizing that Koyomi isn’t going to kill her and give her the peace of mind she was looking for.
“I do not wish to live on in such a pitiful condition!
I will die! Let me die for his sake!
Kill me! Hurry up and put an end to me!
I do not wish to live any longer!
Servant! Dear servant.. Servant of mine…”
“Even so, I want you to live.”
“I… I beg of you.
Please! Please be so kind as to kill me.
Please kill me and regain your humanity.
Think of it as saving me once again.”
“I’m sorry, Kiss-Shot.
I can’t save you.”
And so these two continue to co-exist in this sort of cycle, one where Kiss-Shot couldn’t die for Koyomi’s sake, and one where Koyomi couldn’t save Kiss-Shot. With this, Koyomi and Kiss-Shot will begin to share an indescribable connection, one where either they both live, or they both die, with nothing in-between.
Both wouldn’t be able to bear the guilt of the other’s death.
So they both have to live.
Anyways, that does it for the Kizumonogatari movies.
As much as I enjoy them, I’ll be glad to get back to regular length episodes because finding the time to both watch the movies and then write about them is tricky.
We’ll be seeing much more of Shinobu going forward too, after what happened in Tsubasa Cat. So there’s that to look forward to, because Shinobu is an amazing character and a lot of fun.
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)