Nisemonogatari Episode 1 – Karen Bee, Part One

With the movies out of the way, we’re back in the present.
If you can consider it that. It’s all relative, this Monogatari timeline.

Synopsis

The episode begins by revealing that Koyomi Araragi has been kidnapped by Hitagi Senjougahara. Her justification being that she seeks to protect him. She also teases him to her heart’s content, because Koyomi is a bit tied up.

We then go back to before the kidnapping. The day is July 29th, 10 days into summer vacation. Tsubasa and Hitagi have been taking turns tutoring Koyomi throughout the summer break, and on this day, Tsubasa was unable to make it. She apologizes, stating that she will make it up to him in two days.

With his schedule suddenly free, Koyomi decides to call Nadeko Sengoku to see if she wants to hang out, as she had invited him to her home previously. He then has a quick conversation with his sister Tsukihi before heading out. On the way to Nadeko’s he runs into Mayoi Hachikuji and ends up chatting her with a while before continuing on his way.

Here we go again…

Is what I’d say, but really this episode was very tame and really eases us into the Karen Bee arc. The only real mention of Karen is that she has gone out to help some people who were in trouble – something Koyomi himself does fairly often as well!

This is the first episode where we get any real interactions with Tsukihi. Prior to this, the only time we ever heard her were when her and Karen would voice over the episode previews at the end of various Bakemonogatari episodes. That and when they’d violently wake Koyomi up in the mornings.

That said, I don’t think we really learn anything that interesting about Tsukihi just yet.

What this conversation does do though is bring up a conflict for Koyomi, which is the fact that his family doesn’t know that he is part-vampire.

Episode Hints

There were a few little hints regarding what is to come, so I may as well put them out here for all to see. Without explicitly spoiling anything, of course.

First is the date. Tsubasa called Koyomi to cancel their tutoring session on July 29th. At the beginning of the episode, Koyomi recalls that the date is July 29th, but that it may already be July 30th because he had just woken up (while chained up).

You can probably infer exactly what happens at some point on July 29th, based on this info.

Next is Hitagi’s reasoning for kidnapping Koyomi. She tells him that she is doing it to protect him, or at least this is implied as she mentions she will protect him. From what, we don’t know.

Third, as we know, Karen has gone out to help some people.

Fourth, and finally, is something much more open-ended. And what I mean by this is that it feels much more like long-term character foreshadowing than it does just setting up the sequence of events for the Karen Bee arc.

I’ll show you the dialogue and let you think what you will about it.

“If I’m ever in really bad trouble again, will you help me?”
– Mayoi

“Sure, I would.
Of course I would.
I won’t give anyone else enough time to save you.”
– Koyomi

“I can talk to you about my problems?”
– Mayoi

“If you don’t, I’ll get mad!”
– Koyomi

“That’s just like you.”
– Mayoi

Mayoi Fun

Speaking of Mayoi, I’ve mentioned before that her conversations with Koyomi are some of my favourite in the Monogatari Series. And we get a great one this episode, one that I wanted to share because there isn’t too much else I want to say for this episode.

“You can make almost anything sound positive by adding the word “courage”
– Mayoi

“That can’t be right.
I refuse to believe that Japanese is structured that way.”
– Koyomi

This prompts Mayoi to issue a challenge. Koyomi accepts, and ups the stakes so that the loser will have to do a handstand, depending on whether Koyomi is impressed or not.

And so we get a hilarious little segment where Mayoi issues statements and Koyomi analyzes them in his head.

“The courage to lie to your lover.”
– Mayoi

Not bad…
All you’re doing is simply lying, but adding “courage” to it makes it sound like you’re lying for your lovers sake even though she hasn’t said anything suggesting that.

– Koyomi

“The courage to betray your comrades.”
– Mayoi

What? Amazing.
The end result is that you’ve betrayed your comrades. But that gives the impression that you’ve somehow protected them, even though she hasn’t said anything suggesting that!
– Koyomi

“The courage to be a lazy bum.”
– Mayoi

Wh-what?! It really can do anything!
You’re just meaninglessly whiling away your life, but that makes it sound like you’ve positioned yourself in poverty all for some greater goal, even though she hasn’t said anything, anything at all, suggesting that!


But I cannot admit defeat here!
– Koyomi

“The courage to admit defeat.”
– Mayoi

“I admit my defeat!”
– Koyomi

Overall, it’s just a hilarious Mayoi / Koyomi moment. Plus, it’s actually really interesting to think about, how words can have that sort of effect. Someone get Lynn in here for analysis, stat!

Really, that sounds like a fun game to play. Some sort of wordplay game where you have to change the perceived meaning of a statement just by adding a single word. I really loved how “courage” was able to have such an impact on the sentences Mayoi delivers. I’m also glad that this bit translates well into English.

Perhaps this would make for a fun tag post or something.
I’ll see what I can do.

Wrapping Up…

As I said earlier, Nisemonogatari really eases us into Karen Bee. Considering there are only two arcs in Nisemonogatari, which is 11 episodes, it makes sense that we’d get more fluff like what we got this episode.

And that’s perfectly fine with me, because I happen to really love the fluff that the Monogatari Series gives us. Hitagi teasing Koyomi, Tsubasa knowing everything, Mayoi’s wisdom… it’s all so fun to experience and I feel that it builds up the characters in the anime. It brings life to the Monogatari Series, distinguishing it from your standard anime that might just jump directly from plot point to plot point.

That’s it for this episode.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading!

Nisemonogatari

One thought on “Nisemonogatari Episode 1 – Karen Bee, Part One

  1. Pingback: Imma Just Talk Underrated Waifus | The Bee Love Tag – SAE With a K

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