Nisemonogatari Episode 5 – Karen Bee, Part Five

Karen Bee continues, with us now knowing that Karen Araragi had confronted Kaiki Deishuu, and paid the price as she was inflicted by the poison of the wreathe-fire bee. However, we don’t know the full story yet.

Synopsis

The episode begins with Koyomi Araragi questioning Tsukihi Araragi about what happened, but just like Karen last episode, she is reluctant to tell the story, and deflects multiple times. Tsubasa Hanekawa ends up coming downstairs and together the two tell Koyomi (and us) the story of Karen’s encounter with Kaiki Deishuu.

After this, Koyomi walks Tsubasa home. Then he chats with Karen while wiping down her sweat. Finally, Koyomi leaves to consult Shinobu, as he’s come up with a plan – to take Karen’s sickness upon himself.

Tsukihi Banter

Tsukihi does a great job at deflecting, giving us some fun banter between her and Koyomi. I figure I may as well share some.

“Then tell me the details.”
– Koyomi

“Sure, okay.
But will you promise me something first?”
– Tsukihi

“Are you in a position to make demands?”
– Koyomi

“Sure, I am. I’m your little sister.”
– Tsukihi

“And I’m your big brother. So I can refuse them.”
– Koyomi

“Fine. Forget it.”
– Tsukihi

Aside from this scene, the only other time we really got to see Tsukihi was in Karen Bee, Part One, when Koyomi was leaving and chats with Tsukihi on his way out. So it’s cool to see her again, and see some more interaction between Koyomi and one of his sisters. Tsukihi is entertaining in that she gets mad easily, too.

“By the way, what were you going to ask me to do?”
– Koyomi

“Not to get mad at Karen-chan.”
– Tsukihi

“No.”
– Koyomi

“You can be mad at me, but don’t get mad at Karen-chan.”
– Tsukihi

“I’m getting mad at both of you.”
– Koyomi

“You can be mad at Karen-chan, but please don’t get mad at me.”
– Tsukihi

“I’m already mad.
So start talking and get it off your chest already!”
– Koyomi

“You think you’re so cool.”
– Tsukihi

I loved how Tsukihi pivots from protecting Karen to protecting herself once Koyomi begins to show some anger. That part made me laugh. And then her quip at the end also made me laugh. Koyomi definitely does act condescending towards his little sisters, and I feel like that little quip points it out pretty well.

Karen Meets Kaiki

After some more banter with Tsukihi, we get to see Karen’s meeting with Kaiki. And Kaiki acts exactly as one would expect. His composure, his words, his harsh truths… from the moment Karen walks into that room Kaiki began throwing her off balance.

What this scene does really well is build up Kaiki to be the dangerous con-man that he is. It also exposes the immaturity of Karen, as Kaiki’s words overwhelm her.

“Araragi, you’ve heard what I wanted (money).
Now it’s your turn. What do you want?”
– Kaiki

“I told you already.
I came here to punch you!”
– Karen

“Just to punch me?”
– Kaiki

“I’ll kick you too!”
– Karen

“Violence, then?”
– Kaiki

“Force! And I’ll make you stop this.
Selling this crap to middle schoolers?
What are you thinking?
And you call yourself an adult?”
– Karen

“I am indeed an adult.
And of course I’m selling it to them…
I’m a con-man, after all.”
– Kaiki

And then, after Kaiki educates Karen on how much money is is planning to make from this operation, and how money makes the world go round…

“The lesson for you here is that just as any problem can be solved by being right, every problem can also be solved with money.

The same is true of my victims, no?
They paid me in money.
This means that they recognized money as an object of value.

Is the same not true of you?
Or did you not pay in money when you bought that jacket?”
– Kaiki

“D-Don’t talk about my jacket!
Just give me your answer.
Do you want to be punched?
Or…”

– Karen

During this scene, Kaiki had begun to walk towards Karen. I think that at this point, he’s realized that she’s very distraught. Earlier in their conversation he points out how she is shaking – it’s clear that Karen is barely holding herself together.

“Here is a present for you. A bee.”
– Kaiki

Kaiki touches Karen’s forehead with his index finger, and she collapses.

“It’s working quite well.
You must have an active imagination.


The lesson for you here is to assume that any person you see is a con-man. Learn to doubt others. Did you think I would beg for forgiveness?
Then you’re just a fool.”
– Kaiki

The line that always strikes me here is “you must have an active imagination”. Why would Kaiki say such a thing, if he had just inflicted Karen with the poison of the wreathe-fire bee? It’s such a peculiar line, but there’s a reason for it. I’ll bring it up again once we get there.

Once again, what I really love about this scene is how it reveals so much to us about both Kaiki’s cunning and Karen’s naivety. I think this scene is up there with the subway station scene when Koyomi first met Shinobu for me, it’s a great scene.

Kaiki then robs Karen, taking her money and train ticket, before leaving. From the moment she walked through the door, Karen was out of her league, and she is unable to hold herself together while trying to confront Kaiki. I believe she had a “what am I doing here?” moment.

In the end, Karen was unable to even raise a hand to Kaiki, despite all of her threats. She was too scared, too thrown off balance, too out of her element. And so Kaiki is able to walk right up to her without trouble.

I’ll also point out that Karen is a 15 year old girl, confronting grown man who is not only a professional con-artist, but also someone who deals in the supernatural just like Meme Oshino, or Guillotine Cutter. She was out of her league.

Wrapping Up…

After we see the encounter, Koyomi walks Tsubasa home. I don’t think anything too important was mentioned there, except that Koyomi has cooled down a bit.

In his chat with Karen, she basically just recounts the encounter, pointing some of the horrible things Kaiki said and asking how someone could be like that. Some of the things she says resonate with Koyomi – they are very similar. If anything, it feels like Karen is on the same track as Koyomi, and he’s just further ahead.

Koyomi chastises Karen, but he also relates with her at times. Eventually, she mentions that she doesn’t want to get him sick, and he gets the idea to take her sickness from her.

That’s all for now.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Nisemonogatari

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