Nisemonogatari Episode 11 – Tsukihi Phoenix, Part Four

This is it, the grand finale.
Featuring Koyomi getting knocked around once again, teen Shinobu, and Tsukihi being platinum mad!

Synopsis

The episode begins with Shinobu informing us exactly what Tsukihi Araragi is – the Dying Bird. A bird that lays it’s eggs in another bird’s nest, or in this case, in a human, in order to live on. Harmless, but immortal thanks to this process of rebirth.

Koyomi Araragi goes and sees Tsukihi one last time before making up his mind to fight for her. He heads down to the abandoned cram school and gives Shinobu plenty of his blood. Yozuru Kagenui and Yotsugi Ononoki await. Shinobu fights Yotsugi while Koyomi fights Yozuru. Eventually, Yotsugi is defeated and Koyomi refuses to give up despite being beat up.

Yozuru then admits defeat and tells Koyomi to watch over Tsukihi, and leaves.

Dying Bird

So it seems they decided to dedicate the bulk of the episode to the confrontation itself, making the story of the Dying Bird a quick one. Shinobu explains it, and then that’s it.

“This bird habitually plants it’s eggs in other birds’ nests.
It waits for the mother bird of another species to leave and pushes her eggs out of the next, onto the ground. Then it lays it’s own eggs for the mother bird to warm and hatch.

This supernatural cuckoo, the Dying Bird,
exhibits the same behaviour.
It plants it’s egg in a human nest.

The common legend of the phoenix describes the bird at the end of it’s life, throwing itself into the flames to be reborn.
However, in this particular case, the flame is a human mother.”
– Shinobu

She explains it’s a harmless creature that lives out it’s lifespan and then is reborn again by laying it’s egg in another human nest. How exactly this is accomplished when it possesses a human body isn’t explained…

I imagine that it takes on some other form once it’s ready to be reborn again, a form that would allow it to enter into a mother’s bloodstream or something… it would have to be something like that.

Cerberus

Karen Araragi arrives home to see Koyomi sitting outside their house, of which the front entrance has been completely destroyed. Koyomi lies to her and says that he didn’t see what happened, mentioning that a truck must have driven into the house and then drove away. Karen believes it, because really, the alternative of a supernatural little girl blasting the front entrance is actually less believable anyways!

Karen actually gets really fired up about the idea of standing guard, and so she immediately volunteers to take over watching over the house. She declares herself like Cerberus as she stands guard.

Yozuru Encounter

While Shinobu and Yotsugi head downstairs in the abandoned cram school to fight, Koyomi is left facing Yozuru. Before they fight though, Koyomi asks her some questions regarding Meme Oshino. To which, Yozuru ends up mentioning Kaiki Deishuu, and how the three of them were classmates in University, and were all a part of the same club – the occult research club.

She then mentions that Kaiki was the one who informed her about Tsukihi, angering Koyomi.

The two then fight, and by fight, I mean Yozuru completely destroys Koyomi. If he hadn’t powered up with Shinobu earlier, he most definitely would have died, having his arms broken, his chest impaled, and skull crushed.

The entire time, Yozuru lectures Koyomi about allowing a fake to live in his family, allowing a monster to live in his family. And that lying to them all, even Tsukihi who is unaware of her own condition, is evil.

“I’ll force my ideals on my family.
And since they’re family, I’ll lie to them.
I’ll deceive them. I’ll cause trouble for them. I’ll make them worry.
I’ll owe them things… Things I’ll never be able to repay.
However, I think that’s okay.

Kagenui-san, Miss Justice.
If you say that being a fake is evil,
then I will shoulder the burden of that evil.
If lying is evil, then I’m fine with being evil.
I don’t need them to like me.”
– Koyomi

Yozuru then goes on to describe the theories of fundamental evil, how humans there is a theory that humans are ruled by their desires, and therefore born evil. Thus, if a person does good, it is not their true self, meaning that all good is therefore hypocrisy, and that one must make a deliberate attempt to be good.

That’s the main points.
She then goes on to use an example for this, that Kaiki had brought up in the past.

“Given the real thing and an indistinguishable fake,
which is worth more?

Naturally, my response was that the real thing is worth more.
Although Oshino-kun asserted they had equal value.

But here is Kaiki-kun’s argument:
The fake is of far greater value.
In it’s deliberate attempt to be real,

it’s more “real” than the real thing.”
– Yozuru

It’s an interesting perspective. The overall idea I suppose being that if you were to compare someone that just happens to do good with someone that deliberately tries to be good, the deliberate person is more good. If you are to reference the example back to the original theory, I think that’s the point that Yozuru is making.

In the end, what this is describing is Tsukihi herself, or more specifically, the Dying Bird. A creature that is deliberately attempting to be a human.

“Kaiki-kun is such a petty villain, but he does say some neat things.
I suppose you could say that’s the lesson for us here.
It took us ten years to learn it, though.”
– Yozuru

And this realization is what convinces Yozuru to walk away. The realization that the Dying Bird in some way or another is more real than the real thing, by deliberately attempting to be human.

Wrapping Up…

All in all, a pretty neat conclusion to the encounter.
Yotsugi was funny too, because she was throwing out some trash talk prior to fighting Shinobu, and then when Yozuru sees her strung upside down and out for the count, she teases her saying “What? After all that talk, this is all you could do?” or something like this.

In addition, afterwards Koyomi heads home and goes to Tsukihi once again. He tells her that he fought a human-like monster and a monster-like human for her. He also tells her that he’ll introduce her and Karen to his girlfriend, a piece of information that makes Tsukihi platinum mad for not having known this earlier.

And that’s it for Nisemonogatari!

Next up will be a look at Nekomonogatari: Kuro.

Until then,
Thanks for reading.

Nisemonogatari

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