Nekomonogatari: Kuro Episode 4 – Tsubasa Family, Part Four

This is it, the conclusion for Tsubasa Family as well as Nekomonogatari: Kuro. A lot happens here, so hopefully I’ll be able to cover most of it.

Synopsis

Koyomi Araragi spends the rest of his Golden Week begging his vampire counterpart for Heart Span, the mysterious sword that slays oddities. Eventually, she gives it to him. Meme Oshino then arrives and speaks to Koyomi about Tsubasa Hanekawa, as he had spoken to her parents about her. Then Oshino gives Koyomi some warnings before Koyomi goes to confront Tsubasa.

Koyomi sends her a text message asking for help, and 30 minutes later, she arrives. Koyomi exposes that he is in fact speaking to Tsubasa Hanekawa, and not the meddlecat, and the two speak for a while. After that, Tsubasa and Koyomi admit their disdain for each other, and Tsubasa / the meddlecat attack Koyomi with the intent of killing him.

Koyomi is split in half, but as he was hiding Heart Span inside his body, the meddlecat begins suffering. Just as Koyomi is ready to die, his vampire companion arrives and saves his life. She then performs an energy drain on the meddlecat that was going berserk.

The episode concludes with us finding out that Tsubasa lost all memory of Golden Week, and Oshino revealing the true nature of “Black Hanekawa”. Finally, Koyomi goes to school where he catches a certain girl that was falling.

Oshino’s Insight

Oshino had gone and talked to Tsubasa’s parents, finding out how they felt about her. He then introduces their side to the ordeal that is their relationship with Tsubasa.

“About the time Ms. Class Rep’s father hit her in the face.
He snapped and hit her really hard.
The blow apparently sent Ms. Class Rep flying all the way to the wall.
Well, she is pretty lightweight.

After she slammed into the wall and spent a little while squirming in pain, what do you think Ms. Class Rep did next, Araragi?
“You shouldn’t hit a girl in the face, Dad.”
That’s what she said, apparently. With a smile on her face.”
– Oshino

“That’s what she said after her father hit her?!
That?!”
– Koyomi

“Creepy, isn’t it?
She’s so righteous it’s scary.
She’s terrifying. Even more terrifying than an Oddity.
Revolting.”
– Oshino

Koyomi then proceeds to stick up for Tsubasa, while Oshino presents the other side of the argument some more. He goes on to explain how her parents felt about the situation, having to live with someone as righteous as Tsubasa, exposing their every mistake or weakness.

“In other words, they were trapped in a hell where they had their ugliness and their immaturity shoved in their faces every single day.”
– Oshino

It definitely makes a case for why her parents are so cold towards her, because she constantly one-ups them and points out every little mistake of theirs. Of course it doesn’t justify the abuse, nothing does. It just provides us with some context as to what it was like living in that household with Tsubasa.

The truth hurts, there’s no doubt of that. If someone tells a lie about you, you can shrug it off knowing that it’s not true. But when someone speaks the truth about you, something you might be ashamed about, it hurts. I believe that coming to terms with one’s own truths is important, because the truth while painful is often right.

It’s like that saying:
Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Personally, I’d rather hear the truth than lies or nothing at all.
Which is why I think that Tsubasa is far from a “monster”, and that living with her would be far from “hell” like Oshino describes it.

It’s blunt, it might sting at first, but wouldn’t you rather find out that some food was visibly stuck in your teeth than go all day without realizing it? Or only find out months later that you were being too loud watching TV every night while people were trying to sleep? Or that no one actually enjoys a dish you make often? Or that something you do makes others uncomfortable, without you realizing it? The list goes on.

People aren’t mindreaders, so as painfully straightforward as Tsubasa is, I can appreciate that she speaks her mind. Most people won’t, even when you wish that they had. It’s not always easy to understand what we’re doing wrong, or what others perceive that we are doing wrong.

Oshino begins to give three warnings to Koyomi.

The first is that it’s possible Black Hanekawa had anticipated whatever it was Koyomi was about to attempt. Because if Koyomi was able to think of it, so was Tsubasa.

The second warning is scratched. Koyomi thinks he has a good idea of what the warning would have been, but I don’t see anything too obvious for what this could have been. I’m thinking that it maybe involved warning Koyomi to not sacrifice himself or something, but I only guess this because it’s what Koyomi ends up doing.

The third warning is more of a question, with Oshino asking Koyomi how he was going to find Black Hanekawa. And we know that Koyomi has no issue with that.

Tsubasa Cat

Black Hanekawa arrives 30 minutes after Koyomi sends her a text message that he is in trouble. She then gets angry when she finds out that he lied to her – but she doesn’t speak like a cat, like she always did before. Koyomi then explains how he knew that it was Tsubasa, and not the meddlecat. He tells her that she isn’t going to change, so she just has to learn how to live with herself being who she is.

She asks him for pity, and he refuses to give her any.

Interestingly we learn about how Tsubasa ended up in the familial situation she is in thanks to this too:

“You never found out who your biological father was,
your mother committed suicide,
you got passed from family to family all over the place,
you failed to create any bonds with your step-parents
and thus grew up in a cold household,
but you still tried to force yourself to be a normal girl
and – of all things – THAT’S what you succeeded at.”
– Koyomi

Koyomi says some other flowery phrases, and his message boils down to telling Tsubasa that no matter what happens and no matter what she does, it’s not going to change the past, it’s not going to reconcile all of the hard times she lived through.

“Don’t make an Oddity your excuse.
Don’t use misfortune as a springboard to growth.
At the end of the day, you’re basically just hurting yourself.”
– Koyomi

He’s dead on with this, and I don’t know if it’s because he realized the nature of Black Hanekawa, or if it’s something else. After it’s all over, Oshino mentions that after she had attacked her parents, the meddlecat should have left her, as her wish had been fulfilled. But Tsubasa wished for the meddlecat to stay with her so strongly that she pulled it back in and absorbed it even more.

Which is why she is called “Black Hanekawa” and not “meddlecat”. She has become something beyond just a human afflicted with a meddlecat.

Koyomi managed to identify that Tsubasa was hiding behind the meddlecat, and basically having a temper tantrum through it. An excuse for her to show her dark side, while maintaining the purity of her human side.

Wrapping Up…

I’ll just mention one last point here, although really there is much more I could potentially write about.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while,
but you actually hate me, don’t you?”
– Tsubasa

“Yeah. I hate your guts, Hanekawa.”
– Koyomi

“I see. And I actually hate yours too, Araragi.”
– Tsubasa

First off I understand why Koyomi says this, because I believe he is once again referring to the fact that Tsubasa is hiding behind an oddity, using it to do the heavy lifting for her, trying to have the meddlecat solve her own problems for her. This is what he hates about Tsubasa, and what she’s done. She refuses to admit her own faults.

And while this is a bit of a guess, I’d say that Tsubasa’s response is essentially the inverse. She despises that Koyomi is able to put himself on full display – the good and the bad. He’s not afraid to say perverted things, or embarrass himself, or hurt himself if he feels the need to. I think Tsubasa’s hatred likely stems from jealousy, in this sense.

In the end, this was yet another fantastic conclusion to an arc in the Monogatari Series. Even though we already knew the story going into it, Nekomonogatari: Kuro still managed to fill in many gaps and expand upon the story in a powerful way.

Prior to this arc, we didn’t really know anything about Tsubasa Hanekawa.
But now as we go forward, we can say that we actually have a fairly good idea of who she is, how she is, and what she is. Which will be important to know going forward.

That’s it for Nekomonogatari: Kuro.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Nekomonogatari: Kuro

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