Nekomonogatari: Shiro – Tsubasa Tiger, Part One

From one Nekomonogatari to the next!

Here we are with Tsubasa Tiger, which for me personally is one of the most memorable arcs in the Monogatari Series, as it’s the only one is told from Tsubasa Hanekawa’s perspective. And it’s one of the few that is not told from Koyomi Araragi’s perspective.


The story follows Tsubasa Hanekawa, as she awakes and heads to school, the first day back from summer break. On the way, she runs into Mayoi Hachikuji, who mentions that she was with Koyomi the day prior, but forgot her backpack at his place. After a quick chat Tsubasa tells Mayoi that she’ll let Koyomi know if she sees him at school.

After this, Tsubasa comes across a tiger. Towering over her, the tiger stops and says a few words for a moment before walking past her.

At school, Tsubasa tells Hitagi Senjougahara about the tiger, and the two talk about Koyomi for a bit. They head to class and spot a fire in the distance – Tsubasa’s home was on fire. After this realization, Tsubasa gathers the few belongings she has and heads to the abandoned cram school for the night.

The next morning when she awakes, a panicked Hitagi stands over her, angry that she had spent the night in such a dangerous place. Hitagi had spent the night searching for Tsubasa. The two then head back to Hitagi’s place, where Hitagi allows Tsubasa to stay for the night as her father will be out.

Snail Encounter

To be honest, nothing too important happens here other than the fact that we find out Mayoi had been with Koyomi the day prior, and that she forgot her backpack at his place. Mayoi mentions that Koyomi “apprehended her” and that she “barely managed to escape”, but we’ll just have to wait and see if she’s telling the truth or not on that!

The other detail worth noting is that Mayoi went to Koyomi’s house early in the morning and he had already left, as his bike was gone. Tsubasa points out that perhaps he was gone overnight, and never returned. Either way, Koyomi was somewhere, busy with something – a point that this episode will bring up several times.

Tiger Encounter

Immediarely after Mayoi leaves, a Tiger appears. Tsubasa becomes frozen in place, noting that she should run, but isn’t able to.

“So white.
So white and crystal clear.”
– Tiger

Surely the tiger isn’t talking about Tsubasa’s panties, right? Haha.

Anyways, while this is a very memorable and interesting occurrence, it’s also quite brief. Immediately after the Tiger leaves, the anime cuts to school. What did the Tiger mean when it implied that Tsubasa was “white and crystal clear”?

My House is on Fire

Tsubasa tells Hitagi about the tiger she saw, and Hitagi tells her she should contact Koyomi. They bring up how they’ve never had to ask Koyomi for help before, because he always helps them before they can even ask. But this time, Hitagi tells Tsubasa she should ask Koyomi for help before it gets to that point.

Unfortunately, the mood shifts when they arrive back in the classroom to a pillar of smoke in the distance.

“A fire…
My house is on fire…”
– Tsubasa

In addition to this, we get a message on screen:

I said it.
I called that house my own.

Tsubasa calls the house her own, despite sleeping in the hallway, and being detached from the family that owns the house. It’s interesting that she still instinctually calls it her house, her home. It seems natural that someone would do this, but in Tsubasa’s situation, it’s something that was worth noting by the anime itself.

A Night in Paradise

Tsubasa tells her parents that she will stay at a friends, and then heads to the abandoned cram school, where she spends the night.

Even though Hitagi had just told her that she should ask Koyomi for help that morning – something that could be extended to mean she should rely on others more in general, she still tries to go it alone. Why? Because that’s how Tsubasa is. She doesn’t rely on others for anything.

Instead, she bottles up the stress.
Which is what led to Black Hanekawa.

Hitagi slaps some sense into Tsubasa, resulting in this:

“Now that you mention it,
I realize how much danger I was putting myself in.
They say “don’t play with fire or you’ll get burned,”
but I think my sense of reason burned down with that house.”
– Tsubasa

Is this really the case though?

Tsubasa definitely was in shock, but I don’t think her sense of reason really changed at all. She acted on instinct, and that instinct was to bear it alone. Previously that’s all she’s ever done, so why would that change now? Even if she had her sense of reason, I think she would have gone about it in the exact same way.

Wrapping Up…

Once the two are back at Hitagi’s place, Hitagi once again mentions that she had tried to call Koyomi but couldn’t get through.

“But this means we’ll have to deal with the tiger ourselves.”
– Hitagi

But that was…”
– Tsubasa

“I was thinking that maybe it was the one
responsible for burning your house down.
Was I mistaken?
Do you know what caused it?”
– Hitagi

“No, it’s hard to say what did.
I don’t know.”
– Tsubasa

The scene puts emphasis on the fact that Tsubasa says “I don’t know”. This scene also once again points out that Koyomi is not around to help, and that they’ll have to figure things out without him.

Hitagi also gets them on the right track by mentioning the tiger once again, as Tsubasa clearly hadn’t thought about the tiger as a cause for the fire. And yet, it’s too coincidental that she sees a tiger the same morning her house burns down, right?

I think it’s worth pointing out that while this is the Monogatari Series Second Season, this segment of the season is called “Nekomonogatari: Shiro:, meaning “Cat Story: White”. So while the last season I covered was Nekomonogatari: Kuro, or “Cat Story: Black”, this one is the flip side.

I don’t really have to say much else, do I? If this season is “White”, then you can pretty much guess what the implications are in regards to Tsubasa Hanekawa, at least the direction we’re heading in here.

So I’ll just leave it at that, and we’ll see what happens soon enough!

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

Monogatari Series: Second Season

2 thoughts on “Nekomonogatari: Shiro – Tsubasa Tiger, Part One

  1. Vvg

    Hi, Yomu. I’m enjoying Monogatari series my first time right now and I like it very much. Unfortunately, there is no person in my environment, with whom I could share and discuss my imperssions of these series. So I’m very glad that I found your blog and I can think over episodes, look at some scenes and opinies from other perspective like I’m watching this with someone. You manage to convert your thoughts in words very clearly and it’s easy for me (non-native english speaker) to read and understand it. So I can only hope that you’ll continue your blog till the end of series and I want to thank you for your blog again.
    P.S. Also, the link to Nekomonogatari:Shiro, part 2 from this page doesn’t work for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

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