After a brief stint in the past, our intrepid duo has returned to the present, only to find that their meddling may have had some unintended consequences…!
Koyomi Araragi and Shinobu Oshino arrive back in the present to find it… empty. The city shows signs of some cataclysmic event having taken place, but the two have no idea what it could have been. After gathering their thoughts at the Araragi residence, they decide to return to the shrine and time travel back to the night of June 14th – the night of the latest newspaper, and therefore, likely the night of the event that somehow caused everyone to disappear.
Unfortunately, when they arrive at the shrine, there is no latent energy in the area for Shinobu to use. The reason being that in this timeline, Meme Oshino gave Koyomi a different kind of talisman to place on the shrine, and this one absorbs energy, instead of just dispersing it. And upon discovering this, night falls, and the duo find themselves surrounded by apparitions.
They escape into the sky, where they somehow remain for the rest of the night, before returning to the ground at sunlight. While in the sky, Shinobu reveals that this extinction level event was her fault. When they land, Koyomi presses her further. The gist of it is that the Shinobu of this timeline had turned everyone in the world into vampires.
Four days later, the two gather up fireworks and set them off in the park, just in case any humans survived. Night falls and the two once again find themselves surrounded by apparitions.
The Whole World
One of my favourite moments from the episode is listening to Koyomi exclaim just how ridiculous the situation is, because it is just crazy for the two to end up coming “back” to the present and finding out that everyone has disappeared!
“This is useless! The whole world?
This situation’s so large in scale that it doesn’t feel real at all.
I’m so shocked that I can’t even panic.
Karen and Tsukihi are missing.
Senjougahara, Hanekawa, Kanbaru,
and Sengoku are all nowhere to be found.
And yet I can’t feel any sorrow.
I’m honestly appalled at myself.
But I can’t. I just can’t.
This is too much.”
It’s hard to imagine what it would feel like to be in that situation, to just casually step into a world where everyone is gone. One moment you see people and society is functioning as normal, the next, it’s gone. And with no answers as to what happened. Not right away at least.
Saving Mayoi Hachikuji caused a butterfly effect, resulting in this new timeline where humanity is seemingly gone. But before the grand finale, our two time travelers come across an interesting change – the talisman by Oshino was different. This prevents the two from leaving, and would also mean that in this timeline, the two could not have time traveled at all in the first place.
As this would have paradoxical implications in a linear timeline, I think it’s fair to assume that this universe consists of alternate timelines, and our duo are currently in one of said alternate timelines. After all, in their original timeline, Mayoi Hachikuji died and became a wandering spirit, met Koyomi, and so on. And then Koyomi and Shinobu time traveled.
Anyways, the talisman wasn’t the only change, as Shinobu ends up realizing the reason for why the world has become the way it has. It would have been cool to see more little changes, but maybe we still will as the arc isn’t over yet!
Shinobu Tells All
June 14th turns out wasn’t just some random day. It was actually pretty significant. Shinobu points this out by mentioning that it was the day that Koyomi went on a date with Hitagi. It was also the day that Black Hanekawa was running about, and the day that Koyomi found Shinobu in his shadow after almost dying to Black Hanekawa.
I’ll let their conversation tell the story here.
“Even so, allow me to disclose something
that I can no longer conceal.
If you hadn’t found me on that day,
I was going to destroy the world.”
“I had no idea it was that big a deal!
Or well, it was more like I was going to vent, if I had to pick one.”
“So, in this world –
Uh, this is confusing.
So Araragi Koyomi never managed to
find you on June 14th in this timeline?”
“That’s what it boils down to, I guess.
Think about it.
The first person who realized that I’d run away
was that lost girl, no?”
No, that’s not all there is to it.
If Hachikuji – Hachikuji the oddity disappeared,
then let alone June 14th, I wouldn’t have met her on Mother’s Day.
That means this world’s Araragi Koyomi never met Hachikuji Mayoi.
In that case, I was probably killed by Black Hanekawa back then.”
Koyomi’s death is relevant, because as the conversation continues we learn that while the two are bound together, if one dies, the other returns to their previous self. So if Shinobu dies, Koyomi will become human again. If Koyomi dies… Shinobu will become a legendary vampire again.
And back to her full strength, it wouldn’t be difficult for Shinobu to turn the entire world into vampires, all her servants. Anyone bitten by someone she has turned into a vampire will also turn into a vampire, and so the number of vampires likely multiplied until everyone was one. Shinobu then surmises that the Shinobu of this world probably killed herself. This then caused all of her vampire servants, the entire world, to turn into zombies, which are the apparitions we see now.
It’s a crazy sequence of events that no one could have predicted.
I love it, and it’s really cool how the story connects back with prior events, and how the absence of Hachikuji the apparition could lead to the destruction of humanity. It’s crazy and really cool to hear how the story of this new timeline played out.
Koyomi decides that fireworks will be a good way to signal any surviving humans in the vicinity, and so the two head to Costco to load up on fireworks before heading to the park to set up a fireworks show that definitely looks like it was done by a professional. Everything must have been set up on timed fuses, because Koyomi and Shinobu are standing in the park while the fireworks are going off.
So either they really took their time and set up an amazing display, timed to perfection using long fuses or some digitally timed means, or what we see is just an exaggeration of the actual fireworks show they put on. I’m leaning towards the later, but at the same time, if you have all the time in the world to set up a fireworks show, and all the fireworks a Costco can stock, it’s possible they took the time to make it really nice.
I love fireworks, so I couldn’t help but notice that.
Anyways, the two decide to wait until nighttime, just in case someone is making their way towards them. And then nightfall hits, and with it, a horde of zombies.
We’ll see where things head from here.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
Monogatari Series: Second Season
- Nekomonogatari: Shiro