It’s the final part of Kabukimonogatari! After discovering why the world has fallen to ruin and become infested with zombies, Koyomi Araragi and Shinobu Oshino light off some fireworks in the park. They then come face to face to the zombie hordes once again…!
Koyomi and Shinobu find themselves surrounded by zombies, hundreds of them. However, the zombies are soon dispersed after someone arrives and throws grains of rice at them, because apparently they don’t like the rice. That someone is Mayoi Hachikuji.
After a short conversation, Mayoi hands Koyomi a letter that was given to her by Meme Oshino. She was instructed to give it to Koyomi Araragi. In the letter, Oshino writes about how he had figured out what had happened – he had met Mayoi when he first came to town and learned that she was saved by a mysterious boy when she was younger. He also mentions that Kiss-shot failed to commit suicide, and still lives. He ends the letter with a request: for Koyomi to save the world.
After this, Koyomi and Shinobu part ways with Mayoi and prepare to face off against Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade. They go to the shrine, and Shinobu calls for Kiss-shot. Kiss-shot arrives in a pathetic state. She shares words with Koyomi and Shinobu, before offering her own magic up to Shinobu. Her final request is a pat on the head by Koyomi.
Back in their original timeline, summer vacation is over. On his way home from the shrine, Koyomi runs into Mayoi Hachikuji, and they head home.
A friend from the past… present?
In an ironic twist of events, while almost the entire world was turned into zombies, Mayoi Hachikuji managed to survive. In the original timeline, she died, but in this one, she is the only one apprently that lives. She mentions that others also live aside from herself, but she is the only survivor that we actually witness in this grim timeline.
There isn’t too much to examine from Koyomi’s conversation with Mayoi. He decides not to reveal that he was the one who saved her when she was a child, and when she asks if they’d met before, he denies ever having met her. She even offers to take the duo in, mentioning that she’s living in a place where her mother used to live. She also mentions that she’s lonely.
It’s interesting to think about that while the Mayoi we see here is clearly older, when we compare her to the Mayoi that we know from the original timeline, she’s actually the same age. Meaning that Koyomi would probably hit it off just as well with this Mayoi. It’s actually a bit sad to hear Koyomi reject her offer and walk away, and for a moment you can see the disappointment in her face.
Anyways, irony aside, the real item of importance here wasn’t Mayoi, but the letter she carried.
Honestly, the way his letter reads, it almost doesn’t seem right.
I mean, we know that Oshino is super perceptive, but for him to somehow be able go from “some random high school boy saved my life when I was a kid” to “Koyomi and Shinobu must have traveled back in time and saved her life, causing this timeline” is quite the stretch. I mean, I understand writing the letter, as there’s no cost to doing so and asking Mayoi to hold onto it…
But how he somehow reached that conclusion in the first place is the strange part.
Why would he immediately jump to that conclusion?
He even says it himself in the letter.
The moment I heard it, I knew.
I knew that it was obviously referring to you two.
I assume this means you traveled back in time to save her?
It’s just strange to think that. I even went back and re-watched the moment where Koyomi saved Mayoi and helped her find her mother’s house. Shinobu was in his shadow the entire time, Mayoi shouldn’t have known about Shinobu. Meaning that Oshino heard a story about a girl being saved by a high schooler, and assumed it was Koyomi and Shinobu. Without any mention of Shinobu in the story.
Just a high schooler, of which there are bound to be plenty in the area, any of which could have saved Mayoi – no time travel needed in the explanation. In fact, that’s the much, much, much more logical explanation. Why would time travel even enter the equation here? Even if Mayoi described Koyomi (black hair covering one eye, strange, et cetera…) it still makes more sense to assume it was just some random high schooler. I’m sure plenty of them have black hair, and any could have that sort of hairstyle.
Very strange. Of all the things to happen in this arc, this is the most unbelievable I think. Unless there’s something more to it, it’s just strange to me.
Which is crazy to think about in itself.
Fixing Kiss-shot’s Failure
The letter goes on to give us a bit of exposition about how time travel works in this universe, which feels a bit too much like exposition. We learn that Oshino has gotten back together with his old friends to try and track Kiss-shot down. We also learn that she failed to commit suicide.
Knowing that the solution to the world’s problems is to defeat her, Koyomi and Shinobu head back to the shrine and arm themselves to the teeth with what appears to be four copies of Heart Span, Shinobu’s demon slaying sword. Meaning that she’s able to make more than one, which is interesting in itself.
When Kiss-shot arrives, she soon breaks down into tears, and we learn that she is a total wreck.
“So there was indeed a possibility that you and I could be close.
This is classic. Yet I ruined it all with my pathetic jealousy.
I lost you because I ran away.
It made me feel like I had one of my wings ripped off,
like I was ripped in half,
but it wasn’t THIS painful.
It wasn’t as painful as having that
possibility shoved into my face.”
– Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade
Shinobu shares some words with herself, also in tears from seeing her other self in such a state. In the end, Kiss-shot offers to return the duo to their world, at the expense of her life.
As Koyomi pats her head, Shinobu sucks her blood, until she is no more.
We don’t see it, but presumably after this Shinobu opens up a gate and the duo fall down the stairs for the last time, this time, into their original timeline.
The story comes full circle, with Koyomi reuniting with Mayoi and asking her if she had ever wanted to come back to life. She replies that she has never wanted that, and that she’s comfortable as she is now, considering she’s been dead for almost as long as she was originally alive.
And so the story of Kabukimonogatari comes to a close.
A wacky time travel adventure that happened simply because Koyomi wanted to go back and finish his summer homework. It was crazy, fun, and interesting. We got to see adult Mayoi, as well as a sad Kiss-shot. And in the end we learned a little bit more about our Mayoi.
What started as an extremely minor thing got so big it threatened to take the entire world with it.
Overall, it’s a very memorable and fun arc.
Next up is Otorimonogatari!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
Monogatari Series: Second Season
- Nekomonogatari: Shiro