Otorimonogatari – Nadeko Medusa, Part Four (Pt. 1)

Here we are with the final part of Nadeko Medusa. And while it’s the end of Otorimonogatari, it’s only the beginning for what is to come with our current protagonist, Sengoku Nadeko.

Synopsis

Sengoku is caught red-handed by Koyomi, who is doing his best to talk her down and have her give him the talisman. However, Shinobu soon appears, and despite Koyomi’s visible and audible frustration at her words, she provokes Sengoku. Sengoku turns around, and eats the talisman. She then attacks Shinobu with snakes, causing Koyomi to jump in and rescue Shinobu, who escapes into his shadow. Sengoku then stabs Koyomi before fleeing to the shrine.

At the shrine, Sengoku has a long conversation with the snake, who wasn’t real, but now is, because she ate the talisman. Everything that led to her consuming the talisman is all revealed to be Sengoku’s own delusions. She also received some key information from a certain mysterious girl.

We then fast forward back to the beginning of Otorimonogatari. Koyomi and Shinobu lay defeated on the ground, both bleeding profusely, but still alive. Sengoku decides that she will kill Koyomi, and immortalize her unattainable love for him. But before she does this, Koyomi’s phone rings – it’s Hitagi Senjougahara.

Hitagi offers Sengoku a deal: spare Koyomi now, and after they graduate high school together, they will visit Sengoku to be killed then. Sengoku accepts, amused by the whole prospect.

Hostage Situation

Well, it’s not quite a hostage situation, but it sure feels like one – the talisman itself being the hostage.

Koyomi calmly asks Sengoku to give him the talisman, telling her that it’s more dangerous than she realizes. She counters by telling him that she needs it, to atone for her past sins (killing snakes at the shrine). She then connects us to something we heard in the first episode:

“Atoning. I wasn’t a victim.
Actually, I was a victim, but I was also the aggressor.”
– Sengoku

This seems to point at the idea that Sengoku has taken in a little of what Ougi Oshino told her, about how one can be both a victim and an aggressor. Sengoku was a victim of a snake curse, but she was also the aggressor against the snake god of the shrine, by killing snakes there. That is likely what she believes when she says she was a victim and an aggressor.

After that, Koyomi continues to try and talk Sengoku down. He apologizes three times, before asking for the talisman once more. And it’s clear that his words are getting to her. But before we can reach a diplomatic solution, Shinobu jumps in to ruin everything.

Shinobu, in her pride, must have gotten fed up with watching Koyomi act so caring towards Sengoku. Shinobu hates Sengoku, something we learned a few episodes ago. And she begins to say the same things she said to Sengoku back then: that Sengoku is spoiled, ignorant, pitiful – always playing the victim. Just a pretty face. Selfish. Needs to be taught a lesson in consequences.

This causes Sengoku to panic and turn to the serpent on her wrist for help. But the serpent doesn’t respond. And so, she turns around, and consumes the talisman.

The whole situation is interesting, if only because it feels like Shinobu is partially at fault for what happens. While Sengoku is the one who ultimately chose to consume the talisman, the scene feels like Koyomi is going to be able to talk her down. But Shinobu ruins it. And Koyomi is visibly not happy about what Shinobu is doing. First, he says her name with a frustrated voice, but she continues. And then he tells her to stop – but by then, it’s already too late.

Shinobu still carries a lot of pride, and I think it’s clear that her pride is the reason that she couldn’t sit back and let Koyomi try and take the blame for Sengoku’s actions. Because that’s what he was trying to do. By apologizing to her for not noticing what she was going through, he was saying: “it’s not entirely your fault, it’s mine too – I should have noticed, and helped you sooner”.

And honestly, while this may sound harsh, I actually agree with Shinobu’s core message, which is that Koyomi needs to stop holding Sengoku’s hand through everything. Now, I think that this is a lesson that should be taught AFTER the talisman is safe and sound, but Shinobu must have thought that Sengoku was either too cowardly to actually consume the talisman, or that Koyomi and her could easily take the talisman from Sengoku before anything happened.

Judging by Shinobu’s surprise when Sengoku consumes the talisman, I think she didn’t expect Sengoku to consume the talisman at all, even after her verbal insults.

Confession

Just as Sengoku is going to eat the talisman, we get this interesting dialogue:

“This girl is done for!”
– Shinobu

“Done for?
I know that better than anyone else!”
– Sengoku

I wonder what Sengoku means by this? While Shinobu clearly means that Sengoku is “finished” because of the talisman, Sengoku doesn’t.

What part of Sengoku’s life does she dislike enough to consider herself “finished”? Was it her outburst at school? Her unrequited love for Koyomi? Or is it her complete lack of a character, her invisible existence where everyone treats her nice because she’s pretty and she never has to put any effort into anything?

I’m sure it’s all of those things.

After she eats the talisman, Sengoku becomes a god. And with her power, she attacks Shinobu, who is trying to drain her energy. Koyomi jumps in and saves Shinobu, and Shinobu escapes into his shadow. This makes Sengoku even angrier, and so she begins to stab Koyomi, over and over, while yelling:

“Why would you save her?
You didn’t save me!
Koyomi! Koyomi! Koyomi! Koyomi! Koyomi! Koyomi!
I… I love you too, you know!”
– Sengoku

What a way to confess your love to someone. Of course, as Tsukihi said last episode, Koyomi was the only one who didn’t seem to realize that Sengoku loved him.

And I’m actually going to wrap up this post here.
As you can see in the title, I’ve decided to divide this final episode into two posts.

There’s just so much more to go through that I’d rather do it this way than have one super long post. As usual, Monogatari delivers when it comes to awesome conclusions.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

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