After the graduation of Koyomi Araragi and Hitagi Senjougahara, Suruga Kanbaru is now an upperclassman at Naotsu Private High School. And while those two are gone, the possibility for oddities and related occurrences to take place still exists.
Suruga has investigated a rumour involving a wish-granting devil that led her to an old basketball rival, Rouka Numachi, the “devil”. But after a short conversation, Suruga walks away satisfied that there was nothing supernatural involved. Despite this, when Suruga wakes up the next morning, she finds that her left arm has completely healed.
After gawking at her now normal left arm, Suruga bandages it up as normal and heads to school. While she would normally run, she quickly discovers that the weight difference is throwing her off – so she walks. Ougi Oshino once again arrives and comments on this fact, before moving on to the more pressing topic: the devil is gone. After everything that happened the day prior, it seems that new rumours have circulated that the devil is gone since the night prior.
With the devil business over, Suruga had to find a new way to meet with Rouka. She asks her classmate, Higasa, for leads, but doesn’t get any. On the following Sunday, she decides to make a trip out of town. There, at the train station, she runs into a certain tall, pale-skinned, con-artist. Kaiki Deishuu. She attempts to run away, but in both of her attempts Kaiki easily outruns her.
He explains that he had been waiting for her to leave town, because Koyomi and Hitagi banned him from entering. So when she arrived here, he could approach her. He takes her to a yakiniku restaurant, and there, he explains that he had been tasked by her mother to watch over her. He explains a little of his past, which involves her mother, before giving her a business card and telling her that she can call him if she needs anything. Finally, he gives her a piece of advice regarding the monkey’s paw: never use it, and if anyone shows up asking about the monkey’s paw, don’t ask any questions and give it to them.
As he is leaving, Suruga asks how he knew that she would be at the train station earlier. He responds by telling her that he was told by her friend, Rouka Numachi.
The Devil is Gone
Suruga’s arm is back to normal, coincidentally, right after meeting with Rouka. And then, coincidentally, Rouka puts an end to her little wish granting project at the same time. Despite there being no indication from her that she would do such a thing. But of course, is this really a coincidence?
And of conveniently, it’s none other than Ougi Oshino that once again gives Suruga the news. Ougi tends to give off this feeling that she is omniscient, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case. So, you’d think she had to learn about Rouka somehow. Do rumours really circulate that fast, that in a single night, the message could get out? I’m not expecting an explanation for how Ougi knows these things, but you never know, there may be something there to keep in mind.
The timing is unfortunate for Suruga, because with her arm healed, she now wants to ask Rouka more questions. Rouka had said that “time heals all wounds”, but could that really be the case here? But now, Suruga doesn’t know how to contact Rouka, and so she asks Higasa, but Higasa mentions that Rouka pretty much fell off the map after she retired from basketball due to her injury.
The next Sunday, Suruga takes a trip out of town. Why? While it’s not disclosed, I have to imagine that she had obtained information of some sort in the five days between when she found out the devil is gone, and when she decided to leave town. Suruga is too smart to just aimlessly go looking around. But, we aren’t told the reasons why she ends up there on that Sunday. Maybe we’ll find out in time.
Kaiki’s Back Baby!
After beating her in a footrace, we get to see the cutest face we will probably ever get from Suruga. After that, Kaiki manages to convince her to join him and they head to a yakiniku restaurant.
“The moral of the story for you here
is that some things can’t be solved
by simply running away.”
There, we learn that Kaiki really loves meat (who doesn’t?). And in addition, we learn a little about how he was somewhat close with Suruga’s mother. Close enough for her to task him with watching over Suruga. While he was previously in town to scam children, our first meeting with Kaiki was indeed outside Suruga’s home, as his curiosity had led him to pass by there. It seems he never forgot about this mission entrusted to him, and so he offers Suruga his business card should she ever need help.
And while Kaiki’s support is interesting, what’s most interesting is what we learn from him.
First, about the monkey’s paw. Well, his initial warning about not using it came too late, as she had already used it. But despite this, he mentions this:
“You’re bound to run into a connoisseur before long.
Let them have it.”
“Yeah. A collector, so to speak.
Someone’s trying to gather all of the devil’s body parts.
They’ll probably try to take the monkey’s paw from you.
I’m not trying to be mean, but if they show up,
then shut your mouth and hand it over.”
Someone’s trying to gather all of the devil’s body parts?
What was the name of this story arc again?
In addition, we find out that Rouka told Kaiki where Suruga would be.
How could she know this?
Did Higasa tell her, as Higasa also knew this information?
Or, maybe there’s another source of information for Rouka. Could be Ougi. Could be something else entirely.
What we know is that Suruga met Rouka, and then her monkey’s paw was gone.
We also know that the rumours surrounding Rouka described Suruga enough to cause Suruga to feel like she had to act and investigate the rumours. After all, they were about a high school girl “devil” that was granting wishes. It perfectly fits with Suruga’s previous situation, from Suruga Monkey. Of course she’d feel compelled to investigate the rumours, right?
To me, it’s looking like Suruga has been played like a fiddle by Rouka. Or was it Ougi?
Now, to be fair, if Suruga is to follow Kaiki’s advice, she should just forget about it and move on. The monkey’s paw is gone, and likely the “connoisseur” has what they want. If not, well, someone has it and it’s not her problem anymore. But will she just back down?
I’m recalling a certain piece of advice from her mother here:
“Suruga, you’re sure to lead a more troublesome life than others –
one that’s all tedious and annoying.
However, I don’t say that because you’re better than everyone else,
but because you are weak.
And you’ll have to spend your entire life
shouldering that weakness.
I just hope your troubles don’t become
your reason for living.”
– Kanbaru Tooe
From here we’re starting to see the picture of what’s going on. Someone is working to gather up all of the devil’s body parts, and without even realizing it, it seems that Suruga is now involved in that. Or was, should she choose to walk away. We don’t have the exact specifics on how everything has and is happening, but we can make some reasonable guesses I’d say.
It seems clear that Rouka is the most suspicious individual to keep an eye on, considering her behaviour and knowledge of Suruga’s whereabouts. I’m also interested in what role Ougi has been playing in all of this. Has Ougi only been communicating with Suruga, or has she been playing both sides here?
Considering it’s only part two of five for this story, it’s still just getting started.
We’ll see how things play out from here.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.