Welcome to Winter Watch, a look at the latest anime season. Among the many shows being broadcast, Nisemonogatari is perhaps the most anticipated one as it is a direct sequel to fan favorite Bakemonogatari.
Episode 2: Karen Bee, Part 2
Summary: Koyomi visits the homes of Nadeko and Suruga, two underclassmen who both try their best to seduce him.
Air Date: Jan. 14, 2012
Run Time: 24:10
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode herefirst.
This episode kicks off in earnest with Koyomi arriving at the home of underclassmen Nadeko Sengoku, the place he was heading in the previous episode. Once inside, Nadeko tells him that her parents aren't home and invites him up to her bedroom where she tries her damnedest to seduce him with a level of clumsiness and complete lack of subtlety that you'd expect from someone her age. In typical anime fashion, Koyomi is completely oblivious to her advances. In the midst of a game of Twister, Nadeko's mother comes home and Nadeko rushes Koyomi out of the house for obvious reasons. Bored and with no place to go, Koyomi decides to visit Suruga Kanbaru, an underclassmen he promised to assist in cleaning her room. On his way there, he sees his sister Karen walking down the street on her hands and stops for a moment to convince her not to do this in public. Afterward, he arrives at Suruga's house and is surprised to find her sleeping in the nude. After some banter, the two start cleaning her room and talk about a series of boys-love novels they find and the episode ends with (I'm not making this up) Suruga pinning Koyomi to the ground, unzipping his pants, and reaching for his crotch.
At this point, Nisemonogatari is essentially Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Koyomi lives a crazy life filled with crazy and interesting people and the viewers are just watching him go about his day. There's no story to it other than what's going to happen to him next? Enjoyment of the the series up this point is basically going to boil down to how much you like slice of life anime and whether or not you think the characters are interesting enough on their own to enjoy seeing them in casual situations. I'm enjoying it so far, mainly because all of the characters being reintroduced arrive with an interesting scene that entertains using not just excellent animation and impressive visuals, but genuinely funny dialog as well. Additionally, and I think this is a massive bonus for me, I have no familiarity with Bakemonogatari. I haven't come into the series expecting a certain form or method and ended up receiving another; I'm just taking it for what it is, which right now is a slice-of-life show that's funnier and significantly prettier than most.
Now, the warning. There is a white elephant in the room and that elephant's name is fanservice. EpicThe Matrix, "we're going to need guns, lots of guns," amounts of it. It is a constant and unrelenting force permeating every scene of this episode but that isn't really the main issue. If the image to the right makes you feel uncomfortable due to the age of the character and the suggestive nature of the content, avoid this episode. Things get significantly more provocative than that very quickly. To the shows credit, it is executed in a way that's tamer (sometimes), more tasteful (sometimes), and more artistic (all the time) than shows like Kanokon, Rio - Rainbow Gate!, or Majikoi - Oh! Samurai Girls!, but I can't help but think that the fact that it's artistically executed combined with the high production values of the series will make it all the more unsettling for people sensitive to this type of content.
This episode made laugh out loud even more than the first one and the visuals are still great. Nisemonogatari is shaping up to be a feast for the eyes and a real treat for fans of animation and sakuga. There was an over the top amount of fanservice that often delved into undeniably tricky territory but even so, I'm still positive on the series and would recommend this episode to anyone looking for a laugh, albeit with a warning about the content.