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 8: Tsukihi Phoenix, Part 1
Summary: Koyomi challenges Karen to a game that quickly takes both of them to a place no brother and sister should go.
Air Date: Feb. 25 2012
Run Time: 24:10
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.
With the Kaiki situation having been resolved, Koyomi's life is seemingly on the path back to normalcy. The episode begins with Karenentering Koyomi's room, dressed extra cute in hopes that he'll agree to her wish of being introduced to Suruga. Koyomi is worried that Suruga's extreme sexual nature will rub off on Karen and decides to make her pass a test in order to have her wish granted: she must let him brush her teeth for five minutes. She agrees but quickly discovers that it creates an incredibly arousing sensation, which Koyomi knew would happen and assumed would force her to quit before the time limit elapsed. The plan backfires, however, when Karen is completely ok with being sexually stimulated by her brother and Koyomi quickly finds himself entranced by the sound of his sister moaning in passion and the sudden realization of how attractive she actually is. Things begin to heat up and eventually lead to Karen giving him the OK to move on to heavy petting. Before things go past the point of no return, Tsukihi enters the room, causing a bit of embarrassment and forces the two apart. Koyomi and Karen are able to convince her that nothing out of the ordinary was going on and Tsukihi heads off to the convenience store, allowing Karen and Koyomi to pick up where they left off, except this time it will be Koyomi who has his teeth brushed.
I can't talk about this episode without first bringing up Cowboy Bebop and My-HiME, which immediately came to mind as I began writing this article. You see, both of them were firsts for me. Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop was the first hyper-sexualized cartoon character I remember experiencing and noticed as being sexualized and Mai Tokiha from My-Him was the earliest super sexed up middle schooler or high schooler that I remember. When I saw both of these series, these ideas seemed so odd to me. Sexed up cartoon women and children seemed like odd route to take. I loved everything else about anime and enjoyed these series, but this was something that I just didn't get.
It's funny what time and exposure does to you. I won't turn this into an article about my journey through fanservice, but I can't help but think about it while watching this episode and writing its article. One question keeps coming back to me: "when did I start to like this type of stuff?" I might have gone as far as turning the episode off and dropping the series back in my virginal days of anime watching, but almost two hundred series and movies after being baffled by these elements in Cowboy Bebop andMy-HiME, my reaction to Koyomi seducing his little sister is more along the lines of awesome than ewwand phrases like, "best episode yet," keep bouncing around in my head.
Like the Nadeko Twister game and the Shinobu bath scene, Shaft once again proves that they are the masters of artful smut, taking a keen eye and attention to detail in shot composition and animation that is usually reserved for big budget shonen action sequences and applying it to a scene of incestuous seduction. An entertaining episode to be sure, but like the two mentioned above, if you're sensitive to trickiness you may take issue with some of the content. Additionally, if you watch this show with your sister or brother, this episode is going to be extremely uncomfortable at times.