Anime Vice News

Winter Watch: Nisemonogatari #8

There are so many taglines to run with but I'll settle on, "My little sister can't be this cute... but she is and I want to sleep with her.

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.

The type of brotherly and sisterly love you only find in porn.
The type of brotherly and sisterly love you only find in porn.

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.

Middle schoolers in the throws of passion... oh, anime.
Middle schoolers in the throws of passion... oh, anime.

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.

This expression really sums up the episode well.
This expression really sums up the episode well.

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.

Verdict

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.

Watch on Crunchyroll

- William Taylor ( sickvisionz ) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionz and on Tumblr at In My Lifetime

Dream moderator is online on March 3, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Nisemonogatari and Bakemonogatari- The only anime I've seen that do enough to sexually confuse me in terms of turn-ons. From seeing Hitagi casually converse with Araragi while in the buff to the now infamous "toothbrush scene", never have my turn-ons been so awkward and confusing with the Gatari franchise.
 
And Sickvisionz, you failed to mention that Tsukihi appeared to be tempted to use lethal means on her older siblings for witnessing their near-incestuous moment. The object she planned to get at a store isn't something you would normally use around the house and you might recall she walked in with a knife during the Shinobu bath scene in the Karen Bee arc.
ComicMan24on March 3, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.

I do have to admit that I felt a bit uncomfortable at times during the toothbrush scene. And not because the scene was really that provocative or anything like this (btw had no idea that a toothbrush could do that lol) but mostly because they are siblings. If they weren't related I wouldn't really mind but anyway it wasn't anything really that terrible. And I agree that the animation on the show is of very high quality and consistent, something that you don't really see in many anime. And still entertaining as always.

Turambaron March 3, 2012 at 5:56 p.m.
I'm more concerned about a satisfactory ending to the series considering we still have the entirety of the phoenix arc along with the Senjougahara x Hanekawa dynamic left, all to be figured out in the next 3 episodes.
sickVisionz moderator on March 3, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.

@Dream: I try not to chronicle the episodes; I just cover the things that I feel are key. Looking at the length of the summary paragraph vs all the others, I probably went into too much detail.

Wraithon March 3, 2012 at 7:42 p.m.

After this episode, I can never look at a tooth brush the same way

sickVisionz moderator on March 3, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

@ComicMan24said:

And I agree that the animation on the show is of very high quality and consistent, something that you don't really see in many anime.

I don't know if many notice it, but one thing I'm always impressed by is how little cheap stuff they do. They actually draw zoom ins on the show, which you almost never see. Movies don't even do that type of thing on a regular basis. The usual way to do this would be to just take individual layers (like assuming backgrounds are one layer, something moving in the background is another, and then the actual scene characters are another) and scale them up at different speeds to simulate the camera zooming in. It's effective enough, but this show actually draws them, which is cool. I point it out not because zoom ins are the best thing ever, but rather to say that very little about the show settles with just being acceptable or good enough.

There's a level of craftsmanship that makes some of the subject matter so silly. It's like you took some Oscar winning crew of directors, editors, actors, cinematographers, composers, make up artists, CG houses and you had them work together as a braintrust to craft their masterpiece and something that would go down in the annals of cinema history. After months and years of working, they hand you the film reels and the magnum opus is Girls Gone Wild: Cancun 2012. This will likely be the most amazing GGW ever and will elevate softcore porn to new heights of artistry, but the fact that they even decided to make a GGW is funny.

God bless their hearts though. At times I feel like the series was made by people who watched a lot of crappy harem ecchi anime and said, "you know, they really don't have to make this stuff as low quality and cruddy as they do."

@Wraith said:

After this episode, I can never look at a tooth brush the same way

Indeed.

--

On another note, alternate taglines that were up in the air included

  • A riff on the Panty & Stocking movie-parody titles with "Incest and the City" or "The Men Who Stare At Their Sister"
  • Something involving "oral hygiene sex"... but I thought that might be a bit much,
  • My little sister can't be this cute... but she is and I want to have sex with her... something about having sex in the title kept making me pause,
  • The type of brotherly and sisterly love you only see in porn... but I liked it too much as the big picture in the article.
Dunchadon March 4, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.

@sickVisionz:

Nicely written. The series just keeps surprising me with how entertaining it is and how gorgeous it looks. I'm sure there's a lot of people who wouldn't be able to appreciate Bake-/Nisemonogatari because of its "trickiness" as you put it - but luckily, I've already seen way too much of anime/manga to be affected by this, so I'm free to enjoy what these series have to offer.

Whether this is really a good thing or not, remains debatable. And I definitely wouldn't recommend this series to anyone, unless I knew they had a "proper background" in anime.

The content of this episode was a bit unexpected though. It mostly featured Karen, even though we're done with her arc and should be focusing on Tsukihi - quite interested in seeing where the story goes from here.

sickVisionz moderator on March 4, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.

@Dunchad: I am as well. I think titling this "Tsukihi Phoenix" is a bit of trolling. Katanagatari, another Nishio Ishin based series, trumped up a fight during an episode preview and the following episode totally skipped over it and ended with the main characters (who weren't even shown prior to this point in the episode) were like, "wow, that sure was a tough battle!" The series only has three more episodes left, has two more characters to introduce, and I can't see them changing up the pacing to speed through things. Taking all of that and the Katanagatari thing into account, I wouldn't be shocked if something actually does happen to Tsukihi but it takes place and is resolved almost entirely off screen.

After the anti-climax of Karen Bee, I'm actually less interested in the mystery story that will happen around her than I am curious to see what the writers and artists will do to her and the scenes that will take place in it's place. For Tsukihi, they're pretty mild with what they do to the older high school kids, but all of the the younger characters except Tsukihi have had some pretty risque Pedobear-approved scenes devoted to them. As far as everything in it's placed, Katanagatari replaced that the epic fight that was talked up with a pretty awesome 3 vs 1 battle that lasted the entire episode and was pretty amazing in it's own right. I've got my fingers cross that if Tsukihi Phoenix does have a noticeable lack of Tsukihi, they'll replace it with something equally great.

Dunchadon March 4, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

@sickVisionz:

Oh, yes - I remember Katanagatari well. That really confused the hell out of me: "Did I miss an episode?". Was a pretty effective troll, for sure. Not sure how I would feel, if they did that again - it worked fine once, but if it becomes a trend...

But based on the previous Tsukihi scenes, I'm partly expecting some sort of yandere-reveal in which she stabs Koyomi for whatever reason. Though not sure if there's any way they could put a humorous spin on that, even with his regenerative abilities. It seems unclear if she has similar feelings toward Koyomi as Karen, or if she acted that way because of the "trickiness" of said situations.

EDIT: Having just watched the next episode, it does indeed seem like "Tsukihi arc" will have very little to do with her. Some new characters introduced in this one. And few more great scenes with Araragi and Hachikuji - I just love those, they always crack me up.

zetzueion March 4, 2012 at 4:07 p.m.

@sickVisionz: Yes, that could very well be how it plays out. Though do keep in mind that Tsukihi Phoenix is, at least superficially, shorter than Karen Bee. While Karen Bee(in the light novels) was around 22 chapters Tsukihi Phoenix was only 13.

On the episode itself, I really liked it. It was entertaining and I found the whole thing hilarious(tooth brushing in spaaace!), though I agree with you on the whole "trickiness"; I can see people being turned off by it, but it really doesn't affect me. And, well, I hope it ends as nice as Bake and that they keep em' coming. Next up would be the Kizu movie, but that should have come before this so I hope they announce Neko in the near future :)

zaldaron March 4, 2012 at 9:46 p.m.

ug...so sad that this show goes to the crazies. I hope I never get to the point you seem to be at where this kind of stuff turns me on.

sickVisionz moderator on March 5, 2012 at 1:25 a.m.

@zaldar: I wouldn't describe my enjoyment as being turned on, but if saying that makes you feel better about yourself, who am I to stop you, right?

Bocamon March 5, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.

@Turambar said:

I'm more concerned about a satisfactory ending to the series considering we still have the entirety of the phoenix arc along with the Senjougahara x Hanekawa dynamic left, all to be figured out in the next 3 episodes.

Sorry, you're going to have to wait until Nekomonogatari Black & White (6th and 7th books) and Koimonogatari (12th book) gets animated to learn anything about that dynamic.

zaldaron March 5, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.

@sickVisionz said:

@zaldar: I wouldn't describe my enjoyment as being turned on, but if saying that makes you feel better about yourself, who am I to stop you, right?

I am not sure how enjoying this kind of content could be anything but being turned on....still I mostly try to ignore it but it does bother me and I will liekly not watch this show because of it. I allmost stopped watching last exile silver wing after the first scene and parts of p4 really do disturb me.

The next episode from what I hear is even worse as it centers around the elementary school age character.

sickVisionz moderator on March 5, 2012 at 4:01 p.m.

@zaldar: If trickiness hearts your heart like that I'm surprised you've followed the show past episode one where Koyomi talks about how he wants to see a 5th grader's panties.

As far as "what else could you enjoy about it?"

  • It's comically executed,
  • has mise-en-scene through the roof,
  • is well-written,
  • and on top of all of that, it's beautifully animated

The content is often ecchi, undeniably so, and pushes into areas that could be uncomfortable for many, but it has a lot more going for it than what your typical crappy ecchi comedy offers.

zaldaron March 5, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.

Ah ok. I can see enjoying the writing though I am not sure what you mean by mise-en-scene. I came to anime through books not art so beautiful animation without a great story doesn't do it for me. I actually haven't watched any of this but loved baccano so I am sad to see this going the way it has. I don't watch ecchi comedies...please teacher and please twins really are crap to my mind.

As an example the first scene of last exile silver wing all most made me drop the series and I own the first one....bought it as soon as it came out and love every second of it (though the fact one character goes without pants toward the end all most made me drop it as well)

AURON570on April 19, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.

Artful smut, this term shall go down in history.

I almost wish I didn't hear about the hype around this episode before watching it. I came in expecting it, and it totally delivered . I especially liked when Karen glomped Araragi and started flailing around while hugging him. Damn good, but I still wonder what my impression would be if I went in not knowing what would happen.

Quick note about fetishes: No fetish is necessarily weird. Most fetishes are just explorations of the body. So they are good in the sense that one who experiments with fetishes gets to know one's body better.

Dig Deeper into Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari is a 2012 anime series that serves as a sequel to the 2009 series "Bakemonogatari". Both anime are based off of Nishio Ishin's popular "-monogatari" series of light novels.

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