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 9: Tsukihi Phoenix, Part 2
Summary: While going about his day, Koyomi meets two mysterious strangers who are more than meets the eye.
Air Date: March 3, 2012
Run Time: 24:10
Warning: This article contains spoilers. We recommend watching the episode here first.
Having lost the bet with Karen from the previous episode, this one begins with Koyomi and her heading towards Suruga's house. In the midst of this, the two meet a mysterious woman named Yoduru Kagenui who is able to sense the supernatural afflictions that the Araragi's are suffering from and is searching for the Eikou Cram School. With the aid of Tsubasa, Koyomi is able to help her and he and Karen continue on their way. After arriving at Suruga's house, Koyomi introduces her to Karen and heads home. Along the way, he encounters Mayoi and does his usual pedophile/hebephile spiel but is interrupted by an odd young girl by the name of Yotsugi Ononoki who, like Yoduru, is searching for the cram school and has the ability to sense the supernatural.
So, how do you top (and by top I mean fall even deeper into debauchery) incestuous foreplay and making out with your little sister? By devoting half an episode to fantasizing about 5th graders! Both surprisingly and thankfully the series goes here without any fanservice, but like the first encounter with Mayoi all the way back in episode 1, I'm left scratching my head about what we're supposed to take from this. Originally, I thought Araragi may have been joking around with her and after he bathed with the childlike Shinobu and didn't have any type of sexual reaction to it, I assumed I was right. However, this episode makes me think that he is a legitimate pedophile or, at the very least, has no real concept of appropriate behavior to engage in around children.
But enough of that. With only two episodes left, I would love to say that the Tsukihi Phoenix arc is really heating up but truth be told, they're just putting the water in the pot, let alone putting it on the stove to boil. Yoduru and Yotsugi seem like they could potentially be interesting, but with only two episodes remaining I have doubts on how much of their past or motivations we will see and how rushed things will have to be in order to both introduce a conflict and resolution that involves them. The next episode will really be the key to solidifying my feelings, but right now I get the impression that the bulk of content involving Tsukihi is going to take place off screen and both the viewers and Araragi will be left out in the cold. To liken the series to Ferris Bueller again, I believe that the viewers are going to be like Ferris' parents; a grand adventure will unfold but we will witness none of it. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as long as the episodes themselves are entertaining, but I am bracing myself for a very anti-climatic end to Tsuki's arc... if you can even call itTsukihi's arc. We've seen more of Tsukihi in the opening song of one episode than in the actual story content of both parts combined. She had a larger presence in the first episode of Karen's arc than she has of her own arc. I haven't done a raw minutes count, but it feels like the amount of Karen that we've seen in Tsukihi's arc is creeping up on being equal to the amount of Karen we saw in her own arc, which further cements my beliefs that Nisio Isin is setting us all up for a bit of irony and playful trolling.
I've been entertained by every episode of Nisemonogatari, including this one, but I can't give it one the praise I usually laud on the series. The push for pedo/hebephilia as a trump card for what took place last week wasn't something that I felt was needed. Even ignoring that, I didn't find the episode to be as funny as past ones and while the new characters have potential to be interesting, at this point it's just potential.