Once again we have a recap episode, this time focusing on ep 1-12 of Bakemonogatari and having half of it focused on Senjougahara. Nice touch in having Araragi poke at how rushed it all is, but i’m sure these recaps are getting annoying. So thank god they only take up one ep each and don’t recap the stuff that just aired.
But what really surprised me is the ep after that. Now that I’ve been reminded of how creepy Bakemonogatari could be, it was quite a surprise when I got that same feeling in this episode. Right when it starts, we see Nadeko going insane, Araragi partially dismembered, and multiple white snakes taking the form of Nadeko’s hair. And once we get to how this all happened, good use of subliminal messages using these snakes create that sense of dread we’ve been missing for a while.
Rather than pace around the pointless(albeit more entertaining) dialogue bits, Nadeko gets straight into explaining what’s going on and making fun comments on it. This is a nice departure from how relatively cheery this season has been, and Nadeko’s reaction to both the oddities and her own thoughts really highlight how isolated her character is. It’s nice to hear Kana Hanazawa’s voice again, especially when it changes in tone as Nadeko’s situation gets darker(that Op does make her sound sinister).
Other than the pace, it sets-up several mysteries while also answering a couple questions from before. For example, it’s confirmed that Ougi, who you might recall as the creepy girl from Mayoi Jiangshi, is actually Oshino Meme’s niece. Kaiki’s fake charms from Nisemonogatari have made Nadeko’s class have a depressing atmosphere. We still have very little info on how the white snakes are connected to Nadeko’s snake attack in Bakemonogatari, but it seems they want Nadeko as a host in exchange for looking over the snakes she killed.
Overall, the Nadeko Medusa arc is off to what’s probably the strongest opening episode since the Hitagi Crab arc. It’s well-paced, clever in writing, and reintroduces the creepiness factor that’s been missing in the past two arcs. It’s promising to be much darker than the usual Monogatari goofiness, and I really hope they don’t mess with it.
And hey, if there’s one thing i have to thank this recap for, it’s reminding me of how fascinating Senjougahara used to be. I was initially bored when watching Bakemonogatari, and so were alot of people. But looking at this recap, I see that while it was boring to watch, it’s still the most thought-provoking in the franchise.