Some might be confused by the drastic change in tone considering the dark outcome of ep 15. But this is a refreshing dip back into cuteness that also filling in the blanks of Shinobu’s backstory.
First off, I’ll have to elaborate on why everything is fine and dandy after the incredibly dark events of Nadeko Medusa. This takes place right after the Time Leap of Mayoi Jiangshi and at the same time of Nekomonogatari White(Tsubasa Tiger), all before Nadeko Medusa took place. Because of this, the tone of these two ep are relatively lighthearted compared to Nadeko Medusa, including lots of wacky quips and romcom hijinks(specifically random kisses).
In contrast, the threat he’s facing this time is more terrifying than even Nadeko Medusa. We don’t know what it is, but we know that it’s by no means an oddity. No one can see what it is, but they do sense an ever-present darkness ready to engulf them. Almost everything about it is kept a mystery, but what we do know is that Shinobu’s faced it before, and it was powerful enough to nearly annihilate her.
Speaking of Shinobu, her backstory was much appreciated on fleshing out who she was aside from a loli vampire. Told through a style reminiscent of old ink paintings, we see just how powerful she was, being worshipped as a god until the darkness took everything. She was all-mighty and wise, but also lost on what to do and trust. And it’s this human quality that helped me empathize with her once it got to her relationship with the first oddity killer. Needless to say, her story is an epic tragedy.
When I initially got into this arc, I was utterly confused at what was going on. But I quickly found myself enjoying it as it slowly raised my blood sugar with cuteness, then progressively getting darker at a steady pace. I’m itching to see what happens to Nadeko after her breakdown, but for now this seems like a satisfying distraction.