Well, it looks like this season is determined to say goodbye one girl at a time. Only this time, it’s a permanent loss.
My god, where do I begin? After barely escaping the grasp of the darkness, Shinobu ends up trapped by it without being eliminated. Traveling with Ononoki and an unconscious Hachikuji, they spontaneously meets with the one person they know can explain the darkness, Gaen Izuko. After making a deal with Araragi for 3 favors, she explains that the darkness is used to eliminate oddities that stop living as oddities.
First it attacked Shinobu for pretending to be god, and now it’s targeted Hachikuji for resuming life as a carefree spirit rather than making people lost. Logically the solution to this would be for her to resume her duty as a lost snail, but she makes it clear to Araragi that she never wants to return to that malicious lifestyle. Instead, she decides it’s best for her to remain a reformed spirit and simply pass on.
I did not think it was possible, but I found the darkness to be much more frightening than Nadeko’s snake god mode. It doesn’t think, it lacks any shape, and its existence cannot be erased. The only relief is that it can’t attack vertically and it will dissappear once oddities continue being oddities. It brought a sense of doom that I haven’t gotten even in the original Monogatari, mainly since there is no happy resolution.
Despite the little amount of screentime, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Hachikuji. The last ep was void of the usual sexual harassment we’ve seen over and over again. Instead, her last moment with Araragi was a simple message for him to move on. Araragi may be somewhat unstable, but Hachikuji remained calm and mature while also expressing her sadness of having to let go. And it all ends with a surprise smooch and her stand-out “I bit my lip” line that had me missing her by the time the credits rolled.
To be honest, I only have two complaints to this arc. One is that Gaen’s sudden appearance and overall knowledge seems a bit too convenient. The other issue is that despite this ending up as the final chapter for Hachikuji, she spends half of the arc asleep while either Shinobu or Ononoki take up screentime. Not that it isn’t welcome, but it does bring to question what the focus should’ve been. Aside from that though, I have nothing but praise for Monogatari 2 so far. Only one arc is left, so let’s hope for a bang and no recap.