Kaiki, you magnificent bastard! You just gave to Monogatari what the T-Rex gave to Jurassic Park: a badass conclusion.
Before I get into the Kaiki craze, I’d like to say that this arc was quite fitting for a finale. It managed to wrap up any loose ends from previous arcs, opened up possibilities for new stories(Ougi’s identity), and made sure to keep things climactic till the very end. Special praise goes to elaborating on Nadeko’s true view of others and her little secret towards the end, managing to instantly switch from terrifying to cute.
Of course, Kaiki stole the spotlight through the whole journey. His character really showcased a side of him we never could’ve guessed from his previous outings. Despite the deceptive role he plays, he has a sense of maturity in both his lectures on life and solutions for problems reminiscent of the long-gone Meme Oshino. What’s more surprising is that this tin-man actually has a heart, revealing that this current mission isn’t his only attempt at helping Hitagi from her suffering in the past. Turns out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and now he’s one of my favorite characters in the Monogatari series.
The two moments that showcased these traits the best were Kaiki’s lecture in the snake pit and his final words to Araragi. Both of these were unexpected situations that could easily escalate, but Kaiki manages to effortlessly calm them down through a mix of snark and genuine thought. It also helps that his thoughts are pretty interesting on their own, mainly based around being honest toward one’s dreams(Nadeko’s manga) and the natural compatibility between those asking for help and those that give help(Kaiki+Nadeko=Ok, Kaiki+Hitagi=Fail, Vice versa if replaced with Araragi). Let’s hope his sudden death towards the end wasn’t permanent.
I thoroughly enjoyed this season of Monogatari, and in retrospect believe it to be its finest hour. It isn’t the creepiest and it isn’t the funniest, but it’s the most well-balanced. And while I complained about it before, moving the focus towards characters aside from Araragi actually made these arcs more personal than previous Monogatari series. I’ll see you all again when Hanamonogatari comes out. 🙂