Fourth episode in the books and Nisemonogatari continues to please its fans by giving us the best possible mix of bath scenes and plot development.
We now see Hanekawa sporting shorter hair (maybe because it was summer?) as Koyomi finds out that she had been helping the Fire Sisters in their justice-work. We also find out the core problem of the Karen Bee arc – the oddity known as the “wreathe-fire bee”. From what I understand is that it inflicts a person with an intense fever, famous from the olden times, and usually led to death. The perpetrator was the Fire Sisters’ suspect for the spreading of charms talked about in episode two, who was also the reason for Senjougahara’s kidnapping of Koyomi, Kaiki Deishu.
Also, we get an explanation for Senjougahara’s taken-aback attitude from the last episode. My hunch was more or less right when Hanekawa said “If you don’t be a good girl, I’ll ask Araragi-san to be my boyfriend.” I think it has been mentioned in Bakemonogatari that Koyomi is “thankful” to Hanekawa the most, and would do anything for her. So she was basically using that as a bargaining chip to persuade Senjougahara in freeing Koyomi. I don’t want to spoil Kizumonogatari, and how Koyomi feels indebted to Hanekawa, so lets just say Koyomi owes her a lot.
But really, the highlight of this episode was the last remaining character yet to be mentioned until the later half – the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, cold-blooded vampire herself, not only makes her first appearance here in Nisemono, but also her first voiced appearance. VA Maaya Sakamoto truly surprised me in her tone this time around. I mentioned in my review of Arakawa how distinct her deep voice was, but now we also hear her pull off a more cutesy tone, coupled with some haughty Holo-esque speech pattern. Gotta giver her props.
I swear, SHAFT are the only ones that can make a fifteen-minute bath scene serious and dialogue driven, as Shinobu and Koyomi catch up with current events, the more important topic being her knowledge of the wreathe-fire bee. Upon listening (albeit involuntarily) to Oshino Meme’s ramblings, she passes on what she knows about this oddity.
The more entertaining part of their discussion however was about their own, Shinobu’s and Koyomi’s circumstances, with Shinobu being only a shadow of her former self, and Koyomi only being slightly human. They keep bringing up their unwillingness to forgive each other. She also brings up the risk that Koyomi might have a vampire’s lifespan, and tries to get him to kill her, to which Koyomi refuses. Again, the structure of their relationship will be expounded further by Kizumono.
The last bit of their talk was a touching one though, as Koyomi gestures, what I think is the “sign of obedience” mentioned in Kizumono, to Shinobu by rubbing her head.
So yeah, again, this series is definitely stealing the season so far. Let’s hope it just builds up even more from here. Till then, guys, lock your doors, and ladies, knock first before entering ^^