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Neomo’s Otaku Theater: Owarimonogatari Episode 12 + Series Review

Posted on the 24 December 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Neomo’s Otaku Theater: Owarimonogatari Episode 12 + Series Review

What makes a person special? What makes them so important that they need to be protected? That someone can fight for? It was only in this final episode of this arc (and the finale of the show) that I realised finally what the genuine theme was: a person’s need/desire to be someone to another.

  • Koyomi’s phone call to Hitagi in the opening made me see it; seeing how her parents fell apart, Hitagi is working hard to become a special person to the people she means the most to: her boyfriend and Suruga. Over these past six episodes, The First One has not been meaning for revenge or retribution, he just wants to see Kiss-shot again and ask her why. Why she left him to die. Why wasn’t he a special person to her. This duel is ultimately something to prove to him: why is Shinobu a special person to Koyomi/The Second One, and not him? So it turned out that The First One was the bitter ex after all…just me being cynical, but that is effectively true.
  • Our finale showed Koyomi and The First One dueling to see who would win Shinobu’s heart; a fight between current man and ex, in other words, with the specialists refereeing and Suruga cheering on in the background. As this arc interlopes with another arc (shown long ago), Koyomi only finds out now that both Hitagi and Tsubasa are in danger from the tiger anomaly that is haunting Tsubasa. In other words, this is a fight he has to finish quickly, and it just had to be Izuko who put him in the awkward position, especially as it was a case of choosing either Hitagi/Tsubasa or Shinobu. His girlfriend and close friend, or someone who will be in his shadows for the rest of his life…and a powerful vampire he made a promise he can’t break. It’s not like Koyomi has been in worse positions though; he’s had to defeat anomalies 4 times his size, 4 times his intelligence, and much more in past Monogatari arcs that I can’t spoil. But it is this fight that stands out because it’s a case of choosing which special person is the most special to him.

Neomo’s Otaku Theater: Owarimonogatari Episode 12 + Series Review

  • Last week showed Suruga successfully pushing Shinobu’s buttons. We could see for the first time that she really was conflicted; Shinobu parted with The First One in hatred, but it was Suruga who showed her that she should be the one to tell her that it’s over. Break-ups are heart-breaking, but Shinobu’s cold heart ended up breaking in the end. Her ‘heart’ is with Koyomi/The Second One now: someone who has now become special to her. But looking at it from a negative point-of-view, Koyomi may no doubt feel the same as The First One did in the future, when Shinobu moves onto a Third One. Or will he? Of course it’ll depend on how much work Koyomi is prepared to do to be that special person to Shinobu.
  • Happiness is short-lived, and as this arc was told from a narrative point-of-view by Koyomi himself as he was preparing for his college entrance exams, and he says himself that despite letting go of his past with Sodachi and holding onto Shinobu, his happiness will not last forever. Because of his half-vampire state, he will live long after Hitagi, Tsubasa, Suruga and his sisters die. Before he was bitten, he hated himself as an extremely dull human being, and so even despite becoming half-vampire, meeting his girlfriend and protecting these girls around him, he will some day return to being the hate-filled person he once was. Koyomi made that promise to Shinobu that they would die together; despite my cynical thoughts that Shinobu can simply discard him like she did to The First One, I now don’t think so anymore. Becoming a special person to someone is hard work, and I believe that Koyomi has it in him to be that special person to the people he loves and treasures the most. It is a goal that will make him more…human.

Series review

So in the end, not everything on my SHAFT bingo card was crossed off. Only ‘Bottle Rockets’, ‘Aliens’, ‘Maids’, ‘Hanging’, ‘Staff Takes Psychedelic Drugs’, ‘Delayed Releases’, ‘Baseball’ and ‘Rodents’ were left out in Owarimonogatari. However if you were watching the show alongside me, and saw something I missed, feel free to tell me; that way I can call ‘House!’.

We’ve been given some more Koyomi time, more Shinobu time, more Hitagi time (proceeding to list every other girl), and with the proper introduction of Ougi (as a entity of chaos), this show has shown us that Monogatari has evolved over time. We started from a cold-hearted girl with an infinite amount of stationery, to a loli vampire, to near incest, to so much more I won’t spoil, and now the tables turn to Koyomi’s history. I have found it very interesting that while anomalies return in the show, it is the MC who is in the spotlight instead. In past Monogatari shows, we’ve just seen him as this one guy with twin sisters, a witty kuudere girlfriend, a loli vampire in his shadows, amongst much more. And yet he himself had been left out until now. In any future adaptations, I will be very interested in whether we see even more coverage of Koyomi or whether the focus will shift back to the girls/anomalies.

Neomo’s Otaku Theater: Owarimonogatari Episode 12 + Series Review
Another loli girl in the house.

As this is the beginning of the end of Monogatari, some of you could well be saying “Finally!” or “About time!”. Well I know Monogatari is just one of those shows that you really need to get into. Is it just a casual watch? Personally, I don’t think so. I tell you something, once Monogatari is all over, I am rather eager to watch the entire thing in chronological order, with the Kizumonogatari movies coming first, and the Hanamonogatari arc coming last. Owarimonogatari has been a rewarding show to watch; it has brought 4 new arcs to the series…in the novels however, there are 3 more: Mayoi Hell, Hitagi Rendevous and Ougi Dark. We may well see them in the future; considering SHAFT has done every single Monogatari since. Could be in a ‘Part 2’. I know what each of those 3 arcs detail; of course I won’t spoil if you don’t know yourself, but I will say that they draw on the same topic that has been brought up in Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, Sodachi Lost and Shinobu Mail: who Koyomi is, and why he is what he is. The first three showed us how flawed he really can be, as opposed to the perfect guy in a harem show, while the fourth shows that these flaws can ultimately be overcome through belief in oneself.

In the 6 years the adaptations have lasted (yes, it’s lasted THAT long!), it has sucked me in and not spat me out. It’s got me wanting more and I will be rather upset when it all ends. Well…I guess when this is over, SHAFT can get back to squeezing as much Puella Magi Madoka Magica material as they can (in case you didn’t hear the news about the ‘concept movie’ they announced a few weeks ago).

If anything, Owarimonogatari has taught me, and all of us, one thing:

Neomo’s Otaku Theater: Owarimonogatari Episode 12 + Series Review
She just HAD to come back at the end, didn’t she…

Don’t trust anyone with wholly black eyes.

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