(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)
Real talk. Last episode had been pretty, and interesting, but also self-indulgent as all hell. However much you wanted to get us to understand Ene, this was just giving her more time than was necessary, for fun. Or perhaps because you didn’t have enough material, so you wanted to drag it along. As a result, regardless of whether Ene was loveable or annoying, very little actually happened last week.
And although that episode was filled with nearly non-stop chatter, very little of consequence was actually said.
We’ve got a big cast, and I suspect each episode will be quite different tonally. Well, an episode without Ene is bound to feel different, so let’s see what we’ve got on our hands.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Meet Momo. Silly and Loveable. Our Idol!:
2) Ah, now we see why she’s known. Glamorous, larger than life. But her real self is helpless, as she had failed in the everyday task of getting to the bus on time.
3) “Kisaragi Attention” – This is almost like the burden she has to contend with. It’s almost like we’ve never left Monogatari. Last week we had “Transparent Answer”, referring to his lack of presence in life, or to Ene?
(Edit: Seems “Transparent Answer” is something else. That’s what the internet does when you look for answers on it. Last episode’s name was “Artificial Enemy”, which I guess is about how we are our own worst enemies. I still think it’s going to be relevant. Plot-wise, I wonder if it means the whole situation at the mall was artificially constructed to put Shintaro in a pinch.)
4) Oh my. Figuring the dates of birth and death next to people’s pictures in history books are meant to be “Combat Ability.” She filled all the columns in the test, but it makes you wonder if she had actually reviewed the material. Or as the teacher had said, it’s as if she lives on a completely different plane.
5) The horror of being a bad student! GAH! Stop it, the sounds, they are invading my ears!
6) “Teacher! Momo is grateful!” – And their whole act on the roof was quite something alright. Makes you think of a certain character and elementary schooler, or his sister.
7) “I know I said I’ll do anything, but this seems hard, I want to give up before even starting!” – That’s our procrastinator.
2) Alone in the Crowd, Alone on Stage:
1) No friends, casually said. I guess she shares that with Shintaro, last episode’s “hero”.
Wait. Shintaro’s last name is “Kisaragi” as well, is she Shintaro’s sister? Hmmmm.
2) “Everyone is envious of your ability to focus” – And now everyone is focused on her, and she loses her ability to focus on other things, such as studies? Hm. Update: Makes more sense now that you think it’s about how everyone is envious of her ability to focus everyone’s attention on her.
3) A man from an idol company, presenting a soft image, a repeated message, to a young girl. Or, well, just Shinbou being Shinbou. He can’t help it, at this point.
4) That agency name, “Natural Enemy” O.O They know they’re predators, “My Lawyer is a real shark!” as agood thing.
5) “Why does your art get any acclaim, it’s all style and no substance!” – Ah, the loser, finding something to complain about, shifting the goal-post, to where they reign supreme, which means putting down others. Is this also about Shinbou? I mean, sometimes, especially here, it feels his art is all style and no substance, and he still gets acclaim over it.
Attention as a finite resource. If one person gets praised, it means others get less praised. Idols, at the cost of the masses? But then she still became one, so I find it curious, since she’s obviously hurt by this “accusation confession”. Let’s see.
3) Running From Life:
1) Momo’s decision to become an idol is accompanied by the same torrential rain as when they spoke of her father dying. Either her mother just died, or she is signing away her own soul and happiness for the sake of her mother. Her mother’s last wish was for her to do something she enjoys, but does she?
2) So… Momo is the cute hoodie girl from episode 1’s beginning? Sweet.
4) Oh, now I get it. The curse of “Focus attention” earlier was a mistranslation or misunderstanding. Her agent talked about how Momo can focus everyone’s attention on her, not how she can focus her attention. So it’s a curse, she takes all the attention, more than she wants, and more than her share. Her eyes flashed red when she punched the boy, but it wasn’t for the punch, but for the hood slip and immediate attention-gathering.
5) Running away, from life, from herself. She’ll wind up like her brother, the shut-in. Another great wallpaper shot. And where does running away from your trouble land you? In a dead-end. Symbolism 101.
4) Loose Ends:
2) The Post-ED section brings it back. Shintaro has Ene as a constant companion. Momo has all of her rabid fans. The people around them just accentuate how alone they are. I guess the other red-eye “number-colour” people will be their “home”.
BTW, that “monster” from the stories? Really reminds me of Hoshimiya Kate from Sekai Seifuku ~Bouryaku no Zvezda~.
The post ED story has something we all seek, validation by others, of our existence. A shut-in fears rejection, at times, so will not venture for confirmation. The president of the arts club wanted validation, and resented those thattook “her share”.
That next episode preview, which was quite long, will we finally meet up with the others? I sure hope so.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Considering how Momo has issues, and considering the naming convention of the episode, as well as the artistic and directorial direction in this show and episode, it feels like an arc of Monogatari. Except, in Monogatari, you get 3-7 episodes per arc, because you need them. Monogatari and this show both have a lot of talk that covers nothing, or that uses up a lot of time to set atmosphere, and to obfuscate what really matters. But with enough episodes, you get enough of the talk that matters.
This show, they could’ve cut down on everything that doesn’t matter, but didn’t. So we are left with a lot of atmosphere. We keep having cute and energetic girls. We keep having a lot of stylistic touches. We have touches of the supernatural, touches of loneliness, and of seeking a group of like-minded individuals. We keep seeing this group behind the scenes.
Yes, they’re taking their time, they’re dragging it on, so we’ll feel rewarded and glad when things are revealed. But the fact you’re drawing reveals out doesn’t mean you should waste the time you are given up to that point.
Akiyuki Shinbou, “your art are all style and no substance.” ;-) I am sure you’ve been self-aware of how this statement fits there.