Bakemonogatari 11 : A Cat ChatSeptember 22, 2009
Bakemonogatari 11, we start the Tsubasa arc. We get to see Hanekawa’s background story, shy Sengoku service and… nekomimi!
We start at the beginning of Golden Week, Araragi and Tsubasa are walking together in the city. Tsubasa tells Araragi that her stepfather’s new wife is her mom and her new husband is her dad. Araragi reasons that her current parents aren’t her real parents, he wonders why they didn’t tell that to her. She responds that she heard about it before she even started school. She gave thought about why they didn’t give her in for adoption and after figuring out that they wanted to keep their appearances, she decided to just be a good girl. She then turns around and asks if he shouldn’t be studying, since it’s Golden Week now.
Suddenly, she mentions that she wants to be away from home during the vacation as much as she can, since the thought of spending all day at home makes her feel sick. Araragi tells her she thinks too hard about it. There’s no respond to that, so he starts up a new conversation asking her what’s with her face. Tsubasa’s been walking around with a bandage on her cheek the whole time. She puts up a troubled expression and asks him that he should promise not to tell anyone. He agrees to that and then she tells him…
Araragi is suprised, but she tells him it’s logical that her dad hits her. If someone you don’t know starts to act all familiar with you, you’d get angry, is what she reasons out. Araragi doesn’t agree and wonders why she is justifying it. Hanekawa, however, tells him it’s alright since he only did it once. Tsubasa reminds Araragi of their promise. He has to keep it a secret from anyone. Araragi doesn’t want to at first, but after she begs him, he agrees to it after all.
Then suddenly, Tsubasa notices a white cat lying down on the road. She runs over towards it and picks it up, then she looks at Araragi’s direction and asks him to help her out.
After the usual Staple Stable opening, we move on with time. Araragi was walking back to school with a big smile on his face. When he arrives at school, Sengoku calls out for him.
She tells him that she wants to thank him once more for what happened during the snake arc. Araragi tells Sengoku that she should thank Kanbaru instead for that. Unfortunately, Kanbaru already entered school like a whirlwind, making it impossible for Sengoku to stop her.
They make up some references. I’m sorry to tell you but I didn’t get them myself, if you know what they were talking about please enlighten me in a comment. Sengoku tells Araragi that she really needed to talk to Kanbaru, Araragi comforts her and says he’ll do it for her since he needs to thank her as well for that. Sengoku then reaches for something in her bag…
Well, I guess that doesn’t need a lot of explanation… He accepts Sengoku’s humble request with a super cheer and victory pose. Then he asks Sengoku about Shinobu, the little girl living at Oshino’s place. Since they slept over at Oshino’s place that night, he wants to know if Shinobu said anything to her. Sengoku shakes her head and asks if she is a vampire. Araragi answers that she’s more of a pseudo-vampire now. Sengoku asks if she is the one that turned him into a vampire, but Araragi says that wasn’t her fault, but his own. He says it is wrong to blame the oddities, since that’s just how they are. They have their reasons, that’s all there is to it. After explaining that, he tells Sengoku that it’s better for her to return to her daily life now. If she would ever find another oddity, she should tell Oshino to get help faster, but Oshino did warn Araragi that they shouldn’t keep relying on him all the time either.
Then out of the blue… Araragi pulls up Sengoku’s skirt a bit. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t get it either… yet it was kinda funny. However, it ends up with Araragi saying…
After that, Sengoku mentions that Shinobu did do something that grabbed her attention. She kept staring at her and Kanbaru, while she looked differently at Oshino and Araragi.
A moment later, Tsubasa arrives at school and notices both Sengoku and Araragi. However, Sengoku’s shy switch gets turned on and she leaves as fast as she can, a crossroad kinda made it a failed attempt though.
Araragi tells Tsubasa about Sengoku and what happened after the snake event. She then asks if that was the thing Araragi wanted to do today, he tells her it wasn’t. He was thinking about Senjougahara. Tsubasa then informs him about some gossip going around school about Senjougahara’s change in attitude. Even the teachers have asked Tsubasa about it. She, however, stood up for him and told the teacher that wasn’t the case. Araragi is kind of surprised and wonders if she really believes that, she responds…
She thinks that Senjougahara isn’t changing in a bad way, though she wonders if it is because of him or because she’s feeling better. In any case, she’s convinced that Araragi should support her change. Araragi mentions that she’s not talking like a usual high-schooler, although she thinks she talks normal like everyone else. Then Araragi’s thoughts wonder if Tsubasa really has someone special, since she’s kind to everyone.
When he is about to ask her about it, he suddenly realizes that he shouldn’t ask her after all. However, Hanekawa already noticed, but (un)fortunately she gets a headache.
Then we get a flashback from what happened during Golden Week…
Tsubasa was having a similar headache like what happened just now, suddenly her hair turns white and cat ears pop out of her head. Araragi gets flashes from the moment where they buried the white cat, back in the beginning.
The following scene, Araragi is standing in front of Oshino. Oshino tells him it’s a “Meddlesome Cat”. He tells him it’s a multiple personality disorder, a form given to an alternate personality. A Black Hanekawa…
Oshino notices that Araragi is more nervous than usual about this oddity. Araragi is obviously annoyed by this and asks how he can solve this one. Oshino tells him to be calm and then explains that there should be a reason for the cat to be appearing. That reason should be stress. Stress building up over the years due to several circumstances, things like love, school work or… family issues.
Then we get to see the work of Black Hanekawa. She wanders around town and attacks people indiscriminately night after night.
The ability of a meddlesome cat is to drain energy from people. The drain was enough to make the attacked people end up in the hospital. The first people that were attacked by her were caused the most harm, those people were also the cause of Hanekawa’s stress… her parents.
Then we move to the last day of Golden Week, Araragi is running through the streets at night with Black Hanekawa chasing him around. When he ends up at a dead end and comes face-to-face with Hanekawa, she tells him that as long as Hanekawa has stress, she will keep existing. Moreover…
However, she doesn’t get to finish that line. Shinobu attacks Black Hanekawa from behind and bites her neck. Araragi tells us that Shinobu, who’s name wasn’t Shinobu back then, has the same ability. She can also drain energy, yet a meddlesome cat and a vampire are two completely different oddities. Shinobu’s drain dealt with the problem by “sucking up” the meddlesome cat from Hanekawa… for now.
Some more images~
The flashback ends, Araragi notices that it isn’t the same headache as she had back then. He asks her if they should go to a doctor or a hospital, but she tells him that he doesn’t need to worry that much. In order to change the subject, she asks him if he understands Senjougahara better now. Araragi is still worried, but doesn’t go on about it anymore. She asks him to show her that he trusts Senjougahara more, he asks… what?
The end…for this week~
I thought this was gonna be quite a “boring” episode with just some background and build-up. The most part of the episode was, however the end made up for that. Shaft did a really good thing by asking Yui Horie for this role. Her voice fits perfectly with the story Hanekawa has to tell us.
The Sengoku service in this episode was just magnificently cute. She’s kinda my favorite character now, mostly because there’s a huge lack of Senjougahara in the last couple of episodes.
As for Shinobu, her part is yet to be revealed, but I’m really curious after the vampire thing. I haven’t read the novels, so this is quite exciting.
More coming up next week!
Kyon, at your service~