Owarimonogatari: to know or not to know, that is the question

Ignorance is bliss. A cliche, certainly, but one that aptly describes how several Monogatari characters have spent much of their lives. In Sodachi Riddle, Araragi Koyomi learned that he had forgotten one of the key people who’d made him who he was, a girl who’d taught him the joy of mathematics, the one subject that had enabled him to have the school life he now enjoyed. In Shinobu Mail, the former Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-Under-Blade had to come to terms with her feelings for her first minion. And this ignorance is doubly damning because both Araragi and Shinobu were at the heart of the pain that this ignorance caused.

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The lesson shared through these characters is that this is not a mantra by which we should live our lives. Whilst Araragi’s ignorance of Sodachi’s problems in the past and Shinobu’s inability to understand the feelings of her minion gave them painful experiences when they each confronted these failures, doing so allowed them both to move on. The outcomes they achieved were not ideal, for the path towards ‘a happy ending’ was long gone. But coming to terms with these failures meant that they and the companions of their past were no longer stuck with the resentment of an unresolved relationship. Though the happiness they’d once sought was no longer possible, they were able to start moving forward once more.

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This is something that we can all do with our own lives. Realising where we have gone wrong can be painful, but the only way we can learn from such mistakes is to first know about them. Only then will we be able to make amends and move forward, with the resolve never to make the same mistake again.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

2 Responses to Owarimonogatari: to know or not to know, that is the question

  1. zhu2 says:

    So… I just read through all your Monogatari posts starting from your very first one in 2009, and it was interesting to read through it all because a lot of points you raised kind of reflect how I feel about the series at the moment. The main one being that I’ve become somewhat disenchanted with it these days because the series has evolved into something quite different to what I had experienced with Bakemonogatari, and what I enjoyed about that show, like the banter between Araragi and Senjougahara, and how their relationship developed; these elements seem to either have lost their magic on me or we don’t see much of it anymore. I remember when people complained about Bakemonogatari being verbose, and now I see where they’re coming from when I watch all the sequels.

    I’m planning to rewatch the whole series, and I’ve already finished Bakemonogatari which I still really enjoyed, and I wouldn’t hesitate to place it among my favorites, so it seems I still adore the series but, man… I’m dreading watching Nisemonogatari again. I remember when I first watched it, I kind of regretted it afterwards because a certain revelation between Senjougahara and Kaiki kind of ruined my view of Araragi and Senjougahara’s relationship. And not only that, the amount of off-putting incest and fanservice felt way overboard which kept taking me out of the experience. I think the only thing I enjoyed about that show were the scenes with Shinobu because it was the first time she ever spoke and we, the viewers, finally got to understand the relationship between her and Araragi. Anyway, I’m kind of rambling now, but what I’m attempting with my rewatch is to try to find other things about the sequels to enjoy and all of your posts exploring the themes and how they relate to you and how you view the world is exactly what I’m looking to experience.

    I generally watch anime for entertainment purposes only and rarely delve deeper into the themes because, well, most anime are devoid of anything interesting to say and other mediums such as film and books are much better suited to deeper analysis. But in saying that, there are anime worth analyzing out there that aren’t by Ghibli, Oshii, and Kon, and I’m going to try and see if the Monogatari series is one such title.


    • karice says:

      Hi! And thanks for dropping by and commenting ^^ I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one who had mixed feelings about how this series has gone since Bakemonogatari.

      Hm…I kind of understand what you mean. When I wrote all those posts, I sometimes wondered if I had been forcing myself to look out for something to enjoy about many of the stories since Bake, largely because the banter I had loved so much was so greatly reduced. And it got even worse after Mayoi left, because that was another pair that I really enjoyed watching together. I haven’t actually seen Koyomimonogatari yet, and I think I’d have to say that it’s for this very reason…

      I must admit, I don’t remember the Senjougahara revelation in Nise, possibly because it’s been ages since I saw it. But if it is what I assume it was about, then I feel that it was dealt with pretty well in…Koi, I believe it was. I quite liked how realistic it was, in the sense that this is what real people do, if we think about it.

      Pardon me — I’m starting to ramble, too. In any case, I do hope you are able to find a few interesting things when you rewatch the series. Personally, I might give it another year or two and then rewatch it again, alongside reading blog posts and editorials by people who focused more on the animation. I have a feeling that there are things that I’m missing in that area, because I don’t have that much of an eye for it.


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