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Things are going slowly for the Monogatari Series, and dare I say that the lack Araragi doesn't help.
We're only into the second episode of the Neko Shiro arc and already things aren't as enticing. Sure that shower scene with the lovely Senjougahara and Hanekawa was a nice way to appease us for the time being, but there's a limit. All we're getting are scenes with Senjougahara and Hanekawa in the appartment, which makes things a little duller and adds to the illusion of time slowing down. As much I appreciate taking time and building up the story, I just don't think the Monogatari Series is doing it well enough, nor do I think it's suited for this type of slow and steady approach.
A lot of the episode was mostly banter between the two girls, and only towards the end did we get any type of development with Black Hanekawa and the Tiger. Things still aren't clear on this issue but that's something we're used to. Seeing as how we sat through it in the first season, this development feels a lot like that. We're likely in for another mystery surrounding her powers and that should be interesting. We haven't seen much of Hanekawa's powers, even from her own arcs and because of that its easy to forget she's the only one who enjoys that perk. A perk of still having a supernatural plot in play, which the other girls don't.
No doubt this episode was slow, but my biggest disappointment was that the first few minutes meant nothing. When Hanekawa said she was going to tell us about Araragi, I got my hopes up only to be let down. Frankly a conversation about him would have made things more interesting, especially since it's from her point of view. A point of view we have yet to explore deeply in the Monogatari Series.
The season isn't off to the best of starts. Admittedly this might be because of the source material being especially dialogue heavy in Neko White but it maybe the concept itself. What I thought was a nice change of pace in the first episode has turned out to be pretty uninteresting already. The Senjougaha-Hanekawa banter just isn't enough to get my full attention, even though Black Hanekawa's story does. Let's hope our good friend Araragi will come back soon or the focus will shift to Hanekawa - never thought I'd say that.
Monogatari Series - News On Second Season
In cased you missed it, Hanamonogatari won't be animated with this season. It'll be done separately after this season concludes. [Source]
Hanamonogatari would have been the third arc of this season, featuring Kanbaru. With that announcement it's likely we'll get 25 episodes (5 per girl). Not really sad news, for me at least.
Monogatari Series Second Season - Senjougahara Cooking
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I just couldn't help myself. As fan service, not a bad way to go.