As Nekomonogatari: Kuro concludes, I feel happy. It definitely helps to be reminded after the end credits that we’ll be getting more monogatari anime this year.
The final episode was more about Hanekawa and Araragi then any of the others. It was only fitting for the last episode to conclude things by explaining the finer points of their relationship. This is particularly important because this relationship holds a lot of importance to the entire monogatari series.
More dialogue heavy than usual, it turned out for the better when we got to the confrontation between the two. The dialogue set a few things straight about Hanekawa, and we got to see the origins of her and Araragi’s “I only know what I know” back and forth. A lot of emotion flying around, especially from Araragi, regarding Hanekawa’s and his unique situations. Their situations are what brought them together, but not what has kept them together and this was conveyed very well. The goriness of it all was something we’ve seen before, so it felt a little familiar and not out of place, and somehow made the end more entertaining.
Yet again Oshino had a presence in the episode. Being the guidance counsellor of sorts, he was the one to get Araragi to take action. His usual frankness was there as a trigger for Araragi, who always seems to be cautious of him – the mystery surrounding him continues in Nekomonogatari: Kuro. Yet again Oshino plays his role as the intigator/catalyst before fading into the background so effortlessly.
The ending was the highlight of the episode. It was a sad romantic moment when Araragi denies himself his feelings for Hanekawa; a really great, sad moment. Once again, the monogatari series proves that it can do one or two romantic episodes extremely well and this one was just so right. Leading on from Araragi’s denial of his feelings was the first time he met Senjougahara, which was not only great use of the final moment but of Nekomonogatari as a whole.
These four episodes of Nekomonogatari: Kuro really did a great job on multiple fronts. It captured the feeling of a prequel, didn’t compress too much content and most importantly resembled Bakemonogatari and not Nisemonogatari.
Perhaps its because of it being closer to the first anime that I enjoyed it so much, although more of that has to do with the story. Because the focus of Nekomonogatari: Kuro was Hanekawa, it instantly became more interesting than Nisemono‘s story. Since Hanekawa is a more important character, I had more interest in her story and was glad to learn so much about the events of Golden Week.
Were I too watch the entire monogatari series (once aired), I could see myself watching this season before watching Bakemono onwards. I could also see myself watching it afterwards because it has a certain OVA quality about it – filling in the gaps in between seasons.
Great performance, and now with all bases covered we have a new season (and hopefully movie) to tell us the rest of the story.