Onimonogatari is the fourth arc in Monogatari Second Season and is focused this time on Araragi’s blonde vampire companion. This arc is one of the shorter ones with only four episodes and it contains one of the saddest moments in the franchise to date.
The arc, otherwise known at ‘Shinbou Time’, starts after the events when Araragi and Shinbou travel through time in Kabukimonogatari. Araragi heads back to his house with Mayoi to get her backpack. Once there, they feel something dark approaching them but are unable to see it. Sensing extreme danger, Araragi takes his bike, picks up Mayoi and quickly rides away.
After trying to escape, they both run into Ononoki and she helps them teleport to a safe place. She then leaves since she has a job to do with Kagenui and it’s here that Shinbou has an idea as to what the unknown darkness might be, since this has happened to her in the past. So in Episode 2 we get a long backstory about her previous identity of Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-Blade and her first time in Japan. But does Shinbou’s backstory help Araragi combat this new mysterious deadly force?
The ‘Shinbou Time’ arc holds an unknown enemy that is a big threat that isn’t solved until the last episode, so most of the arc is a bunch of conversations between Araragi and the three young female characters. We assume that it’s after Shinbou but the series turns that around into something really surprising and holds one of the most emotional moments in the series that ends up being both funny and heartfelt.
It also holds one of the most unique ways in telling a character’s backstory. Shinbou’s past is revealed in a series of pictures that scroll right to left and are stunning to look at. Sure, I would have preferred this to have been animated but the way it’s presented is good enough so that I didn’t mind it. And once again the music in these episodes is fantastic.
Still, I do have problems with Onimonogatari and it’s due to Araragi himself, since he has a childish way of teasing loli characters and with Ononoki, Mayoi and Shinbou featuring heavily in the arc, the jokes and humour feel much more uncomfortable compared to the other arcs. Not all of it is like that but Araragi’s behaviour during these moments can be groan-worthy; also, it doesn’t help that we have gone back to Araragi monologuing on various events.
So I have some problems with these issues that hold this arc back and with it being four episodes, I’m not impressed overall.
Extras include a Textless ED, TV Spots and Trailers
I can recommend this just for the ending alone (if you ‘ve been keeping up with the Second Season box-sets). This isn’t the best arc by a long mile but I found it rewarding, nonetheless.