Bakemonogatari – 12 – Love Story / Fascinated again – Analysis on Senjougahara

Everything started with a stapler

Everything started with a stapler

Senjougahara expresses her feelings in a roundabout way. Everyone does it at some level but Senjougahara is even trickier than most people. Although she is extremely straightforward, Senjougahara doesn’t completely come clean about everything. She is armed with a powerful sharp tongue that uses it masterfully to prevent others from getting to close to her as a shield you might say. But even that type harsh attitude didn’t bother Araragi. Later, I think that Senjougahara started to use it in different way. Her abusive language and also teasing became more of a way to communicate with the one who won her over rather than a way to push him away. It was a cleverly disguised way to get interesting replies as well as trigger scenes and reactions that you wouldn’t normally see otherwise. Senjougahara is so much fun to talk to.

This behavior might easily be misinterpreted and led to think that Senjougahara is cruel or way too extreme to even like. That’s the deal you’re getting. That’s how Senjougahara is. That’s how she has learned to communicate. In her own actions and sometimes sometimes verbally abusing Araragi (which was always hilarious) he is telling him in different ways that she has deep feelings for him. Sometimes it just flat out a love confession other times there were in encrypted codes. But that’s the way she is. Senjougahara isn’t simple.

Senjougahara hasn’t had an easy life. She is deeply emotionally hurt. The terrible experiences in her life have made her extremely wary of others. The hostility that was born out of things all the things she went through all alone became a part of her. But it has also become both a shield and a sword she uses to fend off and strike down strangers. That’s the how she has learned to deal with things in her life before it all became too unbearable for her. After meeting Araragi and being saved by him she changed the way she looked at people. Not too noticeable at first but she had changed. She was still afraid to trust others but she was letting at least this person who saved to get a little closer to her. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to trust someone again. That’s probably what she thought.

This person is Araragi, a normal (not so normal) guy who also had an encounter with an oddity like she did, changed his life. He understands what is like to be in deep trouble and have no one to there to help you. As long as there isn’t anyone around to do anything he thinks that it is up to him to do it. Even though in the process he puts himself in danger more times than the average person should. What’s shocking is that he doesn’t think that what he does is something should be greatly rewarded. He just wants to help others. That’s his mentality. Araragi also has a problem just like everyone else.

Like any other person Araragi has doubts and he’s worried about his future. With his high school life almost over he finds himself still unsure what he should do with his life. I think that also played a great part of why he seems unsure about his relationship with Senjougahara. Because he doesn’t have a plan. He fears what will become of them. While Nadeko snake was the least interesting arc in my opinion, it brought a very interesting point to the story. The fact that Araragi cannot keep getting intentionally involved with oddities even though he feels that he cannot just ignore them. Even Meme had already told him that someday he was going to leave the city and it was important for Araragi to make a decision. The point of that arc was for him to learn that it was too dangerous to keep getting involved and that he cannot always save everyone. He wouldn’t always have Meme there to aid him every time something happened. And that if he continued risking his life like he did back in Suruga monkey (where he almost got killed) he would eventually hurt others close to him in the process. Conclusion: he also needed some serious balance in his life.

21

That first date was the most important thing in their relationship. Like she mentioned she had no intention of keeping quiet while they were in the car. She truly wanted it to mean something to them. She wanted to have a conversation with Araragi and find out how he really feels about them no matter what. In her own way she is trying to get Araragi to be real with himself and also with her. They’re both boyfriend and girlfriend but as hinted in past episodes Senjougahara was worried that their relationship isn’t progressing as planned. So a scenario where running away would be impossible was probably needed for someone like Araragi. I think in a way this was one last test from Senjougahara to Araragi. How many people go through all that trouble?

It may not necessarily be the case but I feel that Senjougahara probably told her father beforehand how things were going to work out. She planned everything from the beginning but she needed the help of her father to make it work. She might still hold some grudge against her father for not being there for her when she needed him the most but this plan needed his help. She had to ask for his help. Thanks to Araragi, the relationship between Senjougahara and her father greatly improved. This simple act of Senjougahara asking her for his help was a sign that things between them might be ok after all. Her father understands this too. He’s very grateful to Araragi for helping her daughter and for brining him and her back together again just when he thought everything was over. Of course, he isn’t against their relationship either since he knows that only someone who could bring his daughter such joy would be worthy of her. Lastly, he clears the last possible obstacle of their relationship by giving his approval to them by letting Araragi call him father (otosan). In other words, welcome to the family.

I also liked how they never showed his face. Like many things in Bakemonogatari it could be interpreted in two ways. The first one is that maybe he was still too ashamed to show his face to the person who saved his only daughter. As we all know he failed as a parent so it still difficult for him to face the person who accomplished what he couldn’t. The second one is that it isn’t mandatory for us to know what he looks like. It’s one of those things like many that we don’t need to know. After all, he’s just like any other parent like he says. Just a normal person.

Her eccentric personality is what got them together in the first place. It was unknown before if Araragi had feelings for her in the first place. Senjougahara is the one who confessed to him in the first place. She made the first steps now it was all up to Araragi to take the relationship even further. I think the idea of the harem wasn’t exactly give a challenge to Senjougahara  or Araragi (since it was already determined back in episode five who Araragi chose). It was trial to show Araragi how he could keep on aiming for Senjougahara so they could continue to be together. She wanted to make sure that no matter what happened he would still care for her even though she wouldn’t be always there.

Stapler-chan

“So you phrase it like that in the end.”

There are moments like in episode 12 when she tries to change that part of herself a bit by changing the way she phrases sentences, ultimately phrasing it the way she always does.   She is not going to change the way she is overnight and probably not going to in a few years either. Telling Araragi that he’s going to have to accept her for who she is if he still wants to be with her. That’s what she’s been saying this whole time. People change. Senjougahara is no exception. She might eventually change someday but she wishes for Araragi to accept her current self and to continue accepting her in case she ever does. Like we see in the last scene, Senjougahara is still afraid to trust others and she tells Araragi directly that she isn’t ready yet. Still, she is willing to take a risk and share whatever she has, although she feels that doesn’t have much to give. Senjougahara, this person who has closed her heart to others, after meeting with Araragi has changed a lot. Even though she is still afraid she is taking the risk to trust again. At least she’s willing to share this little world of hers to the very someone she loves the most. It’s true. Senjougahara has changed after all. The last scene takes place in special place that Senjougahara picked for them–a place where they could see the stars together. The episode ending with them holding hands together looking at the broad sky.

Bakemonogatari was a different type of romance. Not one exactly one where you see love triangles or couple crying themselves to death because they cannot be together. The episode where they got together already happened in ep five so it was truly interesting to see how things between them would unfold. Every episode there is something to look forward to. While there were other interesting characters, Senjougahara was always the main attraction. I’m sorry. Hitagi. She made each episode and every moment worthwhile. The show is something else. A good formula that fascinated many viewers. Are you fascinated enough? No need to hide it. Stapler-chan already knows.

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2 thoughts on “Bakemonogatari – 12 – Love Story / Fascinated again – Analysis on Senjougahara

  1. The episode capped things off nicely, especially in allowing the audience to completely gain that understanding for how Senjogahara’s mind operates. Not only does she have that sharp tongue that we’ve all come to appreciate, she comes through as being a very genuine person and it’s through her interactions with Araragi that she really opens up. Watching the two interact has been the highlight of my summer anime experience and I look forward to seeing how this series is wrapped up.

    • Among the many great shows this season, Bakemonogatari was also the highlight of this summer for me. It started as a show that would grab my interest to one of the few that I couldn’t wait till next week to watch. The characters, comedy, the story, the music, Shaft being Shaft, all that mixture made Bakemonogatari that great show it is.

      Senjougahara has managed to earn her spot in the list of memorable character in anime. I do wonder how they plan on wrapping things up. Though this feels like the ending and it might be consider one, it isn’t really. Many other things lie beyond their path. They should continue to get to know and understand each other as much as they can. They sure got over the hardest part already. I think they’re ready. As long as they aren’t willing to give up they’re more than ready to face whatever comes their way.

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