Monogatari – On Love

I’ve grown fascinated with the Monogatari universe ever since I first watched Bakemonogatari. The dialog and narrative are probably the major driving elements of the show. Despite its otaku panderings with character archetypes and particular fetishes, I have to say this group of shows is definitely quite unique and intriguing.

In watching the first episode of Nekomonogatari Kuro (Black), the Araragi family goes into discussion regarding matters of love. Koyomi asks his younger sister about the topic since she has a boyfriend and he’s feeling uncertain about his feelings.

koyomi

I may be showing signs of interest… It’s just on my mind.
And it’s still a “maybe” or “it could be,” so it hasn’t been settled.
How do you decide if you like a person as a significant other?
In other words, with feelings towards others, at what point is it normal and at what point is it love?

hate_norm_like
hate, norm, like

He starts to divulge his symptoms to Tsukihi:  that he would be thinking of her often, glancing her way in class, looking for her while going home or out shopping, thinking of things she might like and things about himself that she may not like or approve of. His sister tries to persuade him that it is love.

Still unconvinced, and since he’s unfamiliar with it, he then begins to inquire about her experience and revelation of love.

“For you… when… at what point did you figure out you liked him? That’s what I really want to know.”

“That’s well.. just a feeling.”

tsukihi_just_feeling1

“Just a feeling?”

“Yup. Fuzzy. Vague.”

“That’s okay?”

“It’s okay. It’s just like that.”

when did you fall

“Then let’s put aside at what point it started. Tell me the reasons you like him. Why’d you start liking Rousokuzawa?”

“That’s a feeling too.”

just a feeling

But it’s really a feeling.
It’s really just a feeling, just a feeling, just a feeling.
I thought, “Maybe I like him.”
I felt, “Maybe I like him.”
And I realized.
Just like that.

tsukihi_love_feeling

I can come up with various reasons to like him too.
Like he’s cool, nice, tall, rich…
Those are all possible reasons, but they’re all lies.
I guess you can call it pretense to comprehend the basis of your feelings.
It’s more sophistry than rationalization. Depending on that conclusion, it’s like putting up a ladder.
Maybe not a ladder but a rocket?
Yeah, it’s like making a rocket.

If you want to be with them all the time, that’s already love.

Koyomi decided to ask his other sister for her opinion as well. Karen’s input was a little more… well…

karen_love_logic

When you look at their face and feel you want to bear their child, doesn’t that mean you like them?

Yeah, I guess that sounds about right.


I don’t usually do a anime post to this level of granularity, but I just appreciated this particular dialog exchange. I thought it got to an interesting level of depth despite the simplicity of the subject matter. Maybe I was just fascinated by it because of the subject of my previous post, but I digress.

Of course they had to throw in a few choice interactions and scenes during the exchange which, without going into detail, were a bit off-putting to say the least. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised though. I shouldn’t expect any less from Monogatari, especially after Nisemonogatari…