You can consider this a “there are a lot of things wrong with this perception,” reply but our gracious trzr23 (The Razor, 23 years old at the time of nickname creation I assume) skilfully prefaces it by stating that it is merely a wishful musing post. Who am I to question another’s wishes? So you can consider this a “I think there are a lot of things wrong with this perception” and that will fulfil my preface quota for the day.
In the shining highlight of Senjougahara Hitagi, we might be tempted to overlook or dismiss other, lesser characters but we would be wrong to do so. Our gracious Razor states that it is Senjougahara who sells, entices, dominates. I will not quote some statistic from MAL (small sample, different demographic). We can find Bakemonogatari’s first Blu-ray volume at an impressive #1 spot in 2009 over at ANN. Speaking of volumes other than the first however (that is, volumes pertaining to some other than Gahara-san), we can find an equally impressing higher profit number in the same year and more units sold in the next. And that is the fact of the matter.
Now, I’m no businessman, but I do consider myself an artist of some sort (unskilled musician, failed drawer, lazy writer) and I conveniently disregard the audience in every one of my productions. In other words, the entire paragraph above means nothing to me, I would rather just do what I want, act as I please. Our gracious shaving appliance perceives this as being “hell bent,” which in my turn I perceive as an outing of frustration. How could they dare spend time to “shallow fanservice” characters with “less character”? Not to mention neglect the core, ma préférée, several episodes at that. He makes his complaints about the side characters quite clear:
a bunch of side characters, each of them dedicated purely for fanservice
only a fraction of her personality
why make them anymore important than they have any right to be?
Ouch, not just their function in the story, their being, their entire right of existence is questioned by our gracious trimmer.
Speaking of functions, one of my favourite sketches in the Monogatari series is Araragi’s interaction with Hachikuji (and I’m not even a lolicon). It always starts in a variation on a certain pray on words (a love of words!), 失礼 (shitsurei), a play on words. Then it evolves into some other topic using more lascivious word plays (words are sexy). Finally, it leaves our main hero with something to ponder with. A very simple structure, but an effective one at that. It creates a certain expectation for the viewer and this is something Nisioisin loves to play with, I repeat, loves to play with.
Speaking of personality, but first a definition (a good argument starts with a definition).
Our gracious Android 23 makes a very bold statement on the second item on the list (I doubt distinction is a problem in Bakemonogatari). Regarding popularity, Hanekawa seems more popular than Gahara-san (and the blu-ray sales support that notion). Regarding interest, it’s a very subjective term and not an argument worth having. In fact, I think it’s pointless to compare Gahara-san to others. So why bring up this point?
The interest lies in the conversation and, more specifically, the conversation that Araragi is able to have with the other characters that he is incapable of having with Gahara-san. That would seem like an obvious thing, but it is an important thing nonetheless. What else is Nisemonogatari if you take away its dialogue? And what else does it need to be?
Just being there, conversing, lusting, opinionating, being lusted after, changing, oneself and another. It all gives the side characters their right of existence. It really is as simple as that. Nisemonogatari should be nothing else than Nisemonogatari. Yo.
But wait, there’s more! Our gracious trzr23 talks about the lack of plot!
their screen time comes at the cost of a plot.
Not surprisingly, it is the only part to show any sign of a plot.
moving the plot forward.
You can put a tuxedo on this quote, but it’s still a quote.
At which point I couldn’t contain the hilarity any longer, and decided to write this post w.
- Although I might be making a bit too much fun of a mere opinion here, trzr23 does have a very strong one, which he outs on his blog and his twitter. I like to read his posts whether I agree with them or not. Much hearts to this opinionating hero. ♥
- Ghostlightning calls me a weirdo for liking both smut and “core story.” For this I feel both strangely aroused and deep in thought.
- Scamp calls the sections with Mayoi boring. Boooooo. Incidentally this is the first time I’m interested in his posts on a series.