Zoku Owarimonogatari

Zoku Owarimonogatari

Zoku Owarimonogatari promotional art from the Monogatari anime series
Zoku Owarimonogatari

Overview

Zoku Owarimonogatari ( 続・終物語) is the last part of the Monogatari series final season. But don’t worry, just because this is the last part of the final season doesn’t mean there isn’t more Monogatari content on the way. In fact, there are the Off and Monster seasons which come next. And I think they’ll likely get adaptations as well.

So before I get into the plot of this part, let me first give you some information regarding the part itself. Originally, Zoku Owarimonogatari aired as a movie, but was later re-released for TV in the form of a six-episode series. It’s this six-episode series that I watched, not the movie version.

Now, that doesn’t really change anything, but I just figured I’d put that information out there in case anyone wants to watch this part and is confused by there being both a movie and a series.

Also the movie came out back in November of 2018, but I hadn’t reviewed it until now because I wanted good subtitles to be available when I watched it. Back when I watched the Violet Evergarden Special, there weren’t good subtitles out yet for it and that really detracted from my enjoyment of the episode.

Zoku Owarimonogatari also only covers one arc, Koyomi Reverse. This means that the six episodes are titled “Koyomi Reverse Parts 1-6.” And, finally, Zoku Owarimonogatari is chronologically placed between Owarimonogatari II and Hanamonogatari.

I don’t always include spoilers in these series reviews, but this one will include spoilers. So keep that in mind if you continue reading.

Plot

Koyomi Reverse has a somewhat different plot setup compared to the other arcs in the Monogatari series. It still revolves around the series’ main theme of figuring out and solving your own problems yourself, but it’s more like the Mayoi Jiangshi arc from Kabukimonogatari than any other.

What I mean by this is that the “problem” which needs to be solved isn’t confined to a single person. In Mayoi Jiangshi, the entire world is altered, and the same is true for Koyomi Reverse, but in a different way.

Our protagonist, Koyomi Araragi, notices something strange in the mirror one morning after he graduates from high school. His reflection isn’t mimicking his own movements. He reaches out to touch the mirror and appears to be sucked into it.

In this mirror world things are a bit strange. All of the characters we know and love are reversed in some way, which I’ll get to in more detail the next section. As far as the plot is concerned, all we need to know is that who they are on the inside and who they are on the outside have been swapped.

But to come to that conclusion, Koyomi must run all over town and interact with almost the entire cast of characters. However, even once he knows how this world differs from his own, he still doesn’t know what caused the reversal in the first place or how he can get back to his original world.

He eventually meets a character who we’ve only heard about in previous parts, Tooe Gaen, Kanbaru’s deceased mother. In this version of the world she’s still very much alive. And in classic Gaen fashion, she sees right through Koyomi. Without him saying anything, she grasps the entirety of his predicament.

Surprisingly, Tooe isn’t actually all that important to the plot of Koyomi Reversal. She merely gives him a hint when he needs one. Instead, her appearance in this part actually ties together and completes Kanbaru’s arcs, which is pretty interesting in itself.

She explains why she originally passed the monkey’s paw down to her daughter, thus giving us some background information on the Suruga Monkey arc. She also tells us a bit about the Gaen family’s role as oddity creators, which puts Izuko Gaen into perspective. Finally, she tells Koyomi to help Kanbaru when the time comes, which sets up his return at the end of Hanamonogatari.

In the end, Koyomi believes that Ougi is the cause of this reversal since she’s the alternate version of himself. However, this turns out not to be the case. Instead, it’s finally revealed that the cause of this whole reversal was none other than Koyomi himself, which is why the arc is named after him.

Essentially, after graduating from high school, but before entering university, Koyomi was feeling lost. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his life, and subconsciously he wanted a reason to stick around. And, since he’s technically a vampire and has a pact with the strongest vampire, Shinobu, he has enough “oddity energy” to reverse the world (or at least the town).

Oh, and then there was a Deus ex machina where Ougi gives him a special mirror that fixes everything. I didn’t really like that aspect of this part, but everything else was great and tied up Koyomi’s story well.

Now that Koyomi’s story has been told, I really hope the focus shifts to Kanbaru as the protagonist in any parts that take place in the future, like Hanamonogatari. Kanbaru is a great next protagonist for the series because she’s similar enough to Koyomi to fit the part, but still her own character.

Character Reversals

Alright, let’s get the big character reversal out of the way first, best girl Mayoi Hachikuji. While Mayoi typically has the appearance of an 11-year-old, in this reversed world she appears the age she is on the inside, 21.

We’ve seen 21-year-old Mayoi before in Kabukimonogatari, but this is a different version of 21-year-old Mayoi. The Kabukimonogatari Mayoi was a zombie apocalypse survivor Mayoi. This Mayoi is a big sister Mayoi, which is very different.

Koyomi Araragi and Mayoi Hachikuji from the Zoku Owarimonogatari anime
Koyomi Araragi and Mayoi Hachikuji

Next up we have Karen Araragi, usually known as the bigger-little sister on account of her towering height. However, this time around Karen is shorter than Koyomi, not taller. This reflects how she’s self-conscious about her height.

Tsukihi Araragi on the other hand is a pretty interesting reversal. In fact, the only thing reversed about her is her right and left. There are two possible explanations for this. The first is that Tsukihi is an apparition normally and doesn’t actually have a reverse version of herself.

But the explanation which I believe is actually stated in the series is that with Tsukihi, what you see is what you get. She doesn’t act any different on the inside than what you see from her on the outside, and so there’s nothing to really reflect.

Back in Nisemonogatari she even has a line about people not knowing what kind of character she’s supposed to be. She’s not a trope, she’s just Tsukihi.

Yotsugi Ononoki has one of the most jarring reversals, and I’m glad that Koyomi thought the same. She trades her frilly dress for a frilly pantsuit, but that’s not the big change. The big change is that rather than being expressionless, Yotsugi is now overly expressive, and it’s creepy.

Shinobu Oshino has, by far, my favorite reversal in the series. It was first assumed that she might not have a reversal at all on account of her being a vampire (they don’t have reflections). But, it’s finally revealed that Shinobu’s reversal is her human form, not her vampire form.

So what is the human version of the most powerful vampire like? Well she’s the most powerful human of course. Her sheer beauty is enough to make anyone who sees her want to commit suicide because they aren’t worthy enough. Even though he only sees her from behind a curtain, a few minutes with her was enough to nearly drive Koyomi to suicide.

I just love how extra the princess version of Shinobu is in that regard.

Tsubasa Hanekawa is another strange one like Tsukihi. However, while Tsukihi didn’t have a real reversal, Hanekawa has two. Black Hanekawa is freely running around the city, and child Hanekawa is hanging out at the shrine with Mayoi and Nadeko. Hanekawa seems to have a lot of internal conflict.

And since I just mentioned her, I guess Nadeko Sengoku is up next. Nadeko is still in her medusa, god form, but she now has short hair. Also, it’s not actually Nadeko at all, just her body. The “soul” inside the body belongs to the snake god of the shrine, Kuchinawa.

Suruga Kanbaru also isn’t really in this part, much like Nadeko. While Nadeko is actually just Kuchinawa, Kanbaru is just the Rainy Devil. Her entire purpose in this part is simply to guard the Gaen family home from intruders.

Anyone remember Sodachi Oikura? No? I don’t blame you. She didn’t leave a very lasting impression in Owarimonogatari. That said, her character is much better in Zoku Owarimonogatari, even if she did cut off her twin tails.

This version of Sodachi is the one who was saved by Koyomi when they were kids. She ends up being adopted into the Araragi household and even shares a room with Koyomi (which I think is a bit strange considering Tsukihi and Karen have their own rooms). Wouldn’t it make more sense to have two of the girls share a room?

Anyway, Sodachi still loves math, but this time around she’s actually happy. Interestingly, despite being happy, Sodachi comments that for some reason she feels like the happiness she’s feeling is fake. Poor Sodachi. Once Koyomi fixes the reversal I guess she’ll go back to being unhappy.

Finally, we have Ougi Oshino. Like Tsukihi, Ougi actually doesn’t have a true reversal either, because it would simply be Koyomi (and he’s already there). She does play a prank on him though by swapping out their clothes to make him think the two of them are becoming each other.

This swapping of clothes may also reference the fact that Ougi is always shown to be dressed as a girl when interacting with Koyomi up until this point, but when interacting with girls she’s dressed as a male.

Oh, am I forgetting someone? Ah, that’s right, Hitagi Senjougahara. Hitagi actually doesn’t make an appearance at all in the mirror world, but she does wear a cute outfit at the end once Koyomi fixes everything.

There are two reasons she’s never shown in the mirror world. The first is that Koyomi didn’t want to invade her privacy by seeing what her inner self was like. After all, he trusts her anyway. The second is that Koyomi doesn’t have any regrets regarding her, and so never suspected she was involved in the reversal anyway.

Conclusion

Alright, so I know this is going to sound crazy, but Zoku Owarimonogatari is a 10/10. I know those of you who are familiar with my opinion on the Monogatari series are probably shocked by that rating, but I really do think it deserves it.

As I previously mentioned, this part perfectly wraps up all of the stories (except maybe Sodachi’s) which hadn’t already been wrapped up, most of which happened in Owarimonogatari II. I mean, I know there’s more of the story to be told since there are more parts, but there’s a reason this is the last part of the final season.

If you enjoyed this review of Zoku Owarimonogatari, click the like button ❤ down below, and go watch the Monogatari series if you haven’t yet. It’s my favorite. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any upcoming content.

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