Tag: Monogatari

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.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Monogatari Series Watch Order

Monogatari Series Watch Order

Introduction

Since the Monogatari series is my favorite anime, and the order in which to watch it can be confusing, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the three main watch orders for the series. This guide is specifically for the anime, so if you’re looking for a reading guide, this may not be helpful for you.

The three different viewing orders in this post are the anime order, the light novel order, and the chronological order. I’ll be continuously updating this post as new parts of the series are adapted to anime. The next part to be adapted will be Zoku Owarimonogatari.

Zoku Owarimonogatari anime movie release banner from the Monogatari series
Zoku Owarimonogatari Release Banner

Anime Order

The anime airing order is the order I suggest watching the series in. Put simply, this is the order in which the various parts of the series were released in anime form, and it’s slightly different from the release order that the original author intended (light novel order).

That said, I find this order to be the best because most of the changes between this and light novel order don’t really matter all that much, with the exception of Kizumonogatari. In this order, Kizumonogatari comes much later in the series.

The importance of the placement of Kizumonogatari is due to the fact that chronologically it comes before the rest of the currently adapted parts. Since it serves as the beginning of the story, having it come late in the series means there’s a lot of mystery throughout the story which only makes sense later on.

I actually liked having the mystery of how everything began and why certain characters act the way they do because it made the contents of Kizumonogatari all that much more exciting when everything was finally revealed.

  • First Season
    • Bakemonogatari
      • Hitagi Crab Part 1
      • Hitagi Crab Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 1
      • Mayoi Snail Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 3
      • Suruga Monkey Part 1
      • Suruga Monkey Part 2
      • Suruga Monkey Part 3
      • Nadeko Snake Part 1
      • Nadeko Snake Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
    • Nisemonogatari
      • Karen Bee Part 1
      • Karen Bee Part 2
      • Karen Bee Part 3
      • Karen Bee Part 4
      • Karen Bee Part 5
      • Karen Bee Part 6
      • Karen Bee Part 7
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
    • Nekomonogatari Black
      • Tsubasa Family Part 1
      • Tsubasa Family Part 2
      • Tsubasa Family Part 3
      • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Second Season
    • Nekomonogatari White
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
    •  Kabukimonogatari
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
    • Otorimonogatari
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
    • Onimonogatari
      • Shinobu Time Part 1
      • Shinobu Time Part 2
      • Shinobu Time Part 3
      • Shinobu Time Part 4
    •  Koimonogatari
      • Hitagi End Part 1
      • Hitagi End Part 2
      • Hitagi End Part 3
      • Hitagi End Part 4
      • Hitagi End Part 5
      • Hitagi End Part 6
    • Hanamonogatari
      • Suruga Devil Part 1
      • Suruga Devil Part 2
      • Suruga Devil Part 3
      • Suruga Devil Part 4
      • Suruga Devil Part 5
  • Final Season
    • Tsukimonogatari
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
    • Owarimonogatari I
      • Ougi Formula Part 1
      • Ougi Formula Part 2
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 1
      • Sodachi Lost Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 1
      • Shinobu Mail Part 2
      • Shinobu Mail Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 4
      • Shinobu Mail Part 5
      • Shinobu Mail Part 6
    • Koyomimonogatari
      • Koyomi Stone
      • Koyomi Flower
      • Koyomi Sand
      • Koyomi Water
      • Koyomi Wind
      • Koyomi Tree
      • Koyomi Tea
      • Koyomi Mountain
      • Koyomi Torus
      • Koyomi Seed
      • Koyomi Nothing
      • Koyomi Dead
    • Kizumonogatari
      • Part 1: Tekketsu
      • Part 2: Nekketsu
      • Part 3: Reiketsu
    • Owarimonogatari II
      • Mayoi Hell Part 1
      • Mayoi Hell Part 2
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 1
      • Ougi Dark Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 3
    • Zoku Owarimonogatari
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 1
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 2
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 3
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 4
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 5
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 6

Light Novel Order

The light novel order is simply the order in which the parts of the series were originally released by the author. The major difference between this order and the anime order is the placement of Kizumonogatari as I’ve previously mentioned.

Rather than being grouped in the “Final Season,” Kizumonogatari is grouped in the “First Season” just after Bakemonogatari. While placement gets rid of a lot of the mystery of the anime order, it replaces it with information about the characters early on in the series.

While that’s the major change between these two viewing orders, the first minor change is the placement of Hanamonogatari. In the anime order it came after Koimonogatari, but in this order it comes between Kabukimonogatari and Otorimonogatari.

The second minor change in this order is the placement of Koyomimonogatari. It comes between Owarimonogatari I and Owarimonogatari II in the anime order, but comes before both of them in the light novel order. From a chronological standpoint, the anime placement of Koyomimonogatari makes more sense.

  • First Season
    • Bakemonogatari
      • Hitagi Crab Part 1
      • Hitagi Crab Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 1
      • Mayoi Snail Part 2
      • Mayoi Snail Part 3
      • Suruga Monkey Part 1
      • Suruga Monkey Part 2
      • Suruga Monkey Part 3
      • Nadeko Snake Part 1
      • Nadeko Snake Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
      • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
    • Kizumonogatari
      • Part 1: Tekketsu
      • Part 2: Nekketsu
      • Part 3: Reiketsu
    • Nisemonogatari
      • Karen Bee Part 1
      • Karen Bee Part 2
      • Karen Bee Part 3
      • Karen Bee Part 4
      • Karen Bee Part 5
      • Karen Bee Part 6
      • Karen Bee Part 7
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
      • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
    • Nekomonogatari Black
      • Tsubasa Family Part 1
      • Tsubasa Family Part 2
      • Tsubasa Family Part 3
      • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Second Season
    • Nekomonogatari White
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
      • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
    •  Kabukimonogatari
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
      • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
    • Hanamonogatari
      • Suruga Devil Part 1
      • Suruga Devil Part 2
      • Suruga Devil Part 3
      • Suruga Devil Part 4
      • Suruga Devil Part 5
    • Otorimonogatari
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
      • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
    • Onimonogatari
      • Shinobu Time Part 1
      • Shinobu Time Part 2
      • Shinobu Time Part 3
      • Shinobu Time Part 4
    •  Koimonogatari
      • Hitagi End Part 1
      • Hitagi End Part 2
      • Hitagi End Part 3
      • Hitagi End Part 4
      • Hitagi End Part 5
      • Hitagi End Part 6
  • Final Season
    • Tsukimonogatari
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
      • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
    • Koyomimonogatari
      • Koyomi Stone
      • Koyomi Flower
      • Koyomi Sand
      • Koyomi Water
      • Koyomi Wind
      • Koyomi Tree
      • Koyomi Tea
      • Koyomi Mountain
      • Koyomi Torus
      • Koyomi Seed
      • Koyomi Nothing
      • Koyomi Dead
    • Owarimonogatari I
      • Ougi Formula Part 1
      • Ougi Formula Part 2
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
      • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 1
      • Sodachi Lost Part 2
      • Sodachi Lost Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 1
      • Shinobu Mail Part 2
      • Shinobu Mail Part 3
      • Shinobu Mail Part 4
      • Shinobu Mail Part 5
      • Shinobu Mail Part 6
    • Owarimonogatari II
      • Mayoi Hell Part 1
      • Mayoi Hell Part 2
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
      • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 1
      • Ougi Dark Part 2
      • Ougi Dark Part 3
    • Zoku Owarimonogatari
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 1
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 2
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 3
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 4
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 5
      • Koyomi Reverse Part 6

Chronological Order

While the anime order is my first recommendation, the chronological order is my last. If this is your first time viewing the series, I highly suggest going with either the anime or light novel orders instead of the chronological one. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that the chronological order doesn’t take into consideration how the author intended the story to be read. While the anime order is slightly different, it does still keep most of the elements in their original placements which is key to the way in which the story is told.

The second reason is that it’s stupidly confusing to watch through the series in the chronological order. My chronological list below is actually a simplified version, because otherwise you’d have to watch pieces of episodes between others. I decided to make it easy, yet still keep the essence of the chronology by not breaking up individual episodes into pieces.

While this order tells a more linear story than the previous two, it’s important to keep in mind that the Monogatari series was never intending to tell a linear story in the first place. That said, this order still presents an interesting, alternative way to view the series for those who have already seen it.

Also, since all of the parts, arcs, and even episodes are jumbled up in this order, the concept of “seasons” no longer applies.

  • Kizumonogatari
    • Part 1: Tekketsu
    • Part 2: Nekketsu
    • Part 3: Reiketsu
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Stone
  • Nekomonogatari Black
    • Tsubasa Family Part 1
    • Tsubasa Family Part 2
    • Tsubasa Family Part 3
    • Tsubasa Family Part 4
  • Bakemonogatari
    • Hitagi Crab Part 1
    • Hitagi Crab Part 2
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Flower
  • Bakemonogatari
    • Mayoi Snail Part 1
    • Mayoi Snail Part 2
    • Mayoi Snail Part 3
    • Suruga Monkey Part 1
    • Suruga Monkey Part 2
    • Suruga Monkey Part 3
    • Nadeko Snake Part 1
    • Nadeko Snake Part 2
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 1
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 2
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 3
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 4
    • Tsubasa Cat Part 5
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Sand
    • Koyomi Water
  • Nisemonogatari
    • Karen Bee Part 1
    • Karen Bee Part 2
    • Karen Bee Part 3
    • Karen Bee Part 4
    • Karen Bee Part 5
    • Karen Bee Part 6
    • Karen Bee Part 7
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Wind
  • Nisemonogatari
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 1
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 2
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 3
    • Tsukihi Phoenix Part 4
  • Kabukimonogatari
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 1
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 2
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 3
    • Mayoi Jiangshi Part 4
  • Onimonogatari
    • Shinobu Time Part 1
    • Shinobu Time Part 2
    • Shinobu Time Part 3
    • Shinobu Time Part 4
  • Owarimonogatari I
    • Shinobu Mail Part 1
    • Shinobu Mail Part 2
    • Shinobu Mail Part 3
    • Shinobu Mail Part 4
    • Shinobu Mail Part 5
    • Shinobu Mail Part 6
  • Nekomonogatari White
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 1
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 2
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 3
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 4
    • Tsubasa Tiger Part 5
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Tree
    • Koyomi Tea
  • Owarimonogatari I
    • Ougi Formula Part 1
    • Ougi Formula Part 2
    • Sodachi Riddle Part 1
    • Sodachi Riddle Part 2
    • Sodachi Lost Part 1
    • Sodachi Lost Part 2
    • Sodachi Lost Part 3
  • Otorimonogatari
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 1
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 2
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 3
    • Nadeko Medusa Part 4
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Mountain
    • Koyomi Torus
  • Koimonogatari
    • Hitagi End Part 1
    • Hitagi End Part 2
    • Hitagi End Part 3
    • Hitagi End Part 4
    • Hitagi End Part 5
    • Hitagi End Part 6
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Seed
  • Tsukimonogatari
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 1
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 2
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 3
    • Yotsugi Doll Part 4
  • Koyomimonogatari
    • Koyomi Nothing
    • Koyomi Dead
  • Owarimonogatari II
    • Mayoi Hell Part 1
    • Mayoi Hell Part 2
    • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 1
    • Hitagi Rendezvous Part 2
    • Ougi Dark Part 1
    • Ougi Dark Part 2
    • Ougi Dark Part 3
  • Zoku Owarimonogatari
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 1
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 2
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 3
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 4
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 5
    • Koyomi Reverse Part 6
  • Hanamonogatari
    • Suruga Devil Part 1
    • Suruga Devil Part 2
    • Suruga Devil Part 3
    • Suruga Devil Part 4
    • Suruga Devil Part 5

Conclusion

So, there are three different viewing orders for the Monogatari series listed from my most to least recommended. If you found this post helpful, click the heart button down below. You can also leave a comment to let me know which order is your personal favorite.

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Ranking the Monogatari Girls

Ranking the Monogatari Girls

Introduction

The Monogatari series currently has 14 parts (all listed and linked to in that post), with a 15th entry on the way either late this year or early next year. With the new part coming soon, I figured now would be a good time to rank the 11 current “Monogatari girls.”

For those of you who aren’t aware of how my favorite anime is set up, let me enlighten you. Each arc of the series typically focuses on a single female character who is being helped in some way by our protagonist, Koyomi Araragi (although this isn’t always the case).

However, despite each arc focusing on a particular girl, that doesn’t mean the titular girl is the only girl featured in the arc, and she may also not even have the most screen time.

If you’ve been around the anime community for an extended period of time, you’ve probably come across at least one of these girls in some form. Perhaps it was Hitagi or Shinobu duking it out in a “best girl” competition, or Nadeko featured in some meme remix of “Renai Circulation“, or Karen having her teeth brushed.

What I’m getting at is, the Monogatari girls have been spread far and wide throughout the community, so it’s about time I made a definitive ranking to decide who’s the best and who’s the worst among them. If any part of this list makes you mad, let me know in the comments below.

1. Mayoi Hachikuji

It should come as no surprise that Mayoi Hachikuji is my #1 Monogatari girl, as I’ve talked about her extensively in other posts and use an image of her as my profile picture both on this site and on my various social media. But although I’ve discussed her thoroughly in the past, just what makes her “best girl?”

Before I can answer that question, let me give you a bit of background information about her character. Mayoi is the titular girl for three different arcs in the series so far: Mayoi Snail (Bakemonogatari), Mayoi Jiangshi (Kabukimonogatari), and Mayoi Hell (Owarimonogatari II). She’s also one of the major recurring characters in the series.

Mayoi is one of a number of the girls on this list who are considered apparitions, meaning they don’t really exist if you want to get technical. When she was around 11 years old, Mayoi was struck and killed by a truck while on her way to her mother’s house, and has been wandering the streets as a ghost ever since.

However, despite physically being 11, if she never had died she would currently be around 22 years old. This is an important detail to remember when looking at how she behaves. Sometimes she acts like your average 11-year-old girl, but other times she acts more like an adult.

These two competing sides of her character are what make her my favorite of the Monogatari girls, along with her character design (especially that giant backpack).

On one hand, Mayoi, like many child characters in anime, is used for comic relief. There’s the usual slapstick comedy that we would expect from her due to her physical appearance, but at the same time we also get more nuanced comedy from her, often through the use of wordplay.

On the other hand, she’s a dependable “older sister” type character for Koyomi, despite being physically younger than him. Mayoi has been around for longer and so has learned a thing or two about the world during her travels, which she teaches to Koyomi in his times of need.

It may seem odd for me to say this, but although she’s an apparition, she’s one of the most constant parts of Koyomi’s life. He knows that if he’s ever in need of someone to talk things through with, Mayoi is always somewhere close by (although not as close as Shinobu).

Mayoi Hachikuji from the Monogatari anime series
Mayoi Hachikuji

If you’re interested in reading more about the relationship between Mayoi and Koyomi, I broke down the Courage to Tell a Lie scene between these two characters, and I’ve written about her in some of my other posts about the Monogatari series parts.

2. Suruga Kanbaru

Suruga Kanbaru is the titular girl of both the Suruga Monkey (Bakemonogatari) and Suruga Devil (Hanamonogatari) arcs. She’s also the protagonist of Hanamonogatari instead of Koyomi, something I found to be fairly interesting considering how similar she is to him.

I’d like to say that Kanbaru is a fairly complex character, but in reality she’s a pretty simple character who just has a lot going on. She likes books (mostly of the BL variety), she’s into sports (track and basketball), she’s a pervert (self-proclaimed), and she’s in love with Hitagi (and maybe Koyomi?).

What makes her simple, however, is also what makes her one of my favorite characters of the entire series. Suruga wears her emotions on her sleeve (or her arm bandages, whichever). When she’s excited about something, we can physically see it due to her extremely energetic nature.

She basically has two modes: Lying on a pile of books in her room, too lazy to get up, and bouncing off the walls like a kid in a candy shop. This is what I mean when I say that she’s a simple character, and yet she’s just so likeable that it doesn’t matter.

Suruga Kanbaru from the Monogatari anime series
Suruga Kanbaru

While not an apparition herself, Suruga is afflicted by an apparition known as the Rainy Devil in one of her arms. This apparition causes her wishes to come true, but by physically hurting anyone who stands in the way of those wishes.

While I don’t like her character design as much as some of the other girls on this list, her personality more than makes up for it. Although, I do have to say I like the arm bandages. It gives her appearance a bit of mystery without going overboard like Ougi.

3. Shinobu Oshino

Shinobu Oshino, known as Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade in her full-power form, is an apparition you may have heard of before called a Vampire. She’s the titular girl of the arcs Shinobu Time (Onimonogatari) and Shinobu Mail (Owarimonogatari I).

As a shell of her former Vampire self, Shinobu is chained to Koyomi’s shadow and is therefore technically always by his side (except for in one of the arcs, sort of). Because of this, and her developing relationship with Koyomi across the series, these two are my favorite anime pairing.

While at the beginning of the series she and Koyomi weren’t speaking to each other (the backstory of which is explained in Kizumonogatari), they eventually become inseparable partners who have decided to either live or die together (although they’ll still never forgive each other).

I mentioned previously that Mayoi is the main constant in Koyomi’s life, but the same could be argued for Shinobu considering how their fates are linked (as are their physical bodies). That said, since the relationship between Shinobu and Koyomi can be all over the place, it’s not a stable relationship.

Shinobu Oshino from the Monogatari anime series
Shinobu Oshino

Some fun facts about Shinobu are that her favorite food is doughnuts, her family name was given to her by Meme Oshino, an apparition expert, and she’s both the youngest and oldest of the current Monogatari girls. But how can that last fact be?

Shinobu is technically 400 years old, making her the oldest of the girls, however, for most of the series she’s in her 8-year-old form because apparently her physical age is tied to how much of her full power she has. As she puts it, it takes less energy to maintain a smaller body.

4. Hitagi Senjougahara

While Shinobu is generally seen as a close second, Hitagi Senjougahara is usually considered to be the “best girl” of the Monogatari series (although, as you’ve seen, she isn’t). Her arcs are Hitagi Crab (Bakemonogatari), Hitagi End (Koimonogatari), and Hitagi Rendezvous (Owarimonogatari II).

While I’ve come to appreciate Hitagi for the character she is, I don’t believe she deserves all the love she gets. Sure she’s a tsundere (and yandere at times), but for the most part she’s just a complimentary character to Koyomi rather than a character I care about on her own.

I won’t say watching her romantic relationship with Koyomi isn’t enjoyable, but I do think that’s the main draw of her character. The scenes with her that don’t involve Koyomi simply don’t hold up, (other than certain scenes with Hanekawa, but that’s for a different reason).

Hitagi Senjougahara from the Monogatari anime series
Hitagi Senjougahara

When we meet Hitagi in the first episode of Bakemonogatari, she weighs only a small fraction of the amount a girl of her size should due to the apparition known as a Weight Crab. The weight crab takes the weight off the shoulders of those it inflicts, both metaphorically and literally.

Later on in the series we learn more about her backstory and relationship with the apparition expert/con man Kaiki Deishu. While I do think these parts are a bit more interesting, it’s mainly because of Kaiki, not because of Hitagi. I was going to add Kaiki in at the end of this list as a bonus Monogatari girl, but I think this post is going to be long enough as is.

Unless there are more arcs focusing on Hitagi in the future of this series, it’s unlikely I’ll ever appreciate her as much as most fans seem to. That said, I think it’s unlikely considering her arcs wrapped up nicely in Hitagi Rendezvous.

5. Nadeko Sengoku

Nadeko has the unfortunate title of “worst girl” for many fans of the Monogatari series, and as I’ve done before, I’m going to explain why this simply isn’t true. First off, I think part of the issue is that she’s underage, but then again, so are half of these girls, so why is it just Nadeko who’s hated?

What it really all comes down to is the fact that people seem to simply not understand her character at the most basic level. She’s a middle school girl who’s in love with her best friend’s older brother (I say best friend because I doubt Nadeko has any other friends besides Tsukihi).

Is she crazy? Yes. Is she your typical middle school girl who just wants to be noticed by the person she loves? Yes. Does that mean she’s a bad character? No. She’s supposed to be that way because she’s an accurate portrayal of a middle schooler who found their first crush.

I’ve written more about this concept in my post on Boring Anime Girls, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but the fact that she’s such a realistic portrayal of a middle school girl going through her first crush is what makes her a good character. She’s crazy because they are crazy.

Nadeko Sengoku from the Monogatari anime series
Nadeko Sengoku

Now, if you think the fact that she’s a middle schooler who has a crush on someone is exactly the reason why she’s a bad character, I have one simple counterargument for you. If that makes Nadeko a bad character, then why doesn’t that make Hinata a bad character in Naruto? Checkmate, Hinata-lovers.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but Nadeko is the titular girl for the Nadeko Snake (Bakemonogatari) and Nadeko Medusa (Otorimonogatari) arcs. In the Nadeko Medusa arc we see her spiral further downward as she becomes the one true yandere of the series, something I enjoyed seeing.

6. Tsukihi Araragi

We’re going to speed up a bit for these next six girls because they’re simply not as interesting to me, and also I don’t want this post to be too long. So to start off the lightning round, we have Tsukihi Araragi, titular girl of the Tsukihi Phoenix arc from Nisemonogatari.

Tsukihi is the “littler little sister” of protagonist Koyomi Araragi and one of the “Fire Sisters” along with Karen. While she doesn’t have the same desire for justice that her sister has, she enjoys going around with her and playing the part of defender of justice.

Compared to her sister, Tsukihi is much more feminine and tends to wear yukata when around the house. That said, she’s also the more aggressive of the two sisters and has no issue resorting to physical violence when necessary (or not necessary).

Tsukihi Araragi from the Monogatari anime series
Tsukihi Araragi

Tsukihi is also an apparition which we know as a phoenix. Despite being an immortal apparition, however, she and the rest of her family (except Koyomi) have no knowledge of this. Koyomi has also decided that it doesn’t matter if she’s an apparition, she’s still his sister.

7. Yotsugi Ononoki

Yotsugi Ononoki is nowhere near my favorite character of the Monogatari series, but she does have my favorite character design. She’s the titular girl for the Yotsugi Doll arc from Tsukimonogatari (which could have been a good name for the part about Tsukihi as well).

As you may be able to tell from the name of her arc, Yotsugi is a living doll made from a corpse (you probably couldn’t tell all that just from the title). Both her outfit and personality reflect the fact that she’s a doll as well, unlike the other apparition characters.

As for her speech, she tends to speak in a monotone voice much like a robot, and yet has little quirks which appear to be her attempt at sounding more human. One of these is her affinity for the phrase “Peace, peace!” after her sentences, and another is how she calls everyone else older brother or older sister.

Yotsugi Ononoki from the Monogatari anime series
Yotsugi Ononoki

As a doll, Yotsugi doesn’t show any physical signs or emotion, or any facial expressions for that matter, and so to make up for this she adds her expressions into her speech. It also appears that she actually looks doll-like considering Tsukihi thinks she’s just a large doll and drags her around.

8. Karen Araragi

Karen Araragi is the older sister of Tsukihi, and “bigger little sister” of Koyomi. She’s also the titular girl of the Karen Bee arc from Nisemonogatari. Unfortunately for her, she’s known to many people who haven’t seen the Monogatari series solely due to a single scene of her getting her teeth brushed.

And, unfortunately for the series as a whole, the first introduction many people have to this series is that exact scene, thus turning them off from it before they even give it a chance. But, Karen is more than just a girl who gets her teeth brushed.

She’s the other half of the Fire Sisters along with Tsukihi and has a strong sense of justice. She’s also similar to Suruga in that she’s the sporty type, although her sport of choice is martial arts, not track or basketball. It could have easily been Karen who took up Koyomi’s mantel after he graduated, but I’m glad it was Suruga instead.

Karen Araragi from the Monogatari anime series
Karen Araragi

The apparition Karen was afflicted with was a bee (I forget the actual name of it) which is essentially a fake apparition that becomes real simply because someone believes in it. Now, that’s kind of how all apparitions work, but this one takes that to the extreme in that it’s based solely around someone’s belief in it.

9. Tsubasa Hanekawa

I’ve never tried to hide my dislike for Tsubasa Hanekawa, but in this section I’ll try to put my feelings about her into words. She’s the titular girl for three arcs: Tsubasa Cat (Bakemonogatari), Tsubasa Family (Nekomonogatari Black), and Tsubasa Tiger (Nekomonogatari White).

Tsubasa’s main attraction is that she’s more physically developed than any of the other girls in the series (except for Shinobu in her adult form), but I see this as a curse, not a blessing. When the main attraction of a character is their physical appearance, that’s how you know you’ve got a boring character.

Tsubasa’s whole gimmick is that she’s too nice for her own good and that she’ll help anyone in need to a fault. And she’s smart. That’s it, that’s her entire character. Koyomi is the same way, but at least he has actual reasons for his actions and is a better developed character all around.

Tsubasa Hanekawa from the Monogatari anime series
Tsubasa Hanekawa

Along with her bland character comes a bland backstory and apparitions. The apparitions that affect her all have to do with how she’s an outcast in her own family, and we get three arcs of this. I could have done with just one arc about Tsubasa’s sob story, not three.

10. Sodachi Oikura

Sodachi Oikura is near the bottom of this list mainly because there isn’t that much to talk about in regards to her compared to the rest of the girls. She only appears in the two arcs named after her which are back to back, Sodachi Riddle and Sodachi Lost (Owarimonogatari I).

Sodachi is interesting soley because she’s the one Monogatari girl so far who wasn’t afflicted by an apparition, and isn’t an apparition herself. She was simply Koyomi’s childhood friend who he didn’t help in her time of need (because he was also a child at the time).

This led to Sodachi’s life spiraling downward and ending with her living with the body of her dead mother for a pretty long amount of time (I want to say two years, but I forget). While all the arcs of this series involve mystery, I found hers to be the most “standard” in that they didn’t involve the supernatural.

Sodachi Oikura from the Monogatari anime series
Sodachi Oikura

I’d be more interested in her character if she was actually involved in the story more, and luckily it seems that she will be in the upcoming Zoku Owarimonogatari based off some images about the part on the official anime twitter account of the author.

11. Ougi Oshino

It’s finally time for the official “worst girl” of the Monogatari series, Ougi Oshino. Ougi is the titular girl for both the Ougi Formula (Owarimonogatari I) and Ougi Dark (Owarimonogatari II) arcs, although she’s not always depicted as female in other parts of the series.

She’s an apparition, much like Mayoi, Shinobu, and Tsukihi, but she’s a man-made apparition of sorts. The big twist at the end of the Ougi Dark arc (spoilers incoming) is that she’s actually an apparition created by Koyomi’s self-doubt. When she’s depicted as male in Hanamonogatari, it could be that she’s then a representation of Suruga’s self-doubt.

Ougi’s last name, Oshino, also comes from the apparition expert Meme Oshino, who she claims is her uncle despite him having no known family. And, like Oshino, she “helps” Koyomi help himself when mysterious cases involving apparitions arise.

Ougi Oshino from the Monogatari anime series
Ougi Oshino

Everything about Ougi’s design is set up to be a mystery, and that’s probably in part what I don’t like about her. She’s too over-the-top in her mysteriousness, from her cold, black, shark eyes, to her sleeves which cover her hands, to her gender-fluidity between parts.

Conclusion

So what do you think about my rankings? Am I wrong for not putting Hitagi Senjougahara in first place? Are you an Ougi Oshino fan? Or do you have good taste in Monogatari girls like myself? Let me know in the comments.

I’m planning to write a post about the viewing order for Monogatari series anime in the near future, so if that’s something you’ve always wondered, why not subscribe to my blog (in the sidebar on PC or down below on mobile), or follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to be notified every time a new post goes live.

If you liked this post (or hated it) consider scrolling down a bit and clicking the little heart button beneath this post. Likes let me know what types of content my readers like best and can influence the kinds of topics I write about in the future.

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Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Packaging (front)

It’s once again Figure Friday and today we have the Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid from the Monogatari series! Maybe one day there will be a full size Yotsugi Ononoki Nendoroid from this series too, but for now she only comes in petit form.

As you can see from the image above, Mayoi is Nendoroid #368 which puts her between Kyōko Sakura and Aqua. Her box is primarily white on the front, top, and bottom, with orange on the back and sides. Both blue and pink are used as highlight colors.

Like the boxes for the Aqua and Megumin Nendoroids, Mayoi has circular windows on either side of the box. While I originally assumed these side windows were specific to the KonoSuba Nendoroids, this may instead just be a style of packaging adopted some time after Kyōko, which was then stopped before Sakura.

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Packaging (back)

As usual, the back of the box shows a variety of assembly options for the figure, with more being shown on the sides. Mayoi is unique among the Nendoroids I have in that she’s possible to assemble in a seated position as well as the standard standing positions.

To achieve this sitting position, Mayoi comes with an entirely different lower half rather than just some interchangeable legs (pictured below).

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Pieces

Aside from the separate sitting position lower half, Mayoi comes with two other faces, seven other arms, two other hands, another leg, and, of course, her signature oversized backpack. Due to the nature of her sitting and standing poses as well as her backpack, Mayoi’s stand is also somewhat unique.

She has the typical ergonomic stand arm that the rest of my Nendoroids have, but this can only be used if she doesn’t have her backpack equipped. When the backpack is equipped, she has three different stands which can be used depending on if she’s sitting or standing.

Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid (from the Monogatari series anime)
Mayoi Hachikuji Nendoroid Assembled

I originally set her up in a sitting position because I wanted to try it out, but there was always only going to be one position I was going to ultimately leave her in (pictured above). Since this is a standing position with her backpack equipped, I had to use one of the rigid stands, not the ergonomic one.

These rigid stands, however, aren’t exactly the most user-friendly pieces. There’s one for the sitting position which I originally missed in the box and almost threw out (it’s a small clear disc in a clear plastic bag with some other small clear pieces). That stand is easy enough to use, though.

The two other rigid stands are the issue. There’s a short one and a long one. I used the short one, but it’s still at an awkward angle even though I have Mayoi standing. It’s unclear to me in what situation you’d ever use the long stand unless Mayoi is hovering for some reason.

These two longer rigid stands also didn’t go into the allotted hole in the bottom of the backpack very easily, but that’s probably something that’s slightly different from Nendoroid to Nendoroid. Overall, I’d rather have pieces which are a tight fit than pieces which are too loose and fall apart like what I got with some of Megumin‘s.

Finally, the inner cardboard layer of Mayoi’s box has her Nendoroid number printed on it unlike how Sakura had the Hidden Leaf symbol. As I said I would last week, I checked the other three boxes, and none of them have graphics printed onto their inner cardboard layers.

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The Courage to Tell a Lie

The Courage to Tell a Lie

Introduction

Today we’ll be taking a look at a scene from Nisemonogatari involving Koyomi Araragi and Mayoi Hachikuji. I’ve said before that despite her appearance, Mayoi is actually a mentor figure to Koyomi, and this is just one of many scenes which illustrates that relationship.

Before proceeding, I suggest watching the video embedded above because everything I’m going to say will make much more sense if you’re familiar with the scene I’ll  be discussing. It’s only a two-minute video, so nothing too extreme.

Courage

On the surface it may seem that Mayoi is just playing word games with Koyomi as she tends to do, and that’s true, but she’s also teaching him a valuable life lesson at the same time. Remember, Mayoi, although technically younger than Koyomi, as been around longer and has a greater understanding of how the world works.

She also knows Koyomi and how he’s likely to react to various situations, as well as how he’ll attempt to defend his actions. Because of this, the choice to use the word “courage” is targeted specifically at Koyomi, a person who is completely selfless, but in a selfish way.

Mayoi demonstrates how just by adding the word “courage” to a sentence, you can turn the implied meaning from something bad to something good. As demonstrated by Mayoi, and explained by Koyomi, the word courage can be used to make a generally negative thing such as lying seem righteous.

But why does this matter for Koyomi specifically?

As I mentioned, he’s a completely selfless person who will sacrifice his own life if it means he’ll be able to save someone else.However, even though his actions seem selfless, they’re actually selfish because he isn’t taking into consideration how anyone else involved feels.

What Mayoi is indirectly telling him is that just because he claims to be doing something for the sake of someone else, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do, or even what the person he’s doing it for wants him to do.

Koyomi understands that adding the word “courage” to a sentence about lying doesn’t make the lying any better, and so Mayoi‘s goal is to make him realize that he does the same thing whenever he claims to be doing something for someone else’s sake.

However, we as the viewer, and Mayoi as well, know that even if Koyomi comes to this realization, it still won’t change his nature. The end result that Mayoi is most likely going after is simply to make Koyomi think about his actions more before he does something he can’t take back.

Mayoi Hachikuji from the Monogatari series anime
Mayoi Hachikuji

Righteous Evil

While Mayoi wants Koyomi to understand that his defenses don’t make his actions acceptable, this also applies to others as well. It’s a warning about how others will try to use this same trick to justify their ill intentions, and so Koyomi needs to be able to see through it.

Mayoi‘s example of the courage to tell a lie not only applies to Koyomi, but also applies to the fact that anyone else can use the same trick to defend their own actions against him. This is important because the conversation Mayoi and Koyomi are having comes during the Tsukihi Phoenix arc of Nisemonogatari (hence Mayoi‘s reference to a phoenix).

In this arc, Koyomi learns that his “smaller, younger sister,” Tsukihi, is actually a kind of apparition and not his true sister. Yozuru and Yotsugi attempt to eliminate the Phoenix apparition known as Tsukihi because they claim that it’s their duty as specialists to do so.

This is an example of what Mayoi is talking about in her courage to tell a lie dialogue with Koyomi. Yozuru and Yotsugi are framing the elimination of Tsukihi as something that needs to be done by referring to her as an apparition, but all they’re really doing is killing Koyomi’s sister.

Despite Yozuru and Yotsugi technically being correct here, their reasoning is flawed. Simply because Tsukihi is an apparition doesn’t make her dangerous nor any less a part of the Araragi family, just like how simply using the word courage doesn’t make lying acceptable.

We can find examples of this in other anime as well such as Pain’s, Obito’s, or Madara’s explanation for why they’re starting a war with the rest of the shinobi world in Naruto: Shippūden. They each claim it’s what’s best for everyone, but in reality they’re just doing what they want despite how everyone else feels.


Conclusion

Although Mayoi appears to simply be demonstrating a way in which the structure of Japanese (and even English) can be used to twist the meaning of a phrase around with the inclusion of a single word, she’s really doing much more.

An important thing to remember is that by making Koyomi realize what’s happening, she’s also demonstrating that those who twist words to fit their own needs tend to realize that doing so doesn’t really change the fact that their actions are wrong. They’re attempting to convince themselves just as much as anyone else.

For a series which relies heavily on dialogue, it seems fitting that there would be a warning about the dangers of twisting language to fit one’s own needs.

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