So Nisemonogatari has ended. Pretty decent fanservice anime. Bathroom scene of Araragi and Shinobu is awesome. Thank god it's not Aya-slut who's voicing Shinobu.
However, what perplexes me is how Shaft chose to skip this monologue of Araragi in Tsukihi's arc, which I think is quite important. Maybe it's hard to animate a continuous scene of monologue? But I thought powerpoint presentations are Shaft's strengths.
Whatever. Here's the part from chapter 005. I translated this from Chinese with a little reference to the Jap raws so it may not be totally accurate, but at least you guys will know what's going on.
With that said, there's a piece of good news from me.
I hope everyone can feel happy for me.
Well, this may be a really regrettable piece of news for the hardcore fanatics, but generally speaking, it should be good news for the the majority of people.
We've talked about her slightly when I was speaking with Hanekawa earlier — Senjougahara Hitagi.
A third year student at Naoetsu Private High School, and the classmate of Hanekawa and me. Senjougahara Hitagi, who is also my girlfriend, has undergone a thorough change. That's the great news that I want to share.
A girl who's well known for her signature lines like "spin around three times and die" or "die thrice and bark"; a girl nicknamed "Tiger Jeet Singh" and is even described as a mad tiger - has thoroughly changed.
Changed from a bad girl to a good one.
How can I not be happy about it?
There are no words that can accurately describe how I feel.
And of course, I even hosted a party and invited friends for that. As for the incredibly abnormal and heated atmosphere of the scene, I guess I'll just leave that for the future if I have the time. For now, let's talk about the process of her change.
Here's what happened.
Senjougahara was someone whose personality was incredibly bad — she cared not about what others thought, was violent, oppressive and self-centered. I guess everyone already knew about her personality, which should be something that doesn't exist in this world. There's no point for me to go in depth about it, but she wasn't born to be that unreasonable and vicious. There is a definite cause to her malicious personality.
Something called a psychological trauma.
It sounds cheesy to put it this way, but it is a very accurate term to describe what has happened to her.
And in this world, the cheesy sayings are the most truthful.
Anyone will get hurt as they grow up. But, I think the reason for Senjougahara's collapse was because she tried too hard.
Sometimes, trying your best is a sin.
And you'll be punished for it.
Meeting a crab — encountering a crab.
She encountered it.
Was robbed of something.
Had lost something in her.
And in the end, I can only vaguely imagine how she had lived her high-school life — even though I was in the same class as her for the first and second year, I could only imagine — but those two years.
It's definitely enough for her to shut her heart out.
No, there's no need for two years.
One day should be more than enough.
To reject getting close to others. To view acts of kindness as hostility.
She never opened up her heart to others.
And never removed the barriers surrounding her.
She didn't make any friends, and she even refused to speak to her classmates. Even if she was asked by the teachers to answer questions, she would just reply with a nonchalant "I don't know".
The fear of strangers.
Distrust of others.
Shutting herself out.
And those around her would address her as "Lady Purdah" as though they were ridiculing her — but in the eyes of those who knew what was going on, it became a really ironic nickname.
I came to know of her secrets due to certain circumstances. After finding out about her secret, I went along with the flow and introduced Senjougahara to Oshino — I don't know if that was something good or bad, but at the very least, the oddity that had been troubling her was finally resolved. For now at the very least.
But so what?
Even if the oddity was already solved.
Even if she had broken free from the crab.
Even if she had distanced herself from the things that upset her.
Even if she was released from her troubles.
Even if she had finally opened her heart to others.
Even if she had removed the barriers around her.
She still couldn't mend her broken heart.
Even as time passed, her old wounds are still there.
Even if time passes and her wounds all disappeared without a trace— it won't erase the fact that she was hurt before.
Even if the scars will slowly fade away, that does not means that her memories will.
The thorny personality of Senjougahara that's akin to a cactus— that explosive personality of hers is not something that she can just change out of and revert to her old self. Moreover, it has already become the real her.
The thorny Senjougahara is the real her.
Her wicked words and her bad personality too.
Her fear of strangers, her distrust of others as well as shutting herself off.
And also that hostile attitude of hers.
And the problem is, that all of them had turned her into the unique person she is.
She had never once removed those spikes on her.
Even after she began going out with me.
Even after she had mended her relationship with Kanbaru.
There was no change in the essence behind that unique personality of hers — nor were there any fundamental changes.
But even so, she would only reveal that personality of hers in front of Kanbaru and me. The Senjougahara in school had successfully acted out the role of a good student, just like a cat. But after resolving the crab incident, it is perhaps because of the decrease in her motivation to carry on her goody-two-shoes act as a meek kitten, that resulted in the cat specialist Hanekawa Tsubasa to thoroughly see through her "unique personality".
And after that, Hanekawa put Senjougahara in a comprehensive program to fix her personality, though I didn't know anything about it (and it seems to be a much more intense version of what I had gone through in April - I'm shivering from the mere thought of that). However - I'm sorry for this, Hanekawa - the reason for Senjougahara's thorough change has nothing to do with Hanekawa's program.
In a way, he's in the same trade as Oshino.
And also, his competitor.
The main reason for Senjougahara's change was because she got to meet him once more.
Or rather, it's only because of that.
The only reason.
Kaiki's an unhelpful conman who only stirs up trouble. However, for Senjougahara to meet up with the conman who had tricked her whole family after a time period of some years later, that was an incredibly effective blow that has a positive effect to her twisted personality.
It's no luck, nor was it a miracle.
According to her, to be able to meet Kaiki once more, to be able to fight against him once more - it has enabled Senjougahara......
To come up with a resolution.
I feel that the her back then had purged all the toxins inside of her.
To completely expel the toxins that had accumulated in her for the past two years.
Though this is unnecessary, but I think I'll just stress this: it's not thanks to Kaiki — there is no need to be grateful to him at all.
That guy did nothing.
To put it in Oshino's words — "The person who saved Senjougahara is none other than herself".
And not Kaiki.
And of course, it's not thanks to Araragi Koyomi either, nor is it Hanekawa Tsubasa — Senjougahara Hitagi had obtained victory from that detestable conman with her own strength and willpower. And she has thus proudly changed herself totally.
And that's it.
That's how it is.
To put it simply, Senjougahara Hitagi has turned dere.
To the point where even Karen can't match up to her in terms of dere.
It is really problematic for that Senjougahara Hitagi to continue being my home tutor. So after many discussions with Hanekawa, we've decided to allow Senjougahara to take a break till the Obon festival (so Senjougahara's currently visiting her hometown with her father). From that point alone, I think it's easy for people to imagine just how dere she is.
However, everyone's imagination is wrong.
Or rather, that's not nearly enough.
The levels of her dere is no where close to just that.
For example, she will call me randomly without rhyme or reason (even though she used to reject my calls depending on her mood). She will mail me messages with emoticons in them (even though all she had done till then was to send me spam). She even addresses me by a really cute nickname (even though my nicknames were nothing more than all sorts of venomous words by her). However, all of that is just the beginning.
She will no longer crush flowers when she sees them.
Nor will she step on insects.
She will not start her sentences with harsh words.
She will honestly praise the good and beautiful things that she sees.
The way in which she uses stationery has changed back to the way it should be.
And of course, that does not apply for only the stationery. She'd take out the fruit peeler in an attempt to peel my skin off should I say anything bad about the dishes she made — she no longer does things like that as well.
Rather than allowing others to see her legs, she'd chop them off instead (though the them here refers to the legs of those who are looking at her) — that's a thing of the past as well. The length of her skirt has shrunk gradually (from beneath her knees to above them), and it seems like she no longer rejects showing her skin.
The cold expressionless mask of hers had totally disappeared. Emotions are beginning to show in the monotonous and icy tone of her. But the most important thing is, she smiles a lot now.
She has changed into a girl who puts on a happy smile for most of the time.
In other words — she has became an ordinary girl.
She could not have swapped the soul of hers with someone's else— the change in her personality was enough for me to think that.
It's not a facade.
Nor is she Lady Purdah any longer.
She's not putting on an act of being all sweet and nice.
She has really changed into a cute and ordinary high-school girl that's befitting of her age.
An ordinary high school girl who reacts normally to the normal things encountered; who does not act on the extremes, does not shut herself out and does not show hostility for no reason.
It seems like the Senjougahara from middle-school was a track-and-field ace who's well loved for her great character, and the way she acted back then may very well be the way she is now. And that means that Hanekawa and Kanbaru had spent their middle-school enjoying such incredible stuff? You guys are too sly! I always thought better of you people! I threw a fuss about it, but if their words are something to be believed, that's what they said,
"She was no where near this state during the middle school."
That's how it is.
Even for the Kanbaru who sees Senjougahara as a goddess and views her positively despite her cruel and vicious words, she's a little averse towards the current Senjougahara. That's the incredible state of Senjougahara's dere right now.
I really have no idea how to describe it.
Rather than dere, it's more like doro?
Tsundoro. [TLNote: Araragi cooked up this term or something. Seems like dere is not quite enough to described Senjougahara. Doro can refer to mud, so infer as you please.]
Why does that girl always place herself in such a narrow field among the different personality traits?
Tsundoro sounds a little like the problem of the quality of water that the public faces, but I think that it is quite a good description of the current feelings that I have.
Though rather than a public issue, it's more like a personal one.
Because I fear that all these may just be part of a really long plan that she's hatching. No, rather than being worried, if the complete change in her this time as well as her dere and doro are all a huge ploy to trick me, then I'll actually feel more at ease.
Though this is probably too much as a joke.
And she's going too far if she's trying to trick me.
If all this is nothing more than the product of some bad intention of hers, then she has probably gone past the state of just tricking me.
That's because— one of the things she had done in the process of being doro is to cut away her long black hair that has had with her this whole time.
It seems like she has kept the same hairstyle since elementary school, just like Karen. But of course, Senjougahara's not the same as that idiot. She didn't just snip her hair away on impulse like how Karen did with her ponytail.
She had resolved herself to do it.
Made an appointment with a hairstylist.
Senjougahara paid the relevant amount of cash — and had her hair cut short.
And she no longer keeps her straight bangs as well.
The bangs were jagged.
Totally not straight at all.
Just like a sawtooth.
Hanekawa Tsubasa, Kanbaru Suruga and Senjougahara Hitagi — the trio from Naoetsu Private High School with straight bangs has all but disappeared.
That's really depressing for me.
I am thus voicing out my heartfelt regret for not being able to address Senjougahara as "The last of the straight bangs".
And since Kanbaru's growing her hair (to add in, Kanbaru's now wearing two low pigtails, which creates a gap moe against her rather boyish mannerisms), Senjougahara's hair has became even shorter than Kanbaru's.
Since there are girls who cut their hair when they are rejected, it's natural for girls to cut their hair because they are in a romantic relationship as well — that's how Senjougahara puts it.
And when she says "there are girls who cut their hair when they are rejected", that is definitely referring to the change in Hanekawa hairstyle after the school's festival.
Hanekawa had used the same method to put an end to things.
The overly-serious girl has lightened her bonds after that.
And unlocked the overly demanding locks.
To put it, Hanekawa also changed into an ordinary girl after that.
So perhaps Senjougahara is using Hanekawa as a model, just like how I am.
Regardless of the length in time, as long as anyone had gone through what Senjougahara and Hanekawa did, then the word ordinary is definitely not something that is to be taken for granted.
It's a dream very far away.
And even if I describe it as something out of their reach, it's still not quite enough.
Therefore, as her boyfriend, I am definitely not against it when she says things like "cutting her hair because she is in a romantic relationship" (though from my words, it may seem like I'm lamenting about it, but personally, I do welcome girls changing their hairstyles). And from my deductions, one of the very important reasons for cutting her hair was to put an end to things.
To make a clean break.
She's not setting the style of her hair, but resetting herself.
Her long hair and straight bangs - or to put it in a nicer way, her hime cut - is a hairstyle that resembles the old hairstyle seen on Japanese dolls, and not something that you get to see much nowadays. It's the hairstyle that her mother chose for her when she was younger, whom she has lost contact with, because her mother said that the hime cut suits her.
I had long ago thought about how her hairstyle was a little childish despite her mature looks, so it's really a hairstyle that she kept since she was a loli.
And so, to put it in another perspective — if I am to exaggerate a little, it's a hairstyle not just to commemorate the past, but to prove her own existence. There may be people who laugh at me for over exaggerating something as insignificant as this, but for Senjougahara, there's nothing more worthy than that to fall back on.
The time in middle school where she insisted on not changing her hairstyle.
The time in high school where she forgot to change her hairstyle.
I think the reason for Senjougahara to change her hairstyle is not purely for looks alone, but it signifies a turning point in her life that is way more than just a change in the frame of mind.
It's not about her forgetting it, nor is she viewing it as a burden. But rather, she's accepting it.
She has kept the past in her heart.
So in a sense, there's no change to Senjougahara — she did not undergo any incredible changes, nor did she gain back or restore anything. It's not her becoming dere or doro either.
It's her overcoming her psychological hurdle.
I should say that she has taken a huge, beautiful step on the path of her life.
To be honest, she has lost a huge portion of her mesmerizing personality, just like a soda that has lost its fizz. But since she has became a girl with much more depth in her, it's all for the better.
You can say the same for Hanekawa as well. It would be a nightmare if she continued maintaining those extreme characteristics of hers back then.
They will have to grow up strongly, like how they are doing now.
Moreover, it's not like they are immortals.
In fact, aside from Kaiki Deishu, there would definitely be no one else who would describe Senjougahara's growth with the term "boring".
And even if that's not the case, there's no need to listen to the opinions of people like Kaiki.
Speaking of which, Hanekawa once commented on Senjougahara. She said that the Senjougahara in high school is way prettier than the Senjougahara in middle school, to the point where her beauty was almost unreal.
But recently, Hanekawa added that,
"The current Senjougahara is the Senjougahara that leaves the best impression on me."
I knew that this day would come.
I once hoped that such a day would come.
I believe that this day will be here sooner or later.
Congratulations, Senjougahara Hitagi.
And also, congratulations to myself.
My life will no longer come under threat ever again. Even if you remove that sense of comfort from me, as someone who knows Senjougahara, I am honestly happy about the way she currently is — and it feels like I'll have to work even harder from today onward.