Having arrived back Araragi attempts to find out just what happened and starts to lose his patience with Karen until Tsubasa stops him, who explains that she’s helping them because she wants to. Soon after which he asks if they can speak in private in his room, leaving his sisters with the message that what they’re doing is only a game, as while they’re in the right they lack the strength to actually do anything.
In a sense this also seemed to be a message to himself, and once he gets to his room Tsubasa comments on how his personality tends to change depending on who he’s dealing with and when they finally get to talking about the matter at hand, the charm that’s going around, she continually corrects him on how he’s referring to his sisters. After which they continue talking about the charm, how someone has to be spreading it and that Karen went to meet this person, Kaiki Deishuu. However because she was tied up with something else at the time, Tsubasa couldn’t go with her.
Following this Araragi decides to take a bath to cool off, reflecting on how Tsubasa had made Tsukihi send the message and had called when there was no response, threatening to steal Araragi away from Senjougahara if she didn’t comply. And during this bath a naked figure emerges from his shadow, Shinobu who in a complete contrast to her role in the previous season appears to be quite talkative, mentioning that she broke those chains on a whim before finishing the job and asking him to wash her hair for her. After which she tells him of the Flame Wreath Bee that’s afflicting his sister, knowledge that had been drilled into her by Oshino before he left, talking about the origins and symptoms, which Karen is now suffering from.
Aside from that while Senjougahara earlier noted that Kaiki was a fake Shinobu sees no problem in how something fake couldn’t do what something real could, going on to claim that those like Oshino and Kaiki are supernatural in themselves. However while Shinobu could eat the Flame Wreath Bee itself, its symptoms would still remain and she can’t remember if Oshino told her how to cure it as she steps into the bath. Attempting to blackmail Araragi to buy her some donuts to keep her quiet, at which point Tsukihi barges in, sees them, and returns shortly afterward with a knife, leading to him hiding Shinobu, and unfortunately one of her hysterics about how she shouldn’t have to knock.
But when this is done and over, Shinobu brings up an unexpected issue, just how long does he expect to live for. Since even though he may mainly be human now his lifespan could possibly remain that of a vampire, dooming him to the fate of losing everyone except her to time itself, but when she tells him that the way out is as simple as killing her, he reminds of the agreement they reached, he wouldn’t forgive her and she wouldn’t forgive him. And so their conversation ends with her telling him not to lower his guard.
Despite how questionable a good part of it would have looked to any bystanders this was another fairly good episode, we got an idea of where things are heading, and the character reintroductions have mostly been completed now. With a rather talkative Shinobu and Tsubasa complete with a new hairstyle.
Which as small as it is leaves her looking completely different, she’s still wearing her school uniform but something as simple as a switch from glasses and braids to short hair leaves a new impression of sorts. It’s probably one of the rare instances where I think a heroine actually looks better once the scissors of character development have taken their toll, interesting considering it’s a cliche of sorts that tends to annoy me in anime and such. Taking an otherwise good looking heroine and lazily hacking away at their design as a way of showing that they’ve gone through a transformation of sorts. Other than that it was fun to see how she interacted with Araragi again, at times being informative while at others seeming to tease him. As well as how she interacted around the other characters, Karen and Tsukihi seem to respect her while Senjougahara fears her for what she could do.
After that though it was actually pretty surprising to see Shinobu talk, especially after she went throughout the last season without so much as uttering a word, with Aya Hirano even initially being listed as her voice actress, who’s now been ditched in favour of the amazing Maaya Sakamoto for the prequel, Kizumonogatari which we got a glimpse of in the very first episode. So that part alone was interesting enough for me, a seemingly quiet character turning out to be quite talkative with a godly VA to express that, and considering that I haven’t read the aforementioned prequel yet it was also interesting to get an actual idea of her character. She seems to speak in an old fashion manner and act in a whimsical way, not to mention that she appears to hold a grudge against Araragi for denying her death, and that ultimately she’ll be the one he’ll end up with at the moment. In a sense foreshadowing the overall near inescapable ultimate end to the series.
Through out all of this it was also great to get a better idea of where things are heading, I may have been wrong about Tsukihi being kidnapped or even something bad happening to her, with the message in the last episode being revealed to be a ploy to get Araragi to come to them. But in fact something bad has still happened to one of his sisters, with Karen being stung by the Flame Wreath Bee, which was probably to be expected considering her opening and how prominent bees and flames were. Not to mention that this is her arc, so going with the naming trend she has to be the victim. But anyway, it’s justgoing to be interesting to see just how Araragi and co will heal her, Shinobu has forgotten whether Oshino told her how to deal with the symptoms, and is in fact pissed that he drilled so much meaningless information into her, so unless they spontaneously find a way it looks as if Araragi and co will have to go out and find it.