As he attempts to study Araragi is interrupted by a now rather loving Karen, shocked to find her in something that just doesn’t go with her at all, a skirt.
“Hakkin Disco” by Tsukihi Araragi (Yuka Iguchi).
However while he suspects that she may have been bullied into wearing it she argues that if anyone had actually bullied her it would have been him in the past, telling him just how much those random comments he made back then meant to her. So faced without any other option he comments that she looks cute in it, sending her flying into his arms as she tells him that she’s going to aim to be a loving and loyal little sister. But the way she does this reminds him of Kanbaru, who Karen demands to be introduced to.
Revealing herself to be a member of her fanclub, a group that receives updates that occasionally include him, however fearing the influence that Kanbaru’s perverted tendencies would have on Karen he has no intention at all of introducing her to her. An option that Karen doesn’t exactly accept, plunging her fist into his chest, and leaving him with no other choice but to make a game of it. If she wins he’ll introduce her to Kanbaru. So both having an idea of Kanbaru’s perverseness and knowing that people tend to be uneasy about their head or hair being touched he comes up with the perfect solution, he’s going to brush her teeth, appearing to be quite proud about his idea. If she wants to meet Kanbaru she has to last five minutes.
So without a moment to spare he gets started, with lighting suddenly becoming rose-tinted as he slowly starts to brush, and as he continues, hearing her moans he realises that Karen is somehow incredibly cute. Actually being a little thrown off by the idea that their could be a girl capable of rivaling Tsubasa as his ideal woman as he starts to get carried away. At which point everything comes to a sudden halt as Tsukihi appears in the doorway, wondering why her brother is happily brushing her sister’s teeth on his bed and why her sister is enjoying it, let alone why she’s wearing her clothes, and while they think they’ve cleared it up Tsukihi runs off to buy an awl. But now that they’re alone, Karen insists that it was a tie despite him ruling it in her favour and that they should go for a second round. Where this time she’ll brush his teeth.
Remember what I said about SHAFT and tasteful and not so blatant fanservice? Well for this episode I at least partially take that back, as creative as it all was you must admit that it was fairly up front in what it was. But anyway putting that aside I was slightly disappointed by this episode, Karen may have been cute but this is Tsukihi’s arc.
That said even for Karen’s arc we didn’t exactly meet her until the second episode, so I guess Tsukihi’s short amount of screen time in the first episode of her arc isn’t really that much of an issue. It probably has more to do with how even after just coming out of a seven episode arc that she was the focus of, Karen somehow got another episode almost entirely devoted to her making this one feel a lot more like an epilogue than a new episode. I like Karen but it just seems a bit excessive considering the known episode count, which do correct me if I’m wrong, currently sits at around 11 or 12. Regardless though, as brief as Tsukihi’s appearance was in this episode it was great, when she walked in on Araragi and Shinobu she had this nonchalant way of showing that she was pissed or that she had snapped. And instead of casually returning with a knife she opted for running off to buy an ice pick in a cartoonish style this time around. Also her opening is catchy as well.
Putting that matter aside though the side of Karen we saw in this episode was kind of cute, like so many of the other girls that Araragi has saved it seems that Karen, his own sister in this case, may have fallen for him as well. Even if it was something that he wanted to avoid, her slight change in character was fun to see, she was somewhat clingy but wasn’t afraid to use threats or force to get him to do what she wanted him to do, whether it be admitting that she looked cute or trying to get him to introduce her to Kanbaru. Something which I’d be quite interested to see if it does end up happening, it would be interesting to see how they would interact.
Saying that though this change in relationship and the challenge Araragi issued for that seems unhealthy to say the least. Particularly for Araragi as he actually seemed to sadistically enjoy the whole toothbrushing scene as well as the sounds of Karen’s moaning, let alone the conclusion that he came to before Tsukihi interrupted them. That to him Karen might just provide a rival for Tsubasa. However ignoring the way that he did it the idea was interesting to say the least, people generally do only let those who are close to them or those with some kind of authority to do so touch their head other than themselves, Araragi even seemed to be quite proud of it. Let alone to see the scene transformed into a rose tinted fanservice segment was pretty interesting