Monogatari (Hanamonogatari): Season 1/ Episode 1 "Suruga Devil, Part One" [Season Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

As Suruga adjust to life without Araragi, Senjogahara, as well as Hanekawa, a new charm rumor arises which she decides to investigate.

Review (with Spoilers)

When it comes to the first episode things begin on a rather boring note. For while Ougi appears, as a boy, and we meet some of Suruga’s old friends, or rivals, from basketball, things don’t really get interesting until the end. For more on Suruga Devil – Part 1, look below.

Topic 1: Life Without My Senpais – Suruga

Summary

With Suruga losing her beloved Araragi, and former crush Senjogahara, her third year [1] of school seems to be slightly dreary. For not only is she behind, and still can’t play basketball, but now it seems she is rather friendless. Still, with her needing to buckle down and study, she has something to consume her time.

Commentary

Before the Devil portion of the episode is focused on, we are presented a rather dull story. Almost like how Hanekawa and Nadeko seemed in Monogatari Season 2. For while Ougi says and does weird things, and we learn about the monster Suruga’s mother was, again you get the feeling no one can replace Koyomi Araragi when it comes to being the focus.

Topic 2: The Devil Herself– Suruga and Numachi

Summary

While we are led to believe that perhaps Suruga may end up with a character study like Hanekawa had, we then hear Ougi, as well as a former teammate of Suruga, mention this Devil rumor. But rather than the devil being some demonic being, or another apparition ready to share or take over someone, it ends up being what appears to be Suruga’s ex-girlfriend Numachi [2]. Someone who, due to a leg injury, has long stopped playing basketball, like Suruga, and seemingly is now just going to school part time. The two talk, though not in the friendliest of manners, and while Suruga slaps Numachi, and Numachi returns her slap with an odd breast grab, things end between them slightly peacefully.

Commentary

Initially, I was disappointed to learn that Numachi was the devil everyone was talking about. However, with us learning Numachi was Suruga’s ex, there came a slight bit of intrigue. If just because, after losing Senjogahara to Araragi, it seemed Suruga didn’t get any opportunity at romance. Though with this little anecdote, which honestly does feel a bit thrown in, we have quite an interesting story. One which, albeit doesn’t seem likely to be explored, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Oh, and it should be noted, it seems the Fire Sisters will eventually make an appearance. When exactly can’t be said, but they have a small cameo as Suruga looks into the whole devil rumor.

Topic 3: Freedom! – Suruga

Summary

After a rather depressing day, dealing with her senpais being gone and seeing her ex, Suruga goes to bed. Then, the next morning, she realizes her arm has turned back to normal. Something which may mean she is free from her curse.

Commentary

From what I’ve seen thus far when it comes to the Monogatari series, only Senjogahara and Araragi have ever found some semblance of a happy ending. Well, in Bakemonogatari anyway. So with Suruga no longer being plagued by the Monkey Paw or Devil’s Arm, it does make you wonder how long her happiness may last. Also, what will end it?

Collected Quote(s)

“If you’ve got the time to think, you’ve got the time to act.”

— “Suruga Devil/ Episode 1.” Hanamonogatari

Things To Note

  1. Based off my little bit of research, their third year in Japan is the equivalent of Senior year in the USA.
  2. In the end credits, we see Numachi and Suruga seeming like they were girlfriends. Making it seem on the court they were arch enemies, but then something happened leading to them having a relationship with each other. As for why it ended, it is hard to tell. However, considering Numachi grabs Suruga’s breast, it seems, in her own way, she misses her.
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