Monogatari (Hanamonogatari): Season 1/ Episode 4 "Suruga Devil, Part Four" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

After Numachi finishes her story Suruga is given terrible news.

Review (with Spoilers)

An interesting combination of events happens this episode. Numachi explains how she came to inherit the devil’s leg; Karen reveals some news about Numachi, and then Koyomi shows up. Leaving me unable to guess at all, after all is said and done, what may happen in the season finale.

Topic 1: My Story (Part 2) – Numachi & Suruga

Summary

Despite the build, Numachi’s reveal of how she got the devil’s, or monkey, leg isn’t all that interesting. The gist of it is, like she has always done, she was collecting misfortunes and then Hanadaori [1] came to her about this problem dealing with her being pregnant and her mom against her keeping the baby and the boyfriend. A situation which became worse when she wished for a devil’s part to help her and this leading to Hanadori stomping a mud hole into her mom. So, as Numachi did with Suruga, she said a few words, like she was saying a spell, and the next day she had a devil’s part. Something which she gained interest in due to her interactions with Kaiki who she had a little turf war with, since they both like to deal with people’s misfortunes. But, after a truce, he sort of became a slight mentor by informing her about oddities, such as the devil’s parts. So, since collecting the leg, and getting back her abilities to play ball, she has been looking for more devil’s parts in order to monopolize the market in terms of who people go to for their problems.

Commentary

Honestly, after the story ending on a slight cliffhanger and being built up so much, I must admit I was left disappointed. For while the Kaiki involvement sort of made it where things seemed they could be a bit more interesting, once she mentioned having a truce with him I was ready to hear the end of her story. Though perhaps what I found the most odd about this whole thing is despite Suruga seemingly wanting her arm back, since it represents the weight of her sins, she doesn’t really challenge Numachi back for it. At least for now it seems.

Topic 2: A Ghost Around Every Corner – Karen & Suruga

Summary

After Numachi leaves, devil’s arm and all, Suruga goes home and seems to be willing to just let Numachi continue to collect devil’s parts and just be consumed by the misfortune she loves to collect. However, then Karen calls her and lets her know something sort of shocking: Numachi has been dead for 3 years. Meaning, all this time, Suruga has been talking to an apparition. For, the true story is, after Numachi injured her leg, and learned she would never properly heal, rather than do as the ghost of Numachi said, and collect misfortune, which is what most apparitions do on this show, she committed suicide. For between the leg not recovering to the point she could play sports, which perhaps provided some hope for escaping her family, it seems the only option was suicide in the long run.

Commentary

Admittedly, this did come as a bit of a shock. If just because, when it comes to apparitions, usually only the person who they made first contact with can interact with them, if I recall right. And, all things considered, that would mean Kaiki should be the only one who should be able to interact with Numachi. But being that Numachi committed suicide, I guess there is an unmentioned rule that allows her to sort of be in a flux when it comes to interacting with humans. As for what this may mean for episode 5, who knows?

Topic 3: Big Brother Koyomi – Suruga & Koyomi

Summary

After attempting to run away from her troubles, as Numachi said was a good idea, she ends up laying down, exhausted, in the middle of an intersection. One which Koyomi just so happened to be driving toward. Thus leading to a cute senpai and student like chat dealing with how to deal with people’s expectations, how to handle problems in your life, and also Koyomi shares how he and Senjogahara miss Suruga.

Commentary

What is a Monogatari arc without Koyomi eventually popping up? However, with him showing up reminds you that the arc is almost over. But what is nice about the car drive back to Suruga’s is you get one of those non-pervy moments in which Koyomi acts like a sensible, and quite loveable, big brother type. And in his conversation with Suruga he reassures her about her place in his and Senjogahara’s life, and that she isn’t forgotten; also, he reminds her that while he understands her desire to change, and maybe run away from the problems she faces, at the end of the day she has to make the decision that is best for her. Not the decision which maybe something he would do, or that he would like her to do, or even just wait for the issue to blow over. No, if she feels bothered by something, she needs to take action and do what is best for her.

Collected Quote(s)

“Being bothered by something is the best reason there could be to take action.”

—            ”Suruga Devil – Part 4.” Hanamonogatari

“I want to do something about the situation I’m facing but, on the other hand, I feel the best course of action would be to do nothing.”

—           “Suruga Devil – Part 4.” Hanamonogatari

Things To Note

  1. The girl’s last name is the same as Numachi, but that isn’t gone into at all. Also, we don’t learn what happened after Numachi took the devil’s leg from her. Like, is the mom better; did she have the baby; what happened with Hanadori’s boyfriend, and etc.

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