I have to admit, beyond some of the creative value of the show, the story and the characters are struggling to keep my attention. There’s a bit of been there, done that feel to Nisemonogatari. And the Kaiki/Karen angle so far lacks the power of some of last season’s stories (Senjougahara’s story aside, I think my second favorite was Hachikuji’s story).
I will say I do like Kaiki as a villain. There’s something a bit more homely about him. He’s just a conman with supernatural means, with no grandiose plans than trying to scam people (or in this case, kids) out of their money – “like taking candy from a baby.” Of course, this pragmatic approach to criminality doesn’t exactly imbue him with oodles of charisma, but his creepiness and his disdain for his victims more than makes up for it – evidenced by his very matter-of-fact approach to cursing Karen.
So the fanservice so far… do you love it or not? Oh, were we talking about Karen undressing? I was referring to the art-deco furniture porn that’s all over the Araragi household.
I referred to the “creative value” of Nisemonogatari earlier, I think I’ve complimented Shinbou’s design choices in each episode. I’ll have to keep it going this week, with particular love for the scene between Arararagi oni-chan and Shinobu. A very simplistic approach to the design, but I loved how the shadows and lights envelop Araragi like he’s about to be devoured by a monster, as he discusses the possibilities of taking Karen’s curse away from him. Just a nice way to amp up the significance of the scene (even though they’ll probably forget all about it in the next episode).