How far does one go to help a lost child? In the case of returning narrator Araragi, the answer is too far, across the veil of time. Dutifully (if unknowingly) following up on Hachikuji’s cheeky foreshadowing, he concerns himself with his young lady friend and her fate in this installment of the cult-hit series, heroically unable, once again, to find his own way home.
Thus the tale is also, or more so, about the journey itself, the dark honeymoon of a trip he takes into the past with the dweller in his shadow, Shinobu. Even among a cast that routinely disrespects chronology with their meta-commentary, she takes the cake, or the donut, by rewinding the clock for a perverse road movie, one that by and large goes nowhere, spatially.
It’s Kabuki not as in the theater, but with the character for “tilt”—as in a slanted attitude toward the world, the posture of a bohemian. Or, perhaps, of a legendary vampire who once sought death, and of a high school senior who once tuned out life doing their dandy best to attend to an embarrassing wealth of aberrations in a provincial town.
Palindromic NISIOISIN made his debut as a novelist when he was twenty. A famously prolific author, he is known to publish more than a book per month at times. With his inexorable rise, he has become the leading light of a younger generation of writers who began their careers in the twenty-first century.Titles by him published in translation so far include Decapitation: The Blue Savant and the Nonsense User (formerly known as Zaregoto) and a manga adaptation of his novel Imperfect Girl (from our Vertical Comics imprint). The MONOGATARI series, widely considered his masterpiece to date, is becoming available in English for the first time.