It was an absolute delight to once again see the entire crew of Chihayafuru. Each time I watch this anime I get chills, inspiration, and exhilaration all at the same time—a nice set of feelings, I would say—as if I’m trapped in this subtle yet impassionate spell of Karuta.
Nekomonogatari relived Hanekawa’s past and cat history. Personally, I find her as the most underrated character; that’s why it’s nice how Shaft dedicated a short series solely for her. This show may not have the same magical feel that I experienced with Bakemonogatari but it’s evocative how it catwalked us through to the hallmark of Monogatari’s one-of-a-kind perversion—the intricately artsy and titillating poses.
Kamisama Kiss fancifully showcases the recurring theme of human/yokai relationship. For hundreds of years, folktales about mythical creatures cohabiting with human have been a subject of interest for people. I particularly find the otherworldly tales interesting because it mirrors how our thoughts deviate away from the realm and reflect an altered world that contains humanity’s inmost desires. Plus of course as a shoujo fan, it’s always amusing to see how the romance and tension build between two different characters.
Aside from that, it is also interesting how the sense of hierarchal structure is profoundly embedded in myths—the gaps between gods, spirits, and humans are constantly being portrayed. It was said that the principle of the Great Chain of Being interconnects nature and governs all life forms. In this hierarchy, humans are less noble than spirits because of the desires of our flesh. Ironically, these desires could actually move us up in the ladder.
One of the key things that I’m fascinated with whenever I watch Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita or Jintai is the myriad of mazes. I like how each arc has its own labyrinth which imaginatively and blatantly features the whimsical yet cynical premise of the series. It’s interesting because these passages are subconsciously inviting and leading us to a strange and avant-garde world—kind of like Alice in Wonderland but less the emphasis of the rabbit hole and with no checkers.