yotsugi ononoki

Through the looking glass and what Koyomi Araragi found there

A few days before my high school graduation it struck me. I was staring out of our front bay window past the dying spider plant that hung on the right side looking towards the cloudy sky and thinking of nothing in particular.

It was the morning after a lock-in party that my school organized for the senior class as part of our senior week. I had been up all night. The day was empty with no classes, no senior activities, no preparation work, and no parties. My college had already been decided upon months ago and I had already attended pre-orientation where I had registered for classes in the coming fall.

I had nothing to do but catch up on sleep lost from staying up for over 24 hours, yet I had crossed a particular overtired threshold that looped back into being wide awake. In that moment, the day ahead seem to stretch out endlessly. School life, especially in junior high and high school, is regimented and organized. Without that order, I came to the realization that I would never have it again.

My high school life was over.

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The Secret in the Old House: A Sodachi Oikura Mystery

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“When you think about what is scary in this world, those that despise you for some incomprehensible reason and attack you are the scariest. There’s no way to deal with it, because you don’t know the opponent’s objective.”

-Koyomi Araragi, Owarimonogatari, Episode 2

And so begins the search for Sodachi Oikura’s motive, along with the supposed “end” of Koyomi Araragi.

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Koyomi Araragi and the Locked Room Mystery

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“Beautiful. So beautiful, it just makes me swoon. The most beautiful part about it is that the answer is zero. That said, someone like me thinks that if the answer is going to be zero, there’s really no need to go out of your way to make the calculation.”

-Ougi Oshino to Koyomi Araragi, Owarimonogatari, Episode 1

A locked room mystery plays on the idea of the impossible. The crime scene is isolated with a set amount of variables: a vanished culprit, and information given to both the detective and the reader of that respective work. In a way, a locked room mystery is an equation or a formula. After a while, the reader learns what to expect and when, eagerly anticipating the detective’s incoming speech. This subgenre of detective fiction is responsible for some of the most famous, influential, and bestselling works of all mystery novels, most notably John Dickson Carr’s The Hollow Man and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

The insatiable appetite humanity seems to have for these types of mysteries is intrinsically tied to human nature itself. When presented with a seemingly insolvable situation, we crave rationality and an explanation.

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A Story of a Doll and a Snake: Tsukimonogatari

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“That is why this is the beginning of the end. About how a human named Koyomi Araragi. About how myself, Koyomi Araragi, is going to end and begin.”

-Koyomi Araragi, Tsukimonogatari

Koyomi Araragi says that Tsukimonogatari, the story of Yotsugi Ononoki, marks the beginning of his end. However, he only speaks of the end that he is aware of. There are a variety of ends for different facets of Koyomi. The most interesting end begins not with Ononoki, but with Nadeko Sengoku.

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