Owarimonogatari Joukan - Ougi Formula

Friday, October 25, 2013

The first volume of Owarimonogatari is out and as I expected it raises more questions by answering questions no one asked in the first place.
The first volume of Owarimonogatari contains "Ougi Formula", "Sodachi Riddle" and "Sodachi Lost". They introduce a new character, Sodachi Oikura and the mystery around her,  and the back story prior to Kizumonogatari, which explains some of Araragi's behavior now and then.
This will be a summary of the book so expect spoilers.

It starts somewhere after Araragi's and Ougi's  first meeting who was introduced to him by Kanbaru, and and Ougi asks if he wants to help investigating a strange classroom in school. She shows him a map she drew of the school and points to the classroom on it but can't actually find it in the school.
Together they eventually find the room and enter it. However, after entering it, they notice that they can't leave it anymore.
They're unable to leave it because neither the doors or windows could be opened or broken. After some failed attempts of escaping, Araragi notices that there's his desk from his freshman years because he pulls out a note with his name written on it, written in his handwriting.
He remembers an event that occurred in class that led him to lose faith in friendship and relationships which caused him to become antisocial until the events of Kizumonogatari.

Two years ago, Araragi's classmates told him that the class was called to a meeting right before leaving school. Sodachi Oikura, their class rep, called them in and told them she suspected someone had cheated during the math exam and the culprit must have been someone from the group study she organized earlier. She now organized this meeting to find out who the culprit was, who leaked actual exam questions. She also display an unusual hatred towards Araragi.

Araragi mentioned that they couldn't figure out the real culprit and this incident ended up pretty badly.
Ougi realizes that they now must find out who the culprit was since they were in a similar situation.
Araragi recollects all the details he remembers in order to solve this case; back then during the event, the class made Araragi the jury in order to find out who the culprit was because he had the least personal connection to anyone in it.
But after trying to determine who the culprit was by writing down the group study members and the math problems covered in it and the exam, they ended up having no clues.
The situation escalated and everyone accused each other of cheating. Araragi realized in the chaos that this was going nowhere and tried to talk to Soadchi who shot him down in a spiteful way.

Sodachi eventually decided that everyone should just vote on who they think the culprit was, done by calling each student's name and voting by raising one's hand. Sodachi voted for Araragi because his score was 100 and hers was 99, but no one else did because they knew his particular affinity with math. But he didn't didn't attend the group study, which made her apparently suspect him of cheating. When Sodachi's name was called, over half the class raised their hands, marking her as the culprit.
Sodachi never attended school after this incident.
Araragi was so disappointed by this because Sodachi was the one who organized both, the group study and the meeting to find out who the cheater was for the sake of her class.

Back in present, Araragi claims to still not being able to figure out the actual culprit, but Ougi states she figured it out and so did he but he unconsciously chose to protect the culprit back then.
During the entire retelling, Araragi never mentioned their homeroom and math teacher, who turned out to be present during the whole incident.
Before the math exam, their teacher helped cleaning the room after the group study and noticed the math problems discussed on the blackboard. She decided to include them in the test to increase the classes score and increase her reputation as their teacher.
The whole time Araragi was talking about that incident, he never mentioned her being their homeroom teacher but included her as a student, most likely to unconsciously protect her. The teacher also voted for Sodachi being the culprit and it turns that this was the actual reason for Araragi's disappointment.
After solving the mystery, Ougi and Araragi manage to leave the room which then disappears.

One day later Hanekawa meets Koyomi and tells him that Sodachi is sitting his classrom, which she was part of the entire but he didn't know that obviously, since she has been absent the whole time.

Due to the detective mystery nature of Ougi Formula, it reminded me of Zaregoto and Ii-chan at times, or Nisio's detective stories in general which was pretty fun. Turns out to be one of my favorite stories, not only because it finally started to get more into Araragi's missing past. It was about time for him to get rid of his devils and "grow", since pretty much every other character got to do it already in the previous installments and their respective character books.
But the most stand-out part here was definitely Ougi, who displayed a really fun chemistry with Araragi which equals or even tops abusive Senjougahara from the Bake to Nise days. The mystery itself was also presented in a way for the reader to solve but I doubt it would have been possible, mainly because Araragi turns out to be an even bigger unreliable narrator then thought. By choice or not by choice is not really clear here, but that's why we have Ougi right? We'll see in the future novels, but first comes Sodachi Riddle to continue this whole Sodachi case.

Continue with Sodachi Riddle here.

3 Replies so far - Add your comment

  1. Sodachi and Ougi...I wonder what their role will be in the next novel.

    Ougi is always strange yet, I think her role in the series is kinda like Meme's (As in someone who keeps Balance)

    Sodachi however, I have no clue what a to think about her O_o, Maybe she is the "Mastermind" behind everything? (Even though Gaen would make more sense atm due to the ending of Koyomimonogatari.)

    Still, I'm really hype for the next book!, Thanks for the Post Mugi !

  2. I think ougi is the darkness remember her convo with araragi at the end of Kabukimonogatari about her "job"

  3. Didn't know that you gt your own blogsite mugimugi.
    Nice review btw.