Owarimonogatari Joukan - Sodachi Lost

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In the previous two chapters of Owarimonogatari Volume 1 Araragi found out, or rather remembered, Sodachi's identity, his relationship with her and what he gained from it and what he lost, as well his own failures of the past and maybe present.
Sodachi's story is beginning to conclude, Ougi's is about to start and Araragi feels the need to deal with everything again.

Hanekawa enters the stage now because it has been 3 days since Senjougahara and Sodachi have been absent from school after their fight. She might be just a good-doer but I personally think it's her class rep nature that forces her to seek out Sodachi and Gahara and try to convince them to go back to school.
Though, she asks Araragi to visit Sodachi instead, and just goes to Senjougahara. Araragi then tells Hanekawa about everything he just "found out" about Sodachi in the past few days including that Ougi kept helping him throughout.
Hanekawa wonders why Ougi seems to so close to Araragi and starts being suspicious about her and her intentions. Because of that, Hanekawa decides to accompany Araragi and they both confront Sodachi at her home. Sodachi decides to talk about her past and tells them that her father used to hit her mother, which caused them eventually divorce back when Sodachi was in 7th grade still.
Sodachi's mother couldn't emotionally handle the divorce and locked herself in her room and stopped eating. Sodachi was forced to live off government assistance and she tried to take care of her mother but she couldn't handle it on her own back then, resulting in their home becoming a mess.
Two years later, Sodachi's mother disappeared, which lead to her getting a new home from the government assistance and Sodachi started to attend the same high school Araragi was in.
Talking about it with Araragi and Hanekawa helped Sodachi to cool down a bit, and she admits that Araragi wasn't really to blame for any of it but it was easy to direct her hatred and frustration at him. Well, we all know that Araragi voluntarily took in even worse in the recent months just for the sake of all these lovely girls...
Sodachi tells him that she doesn't really hate him as much anymore after talking about all this, but she still doesn't know where her mother is. She tells them that she is planning to go back to school but asks for Araragi's and Hanekawa's help to find her mother, in return she will apologize to Senjougahara. Which seemed funny to me, even though Sodachi started the fight and hit Senjougahara, Sodachi took a heavier blow...

Of course Hanekawa and Araragi decide to help Sodachi's mother, and they start discussing it on their way to wherever. Hanekawa mentions that it seems odd for someone to lock themselves in their room but then decides to run away. When Sodachi returned to her old home, the front door as well as the mother's bedroom were both locked.
Suddenly, Ougi appears again and tells them that she already knows about Sodachi's mother's whereabouts. She also blames Araragi that he didn't take her with him to Sodachi instead of Hanekawa.
Ougi offers to tell him about Sodachi's mother if he apologizes for letting Hanekawa steal him from her.
Hanekawa calls dibs and tells them that she just realized what happened to Sodachi's mother. Both give hints to Araragi and he comes to the same conclusion, Sodachi's mother is dead.
Sodachi never realized it due to her psychological state, but her mother starved herself to death in her room and rotted for two years. Sodachi couldn't clearly notice the strange smell because of the pile of trash that was increasing in her house.
Much to Ougi's and Hanekawa's surprise, Araragi decides to tell Sodachi about all this. Weirdly enough, Sodachi already considered such a possibility and wasn't too devastated... but she decides to forgive Araragi at least. However, she tells them that she actually can't come back to school anymore because the government won't provide help for her current home anymore, so she needs to move again.
One day later Araragi finds a letter from Sodachi addressed to him which the contents aren't revealed but he comments on it being a positive message. He also finds out that Sodachi apologized to Gahara.

With that, the first volume of Owarimonogatari concludes and Sodachi comes to peace with her past.
The strange part about all of this was that it introduces an entirely new character just for this book, making her disappear again in the end. But I understand that this is due to the timeline, considering that the earlier books that play past this event never needed to mention her. But there is room for her to come back either in between Tsukimonogatari and Hanamonogatari or after Hanamonogatari. Considering that she is on the cover of Zokuowarimonogatari, we know that she holds some significance.
But back to Owarimonogatari which was initially subtitled "Ougi Dark" (which is now the third Owarimonogatari volume).
Despite this revealing the reasons for Araragi prior Kizumonogatari and even to the present, Ougi's role here was key. She vaguely stated that she found out about all these incidents and helped Araragi but why? She also never states how she found out about the hidden room and Sodachi's mother, it always seemed more like an excuse to direct Araragi towards everything regarding Sodachi that had to be dealt with. And for some reason, she doesn't get along with Hanekawa.
It forced Araragi to deal with all of this as well which led us to find out more about him instead of someone else in this book. In the past books, narrated by him, he didn't too much about himself but rather goofed around with other people, he also was never alone considering Shinobu has been with him since Kizumonogatari. There was a distinct lack of Shinobu in Owarimonogatari Joukan but it's not like it was important, and Ougi's interaction with Araragi was way more fun anyway.
But him "simply" not remembering Sodachi despite her importance to his life seems suspicious. Either didn't want to remember it, he did but never talked about it or some other factor forced this scenario.
Of all the books so far, this had the most mystery puzzle solving feel to it considering there wasn't a problem with an oddity involved. Or was it?
Well, at least the magical class room was of supernatural nature, but those don't pop out for no reason.

Anyway, Owarimonogatari Chuukan features Kanbaru which is supposed to be all about the untold incident during Nekomonogatari: Shiro, which he never felt the need to talk about.

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