by cloudier

  • Why is everyone getting on Araragi’s case for helping everyone? I could sort of deal with it in the Suruga Monkey when Araragi genuinely thought that playing the martyr was the only way to resolve the curse and Oshino just decided to be a dick for no discernible reason and didn’t tell him about his alternative measure, but Nadeko Snake just irritated me. Jesus Christ they were just kids! They put the curse on Nadeko to relieve some stress, not because they thought it’d actually kill her! Of course trying to defeat the Snake Constrictor was the right thing to do. Better to try and exorcise it off Araragi when he’s right there than to try to find Random A. Guy who probably doesn’t even remember cursing Nadeko in the first place. Poetic justice isn’t worth much when it kills junior high kids.
    • It can be Lampshaded in a few ways. The way Kanbaru probably saw it (at the very end of the Nadeko Snake arc) was that the kids should have realized the consequences of their actions before they put a course on her, thus it is karma in action. Also if Araragi was permanently disfigured, Senjougaharawould have a field day with those kids.
    • It doesn’t really even need to be lampshaded. It’s one of those things that gets lost in the cultural divide between Japan and America, and it shows up in tons of their fictional works. To the Japanese, the idea of “sticking your nose in other people’s business” to put it colloquially, especially if you really don’t know or aren’t connected to those people at all, even if done with the best of intentions, is looked upon as one of a great many respect/manners-breaking faux-pas. Senjougahara accuses Araragi of this when they first meet, and several times afterwards. One of the things she implies often is that its a NEGATIVE quirk of Araragi’s that she happens to find charming despite that fact. To put it laconically, the Japanese don’t think it’s necesarily a good trait, as Americans tend to, to run around wanting to save everyone and doing good deeds against people’s wishes for your involvement, ESPECIALLY since this involves things like personal honor, debts being accrued between saviors/victims, and possibly sacrifice on the party of the “defender”. This ‘concerning yourself with everyone’s problems’ is not taken to be a good personal trait. Other really good examples of this in anime are xxxHolic’s Watanuki Kimihiro (who Araragi seems very likely to be an Expy of and who gets accused of much the same thing constantly by his occult mentor) or Fate/Stay Night’s Emiya Shirou.
  • Does anyone else find it humorous/notable that this series/these novels basically shares almost the exact same description and basic format as CLAMP’s xxxHolic, if it were a moe’ harem and minus the depth and running/connected plot that accompanies the other property? Probably not a coincidence since Nishioishin is admittedly a fan of CLAMP and xxxHolic (and his professional xxxHolic fanfiction is equally hilarious, since Yuuko and Watanuki are wildly out of character and basically act 100% exactly like, well, Senjougahara and Araragi), but…yeah.
    • It isn’t really a surprise. Nishio even said in an interview that the setting was inspired by xxxHolic, that he liked the more subtle and mystical form of magic that it portrayed

The use of a banana peel as an injurious prop is actually alarmingly realistic and a reference to its ubiquity on the streets of American cities in the early part of the 20th Century. Refrigeration and shipping speed had combined to make bananas the most popular fruit in the country, and in that age before anti-littering laws, people would just eat the fruit and discard the peels wherever they were. As they rotted, the peels would become quite slippery and thus dangerous to tread upon. Banana peels were in fact responsible for a large number of accidents and injuries, including several severely broken legs that eventually had to be amputated, according to period sources. The problem grew so bad that modern urban street sanitation systems were invented mostly to deal with the peel; in New York City, the banana peel actually became something of a symbol of modern sanitation. This is also frequently homaged, just about anytime a cartoon character ends up crashing into a trash can, garbage truck, or any other public-sanitation device, he’s likely to find himself having at least one banana peel stuck to him.

Note, however, that the slippery banana peel trope is often used unrealistically — a fresh banana peel is hardly slippery at all. One episode of Jonathan Creekmakes the point that you’re more likely to slip on a dog turd. Even so, they are still not an inconsiderable risk — for example, in 2001 Great Britain recorded over 300 banana-related accidents, most of which were caused by slipping on a peel.

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