Vendredi on Suruga Monkey (Bakemonogatari)

Original post here: [->]

vendredi

August 25, 2009 at 8:09 am

This one was fairly mind-blowing; perhaps it’s the absence of the other characters to balance out Suruga’s lightning delivery… but surprisingly enough I recall the “Monkey Paw” story that Araragi initially attributes to Suruga’s strange condition.

Depending on the version of the story, it involves a group of people finding/buying a dessicated monkey paw talisman that is said to grant three wishes. The first wish is for money, but one of the group’s number is killed as a result (for example, collecting a life insurance payout). One member of the distraught group then tries to wish the other person to life – which has no immediate effect… until several days after the funeral, where an ominous banging is heard on the door. The more sensible minded members of the group then burn the third wish to ensure that the deceased person stays properly dead – as it has been several days since the burial and who knows what horror is now shambling about.

The exact gory details vary on the version – sometimes it’s a family that discovers the paw in the belongings of a long lost relative, or a group of teenagers that steal it from a curio shop; sometimes the paw has three outstretched fingers which curl down as wishes are granted; but the general pattern of the story remains the same. The ultimate theme in the end is that the supernatural power of the three wishes, rather than allowing the group to change fate, causes them to be locked in – their second and third wishes are used up in various states of agonized regret over the results of the first choice.

Meme does point out that Araragi’s story is incorrect: not a monkey but a devil, but still the fact that the story is brought up still raises some interesting ideas. Much as in the original story, Suruga’s wishes are unable to change her ultimate fate; her wishes are made of regrets. She originally wished to help Senjougahara and solve her weight problem, but in the end that only resulted in alienating their relationship. Suruga’s subsequent “omoi” (as noted before, implying feelings, wishes, and weight), is to undo the damage she caused with her first wish, to try and restore what was lost.

Continued […]

To uh, re-iterate in TL:DR fashion,

-The pattern of Suruga’s wishes follows the original “Monkey Paw” story.

-Her first wish is to solve Senjougahara’s weight problem, after discovering it. She approaches Senjougahara, but this results in their relationship becoming alienated. However Senjougahara is indeed cured – just not by Suruga, rather, by Araragi.

-Her second wish is then to restore her previous relationship with Senjougahara – much like the original story, the second wish is made to reverse the consequences of the first. This however results in the manifestation of the “monkey paw” we see in this episode.

-Her third wish now is what Seinime articulates: She wants the monkey paw off her. Her third wish, as in the original Monkey Paw story, is based on the regret felt for the consequences of her second wish.

-This sequence exactly mirrors the pattern of the original Monkey Paw tale: a wish is made, but results in consequences. Rather than live on with the consequences, the protagonists try to reverse them – essentially trying to go back to “how things were before”.

-I predict for the next episode that Meme will point to the root of Suruga’s problems as an inability to move beyond the past, and emphasize the fact that she must live with the consequences of her actions.

REPLY

Advertisements
Tags:
%d bloggers like this: