Original Post: Araragi Doesn’t Deserve Your Thanks — Bakemonogatari 10
I think this is a radical, and rather clever conceit that the show does. How radical? How clever? The OP for the Mayoi Snail 2 episode has loads of people in it: students, vendors, a bus driver, passengers, etc. However, they all wear the face of Hachikuji Mayoi. What the disappearance of background sprites does is to provide a powerful focus on the stories of the monsters and the people they afflict. It allows for the telling of very intimate stories, and the delivery of dialogue that is about something (beyond the delivery of plot events, their explanations, etc.).
I liked it a lot too. But my take on it was a little different – I took it as a device communicating extreme loneliness. You know, the old ‘here I am in a city with millions of people, and I am isolated from them all’. With Mayoi and Senjougahara, Araragi walks thought how many blocks, how many miles? And interacts with no one. He hardly sees anyone. He is walled off by social conventions like thick glass walls.
And this is true in general. Are we focused on the stories because the narration and cinematography focus on the stories? Or is the focus there because *there is nothing else to focus on*? Does Araragi have real friends and hobbies? Does he live a life outside of oddities and aimless solitary wandering?
(Because I’m thinking of it, _End of Evangelion_ has some live action shots of crowds on city streets – everyone looking straight ahead, doing their best to not touch in the least.)