How far does one go to help a lost child? In the case of returning narrator Araragi, the answer is too far, across the veil of time. Dutifully (if unknowingly) following up on Hachikuji’s cheeky foreshadowing, he concerns himself with his young lady friend and her fate in this installment of the cult-hit series, heroically unable, once again, to find his own way home.
Thus the tale is also, or more so, about the journey itself, the dark honeymoon of a trip he takes into the past with the dweller in his shadow, Shinobu. Even among a cast that routinely disrespects chronology with their meta-commentary, she takes the cake, or the donut, by rewinding the clock for a perverse road movie, one that by and large goes nowhere, spatially.
It’s Kabuki not as in the theater, but with the character for “tilt”—as in a slanted attitude toward the world, the posture of a bohemian. Or, perhaps, of a legendary vampire who once sought death, and of a high school senior who once tuned out life doing their dandy best to attend to an embarrassing wealth of aberrations in a provincial town.
There are few authors in Japan who have reached the heights of success as NISIOISIN. Born in 1981, NISIOISIN left of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, to pursue a career in story-telling. Initially he had ambitions to be a comic artist, but when he realized his art was not up to snuff, he began to focus on his writing. He would eventually win the 23rd Mephisto Prize, for Kubikiri Cycle (Del Rey), acknowledging his talents as a mystery writer, at the age of 20. Since his debut in 2002 he has penned more than 50 novels and a number of comics.
Nishio's works often cover themes of youth, but are framed in genres that are familiar to the masses. His works tend to mix mystery with comedy and touches or romance and/or the supernatural. He is a modern author in every sense, sometimes even experiementing with the Japanese language itself. Many of his works have been adapted into animated television series and films. His best known works are the Monogatari series and Katanagatari.