I think love is often the easiest thing to misunderstand at a young age. Youre told from popular stories in especially childrens media that love is an unbreakable bond that it can lift you up and help push you through all odds and achieve things once thought to be unachievable but this is only 50 of the whole truth. The other end of the tale is that love is a deathly ailment that swallows you whole and spits out whats left leaving you with less than what you had and unable to do things you once thought to be easy. The only reason you believe in this false idea of love as a child is because you hope it to be true even if a doubt were to exist in your mind youd stuff it down because the truth you want to believe is more important than the truth that will disappoint less in the grand scheme of life. People want to know the truth. Or they want to believe that what they already know is the truthwhats actually true is secondary. There is no bigger liar than someone who tells a story. To believe the words written in a book is to believe the person who wrote the book its the reason learning history in school requires you to source separate articles on a single topic because people like to lie in order to believe what they think is true. This even extends to ones own character people lie to the person they are in order to fit in with others they lie to themselves in order to be understood by others in order to be perceived in a certain way by others. If it werent synonymous with professionalism not as many people would choose to wear suits to work or other professional events. Being a professional means you have to lie otherwise you appear less professional than you truly are. Of course no matter how much effort one puts into lying misunderstandings are unavoidable but when someone misunderstands its an opportunity for someone else to take advantage of them. The only liar second in their greatness to that of a storyteller its ourselves. Kaiki Deishuu is synonymous with falseness. He is a fraud in every sense of the word but its because hes a fraud that when he begins narrating the story for Koimonogatari he clarifies that the story he is about to tell will be filled with lies and halftruths inviting the readers into his view of the world distrusting and deceptive to everyone and everything and informing his audience that storytellers are all liars and that you should always pay careful attention to their words. The cover of the novel even depicts Senjougahara and its been teased that shed be narrating this story for a few installments leading up to this point but all that just turned out to be false a con from the author. The only person you can trust is yourself but what happens when youre the one conning yourself? Only believing what you want to believe is true about yourself rejecting the truth and living in falsehood at that point should you even be able to trust yourself? Kaiki even lets slip lies he didnt mean to tell on occasion due to his habit of lying at every turn. If Senjougahara were described as a cloistered princess whod built walls around herself then its appropriate to describe Kaiki as an endless Matryoshka doll. Whats seen on the outside houses a smaller more honest inside but its unclear to say if that inside doesnt have a more honest inside of its own. Kaiki is a man so layered in fraudulence it becomes impossible to discern his true motives with every act of decency comes an indecent act. But does this decent act become devalued once an indecent one occurs? Even with a full story dedicated to him the only things learnt appear to be just 50 of his truth. Money. The consistent only real unwavering truth is Kaikis love for money. Of course money is but a substitute for value what a person sees in it is what it becomes it holds hardly any real value to Kaiki but he cant bear to watch people throw away their money in hopes their wishes come true. Throwing away value for the sake of something unattainable. There is no emotion to be found within money itself. Its a means to gain something else its exchanged for something desired and that something desired can be exchanged for money. Living as a Vagabond Kaiki hates things that are irreplaceable. He doesnt own a house or a car traveling by means of taxi plane subway or on foot. To own a house and a car creates a dependency on them you become emotionally attached to them because you use them every day but with money you use the bills you have and theyre replaced with new bills later on. Money is the only source of a replaceable value and money is a lie. If you see no value in money then it becomes but mere pieces of paper. If you dont believe the value to be true then the truth of its meaninglessness is revealed to you. Its in the same way that you can throw around lie after lie and in the end they mean nothing if they arent believed or if theyre met with a lie in return. Lies are not irreplaceable you can think of a new one if one isnt working but if theyre not believed then theyve lost all their effectiveness. If believed however theyre the easiest way to make money. To become a professional liar you have to lie to yourself and your existence has to be a lie. You cant be seen as true to anyone if you never let your expression change or change your vocal tone if youre only dry and never sympathetic if youre never honest with yourself and only take action if it benefits the lie you spin to others about your identity. However human beings are never not subject to change its impossible to be one thing without also being another or be one thing and only one thing forever. Nobody is void of mistakes no matter how professional you claim to be and even if you were to be a professional fraud there are always going to be better frauds out there than yourself who arent professional. Believing only what is to be seen about someone is believing in their falseness and allowing yourself to be betrayed by their true nature. This story is how Kaiki falls for a con and how he rejects a god in order to reach his conclusion. The only reason he believes to have taken the job is for the sake of Kanbaru the daughter of Gaen Toee who was his former love before she was tragically killed in a car accident. This is a lie. Every question he asks to himself in this scene is asked from the perspective of his honest intentions for taking on this case and his responses are from the perspective of his lying characters motives for taking on this case. To avoid misunderstanding he only makes choices based on the character he plays for other people only doing things for money and never allowing his emotions to give weight to any of his actions. Lying to the reader but perhaps also lying to himself. In fact mentioning Senjougahara it feels as though the two get along the best out of everyone Kaiki meets. Though perhaps its only what I want to believe is true. Theyre both liars both lying to protect their hearts from outside interference and its because of this that they cant connect. When Senjougahara appears to be honest Kaiki lies. When Kaiki appears to be honest Senjougahara lies. They can never clear up their past to one another because neither is willing to admit the truth. Whether or not Senjougaharas past feelings for Kaiki were true or if that was something inferred by Kaiki will never be known because it was in the past. Your memories warp to create something out of the past that might have not actually happened to save space for new memories being made and you can never trust your own memory because it may never be an accurate retelling a story and thus a lie. Its believed to be true because you want it to be true. So neither of them are correct and whatever you wish to infer will be the only truth because its what you the reader want to be true. After all Senjougahara is a woman who believes every new love is her first love and even if it may be false her belief in it makes it true. Shes someone who values Araragi as an irreplaceable value because her irreplaceable values were taken away from her his existence strengthened her enough to that he may as well be here first love because though she claims to had fallen for anyone who tried to save her only one proved to be the real deal. Its a lie but it reflects 50 of the truth. Araragi was the first love to actually aid her in the removal of her aberration. Its why shed gladly lose her life if he was allowed to live so he can stay irreplaceable. This is also why Kaiki refers to her as foolish because she believes that the cost of her love is without a price. Shes willing to pay whatever she needs to pay for Kaiki to save her love she believes in an irreplaceable value even though anything irreplaceable can be lost as Kaikis love had. This lie of professionalism he exhibits by taking such a burdensome job for only 100000 yen around 660 usd shocks Senjougahara but it should shock the reader as well considering he lies again later when he declines Gaens request to withdraw from the job for a payment of 3000000 yen a few hundred over 20k usd I say decline when he accepted as a lie to take the money but really ended up declining in any case he claims he only chose not to withdraw because when told to do something he feels a strong inclination to do the opposite. This is only 50 true of course when Karen confronted Kaiki in Nisemonogatari telling him to leave he up and ignored her and continued his cons but when Senjougahara asked him to withdraw from the town and never return he immediately accepted without any pushback. No retaliation no cons just withdrawal. Of course he claims its because shes scary and could kill him but in that scene he also tells her shes become a boring girl implying that he knows shes changed and probably wouldnt kill him. In both of these instances he listens to Senjougahara regardless of what he would normally do. Ononoki even points out his sweet spot for Senjougahara as she recounts something Gaen Izuko had told her that Kaiki was the one who defrauded her mothers cult only for her to move on to a higher ranking cult and how he was the one who drove her and her mother apart because he saw no future for her otherwise. That it was because of his misunderstanding of the young Senjougahara that he drove her family apart. It was because he couldnt understand past the surface that he caused her to grow a hatred a unique hatred towards him and him alone. When Kaiki tells Hanekawa that perhaps Nadeko doesnt need to be turned back into a human pointing out that she looks happy as a god Hanekawa corrects him by informing him that just because someone looks happy doesnt mean they actually are. Just because a young Senjougahara resented her mother didnt mean she wanted to be removed from her. Kaiki sarcastically denies all of the stories Ononoki tells but feeling the need to sarcastically deny them invites an idea that it bothered him to be painted as someone who meant well. The selflie that he is only who he is on the surface that whats underneath is no bigger a lie than whats visible. On Kaikis final visit to KitaShirahebi Shrine Nadeko asks him what he wished for something he claimed hed done when he began his trips. The lie that hed had a wish in mind. Of course theres many wishes he can make the man is full of desires and just a measly 10000 yen into an offertory box for something like a wish granted by a god should appeal pretty greatly to a man as seemingly endlessly greedy as Kaiki. But he refuses. He rejects an easily granted wish for something easier and in a sense rejects something in a similar vein to money choosing to put forth a lie and to have it fail. The signs were fairly obvious Nadekos overly friendly attitude and attempts to play dumb her enjoyment of everything he brought her her impatience and urgency placed towards Kaikis wish being granted and yet Kaiki saw it as how it was. He was tricked by a con because he played to their tune expecting them to have been playing to his. Its with this confrontation that Kaiki shows his efforts at being the realdeal confronting Nadeko about her decisions after his investigation and his attempts to gain understanding of her originally to help him con her which it turned out to be ineffective because lies mean nothing to someone who always lies. Nobodys feelings can remain hidden forever. No lie will always remain a lie forever. The same way the truth of his feelings for Senjougahara were discovered by Gaen Nadekos manga would eventually be discovered by someone who wanted to know what was in her closet. She never really loved Araragi he was just something to distract her from talents she thought of as embarrassing. Things we find irreplaceable are always embarrassing. Its because they differ from others but thats what makes them a part of you specifically. The love Sengoku feels for Araragi is a replaceable irreplaceable value a value given to her by storytellers her love for Araragi is hardly personal. Its something she can barely describe but because she wants it to be true she believes she is in love with Araragi. However her love for Araragi weighs her down becoming a god just because of him and only being motivated by her obsession with him Kaiki reminds her of her passion something she hid from everyone in an attempt to lie that her only interest was in Araragi. He then says things he later describes to Araragi himself as the usual stuff adults say to kids that dreams can always be achieved and that you can do anything the things youve probably heard someone tell you before. Kaiki frames it as just being another lie but if Nadeko was deceived by those words then she chooses to believe theyre true. Theres always a lie to deceive anyone you just have to tell them what they want to hear. Kaiki phones Senjougahara to say goodbye and update her on the status of the job Senjougahara asking Kaiki if he really thought she was in love with him all those years ago and upon Kaikis confirmation she says I see someone got duped. By me. and then goes on to say: Watch out for wicked women from now on. to which he hangs up. Perhaps this was what Kaiki wanted to hear and was thus deceived or perhaps she was lying and attempting to deceive Kaiki by telling him the opposite. Wicked women hardly even specifies who to look out for given Kaikis recent experience with Nadeko. Its with this that Kaiki wanders back the way he came and is then ambushed by one of the middle schoolers hed sold a charm to the one whod had his curse on Nadeko reversed by Araragi. The victim or victimizer hardly matters in this situation the easiest person to blame is Kaiki so the kid attacks him in retaliation. Kaiki lays in the snow ending the tale on what appears to be his demise at the hands of the victim of his own con and yet he returns in Hanamonogatari. His statement at the beginning held true and in the end he really only told 50 of the truth the rest is up for you to decide on your own. Its with this that I feel it appropriate to end this writing. The main idea? Perhaps its that lying is but a cycle that births a new lie or that lying is a cycle that ends in a truth or that truth and lie are different but one in the same or that too much of something can take away from your life or that an obsession with happiness is incorrect that too high an intake of happiness will poison your perception of it whatever you take away form the novel is the main idea. The truth is nothing but what you believe it to be. So to keep it thematic this review only sums up 50 of my total thoughts and analysis of this work. To put it another way its a partialpartial review and a partialpartial analysis. 25 of the whole since I suppose it was already 50 to begin with I only title these as partial reviews because nobody can fully understand anything and theres always room for further learning. So in a way this is my Matryoshka doll. As for the novel as an experience this is one of the most engrossing novels Ive read and surely the best entry in this series. This was a fairly easy novel to wrap my head around by the end of it and it even got me emotional. Pieces of it were inspiring as well. If it inspired me to publish one of my writings then its lies must be worth some kind of truth.
100 /100
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