I’m a bit late with this realization, but the beautiful (and fatally flawed) Bakemonogatari has not quite given up the ghost yet. The last three episodes are being streamed, and the first has been subbed by gg. The quality on the stream isn’t great and there wasn’t much action in this episode, but it seems like the really chronic animation failures that plagued the end of the first season have been cleared up.
Which leaves the chronic failures of plot and characterization. What really got my goat about the series is that despite the genuinely rich and two-sided relationship between Araragi and Senjougahara, every other character besides them and Oshino is a moe stereotype, and they’re all in love with Araragi (don’t split hairs; their attraction takes various forms but they are all gunning for him one way or another). The shameless harem tropes clashed with the show’s classy visuals and witty dialogue in an ugly way, and it didn’t help that the story seemed to have broken down into full-on pandering by the end of the snake arc.
Since this new arc seems like it will deal with Hanekawa’s attraction to Araragi (there are pretty clear-cut hints in the timing of Hanekawa’s headaches, not to mention her little mock-kiss in the bookstore at the beginning of the snake arc), it may be a chance for Bakemonogatari to redeem itself in my eyes. Will the show mock the shallow harem of Araragi’s ‘patients’? Or just further glorify it? I would love to forgive Bakemonogatari, but it has a lot to make up for and only two more episodes to do it.