In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Mononogatari opens with a mock date between Haori and Hyouma. For a moment, it looked like Hyouma was harshly rejected by Botan. It turns out she was simply sleep-deprived and rushing to turn in a report right before the deadline. Luckily Hyouma wasn’t doing this out of some newly discovered infatuation for her, or that may have been a lot more painful. His main intention was to find out more about this mysterious power that makes her so special. Haori, having just returned from her meeting decides she will provide Hyouma with the information he seeks. She chooses to call it a date too as if to mess with him more.
This episode is full of its share of adorable moments, but the majority of it focuses on the heavy burden that Botan is forced to bear. According to Haori, if you consider the Tsukumogami as objects blessed by the “Marebito”, Botan is a human with the same blessing. For those unfamiliar, “Marebito” are commonly known as “visiting spirits from the other world” that these objects carry within them, and basically, Botan carries one within her. “Yorimashi” is another word Haori uses to describe Botan, it means “a human possessed by a god”. For this reason, humans and Tsukumogami alike have an interest in taking advantage of her
Her grandfather was the only family she had looking after her before he passed away, leaving her with the Tsukumogami. There was supposedly a person set to visit her after he died, but that person never made it. Other than that they have no knowledge of her family. Haori made it a point to make Hyouma aware of the eyes that remain on Botan because of this. When she was a child, she was not allowed to leave the estate. This was because the barrier that
Kushige erects only cover that specific area.
Eventually, the rule was established between the humans and Tsukumogami that she would be left alone (“Do not make use of Nagatsuki Botan.”. Once she was finally able to venture outside and live a somewhat normal life, she found herself stalked by Tsukumogami biding their time in the shadows. As a child, this made her an outcast because not only could she see them, but other children could sense them as well. It took a long time before she could truly lead a normal life, andtheMarebito inside her still hasn’t awakened yet.
None of this information appeared to phase Hyouma, but he gained immense respect for Botan after learning it. Kagami was listening during his talk with Haori, worried that he might be scared off. On the contrary, it gave him even more of a reason to want to protect her. That statement really just confirms to Kagami andHaori even more that he’s husband material.
Botan happens to run into them on her way back from turning in her report, and she’s extremely happy to hear that Hyouma is unbothered by this new knowledge. He also is the first person to ever compliment her on her strength in bearing through it. Hyouma is finally learning how much more there is to the world of Tsukumogami than he previously thought.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
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