Continuing with the motif of ways, paths, roads, and streets, and wrapping up sundry other topics and quasi-philosophical concerns, the vignettes for the months of October to March deal with six ladies who are either not quite human or older than titular narrator Koyomi Araragi, bless his bantering soul.
In this installment, see how he handles—or is handled by—aberration of a little sister Tsukihi, enigma of a freshman or -woman Ogi, shadow of a legendary vampire Shinobu, corpse of a tween girl Ononoki, psychopath of a monster expert Kagenui, and know-it-all of a Machiavellian fixer Izuko Gaen.
The only thing Mukouda can rely on is his unique skill: the "Online Supermarket," a skill that allows him to buy modern goods in a fantasy world. It's useless for combat, but if he plays his cards right, he could lead a comfortable life, maybe? At least, that's what Mukouda thinks, but it turns out modern food bought with this skill has some absurd effects! What happens when Mukouda introduces ridiculously tasty modern cooking to a fantasy world like this? He gets some ridiculous repeat customers begging for more...!
Because the teller of the tale, who has been summoned by the heroine to defuse the situation, despite having been her nemesis since the very outset of the series, is—in the absence of the equally shady adult, Oshino, who at least was an expert—none other than his college frenemy, the fake ghostbuster who doesn’t believe in ghosts, the shameless swindler Deishu Kaiki.
And it is indeed a con that he agrees to perpetrate, uncharacteristically pro bono, on a wrathful god—a mythic undertaking if true, which it may be, when a liar among liars holds that his story, like any other, is all a lie. But maybe not, when a man who claims to be wise in the ways of the world sounds just as self-conscious as his adolescent counterparts or a Russian anti-hero.
Before ever visiting Japan to find a place to die, four centuries, indeed, before her failed suicide attempt, the legendary vampire Kissshot literally stepped foot on the land of the rising sun with an epic jump that ended a lonely sojourn in Antarctica. It was back in those days that the proud noble created her first thrall. It was then, too, that she first met the Darkness.
Having messed with a more recent past with her help, and returning to the present to reunite with two more characters that look like little girls but are actually his elders, Thrall No. 2 Araragi reclaims the mic only to cede it in large part to the bloodsucking demon who goes by “Shinobu” these days. Her story, though, may not even be the most poignant one told herein.
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.
Bereft of the company of her beloved mentors, the only other person around her with any working knowledge of aberrations the junior Ogi Oshino, apparently a relative of the Hawaiian-shirted folklorist, she feels a bit alone and blue, and sick with dread that the devil residing in her left arm courtesy of the Monkey’s Paw might act up again while she sleeps.
Investigating a rumor that she fears might lead back to her, the former star ends up peering into an abyss of negativity called Roka—a “wax flower” to take the characters’ meaning. Trapped in a pit the like of which could only be escaped by the one girl who was able to pull off slam-dunks in her basketball nationals, can the penitent Kanbaru, however, still be aggressive?
When a jealous classmate tried to hex her with a fraudulent charm, Miss Bangs went and got cursed in earnest all by herself, having done her homework wrong and performed a gruesome ritual at a forgotten shrine. Thank goodness Big Brother Koyomi noticed and rescued her that time, but chopping up snakes at a place of worship that was dedicated to a serpent…
It might come back to bite her again, hmmmm? Hoping to be saved by someone, but unable to ask for help, the shyest member of the cast explores a running theme of these tales in her own halting voice this round: While self-reliance is well and good, beware of its debased counterfeit minted from a mere reluctance to connect with others. You know what I mean?
At issue now is not the precarious fate of one of his cherished confrères, or rather consœurs, whom he’d aid, sight unseen, with a monster’s resilience, but his own aberrant state and its prolonged abuse. If everything comes with a bill, and if no man is an island, then is the price of self-sacrificing amity—and the bloodshed it ironically occasions—becoming inhuman for good?
That being said! Our hero, whose first name means “calendar” but who has none in his room, sees no need to rush, so, on our way to the profound mysteries of the superhuman aspect, expect a super-shallow deconstruction of the alarm clock. On hand this volume to (hardly ever) humor his humor: his little sisters, a living doll of a corpse, and its violent mistress.
While his best friend Reiji sets off on a quest to subjugate the Demon Lord, Suimei is fighting off palace intrigue and departing on a journey of his own—one he hopes will help him find a way back home. First stop? The local branch of the adventurer’s guild where new challenges and allies await. But when he’s put to the test, can he rise to the occasion without blowing his cover?
Love and sorcery continue taking root in more ways than one as Zagan is faced with Angelic Knights, snarky friends, and... a council of Archdemons?! Can he manage to get Nephy through Magic 101 and achieve his own goals? Or is their relationship as doomed to fail as Zagan's attempts at domesticity?
Kohinata Asunaro is your regular everyday high school student. He likes light novels, porn games, and fantasizing about the girls in his class. One day when walking home from school he inexplicably releases a demon from a sealed bottle. Her name is Zepafur, and she won't rest until her debt is repaid!
"Now begins the Lovey Dovey Harem Royale!" cries the demon, weaving a most curious magic. As a result, Asunaro's regular high school life transforms into a love-comedy series of harem shenanigans, with four girls from his school all vying for his affection, wow!
But... Unbeknownst to our dopey protagonist, the four girls are in the midst of a horrific survival game under threat of death and eternal torture. She who fails to capture Asunaro's heart will be confined to the depths of Hell and killed ad infinitum! Just who will survive? Who will thrive? And who will meet their demise?
Rio was always alone at the Royal Academy of Beltrum - save for his friendship with Professor Celia Claire. But after five years of class rivalry in and out of the lecture hall, his hard work is about to pay off. With graduation just around the corner, Rio participates in his final field drill - only for a meticulously planned trap to potentially destroy everything.
And look at that—there's a little cutie tagging along!
Having lost her family to a freak accident, eighteen-year-old Mitsuha Yamano was left to fend against the harsh world all on her own. She was at a loss, thinking about her future, when a mysterious entity gave her the power to jump between worlds. How will she wield it...?
While at times Mitsuha can be a huge ditz, she's a tough nut to crack. She begins using all the modern tools and knowledge at her disposal to carve her own path in this money-making fantasy set in a medieval world!