Real Talk – Nisemonogatari teaches you Hyperreality and Simulacrum

Let me try something new this time around. If you’d remember, I made a post a while back about how we can learn stuff from anime and since then I’ve been a real fan of tangential learning. It might not be for all shows, but I truly believe that there are some that display quite effectively, concepts that classes seemingly make hard to understand.


And to start, I’ll show you guys how the story of fakes, impostors and little sisters might have actually gave you a small taste of some heavy Post-structuralism.

In particular, we’ll just be focusing on Araragi Tsukihi and teeny bit with Kaiki Deishuu (and I suppose the entire Tsukihi Phoenix arc at that). But before we dive into that, allow me to define a couple of terms that may (or may not) seem new to you.


Post-structuralism, in its most condensed form,  is a rejection of a binary or structured reality. For example, we can say “white : good” and “black : evil” as a structure of reality. All we need to know for the next few minutes is that Post-structuralism simply wants to say “no” to all that.

Hyperreality and Simulacrum are two of the many facets used in Post-structuralism to contest the idea that reality is “set” in one way or another.

Hyperreality is the idea that a person can blend reality with a fabricated reality and end up not really knowing the difference. Simulacrum on the other hand can be defined as a representation, or, a copy of something that doesn’t really have an original.

A fun example is something you do from time to time on your computer – copying files. Say you typed a word document, and after that made an identical copy of the file and gave it to someone, who then gave it to someone, and so on, and so forth. The question now becomes, who has the original file? Who has a copy? What is the difference between your file and that someone’s?

Araragi Tsukihi

Now, if you’ve watched Nise then you might already know where I’m going with this.

Araragi Tsukihi is also an example of a Simulacrum. She’s a fake, a representation, a “copy”, but at the same time she’s not if you think about it, because:

(1) the “original” Tsukihi never really existed, and

(2) before the fact, no one who knew Tsukihi doubted the authenticity of her being. Tsukihi (phoenix) was the “real” Tsukihi, simply because no other Tsukihi exists or existed.

Thus, her existence produced a Hyperreality for Araragi Koyomi. To him, the little sister he’s known for his entire life was now both “authentic” and “fake”. Not that it really mattered to him in the end, but it goes well with the theme of the story don’t you think?

Keeping all that in mind, Kaiki’s stand on fakes and impostors should also make little more sense; or at least, we can understand a bit more where he’s coming from –

Kaiki on real vs fake 1

Kaiki on real vs fake 2

Kaiki on real vs fake 3

Aaand that about ends my real talk. Short and hopefully sweet enough to have made you read up to this point. I never did intend to go full-on communication theory on you guys, but this little bit on Post-structuralism really piqued my interests honestly (Nise was the first thing that popped in my mind when this got brought up in class), and I hope it was as interesting for you guys 😀

16 thoughts on “Real Talk – Nisemonogatari teaches you Hyperreality and Simulacrum

  1. Interesting post, I just watched through the Monogatari series pretty recently so it was nice to come across something like this. Truth be told, I’ve never heard of the terms hyperreality or simulacrum before, so it was a nice read seeing how you explained what they were and connected them to the themes of the Tsukihi arc in Nise. Now I’m curious about this post-structuralism, I should really look into it since these seem like some pretty interesting concepts. This makes me appreciate Nise even more, as I feel that one of the strongest things about Nise is how it presents some of its themes, and even though I’ve found a lot of people prefer Bake over it, those themes made me enjoy Nise to the point where I really can’t deem it to be inferior to Bake at all.

    • Thanks 😀
      Man, that’s one awesome marathon you had then if you watched all of Monogatari in succession. I’d love to do that sometime (probably after S2)

      Equally so, if I wasn’t taking a media/communication theory class I probably wouldn’t have heard about those things either (the class itself becomes a bit more fun when I start mixing anime and manga in my thoughts, lol). Post-structuralism is an interesting school of thought (with a lot more concepts than the ones I mentioned) so yeah, it’s a nice read if you have the time.

      It’s the same for me really, as I’ve recently come to realize that Nise’s my least favorite of the Monogatari series (so far at least), but reading between the lines has always proved to get some reward when dealing with NisiOisiN’s works, and doing that to Nise (which I think actually holds equal footing with Bake in terms of the strength of dialogue) makes having watched it all the more fulfilling.

      • Definitely, Monogatari was quite a great watch from beginning to end (er, not end? Still lots to go it looks like). It’s been a painful yet awesome experience keeping up with S2 weekly, and this week’s episode is a big example of just how much an awesome episode really pays off after the waiting. I still can’t wait for Kizu to be released and hopefully that’ll happen soon.

        Ah, a media/communication theory class? That sounds pretty interesting actually. Maybe that’s something I should look into once I actually get into college. Speaking of which, I’m a high school senior right now with just about no idea what I want to do careerwise or, more immediately, majorwise, but hearing about this makes me a bit curious. Any words of advice that you might be able to give?

        The more you look into Monogatari, the more it has to offer for sure. It’s definitely a series that has a lot of messages throughout. And I think for me Neko: Kuro was probably my least favorite installment, but even that was quite important to the storytelling of the series and a worthwhile watch overall.

        • A lot more yeah. At least four-five volumes more off the top of my head (counting Kizu of course). I’m just glad they’re coming out sooner than I expected. As far as when Kizu will come out, I’ve had an assumption for a while now because of Nisio’s troll-y nature, he might just end up releasing what is essentially the first chapter to everything as the last -Monogatari installment.

          Haha! Yeah, it’s actually more of a mix really. Sometimes you get a slow lecture with nothing to really get out of, while sometimes I get stuff like this. I guess I can relate to your situation, and probably the best advice I can give you at this point in my college life (in my third year of college currently) is that if you really are interested in stuff like Comm Theory and Comm Arts, really look into it (read up on it on the Net, or from college brochures), and not jump in blindly like I did 😀

          It’s become my biased favorite because of that I think. I put Neko: Kuro above Nise because it answers a lot of un-answered questions from Bake (and Kizu, for that matter), while giving us one of the best portrayals of Koyomi ever (referring to his scene with Oshino while holding KokoroWatari)

          • Ah, looks like there’s much for me to look forward to then. I’m excited for the next arc, though it seems that today’s episode is just a recap so that’s a bit disappointing. And perhaps that might be the case, though I really do hope it comes out sooner than that. Don’t want any more misunderstandings in S2 like that Episode guy in Tsubasa Tiger, who I assume has to be from Kizu.

            I get what you mean, some information clicks while other stuff just doesn’t seem to matter a whole lot. And just to clarify, are you majoring in Communications or are those courses helping with a different major? I’ll definitely try looking into those a bit more to see if it’s something I’d be interested in, since something that catches my eye collegewise would be really good at a time like this.

            That makes sense. I guess for me I didn’t enjoy Kuro as much since it felt like I was seeing something I already knew enough about from what they mentioned prior and it felt a lot like Tsubasa Cat arc (though I personally enjoyed that one more), but the storytelling did make Tsubasa Tiger arc a whole lot more enjoyable so it was still a good arc for sure.

            • Waited for it as well, lol, but yeah, I kinda expected a recap based on what we had from the previous arc. At this point I think it’s just one of Shaft’s cost-cutting methods. Yeap, Episode did in fact appear first in Kizu (along with the twice-mentioned GuillotineCutter). I suggest reading the novel (fan-translated) actually. 😀

              Technically (and currently) I’m a non-major shifting into Library and Information Sciences. My previous major was in Journalism under Mass Communication (which explains why I have communication classes). Sticking to your interests usually works when deciding stuff like this.

              I suppose that goes in hand with the fact that Hanekawa has, like, the most amount of exposure thus far, both arc-wise and appearance-wise, making her narrative arguably the most drawn-out as well.

              • That’s true, I heard that there were supposed to be recaps at the end of each arc or something like that. Not sure why they feel the need to do it, but ah well. Might be nice for people who haven’t seen most of these seasons in years, but doesn’t do me any good when I just finished all of those months ago at most lol. It makes sense if that’s what they’re doing, and I guess it gives them time for the later episodes too. Ah, that makes sense then. If Kizu still remains unreleased and unplanned, I might just give the novels a go just to see since I’m very curious. Kizu’s an arc I’ve had my eyes on for a while and I have a feeling it might be one of my favorite installments of the series.

                Ah, gotcha. At the moment I’m leaning toward either something for writing or getting into the video game industry. As far as I’m aware, that would be something to the effect of English, Communications, Journalism or Computer Science (and whatever variations there are leaning more toward game design). Still pretty iffy about what I’ll do though. Guess I’ll give what you put a look and see if those would suit me, maybe I’ll find something that really does work.

                There’s definitely been a lot of Hanekawa throughout Monogatari, for better or for worse. I do like her character though and her development over Tsubasa Tiger arc was fantastic so it’s all worth it. Even as far as Bake goes, I’d say Tsubasa Cat arc was easily my favorite of that set. Seems like Sengoku’s screentime has been pretty minimal though so I can’t wait for her arc. Also helps that she’s voiced by Kana Hanazawa (my favorite seiyuu up to date) so that’s a treat too.

        • It’s mostly about maintaining consistency I believe (in terms of production at least, since -monogatari has always been very animation intensive). Yeah, there’s really no take away from reading the novels, but I agree that Kizu might just be the best arc in the entire franchise 😀

          Indie game work is at booming heights (along with other computer and info-tech related stuff) as of late so game design really isn’t that far-off of a career path compared to a couple of years ago. Find your stride dude, there really is no rush if it’s a decision spanning 4 or so years.

          I gradually started liking her after a while, mainly because of how much she grew as a character. You are not alone my friend, lol. Gotta give all my love to Shinobu though (similarly to you, it’s twice as great that she’s voiced by one of my fave seiyuu’s :D)

          • Ah, that does seem like something Monogatari would do. And awesome, Kizu is definitely one I’ve been hyped for so I’d be really glad if Kizu ends up impressing me more than even the other installments, it seems like it’d be a treat.

            Yeah it seems like there’ve been a lot of those recently, especially with apps and whatnot to make these things a lot more accessible and widespread. I’ll just have to find out what works for me, and I suppose it is true that I have a few years of time to figure things out so I probably shouldn’t stress too much so quickly about what exactly I need to choose. No good diving headfirst into something I don’t understand to begin with anyway.

            Same with me, I liked her a bit at first but with more development for her she grew on me a lot beyond that. Of course, I bet that process was fast-forwarded a lot for me since I got through a lot of Monogatari pretty fast, only really waiting once I caught up to the first few episodes of S2 that had been out by the time I reached it. And nice, Shinobu’s probably one of my favorites in the series too, especially after the last episode of S2. That development was just brilliant and it really made me appreciate her character a whole lot more. That entire episode was just brilliant to be honest.

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    • Credit goes to my Sociology/Communications Research classes (xD) With Vertical releasing them officially now then yes, definitely — especially if you’ve followed the Monogatari Series adaptations!

      • Man, your sociology classes sound more in-depth than any I’ve taken. Mine weren’t as metaphysical. I’ve only seen the first season of Bakemonogatari, but if you recommend them, I’ll check them out, Thanks again. 🙂

        • Oh yeah it was great, lol, for our finals the professor had us do a paper on what sociological theories we could apply to Marvel’s The Inhumans (xD).
          Oooh, I was under the assumption that you’ve seen the succeeding seasons, Haha! then yeap, I definitely recommend the Monogatari series then.

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