The protagonist of the story. Koyomi (usually called by his surname, Araragi) is a high school senior and the class vice representative. Due to an incident during Spring Break in which he turned into a vampire and never quite returned to being a full human, he retains vampire-like abilities such as super-fast healing. Because he has these abilities and is still connected with the vampire who sired him, he continues to encounter other supernatural creatures.Koyomi is generally good-natured and cannot restrain himself from trying to help people (and even vampires) in need, even if it means putting himself in danger or sacrificing his own life. This gets him into one sticky situation after another. During his middle school years, he apparently ran around helping others just as he does today, but after a certain incident in his first year of high school he closed himself off from all "unnecessary" human contact. Until he met Tsubasa, he was famous for having no friends. Many of the girls he helps during the series develop crushes on him, but Koyomi himself has no clue. In Nekomonogatari Black he considers whether or not he loves Tsubasa, but after talking to Tsukihi decides it isn't true. Early into Bakemonogatari, he is confessed to by and begins dating Hitagi, and he falls in love with her instead.While initially cool and stoic, Koyomi gradually evolves into a more outgoing, energetic character over the course of the series. Unfortunately, he also winds up giving in to his perverted streak more and more often too, which results in a lot of over-the-top sexual harassment (though some of the girls give as good as they get).Kizumonogatari (Koyomi Vamp) explains the Spring Break incident during which he met Oshino, Shinobu, and Tsubasa. The incident that sparked his antisocial behavior in high school is recalled in the first book of Owarimonogatari (Ougi Formula, Sodachi Riddle, and Sodachi Lost).
Badass: With a little assistance from Shinobu, he can regain some of the vampire powers he had in Kizumonogatari, where he stomped a bunch of professional vampire hunters. Notably, his regeneration at that time was almost limitless and he had immense strength far beyond even what a normal vampire could do. The series being what it is, however, things are rarely settled by him simply beating someone up.
Bad Bad Acting: In Nekomonogatari Black he tries to convince Tsukihi and Karen to stay home and not go hunting the cat-monster. His attempts to pander to their hero complexes are transparent and he loses all tone and inflection in his delivery. Tsukihi doesn't seem to notice, however, since she's too excited by his pandering to her hero complex.
Barrier Maiden: His death would lead to Shinobu returning to full power, except this time seriously pissed off.
Berserk Button: Hurting people in front of him will send him berserk, especially if it's a family member.
Big Brother Bully: Really likes to tease Karen and Tsukihi. He generally seems to mean it in good fun, but sometimes takes things a little bit far.
Bishōnen: When his face is drawn normally, it's more pretty than handsome.
Koyomi: I’ve got a great idea. What about selling Clock Sisters? The minutes hand can be Karen, and the seconds hand can be Tsukihi. The Clock Sisters will wake you up every morning. With Kitamura-san and Iguchi-sans’ voices. Karen: You can’t actually say their names you know. Tsukihi: Onii-chan, the anime is already finished. The goods won’t come out now. Koyomi:' Is that so...
Chained by Fashion: In Nisemonogatari, he breaks the chain holding together the handcuffs Hitagi put on him but leaves the cuffs on.
Chekhov M.I.A.: He's notably absent during Nekomonogatari White (being busy with the events of Onimonogatari), leaving Tsubasa and Senjogahara to deal with the problem. He returns at the end looking a little ragged, but still saves the day.
Chick Magnet: He doesn't realize it, but he's very popular with girls. Nadeko has loved him since she was in second grade, Tsubasa has been attracted to him since at least spring break and after Hitagi Crab Senjogahara asks him to go out with her. Further, Kizumonogatari stated that Shinobu considered him Worth Living For and Kanbaru, who claims to be a lesbian, says she would go for him if he was available. Even his sisters appear to be infatuated with him. Hanekawa once speculates that perhaps it's vampire charisma, but her oddity rejects the idea by saying vampire charisma turns people into slaves, not lovers.
Chivalrous Pervert: He's blatantly leer at and attempt to grope most of the girls he knows, but appears to mostly enjoy the attempt rather than any actual success. One of the first hints that he and Tsubasa aren't really on the same wavelength is when he asks for her underwear hoping she'll be embarrassed and tell him of course not and she actually agrees, though still embarrassed. He doesn't really have any idea what to do.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: He plays almost no value on his life and doesn't seem to realize how his death would affect the people around him. As a result, he's willing to die for complete strangers like a certain dying vampire princess at the beginning of Kizumonogatari. Senjogahara finds this behavior kinda hot, but eventually realizes what actually fuels his acts of heroism, especially in Nadeko Snake. Further, he's unable to become a priest and deal with oddities properly because he refuses to abandon Shinobu despite actually hating her.
Clueless Chick Magnet: It's implied that due to his secretly low self esteem, he doesn't think anyone would be interested in him and thus ignores all the obvious signs that he's actually quite popular. Senjogahara has to confess after failing to get through with teasing, his obliviousness towards Tsubasa caused at least one incident and he's the only one unaware of how Nadeko feels.
Deliberate Injury Gambit: He hides the oddity cutting sword inside himself. When Tsubasa cuts him in half, she also hits the sword and gives her oddity an essentially lethal injury.
Expressive Hair: His Idiot Hair tends to straighten up when he's surprised/aroused, curve into a question mark when he's confused, et cetera. Gets really ridiculous in Nisemonogatari, where it twists into the kanji for "love" (愛).
Fell Down The Stairs: When Hitagi finds him lying on the train tracks bleeding after being beaten within an inch of his life by a possessed Suruga, he tells her that he ran into a telephone pole.
Heroic BSOD: When he realizes that as a vampire Kiss-Shot eats humans without apparently caring he's utterly horrified and appalled at what he was doing just the last few days, realizing that the vampire hunters were actually the good guys. It takes Tsubasa for him to realize that the proper answer here is not committing suicide via sun but rather going to her and attempting to stop her himself.
Gender-Blender Name: Koyomi is not a particularly common name, but when used it's more often used for girls, which is lampshaded by Mayoi.
Good Thing You Can Heal: By allowing Shinobu to drink some of his blood, he draws closer to the vampire he once was and regains his healing ability, which is generally an indication that he is going to be brutally mauled soon.
In Suruga Monkey, Kanbaru beats him to a bloody pulp and actually swinging him around by his intestines, a scene so brutal that all the blood was replaced by completely different colors.
In Tsukihi Phoenix, Yodzuru beats him so badly that he doesn't even look human anymore, but rather like some sort of grotesque depiction of a zombie.
Guile Hero: Four months after "Shinobu Time", he still hasn't told anyone about Mayoi passing on. He finally decides to tell Ougi and no one else to see what will happen.
Half the Man He Used to Be: Black Hanekawa cuts him in half. Unfortunately for her, this was what he had expected her to do, so he hid the aberration cutting sword inside himself.
Healing Factor: As a mostly ex-vampire, he can regenerate from damage he takes. If he lets Shinobu suck his blood, his regeneration increases. As a full vampire, a state he has not been in since the end of Kizumonogatari, he had no known limits to his regeneration even during the deathmatch with Kiss-shot herself. The closest we've seen to his limits are in his fight with Yodzuru Kagenui.
Healing Hands: As a vampire, his blood can heal the injuries of others.
I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: He's quite shocked to find out that Tsubasa likes him, especially considering how much he exaggerates her already good traits. It's too late, though, and even if it wasn't he's already vowed not to go out with her.
Idiot Hair: He has a big, pointy idiot hair that likes to let everyone else know how he's feeling.
Ironic Hell: Spends a lot of time in Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari sexually harassing Mayoi, then eventually gets a taste of his own medicine via Suruga when her reputation as the series' biggest pervert is impugned. He is even depicted with Hachikuji's hair and face while it happens. This is enough to convince him to cool it for a while. Mayoi, on the other hand, gets offended when he stops.
Large Ham: You can ascribe a lot of qualities to Koyomi, but 'subtle' is not one of them. It strongly influences his perception as well, so when the perspective is his the entire setting is flashy and sensational.
Loving a Shadow: He's initially attracted to Hanekawa because of how perfect she seems. However, nobody is that perfect and after having his lack of understanding hammered in he vows that he will find someone, anyone, and love them instead of her.
Martyr Without a Cause: He's willing to sacrifice himself for anyone, which eventually starts worrying Senjogahara. In Kizumonogatari, it disappoints Kiss-Shot when she realizes that he wasn't saving her, he would have saved anyone in her situation.
Neat Freak: Whenever he goes to Kanbaru's house, he insists on cleaning up the chaos that is her room.
Official Couple: He starts dating Senjogahara in the second route. Despite all the bickering with her and the ship tease with the other girls, the relationship is entirely stable, which is actually the trigger for several incidents all by itself.
Our Vampires Are Different: Koyomi is an ex-vampire (mostly) after ridding himself of his vampirism by sucking out most of Kiss-Shot's blood and depowering her. By allowing Shinobu to suck his blood, he regains some of his former powers, which are quite numerous: He has an amazing healing factor, superhuman senses, strength and speed, the ability to turn intangible, some shapeshifting and, unfortunately, the inability to swim.
Peek-a-Bangs: His bangs are very long and will cover his eyes if he keeps his head level. That said, considering how much he moves about or tilts his head back, his face is usually quite visible.
Pintsized Powerhouse: The anime deemphasizes it, but Koyomi is rather short. He's actually shorter than his girlfriend, even. However, thanks to being an ex vampire, his physique is at peak human condition.
Shirtless Scene: Gets several over the course of the series. In one of Shaft's bits of ridiculous attention to detail, he's much more muscular if the story takes place later in the chronology, which is due in part to his former vampirism.
Super Speed: In Kizumonogatari during his first real fight, he relies on his lesser mass to outspeed the heavy Dramaturgie before realizing that while he can do that, it's not really necessary. Overkill when you can outregenerate your opponent and have much more physical strength.
Super Strength: As a vampire, he gained massive strength without realizing it. It completely threw off his aim at first until he realized he needed to use heavier weapons.
Theme Naming: The Araragi siblings' names are references to the calendar (Koyomi (暦) literally means "calendar").
Unreliable Narrator: Araragi hides or exaggerates his opinions as he sees fit especially regarding the people around him. For example, he claims that Senjogahara became ridiculously sweet and friendly after Karen Bee and openly lusts over Tsubasa, but Senjogahara just became somewhat friendlier while still sarcastic while he's actually vowed to himself that he will never date Tsubasa.
Weirdness Magnet: Being an ex vampire means that he's more likely to attract more oddities in the future since once you've encountered one you'll probably keep finding more. He's grown so used to this fact that Suruga's revelation that she has a demon monkey arm grafted onto her arm doesn't faze him, but her admission that she's a lesbian still leaves his jaw on the floor.
Hitagi is a classmate of Koyomi's (and has been for three years), though they have never spoken before the story begins. She slips and falls down the stairs one day, and Koyomi, who is climbing them, catches her—only to realize that she barely weighs anything. Though Hitagi attacks him in an attempt to make him keep quiet about her secret, he offers to help cure her, leading to the events of "Hitagi Crab".She is very beautiful, but also cold, spiteful, and wary. This snappish temperament results from having encountered five con men who claimed they would cure her only to make off with her family's money, which eventually resulted in her parents divorcing. But when Koyomi's offer turns out to be genuine, she falls in love with him, and asks him out during the events of the "Mayoi Snail" arc.Though her weight is returned to her in her own "Hitagi Crab" arc, it takes Hitagi most of the series to recover from the years she spent without it. She comes to terms with her past in Nisemonogatari and becomes a lot less verbally abusive as a result. In "Hitagi End", she is forced to deal with the person she wants to rely on the least in order to rescue Koyomi.As you might expect based on the quote above, Hitagi is a big fan of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Adaptation Dye-Job: In the light novels and Vofan's corresponding illustrations, Hitagi had brown hair. In the anime it's purple.
Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Despite being quite an open jerkass and troll when not avoiding people, Senjogahara was very popular in middle school. It's implied she was less hostile back then, though.
Animal Motifs: Her trusty stapler is meant to invoke a crab's claw.
Broken Bird: Her family is heavily fractured and she lives with her father after her mother was taken in by destructive cults. Her mother's behavior as well as the cultists she met and the con men she had to deal with afterward have left her bitter, suspicious and unable to open up properly.
Character Development: After confronting the conman Kaiki Deishu at the end of Nisemonogatari, her personality mellows out a considerable amount, though this happens offscreen between Nisemonogatari and the season that follows it. Araragi compares it to a detox and says that she turned so deredere that he'll have to called her a tsundoro now instead. Doro means mud, so who knows what that's supposed to mean. Of course, Araragi is exaggerating as always, but she genuinely did become more openly affectionate and sociable.
Cry Cute: Two times in Tsubasa Tiger and Hitagi End.
Defrosting Ice Queen: During the end of the first anime, Senjogahara and her father take Koyomi on a trip. Contrary to Koyomi's expectations, not only does her father thank him for helping her open up when the two are alone, but in a rare moment of vulnerability she admits how much she cares about him and how nervous the relationship makes her.
First Love: According to Kaiki, she likes to think of every love as though it were her first. It's self deception, but a healthy kind that he can admire. After contacting him for help, she's awfully touchy regarding the issue the whole arc because with him around it's harder to pretend she only hates him.
Fourth Wall Observer: She quips about her voice actress having a wide vocal range, which would seem to be an easy fourth wall breaking gag... except this line also occurs in the novel, which was written before she had any voice actress at all!
Girl with Psycho Weapon: She carries a veritable armory consisting entirely of office supplies with a special preference for staplers.
Hammer Space: Just where does Hitagi keep all those office supplies?
I Owe You My Life: Offers Koyomi many spectacular methods of thanking him for freeing her from the heavy crab, though in truth she's just trying to get him interested in her before she gives up and confesses.
Image Song: "staple stable" in Bakemonogatari and "Futakotome" (Second Phrase) in Nisemonogatari.
Jerkass: She's aggressive, harsh tongued and violent early on. She says she's just being a tsundere but...
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Her relationship with Koyomi can be summed up by saying that she alternates being nice to him in a dickish way, and being a dick to him in a nice way
Meaningful Name: "Senjogahara" literally means "battlefield," alluding to the character's standoffish personality.
Mommy Issues: Her personality is so fundamentally broken because her mother went quietly crazy and began joining dangerous cults. When she allowed a man to try raping her daughter, it was the final straw for causing the Heavy Crab incident.
No Sense of Personal Space: She spends a lot of her conversations with Koyomi invading his personal space bubble in spectacular ways. And feels him up while they're in the car with her fatherSubverted since she does it deliberately.
No Social Skills: She has absolutely no idea of how to go about romance. At least Koyomi finds it ridiculously cute.
OOC Is Serious Business: When they speak about the possibility of hiring him to deal with the Snake God Nadeko Kaiki is cool for the entire conversation until Senjougahara offers to prostitute herself to pay him. Thatgets his attention, especially since he knows the details of her past and what that suggestion means to her.
Official Couple: Despite the affections from and ship tease with about half a dozen other girls, Koyomi and Senjogahara is a very sturdy relationship with both having a good influence on the other. However, this does cause numerous issues later with Suruga, Tsubasa and Nadeko.
Politeness Judo: Convinces snake god Nadeko to spare Koyomi and Shinobu until she and Koyomi graduate by calmly pointing out that if she kills Koyomi before Shinobu, Shinobu will revive as a full-powered vampire and easily kill her and if she kills Koyomi before Hitagi, Hitagi will stop at nothing to destroy Nadeko. Surprisingly, given Nadeko's both power and madness, it works.
Precocious Crush: To her obvious distaste, she implies that despite Kaiki really being responsible for many of her problems, at least he understood her. During a time of desperation like that, she would have fallen for anyone.
Rape as Backstory: One of the cult scammers attached to her mother attempted to rape her. Though she escaped by attacking her assailant, what really upset her is that her mother let it happen.
Rescue Romance: Loves Koyomi for helping her end her problems with the Heavy Crab. She admits that she probably would have felt the same about anyone else in his situation, but is still glad it was him.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: She has threatened on more than one occasion to soak the ground with indiscriminate bloodshed should Koyomi end up hurt.
Stepford Snarker: She hides some heavy emotional trauma beneath her cold and sarcastic personality.
Sugar and Ice Personality: She may call herself a tsundere, but others refer to her with terms more like 'tundra' since she tends to be cold and abrasive rather than fiery. Nor does she deny her feelings.
The Tease: She likes to sexually tease Koyomi, but during their date in "Tsubasa Cat", Senjogahara reveals that she's only willing to go that far because she trusts him. Due to her near-rape experience, full-blown intimacy is still uncomfortable for her.
She explains away her abusive attitude by saying she's a tsundere so it's only natural to act like that. Oshino calls her 'tsundere-chan' while Koyomi thinks of her as a tundra instead.
Hitagi End hints that she doesn't hate Kaiki nearly as much as she says she does when she goes out of her way to tell him she'll never forgive him, possibly because according to Koyomi she's already put that all behind her.
Unscrupulous Hero: She considers herself not to be a good person but rather an opponent of bad ones. She thinks the middle schoolers fooled by Kaiki are largely responsible for being tricked in the first place.
Used To Be More Social: Was very friendly and social during middle school until her weight and emotional attachments were taken away by a crab-deity.
Yandere: States that nobody is allowed to kill Koyomi but her. In Suruga Monkey she gets jealous of Kanbaru, though it's questionable what she's really feeling then. Even asserts in Nadeko Medusa that she will murder everyone in the world if Koyomi is killed before she is.
An elementary school girl with a sharp tongue and no sense of direction. Koyomi first meets her on Mother's Day while avoiding going home. Although Mayoi tries to drive Koyomi away, he eventually discovers that she is trying to visit her mother and is lost. He tries to help her, and when he too becomes lost, he suspects that she may be the victim of some kind of supernatural creature. But in the end, she is revealed to be a supernatural creature herself—a ghost who died eleven years ago in a traffic accident. She is only visible to people who do not want to go home, and anyone involved with her becomes unable to reach their destination.With Koyomi's help, Mayoi manages to get to her mother's house, but rather than moving on, she "graduates" to being a free-roaming spirit. In arcs following her own "Mayoi Snail", she acts as an adviser to Koyomi, and is one of the few characters he is willing to open up about his own troubles to. He also seems to have the most fun talking to her, and his sexual harassment towards her becomes so routine that Mayoi eventually winds up sexually harassing him instead.The events of "Mayoi Jiangshi" are kicked off by Koyomi's attempt to travel back in time and save her from dying, but that arc centers around Shinobu instead of her. In return, Mayoi is a main character in "Shinobu Time", which directly follows the events of "Mayoi Jiangshi".
Action Survivor: In Mayoi Jiangshi, she's one of the few survivors of Shinobu's vampire apocalypse thanks to a few tips from Oshino.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She vanishes when she finds the vacant lot where her mother used to live, leading one to make the conclusion that she passed on... then ultimately subverted when she appears to Koyomi the next day and tells him that she simply changed from one type of ghost to another. She eventually accepted her fate and disappears at the end of Shinobu Time.
Animal Motifs: She wears a giant backpack resembling a snail's shell and her headband also has the spirals seen in a snail's shell.
Big Damn Heroes: In Mayoi Jiangshi, after Koyomi and Shinobu let off some fireworks to see if anyone is around, they're swarmed by failed, mindless vampires. It's looking bad until Mayoi steps in to banish them with rice.
Image Song: "Kaerimichi" ("The Way Home") for "Mayoi Snail", and "happy bite" for "Mayoi Jiangshi".
Jerkass Façade: Tells anyone who talks to her that she hates people like them and wants them to go away so they don't follow her. She knows she won't reach her destination and that anyone who sees her will want to help her get there.
Off Model: Her backpack seems to change size between shots, especially in her OP during her arc. Probably intentional by virtue of Rule of Funny.
Older Than She Looks: She's rather childish and looks about eleven. On the other hand, she's actually older than Koyomi (despite being dead) and he has gone to her for advice before.
Meaningful Name: "Mayoi" means "lost"; "Tsunade" is a reference to the character in Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari, who is strongly related to slugs.
Spirit Advisor: Only people who don't want to go home can see her until the end of Mayoi Snail. Afterward, it's unknown how many people can see her. Still, Koyomi will go to her for advice when necessary. Or more frequently to grope her.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Perhaps in response to having Mayoi Jiangshi mostly revolving around Shinobu and Koyomi's relationship, Shinobu time is actually mostly about Mayoi.
In Mayoi Snail, nobody else thinks that Mayoi is an oddity. Most people can't even see her, making the afflicted party Koyomi.
In Shinobu Time, Hachikuji brought on the darkness by not acting like an oddity. She and Yotsugi suspected as much while Shinobu and Koyomi figured it was a repeat of the event from centuries before.
Tsundere: She always claims that she hates Koyomi, but it's pretty clear that she likes him. Likes him enough to stick around for months after she was supposed to pass on, which nearly gets her devoured by the supernatural law requiring oddities to act according to their nature.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Though he's said he enjoys talking to Mayoi the most, Koymi and Mayoi generally grope, bite or pummel each other during half their interactions.
"The only things that can make me run anywhere are Araragi-senpai, Senjougahara-senpai, and a BL novel release."
Suruga is a second-year student at Koyomi and Hitagi's high school, and an old friend of Hitagi's from middle school. She first appears in "Suruga Monkey". Her late mother gave her a wish-granting that Suruga mistakes for a monkey's paw (as in the famous short story), but which is actually the hand of a supernatural monster called a Rainy Devil. Unlike the monkey's paw from the story, which grants the user's wish in a way the user would not want, the Rainy Devil grants the subconscious desires behind its user's wish. It also eats its user's soul after three uses. Suruga used the artifact twice in her past, but when she uses it for the third time, the paw grafts itself to her arm.Suruga is cheerful, messy, very open about her numerous kinks, and loves to pick on Koyomi. While she used to be the ace of the Naoetsu basketball team, she is forced to quit because of the Rainy Devil in her arm. She has been in love with Hitagi since middle school, and has a pretty sizable fan following of younger girls.After her own first arc, Suruga helps Koyomi and Nadeko out during the events of "Nadeko Snake", and continues to make minor appearances in the arcs following that. She is also the main character and narrator of "Suruga Devil", which takes place a year after Koyomi, Hitagi, and Tsubasa have graduated.
Animal Motifs: Her biking shorts are a weird pun on the word monkey ("undershorts" being sarumata, saru being "monkey").
Be Careful What You Wish For: The rainy devil will grant her her wishes exactly as she wants them, but that doesn't mean she'll actually be happy about the results. For example, when she was little she consciously wanted to be faster than some boys, but subconsciously she actually wished for them to be injured and unable to run properly. When the devil granted her the wish she actually wanted, she felt so guilty that she began to practice running so much that she eventually genuinely became faster than the victims so they wouldn't be in danger from her wish anymore.
Bi the Way: Despite declaring herself a lesbian, she seems to have a number of lewd ideas involving Koyomi.
Deal with the Devil: She entered into one without knowing the real terms. The rainy devil will grant her three wishes as she actually wants them granted, but after successfully granting the third it will then take her soul.
Expository Hairstyle Change: As of Nisemonogatari, she's started to grow her hair out, perhaps in reaction to giving up on Senjogahara. Hanamonogatari offers the alternative explanation of her being too indecisive to make a change as big as cutting her hair.
Lolicon: Suruga gets awfully excited upon seeing Shinobu and Nadeko.
Lovable Sex Maniac: The first thing she does when she enters Koyomi's room is look for his porn stash. She answer the phone once with "This is Kanbaru, currently employed as Araragi's love slave" despite having no idea who was calling. In Nisemonogatari, she gets shocked and offended when Koyomi points out that she has more modesty than she likes to act, after which she immediately begins molesting him as payback.
Modesty Shorts: Her signature style in conjunction with her school uniform.
Morality Pet: She's the daughter of the woman Kaiki loved, making her the only person he'll actually treat well.
Psycho Lesbian: Played with. Consciously, she's maybe jealous or irritated. Subconsciously, she's pissed and wishes Araragi would just disappear more than wishing she could have Senjogahara instead, which causes the same net result.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: Loudly and bluntly declares that she's a lesbian and in love with Senjogahara.
Sensual Spandex: Wears biking shorts under her skirt. She may or may not be wearing panties underneath, so what may or may not technically be her underwear is on constant display.
Superpowered Evil Side: When the rainy devil attempts to fulfill her wish, it takes control of her body and acts on her darkest desires, becoming so fast, strong and savage that she rips Koyomi apart in seconds.
Yaoi Fangirl: Those millions of books in her room were all issues of Barazoku, which has been out of print since 2004, meaning she either started out young or she's been putting considerable effort into obtaining them.
"Not to mention, I'm an only child. I really...wanted an older brother."
Nadeko is childhood friends with Koyomi's little sister, Tsukihi, and has had a crush on Koyomi since her elementary school years. She attends the same middle school Koyomi went to, and is in her second year. She is introverted, meek, passive, and very cute. During the events of "Nadeko Snake", she is cursed by a classmate after turning down a love confession from the boy that classmate liked, which causes a huge, invisible snake to constrict her body.After being saved by Koyomi, Nadeko helps him look for Shinobu during "Tsubasa Cat" and invites him over to her house in "Karen Bee" to put the moves on him, leading to Suruga calling her the "real last boss".The story next focuses on Nadeko in "Nadeko Medusa", in which she is roped into searching for a snake god's object of worship as penance for the harm she did to snakes while trying to break her curse in "Nadeko Snake". Her narration reveals that her personality has become somewhat twisted after a lifetime of being coddled for her "cuteness". Nadeko hates hard work and emotional stress, protects herself with non-confrontational behavior, and is very used to getting her way.
Animal Motifs: The big hat is supposed to be evocative of a cobra's hood, and the loose jacket of shed snakeskin. At certain points of "Nadeko Medusa", her hair also begins to lift around her head like Medusa's snakes at times of strong emotion until her hair later turns to actual snakes.
Beware the Quiet Ones: The teacher who dumped his responsibilities on Nadeko comes to pester her at kind of a bad time. Nadeko finally loses her temper and rips him (and her entire class) a new one.
Big Brother Attraction: She's liked Koyomi since she was six and asked for permission to call him "onii-chan". Tsukihi asks her whether she really likes him or whether she just uses him as an excuse to avoid confessions from other people.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Nadeko Medusa is the first arc to really give attention to who Nadeko actually is and it turns out to be someone quite unpleasant. She's manipulative, irresponsible and selfish, but hides it beneath her cute good girl image and deflects attention by acting like the victim.
Cerebus Callback: Her second image song reuses the imagery from the cute, happy first song and puts a strong yandere twist on it.
Character Development: Of the malevolent variety: she appears to be an innocent cute girl in Bakemonogatari, tries her hand at being a seductress in Nisemonogatari and finally begins to show her true colors in Otorimonogatari, which ends with her becoming a mad snake god.
Cute and Psycho: As Nadeko Medusa continues, it becomes increasingly obvious that Nadeko has some severe issues which are actually related to how she was always expected to be cute and harmless, a role she took up by appearing as a Shrinking Violet. During the next arc, her style has changed into a ditzy genki girl, though still every bit as Yandere.
Her first Image Song is basically 90 seconds of pastel pinks and purples and her rapping about trying to be as cute as possible for her beloved "onii-chan". The second one takes a similar theme and plays it much more darkly.
In Nadeko Medusa and Hitagi End, it's revealed that it's a partially conscious defense mechanism she uses to deflect criticism and responsibility. It's the developed habit of much of her earlier life and the manipulative attitude it encompasses makes Shinobu tell her that people who act like her are temptresses and more devilish than oddities.
Deconstructed Trope: Moe and the Shrinking Violet. Though she only becomes actively aware of it later on, Nadeko has been "abusing" her cuteness throughout her entire life, pretending to be far more vulnerable and innocent than she really is as a means of getting away with anything from unrequited love to having to do her homework.
Dirty Kid: In Nisemonogatari, she does her best to tempt Koyomi, though it doesn't go anywhere. When she stumbles across Koyomi's porn stash while look for something, she becomes so engrossed that she forgets what she came for entirely.
Evil Albino: After devouring the snake god's talisman her hair turns bright white and her eyes go deep red. Oh, and her hair is actually snakes.
Expository Hairstyle Change: Goes through several; she spends Bakemonogatari with her hair in her face and is painfully shy around Koyomi, but the first time we see her in Nisemonogatari she's got her hair out of her eyes thanks to a hairband and actually attempts veiled sexual passes at Koyomi. When Tsukihi trims her bangs in Nadeko Medusa, she stops using her passive weak attitude and flips out. Finally, a more extreme example of this happens to her when her hair turns into white snakes.
The Fake Cutie: Shinobu and Ougi imply that she acts soft, weak, quiet and victimized to get people on her side. At the end of the former's conversation, she says that if she isn't doing it on purpose than that makes her even scarier and more naturally manipulative.
Fille Fatale: Knows how to manipulate people (particularly men) by feigning cuteness, and especially goes out of her way to try and seduce Koyomi.
Think about it: What's the first thing she did under her own volition during her first arc? Massacre a bunch of completely harmless snakes and put them on snakes outside a shrine to a snake god. Is that something an innocent, normal girl would do?
In Nisemonogatari Koyomi notices that, with her bangs no longer hiding her eyes, she has "a glare like a serpent". This hints at her true nature, as well as how her snake motif is much more appropriate than it seems.
From Nobody to Nightmare: She goes from a minor character with no depth beyond simply being cute to a snake god with enough power to easily bring Koyomi and depowered Shinobu within inches of their lives.
Genki Girl: In Hitagi End, Kaiki's impression of her is that now that she's out from under the burden of expectations and the imposed role of being cute and harmless, she's extremely excitable, cheerful and even airheaded.
Green-Eyed Monster: As she has a crush on Koyomi, it's no huge surprise she would be jealous of Hitagi. "Nadeko Medusa" reveals she's also incredibly jealous of Shinobu's relationship to Koyomi.
Hates Being Touched: And looked at, and meeting people's eyes. On the other hand, she doesn't care at all when Koyomi flips her skirt up (he proclaims her lack of a reaction to be "boring"), and doesn't mind getting yelled at.
At the temple near the end of Nadeko Medusa she decides that since Koyomi will probably keep getting girlfriends, she might as well stab him to death now rather than experience the grief of having him taken away from her over and over.
In Hitagi End, she cheerfully informs Kaiki that she actually prefers it this way. According to her, isn't a onesided love that lasts forever much purer than reciprocated feelings? Oddly enough, he seems to agree with her, having had an experience similar enough to empathize.
Ignored Epiphany: In Nadeko Medusa she contemplates Tsukihi's opinion that Nadeko has only been pretending to love Koyomi because it's convenient for her. She comes to agree with the idea somewhat, though it's not clear if it's really true. She still asks the Serpent to make Koyomi love her, though, meaning that Tsukihi was either wrong or that Nadeko wants him anyway, the latter of which Hanekawa would probably support.
"Ren'ai Circulation" ("Romance Circulation"), from Nadeko Snake is very cute and bubbly, but is as lacking in content about Nadeko as the arc that it prefaces, telling us only that she loves Koyomi and wants to be a graceful woman.
"Mousou Express" (Delusion Express) from Nadeko Medusa is set after Nadeko realizes Koyomi already has a girlfriend and precedes the arc that finally tells us who Nadeko is. The visuals draw heavily from Ren'ai Circulation, but reversed and with darker colors and lyrics. Here, Nadeko is going full on yandere.
Insult Backfire: When Kaiki tells snake god Nadeko that her creepy appearance probably scared off her earlier visitors, she's absolutely thrilled to be called terrifying instead of cute for once; Kaiki speculates that this is because "cute" is a very restricting niche.
It's All About Me: Hidden beneath her cute attitude is an incredible level of selfishness and irresponsibility. Nothing is ever her fault and she is always the victim. If she can't have what she wants then to hell with everyone else. If people don't do what she wants then she doesn't need them anymore.
Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: Whenever Nadeko makes fandom jokes and references, they're so obscure that Koyomi has to attach an explanation to his comebacks (he even calls them maniac-level jokes).
Love Makes You Crazy: With a little prodding, Nadeko's suppressed instabilities all unleash and she ends up in a fight to the death with Koyomi following several smaller breakdowns. Like Tsubasa's second incident, Nadeko's began way back when she first learned that Koyomi had a girlfriend. Her mind fractured and she invented a second personality for herself, sealing away memories of the research she did.
Love Makes You Evil: As a snake god, she even considers killing Koyomin's acquaintances and his sisters ostensibly because Kaiki made her mad but more likely because she's just bored.
Love Triangle: Nadeko has a crush on Koyomi, causing her to reject the confession of a boy her age. Another girl liked that boy gets upset and both she and the boy give Nadeko death curses over it.
Mangaka: spoiler:She draws manga, too. It's the only thing she's really serious about, and eventually it's her heart's desire to become a mangaka that lets Kaiki persuade her that she can do more with her life than pine after Koyomi.
Manipulative Bastard: She acts weak to get people on her side and avoid both responsibility for her actions and responsibilities placed on her.
Moe: Nadeko invokes and exploits this trope. She feigns cuteness and vulnerability to avoid responsibility and get people to sympathize with her.
Narcissist: She views herself as completely faultless while everyone else abuses her by not giving her what she wants regardless of how she hurts them or others in return. Only after having her self centered point of view shoved in front of her face repeatedly does she even admit its there and she still doesn't admit it's a problem and decides to simply be more open about it instead. This time, she evades responsibility by saying she's an oddity now, or even a god. Normal rules don't apply to her. During Hitagi End, Hanekawa expresses the opinion that Nadeko does not really love Koyomi with the implication in context being that she's too busy loving herself.
Never My Fault: She insists on seeing herself as the victim at all times and doesn't accept responsibility for her actions, which manifests itself all throughout Nadeko Medusa.
During her second arc, it's pointed out that an oddity rarely troubles someone who is completely without fault and indeed, Nadeko was the one who truly got the ball rolling in her first arc by massacring the snakes and actually activating the curse. Apart from the snakes she killed, this also caused one of the constricting snakes to return and attack her classmate.
When confronted by the god of the shrine, a giant snake, about her actions in her prior arc, she asks what it wants her to do. It pauses and says that's an odd way of putting it since most people in her situation would ask how they can atone for a crime, not simply ask what someone wants. She agrees to help the Serpent, but only when she feels like it, indicating that she's only helping because it's something she feels like doing and stopping as soon as she doesn't want to do it anymore.
After Tsukihi cuts her hair and makes her feel like she can't hide from people anymore, she eventually ends up at school and ends up exploding at her teacher and classmates, coarsely bitching them all out for their own failings. Afterward, she admits that everything she said was her speaking and not the Serpent and that she expressed only what she was really feeling, but says she's still going to blame it and not herself.
Not Brainwashed: You might think that the Serpent is guiding Nadeko's actions in Nadeko Medusa but the Serpent doesn't even exist until near the end of the story. While she is close to insane, she has been acting on her own wishes the entire time.
Not Himself: During Nadeko Medusa, she finally gets sick of acting weak and begins ranting at her teacher and classmates. Not only is she yelling at them, but she switches speech style and pronouns to something much more masculine and aggressive. Something just like the Serpent, in fact.
Peek-a-Bangs: She's well known for hiding behind her bangs, which actually turns out to be a conscious, habitual defense mechanism designed to make people sympathize with her or go away if they're bothering her.
Playing the Victim Card: Nadeko Medusa opens with her impaling Koyomi after tearing his arm off and poisoning him earlier. We flash back to Oshino Ougi taunting her for always playing the victim and pretending everything is someone else's fault.
Politeness Judo: When asked to do something, she won't refuse. She'll politely accept the request and then, if she doesn't feel like doing it, she simply won't do it. Ever. When asked to be the class rep, she agrees, but doesn't actually fulfill any of the duties. A teacher asks her to ease the atmosphere in the class following the trouble with all the charms Kaiki sold, but she simply continues to do nothing about it after assenting. Even after she agrees to help the Serpent find its body she only does it when she feels like it.
Puppy Love: She's had a crush on Koyomi since she was six, but they apparently haven't actually interacted much since then. Tsukihi asks her if she was just using her love for Koyomi as an excuse to reject unwanted suitors and the answer isn't exactly clear.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Seemingly averted at first, since despite having a snake as her Animal Motif she comes across as cute and sweet. As she reveals her true personality, though, it's played straight, especially after she swallows the snake talisman and becomes a snake god.
Shrinking Violet: Though it turns out that she only acts like one to make people feel sorry for her. Once she becomes a snake god and no longer has to hide behind her "cute and introverted" persona, she's more cheerful and outspoken.
Spoiled Brat: Being coddled all her life has led to Nadeko becoming lazy, avoidant, self-centered, and a little unstable. This is first revealed in Nadeko Medusa, and further explored by Kaiki's investigation into her background in Hitagi End.
Summon Bigger Fish: Implied by Hitagi while talking her down from killing Koyomi, but not actually followed upon. As the former points out, godly as Nadeko might be, if she were to kill Koyomi before Shinobu and unleash Heart-Under-Blade's true power she would be destroyed in an instant.
Talkative Loon: After merging with her delusion and reviving the Serpent for real, she sits around babbling to herself even though she knows that she and the Serpent are the same being now. The only times she bothers to pause is to continue stabbing the prone Shinobu.
Third-Person Person: She always refers to herself in the cutesy third person. When she snaps in front of her teacher and classmates, she refers to herself as "ore-sama".
Through the Eyes of Madness: While Koyomi's perspective is exaggerated and flashy and Tsubasa's is worryingly cute and mellow even during times like chatting with someone who disemboweled her once, Nadeko's hints of being delusional. She sees illusory snakes and when she sees people, they're frequently unnatural looking. It helps that Nadeko is actually really really mentally ill.
Traumatic Haircut: Tsukihi gets annoyed with Nadeko's avoidant behavior and cuts her bangs so that she can't hide behind them anymore. Nadeko instantly screams and claims not to remember what happened during the next few minutes. When her teacher starts asking her to fix the class like normal and hiding like usual isn't working she absolutely explodes and begins talking like the Serpent, first bitching him out and then screaming at the class.
Unreliable Narrator: The parts of the story where Nadeko starts missing time (e.g. her conversation with Ougi and when Tsukihi cuts her hair) ought to be a warning flag the audience can't miss, after all the brouhaha of a similar nature in Hanekawa's arcs. On top of this, big chunks of Nadeko Medusa are actually Nadeko hallucinating, and not an accurate representation of what went down. Once she merges with Kuchinawa to become the snake god, he fills her in on everything she was blocking out or unable to distinguish the truth of.
Villain Protagonist: Nadeko Medusa slowly details how Nadeko becomes a monster terrible enough that Koyomi states outright he will kill her. Of course, near the end, we find out she knew what she was doing the whole time and simply lying to herself.
Worthy Opponent: Subverted: she tells Senjogahara that if they had met differently they might have been friends, but Senjogahara's response is a blunt "No, not a chance. I hate selfish kids".
Yamato Nadeshiko: Her goal in the first image song is to become a graceful woman for Koyomi.
Yandere: For her arc in Nadeko Medusa, her opening is her singing cheerfully about how she doesn't need the world if it won't give her what she wants...and what she wants is everything. During the arc proper, she stabs Koyomi in the heart out of jealousy over Shinobu.
"There is no escape from my love! You're all that matters!"
Tsubasa Hanekawa is a genius student and class representative, and becomes Koyomi's first friend over the events of Spring Break. She always does her best to help and support people who are in need, and ever since she reaches out to Koyomi during his vampire days, he sees her as his savior and treats her like some sort of saint or holy mother. But Tsubasa's "goodness" comes from a lifetime of striving not to burden her legal guardians (neither of whom are her biological parents), and both her way of life and the way that the people around her put her on a pedestal causes her a great deal of stress. The characters who don't look up to her tend to remark on being unnerved by her perfection, finding it to be "unnatural".In Nekomonogatari Black (Tsubasa Family), Koyomi discovers that Tsubasa's guardians are abusive, and she is possessed by a cat spirit that attacks and nearly kills random strangers every night as a way to deal with her stress. The cat is temporarily suppressed by Koyomi and Shinobu, but reemerges later in the "Tsubasa Cat" arc. The cause this time is Koyomi's relationship with Hitagi, as Tsubasa has been in love with Koyomi all along. The cat spells this out to Koyomi for her, but he rejects her, and subdues the cat with Shinobu's help again.Tsubasa's character arc concludes with Nekomonogatari White (Tsubasa Tiger), in which she encounters a tiger apparition that burns her house down and proceeds to do the same to every other place she sleeps. Because Koyomi has his hands full with other supernatural incidents, Tsubasa must deal with the tiger—a physical manifestation of the negative emotions she has been dissociating from for so long—alone.
Abusive Parents: In addition to the incident where her stepfather punches her in the face until she bleeds, Koyomi discovers when visiting her house that Tsubasa is not even allowed to have her own room, and has to sleep on the floor in the hallway. Her clothes and personal effects can be seen hanging up in the kitchen. Small wonder she wanders the town at all hours instead of going back home.
Animal Motifs: Like Suruga's, hers is of the more punny variety. Meganekko=Mega neko. There's also her hair ribbons, which have little cat faces on them. In Tsubasa Tiger, she gets Clothing Damage that resembles tiger stripes, and upon her Split Personality Merge she gains silver and black hair resembling tiger stripes.
Ax-Crazy: When influenced by the Meddlesome Cat, she's violent, hedonistic and impulsive.
Berserk Button: To put it in her own words, "I do think that there are times when corporal punishment is justifiable. But if you're going to strike a child, you need to be able to help them understand why you're doing it, and they must accept that it is appropriate for you to hit them." She calls Koyomi out twice in this manner—once for fighting with Mayoi and once when he's about to slap Karen—and both times she is (understandably) very cold and stern.
Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her pleasant and helpful demeanor, she has a lot of repressed emotional issues just barely under the surface.
Blue and Orange Morality: Evil Laugh aside, the meddlesome cat's morality is based on Tsubasa's emotional well-being, and he will mercilessly attack anyone who threatens it. He has little interest in any mainstream moral implications of his actions. As Tsubasa becomes more well-adjusted leading up to "Tsubasa Tiger", he becomes rather mellow.
Broken Ace: She's beautiful, clever, popular and helpful, but she also has severe family issues that have left her emotions extremely bottled up and just waiting for a chance to lash out.
Cannot Spit It Out: She's had a crush on Koyomi for a long time, but won't make a move because if you don't take any risks you can't be hurt. Eventually, she waits so long that he begins dating Senjogahara despite being interested in her, which causes a second Meddlesome Cat incident. If she had spit it out earlier on, it probably would have turned out better for her considering how he views both her and Senjogahara. Probably just makes it that much more frustrating. At the end of Nekomonogatari White, she's finally willing to take the chance of being rejected, though it's obviously much too late. She's rejected and finally cries, putting an end to her emotional suppression.
Catch Phrase: "I don't know everything; just the things I know (Nandemo shiranai wa yo, shitteru koto dake)."
Cat Girl: When possessed, her hair turns white and she grows cat ears. Of course, the cat itself is likely male judging by its pronoun use.
Cat Smile: While possessed, she tends to have a real cat smile: carefree and arrogant.
Class Representative: She's considered the ultimate class rep: Intelligent, responsible and supportive.
Comedic Underwear Exposure: When Tsubasa and Koyomi meet for the first time, it's after a gust of wind has pushed up her skirt. The moment is so enthralling for Koyomi that he goes out at night to go buy some porn that reminds him of her and ends up running into Kiss-Shot on the verge of death, setting in motion the events of Kizumonogatari.
Cry Cute: At the end of Nekomonogatari White she finally confesses to Koyomi, even though it's much too late. She's obviously rejected and can finally cry and get over it.
Daughter of a Whore: Her mother doesn't seem to have been an actual prostitute, but she had Tsubasa when she was only 17 and had a reputation for promiscuity. She has no idea who her biological father is.
The Glasses Come Off: She stops wearing her Nerd Glasses between Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari, coinciding with a change to a more proactive attitude—for example, Senjogahara starts to see her as a threat romantically, and in Nekomonogatari White she also learns to acknowledge her own flaws while understanding that her parental abuse is not her fault, and even confesses her love for Koyomi.
Green-Eyed Monster: Her final oddity before she really moves back her emotional repression is a massive tiger that burns down places connected to people she envies. The incident begins with her envy of her parents.
If I Can't Have You: The cat points out that apart from Koyomi choosing Tsubasa over Senjogahara is to just kill Koyomi though it actually wants to lose be quieted down again.
Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Several characters comment on her "pure white" heart, though they also seem a little disturbed. A normal person can't be that perfect, so her repressed emotions just build up under the surface where she refuses to acknowledge them.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Played with. She looks like she's stepping aside for Senjogahara, but so deep inside she doesn't even recognize it she's fuming. She's not letting them be together because she wants them to be happy, but because she refuses to risk emotional hurt by doing anything about it.
The story in Tsubasa Tiger's epilogue showed that this was played straight: she really did mean for them both to be happy together, even if it broke her heart, and her advice back in Bakemonogatari had been genuine.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The cat is supposedly an agent of her negative emotions and acts quite aggressively but it actually wants to be suppressed again without hurting Koyomi.
Locked into Strangeness: After the events of Nekomonogatari White she has black and silver hair, like the stripes of a white tiger, although she dyes it all black to keep from standing out at school.
Meganekko: She's not shy, but she's very even tempered and clever.
Not Brainwashed: Once she had drained her parents, the meddlesome cat tried to leave. She didn't let it and instead continued wandering around beating people up and draining them, making her far more dangerous than the oddity is normally supposed to be.
Parental Neglect: She has no idea who her father is. Her mother married her stepfather and then later died, leaving her in the custody of her stepfather, who married another woman. Both hate her for being so unnaturally perfect and ignore and neglect her to a rather harsh degree when not simply denying her things like her own room.
The irony is that her perfection only highlighted their own faults, which is why they hated her unnatural perfection, showing their flaws. They were only together for appearances sake, and had planned divorce when Tsubasa graduated and moved out, to avoid scandal for abandoning an orphan.
Power Incontinence: The cat's energy drain can't be turned off. Its touch is always harmful.
Punny Name: Her given name is spelled with the kanji for "wings", and her surname means "river of feathers".
School Uniforms are the New Black: You can't blame a ghost like Mayoi for constantly wearing the same outfit, but Koyomi finds it pretty frustrating that he's yet to see Tsubasa in anything but her school uniform and pajamas.
Ship Tease: There's a lot of ship tease with Tsubasa since he's possibly more attracted to her than even his girlfriend, something that worries Senjogahara. Kizumonogatari in particular stands out. However, after her first oddity, Koyomi vowed that he would never date her.
Skunk Stripe: After accepting her negative emotions, she merges with her oddities and gains white stripes in her hair that she has to dye every morning.
The Smart Girl: She has immense knowledge about the supernatural and tends to be a very good planner. Unfortunately, given her emotional issues, this makes her rather dangerous.
Split Personality Merge: At the end of Nekomonogatari White she finally comes to terms with her negative emotions and recombines with the meddlesome cat and fire tiger.
Subverted Catchphrase: In "Tsubasa Cat", it turns into "I don't know everything. I don't know a single thing..."
Verbal Tic: Replaces all nas with nyas while possessed.
Weak, but Skilled: Oshino makes it clear that meddlesome cats are very weak, but when armed with Tsubasa's incredibly deep book knowledge of the occult and offensive tactics and her pent-up malice, they may be able to rival a vampire (all but stated to be the strongest of the oddities) in the danger they present.
Formerly Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, she is the dying vampire whom Koyomi meets in Kizumonogatari. When she begs him to save her, Koyomi offers her his blood, expecting to die—but she turns him into her vampire servant instead, and has him reclaim the various body parts that vampire hunters stole from her while she is stuck in various too-young bodies. After this is done, she tries to provoke Koyomi to kill her to get his humanity back, but he realizes her true intentions and can't go through with it. Instead, Koyomi takes nearly all of her power away in order to become mostly-human, leaving her in a near-powerless eight-year-old body and rendering her unable to survive without his own blood. Oshino then renames her, giving her his own surname and the given name "Shinobu", which is written with the kanji for "heart" under the kanji for "blade".Throughout all of Bakemonogatari, Shinobu never speaks; when she finally starts talking again in Nisemonogatari, she reveals that she was sulking. Nowadays she lives in Koyomi's shadow, taking Oshino's place as a source of knowledge about supernatural creatures. By sucking Koyomi's blood, she can give him his vampire abilities back, and she herself can assume older, more combat-capable forms.In "Mayoi Jiangshi", she and Koyomi travel back in time to save Mayoi from becoming a ghost, and the consequences of this incident shed some light on what Shinobu was thinking and doing towards the end of Bakemonogatari. In "Shinobu Time", we learn a little about her past and the only other vampire servant she ever made besides Koyomi.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: Right in her name. However, she says that because it is so sharp, as soon as the body part cut touches the wound inflicted everything connects back together immediately, which means it can only cut oddities. It's about twice as long as Araragi is tall and is something of a memento from her first companion.
Action Girl: At full power, she'd basically be the strongest known being in the entire series. Whenever Araragi is forced to rely on her she can generally muscle her way through any of his problems even at partial power.
Bait the Dog: In Kizumonogatari, she's a bit arrogant but otherwise friendly and charming enough. Then when she has her body restored, she and Koyomi get hungry. Koyomi heads to the convenience store, while Kiss-Shot reminds him about the whole 'man eating monster' thing by casually devouring Guillotinecutter in front of him after he tries attacking her again. Hunger for a vampire means eating people, not food. On the other hand, she's also trying to make herself look villainous so he'll kill her.
Big Damn Heroes: She's more attached to Koyomi than she would like to admit, so during the first and second meddlesome cat incidents she leaps out to save him after he stupidly puts himself into mortal danger.
Blush Sticker: Contrasting her sarcastic and occasionally vicious personality, she has permanent blush marks on her face.
Casting a Shadow: She can apparently manipulate Koyomi's shadow and eventually begins living inside it.
Characterization Marches On: When first introduced, she's comepletely silent and listless, apparently due to the shock of losing her full vampire form. As the series progresses, she is shown to be haughty and extremely talkative. The explanation for the transition? She's been sulking. For months.
Cute Mute: It's hinted that she's just an empty shell as a result of losing most of her vampiric abilities at the end of Kizumonogatari. Turns out she was just sulking, after which she becomes quite chatty.
Death Seeker: In Kizumonogatari, she was looking for a place to die. This is apparently quite common for vampires.
Despair Event Horizon: After Koyomi died in the world of Mayoi Jiangshi, she vampirized the human race and then tried to die. She failed, leaving her badly burnt but healthy and without even death to look forward to while having to sit around thinking endlessly about how she was partially responsible for his death and ended the world over something so stupid.
Disproportionate Retribution: During the Black Hanekawa incident, if Araragi hadn't found her, she had planned to destroy the human race, though she didn't tell him that until much later. However, this was really beyond her capabilities: She can't properly feed off of anyone but Araragi himself. Of course, failing to find her also meant she couldn't save him from Black Hanekawa, resulting in his death and her regaining her powers. Bad timing there, huh?
Dynamic Entry: In episode 15, when she appears to save Koyomi from Tsubasa by performing a string of lightning fast flips and handsprings before kicking Hanekawa across the area and into a large light post.
Empty Shell: Subverted. During the first season and about half of Nisemonogatari, she's silent and stays huddled up in the corner staring at nothing. She's called the shell of a vampire. However, it turns out she was just sulking the entire time and begins berating Araragi afterward.
First Name Basis: To her amusement and the amazement of everyone he mentioned her to, Araragi called her adult form Kiss-shot rather than Heart-Under-Blade. Kiss-shot is referred to as her true name, though what exactly that means isn't clear. For her part, it seems to remind her of her first companion, a samurai.
God Guise: Centuries ago while traveling, she saved a number of communities by accidentally making it rain via destruction of a lake and they decided she was a god. She figured that was okay too, but since she was being seen as a god and not a vampire it caused problems in the form of a corrective law that came to eliminate her for not acting according to her true nature as an oddity while also refusing to change into a god for real.
Hostile Show Takeover: Kabukimonogatari/Mayoi Jiangshi is a Mayoi arc in name only and focuses more heavily on Shinobu. Mayoi returns the favor for Onimonogatari/Shinobu Time.
In a Single Bound: A full-blooded vampire is strong enough to jump all the way from Antarctica to Japan.
It Amused Me: Claims she's just helping out Koyomi because it amuses her in Nisemonogatari, though eventually she prods Koyomi into 'demanding' her help.
Laughing Mad: At the end of Mayoi Jiangshi her alternate self laughs while crying blood, apparently bitterly amused at much she screwed up.
Leitmotif: "King of Oddities", a combination of haughty violin and harpsichord.
Little Miss Badass: Tiny and lacking most of her powers, but still powerful enough to drain most oddities and knock out adult humans.
Lonely Together: She hoped for one of two endings in Kizumonogatari. First, Araragi kills her to become a human. Second, Araragi stays a vampire with her and they stay together.
Named Weapons: Her sword is named Kokoro Watari ("heart crossing").
Our Vampires Are Different: After having most of her blood drained by Koyomi, she lost the ability to shapeshift, use superstrength and a huge number of other powers. At the beginning of the series she's referred to as a remnant of a vampire and apparently isn't recognized as Kiss-Shot anymore.
Overly Long Name: Her former name was Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade. Not wanting to bother with such a long name, Koyomi shortens it to Kiss-Shot, much to her amusement.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Mayoi Jiangshi is supposedly an arc about attempting to prevent Mayoi from having become an oddity, but it's actually an exploration of the relationship between Shinobu and Koyomi. Mayoi barely appears.
Suicide By Sunlight: It's the most common way for vampires to kill themselves. During Mayoi Jiangshi, Shinobu assumes that her alternate self must have committed suicide in this manner after wiping out the human race. She did try. However, it turns out that her immortality and regeneration are so powerful that she eventually gave up. In that scenario, the only way to die is for another vampire to suck out all her blood.
Trademark Favorite Food: Donuts, specifically Mister Donuts as the side stories reflect how she didn't react to other kind of donuts.
Tragic Villain: The Alternate Universe Kiss-Shot becomes the engineer of the human race's demise out of grief over losing Koyomi and immensely regretted it afterward, but couldn't do anything about it anymore.
Tsundere: Doesn't want to admit that she likes Koyomi and helps him out because she actually wants to. Her attitude gets her the tsundere label from him.
Vapor Wear: Stepping through her assault on Black Hanekawa in Episode 15 shows that the only thing she has on under that dress is a bandaid.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Vampires generally tire of life and can't bring themselves to keep feeding off people over time. Kiss-Shot was sick of it and intended to die until Koyomi saved her. She almost resolved to keep leaving until she realized she wasn't actually important to him, so she tried to get him to kill her.
Zero Approval Gambit: At the end of Kizumonogatari she eats Guillotinecutter after he attacks her in order to get Koyomi to hate her and therefore kill her. It works at first, but then he realizes she's not as heartless as she trying to act: She refuses to harm Hanekawa when she attempts to interfere.
"Oh, it's just you, Bro. I mistook you for an enemy."
Karen is the middle Araragi sibling, a sports maniac and self-proclaimed superhero. Together with Tsukihi, she performs what her brother calls "community service" and "playing heroes" as the combat specialist of the Fire Sisters. She is a black belt martial artist and is actually taller than Koyomi. She is excitable, rash, and tends to act before thinking, which leads to trouble in "Karen Bee", when the con artist she goes to confront counterattacks her with the sting of a supernatural bee. The venom gives her a terrible fever, and after a lot of... er, convincing (read: beating Koyomi into the pavement), Koyomi and Hitagi go to deal with the con artist in her place.Stuff happens in "Tsukihi Phoenix" that leads Karen to be less hostile towards Koyomi in general, convincing her to act the part of the "good little sister who always does what her brother says". She has a hero-crush on Suruga, with whom she becomes friends in the same arc. In "Tsubasa Tiger", Hitagi convinces her to invite the temporarily homeless Tsubasa to stay in the Araragi household.She has a boyfriend who apparently strongly resembles her brother, right down to being shorter than her.
Action Girl: A sports prodigy and very gifted in combat.
Driven to Suicide: She discusses having been suicidally depressed at one point due to Koyomi always picking on her; she also claims that recovering from this incident is why she can't tolerate injustice of any kind.
Theme Naming: "Fire Sisters" is a reference to how the two of them have the character for "fire" (火) in their names (Karen's name is written 火憐). Also, the siblings' names are references to the calendar (Karen = calendar = ka-re-n-daa).
Tsukihi is the youngest Araragi sibling and the second of the two Fire Sisters. Unlike her sister, she prefers indoor activities and really has no idea of what justice even means, so she trust Karen to handle finding proper targets for them while Tsukihi just wants to run wild. She's very malleable, fickle, short tempered and lacks a sense of consistency, which is most easily seen with her hair being in a different style during every appearance.She is the focus of Tsukihi Phoenix, during which she attracts the attention of an exorcist due to her nature.
Animal Motifs: She always wear colourful yukatas, which are supposed to represent Phoenix feathers. She also tends change hairstyle very often, which is supposed to represent a Phoenix 'rebirth'. Additionally, in episode 11, her yukata actually has a phoenix-print pattern.
Tsukihi is also referred to as a cuckoo or cuckoo's child, because the Dying Bird is a "supernatural variant of the lesser cuckoo", and follows the pattern of merging into human children and turning them into supernatural beings, which parallels and is compared to a cuckoo laying its egg in the nest of another bird. In real-life nature, this behavior involves killing the unborn other bird the cuckoo child is to replace; additionally, when the cuckoo is born, it will kill its foster siblings. Sometimes, even the foster parents end up being killed as well. This presumably did not help Yodzuru's belief that the Dying Bird is an evil being.
Has a similar reaction when finding Koyomi and Karen in bed together; she goes to the store to buy a great many awls, which from the Koyomi-shaped outline in the bed, seem to have been employed. Fervently. And later, when Yodzuru and Yotsugi are incessantly ringing her doorbell, she storms out wielding what appears to be a screwdriver.
Her reaction to Koyomi oversleeping she tries to impale him with a crowbar.
Blood Knight: Doesn't really understand the concept of justice, and just uses Karen's moral compass as her guide to make sure she's beating the right people up. She just likes running wild in general.
Brutal Honesty: When Nadeko admits that she's worried that people only like her because she's cute, Tsukihi's responds that that's probably because there's nothing else to her with an attitude of 'Well, duh.'
Changeling Tale: Of sorts. She was possessed in her mother's womb and has never been truly human.
Good Thing You Can Heal: Her true nature is revealed when Yotsugi suddenly blows off the top half of her body. She has fully regenerated in ten seconds or so, being perfectly fine (though unconscious) the next time Koyomi looks at her.
Hair Decorations: A clip that looks like a fried egg, which matches her sister's. It may count as foreshadowing or an attempt to invoke Animal Motifs, given that she's an immortal bird and all.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Dying Bird is in hiding due to constantly being hunted, and so it hides in plain sight by merging with a human fetus. Since it is immortal, if the host dies of old age, the bird just moves on, hides and merges with another fetus.
Dancing Theme: Though unlike many others, the animation is gorgeous.
Foreshadowing: During the lyrics about Tsukihi's sadness, the backup dancer versions of her appear cutoff from the waist up; in episode 10, Tsukihi is killed by Yotsugi by way of having her entire upper body blown clean off.
Lyrical Dissonance: The song is very happy and upbeat. However, the later lyrics make it seem as though Tsukihi is having a breakdown: she says she still gets sad and cries, and then asks, "Why? Just why?", shortly before the song ends.
Incest Subtext: She and Karen got boyfriends similar to Koyomi to try and make him jealous.
As of episode 7 of Nisemonogatari, also with her sister. Araragi even calls the two "yuri sisters" after catching them sleeping naked in each other's arms.
Kimono Fanservice: Though Tsukihi wears a yukata near-constantly, it often falls open and doesn't restrict her movements in the least. It's definitely still fanservice, but it subverts the trope.
Left Hanging: In Mayoi Jiangshi, an alternate timeline, Shinobu (or rather, Kiss-shot) turned everyone in the town into Jiangshis, in despair over the death of that world's Araragi. Koyomi asked Shinobu what happened to Tsukihi (since she's already a supernatural bird), but never got any direct answer.
Mood-Swinger: To the point her brother claims she has hysteria.
Resurrective Immortality/From a Single Cell: While she won't live forever, she cannot be killed by any means other than old age (at which point she will reincarnate in another woman's womb), and will recover from any illness or injury. This is powerful enough to restore her within a few minutes of having her entire body from the waist up obliterated by Yotsugi.
Theme Naming: "Fire Sisters" is a reference to how the two of them have the character for "fire" (火) in their names (Tsukihi's name is written 月火). Also, the siblings' names are references to the calendar (Tsukihi = "moon/month", and "fire", which can be alternately read as 日, "day").
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: This is apparently the procedure for dealing with a Dying Bird. Once Tsukihi steps into view, Yotsugi abruptly blows her entire upper body clean off.
What Measure Is A Nonhuman: Technically speaking, Tsukihi has never been a real "human" at all, merely a phoenix in the shape of one. But if she herself doesn't know that, and her own personality is all that anybody else has ever experienced of her, does that really make her anything but?
Meme Oshino is a thirty something year old man who arrived in town following the vampire Kiss-Shot, the one who turned Koyomi into a vampire. As Oshino values balance above all, he does not pick sides between humans or oddities and instead will try to make sure neither has an advantage over the other. Despite this, he will sell his services to others, though he will also generally hide what he knows.When asked which he values more between the real thing or a fake that impersonates it so well so as to be indistinguishable from the real thing, he believes there is no meaningful distinction between the two and views them both as equally valuable.
Badass Normal: He's just a normal human being with a knowledge of the occult, but he managed to literally steal Kiss-Shot's heart without her noticing and can perform stunts like judo throwing crab gods.
Balance Between Good and Evil: He doesn't like to assign values like good or evil, preferring to keep a neutral balance. If he helps one side, he'll generally help the other afterward.
Big Brother Mentor: He's a valuable source of knowledge and assistance, but he'll also rebuke Koyomi for his numerous failings.
But Now I Must Go: After a few arcs, he eventually disappears from the town without saying a thing. He doesn't like goodbyes or staying in one place too long.
Distracted by the Sexy: He gives this as the reason he lost to the meddlesome cat 20 times in three days in Nekomonogatari Black, but he's clearly not being serious. While a low level oddity, Tsubasa's knowledge, ability and emotional issues make it extremely dangerous.
He Cleans Up Nicely: He dresses like a deadbeat normally, but to help Senjogahara he puts on some proper priest's robes and suddenly looks presentable.
Impossible Thief: He claims to have stolen Kiss-Shot's heart from her, while she was at full power no less, without her noticing. Koyomi only doubts this for a moment before realizing it's the truth. He couldn't pull that trick again, but even she's baffled as to how he managed it even once.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He'll always ask for a large payment before offering his assistance, but if he screws up, he'll make up for it as well as he can. He's also both nicer than he likes to act and pretty fond of Koyomi.
Leitmotif: "Ruins", a harmonica ditty named after the abandoned building he inhabits.
Mr. Exposition: For the first part of the story, he's generally the one to explain what's going on, though after leaving town Koyomi and the others generally have to figure it out on their own.
Kaiki is an old classmate and acquaintance of Oshino and an admitted and proud con man. He claims not to believe in oddities and has an obsession with making money through any means possible. He is introduced during Karen Bee after he is interrupted while scamming middle school students. His personality is very dark and gloomy, leading to an easy association with crows. Despite his inherent selfishness, it is difficult to classify him as truly ill natured: He has no malice and appears to follow his own moral compass.When asked which he values more between the real thing or a fake that impersonates it so well so as to be indistinguishable from the real thing, he believes that the fake is more valuable because it is trying so hard that it becomes more real than the real thing.
And Then What?: After his attempt to trick Nadeko fails he tries a different approach and confronts her directly, pointing out that she's so bored of being a god that something as stupid as Cat's Cradle can occupy her time until she kills Koyomi. What's she going to do after that?
Animal Motifs: Black crows tend to gather to him outdoors. Sometimes it looks like he's talking with their mouths instead of his own.
Blatant Lies: In Hitagi End, Ep3. Considers offer for giving up the job. Accepts payments for such offers. Ignores and continue said job.
Break Them by Talking: Nadeko absolutely loses it when he tells her he read the manga she's been leaving in her closet. He's actually pretty complimentary about it too, which just makes it worse for her.
Catch Phrase: "The lesson for you/me here is...". Oddly enough, he doesn't say it at all during Hitagi End, despite the fact that he's had it for long enough that Kagenui mentions it in reference to him during Tsukihi Phoenix.
Cruel to Be Kind: He drove Senjogahara's parents to a divorce because their family was incurably sick. Needed an amputation.
Even Evil Has Standards: In "Hitagi End", Hitagi says that she'll turn to prostitution if necessary to come up with the money to hire him to deceive Nadeko. He immediately throws his drink in her face, though he still doesn't accept the deal that quickly.
Fangs Are Evil: Not proper fangs, but his teeth are clearly sharper and more pronounced than most characters. Including the ones who are actually vampires!
Fatal Flaw: Whenever he tries to do something good, it always fails. He doesn't understand people well enough.
Hidden Heart of Gold: He'll infect middle schoolers with dangerous fevers and steal their pocket money while they're unconscious, but he actually does have his own set of values and will even act almost altruistically to preserve them.
Horned Hairdo: That's some hairstyle he's got. He wears his hair down in "Hitagi End" as he investigates Nadeko, however, possibly to make himself seem less suspicious.
Karma Houdini Warranty: He got away with tricking the middle schoolers and infecting Karen with nothing more than a warning to get out of town. When he comes back to town, he seems to feel a little bad about the whole thing, not that he would admit it. After curing Nadeko, on his way out of town he's ambushed by the middle school boy that put a snake curse on Nadeko long ago, who blames him for everything and attacks him, possibly fatally.
Due to his very alive presence in Hanamonogatari, which is chronologically some years after he tricked Nadeko, the last blow he took form the kid likely only knocked him out in the process.
Lack of Empathy: Money is the only thing that matters to him. He does not give a damn about how many schoolkids fall victim to the curses he sells, as long as he gets some dough out of them. Well, money and his fake daughter Kanbaru Suruga, that is, which leads to him lending his assistance in Hitagi End.
Leitmotif: "Ominous", a sinister, creepy cello track. It gets a strangely upbeat remix for in "Hitagi End."
Looks Like Cesare: He's deathly pale and angular with hair that is actually shaped up into horns, though when the story follows his own perspective his features are less exaggerated and his hair is normal.
Morality Pet: He's motivated entirely by money in everything he does... except when Kanbaru Surugu is involved. For her, he'll waive all fees, even if she's not even that closely involved in what's going on.
Noble Demon: States that everything he does is for the sole purpose of making money and while this is in part true, in Hitagi End he goes through various different possible reasons he could act upon to help Senjogahara and Koyomi defeat Nadeko while systematically rejecting them for being a bit too out of character, despite apparently wanting to help. A proper motive is finally settled on when he decides that both of them probably know Kanbaru, which is reason enough for him to help.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He comes back to town on the pretext of keeping Kanbaru safe, but probably really to help Senjogahara. In the end, he got clubbed severely by some crazy kid after successfully saving Nadeko.
Contrasting all the other narrators so far, in Hitagi End he's mellow, reserved, down to Earth and his perspective even shows the world as it surely must be rather than the twisted version the other characters see. We even see actual background characters, his internal monologue is baffled at the way people speak, especially about Hanekawa. Somehow, the villainous conman is the one with the most normal view of the world out of every character seen so far.
In particular, he seems to find Koyomi's lolicon tendencies kinda creepy. At the end of the arc, they finally run across each other and to Kaiki he's a stupid meddlesome kid who doesn't understand anything and just makes things worse.
Pet the Dog: Every once in a while he does things that are uncharacteristic and yet completely in character for him. At the beginning of Hitagi End he agrees to help Senjogahara and Araragi for next to nothing and two years ago he crushed the cult that tricked Senjogahara's mother in the first place.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: After deceiving Nadeko fails he instead just tells her how completely terrible she is and what a waste it is that she abandoned everything in her life to try being a god, something that bores her.
Unreliable Narrator: The entire beginning of Hitagi End is him letting us know that he's going to tell a story and whether or not it's true doesn't really matter, nor what parts are false. He quickly goes through about three different versions of why he'd be making a New Year's shrine visit, none of which is the answer you'd expect for why he'd be there: To steal the money people offer to the shrines. Oddly enough, his narration is by far both the most normal in attitude and the least exaggerated in visual presentation.
Yodzuru is the second of Oshino's college associates and unlike the previous two does not work for money but merely because she views herself as a hero of justice. She is an exorcist of immortal beings, believing they hurt and prey on human beings. She is rather, aggressive, judgmental and possesses a distaste or even hatred for things she views as fakes.When asked which she values more between the real thing or a fake that impersonates it so well so as to be indistinguishable from the real thing, she instantly replies that the real thing is more valuable.
Hypocrite: Delivers an angry Breaking Speech to Koyomi about his arrogance in presuming to decide for his family about letting Tsukihi continue to live with them even though she's a phoenix. Note her arrogance in presuming to decide for someone else's family, except her version involves killing Koyomi's sister.
I Have the High Ground: Wears very steep platform high heels and perches in high places. She even perches atop Koyomi's head and Yotsugi's finger. She is actually under a curse that prevents her from being able to stand directly on the earth.
Knight Templar: When asked by Koyomi the reason why she targets Tsukihi, she responds by replying that she does it just because she can't let oddities "pretend" to be human, as she is an ally of justice, and oddities that are "pretending" to be human are evil.
Leitmotif: "Onmyoji", a rather uneasy track that draws on Japanese koto, drums, and wood flute.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives perhaps the most vicious beating in the story up to that point to a near fully vampirized Koyomi. It's so bad that even with his full regenerative powers he's so completely trashed that he's drawn completely differently to represent the damage done.
Yotsugi is Yodzuru's assistant of sorts and acts as her shikigami. She is very unemotional and during her first appearance she tacks her catchphrase "so I said photogenically" onto things, though she later decides this is lame and abandons it in favor of making peace signs.She makes her first appearance in Tsukihi Phoenix and has a later appearance in ''Mayoi Jiangshi. She is also the main character of "Yotsugi Doll".
While Oshino, Kaiki and Yodzuru are all former colleagues and acquaintances of sorts, they were also all occult club members beneath club president Izuko Gaen, their senpai. In contrast to Tsubasa who claims not to know everything, only what she does know, Gaen claims to know everything, and she's not exaggerating. While Oshino works to preserve balance, Kaiki does it for money and Yodzuru for self satisfaction, Gaen can only be hired by trading her favors, the details of which will be decided upon at a later date.Despite being older than the other three occult club members, she looks much younger and likes wearing baggy clothes. She also has a fondness for electronics, possessing at least five smartphones.
Episode was the second of the vampire hunters faced during Kizumonogatari and is a half vampire himself. In exchange for many of the vampire strengths, he also lacks the majority of their weaknesses and thus carries around a massive cross and fights against vampires using attrition based tactics. He is harsh and violent, but also much younger than he looks. He despises both humans and vampires due to being accepted in neither world.
Ougi is a strange girl claiming to be Koyomi's underclassman as well as Meme Oshino's niece. She begins to appear in Mayoi Jiangshi, appears again later to help set Nadeko Medusa in motion and finally takes the spotlight in Ougi Formula, a story where she and Koyomi become trapped until Koyomi can solve a two year old mystery.Her personality is quite mysterious, but she knows a great deal about many situations and appears to be rather malicious.A character with the exact same name appears in Suruga Devil, but that Ougi is a boy claiming to be Oshino's nephew. Curiouser and curiouser.
Her lines in "Nadeko Snake", which imply both foreknowledge of the events of the story and Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory regarding Mayoi's state of life/death during "Mayoi Jiangshi" (or an even more interesting lack of knowledge of the events of "Shinobu Time").
In "Shinobu Time", she implies that she has some connection to the oddity-eating darkness by stating that her line of work is the kind of thing that's been around since the beginning of time, and that it involves punishing liars.
Custom Uniform: She wears the Naoetsu uniform, but it's darker in general—the blouse is two deep shades of red as opposed to pink/purple, and she wears a black tie and ribbons as opposed to the normal blue. She also has overly long sleeves.