I absolutely love Bakemonogatari. It’s such a unique series, full of interesting characters and perhaps the best dialogue of any anime I’ve seen.
Nisemonogatari brought back the same characters (while adding more) and the cool dialogue…but with it, a host of problems. One was Araragi himself, who seemed to now be visiting all of his old friends because he wanted the titillation of flirting with them and possibly more. This, even though Senjogahara had already confessed to him and was not dating him.
It all came to head during the infamous toothbrushing scene, which crossed my personal line. I dropped the show thereafter.
Araragi continued to place himself in situations where temptation was almost certain to occur (ex. going into the Suruga’s room, knowing her distaste for clothes and her vow to win him over). But the second series, though harem in nature, and though it continued the ghostly/exorcising tone of the show, did exhibit some realism. When faced with temptation, many of us jump in anyway. And especially with sexual temptation, and especially with guys, we often think with something else before our hearts and minds…or rather, we don’t think at all.
Let me give you a personal example. During my final years of college, I was told over and over that I would have students hit on me as a teacher. Of course, anime dictates this as well (Serial Experiments Lain, anyone?). Thankfully, that never happened.
As such, I was sure that my ugly mug would get through life without having to face any sort of temptation in this arena. But without getting into any specifics, I was faced with a peculiar and unexpected temptation recently. I wish I could say I went anti-Araragi and just avoided it, but circumstances (or more probably God) removed the temptation before I even had a chance to make a decision, so it was out of my hands.
Still, I was reminded that I need to be proactive. Jesus taught us to take extreme measures to stop sinning (see His teachings referring to cutting off hands and plucking out eyes). Perhaps the best general advice is this: just avoid the situations that might lead you into such predicaments, while also praying that God would “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” And the thing about “evil” is that it sometimes comes bundled in a pretty package, belying a rotten interior while still possessing our human hearts. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of doing something that isn’t good for us, even when what we already possess – strong relationships with family, a spouse/partner, and God – is so much better.
In other words, don’t go to Suruga’s room when you already have Senjogahara waiting at home.