“It was a game that Kaiki often used to discuss…Given the real thing, and an indistinguishable impostor, which is worth more? … Naturally, my response was that the real thing was worth more. Oshino asserted that they had equal value, though. But Kaiki’s argument was that the impostor is of far greater value. In its deliberate attempts to be real, it’s more real than the real thing. Kaiki’s such a petty villain, but he does say some neat things.”
– Kagenui (Nisemonogatari)
Hyperreality is one of those subjects that you touch on once at university and then never see again. It’s an abstract philosophy that is a challenge to understand and apply in any practical sense. In the words of several great thinkers, it is “a real without origin or reality” and “the authentic fake.”
The term itself was created when several philosophers attempted to figure out why we seek artificial stimulation as opposed to things with real emotional attachments. Simply put, humans fantasize about things that can’t be real in nature and so we seek reality outside of reality. Reality TV (or most TV shows for that matter) are perfect examples of hyperreality.
I don’t believe the idea is ever directly stated in Nisemonogatari (though I could be wrong), but it is clearly touched upon when referring to Karen and Tsukihi as “allies of justice.” When they begin striking poses and repeating catch phrases, it becomes clear that this is just an act to the two of them. When Karen confronts Kaiki, she wants him to play the role of the villain and complete her hyperreality, but he refuses to do so. This simultaneously shatters both Karen’s hyperreality, and the audiences view of Kaiki as a villain. There was an expectation that Kaiki would be a familiar antagonist, but reality dictated otherwise.
Overall, Nisemonogatari was a pretty boring anime, but it did say some neat things.
As long as we’re on the subject, who’s excited for Nekomonogatari? Let’s hope it marks the start of a good year in anime.