Tsubasa Hanekawa (羽川 翼, Hanekawa Tsubasa) is Koyomi Araragi's classmate and a class representative in Naoetsu Private High School. She is known at school as an overachiever and model student who is admired by many. However, hidden by her achievements in school and her kind personality is a tense family life caused by unfortunate circumstances. She was bewitched by an oddity on the first day of Golden Week, giving birth to her "alternate self" called Black Hanekawa, and for some time was responsible for a series of attacks on various people in town. She and Black Hanekawa are the narrators of Nekomonogatari (White). Tsubasa is the titular protagonist of three arcs: Tsubasa Cat, Tsubasa Family, and Tsubasa Tiger.
Tsubasa is a girl with glasses, black hair, purple pupils, and a fair complexion. She is stated to be beautiful by Suruga Kanbaru, Hitagi Senjougahara, and Koyomi. She is always seen dressed in the uniform of Naoetsu Private High School, even outside of school days, and is rarely seen on any other type of clothing, except for a set of sleepwear which she wore during Tsubasa Cat.
During Nekomonogatari Kuro and Bakemonogatari, she styles her hair into two braids and ties them with a hair ribbon that has a cat design. After the events of Tsubasa Cat, she allows Koyomi to cut her hair as a symbol of her growth (Koyomi secretly keeps her braids). She also begins wearing contact lenses instead of her usual pair of glasses. After the events in Tsubasa Tiger, her hair how has several noticeable streaks of silvery-white, resembling a tiger's stripes.
As shown during her moments as Black Hanekawa, Tsubasa has a slim figure and is well-endowed. Koyomi once commented in Tsubasa Family that Tsubasa's breasts are "so appealing that one would want to cop a feel." Another interesting detail is her rather unique choice of underwear, which is often decorated with lace.
To most people she interacts with, Tsubasa is a soft-spoken girl with a kind heart and a positive personality. Her top grades make her a favorite of the teachers, while her approachable character makes admirers out of her classmates. Tsubasa is also a wealth of information due to her study habits, but keeps humble about it, always stating that "I don’t know everything, I just know what I know" to those who commend her knowledge (although it should be noted that she only says this to Koyomi as this catchphrase makes Koyomi happy). She is never seen angry, but even when she does get mad, she retains her positive appearance, and often resorts to scolding the offender like a teacher, only to show a smile afterwards.
However, those who are familiar with her true identity know that all of those are a facade that she shows to the public. The truth is that she often does things without the sentiment that comes along with it, and moves only through common sense. She also possesses a strong sense of righteousness that becomes a double-edged sword, to the point of interacting with her may cause oneself to notice one's imperfections.
In Tsubasa Tiger, her personality was described as "accepting whatever comes her way without any objections" and "shunning all of her undesirable traits somewhere else". The latter was what caused the manifestation of Black Hanekawa and Kako, which symbolizes her stress and her envy and negative emotions, respectively.
Despite this, Koyomi stated that Hanekawa is the individual he respects the most. She is his first and best friend as well as his "savior" during Kizumonogatari, causing him to deify her as his "ideal girl."
Hanekawa currently lives with her stepfather and stepmother. Her biological mother was 17 years old when she got pregnant, while little is known from her biological father because she apparently had many lovers. Before she gave birth to Tsubasa, she married another man who was a "workaholic". Right after giving birth, Tsubasa's biological mother commited suicide. The workaholic stepfather, unable to raise a child, remarried again to a woman who is Tsubasa's current mother. The workaholic father soon died from overwork and the current mother married another man who is now Tsubasa's current father.
In the Hanekawa residence, Tsubasa doesn't have a room of her own, and usually sleeps in the hallway of the second floor. She also often cooks her own food, as do her parents, strongly suggesting distant ties of the Hanekawa family.
As the class president, Tsubasa discusses about the class' plans for their school festival alongside her vice president Koyomi. During their conversation, Koyomi opens the topic about their classmate Hitagi Senjougahara, who was known for being an athletic and famous student in middle school before becoming antisocial in high school.
Unknown to Tsubasa, their conversation would trigger Koyomi's first direct encounter with Hitagi, which allows the part-vampire to help in her encounter with the oddity that rendered her almost weightless.
On Mother's Day, unlike most people, Tsubasa decides to stay outside, wearing her school uniform despite the fact that it was a Sunday. She meets Koyomi and a young girl named Mayoi Hachikuji at Namishiro Park and tries to make friends of the latter, to no avail. After a short talk with Koyomi, she leaves the two, who were later accompanied by Hitagi. Meme later explains during his response to Koyomi's request to help out in Mayoi's case that Tsubasa's ability to see Mayoi (who, as a ghost, is invisible to most people) reveals her longing to avoid returning home, which is a sign of a person inflicted by the oddity called "lost cow" (i.e. Mayoi).
Tsubasa joins Koyomi on a trip to the bookstore to look for reference material. Here, Koyomi and Tsubasa discuss their plans for the future. Meanwhile, on the topic of the shrine Koyomi visited the day before, Tsubasa reveals to Koyomi that the shrine, called Kita-Shirahebi Shrine, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to a snake god, although she also tells him that it was the only thing she knew about that place.
She soon diverts the topic to Koyomi's tendency to implusively help others and she scolds him for it, warning him that he might end up hurting the feelings of others if he continues to do what he wants.
Upon leaving the bookstore, Tsubasa reveals that she plans to go on a trip around the world, which is completely different from what the teachers of Naoetsu Private High School expect from someone like her. Suddenly, she experiences a sharp headache which worried Koyomi; Tsubasa then reveals that she has been suffering from headaches recently before making a hasty exit shortly after.
Koyomi meets once again with Tsubasa at school while he was having an amusing conversation with Nadeko Sengoku, who had been recently been cured of the curse of the jagirinawa. After Nadeko flees from Tsubasa's presence, Tsubasa and Koyomi talk once again; this time, their conversation is less about Nadeko and more about him and his relationship with Hitagi. In their talk, Tsubasa tells Koyomi that there have been rumors of "changes" to Hitagi ever since he had entered her life and she uses this to remind Koyomi to do his best so that he doesn't ruin Hitagi's reputation in the process.
As their conversation goes on, however, Tsubasa is suddenly hit with another headache. Although pained, Tsubasa tells Koyomi to not worry about her, and instead requests him to focus more on Hitagi's well being. Koyomi, at that moment, remembers what happened to Tsubasa during the previous Golden Week.
Although it has since been resolved with the help of Shinobu Oshino and at the cost of her own memories, the problems emerge again right before the school festival because of different stress. It was revealed by the bakeneko that the source of the aforementioned stress was her feelings for Koyomi. Despite Black Hanekawa possessing a female body, the spirit itself is male.
By the start of summer vacation, she has cut her hair and appears without glasses, wearing contact lenses instead. She began her tutoring sessions with Koyomi right after the end of the semester, although she suddenly puts this on hold for some reason.
Tsubasa is later seen in the Araragi household, protecting Koyomi's sisters from his wrath. During her stay, she avoids Koyomi from using physical or verbal abuse against Karen and Tsukihi Araragi despite of Karen's reckless encounter with a conman named Deishuu Kaiki, since he had been upset when she revealed to him during Golden Week about her stepfather hitting her once. Both of his sisters come to his defense though, explaining that it is part of their usual sibling conflict and that they can handle themselves. Tsubasa later decides to leave the Fire Sisters to Koyomi's care.
The day after that, Koyomi would discover that Hitagi has been acting weird towards Tsubasa, to the point of declaring her subordination towards her, and finds out that Hitagi is actually "working for her" in the case involving Kaiki, who is the same person who contributed to the downfall of the Senjougahara family.
At the start of Golden Week, Hanekawa meets Koyomi by chance as she was strolling across town. After a friendly exchange between the two, they decide to go together. In their conversation, Tsubasa tells Koyomi that she has a cold relationship with her stepparents, who have been ignoring her presence most of the time. She also tells Koyomi that she was hit by her stepfather only recently, and it was the reason why she has her left cheek bandaged. By the end of their conversation, Koyomi promises to keep her story a secret to everyone in exchange for letting him lick her bruised cheek. (Koyomi uses his blood to heal Tsubasa's cheek instead.)
Moments later, Tsubasa picks up a dead cat on the street and buries it with Koyomi by her side. That night, Tsubasa would transform into a mischievous being that drains away the energy of others, which would be later named as Black Hanekawa, due to the influence of an oddity named the sawarineko. Throughout the next few days, Tsubasa would attack people at night as Black Hanekawa, draining away the energy of her victims.
As the attacks increase in number, Meme and Koyomi are forced to confront her. Despite the defeat of the two in two separate encounters, Koyomi manages to suppress the sawarineko in Tsubasa, but only due to Shinobu's help.
During a routine day alone in the Hanekawa Residence, Tsubasa heads to school, where she momentarily meets Mayoi Hachikuji, who was on her way to the Araragi Residence to get her backpack, which she forgot to bring along with her after being dragged to the house by Koyomi himself. Following that short conversation, Tsubasa proceeds on her way to school, where she met a tiger-shaped oddity that is able to talk. The same day after that encounter, the Hanekawa Residence is consumed by fire and was completely destroyed.
Without a home to live in, Tsubasa initially stayed over at the ruins of Eikou Cram School until Hitagi coerced her into staying over at her place for the meantime. A few days later, she moves to the Araragi Residence after Hitagi's father made it inconvenient to have a visitor to stay over. During Tsubasa's short stay in Koyomi's house, she was warmly welcomed by Koyomi's sisters Karen and Tsukihi, whom she had helped during summer break, but Koyomi's mother did point out that she cannot stay in their house for any longer.
In a twist of fate, Tsubasa soon meets Episode, the half-vampire vampire hunter who almost took her life during spring break, although their ensuing conversation was more casual than expected. Soon, Episode meets his client, Izuko Gaen, and Tsubasa was lectured by Gaen about Tsubasa's ignorance. Izuko also reminds Tsubasa that the promblem with the tiger oddity, named by Izuko herself as "Kako", can only be solved by Tsubasa alone.
Tsubasa heeds Izuko's words and decides to seek more knowledge about Kako, but she realizes that she is actually dealing with a relatively new oddity. To make things worse, Hitagi's speculations indicate that Kako actually targets places from Tsubasa's past (過去, kako), more specifically the places Tsubasa called home. Tsubasa becomes afraid that with her house and the Eikou Cram School already burned down earlier, the Senjougahara and Araragi Residences are both at risk of burning down and killing her friends.
In order to avoid this, Tsubasa decides to reconcile with her other side, Black Hanekawa, through a letter. Here, she also explains that she had also realized that both Black Hanekawa (as Tsubasa's stress) and Kako (as Tsubasa's envy and negative emotions) are part of her existence, and the only way to stop Kako is to absorb him before he could burn his next target, which turned out to be the Senjougahara Residence. Black Hanekawa manages to read Tsubasa's letter, but initially hesitated to help out. However, she took this chance to repay Hanekawa's kindness and decides to confront Kako alone.
Unlike in previous manifestations of Black Hanekawa, Tsubasa was able to regain control of her body and used the opportunity to ask Kako to come back to her. However, Kako blatantly refuses and becomes aggressive, forcing Black Hanekawa to deal with him instead. Unfortunately, Kako's ability to envelop himself in flames made it impossible to defeat, so Black Hanekawa was able to delay his attack on the Senjougahara Residence by only ten seconds until she was rendered unable to fight.
Then, out of nowhere, the Kokorowatari strikes down Kako before he could finish off Tsubasa, and Koyomi appears, acknowledging her short delay that allowed him to catch up.
After Koyomi subdued Kako, Tsubasa finds out that Koyomi had read the letter she originally left for Black Hanekawa and decides to confess her love to Koyomi. Koyomi quickly turns her down, however. Tsubasa initially accepted the rejection well, but she eventually breaks down in tears in front of Koyomi.
In the end, Hanekawa reabsorbs Kako back into her body and fully accepts Black Hanekawa as a part of her. This leads to half of Hanekawa's hair becoming white and forming a stripe-like pattern in her hair, which in turn causes her to dye her hair black every morning. The Hanekawa family also manages to move to a new home, where she finally gets a room for herself.
- Tsubasa's first name means "wing" while her surname has the characters for "wing" and "river".
- Tsubasa Tiger was written in Tsubasa's perspective instead of Koyomi's.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Second Season Episode 02: Tsubasa Tiger, Part 2
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Second Season Episode 05: Tsubasa Tiger, Part 5
- ↑ Bakemonogatari Episode 09: Nadeko Snake, Part 1
- ↑ Bakemonogatari Episode 11: Tsubasa Cat, Part 1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Second Season Episode 01: Tsubasa Tiger, Part 1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Second Season Episode 04: Tsubasa Tiger, Part 4
Characters of the Monogatari Series
|Araragi Family||Koyomi Araragi • Karen Araragi • Tsukihi Araragi • Araragi Matriarch|
|Heroines||Hitagi Senjougahara • Mayoi Hachikuji • Suruga Kanbaru • Nadeko Sengoku • Tsubasa Hanekawa/Black Hanekawa • Shinobu Oshino • Sodachi Oikura • Ougi Oshino|
|Exorcists||Meme Oshino • Deishuu Kaiki • Yozuru Kagenui • Yotsugi Ononoki • Izuko Gaen • Tadatsuru Teori|
|Vampire Hunters||Dramaturgie • Episode • Guillotine Cutter|
|Other Characters||Hitagi's Father • Hitagi's Mother • Tsunade • Mayoi's Father • Tooe Kanbaru • Suruga's Father • Suruga's Grandmother • Nadeko's Parents • Tsubasa's Parents • Mizudori • Rousokuzawa • Higasa • Rouka Numachi • Sasayabu • Komichi Tetsujou|