SynopsisThis and subsequent episodes change in structure from the previous of the Second Season in that they contain Post-End Title scenes before the Teaser of Chibi Rika and Chibi Hanyū. Further, at the end of the opening credits when Rika waves, it is revealed that she is waving to Hanyū dressed as a school girl who then rushes to join Rika and her friends on their way to school.
First HalfAs the higurashi cry, a young girl with blond hair and brown eyes asks in a study, "Frontal lobe?" Takano Hifumi, and older man sitting at his desk, turns and explains that his thesis involves the existence of a parasite that influences the frontal lobes of the brain. The girl hums in frustrated confusion; the man continues that many parasites can control their hosts at times. However, many want to reject the idea that a parasite can control a human. The girl asks why. The man sighs and explains that it would mean the human mind could be controlled.
"If our thoughts are being altered by these parasites, it'd be no different than the Black Plague." He continues that his research may end up justifying genocide and oppression due to race and religion. He explains this is the reason discussion of "brain-infecting parasites" has become a "taboo" since WWII.The young girl does not quite understand. Hifumi continues that these "brain-infecting parasites" definitely exist. The girl excitedly adds, "And Grandpa, you're going to prove that, right?" He admits that that is his hope. He muses that very few scientists live long enough to see their theories proven. This saddens the girl a bit; he smiles and reassures her that when his research is accepted he will be, in effect, resurrected. She asks if he means "like a god?" He agrees: "At that time, Grandpa will become a god." As the higurashi cry outside his home, the scene shifts to night and a thunderstorm. There is a decrepit compound with a sign "The House of Skies/Emptiness" (空の家). Eriko works a lock with a key. Kikuko stands behind her next to Tomomi and fears that the key only opens the chicken coop. Eriko commands them to be quiet. Next to her, the girl asks, "This key will open it, right?!" Eriko insists that she has the correct key, but the lock is a bit stiff. A flashlight shines across a wall, and Eriko fears that someone is coming. She insists that the key will open the lock since she tried it. Desperate, she declares that once the lock opens, they can all be happy. As the sounds of footsteps come closer, and the girl begs her to stop, the scene shifts to a city road. A bus driver suddenly clutches his chest, collapses, and the bus turns into oncoming traffic. Outside a hospital, a line of ambulances brings the injured. The girl calls to her father who lies heavily bandages with a breathing mask. The girl asks where her mother is. Her father calls her "Miyoko," and instructs her to listen to him carefully. He and her mother lost all of their relatives in WWII. If he dies, she must find Dr. Takano Hifumi. He makes her repeat the name "Takano Hifumi." He smiles and explains that Hifumi is his mentor. He then coughs blood onto her face and a doctor rushes him to the operating room. Miyoko quietly repeats "Dad (お父さん・otōsan)."
At the Child Welfare Section, a Counselor asks Miyoko if there is someone who will take care of her. She gives the name "Takano Hifumi," but she can only say that he is her father's teacher. The Counselor sighs and asks if she has any relatives. She shakes her head. The Counselor entrusts her to the care of the orphanage. The Head smiles until the gate closes and the Counselor drives away. He then turns stern and demands that Miyoko come with him.
Inside, a voice of a girl desperately begs, "I'm sorry!" A man's voice demands why she cannot do a simple task followed by the sound of her being hit. Miyoko writes with a pencil as the voice of the girl screams she is sorry. Sitting next to her, Eriko informs Miyoko that the girl will receive the "casket punishment." Kikuko looks up from her writing to asks what that is. Tomomi, who sits next to her, replies that she does not know, "but they say that's still one of the better ones." Miyoko shudders in horror as the sound of something being hammered shut drowns out the pleas of the girl.A bowl of soup hits the floor. The Head forces the boy who dropped it to eat it off of the floor. At night, the girls discuss an orphanage that exists "over the mountains" where the children are treated well. Everyone calls the head of it "Mom." Kikuko starts to cry that she wants to go where her mom is. Eriko asks them all if they had the chance would they try to escape. Miyoko replies that she would. Kikuko fears that they will definitely be caught. Eriko reveals that the key to the chicken coop fits the lock to the door behind the stairs. Eriko knows that she cannot make it alone, "but with everyone, there's a bit of a chance."
Eriko explains that in the past there was a group escape. Miyoko asks if this is really true, and Eriko responds that the orphanage keeps it secret since only one person was caught. They succeeded since they all scattered. Tomomi is scared about being caught; Eriko asks her how much longer she intends to stay. She asks Miyoko if she will go with her. Miyoko asks her if she is sure they can escape. Eriko cannot guarantee success, but admits that if more people go with her, her chances of escape are higher than if she went alone.The key finally opens the lock, just as the flashlight shines on them. The girls run outside a whistles blow and the alert for an escape is raised. They crawl under a chain-linked fence which delays their pursuers. They split up and run in different directions. Miyoko runs with flashlights and the screaming Head behind her. She finds her path ends with part of the mountain. She tries to climb it. Her foot slips and she falls back down. The flashlight illuminates her horrified face. The Head grabs her and starts to beat her by slaming her head into the ground. She manages to bite his thumb. Screaming at her, he stands above her demanding to know how she dare bite him.
Second HalfAn adult Takano looks with satisfaction at a briefcase full of money. She thanks Koizumi. Koizumi laughs as he insists that money belongs to young people: "It's useless for an old man to keep it." He continues that he is jealous of the Late Hifumi ("Takano-kun") for having such a good grandchild. Takano protests that she has not done anything for Hifumi to be proud, but she feels when she completes his research, he will finally compliment her. Addressing her as "Miyo-chan," he insists on complimenting her on her progress, particularly the trust and support from many people. He explains further that by giving her the money, he has accepted her as the official successor to Hifumi's research. He apologizes that, "at the time," he could not help Hifumi, and the money also represents his atonement. He promises to support her fully in any way he can for as long as he lives. Inside a traditional Japanese home, a man in a suit with glasses cannot believe the study he is reading has been buried for decades. Another with a small mustache last popular in Germany, 1944, laments that the military refused to look at it. Another with a gold tie adds that since no one heard of it, the "GHQ," or Supreme Command of the Allied Powers, never investigated it. Another compliments Takano that it seems as if Takano Hifumi possessed her to complete his research. She laughs covering her mouth while confessing that she feels she has a strange tie to the study. The man with a gold tie eminds her that the purpose of the research is not to gain a biological weapon but to create countermeasures to it. The man with the mustache adds that the board of director have conditions. First, the authority for research must be in the hands of an exceptional expert in the field. Takano bristles slightly, but she tries to politely ask who knows more about the subject that herself. The men with the mustache and with the gold tie reassure her that they will arrange it for her benefit. The man with the gold tie explains that he has the power to select that person, and he will simply pick someone she can easily work with. As the men all laugh, Takano masks her disappointment. One of them informs her that as the second in command, she will have the rank of "major," and they congratulate her on her position. Takano relaxes and slightly smiles.
In his office in a city, the man with the mustache formally introduces Irie Kyōsuke to her. She giggles behind her hand and reassures him that he does not need to be so tense. As they sit, Irie compliments her work into the Hinamizawa Syndrome. She returns the compliment.A door in the traditional home opens to reveal Tetsurō Okonogi and Tomitake Jirō in uniform. The man with the mustache introduces them. Jirō bows and identifies himself as the inspecting officer for the project. He introduces Okonogi as the commander of the Yamainu, "one of the Special Forces units" which will be deployed in Hinamizawa. Takano playfully asks Okonogi if he is "somewhat like a body guard?" Okonogi describes him and his unit as her "arms and legs" to be used as she sees fit. Takano nods and smiles. From the vantage point of looking up at the night sky, rain falls on the viewer. The injured Miyoko walks slowly along a road. She has only one shoe and slips and falls down the side, losing her other shoe. The rain picks up. As it falls on her face, she cries to her mother. In a flashback depicted as an old film playing, Miyoko sees a large department store. Inside, she happily receives a meal with a small flag stuck in the rice. Miyoko saves the flag and smiles at her parents. The "film" flickers then breaks to the sound of the Head and his minions looking for her. She rises and continues to flee in the rain. She seeks shelter near a large tree. She curses "god" (神様 ・kamisama) and demands to know why she has to suffer. She recalls her father promising that the "good" and "bad" part of her life will not last long. Screaming at the sky, Miyoko demands that her torment not last much longer. Lightning flashes. Miyoko responds by asking to be guided to good fortunate that will make up for all she suffered. If he will not do that, she asks to die.
She stands and walks into the rain demanding that she, Tanashi Miyoko, is there waiting to be killed by the "god" who killed her parents. A large flash appears to consume her.
Post-End TitlesThe night is clear of rain. In her uniform, Takano awakes in her command vehicle with a scream. One of the Yamainu opens her door to inform her that it is time. He informs her of no difficulties. She leaves the trailer and walks out to look down on Hinamizawa. She declares that soon her nightmare will be just a part of her history.
She begins to laugh hysterically.
Chibi Rika reminds the viewers of "Au~ Au~!" they discussed previously. As Chibi Hanyū looks embarrassed, Chibi Rika insists that it is not something she likes to talk about. It reminds her of something she saw in a video her father treasured. Chibi Hanyū asks her what kind of video she saw.
- "It was a video of a blond guy and a girl wrestling in the back of a car!" – Chibi Rika
- "Au~! Au~!" – Chibi Hanyū
After Chibi Rika announces the next episode, Chibi Hanyū sadly says, "Rika!"
In order of appearance
- Tanashi Miyoko
- Takano Hifumi
- Unnamed Bus Driver
- Doctors and Nurses
- Injured Passengers
- Tanashi Takemitsu
- Miyoko's mother (mentioned/flashback)
- Unnamed Orphans Counselor
- Orphanage Head
- Orphanage Guards
- Unnamed Orphanage Boy
- Unnamed "Tokyo" Superiors
- Man with Mustache
- Man with Gold Tie
- Man with Glasses
- Man with Green Tie
- Irie Kyōsuke
- Tetsurō Okonogi
- Tomitake Jirō
Referbacks and Forwards
- Bus? Train?: the anime adaption uses a bus. The Sound Novels and manga use a train derailment.
- "I'm sorry!"
- Takano and Rain: particularly looking up at it, walking in it, and having only one shoe.
- GHQ: note the infamous dismissal of War Crimes investigation of Shiro Ishii and his human experimentations to seek biological weapons in exchange for his research.
- This is Ground Control to Major
TomTakano: the title "major" was traditionally "shōsa " (少佐), and is retained in some anime such as The Ghost in the Shell franchise. In the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the title is "sansa" from 3(san)等陸佐(sa).
- Takano's childhood
- "This essay may actually end up justifying genocide and oppression due to racial or religious affiliation." – Takano Hifumi
- "Once it opens, we will be happy." – Eriko
- "As long as I'm alive, I won't let your research suffer even the tiniest bit!" – Koizumi