PrologueWater drips from the gutters of Keiichi's house as dawn breaks. Once again, he lays in his bed. It is 8:10 A.M., and he clearly has not slept. He says out loud, "I didn't do it?" He has a flashback of chasing Teppei with Satoshi's bat, then cornering him, and then beating him to death. He raises his hand and looks at it wondering if it all could have been a dream.
He suddenly rises when he realizes that means Teppei is still with Satoko. He opens a tools shed and chooses an axe as he vows that, no matter how many times it takes, he will kill him.
As he walks to his bike and stops, he hears the extra footstep behind him. He wonders if Satoshi follows him, but when he turns to look he sees no one. Looking at the Sun breaking through the clouds, he raises his axe to it and concludes that "That doesn't mean anything."
First HalfKeiichi bikes to the Hōjōs house, but he does not see Teppei's scooter which fits his belief that he killed him. He is surprised to find the door unlocked. He leaves his shoes with a number of other pairs and enters the house to hear a woman on the television giving the weather report. He finds the main room a complete mess with dirty dishes, empty wine bottles, and an unopened package of salad dated the day before. He wonders why a packaged dinner for two people remains unopened. Keiichi searches the house for Satoko. He hears the sound of water and follows to it to the bath. He wonders why someone would take a bath early in the morning. He opens the door to find Satoko's "sailor" school uniform in a basket with grains of rice on the front. He quickly wonders if she has been in the bath since the night before. He runs through the steam to find a naked and exhausted Satoko sweating collapsed in the hot bath counting "five thousand thirty-seven."
He pulls her out and lays her on the floor calling her name. She looks at him and calls him "Keiichi-san." Keiichi places a cool cloth on her head and tells he that he, her "Nii-Nii," is there for her. Satoko continues counting: "Five thousand forty." He asks her to what number does she plan to count, and she responds, "ten thousand." Shocked, Keiichi demands to know why she is doing this. Satoko weakly replies, "Uncle." With this, Keiichi screams in rage and grabs the axe. He begins rampaging through the house in search of Teppei. Unable to find him, he starts swinging the axe at walls in rage as he wonders, "Where . . . Where the hell did he go?"
Carrying a towel-wrapped Satoko on his back, Keiichi approaches the Irie Clinic. He arrives to hear police sirens. Satoko briefly wakes to notice "a lot of police cars" in front of the Irie Clinic. Keiichi places Satoko on the ground in the forest to investigate, but Satoko protests that he would leave a lady behind with just a bath towel. Ever unable to read a room, Keiichi treats it like a joke by declaring that if she can be that "sarcastic," she will be fine. Keiichi approaches the clinic to see Komiyama taking notes as the Clinic Doctor describes, "High fever, incontinence, and severe mania were observed." He claims that he initially thought the case was a "typical sleeping pill overdose," so he treated the patient immediately. Komiyama asks, "Without calling the police?" The man protests that "this is a hospital, and I'm a doctor," and he began emergency treatment.
The doctor continues to discuss how his patient entered respiratory arrest. Komiyama confirms that the doctor called after the patient died. He is interrupted by a call from call from the station. He immediately declares that it, "Looks like a sleeping-pill suicide. No suicide note." Hearing this, Keiichi wonder who it could be. Komiyama returns to the doctor to ask if the patient regularly used sleeping pils or regularly said things like, "I'm tired," or "I want to die." At that point, the doctor reveals that, "Dr. Irie's personality was always distinct, so I don't think so. . . ." Keiichi cannot understand why Irie would commit suicide.Komiyama receives another call, and he explains that his chief wants him to delegate the investigation to backups so he may investigate Ōishi's disappearance. Listening, Keiichi does not understand, but Satoko approaches him to ask what is going on. He explains that Irie apparently committed suicide. Tears form in Satoko's eyes. She repeats that it is a "lie," without conviction. When Keiichi apologizes, Satoko asks him why he is apologizing. Keiichi confesses that he cursed Irie as he inwardly flashes back to his time in the Irie Clinic the previous day. Satoko declares that it is not his nor anyone else's fault. Drying her tears, she then announces that she does not wish to remain naked in a towel for very long and wishes some clothes. Keiichi explains that she should be checked at the clinic; she retorts that she will not die if she is seen after she puts on clothes. She recommends that the go to Rika's house, since she will still have some of her clothes. Crows gather on the offering box of the Furude Shrine. Keiichi dutifully carries Satoko up the steps to the shrine. As they make their way on the grounds, Keiichi finds it strange: Takano died the day before, Ōishi disappeared, along with Irie. Keiichi notes that he had cursed all of them. Keiichi's eyes widen as he tries to comprehend this. He focuses then on Satoko's uncle. She asks him not to talk about him. Keiichi persists to ask her to confirm that he was at her house the day before. Sakoko angrily asks again that he not talk about him. Keiichi announces that it is not possible for Teppei to have survived the Watanagashi Festival since he killed him with his bare hands.
Quietly, Satoko demands that Keiichi let her down from his back. She then quickly moves away from him. Keiichi understand that she thinks he is crazy, but Satoko replies that since the people he cursed the day prior died by coincidence, she bets that he is just confused. She gently recommends that he rest at home for the day. She claims that she is fine now, and when Keiichi protests, she responds that she does not want to expose herself to a man any longer and then runs away,
Keiichi stands surprised until startled by a murder of crows flying and squawking about the offering box. He rushes up the steps to find the disemboweled corpse of Rika being eaten by crows. Keiichi protests to himself that he never wished her death. Keiichi screams in horror.
Second HalfKeiichi angrily shoos away the crows from Rika's dead body with his axe. With his desperate swings, the safety paper comes off and he accidentally tosses the axe into a pool of Rika's blood. The crows persist, and Keiichi retrieves the now bloody axe and swings at them widely again until they finally depart. He then turns to find Satoko has returned and is staring at him holding a bloody axe. She, naturally, screams hysterically. While still holding the axe, Keiichi tells her to calm down. She steps back calling him a murderer, turns, and flees screaming. Keiichi pursues her, still holding the axe, while denying that he is the murderer of Rika. As she makes her way through the forrest, she laments that she once thought he could be her "real Nii-Nii!" She continues to lament that ever since her brother disappeared, she has been lonely, but when Keiichi transferred, "everyone became happy." Trying to follow, Keiichi insists that she is mistaken.
Satoko finds and starts to cross the large suspension bridge over the river. She trips when she turns to look back at Keiichi who still calls her name. She demands that he not come closer to her, and Keiichi insists he does not understand what happened, but he knows he did not kill Rika. Satoko asks why she should believe him. She then asks why he carries an axe. Keiichi throws the axe over the bridge. This does not sooth Satoko; she notes that with his strength, he could just as easily strangle her. Keiichi asks her what he should do; Satoko asks him to fold his hands above his head and turn around. When he complies, she confesses that she somehow knows that Rika's death is not his fault. As she walks towards him, she explains that he is probablly "just possessed by something bad."She confesses that she has also experienced this. Once, she climbed onto the roof of the Saiguden when playing hide and seek with Rika and other children. After sneaking through a window, she falls to the floor. She sees the statue of Oyashiro-sama along with the various objects of torture. She stares at the statue of Oyashiro-sama in awe until she hears various voices looking for her. She tries to climb back to the window, but she cannot reach it. She finally decides to use some chains attached to a morning star to work her way back to the window. However, when she makes it to the window, the chains fall and break off the statue's right forearm. Rika's repeatedly screams that "It wasn't me (僕じないです・boku jinaidesu!)!" as her father drags her away and spanks her while Satoko watches in fear. She confesses that, since that event where Rika was punished for a mistake she make, "the world around me became strange."
Keiichi asks her what she means, and Satoko explains that it is all due to Oyashiro-sama's curse, and that this is divine punishment for her defiling the shrine and betraying her best friend, Rika. She continues that her parents disappeared, then her aunt died. Then her "Nii-Nii," "who cared for me more than anyone," abandoned her and ran away from home. Through her tears, she states that when Keiichi transferred, "I thought happy days had finally returned," but now he has become possessed, and Rika is dead. When Keiichi tries to reassure her, she pushes him over the bridge.As he falls, he can only think "no way," and scream. Flailing, he manages to grab the lower cable of the bridge. Satoko hysterically calls him a "murderer," and demands that he "give him back! Give back Nii-Nii! Give me back Keiichi-san!" She shakes the bridge, vowing never to lose to the demon in Keiichi which stole everything from her. Keiichi begs her to believe that he wanted her to be happy. She denounces him for "pretending to be Keiichi-san untill the very, very end!" "Fall!" she screams as Keiichi starts to lose his grip. He begs one last time for her to believe him.
In narration, he states that her last words to him were "fall!" As he falls, he flashbacks to the happy picnic from Onikakushi-hen, then him competing with Satoko in a card game as he wonders where the happy times went. He corrects himself: "No, where did it start to go wrong?" He reveals that as he fell, the last thing he wished for "was probably the death of this world of Hinamizawa which had gone wrong."In a city a newsreader on television in a ramen restaurant states, "That was staff reporter Ogata reporting from the Prime Minister's home." The reporter then presents another report on "the disaster." A customer remarks on the tragedy of dying in one's sleep to a waitress who replies, "so sad!" As he orders another gyōza and a beer, the newsreader continues that on the night of June 22, "a severe disaster occurred in Hinamizawa, . ." Poisonous volcanic gas erupted which flowed into the village, killing everyone. "The current confirmed death toll is over a thousand." The newsreader is handed another set of papers, and he announces that there is one confirmed survivor: "Maebara Keiichi, a Hinamizawa resident." Found in respiratory distress, Keiichi is now located in a local general hospital and should survive.
The television suddenly goes black, and the customer demands to know who turned it off. The waitress wonders if the television broke.
In her adult voice, Rika notes:
- "What arrived is the evening twilight. What got lost is the darkness of time. What meets is the space between past and future."
after announcing the next episode, over the eye of Sonozaki Oryō, she asks,
- Can you believe it?"
In order of appearance
- Maebara Keiichi
- Hōjō Teppei (mentioned/flashback)
- Hōjō Satoshi (mentioned)
- Weather Girl
- Hōjō Satoko
- Doctor of Irie Clinic
- Irie Kyōsuke (mentioned/flashback)
- Kuraudo Ōishi (mentioned)
- Takano Miyo (mentioned)
- Furude Rika (corpse/flashback)
- Rika's Father (flashback)
- Hōjō Satoko's and Satoshi's Parents (mentioned)
- Hōjō Tamae (mentioned)
- A newsreader (unnamed)
- Ramen Waitress (unnamed)
- Ramen Customer (unnamed)
Referbacks and Forwards
- Keiichi hearing that extra footstep from the previous episode as well as in Onikakushi-hen.
- Keiichi believed he had disposed of Teppei's scooter in Onigafuchi Swamp.
- For the second time, Satoko calls Keiichi "Keiichi-san" rather than her various diminutives and nicknames.
- In this and particularly the previous Onikakushi-hen, Keiichi fears he will become like Satoshi: he will be "demoned away." Nevertheless, he tries to become an older brother to Satoko. In other arcs and the source Sound Novels, Keiichi treats her like he is an older brother by teasing and provokig her while accepting teasing back. He usually refers to her as a "brat." This and subsequent arcs demonstrate that he does care for her.
- In the Sound Novels in particular, Mion, Shion, Rena, and Keiichi recognize that Satoko is still a child and will sometimes cover her ears to prevent her from hearing particularly risque banter. Played a bit for comedy, she runs "screaming" from Keiichi and Mion when Keiichi hugs a stunned Mion as an apology. In this arc, Satoko reveals more maturity underneath her "brat" personality. Her ability to cook dinners and maintain a home inhabited by another child, Rika, is another example.
- Keiichi cursed a number of characters, and ultimately the entire village, by the name of Oyashiro-sama who all do not make it to the end credits; however, he never cursed Rika.
- Satoko knows Irie for reasons beyond his creepy stalking and maid fantasies.
- Rika's Death: This is the first depiction of Rika's ritual death. The adaption of Onikakushi-hen ends prior to her probable murder, and the adaption of Watanagashi-hen opens with her rather gruesome and infamous suicide for reasons that are explained in a subsequent answer arc.
- Satoko's confession and how her "world" has seemed to her since.
- Satoko pushing Keiichi off of the bridge.
- This episode takes place on June 20, 1983.
- Keiichi declares he will be Satoko's "Nii-Nii."
- Nevertheless, Keiichi does not really understand abuse. He thinks Satoko is being sarcastic when she objects to being carried around and left alone naked with only a bath towel. Despite his belief he is being a protector, his lack of understanding fuels her ultimate mistrust.
- "Because I'll . . . Nii-Nii will definitely save you." - Keiichi to Satoko
- "Idiot, there's no way you could count to ten thousand!" - Keiichi to Satoko
- "You're leaving a lady behind with just a bath towel here? What a gentlemen." - Satoko to Keiichi
- "For once, I even thought you could be my real Nii-Nii. . . ." - Satoko to Keiichi