PrologueThe school bell rings. Inside the classroom, Keiichi asks Rika if Satoko is absent again. Rika responds with a sad "Mi," and a sad Rena claims that she has been out of school due to a cold. Voiced over her empty desk, Keiichi narrates that at the time he did not have a clue as to what happened to Satoko or what would happen next.
Keiichi retrieves a ball from the school's gutters for Tomita Daiki and Okamura Suguru. After they praise him, he jokes that they owe him a favor. With his trademark "どうも (dōmo)," Ōishi calls out to Keiichi. He walks up to Keiichi and shows his identification as a detective from the Okinomiya Police Department. Keiichi directs him to the staff room, but Ōishi asks, instead, if he will call Satoko out for him. When Keiichi asks why, Ōishi tries to play it off as if it is a minor matter. Keiichi hesitates, and Ōishi sighs and confesses that he is not allowed to meet with her without an appointment.Two small girls run by laughing, and Ōishi stops them to ask if they will call out Satoko. They look embarrassed and scared. One of them sheepishly responds that Satoko is absent. Theatrically, Ōishi laments his bad luck. He then asks the two girls Keiichi's name. They comply. Ōishi knows of the Maebara family and how Keiichi's father is a "famous artist." Indignant, Keiichi wonders why that matters. Ōishi places his right hand on Keiichi's left shoulder and begins to squeeze as he "suggests" that Keiichi not make enemies. "Otherwise," he continues as Keiichi winces, "you might have some odd grudge come right back at you when you least expect it." Irie Kyōsuke sternly advises Ōishi to stop what he is doing. Ōishi releases Keiichi and turns to claim that he was thinking of visiting Irie's office that day as well. Irie flatly suggests that Ōishi bring a warrant if he wishes to talk to him since, "I can voluntarily refuse questioning and going to the station." Ōishi can only glare back at him and then triy to laugh it off as he walks away. Irie explains to Keiichi who Ōishi is.
In the clinic, Irie examines Keiichi's sore shoulder. Irie notes that Ōishi has experience doing such things. Keiichi explains that Ōishi wanted to see Satoko. Concerned, Irie calls Ōishi "stubborn." Keiichi wonders why a detective would come often to see Satoko. Irie asks him if he has ever heard of Oyashiro-sama's curse and Satoko. Keiichi understands that her parents were "dam proponents," and the curse caused them to fall to their deaths. Irie explains that after their parents' deaths, Satoko and Satoshi moved in with their uncle and his wife, and they were abused. "By luck or unluck," Irie continues, on the previous years' Watanagashi Festival night, a drug addict beat the aunt to death. Villagers claimed this was Oyashiro-sama's curse. Fearing the curse, the uncle went into hiding. Irie heard that he "went crawling" to his mistres in Okinomiya. When Keiichi concludes that Satoko must have then been "freed," Irie retorts that "that man," Ōishi, started to replace her uncle. Keiichi asks why, but Irie can only shake his head.Outside of the school, Keiichi questions Tomita and Okamura. They have heard the rumor that Satoko's uncle has returned. On his own, Keiichi follows directions to the Hōjō house. There is a scooter parked outside. Before he can approach, a car drives up and Irie exits. Both are surprised to find the other there. Satoko also exits the car. She happily explains that she ran into Irie on the way back from shopping, and he offered to drive her home. Irie retrieves her bicycle from his trunk while observing that is could not "carry so much." Satoko removes from the backseat two big shopping bags of various snacks and alcohol. When Keiichi starts to speak, Teppei opens a side window to start screaming at Satoko for leaving with the kettle still on. Satoko apologizes and tries to explain that he demanded she immediately go shopping. Teppei calls her an "idiot" as he hurls a full ashtray at her. Irie moves over to protect her, and Teppei sarcastically greets him. A voice of a man, "Tsubaki," inside calls him to continue their game of mahjong. Satoko quietly explains that her uncles "friends" from Okinomiya are visiting. Keiichi protests that he would play games while ordering her around, but Satoko stops him. He is shocked to notice bruises on her neck and upper arms and thighs. When he clutches her to ask what has happened, Satoko can only shake. Irie restrains him from acting further. Satoko thanks Keiichi. With a smile, she tells him that, just now, he looked like her "real Nii-nii." Turning away a bit, she continues that while her real "Nii-nii" is gone, she now has a new one named "Keiichi." Keiichi vows that he will never run away. Satoko's eyes grow wide as her smile disappears. Keiichi is surprised by the change, but is interrupted by Teppei demanding that she enter with the "snacks." Satoko quickly rubs her eyes then carries the bags inside.
In Irie's car, Keiich demands to know where Satoshi went. "All we can say is that he ran away," Irie responds. Keiichi presses that he should have taken Satoko with him. Irie concedes that Satoko probably thought the same way when she was left behind: "That she was a burden to her brother and was left behind." Irie explains that one can separate a child and parent under the Child Welfare Act as an emergency to ensure the child's safety; however, Satoko opposes that. She appears to believe that enduring her uncle's abuse is her "ordeal" she must overcome herself, otherwise, Satoshi will never return. Thus, she refuses to testify to the abuse. Irie continues that if the abuse is made public, the Child Consultation Office can forcibly take her into protective custody, but Satoko would believe that means she has been defeated. Keiichi retorts that if he really feels that she is in danger, he will report it without hesitation, "even if she ends up hating me as a result!" Irie wonders why he would go "so far."
Keiichi wakes late the next morning to find his house empty. As he walks to school, Tomitake Jirō approaches him while riding a bicycle. He asks Keiichi if he is from Hinamizawa. When Keiichi responds that he is, Jirō asks him how to get to the Furude Shrine. Keiichi offers to take him to it. Climbing the steps to the shrine, Jirō finally introduces himself as a freelance photographer. Waiting for Jirō at the top, Takano Miyo hears Keiichi give his name and remarks, "Oh, if it isn't Maebara-kun." Jirō asks if they know one another, and when Keiichi hesitates, Takano playfully asks if he still cannot remember her. Jirō introduces her and explains that she works at the Irie Clinic. Takano teases that she understands since she and Keiichi only passed a few times on the road. Jirō remarks that Keiichi is "famous," and Takano agrees since he is a member of the Maebara family.Keiichi notices that the two hold cameras and asks if they are collegues. Takano corrects him that she is only a beginner at photography. Jirō notes that Watanagashi starts in two days, and he plans to photograph it starting with the set-up the next day. Keiichi asks if this is the festival that thanks Oyashiro-sama. Takano confirms this, and Jirō muses that Oyashiro-sama curses the village's enemies: "If it happens again this year, I wonder who it will be. . . ." Keiichi wonders if someone can actually die from a curse; Jirō reminds him that the incidents did happen. Takano wonders if someone simply imitates the curse to kill people. Surprised, Keiichi asks her if she knows something. Takano responds with a giggle that she does not mind telling him.
At school, Rika tells Keiichi she was worried he would be absent too. Keiichi looks to see the Satoko's desk still empty. Rena adds that she heard Satoko called the school to tell them her "cold" is lasting longer. Rika explains to Keiichi that they all were talking about visiting her, but Keiichi interrupts and startles Rika. He then accuses them all, including Mion who has joined them, that they all know Satoko is not really sick. Mion asks him who he heard that from; he admits that he saw the truth the day before. Rena sadly protests that it is not just him: Satoko's problem is hard for everyone. As Rika's eyes water, Keiichi apologizes to them.Principal Kaieda rings the bell and Mion commands everyone to stand and bow. Mion suggests to Keiichi that they go home since he probably is not up for club activities. He asks her if he can come over to her house since he wants to borrow some manga. She looks surprised but understands. Inside her home, she asks him what he wanted to talk about. He confesses that he might find the sudden request bewildering but asks her to listnen. He then formally addresses her as the heiress to the Sonozaki family, one of the three great families of the Onigafuchi Village. He then asks her, as the next family head and leader of the three families, but she interrupts him to ask where he heard that. When he claims it is irrelevant, she insists that what he knows about her may not be true. She then asks him to get to the point.
He asks her if she knows of Oyashiro-sama's curse. When she does not answer, he continues to ask if this year's curse is not set to fall on Satoko's uncle, would she please change it to fall on him. He has heard, but Mion interrupts him with a slight bow of her head. With a smile, she finishes his sentence: "that they're caused by the three great families, led by the Sonozakis, and the whole village, right?" Keiichi stammeringly protests that he is not interested in whether or not she is involved; he merely asks if she can contact those who choose the target. Mion flatly asks if he is calling her a murderer. Again, Keiichi protests that he does not care if she is involved or not, he only wants to save Satoko.
Mion tells him to "stop," then asks that since she would like to prepare dinner soon could he leave for the day. She then explains that she understands how he feels, and if she were, as he suggests, in the position to manipulate the three great families' choice of a victim then, as her expression turns to sadness, she would probably grant his request. She halts his next comment to affirm that "the reality is different," and she is "only Sonozaki Mion." While she admits that various "bad rumors" exist about the Sonozakis, they would never do something as appalling as murder. She then stands and leaves. Keiichi bows his head and apologizes.
The next day Rena happily exclaims that Satoko’s shoes are in her school locker. Mion shares her excitement, but warns that they cannot say much. Keiichi rushes to the classroom to see Satoko. She brightly asks him what he wants, "It's only morning, but you're all so noisy." Mion and Rena approach her with concerned looks. Satoko demands to know who called the Child Protection Officer. She continues that "it was a mess," and it annoyed both her and her uncle. Mion asks what happened to her uncle; Satoko answers that they admitted to having "some misunderstandings" but they both apologized.
As she says this, Rika walks up to Keiichi and quietly takes him by his arm. He follows her to another area of the classroom. Rika explains that Satoko told the officer that nothing was wrong and sent him away. As she reveals that their teacher contacted Child Protective Services, Chie enters the room and looks at Satoko sadly, then walks away. When Keiichi protests that the fact of abuse remains, Rika explains that this is the "third time." Two reports of child abuse occurred in the past. She explains that Satoko complained about her stepfather. Her and Satoshi's mother remarried, but Satoko did not have a good relationship with her stepfather. Satoko called an abuse hotline with a false report. Because of this, Keiichi understands, because of her past lie, Child Protective Services will not take her into protective custody and merely observes.During lunchtime, Rena proudly presents her lunch. Satoko teases her that it would be no surprise if she became bride soon. As Rena dissolves into Full Cute Mode with animated hearts circling her, Keiichi pats the smiling Satoko on her head. When he does, her eyes grow wide, she has a flashback of her brother patting her on her head, then she screams hysterically. She pushes Keiichi away with enough force to send him sliding into the wall some distance away. When Rena tries to ask her what is wrong, Satoko grabs her head and starts crying. Keiichi, ever unable to read the room, tries again to touch her as he asks her what is wrong. Satoko begins to vomit as she retreats into a corner. When Keiichi touches her arm, she pushes him back into the desks screaming "No!" She continues screaming "No more! No! No!" as she retreats further into the corner. She then grabs the drapes of the window and starts repeating "I'm sorry."
Rika in her adult voice observes:
- "What was sought was the usual daze. What's heard is the sound of malicious rain. What drifted away was the door to darkness.
after announcing the next episode, over the picture of Rika, Satoko, Mion, and Rena, she asks:
- "Can you believe it?"
In order of appearance
- Maebara Keiichi
- Furude Rika
- Ryūgū Rena
- Okamura Suguru
- Tomita Daiki
- Ōishi Kuraudo
- Two Young Female Classmates (unnamed)
- Maebara Ichirō (mentioned)
- Irie Kyōsuke
- Hōjō Satoshi (mentioned)
- Hōjō Tamae (mentioned
- Hōjō Satoko
- Hōjō Teppei
- Tomitake Jirō
- Takano Miyo
- Sonozaki Mion
- Principal Kaieda
- Chie Rumiko
Referbacks and Forwards
- Keiichi does not know Ōishi, Jirō, or Takano until this episode.
- Teppei's mistress Rina, other than washing up in a trash bag in Episode One of this Tatarigoroshi-hen, appears in Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
- Irie claims that all he can say is that Satoshi "ran away."
- Keiichi claims he will help Satoko even if she ends up hating him as a result.
- Rika and Satoko's bikes at the foot of the stairs to the Furude Shrine.
- Mion previously claimed that she invited Keiichi to her home to borrow manga to separate him from Rena in order to talk to him privately about her.
- Mion denying that her family would ever commit murder.
- Satoko repeating gomennasai (ごめんなさい).
- Riichi (立直): from mahjong.
- When Mion says "stop," she says it in English.
- Again, Keiichi narrates in the past tense.
- Outside her home after the appearance of Teppei, Satoko actually calls Keiichi "Keiichi-san" rather than her usual more informal addresses and nicknames for him.
- "You shouldn't be making enemies in a place like this." – Ōishi
- "It hurts so much, but there isn't a single bruise." – Keiichi
- "I know how you feel. But please hold back for now." – Irie
- "My real Nii-nii is gone, but now I have a new Nii-nii named Keiichi." – Satoko
- "That's irrelevant." – Keiichi
- "It seems you know a lot about me that may be true or not." – Mion
- "Are you calling me a murderer, Kei-chan?" – Mion