Meakashi-hen is the first "answer arc" of the anime, and it is the answer arc to Watanagashi-hen which is an arc where things are not what they seem. As in the Synopses for the Watanagashi-hen episodes, to avoid spoiling the entire arc events are described as characters and viewers see them. This includes the rendering of character links: a link will read the character other characters and the viewer believes the character to be. So, if Furude Rika is really Ōishi "in disguise" the link will be Rika. Those who wish to avoid spoilage should not clink links until viewing the entire arc. Pages for the episodes that reveal the truth will contain an explanation and link in their respective Referbacks and Forwards section. Thus, much of the truth of Watanagashi-hen will be included in these episodes.
PrologueThere is a flash of electricity. A smiling Shion drags her sister Mion by her collar into the viewing room in the bunker of the Sonozaki estate. Near the door, in a wheelchair, sits their grandmother Oryō motionless and silent. Shion continues to drag the unconscious Mion with her.
First HalfAt night, outside of a church, a girl in a school uniform looks about warily. Shion runs, nimbly climbs a tree, then lands on the wall surrounding St. Lucia Academy. She briefly flashes two fingers then leaps to her freedom. A car awaits. Kasai Tatsuyoshi welcomes her. As they ride, Shion lounges back in her front seat. She asks Kasai how her sister is doing (お姉元気？・Onee genki?). Kasai suspects that she is well. Shion muses that Mion no longer lives "at home" and now lives with their grandmother in Hinamizawa. Kasai confirms that she moved in with Ōryo around the same time Shion enterred her school. As Shion stares at the night sky as they ride, she narrates that she and Mion are identical twin sisters. While they are the same in everyway, Shion laments that she was sent away to a school located far from Hinamizawa while, in her mind, the smiling Mion was raised as the heir to their family. She declares that, from the start, her very existence has been an abomination to her family. Two potential heirs would be trouble. By her family custom, she explains over a view of two hands, if twins are born they are strangled before their first bath. As Oryō is revealed to be the owner of the hands, Shion adds a "but," then ends her musing by dismissing it as "What a story." Kasai interrupts her reminiscence by reminding her that if she returns to Okinomiya, relatives will recognize her, and her family will eventually find out. She laughs and accepts that "things may get pretty bad."
In an apartment, Shion enjoys a packaged meal. As she quickly devours the meal, Kasai, wearing an apron, asks her to tell him what he will need later. She explains that she plans to obtain a part-time job to at least cover her living expenses. When Kasai objects, she claims that she has discovered ways to prevent being discovered.A phone rings in the Sonozaki house. Mion answers and happily greets Kasai. She is shocked to hear the voice of her sister. She asks in a whisper if Shion snuck out of school. Shion laughs and rhetorically asks how she could have stayed in "that suffocating place." Mion eagerly laughs at her escape, and they both laugh together.
To herself, Shion narrates that her sister's voice, after so long, seemed nostalgic. Mion babbles on as Shion notes that when the two do not have to deal with Sonozaki family issues, they are very close sisters. As Shion ends her call, Kasai enters to ask what her plan is. She replies that her uncle Yoshirō has always been nice to her and has promised to let her work at one of his shops. Kasai reminds her that she will be in public. Shion smiles as she responds, "That's what Sis is for."Dressed as Mion, Shion explains to her uncle Yoshirō who owns Angel Mort, that all he has to say is that she is Mion while she works for him. He agrees, then admits that is must have been tough for Shion to be "trapped in that place for two years or so," then remarks that he "was against it." Shion answers that she knows, but no one can stop Ōryo's stubborn decisions. She then asks if anything has changed in the past two years. He replies that nothing has changed, but when she asks if the culprit behind Oyashiro-sama's curse has been caught, he asks if she means the dismemberment of the Construction Manager. As he methodically crushes his cigarette butt, he admits that they have never found a suspect, nor "for the following year's thing either."
Shion asks if she means Satoko's parents: "Hōjō or something." She repeats, "It must be the curse!" as an imitation of claims from villagers. Yoshirō reveals that it happened again right after she left for school. Shion is surprised: "It happened . . . for a third straight year?" Yoshirō reveals that at the Furude Shrine, the priest suddenly died. He states that his death was due to a "strange disease with an unknown cause." On the same night, his wife threw herself into the swamp. Shion repeats to herself that that was the "third year."In the Shishibone Municipal Library, Shion and Mion sit at separate tables with their backs towards one another as they pretend to read. They quietly communicate. Shion is dressed in Mion's casual style but with a hat, while Mion wears her school uniform. Mion explains that the priest likely died of heart failure. Shion finds it odd that he died on the day of Watanagashi. With the others, she suggests that they are all people who would probably have been cursed by Oyashiro-sama. Shion asks if the priest was also disliked by those who opposed the dam. Mion agrees that he stood up for the Hōjō family. Over a flashback of angry opponents with banners throwing rocks, Mion explains that the Hōjō couple accepted the plan and received abuse from opponents. The only one who helped them was the priest, Rika's father. In the flashback, Oryō and Kimiyoshi Kiichirō sneer in anger as Shion continues that for The Three Great Houses trying to unify the village against the dam, having the head of one and the priest of the shrine that symbolizes opposition protecting two of the proponents, "was doubtlessly very loathsome."
Shion admits, now that she thinks about it, the priest was quite mature to remain neutral. Mion disagrees. She argues that as a head of one of the three great families, he should have gone along and cooperated. She blames him for disrupting the peace. Shion observes that Mion became "the next heir" to the Sonozaki before she knew it. Mion protests that she is just trying to do what Oryō would do, and she insists that Shion could do the same. Shion laughs the suggetion off and replies that it is Mion's role to look after Oryō. She starts to leave as she encourages Mion to "do her best" at taking care of their grandmother. When Mion protests, Shion insists that she does not resent her or her own birth. She will do her best as "Shion," and Mion will do her best.
At night, in her apartment, Shion receives a phone call from Mion that informs her that her family has found out that she left school. "Granny's fuming with anger," Mion explains, then add that Oryō has demanded that Shion is to be "dragged in from of her" once found. Shion acts nonplussed and asks Mion to let her know if anything else happens. She reveals that if the situation becomes really bad, she will leave Hinamizawa. Mion responds that she feels it is unfair that only she has to feel so constrained. Shion thanks her, and Mion invites her to let her know when she wishes to go out in public so she can support her playing Mion. Shion thanks her then suggests that since she should not go out much, she should go shopping.A chibi Mion is exhausted and encumbered by shopping bags. As she passes a line of motorbikes, one of her backs catches the end of one, and tears open to spill its vegetables. causing all of them to tip over. She kicks the bike while screaming "Don't park here!" which causes all of the bikes to tip over. She is confronted by the Motorcycle Gang. They take her to a nearby vacant lot where they scream and grunt as expected of such characters. Mion tries to play cute and innocent. When this does not work, Mion sighs and starts to pull out a taser.
A boy screams at them. The gang turn to find Hōjō Satoshi challenging them. Mion watches with admiration as Satoshi does not totally stand up to them. He glares at them which give them a pause, then they hear a whistle as someone directs the police. As a policeman runs down the alley holding a small club, the leader of the gang comically panics, and they all leave on their bikes vowing "we'll remember this!"Mion approaches Satoshi as he picks himself up from the ground. He asks if she, Mion, is alright. He pats her on her head, and she blushes. Her voice narrates that that is how she met "Satoshi-kun."
Later that night on the phone, Mion responds, "Oh, that's Satoshi!" based on Shion's description and "head-patting habit." She insists that he is "usually spacey," and his sister is more reliable. When Shion asks about his sister, Mion gives her name and reveals that she has not been well, "since a lot's happened." She then explains that Satoshi is a son of "that Hōjō family." Shion startles a bit. Mion continues that after their parents died, Satoshi and her sister were taken in by their uncle, but his wife, their aunt has not gotten along with Satoko for about a year. Shion ask if Satoko is being abused; Mion responds that Satoko appears very tired. She suspects that the aunt and uncle have been treated badly by other villagers. Since they had to accept the children, they hate them. Shion asks if that means Satoshi is also usually tired. Mion responds that he is "always spacey" so she does not know. Remembering him patting her on her head, Shion insists that he must be tired protecting his sister. Inwardly, she adds "like he protected me." Shion eagerly asks Mion to tell her more about Satoshi.
At a baseball game, Irie Kyōsuke thanks the irritated Mion for bringing snacks for the team. She looks to see Satoshi at bat. To her delight, he gets a double. Irie notes that if he could focus on baseball, he would bat .300. However, he explains, Satoshi's heart is "overly deicate," and if he does not work out vigorously, or get away from his family for enough time to relax, "he might break down." "Satoshi-kun is the type that holds things in," he concludes. Irie then reveals that Satoshi is "not feeling well again." This startles Mion. Over a flashback, Irie explains that his aunt's abuse of Satoko has been escalating, and standing up for her drains him. He has recently stated that he wishes to quit the team. Satoshi claims it is because baseball is tiring, but Irie suspects that it is so he spend more time with Satoko. Mion notes to herself that he "is standing up for his sister," as she suspected.
Unfortunately, Satoshi is thrown out at the plate after a base hit. Mion continues her narration that he did not return to the field after that day. She sighs, then hears "Mi-chan! Hi!" She turns to find Ryūgū Rena offering to walk home with her. It begins to rain, and the two take shelter in the bus stop. Mion has her back turned to Rena, who asks her if she likes Satoshi. She admits that she does. "Then smile," Rena responds. When Mion turns to her, Rena continues that she is sure Mion's smile can give Satoshi "some energy," and he will return to baseball practice, "once work is over." Mion asks about "work," and wonders if he will ever finish it. Rena responds until he saves enough money, but she knows that it will be no later than Satoko's birthday.Inwardly, Mion grouses, "Satoko again?!" She rationalizes and rages that it is Satoko that makes Satoshi sick, Satoko that takes away his freedom, until Rena interrupts her silence. Startled, Mion announces that Satoko is too attached to her brother. If she were to be more reliable, then he would not feel pushed into a corner. Rena giggles and responds that Mion says this so frankly. She then stuns Mion by revealing that Satoshi sometimes feels the same way. Rena declares it is a secret, and asks her to keep it a secret, that the previous day, "it's tiring to be depended on as a brother, though that's sinful." Mion suggests that Satoshi trusts Rena; Rena disagrees: "I think it's because I've experienced it." She quietly describes, "the footsteps that follow you," and "it stands over your pillow and looks down at you at night," as she stares intently at Mion. She then stands and proclaims that everything Satoshi experiences foreshadow Oyashiro-sama's curse. As Mion stares horrified, Rena explains:
"Someone is observing you from far away. Someone is always falling you. Someone is always looking at you from behind. Eventually, the footsteps go out of sync, and you hear one extra. And even when you're in bed with the lights off, it still looks down from above your pillow. It just silently waits there until you admit your sin."Mion protests that Satoshi is not "sinful." Rena insists that, though he is in Hinamizawa, he has Oyashiro-sama's curse. She claims it is because he wanted to leave Hinamizawa.
Over a view of the school, Shion begs her sister over the phone to let her go to the school as her. Dressed in Mion's school uniform, she eagerly greets Satoshi as he enters with Satoko. Unfortunately, Satoko looks depressed and Satoshi appears tired and uninterested in her greeting. She tries to cheerfully ask if he is "fine," and he flatly states that he is. He then asks her why she asks. Embarrassed, Shion explains that since his work seems tough, he might be tired. "Is that all?" he replies, then leaves. She tries to cheerfully tell him the Irie would like him back at practice, but he flatly replies that he already told him the he did no plan to come back. Shion stammeringly protests that she thinks it will be good for him to work out and sweat, but he walks away stating that he is "not interested."During lunch, Shion does not open her wrapped lunch, which Rena notices, because she is paying attention to Satoshi leaving the classroom. She calls to him and asks to have lunch together with him. His eyes narror, and he replies, "I've told you many times that I want to be alone, at least for lunch!" As he leaves, Shion looks down in disappointment, but she is interrupted by the sound of something falling and Satoko crying over her bentō box falling on the floor. Shion angrily gathers the rice and the rest of the food back into the box as two unnamed girls offer to share with her. Unconsolled, Satoko calls for "Nii-Nii." Shion angrily grabs her by the head and throws her against the lockers. As other children watch in fear, Shion asks her why she gets treated the way she does. Satoko can only repeat her calls for "Nii-Nii" to help her. Shion responds by kicking her into some desks. "Because you're like that!" she responds in answer to her own question. She picks up some books and tosses them at Satoko as she lets her cry while reminding her that even if she cries she will change nothing. As Satoko cries, Shion continues to toss books on her while she rants over the trouble she causes her "saviour." She declares that there is no reason for Satoko to exist, and if she is suffering, she should die to stop making Satoshi suffer. Satoko can only cry for her brother. Utterly enraged, Shion picks up a chair, but Rika throws herself over Satoko. This causes Shion to pause, and Rika scolds her for bullying Satoko. Shion protests that she is teaching "that spoiled Satoko" a lesson, then threatens to hit Rika with the chair.
Rena places herself between Satoko and Rika and Shion. Shion starts to recover her senses, but Satoshi runs in and punches her in the chest, sending her back against the lockers. She falls to the ground defeated as Satoko repeatedly calls Satoshi "Nii-Nii." He holds his sister, then turns to Shion and severely asks, "What are you doing, Mion?" She cannot really answer, and he rhetorically demands to know what his sister did to deserve what Shion did. Before she can answer, he asks, "What did we do?" as tears stream down his cheek. "Why do we always have to be bullied?!" He laments that the entire village accused and bullied his parents, and now they bully him and Satoko: "That's what the Sonozaki family does, don't they?!"
Tears form in Shion's eyes. That night, her sister gently asks her on the phone to think about what her position will be. Shion, still in Mion's school uniform, apologizes. She then adds "to be frank," that Satoshi does have a grudge against the Sonozaki. Mion believes that he does. Shion begs to know why. She asks "why now?" Over a flashback of Satoshi on the ground after confronting the Motorcycle Gang, then rising to smile and pat her on the head, Shion wonders: "Yes, if he had only looked at me with rejection from the start . . . then I wouldn't have thought to get close to Satoshi-kun." She narrates that for this reason she wished for both Satoko and her aunt to disappear during this year's Watanagashi Festival.
Rika's Adult Voice reveals:
- "What you lost sight of is the usual way home. What you can't keep is the promise I made with you. What you cannot erase is my memory."
after announcing the next episode, over flashes of a screaming Mion she asks:
- "Can you believe it?"
In order of appearance
- Sonozaki Shion
- Sonozaki Mion
- Sonozaki Oryō
- Kasai Tatsuyoshi
- Sonozaki Yoshirō
- Oyashiro-sama (mentioned)
- Construction Manager (mentioned)
- Mr. and Mrs. Hōjōs (mentioned)
- Mr. and Mrs. Furude (mentioned)
- Villagers of Hinamizawa against Hōjōs (flashback)
- Kimiyoshi Kiichirō (flashback)
- Motorcycle Gang
- Hōjō Satoshi
- Inhabitant from Okinomiya (unnamed)
- A police officer (unnamed)
- Irie Kyōsuke
- Hinamizawa Fighters Members
- Hōjō Teppei (mentioned)
- Hōjō Tamae (mentioned)
- Hōjō Satoko
- Irie Kyōsuke
- Ryūgū Rena
- Children from the school (unnamed)
- Furude Rika
Referbacks and Forwards
- Watanagashi-hen first depicts the room for viewing torture in the bunker in the Sonozaki estate.
- From the Prologue, it is clear that Shion kidnapped her sister and then replaced her which explains a number of the odd behaviors of "Mion" in Watanagashi-hen.
- First appearance of Kasai.
- Sonozaki Heirs: since it does not spoil this or subsequent arcs, why Oryō did not strangle the second twin is never explained. Later arcs and scenes not depicted in the anime reveal that their mother Akane was her heir. She defied her mother by marrying their father, ultimately by beating her mother in a kendō match. To "save face," Oryō disinherited her in favor of Akane's first child. While initially depicted as an "ogre," as the previous Himatsubushi-hen and later arcs demonstrate, Oryō can be tolerant and caring, even if she cannot admit it, particularly when it involves children. Despite their public conflict, Akane regularly sits with her mother along with her husband who advises Oryō as well. Thus, it is quite possible that Oryō decided on her own she could not kill her granddaughter over a family tradition.
- The conversation between Yoshirō and Shion reveals that not all family members agreed with Oryō's decision to exile Shion.
- Mion suggests that Shion could have fullfilled the role as heir to the Sonozaki.
- The Motorcycle Gang should just park their bikes somewhere else: thus far, Keiichi and now Mion have tipped over their bikes. Others will do the same in other arcs. Hence the humor of "we'll remember this!"
- Head Pat: Satoshi also patted his sister on the head. Satoko sometimes appreciates when Keiichi does the same. Shion will claim that Keiichi pats too roughly in comparison to Satoshi.
- In Watanagashi-hen, Shion claims to Keiichi that his failure to give a doll to her sister, which caused Mion to cry, "woke" the "demon" in her. This episode suggests when she first "obtained" the "demon."
- In Onikakushi-hen, Rena described the footsteps that follow to Keiichi.
- Major Spoiler: In a much later arc, Rena will confess that she feels she knows someone who does explain what she feels.
- Satoshi's response to Shion, who is impersonating Mion, suggests that Mion tried a few times in the past to invite him to join her and others for lunch.
- Rika will infamously take a chair to Satoko in a later arc.
- Sonozaki Oryō is portrayed in a wheelchair during a flashback of a dam demonstration. In later arcs she walks without assistance.
- Mion appears to like carrots, potatoes, and garlic.
- Irie appears aware of Satoshi's behavior.
- Satoshi's batting average of .300 is quite good.
- Victory Sign in Japan
- Japanese Women Like a Head Pat More than a Poke to the Forehead: because When They Cry Wiki cares.
- 好き (すき・suki): Pronounced "ski," Rena uses this word when she asks if Mion "likes" Satoshi, and she responds with the same word. In Japanese, the word covers "like" for many things suchs as, "I like When They Cry Wiki, it has changed my life!" or "I like to toss small rodents at anoying children." However, when used for a person it implies that the user has at least a crush on the other person. Thus, Rena asks if Mion has a crush on Satoshi, and Mion honestly implies that she does.
- Shion admires Rika's father for protecting Satoko's parents who supported the plan he opposed from the wrath of other villagers. Mion feels that he should have cooperated fully with the other families.
- First time Satoshi is a character rather than remembered in a flashback.
- Rena is surprised that someone in Hinamizawa has Oyashiro-sama's curse.
- "Welcome back and great work, Shion-san." - Kasai
- "From the start, Shion has been an abominable existence for the Sonozaki family." - Shion
- "It seems you've become the next heir before I knew it." - Shion to Mion
- "I'm just trying to do what Granny would do." - Mion to Shion
- "Oh, scary! Let me know if anything else happens." - Shion
- "I'll support you every time you need to be Mion." - Mion to Shion
- "But he's usually spacey. His little sister is more reliable." - Mion to Shion discussing Satoshi
- "He has a heart that's overly delicate." - Irie discussing Satoshi
- "Satoko again?!" - Mion
- "This really is a secret. Keep it a secret, okay?" - Rena
- "Someone is observing you from far away." - Rena
- "If you want to cry, then cry! But even though you cry, nothing will get solved!" - Shion to Satoko
- "You don't need to exist! If you're suffering, then die!" - Shion to Satoko
- "Satoko is a pitiful person! You can't bully her!" - Rika