Keiichi is given a break from his help setting up booths for the Watanagashi Festival. Exhausted, he is offered a drink by Shion, whom he accidentally calls "Mion." He screams about what she did to him a previous day, but she slyly chides him that it was his mistake. As he concedes defeat, Shion offers him some barley tea as an apology, but just as he is about to drink it, Mion interrupts them, causing the tea to fly into his face. In the midst of their sibling argument, Shion wonders why Mion carries two cups of barley tea. After all, Shion notes, such a "rough" and "self-centered" girl like Mion would never bring tea to a boy.Unable to admit she brought tea for both Keiichi and herself, the blushing Mion declares that she was "really thirsty" and brought two cups for herself. Shion encourages her to drink both. A chibi Mion chugs both then coughs. A similarly chibi Shion claps and sarcastically congratulates Mion. Mion declares that she hates Shion, "even more than the other day!"
The sound of a camera taking a picture interrupts their quarrel. Jirō and Takano Miyo greet them. Jirō greets Keiichi as "the rumored transfer student." Mion introduces Takano to Keiichi as a "nurse at the clinic." Ōishi then arrives to greet everyone. Takano playfully asks if Ōishi is inspecting the security system; Ōishi implies "something like that," but then claims he believes nothing will happen. Shion teases that she hopes the police will not be bothered, and Ōishi laughs and leaves as a standing policeman salutes him. Mion stares watching him leave for a long moment broken by Keiichi asking if Ōishi is with the police. Startled, Mion changes the subject by suggesting that he get something to eat then grabs him by the hand to lead him away.As the Sun sets, Shion wonders which person will die and which person will be taken. Keiichi turns to Shion, who is walking next to Takano and Jirō, what she means. Shiom asks Mion if she has not explained it to Keiichi. Mion claims that she does not "talk about such things," then tries to take Keiichi by his hand to lead him away. However, Keiichi stands firm, removes his hand from hers, and he asks her about it. Mion then declares she will go on without him, but if they do not hurry, there will be no food left for them. After she leaves, Jirō asks if Keiichi knows about the dam project. Keiichi does know the plan would have submerged Hinamizawa. Jirō continues that a local protest opposed it, with the office set up at the Furude Shrine. In turn, Shion, Takano, and Jirō explain the curse of Oyashiro-sama also known as "the Series of Mysterious Deaths": every year during the festival one person dies, and another disappears. Takano rhetorically asks if the cases are neither a curse nor coincidence, what can they mean? Jirō explains that Takano has concluded that the curse is not supernatural but is in fact a series of either planned or coincidental murders caused by humans. Shion understands and tells Keiichi that Ōishi believes the culprit(s) behind the curse are the villagers of Hinamizawa. Keiichi remains too shocked to be convinced, but Shion replies that proof exists. She stresses that one disappears without a trace. Takano playfully wonders who will die and who will disappear the next day as the wind suddenly blows.
On the day of the festival, an excited Rena leaps on the final steps leading to the shrine, followed by Keiichi and Mion. Rena sees Satoko, who appears with Rika dressed as a miko. Satoko scolds them for being late. A dramatic chibi Mion spins with lights streaming down as she declares they must all check out the festival before Rika's dance; the rest chibi join her. What follows is a montage of them all competitively eating, then shooting to try to win a bear, then suffering "ice cream headaches" as they try to devour shaved ice.That night, with the sound of a drum, Rika begins her dance. Keiichi finds it impossible to see behind the crowd of praying adults. Shion grabs him by the collar and instructs him to follow her. Keiichi assumes she is taking him for a better view, but she leads him by his hand farther away from the stage. When he asks about it, Shion playfully asks if he really wanted to watch Rika dance, then wonders if he sets his sights too low. The scene plays like any teenage boy's fantasy: a "hot chick" leading him into the woods. However, Keiichi stops her and protests that she is not taking him to a place where he can watch Rika dance. Shion retorts that no one promised him that. When Keiichi demands why they are where they are, Shion hushes him and directs his attention to the Furude Shrine’s Saiguden. Takano and Jirō stand at the doorway. When Keiichi loudly asks what Takano and Jirō are doing, an exasperated Shion pulls him below the bushes. Takano and Jirō heard them, and Takano playfully calls out to them. They both stand, and Jirō teases Keiichi by asking if he is on a "secret rendezvous." Shion acts surprised that Takano and Jirō are there and, especially, that Jirō is touching the padlock to the Saiguden. Caught, Jirō laughingly asks that they do not tell anyone that they wanted to break into the Saiguden. Shion sternly notes that the Saiguden is the warehouse for "forbidden tools" to which only the Furude family and a select group of individuals may enter. Shion explains to Keiichi that others will bring in "impurities." While Keiichi protests that she should not enter, Takano giggles as Jirō announces that he has picked the padlock. After thanking him, she dramatically opens the doors. She smiles. Shion turns to Keiichi and rhetorically asks him if he finds it interesting then suggests they look inside. Keiichi remains reluctant. Shion explains that since she is a member of the Sonozaki family, she has an idea about what is inside, and she wants Keiichi to see. Jirō offers to stay outside as a "lookout." Keiichi agrees to peak but promises he will leave if it is not interesting. Inside, Takano turns on a flashlight which reveals a statue that startles Keiichi. Takano introduces him to Oyashiro-sama's statue. Shion admits that this statue is more impressive than the one contained in the shrine. Takano turns to Keiichi and asks him if he knows what "Cotton Drifting Festival" (Watanagashi) means. Keiichi repeats the story he heard, and Takano laughs at his innocence. She explains that the people of the village have "half-demon blood" in them. "When this human-eating demon blood awakens," she continues, it is said that they "spirit away" those in human villages. They abduct humans as sacrifices. To savor the human victim, the held the "Cotton Drifting Festival." Shion explains that the word for "bowels" sounds like the word for "cotton." As Keiichi recognizes the similarity, Takano suggests that Keiichi correctly imagines what happened: the hoe Rika weilds is actually a tool to rip open human bellies. Shion add that Keiichi should recognize the ritual "tools" stored: they are all tools of dissection. Takano adds with a laugh, "more gruesome," they are "cooking tools." Shion holds on to Keiichi and admits she had heard of such things. Takano continues that in Roman times, there existed an execution method where the abdomen of the victim was opened, and his bowels were pulled out. Takano muses that, with care, the victim would remain conscious during the procedure. She then wonders, as Shion cowers behind Keiichi, if the original Onigafuchi village's cotton drifting festival involved that. She then rhetorically asks Keiichi if he can now believe that all of these horrifying rituals were passed down to Hinamizawa. Keiichi protests that this happened "long ago." Takano suggests that he must really like Hinamizawa. Shion responds that Takano must have done some research if she still things such customs happen. Takano ignores her and tells Keiichi that she told him, because she feels he is an understanding person. If others heard, they would attack her for her blasphemy, and she asks him to keep what she told him a secret, else she may suffer the curse or be made a sacrifice.
All are startled by a noise. They turn to see Jirō open the door to announce that Rika's dance is over and the villagers have gone down to the stream. Jirō and Takano leave while Keiichi and Shion sit on the steps outside. Shion advises Keiichi to keep what they did a secret since, "Big sis get's really jealous." She then jokes that all four of them are prime targets for Oyashiro-sama's curse. She then asks about the loud "slamming" sound she heard, but to her surprise, Keiichi did not hear anything. She then laughs and pretends that she was joking with him. She then prances down the steps leaving Keiichi confused.
Almost immediately, Rika hugs him from behind with a "Mi!" as Mion with Rena and Satoko announces that she finally found him. Rika asks if Keiichi cheered her on during her dance. Keiichi lies and tells her she did well "up to the end," with no mistakes. Rika looks sad, but Mion consoles her that "that didn't count as a mistake." She then reminds Keiichi to get some of the cotton to drift. As they walk, Mion stops Keiichi and asks him severely if he saw Shion. Surprised, Keiichi lies again and denies he saw her. Mion muses that Shion will be fine even if they do not find her, then runs ahead as the wind blows through the trees.
Second HalfAt school, Keiichi washes his face outside. Mion greets him, and he remarks that she does not look well. She confesses that she was dragged to a family dinner while making a gesture that indicates she drank. Keiichi scolds her for underage drinking. Mion laughs then turns serious to ask if he saw Jirō and Takano the previous night. As he sweats, Keiichi claims that he does not remember. She then asks if he saw Shion. Keiichi reminds her that she asked him that same question the night before. Mion laughs it off by slyly suggesting that she thought she might get a different answer. While Keiichi finds this surprising, Mion happily announces that she will relay that he was not "involved in anything bad," then runs off. Keiichi later meets Shion at the library. He asks her why she asks to meet, but just as she tries to answer, Ōishi appears. He playfully asks them if they are on a date, then wonders if he addresses "Mion" or "Shion," as Shion grimaces. He then playfully admires Keiichi for having the guts to "two-time" the Sonozaki twins. As Keiichi protests, Shion announces that she has to go to work and will call him later that night. After she leaves, Keiichi openly wonders what the point of their meeting was since she called for it in the first place. Ōishi pointedly asks him how much he knows about her. He then informs Keiichi that the Sonozaki family is the yakuza that controls the area. He then reveals that Mion is the heir who will not simply inherit a "petty yakuza syndicate," she will inherit the entire Sonozaki family. He suspects that Keiichi has no idea what he is talking about, so he then asks if he saw either Jirō, Takano, or Shion the previous night. Keiichi stammers an ambiguous "might have . . . might not have" reply. Inwardly, he wonders why everyone suddenly cares about this. Kumagai Katsuya interrupts Ōishi to whisper in his ear. Ōishi excuses himself, only to turn and remark that the "four of you seemed to be having fun at the stone steps."
That night, Keiichi rants on the phone to Shion about how she left him alone. He then asks her what was the reason she wanted to met him. She asks if he "knows," and when he has no idea, she reminds him of the night before then asks if he saw Jirō and Takano after they left the Saiguden. Keiichi finds this tedious, but Shion affirms she did not, and her family members can confirm it. Bored, Keiichi remarks that Mion, Rena, and "the others" can do the same for him. Shion then reveals that Jirō and Takano died that night: Takano burned to death while Jirō clawed at his throat in an apparent suicide. She has Keiichi's attention. She suspects that their deaths are a result of Oyashiro-sama's curse, and they, too, have a reason to be cursed. Nevertheless, she finds it strange: in previous years, one dies and another disappears. Perhaps Oyashiro-sama required two sacrifices, which means that two people will disappear. Keiichi finally understands: the other two who entered the Saiguden will disappear. Keiichi tries to protest to her that they did not do anything wrong: they did not touch or take anything. Shion does not answer. He then protests that he was not interested in entering it in the first place. He wanted to see Rika's dance, but Shion took him away. Desperate, he demands that she take responsibility, but Shion simply hangs up the phone.
The adult voice of Rika explains, "What's shaking is your heart. What brings it closer is the shadow of darkness. Who's shivering is the fake me." After announcing the next episode, a sad Rika with her hair blowing in the wind appears as the adult voice asks, "Can you believe it?"
In order of appearance
- Maebara Keiichi
- Sonozaki Shion
- Sonozaki Mion
- Tomitake Jirō
- Takano Miyo
- Ōishi Kuraudo
- Ryūgū Rena
- Hōjō Satoko
- Furude Rika
- Kumagai Katsuya
Referbacks and Forwards
- Keiichi is mad that Shion allowed Mion to dress like her and give him the bentō.
- The montage is similar to that seen in the previous arc.
- Oyashiro-sama missing a right hand and is depicted as a male deity.
- When Takano and Keiichi say "spirited away," they say "Onikakushi."
- Shion hears sounds in the Saiguden.
- Why does Mion ask Keiichi a second time if he saw Shion?
- Takano and Jirō's mode of death.
- Ice Cream Headaches: respect your trigeminal nerve.
- Cotton versus Bowels: "Cotton" is 綿 (わた・wata) and "bowels" is 腸 (わた・wata).
- Hinamizawa was originally called "Onigafuchi."
- Barley tea (麦茶・むぎちゃ・mugi-cha)
- Drinking in Japan: appears serious business given the severe drinking and driving penalties, but this article suggests that underage drinking does not receive such severe attention.
- Yakuza (ヤクザ)
- Though Shion is in her Casual Dress, Keiichi still mistakes her for Mion, because Mion dressed in those clothes when she pretended to be Shion when she gave him a bentō.
- Mion is clearly jealous of the attention Shion shows Keiichi but remains unable to admit to Keiichi she likes him. She does eventually take him by the hand, though not in the way her sister did in the previous episode.
- Shion fixates on the fact that one disappears every year.
- Why Shion enjoys flirting with Keiichi which she knows upsets Mion.
- Keiichi actually wants to see Rika dance, and he resists Shion's attempt to drag him away into the forest alone.
- Takano introduces the belief that "demon blood" flows in the inhabitants of Hinamizawa.
- "That was a mistake on your part, Kei-chan." – Shion
- "I have no comeback!" - Keiichi
- "S-Shion! Why are you with Kei-chan again?" – Mion
- "Unlike you, I'm the considerate type." – Shion
- "One as rough and self-centered as you would never briskly bring a male classmate tea, right?" – Shion to Mion
- "It seems like they'd die immediately, right? But if it's handled carefully, I hear it's possible for the person to remain fully conscious while the intestines are pulled out." – Takano
- "If they find out, I may be cursed by Oyashiro-sama, or made to be a sacrifice." – Takano
- "A hangover? How old are you?" – Keiichi to Mion
- "On a date today? I'm jealous." – Ōishi to Keiichi and Shion
- "Is this Mion-san? Or Shion-san?" – Ōishi to Shion