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The episode opens with a view of the wooden block calendar which reads "June 12, 1983." In the DaVinci store in Okinomiya, Satoko looks depressed and bored as Mion calls everyone to attention. With her uncle smiling behind her, she explains that rules. Keiichi asks Satoko what is wrong. She startles at his question, and he continues to ask if she is bored. She asks why he would think she is, and Keiichi responds that she has looked that way all morning. Satoko dismisses his concern by explaining that they have done this exact same thing in the Club before. As Rena and Rika draw their group numbers from a box, Keiichi asks if she and the other girls have. He adds that since it is his first time, he is pretty excited. Satoko resumes her bored expression as Keiichi eagerly suggests that since the numbers are pulled from a box, they have no idea what game they will play or with whom they will play it.
Satoko languidly insists that she does. To Keiichi's surprise, she describes what will happen: all five of them will be separated; she will play Concentration, while he will play The Game of Life. Keiichi is stunned by her prophecy, and he adds that he feels almost like he is talking to Rika. This makes Satoko smile, and she agrees that it does sound like something Rika might say. She then vows to use that prophetic ability to accomplish far more entertaining things.
Keiichi stares at her with surprise. He continues to watch her play the game. At first, she chooses the wrong pair. With a sly smile, she snaps her fingers before an opponent can finish announcing that she chose incorrectly. Keiichi stares as the scene repeats her play where she choose the correct Ace of Hearts. From her game, Rika leans over to watch with surprise. Satoko boasts that none of her opponents will have the chance to play. With ominous music swelling, she turns cards and snaps her fingers until she successfully runs the table to Keiichi's utter shock and her patented laugh. Her opponents sweat and startle, with one demanding to know if she is psychic. She giggles that it was all just a clever trap she laid. Keiichi marvels at her perfect performance; Mion complements the Club's "shining star." Even Rika is impressed and asks her to tell her how she did it. Satoko replies that her trick is well within Rika's ability. She laughs and the opening credits and music start.
The young Satoko stands on a floating fragment of the flooring in the realm of time fragments with fragments floating around her. Totally Not Featherine Goodness No sits on her coach and complements her for being far more resourceful than "the cat." Satoko responds by claiming that her methods of approaching problems are different than Rika's. When Totally Not Featherine Goodness No "Hō's" in response, Satoko uses a dice game as an analogy. Rika, she explains, relies on her charm and luck to hope the dice roll in her favor, whereas she takes action to ensure a winning result. She satisfactorily declares that since she has infinite time to prepare, she cannot lose.
Totally Not Featherine Goodness No giggles, and Satoko apologizes for changing the subject to confess that she finds it difficult to speak to her without knowing her name. With a shake of her staff, Totally Not Featherine Goodness No replies that she is not to be named and has no name. She claims that she first alighted on this fragment upon Satoko's touch. She stands as she invites Satoko to decide upon a name for her. This surprises Satoko, but Totally Not Featherine Goodness No insists. Satoko starts to stammer, then emits extended "Ĕ . . . Ū . . . Ă (え. . . う . . . あ)." Totally Not Featherine Goodness No eagerly accepts this. When Satoko protests she does not understand,
Totally Not Featherine Goodness No Eua laughs that she never changes, then she announces that, from this moment forward, she may address her as "Eua." When Satoko protest that that is not a name, Eua laughs heartily into her hand.
Satoko responds, "Very well, then. Let me continue, Eua-san." She notes she has discovered a strange phenomenon in her journey through the fragments: sometimes the non-looping humans can remember events from other fragments. The scene flashes back to Keiichi overwhelmed by his memory of killing Rena and Mion. As he cries prostrate on the ground to the shock of Mion, Satoko haltingly asks what is wrong with him. Mion confesses that she does not know, then tries to comfort Keiichi by reminding him that she is alive and well. Rika walks up to him and kneels to his level. In her Child Voice she asks if he remembers the time he killed Rena and Mion. Through his tears he confesses he does. He realizes it was not "here" but in some other world like theirs. Satoko observes this with surprise. Keiichi describes how he came to believe his friends were out to get him, so he killed them. He knows they were trying to help him, and he wonders why he did not hear them.
Returning to the realm of fragments, Satoko continues that it is not just Keiichi. Rena, Shion, and others have been effected by events that occur in other fragments. Eua responds that her abilities are too powerful for this world to bear. She explains that loopers cause small changes that accumulate within their fragments. She notes "the cat" called these changes "miracles." Satoko replies that it cannot then be a coincidence that these strange events happen on every fragment. Eua responds that the accumulation of memories is irreversible: once Satoko's influence imparts a change upon a memory, no amount of loops can erase it. Further, the more one loops, the stronger one's influence becomes. Satoko concludes that the ones closest to the looper are the most affected. "Of course," Eua happily replies, "your strong ties to the cat are what caused you to arrive here, yes?"
Satoko turns a bit sad as she asks if one's direct relatives would also be affect by these changes. Eua confirms this, and Satoko turns sadder. Nevertheless, she responds that that seems like a joke to her.
Outside some apartments in Okinomiya, a man interviews a woman who explains to him that someone was not a very "neighborly" person. She continues that everyone complained about the smell of garbage from the person's unit. She covers her nose with a folded handkerchief as she adds that during this heat wave, the smell has become even worse in the past few days. The man enters a room where an older man is kneeling. His notebook in which he was writing is revealed to be a policeman's as he brings it to his nose. "Died alone with no one to find him," he observes as he enters the room. The older man replies that the younger policeman better find a wife. He adds that men like them who live alone for too long end up wrecking their bodies. The policeman retorts that the thinks he has a few more years before he has to worry about that.
The older man notes that the deceased tore at his tatami, which suggests that he suffered a painful seizure. The younger detective crouches to obtain a better look and remarks that he was then found days later.
A quick pan shows it is, or rather was, Hōjō Teppei, whose dead face is frozen in a contortion of pain with him clutching his chest.
Teppei sits up quickly screaming. He catches his breath, puts his hand to his face, and wonders, "What the fuck kind of dream was that?!" He is startled by someone calling out his name . . .
. . . then applying his foot to his face. The man, with similarly well-built cohorts, rhetorically asks him if he thought he could "get away with that shit, huh?!" Teppei tries to protest that he has no idea what the man is talking about, but the man promptly punches him, then "grounds and pounds" him. Teppei calls for help, but when a neighbor sheepishly sticks his head in the door, he scurries away when the man threatens to do unto him what he is doing unto Teppei. The man picks up Teppei's bruised and bloody head and sarcastically suggests that one has to be a good neighbor. The man lets him go then indicates to his two cohorts to take care of him and be sure to finish the job. Both agree as they move forward. Teppei meekly begs that they do not . . .
. . . and wakes up screaming in the morning. He rushes to lock his door, then grabs a number of pills from a prescription envelope. The scene pans to his table covered with a number of faux-brand empty canned coffee, beer, sake bottles, and cigarette cartons. He opens the refigerator, opens a can of "Cirin" beer, swallows a bunch of pills, then washes it down with the beer. He rushes to his sink – filled with dirty dishes – and runs the water as he pants. He has a flashback of his dead face from the first "dream." Calmer, he lets his head rest against the cabinets as he sits on the floor. He asks himself, "what the Hell am I doing?'
He plays pachinko but stares with disinterest at the machine. While his canister is full with balls, he shows no joy. A child happily proclaims that the "tulip is blooming." He turns to see a little girl sitting in the lap of her father as he plays. She is excited by the number of ball he has collected. He responds that they will bring many presents to her delight. Teppei appears to watch with irritation, but he is really lost in thought as the man interrupts to apologize if his daughter is bothering him. Teppei insists that she did not, then turns to stare at his game. The man tells his daughter it is time to leave, and Teppei watches them from the corner of his eye. He grouses to himself over how he was suppose to complain about the girl as if he were actually addressing her father.
He makes his way to cash in his container of balls and hears the girl thanking her father. He sees her happily clutching a bag of presents as her father pats her on her head. With a laugh, he tells her it was all because she was such a good girl.
Teppei stares at them. The woman manning the booth has to call him as the next in line. The scene focuses on a watch as the woman is heard asking him what he wishes to spend the rest of his winnings on. Teppei looks around then sees boxes of "Choco Donuts (ドーナッチョコ・Dōnachoko)" and asks for some of them.
In a park, children play on the slides and monkey bars as their Mums dote. Teppei sits alone on a bench with his bag. With a sigh the scene shifts to him on his scooter. The scene then shows the familiar forest of Hinamizawa along with the cry of higurashi. Teppei pauses to note that their cries use to anger him. He smiles as he walks his bike down the old road into Hinamizawa, and then he admits that their cries really are not that bad.
He stands before the neglected Hōjō house. He tries to open the door, but it is stuck from misuse. He muses that no one probably lives their since Satoshi left. He walks around the home a bit, sighs, reaches for his helmet, then places it back on his scooter. He continues his musing that it is not as if there is anything waiting for him back at his apartment.
He walks along the road between the rice paddies. Two older women gossip as they look at him warily.
A bag of groceries drops on the road.
Teppei sees Satoko standing before him. As the higurashi increase their cry, Satoko, with a stunned expression When They Cry Wiki cannot begin to describe, formally notes that it has been some time since they have seen one another. Teppei walks towards her with an actually gentle smile, which causes Satoko to retract in fear. With gentle music entering, Teppei picks up her dropped bag of groceries and holds it up to her. He then adds that the pachinko machines were busted today, "so I won a bunch of shit." He produces the Choco Donuts and explains that he ended up with "kiddie snacks" as he places them in the grocery bag. He quips that his doctor has directed him to cut down on sweets as he hands the bag to her. He then rhetorically asks Satoko if she likes sweets.
Still fearful, Satoko takes back her groceries. Teppei suggests that perhaps she has outgrown them. He invites her to hand them out to the little kids at school or even though them away. He addresses her again and asks, if he should win more snacks playing pachinko, if he may come by to drop them off. She haltingly responds with "yes." Teppei smiles again.
That night it is Rika who sleeps while Satoko stays up at the window. She looks out it as she hold her box of Choco Donuts. On the wall the calendar reveals that it is July 4, 1983. She then looks out the window.
During the day, Satoko happily rides her bicycle through a residential street in Okinomiya. A number of delinquent boys walk down the road blocking her way. Satoko rings the bell on her bike. The apparent leader demands to know what she wants; she replies that they are blocking the road. They take this as a challenge and walk towards her only to have Teppei suddenly appear between them and Satoko. With a profane inquiry into their intentions, Teppei punches the leader in the face. When they profanely inquire themselves as to his intentions with them, he replies with another profane inquiry into their intentions towards Satoko. Residents begin to look at them from their windows. The gang responds by starting to beat him. A whistle sounds which stop the beating as the delinquents flee. Teppei lies on the ground catching his breath while Satoko stares at him with surprise.
With a view of the outside of Okinomiya Police Station, the delinquents are heard protesting that Teppei starts beating them. Ōishi's voice is heard ordering them to be quiet as the delinquent reacts to being hit then insists they acted in self-defense. The scene shifts to the bandaged Teppei in an interview room. He dismisses his actions as merely teaching some "punks" a lesson. Kumagai Katsuya, who is interviewing him, asks him if he really wants him to put it that way in his report. Teppei defiantly insists that he does not care. There is a knock on the door, and Ōishi opens the door greeting Teppei. He genially notes that Teppei had been keeping himself out of trouble. Teppei turns his head and feigns further defiance. Ōishi asks "Kuma-chan" if he will let him cut in on this one.
After Kumagai leaves, Ōishi admits that this is out of character for Teppei. He genially reveals that the police talked to a number of witnesses, with a flashback to various elderly people looking with fear from their windows, who, even with Satoko, made the same statement. There is a flashback to Satoko looking confused at Teppei's intervention. Back to the interview room, Ōishi explains that the statement is that the delinquents were ganging up on his niece, and he jumped into rescue her. Teppei sits with his eyes closed and arms crossed. He tries to profanely deny that, but mutters as he looks away that he is not that type of "asshole" to do that.
Ōishi agrees. He stands and mockingly suggests that a criminal like Teppei would never pick a fight with punks to protect his niece when there is no profit in it. Teppei tries to explain that he was simply in a "shit mood." Ōishi laughs then tells Teppei to thank Satoko. He places his hand on the table and draws himself close to Teppei. After a pause, he sternly explains that if she had not said what she said to the officer on the scene, he would be in a whole lot more trouble. This actually surprises Teppei.
Teppei walks out of the station and sees Satoko, with her bike, staring at him warily. With a few scenes of Okinomiya to mark the passage of time, Satoko walks her bike with Teppei. She asks him why he would do what he did. She suggests that the uncle she knew would never act like that. Teppei laughs and admits that he is not suppose to be that type of guy. Still untrusting, Satoko asks him what happened. Teppei explains that he has been having a lot of bad dreams where he lives his "shitty life over, and over, and over." Satoko reacts to this, as Teppei further admits that he has not taken care of himself. He admits that he finally realized that if he does not do something, he will die alone. He starts to continue that he thought, but he turns to find that Satoko has stopped walking.
She finishes his thought by claiming that he hoped for someone to take care of him for free. He sheepishly admits that she may be correct. She turns her head away, but playfully responds that that is too much to ask. He admits that he has no right to want a family that will take care of him when he dies. After a pause, he vows to make up for all of the pain and suffering he has caused, and he will live out the rest of his life without being a burden on anyone else. He then turns to her and stammeringly asks if she were to ever want to try again with him. Satoko looks away. He continues that he would not be opposed to stopping by every now and then, and they could have dinner together. Satoko replies that that, too, is too much to ask. Teppei promises that he will cease hanging around with "those assholes," then promises to never hit her again.
He holds out his hand as he explains that he will not ask for her forgiveness but will only ask if they could try to be on speaking terms. Satoko turns to look at his hand, but when she tries to take it, she has a flashback of him abusing her. She drops her bike and steps away crying "no!" Teppei apologizes and admits that he should have known that a handshake was inappropriate "after all of the shit I did." This appears to calm and surprise Satoko. He tells her to take care of herself. She watches him walk away. He says that if they should ever encounter one another again, he hopes they can have another nice chat.
She stares at him as he walks away. She then looks down at her own hand which shakes.
Adult-Voiced Rika returns to announce the next chapter.
In order of appearance
- Hōjō Satoko
- Sonozaki Mion
- Sonozaki Yoshirō
- Maebara Keiichi
- Furude Rika
- Ryūgū Rena
- Sonozaki Shion (mentioned)
- Hōjō Teppei
- Kumagai Katsuya
- Ōishi Kuraudo
Referbacks and Forwards
- This episode involves the worlds seen in the arcs Watanagashi-hen and Watadamashi-hen.
- Concentration Game: earlier in this arc, Satoko could not succeed in the game.
- Recollection: Keiichi first recalled killing Rena and Mion in Watanagashi-hen in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, depicted in Invasion of Earth.
- "I'm Counting Out Time": when does this take place in the overall timeline? Given Satoko's complete surprise and confusion at her uncle's behavior, and Eua's revelation of how looping can change others, it seems this occurs after her reliving her usual abusive relationship seen in Tataridamashi-hen. When They Cry Wiki will avoid the speculation as to where it fits with Nekodamashi-hen.
- Jinsei (人生ゲーム・jinsei gēmu・Life Game): game played by Keiichi.
- Concentration: When They Cry Wiki will leave it to the Noble Readership to calculate how many lives Satoko repeated in order to memorize the cards.
- Ground and Pound: the linkypoo credits Mark Coleman with inventing the technique in 1996. This episode proves it was invented in 1983.
- Kirin Beer: the inspiration for Teppei's "Cirin" beer.
- Pachinko: as shown, the winnings ultimately consist of prizes since gambling is illegal in Japan. These are usually exchanged as the link describes. In this episode, the father actually gives the prizes to his daughter.
- Honorifics: while sometimes a staple of anime, the honorific "chan" is generally only used for children. Girls, in too many manga and anime examples, may address one another in this fashion, but boys or men doing so implies an intimacy. Mion, who jokes about herself being the oldest, teases Keiichi by addressing him as "Kei-chan." Keiichi does not similarly address her. It would be very odd to profoundly insulting for adult men to address one another in a professional setting with "chan." Ōishi is well aware of honorifics: and he punishes Keiichi in Tatarigoroshi-hen for failing to address him with "san"; and he torments a former inferior who is now superior by adding "kun" to his name. However, Ōishi's superior will jokingly use it with him, and previously he invited Keiichi to use it towards him.
- "A Girl has a Name?": as noted on her character page, Ryukishi07 refused to clarify her connection with another character.
- "Very well, then. Let me continue, Eua-san" – Hōjō Satoko
- "What the Hell am I doing?" – Hōjō Teppei
- Despite his resemblance to Komiyama, as explained in the Comments, he is listed only as "policeman" in the credits with a different voice actor.
- While similar in general appearance, they are not the three who make up the Motorcycle Gang.
- While never shown but heard, there are men Teppei drinks and gambles with while he stays with Satoko, and he forces her to bring them drinks and food from the store.