Catching up on this series! In this post, it’s Shion no Ou episodes 4 to 8. Brief summary + quick impression for each episode is written as one. ^_^
Episode 04: “Demon Hand”
It’s Shion and Ayumi’s long-awaited 2nd match. Picking up from last episode, Shion has an epiphany. She figures out that Ayumi was her rescuer 6 months ago and that she is actually a guy. She has an emotional moment but quickly gets herself together to focus on the game. Ayumi and Shion have a remarkable game which surprises everyone. Hani-meijin compliments Ayumi’s shougi skills, much to Saori’s annoyance. Being the good girl that she is, Shion thanks Ayumi for rescuing her previously and subtly tells him that his seceret is safe with her, writing “I won’t lose next time” with a smile. Shion collapses after the game, as to be expected since she was supposed to be in the hospital anyway but sort of sneaked out just to play against Ayumi.
Episode 05: “Courageous Move”
Hani-meijin offers to drive Shion and Shinji to the hospital. We get a bit of background on Hani-meijin. We learn that he has a younger brother and that their father died to save the latter’s life from a car accident. He says that shougi has become their refuge since then and he feels that Shion feels the same way too. Saori is a bit pissed off that Hani-meijin was able to easily compliment Ayumi’s shougi skills. Saori asks Hani-meijin if she’s inferior to Ayumi. He responds, “If I praise you, will that be enough? True kishi cares only for winning.”
Saori and Ayumi face off in the next round of matches. Saori gets over her “kind shougi” style of play and decides to play boldly. Ayumi loses. Ayumi later attends a study session with Hani-meijin. Hani seems to know about Ayumi’s secret, as he said “I hope we have a chance to play again whether a man or a woman, pro or amateur. True shougi determines the strongest person of all.” Uh-oh. From the look on both Hani-meijin’s face, it appears that he suspects something fishy and Ayumi should watch his back.
At the hospital, Shinji proposes a little family vacation, to which Sachiko and Shion agree with. Shion later sees Ayumi at the hospital. Ayumi hasn’t really told anyone about his reason for cross-dressing and joining the female shougi world (besides Kamizono-sensei), I think Shion would know about it sooner or later. Either Ayumi tells her or Shion would find out for herself.
Episode 06: “Provocation”
The Yasuokas leave for a short family vacation. The detectives ask Shion if she remembers the killer’s face (the one from 8 years ago), to which she regretfully says “no.” However, she remembers that the killer had beautiful hands/fingers, but she does not tell the detectives this.
Back in school, Shion tells her teacher that she decided not to go to high school but focus on being a pro kishi instead. We learn that Ayumi’s father is a useless git. He takes Ayumi’s earnings for his own instead of using it for his wife’s hospital bills, saying since he was the one who taught Ayumi shougi, taking the money would be like his “fee” for that. What a bastard.
The blonde guy we’ve seen a few times previously is still acting quite suspiciously. Shion and Saori gets tricked to play against each other at a private request of this guy. We finally get his name. Apparently, he is Hani-meijin’s younger brother, Satoru. He is soon to sponsor an open tournament for shougi with a prize money of 50 million yen. In this open tournament, male and female will compete against each other, amateur or pro, as long as you can pay the 100,000 entrance fee. Interestingly, it appears that Satoru has the same sort of necklace that Shion has. Very suspicious. There’s bound to be a story behind this sometime soon.
Episode 07: “Playing Pieces”
Shion x Saori continues the private timed shougi match which Satoru requested. Saori is not paying enough attention with the game and merely wants to impress Satoru, hoping that he would tell Hani-meijin about her skill. As a result, she carelessly missed to analyze an opening in the game so Shion manages to have the advantage. Shion wins the entry fee, as Satoru promised to whoever wins this match. Saori decides not to go to college and focus on her career as a pro kishi. At the association, Satoru asks for a match against Ayumi. Ayumi wins, but Satoru’s actions are still suspicious. We learn that Satoru knows how to play shougi quite well, though he pretends otherwise.
Later, Shion asks Ayumi to walk home together. They stop by a donut shop for some snacks. It’s nice to see that Ayumi has found a friend and can be himself around Shion. Ayumi reveals that his mom is in the hospital and that the main reason he cross-dressed and joined the female shougi world is to help pay for the bills. Shion offers her prize money for assistance but Ayumi politely declines, saying that he’d like to earn the money himself.
Hani-meijin and Satoru have a brotherly talk. He learns that Satoru organized this open tournament so he could play against him. Heh, even Hani-meijin is quite suspicious of his brother.
Episode 08: “The Door to Dreams”
We get some more backstory on the Hani brothers. When they were kids, they always played shougi against each other. During one time, Satoru is just one game short of being tied to Hani-meijin, but the deciding match they are playing at home is left unfinished as they get a call that their mother died. They stopped playing shougi together since then. Meanwhile, Shion visits Ayumi’s mom in the hospital.
Open tournament begins. Hisatani (3-dan) is in group A, Saori (2-dan) group B, Shion (1-kyu) group C, Ayumi (1-dan) group A, Hani-meijin group B, Kamizono (9-dan) group b, Shinji (8-dan) group A. It seems that it doesn’t matter which group you’re in since if you win enough, you’ll be able to play everyone else. We hear their thoughts through the game, so even if you can’t understand shougi, you’d be able to get a good idea of how it’s going, who’s winning, etc. As previously hinted, Satoru is indeed very good at shougi. He is acting even more suspicious than before. What is he up to? The Saori x Hisatani moments are quite cute too.🙂
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