Episode 17: “Mind Reading”
Summary: Histani tearfully loses against Hani-meijin. He asks if the meijin has ever cried after losing a game. Hani-meijin remembers that he did, but denies having experienced such a thing. Meanwhile, the detectives brainstorm about the murder case. The younger detective thinks that the culprit’s true goal may not be to kill the Ishiwataris but to leave Shion by herself, alive and alone. She was the target and killing her parents may have just been the means to that goal. They also get a breakthrough information regarding the case. They learn that Satoru’s girlfriend, Kazumi, was working for the Ishiwataris’ company on the day of the murder 8 years ago.
It’s Shion vs. Satoru set for another match. The Yasuokas are talking about the possible outcome of this game. Apparently, Satoru requested from the Association that whoever won this match, whether amateur or female, will automatically be given a 4-dan status (see shougi notes) without any further requirement. As Shion is on her way to school, Satoru is waiting for her to pass by the park and talks to her. Satoru reveals to Shion that he was deliberately messing with her (like cutting her shoelaces, etc.) and wonders why she always is still able to smile. She replies, “I’m not afraid to cry, so I can always smile.” Hisatani and Saori walk in on them by chance and they stand up for Shion against Satoru’s bullying. As he was leaving, Satoru says “If only I were the murderer, then you could all hate me to your hearts’ content.” In the meantime, the detectives are investigating the new lead they got. They drop by the Ishiwatari Accounting Agency and ask around about Kazumi. They find out that she was studying shougi secretly under Yasuoka-sensei since her boyfriend loved shougi. They also learn that there was another guy who has been asking around about Kazumi, the investigative journalist guy who unbeknownst to them is investigating under Satoru’s orders.
It’s finally the match between Satoru and Shion. Satoru reveals that he is playing for someone dear to him who passed away and that she died after Shion’s parents were killed. He says that Shion might have known her since she used to go to their place quite often. Shion gets a flashback and remembers this the kind and beautiful onee-chan who shared a Christmas with her family before when she was little. It looks like Satoru has been trying to provoke Shion’s memories by bullying her, trying to fish for information about the murder and Kazumi’s death 8 years ago. Shion remembers her adopted father’s words regarding shougi, “… The pieces will tell you everything.” Satoru tells Shion that he notices she has a necklace which she hold on to and says he has one himself, showing it to her. To Shion’s surprise, Satoru’s necklace is the same as hers! Satoru says he has been wondering who Shion had been talking to during the interval between the police finding the crime scene and the moment her parents were murdered.
Hani-meijin tells Ayumi that they are going to the association to watch the second-half of Shion and Satoru’s match up close, also noting that it’s about time that he formally introduces Ayumi as his apprentice. They see Satoru eating his lunch by himself. Hani-meijin tells Ayumi that everyone has weakness and it’s not hard to notice it. What’s hard is what to do next, seizing that weakness without hesitation. He then introduces Ayumi as his apprentice to Satoru. At about the same time, regarding Satoru’s question about that night, Shion then remembers that she had been playing shougi against the culprit during that interval, and that in her memory, she might have mistaken the culprit’s words to her regarding shougi as her adopted father’s. She realizes that for the past 8 years, shougi has been her bond with the murderer.
~ end of episode
Impression: The connection between Kazumi and Shion’s family is now apparent, as revealed by Satoru. The necklace that Shion has that is exactly the same as Satoru’s also adds in to the mystery. Why do they have a similar item? It looks like something that links them together to the murder other than Kazumi. Shion’s memory of the murderer playing shougi with her and mistaking his words as Shinji’s is another development. I don’t think Shinji could be the culprit. I also wonder what could be the connection between Kazumi’s death and the Ishiwataris’ murder. Since Satoru thinks there’s foul play behind her passing, maybe she inadvertently knew the killer or something like that.
Hani-meijin‘s behavior has been bugging me for quite sometime now. He’s not exactly acting suspicious but it seems something’s up with him and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Well, I wasn’t considering him suspicious until I came across this comment from T.K. at psgels’ blog, where T.K. pointed out an obvious possibility which I didn’t notice at all! >_< I had a feeling that Satoru was just too obvious to be the actual culprit but I was totally oblivious to the idea that it could also be Hani-meijin! (I so fail at deductions. Orz.) It makes sense doesn’t it? Now that I think about it, it seems to fit quite well. The culprit’s probable hair color (which I think I at least noticed before was not blonde), the beautiful fingers, the voice… Heh, I’ll be sure to watch his every move from this episode on. Now the question is why he did it, if he were indeed the culprit. Ah, I’m so loving this series. It just gets better and better each episode!
You might also want to check out my other related posts: