Episode 18: “Stopped Time”
Summary: Picking up from last episode, Shion realizes that shougi has been her bond with the murderer. Meanwhile, Satoru is pissed off at Hani-meijin because he picked Ayumi as his apprentice but never picked him. Satoru adds that Hani-meijin has always been like that, moving ahead alone and leaving him behind, reminding him that it has always been just the 2 of them. Upon hearing this, Hani-meijin’s expression darkens, asking if Satoru has any idea how he’s lived his life since he left. He emphasizes that all he cares about now is true strength.
Ayumi asks permission from Hani-meijin to run an errand. He is allowed to do so butis told to come to the observation room right after, to which Ayumi agrees. Shion is still in the match room, wondering if her shougi is stained with blood. Ayumi drops by with hot cocoa and bread, surprising Shion with his new look. He tells Shion of his new status as Hani-meijin’s apprentice and that he will pursue being a male kishi starting from scratch at the training league. Ayumi says he will do his best and hopes Shion would do the same by playing her own shougi. He leaves and goes over to the observation room where Hani-meijin introduces him as his apprentice to Hisatani, Furuta and Saori. Naturally, a surprised Saori recognizes Ayumi but doesn’t say anything about it.
Shion and Satoru’s game resumes. Satoru thinks to himself that if he’s caught up in the past, then Shion should be too, but it looks like she isn’t and wonders why that is so. He reminds himself that he created this open tournament so he can play against Hani-meijin once again, so he can’t lose after going this far. He wonders when time stopped for him – When his dad died? When his mom died? When Hani-meijin abandoned him? When Kazumi died? – He thinks that each of those times he managed to become stronger because of his loss, and that is his weakness while it’s Shion’s strength (?). Hani-meijin and Ayumi leave the building to continue watching the game online at home.
After exchanging impressive and strong moves, Shion eventually wins match. Satoru notices that he has played against this kind of shougi before but can’t exactly remember when or whom it was against. Shion tells Satoru that she has the same necklace with the same pendant that he has (Remember, Satoru showed it to her last episode) and shows it to him. Satoru is surprised to see this and asks where she got it. Shion says it is a memento from her mother who passed away 8 years ago. Upon hearing this, Satoru then remembers the shougi match he and Hani-meijin played when they were younger was the same as this match. He tells Shion that her shougi resembles his brother’s. He then says that there’s a chance that he might be able to help Shion find the murderer. Hisatani overhears this and thinks that Satoru is bullying Shion again. Shion stops him before he can go after Satoru, thinking to herself that Satoru isn’t being cruel, this time he like he sincerely means it. The detectives drop by after the match to take Satoru’s fingerprints off the shougi pieces he used.
Meanwhile, we see an old home video of little Shion and her family celebrating Christmas. A man is shown to be watching this with disdain, ejects the video tape and throws it away.
~ end of episode
Impression: Shion looked so cute getting all panicky when she saw Ayumi with his new look. Almost choking with the bread and being all flustered when he addressed her as merely “Shion” without any honorofic. LOL. They make an adorable pair! ^_^
Hani-meijin’s dark expression as he was talking to Satoru, saying that Satoru has no idea how he had to live after abandoning him. When he introduced Ayumi to Saori and company, he had this mischievous glint in his eye that is suggesting he might have some kind of plan up his sleeve. I don’t know what he’s trying to do, but I don’t think he took in Ayumi as his apprentice simply because he is strong and skilled in shougi. What could he be up to?
The suspicions I had from last episode seems to be gradually getting a confirmation with regard to the murderer. That last scene with the home video, the man watching it looks so familiar. The eye color, the eyebrow color, the black shirt, the white pants… Heh, 3 guesses who it might be. I’m almost completely sure it’s Hani-meijin.
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