Episode 21: “The True Criminal”
Summary: Continuing from last episode, Shion notes to herself that only she and the murderer knows those words that Hani-meijin had just uttered. She realizes that Hani-meijin could be the culprit but then hesitates about it. She tells herself to not think of the murder incident but to focus on the game instead.
It’s lunch break, so Hani-meijin leaves the game room to eat out. He notices Ayumi outside the room. He tells Ayumi that he remembers telling him not to come to the Association to watch his game with Shion. Ayumi gets the courage to say that he is withdrawing as Hani-meijin’s apprentice. Hani-meijin notes that he’s the only one who can protect Ayumi’s secret (he posed as a female kishi to earn money to help out his mother, remember?). Ayumi says that doesn’t matter anymore, he only cares about protecting Shion now. Shion overhears this and has a worried look on her face, recalling that Ayumi wants to become a good male kishi but is now resigning as the Meijin’s apprentice. Ayumi notices her reaction and tells her that she doesn’t have to worry about him and that she has to focus her attention on the game.
Meanwhile, Detective Yokoyama continues his investigation on Hani-meijin. Satoru is still with Kamizono in the hospital. He continues to ask him if he remembers anything odd about how the Meijin acted 8 years ago during their match. Kamizono notes that the one thing he noticed was that Hani-meijin had this cold look in his eyes from the beginning to the end of their match. That description makes Satoru remember that his big brother had that same look in his eyes when their mother died. Lunch break is over and the shougi match between Shion and Hani-meijin for the top title in this open tournament continues. Shion has been playing really well, as noted by Saori, Hisatani and Shinji. Back in the hospital, Kamizono informs Satoru that Hani-meijin didn’t attend his own victory party 8 years ago and left the place at around 5 p.m. Satoru realizes that this gives his brother enough time to go to Tokyo and kill Kazumi. Kamizono asks Satoru what he is planning to do, to which Satoru replies he wants revenge. Kamizono asks Satoru if it’d be alright with him if he requested Satoru to take him to watch the match live at the Association, to which Satoru agrees. Detective Yokoyama manages to catch them before leaving the hospital. He says he is looking for Kamizono to ask for his fingerprints. Kamizono wonders if the detective is suspecting him of the murder. The detective denies this and states he just wants to make sure which is Kamizono’s fingerprints to distinguish it from Hani-meijin’s. He reveals that they are now suspecting Hani-meijin to be the culprit and that he was able to get new evidence for the case: the shougi pieces that was used during the match between Kamizono and the Hani-meijin. The detective adds that the new evidence is a piece of nail polish that got mixed up with the pieces. Satoru is glad to hear that the detectives have managed to catch up with his own investigations. He tells Det. Yokoyama that he and Kamizono are on their way back to Tokyo and asks if he would like to come with them, to which the detective agrees. Satoru shares the information he has gathered, revealing that he suspects Hani-meijin to be the one who killed Kazumi as well. He shows the detective the Christmas video tape that Kazumi took when she was at the Ishiwataris, and he let him hear the anxious voice messages that Kazumi left him before she died.
Back in the match, Hani-meijin reveals to Shion that Yamamura (the male kishi who rivaled Hani-meijin’s skills and a good friend of Shion and the Yasuokas) mentioned that his fellow apprentice, little Shion, had the potential to surpass his own shougi skills even Hani-meijin’s. Shion remembers the moment before Yamamura died, he told her to do her best in shougi and to play it for the both of them. Hani-meijin confesses that the necklace or magatama that Shion is always wearing is not a memento of her mother — it’s something that he dropped that night. He notes that Satoru has a similar magatama because it’s a memento of their mother. Hani-meijin says that he wanted Shion to become strong so badly that he even did that … “and this is the best you can do?” he asks Shion. “Are you going to grab your king, so close to death, and run away like you did that night?” With these words, Shion gets another flashback of the murder 8 years ago that is more vivid than before. She recalls that after she was told to never speak again, the culprit played shougi with her but they didn’t finish the game because she grabbed her king piece tightly, with the culprit telling her “Remember, if you want to win, you have to kill your opponent’s king.” The culprit’s face is revealed in the flashback. Shion now remembers everything that happened that fateful night. She realizes the truth about the murderer now. Shion throws away the magatama she’s been wearing and replaces it with the star necklace that Ayumi gave her as a present.
~ end of episode
Impression: It’s official. Hani-meijin is the culprit. He even said so himself. This was an episode full of revelations and a few twists. Now that Ayumi has quit being Hani-meijin’s apprentice, what’s gonna happen to him? I suspect Saori being one of the few people who knows Ayumi’s secret will probably play a part in the final episode, especially since Ayumi resigned his apprenticeship. I suppose Satoru will help him in some way too, so will Kamizono, Hisatani, Shinji and of course Shion. Speaking of Satoru, he revealed to Kamizono that he wants to get revenge on his brother. Obviously, it’s revenge for his brother killing the love of his life, Kazumi. I wonder how his revenge will be. I don’t think Satoru would go violent though. Okay, maybe he’ll throw Hani-meijin a punch or something, but I don’t think he’d go as far as to kill his own brother.
Seeing Shion standing up for herself after realizing the truth was awesome! She carelessly threw away the magatama without hesitation and replaced it with the necklace Ayumi gave her. That was sweet! ^_^
It’s the final episode up next.
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