Hey, this episode was really good! I’m beginning to understand what Kiseki gurl meant with Shion’s strong character, as she’s really one of the most likable characters to appear this season, along with Kaiji. The episode started off a little buggy, though. So much publicity for just Shougi seems a bit unrealistic. It could be that Shougi is the most popular “sports” of the city, and the city is relatively small, though, but the horde of reporters still may have been a bit too much.
Shion then ends up fainting, the day before her rematch with Ayumi, after thinking back to the murder-event again. While it was nice enough to watch, it wasn’t anything special yet, but I was actually surprised how afterwards, the police managed to track down the creepy stalker, and Shion kept pushing herself to make it to the match once she woke up. Basically, Shion’s a heavily traumatized girl with a huge mental will to keep going. If the scriptwriters continue to develop this through the next nine episodes, we might have ourselves a very special anime here.
The episode also ends with the match between Shion and Ayumi, and Shion was basically crying as she started playing. Still, something tells me that she’s not going to give up at all in the next episode. Also regarding the creepy stalker, in the end he just was a creepy stalker and doesn’t seem to be the guy who killed Shion’s parents. The question remains, though: why did the guy decide to stalk Shion, and if he didn’t kill her parents, who did?
I’m also wondering whether I should change the title to “Sion no Ou”. If you look carefully at the sign on S(h)ion’s bedroom, it reads “Sion”, instead of “Shion”. Still, for now I’m going to blame it on bad katakana and romanji, since there’s no difference between “si” and “shi” in Japanese, and there never has been a universal form of romanji anyway.
(On a side-note: there’ve been quite a few anime this season where children have been traumatized because of the murder of their loved ones, haven’t there? Shion with her parents, Mari from Blue Drop with all 800 inhabitants of the island and Tarou from Ghost Hound with his sister, and I probably missed a few. It’s interesting how all these series give their own meaning to the incidents, and the characters who suffer from the traumas).