Posted by psgels on 10 February 2008 with categories: Shion no Ou


Oh my god. This episode was absolutely amazing, and quite probably the best of the entire series yet. And with Shion no Ou, that has to say something! Obviously with that, there are major spoilers following, because this episode turned so many tables around. You don’t want to read this entry without having seen the episode, and I’m serious about this. This sentence is meant to fill up space on the blog aggregators.

Now, the biggest shock was definitely the very first sentence on the first scene. From out of NOWHERE, we just learn that Ayumi’s mother freaking DIED. I hardly could believe my ears when I heard this, and how it came so incredibly suddenly. The first sentence was the last place I’d ever expect a twist so major as that.

Unfortunately, the only thing that wasn’t freaking awesome about this episode was the animation. Something went terribly wrong with the outsourcing this time, and some shots looked really off, even more than usual for this series. Thankfully though, the rest of the episode MORE than made up for it. Shion’s face when she found out about Ayumi’s mother was heart-wrenching. And yes, I admit that I cried a lot during this episode.

The thing also remains that Ayumi has now lost his main reason to play Shougi. Hani-meijin then comes into the picture, when he basically offers to make Ayumi his successor. With his loss against Satoru this episode, the female Ayumi has also died, and the episode ends with Hani-meijin, actually cutting off Ayumi’s hair!

And on top of that, Satoru also receives a truckload full of development. We see him this time at the apartment of a newly introduced friend of his. We receive the first clue that perhaps he wasn’t the one who killed Shion’s parents. It turns out Kazumi was indeed his lover, whom he met in high-school. She died, however, at the same time that Shion’s parents got killed. In this episode, we see how Satoru has actually asked this friend of his to investigate on the real facts of the death of Shion’s parents. Now why would he do that if he was the murderer?

We also learn why Hani-meijin and Satoru split up. Hani-meijin basically forced Satoru to stop playing Shougi, while he himself would pursue a professional carreer in Shougi. This had a major impact on Satoru, and he secretly kept playing Shougi with himself. It turns out that his ultimate goal is to have a real match with his brother, which is probably why he organized the tournament in the first place. Where Shion fits in this isn’t clear yet. But Hani-meijin is indeed the weak point for Satoru. When he finds out that Hani-meijin was late for his own match, his own game against Ayumi got a lot weaker. When the guy showed up at last, he easily won.

Seriously, this episode was all kinds of awesomeness, and to think that the creators haven’t even begun to reveal all of their trump-cards. Right now, only Shion, Hisatani, Satoru and Hani-meijin are left in the tournament. Quite an interesting line-up, if you ask me. If I understood things correctly, then Hisatani will end up against Hani-meijin if he wins his next match. Shion then has also has a match against an unknown opponent (I suspect that this is going to be the guy who beat Saori), after which she yet again has to play against Satoru, who of course wants to go to the finale where he can play against his brother (who’ll likely beat Hisatani). It turns out that there will be 22 episodes for this series, just as with Ghost Hound, and this should provide enough time to close off this series.

8 Responses

  1. apexantapex says:

    I like this series so much that I don’t even mind the spoilers — English subs are about an episode behind, so I’m counting on picking up 15 on Monday.

    The downside of watching and rewatching this show so obsessively is that I feel pretty certain of who killed Shion’s parents now. There are some very faint clues that require some additional logical speculation… And that’s all I’ll say.

    This story is a real gem.

  2. apexantapex says:

    (But from here onwards I think I will avoid your Shion posts if I can manage to endure the suspense. ^^)

  3. Ally says:

    LOL Random search for animes summary led me here.
    Well I really don’t mind spoilers^__^

    re: Ayumi’s mother
    we did get a hint though when he was talking to Saori on the rooftop remember. I don’t have the eps with me now but essentially he did said his mother was going to be released to spend her last moments at home … So I was kind of expecting that, although the When is not determined yet
    XD can’t wait to see Ayumi’s new look XD

  4. GiGi says:

    You’re right. The animation of this episode is quiet frightening but the plot makes up for it.

  5. BlueYoshi says:

    IT WAS TORTURE.

    You know why. I had to resist the urge to read this blog entry until I watched the episode myself with subs. And you are 100% correct. Best episode yet, so many twists…and I’m glad that my resistance to believe that Satoru might not be the killer paid off. I’m down to 3 suspects now. None of them being Hani-Meijin by the way.

  6. Eonir says:

    PSgels, the only irritating thing about Your blog is that speed of yours.

    I look at Rour RSS feeds and every time I see the latest episodes. While writing a quick review seems to be a lot easier than subbing, I have to wait a week until I read something :D

    Anyway, yes, this episode was very good. This proves that Shion no Ou is not only about duels, and that there is a world outside shougi. Which is hard to achieve in such series. I can’t wait for the next episodes :D

  7. Moonhawk says:

    Noooo~ Why did he have to cut Ayumi’s hair THATR short?! It looks terrible! *cries*

    *cough*
    Eh… sorry for that outburst but really. This was just too much. They could have at least given him a nice new look and not something like a bad Hisatani clone… (I mean, for Hisatani that hairstyle is fitting and all but I had hoped for Ayumi to get more something along the looks of Hani-mejin himself or Satoru. This look is just too strict for someone of Ayumi’s character. It doesn’t suit him when you take into consideration what the different hairstyles say about characters in anime…)

    But enough of complaining, the rest of this episode really was pure awesomeness! I totally loved it!
    There were somany things that came together, some really heavy new revelations… and now I’m even more sure that Satoru isn’t the badd guy. I suppose that the pendant Shion and Satoru have are some kind of good luck-charm Kazumi and Shion’s mother shared. Shion inherited it from her mother after their murder and Satoru probably got his the same way as a memory of his beloved.

    All in all this series just keeps to blow me away and gets more and more awesome as it goes on!
    Noe I only hope that it will be able to keepit up till the end…

  8. Moonhawk says:

    Noooo! Why did he have to cut Ayumi’s hair THAT short?! It looks terrible! *cries*

    *cough*
    Eh… sorry for that outburst but really. This was just too much. They could have at least given him a nice new look and not something like a bad Hisatani clone… (I mean, for Hisatani that hairstyle is fitting and all but I had hoped for Ayumi to get more something along the looks of Hani-mejin himself or Satoru. This look is just too strict for someone of Ayumi’s character. It doesn’t suit him when you take into consideration what the different hairstyles say about characters in anime…)

    But enough of complaining, the rest of this episode really was pure awesomeness! I totally loved it!
    There were somany things that came together, some really heavy new revelations… and now I’m even more sure that Satoru isn’t the badd guy. I suppose that the pendant Shion and Satoru have are some kind of good luck-charm Kazumi and Shion’s mother shared. Shion inherited it from her mother after their murder and Satoru probably got his the same way as a memory of his beloved.

    All in all this series just keeps to blow me away and gets more and more awesome as it goes on!
    Noe I only hope that it will be able to keepit up till the end…

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:48 PM)
    You know when Shinji was talking to Rin. You could have said something Lancer.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:47 PM)
    @Bam, Ouch. Come on I think comparing him to Kirito is a bit much. You think that Kirito would every be shown getting this much of a beating?
    I do argee that lancer should have jumped in sooner…but he did get a spear though the chest and likely did need some time to rest after attacking Kirei. But a “HEY FECK OFF YOU LITTLE SHIT” would have been appreciated.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.

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