Posted on 24 February 2008 with categories: Shion no Ou


Well, it’s four episodes left, and we finally get a question that has been asked through the entire series confirmed. It wasn’t the most exciting episode that this series had to offer, but it was a perfect build-up to the grand finale of this anime. The next line is going to be a spoiler, so this line is there to prevent it to appear on the blog-aggregators like animeblogger antenna.

So, yes: Satoru was just one big red herring; he never killed Shion’s parents in the first place. The real killer also has to be Hani-meijin, all signs point to him:
– He will be playing against Shion for the finale
– He recruited Ayumi to be his student.
– He entered a world so dangerous that he had to abandon his brother.

In the end, all Satoru was, was another one of the guy’s victims. Satoru looked up to his brother, and he was deserted because of Shougi. In addition to that, Satoru lost his mother, father and lover, and it turns out that he was just clinging to get back to the only one of his loved ones who is still alive. His sadistic actions were just mere pranks, in order to get noticed. I think that the reason why he revealed Ayumi’s identity to Saori just was a subtle cry for attention. I must say that now that I love his character, and the depth of it, and it makes me hate Hani-meijin even more.

Throughout the first two thirds of the series, we were all made to hate Satoru, while the real bastard is actually Hani-meijin. I remember how I didn’t like the guy, but this hatred disappeared when the even worse Satoru appeared. Still, it now turns out that the guy loves to play with other people as if they were toys. Saori, another person that’s been dying for his attention just got shamelessly put aside during this episode, in favour of the “stronger” Ayumi, just because she didn’t make it to the finals because she had the bad luck to face an old shougi-master!

And really, what’s he planning with Shion? I think it’s clear now that he’s after strong players and has no need for the weak ones. Was the reason he committed the murder a twisted experiment to get Shion entirely devoted to Shougi, so that he could harvest her once her talents developed? Is the fact that Kaminozo accepted him really the only reason why he took on Ayumi as his new student? Or was this yet another part of his plans with Shion. The guy definitely had a bad history with Shion’s parents, but what exactly is it?

It’s really been a while since I watched such an episode, but this is one of the rare ones that gets better and better after you finish watching it. It wasn’t the most exciting of the shougi-matches, but it’s been ages since one episode made me think so much as this one. It’s series like this one that remind me why I fell in love with anime in the first place.

7 Responses

  1. apexantapex says:

    I KNEW IT. Man.

    Here’s what tipped me off.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    In the net café, the guy playing Suo had the same hair color — and really the same hairstyle — as Hani-Meijin. Also, the murderer’s car outside Shion’s window had a hood with the same molding as Hani’s. You could catch glimpses of it in the scenes when he drove Shion to the hospital after her collapse. I think the murderer’s portrayal directly after Hani-Meijin in the OP is a hint though meaningless by itself.

    What I want to know is who Hani-Meijin’s master was after he was rejected by Kamizono. Unless the English subs got it totally wrong, Saori said that she and Hani-Meijin were fellow apprentices but this person has never once been mentioned by name and very barely mentioned at all. I wonder if this person will figure onto his motive, which itself is going to be interesting. I have no idea what happens beyond this….

    I’m turning into Neuro, trying to eat riddles. ^_^

  2. lmd_84 says:

    Oh, goodness.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I’d feared it was a possibility after I started to question Satarou’s position.

    But I had originally thought that Hani was merely a over-determined, rather harsh shougi player, the kind the girls hopefully wouldn’t end up like.

    Can’t wait to watch it. Thanks for continuing to blog this fantastic series.

  3. T.K. says:

    The scene between Ayumi and Shion was just too cute…. XD

  4. Fla says:

    I have never written to a blog before but your blog is really well done. Shion is a great show and after watching so far I’ve come to a few conclusions. Firstly Satoru has investigated the case of the murders that took place and made the connection that during the night of the murders due to the time delays Shion must have spent time with the murderer( this is true because she remembered during their match). Shion was to young and traumatized at that time to remember anything, but now he arrange this whole tournament not to play against his brother but to trigger Shion’s memories. Hani-meijin’s cold and calculating attitude makes him the prime suspect I believe the reason why Hani-meijin did it may be because of his father accident. Hani-meijin and Satoru life changed because of the accident it would be interesting if one of Shion’s parent were the cause of the accident that triggered the events. Satoru has always comment on how Shion would behave if she was hated and the result is her memories would unlock.

  5. Kurik says:

    seems i get my episodes much later than the rest of you…. :-)

    just watched ep 18 and WOW….the slow build up and the likkle bite size reveals and tension creates a wonderful atmosphere for this series…still loving it…..hope the end doesn’t disappoint….

  6. BlueYoshi says:

    Yeah, Kurik and I have to wait for subs. xD

    So Satoru was the red herring after all. I’m glad that this is the case.

    Neuro couldn’t eat this riddle, it’s too hard for him.

  7. Moonhawk says:

    So, this time everything points towards Hani-meijin…
    Yet, I’m still not completely sure if he really is the culprit. A lot of things are hinting at him but on the other hand that was also the case with the very first stalker and Satoru.
    Hm… guess I have to watch the next episodes to find out XD

Leave a Reply

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:27 PM)
    Ghibi’s up would certainly be a different beast altogether.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:08 PM)
    @Ken no, the ghibli one.
  • Kenjeran
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:55 PM)
    @Juno: Up? That Disney-Pixar one?
  • Noel
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:39 PM)
    Hi there. I’m currently interning for a small company in London, and they tasked me with creating a video tribute to Howl’s Moving Castle. I came up with this, and I thought you might like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS-zTTQzgjI Noel
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.

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