It’s episode 19 of Shion no Ō. Detective Yokoyama hits yet another dead end in trying to find Shion parent’s murderer, but are signs starting to point away form Satoru and towards his brother instead? Meanwhile, Satoru starts investigating the murder himself, and is shocked about what he finds.
The highlights of this episode:
- Hani-meijin and Ayumi are going over Shion and Satoru’s game when Hani gets a call from the slimy sports reporter Sasakado and excuses Ayumi. Sasakado tells Hani what Satoru said about being able to help Shion find her parent’s murderer. Meanwhile, back at Shion’s house, Hisatani tells Shinji about the same event.
- Back at the police station, Detective Yokoyama’s assistant, Kachikawa, comes back with the results that Satoru’s fingerprints don’t match those on the shogi piece found at the murder scene. Shinji then calls Yokoyama to relay to him what Satoru told Shion after the match. Yokoyama decides to have Kachikawa re-investigate Kazumi’s cause of death, to see if there is anything strange.
- The next day, Satoru calls Sasakado and asks him to blow up the pictures of the murder scene that he has and to bring them over. Once he has the pictures, Satoru starts pouring over them and realizes that the shogi board at the murder scene had the remnants of a game left on it. He also notes that the box for the shogi pieces is left sprawled on the floor, even though it is usually placed under the table during a game. However, the thing which strikes Satoru the most is the fact that the necklace matching his is at the murder scene as well.
- At Hani-meijin’s place, Hani goes off to play in a tournament, leaving Ayumi to clean up the place when Satoru shows up. Ayumi asks him to leave, but Satoru throws him off. This causes Ayumi to drop the trash bag he’s carrying, and a camcorder tape falls out. Satoru sees it and notices that the tap has Kazumi’s handwriting on it.
- Satoru has Ayumi come over to help him look over the pictures from the murder scene to see if he notices anything Satoru couldn’t. Satoru tells him about how Shion and the murderer must have played a game after the murder, and Ayumi concurs. Satoru hypothesizes that the murder knows how to play shogi – and may even be a pro player. However, Ayumi says that a pro would never leave the box for the pieces laying out, and then realizes that Hani-meijin does when he plays.
- Satoru then shows Ayumi the picture of the necklace left at the murder scene, then shows him his own necklace. He then tells Ayumi about how he and Hani-meijin received matching necklaces as mementos of their dead mother. The pair then watches the video from Hani-meijin’s apartment of a Christmas party when Shion was little. During the video, Kazumi remarks to "big brother" that it’s a nice video, and Satoru realizes that the only person she would call "big brother" is Hani-meijin, which means that Hani-meijin must have had Kazumi make the video.
- Ayumi asks Satoru if he really thinks that Hani-meijin is the murder, to which Satoru says that yes, he does think so, but can’t think of a motive for it. In any case, he tells Ayumi not to tell Shion nor Hani-meijin about what they discussed until they can discover why.
- Kachikawa calls Yokoyama about his investigation into Kazumi’s death, and confirms that it was from a chronic hearth condition, but that she died in the entrance way of her apartment, as if she was told or witnessed something so shocking that it caused her condition to kill her. Yokoyama visits Sasakado to question him, and Sasakado tells him how Satoru wanted information about the murder. However, as Yokoyama is about to leave, Sasakado gets a call, which Yokoyama sees is from Hani-meijin and realizes that Sasakado hasn’t told him everything.
- Meanwhile, Shion starts pouring over records of Hani-meijin’s matches for preparation and realizes just how similarly her style is to his…
I’m kind of surprised that the show decided to all-but-totally uncover who the murderer was in this episode (I was right! I was right!), but then again, with three episodes left – and with Hani-meijin and Shion’s match quite possibly being a two-part match like Shion and Satoru’s match was, that would only give us one non-shogi episode left, so I guess it works. Besides, Satoru and Ayumi still need to figure out the “why.” I’d expect their match to start next episode – it’s just a matter of whether it’s at the start, middle, or end.
I still think that it was merely because he heard about Shion’s potential from Shinji at some point, and felt that Shion’s real parents were holding back that potential, and, for some reason, decided that the only way for Shion to realize her true shogi potential was to murder her parents. I’ve already highlighted in past episode reviews that Hani-meijin sees nothing – and I mean nothing – as being more important than shogi, so I’m sure that he felt that he was doing Shion a service by “freeing” her to learn shogi “properly.”
I also wonder if Ayumi will either confront Hani-meijin or snoop around his apartment and get caught by him, and if so what will happen. I also wonder what Hani-meijin has planned for Shion’s shogi match. If Shion defeats him, will he reveal himself as the murderer, knowing that Satoru is closing in on him anyway? And I won’t be surprised if Shion realizes that Hani-meijin’s style is very similar to the style played by the murderer either.
I think this was a pretty good episode. Maybe it’s because this is how I really feel or maybe this is just in comparison to the shows I’m watching in the current season, but I think this series has been overall pretty good as well. All that’s really left is to see how things end up turning out in the last 3 episodes.
And just a note – I haven’t looked forward in this series so I do not know what happens. I’ll find out what happens as the episodes come out subbed.