It’s Nijuu Mensou no Musume Episode 9 and Chiko and Shunka decide to start looking into the disappearance of Twenty Faces, and Shunka has a guess as to who he may really be. In the meantime, and old friend of Chiko returns.
- Chiko’s aunt invites her out on a trip the next week, but Chiko refuses. After Chiko leaves, her aunt and the lawyer regret her refusal since it would have been a great chance to plan an “accidental” death for Chiko while on vacation.
- In the meantime, Chiko goes to visit Shunka’s house, which is awkward for both girls as Chiko hasn’t visited a friend’s house before while Shunka has never had a friend over.
- Shunka grabs some books with pictures of people in it. She finds a picture of one guy, Koheiji Namikawa, who was a stage actor who could play just about any role and was thus given the nickname “the man with seven faces.” He also disappeared just after the war, and Chiko thinks he looks like Twenty Faces.
- Chiko asks Shunka why she wants to find Twenty Faces, so Shunka tells Chiko that she’s fallen in love with him and wants to be with him. Chiko has a somewhat negative reaction, so Shunka takes this as evidence that it is Chiko who is in love with him (which she denies).
- Based on this, the pair decide to form the “Detective Girls” and to search for the history of Twenty Faces in hope of finding him alive someday. Shunka grabs some primitive “detective tools” and the pair head off to the theater where Namikama used to perform.
- When they reach the theater, an old can sweeping outside tells them that Namikawa is dead. Another younger worker tells them the story of Namikama disappearance, but says that no one truly knows his fate. However, Chiko gets a good look at the old man’s face and realizes that he is Namikawa. However, he’s only in his 30s and the trauma from fighting in the war has caused him to go into the state he’s in.
- Once the pair leaves the theater, Chiko realizes that they’re being followed. She tells Shunka to run, but she doesn’t and two men show up looking for Chiko, hoping she knows where he’s stashed all his stuff. In the end, Chiko is able to beat off the thugs.
- However, once the pair leaves, someone else shows up….Ken, now with long hair and an eye patch. He recalls back to the night of the train accident and believes that he sees Twenty Faces driving a police truck with Chiko in it. However, after Ken sees that Chiko has returned to her aunt, he begins to fear that Twenty Faces has abandoned him.
- Chiko and Shunka decide to watch a movie after their adventure, but in a preview before the movie, Chiko spots a character wearing a necklace called “Fairy of the Night” which Twenty Faces had in his possession. This causes Chiko to want to travel to Nagaishi Island, where the movie is being filmed, to investigate.
- To do this, however, she must go back and take up her aunt’s offer of going on a vacation. As a result, Chiko, Tome, and Chiko’s aunt head off to the island. Ken, who overhears Chiko’s conversation with her aunt, decides to meet her there…
So it seems we are now fully in the 2nd Act of this series, which is basically “Chiko searches for Twenty Faces.” We also hear the term “Detective Girls” for the first time as well (it appears in the ending credits too and has the entire series). This trip would seem to not be the best opportunity for it to be fully solidified, as Shunka is apparently not coming with (though I wouldn’t be shocked if she found a way to come).
Of course, Chiko’s aunt thinks this is a great chance to off Chiko, something which I’m sure Chiko is more than aware of. I’m sure her plan will backfire, but to what degree I wonder. Will it just not work, or will Tome figure out what she’s up to as well?
Of course, we also have the return of Ken, who was apparently abandoned as a child and fears that Twenty Faces has now abandoned him. Why he thus goes after Chiko, I’m not sure, though. I guess he’s just looking for some sort of answer. I’m sure he’ll have a say in whether an plan that Chiko’s aunt comes up with works or not too.
I’m curious to know exactly where this ends up going. If it’s largely going to be a detective story where Chiko and company investigate Twenty Faces’ past or follow clues that he leaves in order to find him, it wouldn’t exactly be what I expected, but I think it has some good potential.