It’s Episode 22 of Shion no Ō, the final episode. What will happen to Shion, Hani-Meijin, and Ayumi as the truth is finally revealed to everyone?
- Detective Yokoyama returns to the station so that he can take Hani-meijin’s fingerprints off of the pieces of the game which he played with Kamizono to make sure they match the prints on the piece found at the murder scene. However, Yokoyama is still at a loss as to what Hani-meijin’s motive would be.
- Back at the association, Ayumi and Saori are pondering what Shion’s next move will be when Kamizono and Satoru show up.
- Hani-meijin keeps badgering and intimidating Shion to the point that the moderators warn that they’ll end the match, but then Hani-meijin starts intimidating them as well.
- However, soon the pair start making moves against each other fairly rapidly as they try to out-jockey each other for the advantage. Kamizono decides to take a look into the match directly, and asks Satoru to take him there. However, when Kamizono looks in, he’s amazed that Shion is smiling during the match and predicts that she’ll win.
- Back at the station, Yokoyama confirms that Hani-meijin’s finger prints were on the piece at the murder scene. At the same time, fingernail polish was found in the evidence from the murder scene and matched to the fingenail polish found with the game pieces, and those match as well, and the fingerprints on the two pieces match as well.
- Back at the game, Hani-meijin decides to press Shion by taking advantage of his time advantage. However, Hani-meijin starts feeling pressed by Shion and attacks even more aggressively. At this point, Shinji, who was tired of just watching the match on the computer, arrives at the Shogi Association.
- Even though Shion has Hani-meijin somewhat on the defensive, she uses up all of her time and has to make her moves within 1 minute from this time forward. Nevertheless, she puts Hani-meijin into “threatmate” (meaning Hani’s king can be checkmated on the next move).
- This turn of event causes Hani-meijin to realize he’s about to lose, so he decides to tell Shion the “why”: Yamamura had told him about Shion and how amazing she was. However, Hani-meijin just used Yamamura to “propel him to greater hights” and decided to use Shion to propel him to “even greater heights.” He thought he would make Shion strong by leaving her alone, just like how he became strong by being left alone himself.
- Hani-meijin attempts some desperate final attacks on Shion, but Shion is able to deflect them all and finally vanquishes Hani-meijin and immediately faints after he leaves the room.
- As Hani-meijin sits in the hallway, Satoru approaches him and tells him that the police are waiting. Satoru asks him if he killed Kazumi as well, and Hani just tells him that she died before he got the chance to, to which Satoru gives Hani a nice deserved punch in the face. Satoru then says that his life has been better since he loved Kazumi, but Hani just turns around and turns himself into the police.
- As Hani-meijin is taken away, he tells Shion that “he raised her,” but Shion is finally able to say it: no he didn’t. He tells him that she became strong because of her family and friends. Hani just sinisterly smiles and says that they’ll see whether she isn’t really like him in the end.
- In the end, Ayumi finally becomes a pro shogi player, Saori decides that she has more to learn and re-enters the training league, while Shion continues to climb her way up the shogi ranks…
I did get one thing wrong though, even until the end: I thought that Hani-meijin’s motive was to murder Shion’s parents in some twisted way in order to benefit her in playing shogi, However, Hani’s motive was even more sinister than that: trying to make Shion better just so that he can beat her and make himself greater. So it wasn’t so much doing everything in the name of shogi, but doing everything in the name of his shogi. He basically didn’t give a crap about Shion or trying to equalize shogi – he just wanted an excuse to prop himself up even more.
Of course, in the end, Hani’s “do anything to win” mentality was what ultimately finished him off. As Kamizono mentioned at the end, Hani effectively defeated himself in the end.
The only real disappointing thing about the last episode is that we didn’t really resolve the thing with Ayumi. Did just no one other than Saori figure out who he was? Did people find out, but just not care? Did they know all along? That really wasn’t answered.
Looking back at my thoughts through the series, I feel pretty quickly into the obvios traps of who the murderer might have been, first thinking it was the stalker and the Satoru, before we really knew who he was. Then, in episode 6, I first suggested that Hani-meijin may be the murderer (but also noted that I had no clue as to motive). Hani essentially became my prime suspect after episode 9 and never fell that spot till the point where it was obvious that Hani was, in fact, the culprit.
Maybe it was this obvious all along who the murderer was, though the series kept through curveballs at me which kept me questioning my theory that it was Hani-meijin, but I stuck with it.
In any case, now that it’s over, I hope you all enjoyed this series as much as I did.