Following Mizuno’s death, the atmosphere in 9-3 (thanks to Karandi for this; 9-3 looks better than class 3) is even more tense. Artist Boy – Mochizuki Yuuya – worries about their teacher Mikami’s health in the wake of all the death but denies any connection between said deaths when Kouichi prods him. Kouichi ends up going to the library and finds information on his mother Ritsuko who was also in 9-3. The white haired librarian guy asks about her death and when Kouichi says that it happened 15 years ago, he seems to find something significant about the date.
Izumi calls him out of the library and sends him to the faculty room but before leaving, she apologizes for a mysterious something, saying that it’s for all their sakes. Naturally confused, Koichi heads to the faculty room but it’s just to talk with a couple of police officers who’re there because of his call with Mizuno at the time of her death. Afterwards, Kouichi returns to find the classroom utterly empty and even the homeroom teacher just jabbers something vague about following class rules.
That evening, Kouichi asks Yuuya and Takabayashi (the boy with the heart problem) to walk home with him. He doesn’t get much information out of them but Yuuya does say that something unpleasant will happen to Kouichi very soon and that he should endure it for all their sakes.
Not cool, Yuuya, not cool. And turns out that Takabayashi also feels the same way because he criticizes Izumi’s countermeasures and volunteers to answer any questions Kouichi might have. Of course, he literally keels over before he can say a damn thing. Heart attack which might seem not unlikely given his chronic heart problems but we all know that’s not it.
After that, class gets distinctly weird for Kouichi. Everyone outright ignores him, including Blondie and Yuuya and even the teachers. He figures out that they’re treating him like he doesn’t exist and that this is the unpleasant thing Yuuya mentioned the other day. Yuuya at least is kind enough to slip Kouichi a note that suggests he ask Mei what’s happening as well as the class roster which has Mei’s name struck out.
So he goes to the doll shop which turns out to be Mei’s home, the artist woman Kouichi saw the other day being her mother. She lives above and invites Kouichi there once it’s settled that no, she’s not a ghost, it’s just that 9-3 is full of shit. They have a reason for it but still. At least we finally find out about the 9-3 curse in all its creepy glory.
So, after the Misaki incident 26 years ago, 9-3 somehow became closer to death. From the next year onwards, people in the class or related to the students would die frequently. This started when the number of students increased by one. Both memories and records were altered so that something that didn’t know it was dead but was still pretty dead joined them in the guise of a student. Also, said thing is usually one of the people who died from 9-3’s curse in the past. Mei’s personal theory is that the students of Misaki’s class ignoring her death tied the class itself to death and made dead things attracted to it, the consequence being that people connected to the class started dying.
This went on for years – they tried countermeasures like changing the classroom or class name but nothing helped. Seemed like it was the students themselves that death targeted. Then, ten years ago, someone came up with the brilliant idea that they’d ignore one of the students – pretend that they don’t exist so that the extra thing would be balanced out. And somehow, it worked.
Well then. Not bad.
Okay, folks, brace yourselves because I’ve got a ton of questions.
But before that, let me make clear that I did enjoy this episode a lot. It was great to finally understand why 9-3 was so different and why they acted so strangely. It’s even better to know that Mei is a living person (probably, but I’ll come back to that). Seeing Kouichi and her interact like a pair of normal kids was sweet to see especially when you consider how lonely Mei must have been before.
Also, about Kouichi’s mother. She died fifteen years ago. If I remember right, her sister Reiko was in 9-3 fifteen years ago. And since that was before the ‘pretend one person doesn’t exist’ idea was implemented, I assume that the curse was in full swing. So it’s reasonable to assume that Ritsuko died because Reiko was in the cursed 9-3. Kouichi hasn’t made the connection yet but I think old library dude has got it figured out.
Now, about the curse. I have so many questions and so few answers.
It’s been going on for 25 years, right? And only ten years ago did they find a working countermeasure. That means 15 years of deaths related to one class, its students and their relatives. So…how in hell did the whole school not get shut down? It’s 15 years of deaths we’re talking about here accompanied by a colorful rumor. Why weren’t superstitious mobs picketing the place and demanding it be closed? Hell, why would anyone even go to that school? Oh, hey, it’s fine, just ignore the half a dozen student deaths per year and have a fun school experience? I think not. No way that kind of thing would fly under the radar.
And even ignoring the incredulity of 9-3 existing after all this time, how exactly did they figure out that ignoring a person would appease whatever supernatural fuck that’s messing with them? I get that they were desperate but you have to admit that even if it worked, it’s still a flimsy protection. All it takes is one cynic or even a special case like Kouichi for the whole thing to come tumbling down.
Aaaand also, they’re just randomly choosing someone to ignore? They don’t really know who the ‘extra’ one is, right? Their memories and even school records are altered. So isn’t there a chance that the person they choose to ignore could be the actual horrorterror thing? It’s not like anyone would know otherwise. So is Mei really a person or does she just think she’s a person? Or is it someone else from the class that Kouichi has already met? Is it Kouichi himself? How do you trust anyone? How do you trust even the head of countermeasures?
I assume some of these questions will be answered soon but I’m not sure if others can be answered.
Finally, Kouichi. 9-3 treated his case in seriously stupid ways. I get that he’s a special case and fourteen/fifteen year olds aren’t the best at practical problem solving but it was still phenomenally stupid that they thought they could get away with not telling him about the ‘ignore the eye-patched girl no matter how cute she is’ rule. If anything, their silence on the matter drove him further towards her because he thought she was being bullied. And now, how will pretending Kouichi also doesn’t exist help? The original idea was to balance out the horrorterror thing, right? Well it’s not like there are two horrorterror things now. Is ignoring Kouichi part of some defined plan or is Izumi just winging it?
I think she’s winging it.
All this aside, I do still love this show and am excited to watch more.