The last episode ended with 9-3’s homeroom teacher pulling a knife on them and acting in disturbing ways. I thought he was going to attack them but no, he just rips up own throat. It’s gruesome. Arterial spray and traumatized kids everywhere.
Later, Chibiki tells Koiichi and Mei that the teacher had been acting oddly that morning as well. And investigation of his house revealed that he’d killed his bedridden mother as well. Chibiki thinks that the phenomenon made the guy act in ways he normally wouldn’t. It also becomes clear that making two people non-existent didn’t work so 9-3 no longer has a reason to ignore Kouichi or Mei.
Blondie (we have a name – Teshigawara Naoya) immediately starts talking to the two of them and seems genuinely excited about it. Izumi also joins them as well and warns them that people will blame Kouichi and Mei for the ongoing calamity. They talk about how a lot of people are leaving Yomiyama so that they’ll be safe. Naoya teases Mei about being weird and asks if she really is the extra student but she just coolly turns it back on him.
After that, Kouichi and Mei once again go to Chibiki to ask about details about the way the curse stopped 15 years ago during Reiko’s time in 9-3. He doesn’t know the details and the extra one that year was never found. The only clue they have is a visit to a shrine but other classes have tried and failed to stop the calamity the same way. But the shrine is still not ruled out as a potential countermeasure and so Mikami (the assistant homeroom teacher who’s been part of 9-3 before) has arranged a trip there that’s intended to replicate the circumstances of the one 15 years ago.
Kouichi has a nightmare where he sees his classmates bleeding and melting while Mei keeps asking who’s dead. At the end, she claims that Kouichi is the one who’s dead and he too melts. Cute.
When he wakes, his dad calls and Kouichi asks him about his mother’s yearbook pictures and whether there was a ghost picture in any of them. His dad doesn’t seem to know anything at first but then recalls that there was indeed something like that but that the yearbook remains behind in Ritsuko’s parents’ home because she didn’t want it near her. The call ends when he gets all sentimental and Kouichi hangs up in embarrassment.
As he’s searching for the photos, Naoya calls him and asks to meet him in person to discuss something involving 9-3. Kouichi goes to a restaurant where Izumi is already waiting, also summoned by Naoya. They make conversation for a while where Kouichi brings up his fears about himself being the extra one. Izumi initially scares him by bringing up the possibility that he was never born in the first place but reveals that she was just joking. She believes he’s not dead because she feels that she’s met him before – specifically, she says her hand physically remembers shaking his – and because she checked in the hospital to see if his skin is cold.
The cold skin thing is just a rumor though and one that’s unlikely to be true.
Yuuya and Naoya join them. The important thing they want to share is about one of the people from the class 15 years ago. Yuuya’s sister, who’s a waitress in that restaurant and also aware of the 9-3 calamity, had a customer named Matsunaga, a guy who used to be in 9-3. When asked about the calamity in his year, he just says that the deaths that year weren’t his fault and that he saved them all by ‘leaving it there’. It’s vague but still a clue, and they ask Kouichi to find the guy’s address from Reiko.
He relates all of this to Mei in the doll shop. The conversation turns to the Mei lookalike doll and she tells him that it’s made in the image of her stillborn sister from twelve years ago. She also says that her parents want her to go with them to their summer house and she couldn’t say no so they’ll be out of Yomiyama for a week. She gives him her phone number and asks if his suspicions about himself have been eliminated. Though Kouichi says yes, it’s clear that he doesn’t believe it fully. So Mei exposes both of her eyes and (rather creepily) assures him that he is not the dead one.
You know, ever since middle school, I’ve had so many teachers tell my class(es) many variations of ‘why are you like this, you pieces of shit’ but none of them were ever driven to graphic suicide like this. Wow, 9-3, wow.
All jokes aside, I can see why Kubodera would rather kill himself instead of endure the strain and paranoia of the calamity. But the way he went about doing it is extreme in so many ways. By the time he tore the knife out of his neck, I was wondering how he was even standing. Chibiki’s theory that the calamity influenced him to act in ways he wouldn’t otherwise makes some sense.
On the matter of Kouichi’s deadness, I don’t really know what to think anymore. On one hand, that would be the best twist ever but right now, it sounds too obvious to be true. The only thing still nagging at me is his father mentioning his visit to Yomiyama one and a half years ago. Izumi remembering shaking his hand (even if the idea of her palm having a physical memory of touching some random boy’s hand makes me laugh) might be a memory of that time. It’s possible. But what I’m most curious about is Mei’s surety that Kouichi is not the horrorterror thing.
She mentioned in one of the early episodes that her doll eye allows her to see things that shouldn’t be seen and that that’s why she keeps it hidden. Does it have something to do with her firm belief that neither she nor Kouichi is dead?
Anyway, 7 episodes in and this show’s still got me hooked. Let’s hope it lasts till the end.