Izumi has a dream about meeting Kouichi for the first time. She’s seen crying and cursing her brother and falling down a slope. Kouichi, who’s in hospital clothes, helps her and offers his name.
After that, we skip to the class trip itself, starting with a commemorative photo. Guess how many people are smiling. Just guess. The actual visit to the shrine is only on the next day and they’re staying at a lodge until then. It’s a nice, lavish place and thankfully not too creepy.
Mei, Kouichi, Naoya and Yuuya listen to the tape which has been fixed up. Matsunaga continues his narration of the events that took place during his class trip. At the bottom of the mountain, he got into an argument with another boy and in the ensuing fight, the other boy died. It was an accident since he got impaled by a tree branch but accidental murder is still murder. Matsunaga doesn’t tell anyone but spends the time anxiously waiting for someone to bring up the dead guy. No one does. When he prompts his classmates about it, they react with confusion.
Turns out that no one else remembers who that guy was and that the trip itself had one less student that Matsunaga remembers. He figures out that the boy he killed was the extra student. He also senses that his own memories will vanish soon and so makes the tape to tell future 9-3 students that the way to stop the calamity is to send the dead back to death.
However, none of the four listening is able to make out the dead student’s name. They take this tampering as proof that the tape and its advice is authentic. But even with a possible solution in hand, there are two problems. They have no way to tell who the dead one is and even if they do, Kouichi is skeptical that any of them will be able to actually kill a classmate.
That night at dinner, Izumi makes a speech. First, she apologizes for failing as head of countermeasures and then proceeds to pin the blame on Mei, saying that she should have avoided Kouichi. Her demand is that Mei apologize. Mei does, while making it clear she doesn’t care for it, but Kouichi, Yuuya and Naoya all try to defend her. Actually, Kouichi’s support of Mei seems to piss Izumi off even more.
But in that commotion, an asthmatic student collapses. His inhaler is empty and phones aren’t working so Chibiki takes him to the hospital in his car, leaving the kids and Mikami-sensei behind at the lodge.
Mei thanks Kouichi for standing up for her and requests that he join her in her room that night to show her the original 9-3 ghost photo he found at his house. They examine the picture. Kouichi can identify Yomiyama Misaki thanks to some distortion around his image. Mei asks if he can see any odd colors but he says he can’t. They also look at some other pictures of Reiko and Ritsuko who seem more like identical twins than just siblings.
That somehow leads to Kouichi asking if Mei was taking a doll to her dead cousin Misaki on the night they met. She confirms as much and further questioning leads to her rather interesting backstory.
Mei’s mother Kirika – real name Yukiyo – had an almost identical twin named Mitsuyo who herself had twin daughters after marriage. But Yukiyo miscarried and had a breakdown in the aftermath. But as Mitsuyo’s household had financial troubles at the time, she gave one of her twin daughters to Yukiyo. When Mei finds out the truth in fifth grade, she expresses the wish to see her birth mother. But Yukiyo/Kirika reacts less than favorably and that idea’s shot. Still, Mei ends up meeting and spending a lot of time with her twin sister Misaki, both of whom know their true relation.
Misaki liked the dolls in Mei’s home and wanted one for her birthday. However, she dies shortly after starting ninth grade. That’s why Mei was taking a doll to her that night.
This also implies that Misaki was the actual first victim of the calamity rather than Yukari, which means it started before Kouichi showed up and talked to Mei. None of the other students seem aware of this. But her faith that Kouichi is not the extra one is based not only on that – her doll eye can see the color of death. She saw it clearly in Yomiyama Misaki’s photograph. It’s usually prominent in those already dead and close to death.
Of course this means Mei knows who’s dead. She didn’t care before since they could do nothing anyway. She confirms that the extra one is with them at the lodge but just as she’s about to say who it is, Naoya bursts in, saying he fucked up.
We also see a guy’s body lying unmoving on the ground, likely dead.
This was a wild ride of an episode. On the bright side, two of my guesses were right. Matsunaga did kill someone and Mei’s doll eye is what makes her certain that Kouichi isn’t dead.
Sending the dead back to death sounds like a sound enough idea but as the characters point out, there are practical difficulties. Mei’s eye is as much of a coincidence as Matsunaga’s kill. There’s no real way to identify the dead. Well, I guess you could take a photo…y’know, like the one this episode. That makes me wonder why they haven’t tried that before. The original Yomiyama Misaki showed up all distorted in his class’s group photo so why don’t the 9-3 students just take a group pic whenever the calamity starts? It’s worth a shot.
Izumi was an absolute asshole this episode. She blames Mei but in reality, the blame lies with Izumi herself for failing to inform Kouichi of the circumstances in time. Even discounting that, Kouichi is more to blame than Mei because he literally runs after her multiple times. Mei could have fled in the opposite direction and it still wouldn’t have changed the fact that Kouichi acknowledged her existence loudly and repeatedly. Then again, something about the way Izumi’s acting makes me think her grudge against Mei has less to do with 9-3’s safety than her own personal feelings.
Speaking of Mei, if making her non-existent failed even before Kouichi showed up, then does it mean that this year’s 9-3 was just a class whose countermeasure failed for no reason? It’s got only 50% success rate, right? But I also remember Naoya saying that the number of seats was perfect and there was no extra student before Kouichi came so I’m confused. I guess it’s possible that Misaki’s death was really natural but what are the odds?
Also, this show has way too many people named Misaki.
The part at the beginning – Izumi’s memory that’s heavily implied to be a memory – seems further proof that Kouichi was indeed here one and a half years ago but has forgotten alongside everyone else. That must mean it’s the calamity’s influence but why? It’s clearly not because he’s the dead one.
So many questions
As for the ending of this episode, please don’t tell me Naoya killed the guy whose body we see at the end, thinking he’s the extra. It sounds like that’s what happened.