I’m not even sure if I should do this session for this episode because most of it can be summed up in four words: attempted murder and murder.
But lemme try anyway.
The mansion is on fire and the kids are trying to escape. It’s going as well as can be expected and there’s a body count.
Naoya and Yuuya are on the run from the crazy lady but just as she’s about to end them, Chibiki shows up and takes her out. The asthmatic guy is shown to be still in his car. Then we see Kouichi looking for Mei and running into a girl who’s killed soon after by…
Kazami. Who’s just going around killing people hoping he’ll catch the extra by chance.
And he seems absolutely unconcerned when he ends up killing innocent ones on the way. He even says he thinks it’s not Mei but Kouichi that’s the extra and proceeds to try to kill him. Izumi knocks him out before he can do it and since she’s not the sanest fruit in the basket at the moment, she tries to kill him while he’s incapacitated. Chibiki shows up and stops her. She runs away though. And Kazami dies anyway since she hit him on the head (and also maybe because he had a nasty fall earlier?).
Kouichi, who’d come outside with Chibki, heads back into the burning building to look for Mei. He finds her facing off against Izumi who is not receptive to reason like 99% of the damn cast. In fact, she says outright that she’ll believe Mei is not the extra student if nothing happens after she kills Mei and seems to find nothing wrong with this logic.
There’s a tussle. Kouichi’s family jewels get a good kneeing and Mei also gets pummeled. But before Izumi can actually kill her, a bolt of lightning breaks a window and she gets impaled by the shards. She once again remembers first meeting Kouichi but this time, he’s in uniform rather than hospital clothes. When Izumi reveals that she was crying over losing a loved one, he says that they’re the same. The memory fades and they’re back in the present where Kouichi is hovering over a dying Izumi. She asks if he remembers their meeting but he denies it. She dies after berating him for not lying that he did remember.
Mei has disappeared in the mean time and when Kouichi calls her – now they get a signal – she says she’s in the backyard about to kill the extra and that it’s better if he doesn’t come.
Of course he goes.
Mei tells him she’s known for a while who the extra is but couldn’t tell him because it’s Mikami-sensei who’s also…his aunt Reiko.
(This is the part where D.exe stopped working for a moment.)
Mikami/Reiko crawls out from under a log, injured but living (except not). Naturally, she’s unwilling to accept that she’s dead. Kouichi also hesitates to kill her for obvious reasons. Mei reminds him of how the calamity started in April despite the correct number of student desks. This was because the lack of desks was in the faculty room. She says no class but 9-3 has an assistant homeroom teacher. And then she tells him that she remembers seeing Mikami Reiko die – she was killed by an unknown assailant and fell into the river. It happened one and a half years ago.
At this, Kouichi remembers the oddities he himself has experienced, including his father’s and Izumi’s words about his presence in Yomiyama 1.5 years ago.
Though obviously tortured over the reveal, he’s convinced that Reiko is dead and kills her, bidding her goodbye and even calling her his mother. Then he collapses, presumably because of his lung problems.
Flash forward to some days in the future where loose ends are tied up. The crazy hag and her husband were grandparents of the boy with the heart issues and also victims of the calamity. Everyone has forgotten Reiko and she can’t even be seen in the group photo except by Mei and Kouichi. When Izumi and Mei met one and a half years ago, it was after her cousin who was in 9-3 had died. It’s likely that Reiko was 9-3’s homeroom teacher in that year and died due to the curse.
Naoya and Yuuya stick a new tape in place of the old one for future 9-3 students, making it clear that the curse will go on.
That was wild. And I love everything.
I did not see the thing with Reiko coming. I could never even have guessed that she and Mikami were the same. The difference glasses, loose hair and lipstick can do is great but aren’t their hair colors different too? Mikami’s always seemed darker. Their voices seemed different too but that’s a negligible enough feature. I guess all of that was necessary to keep us from figuring out the truth. Some of Kouichi’s interactions with Mikami make more sense now too.
Really though, that reveal and everything that followed was very effective on an emotional level. That part where it’s implied that Kouichi saw her as a mother figure is especially poignant.
The fact that a lot of people seem to be driven into homicidal rage by the curse is pretty far-fetched but I suppose they were trying to foreshadow this with 9-3’s homeroom teacher snapping. Still, there was a damn lot of crazy this episode.
Izumi was the sanest out of the lot, I think, and her death was something else. This may sound odd but the way that whole scene was shot is nothing short of gorgeous. I remain convinced that she had a crush on Kouichi which makes his final words to her a little sad.
I do have one question: How did Mei remember seeing Reiko die? Shouldn’t the calamity have erased that memory temporarily? Or did her certainty that Reiko was the dead one overwrite that erasure? Kouichi seemed to recall bits of the truth when Mei told him Reiko was dead so that seems like a likely enough explanation.
At the end, it was nice to see Mei and Kouichi relaxing and just hanging out, even with the lingering presence of the recent tragedies coloring their conversations. At least they and the rest can live without worrying over dying any moment now.
Anyway, this was a great show and while it ended on a wildly different note than how it began, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole ride. I’ll have to rewatch this one day.