Chapter Two: Takano




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The second chapter of the anime adaptation of Watanagashi-hen opens on the preparations for the Watanagashi Festival. A worn out Keiichi is offered a drink by Shion, but just as he’s about to drink it Mion interrupts him and the tea flies into his face. The two sisters have a short argument, but Shion spots the two drinks Mion has (presumably for Keiichi and herself) and slyly convinces her older twin to swallow both cups down. Tomitake Jirō and Takano Miyo greet Keiichi and the sisters, as well as Ōishi who is there overseeing the security detail. As Keiichi is about to ask why, Mion changes the subject by seeing if he is hungry (similar to the characters’ reactions in Onikakushi-hen). However, this time Shion, Takano, and Tomitake explain the curse of Oyashiro-sama (Otherwise known as "The Series of Mysterious Deaths"):every year during the festival one person dies, and another disappears. Tomitake says Takano has concluded that the curse is not supernatural, but in fact a series of either planned or coincidental murders caused by humans. Shion tells Keiichi that Detective Ōishi believes the culprit(s) behind the curse are the villagers of Hinamizawa.

The next scene opens on the day of the festival, and the five club members assemble to rampage through the various booths in the festival. The setting jumps ahead to Rika’s dance, performed just as in Onikakushi-hen; however, Shion pulls Keichi away through the forest. He is about to ask her why he had to be taken away from Rika performance when suddenly Shion pulls him down into the cover of some bushes. They are spotted by Takano and Tomitake, who are attempting to break into the Furude Shrine’s Saiguden. A suddenly alert Takano leads an intrigued Shion and a hesitant Keiichi inside after Tomitake undoes the padlock.

Inside, the trio stand before a mighty statue of Oyashiro-sama, the protective deity of Hinamizawa. Takano thinks that Hinamizawa holds the festival so that on that night the demonic blood that hides throughout the village can feast on victims. Shion tells Keiichi that the “wata” in “Watanagashi” stands for entrails, not cotton as it seems on the surface. Takano agrees, and also adds that the plough or hoe Rika dances with is “a dissection tool used to rip open a human stomach”. It is pointed out that the storehouse contains various instruments used for dissection and similar torture, and Takano persists in detailing a torture method involving removing a human stomach while the victim is still conscious. When asked his opinions, Keiichi denounces the rituals and operations as things of the past without any bearing on the people of Hinamizawa in Showa 58 (1983). However, Takano seems to believe the customs still take place. She asks Keiichi and Shion to keep the whole affair a secret, and Tomitake opens the Saiguden's doors to inform the three that the dance of Hounou has ended. As everyone is now headed to the river, Tomitake and Takano depart to join them there. Shion also asks Keiichi to keep what happened a secret, especially from Mion. Conjecturing about Oyashiro’s curse Shion depicts the four of them--as intruders of the sacred Saiguden--to be “leading candidates” for disappearing and dying. Shion claims to have heard a loud banging, but Keiichi heard nothing of the sort. After a few tense moments, Shion calls it a prank and leaves just in time to escape being seen by Rika, who sneaks up and hugs Keiichi. The other club members are there as well, and Keiichi cleverly fibs through most of their questions. Mion begins to take Keiichi to the river, when she unexpectedly inquires if Keiichi saw Shion. Surprised at first, Keiichi denies seeing Shion, to which Mion says “…it’s just her so we can leave her alone”.

The next day at school Mion comes up to Keiichi, she says she went to a party with family after the festival, then asks whether he met Tomitake and Takano last night. He replies no, and she once again checks if he met Shion. He tells her she already asked him, she subsequently states that he may have given her another answer if asked again. She says she will tell everyone Keiichi “didn’t have anything to do with anything bad.”

Keiichi receives a call from Shion asking him to go to the Shishibone Municipal Library that afternoon. When he reaches her there, she begins to talk to him but is interrupted by Ōishi. Shion leaves to her job stating that she‘ll call Keiichi at night, and Ōishi proceeds to inform Keiichi that the Sonozaki family are yakuza who control the entire region with Mion soon to be the family’s head. The detective begins to inquire whether Keiichi met Tomitake, Takano, or Shion the night of the festival, but is called away by his partner, Kumagai Katsuya. Before he leaves, Ōishi says it “looked like you four had fun walking up the stone steps”.

That night Keiichi is informed by Shion that Takano and Tomitake had died. Takano was found as a burnt corpse, and Tomitake allegedly suicided by clawing at his throat. The camera reveals Shion to be in a hotel room (presumably in Okinomiya), and she suspects that because the two of them had died, Keiichi and she were to balance the curse by fulfilling the role of those who vanish mysteriously. Keiichi goes into a state of panic, blaming Shion repeatedly for taking him to the Saiguden. Shion hangs up the phone, and the camera zooms in on Keiichi’s petrified face.

Characters: Edit

in order of appearances: