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The Final Piece

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最後の駒--さいごのこま--Saigo no Koma--The Final Piece Edit

The episode opens with a bored, sleepy, professional man at a table in a tent with a sign that is translated as "Hinamizawa Lot-for-sale Tour." Rika in her adult voice says as a voice-over, "These are someone's words . . . 'Fate is something you can carve yourself.' But to be given such an opportunity might take a small miracle." The scene shifts to silhouetted adult man walking in on a road adjacent to a field. We then get a close up of his name-tag which reads "Lot-for-sale Tour Participant, Mr. Ichirō Maebara." We see his feet stop, he sighs, then without really seeing his face, he starts to take photographs. We hear the laughter of very small children.

As if looking through the camera, the scene shifts as Maebara tries to locate the source of the laughter.

R & H Play

Maebara Watches Rika and Hanyū Play

He finally sees Rika and Hanyū laughing as they run through the field. One should note that he is able to see Hanyū. She wears a simple "one-piece" dress rather than her miko robes. Maebera watches them run away through the field.

The scene then shifts to Satoko wistfully looking out of her classroom window at other children playing. Rika also looks out from another window. We then see Mion look with concern at Satoko. Satoshi walks up to her and thanks her being attentive to his sister. Mion embarrassingly states she has done nothing, and one should remember that at this point this is Shion pretending to be her sister, particularly since he asks her to look after his sister. Shion, in other episodes, will recall this promise. As "Mion" she wonders if Satoko will think of her as a "nuisance" since she is a member of the Sonozaki family. Satoshi says he is here as well. Excited, "Mion" suggests inviting her to play after school. Satoshi laments that she will be berated by their Aunt when she returns home. "Mion" suggests that she join a "club." Satoshi complains that if she gets her cloths dirty she will be berated. "Mion" suggests an "indoor activities" club and suggests playing games. Satoshi then asks "Mion" if he can tell her something: he mentions he is taking a part-time job in order to buy Satoko a birthday present.

The scene shifts to Rena alone in a house staring at her reflection in a mirror. She hears the voice of her mother telling her to take the pills her doctor prescribed Rena. Note that her mother calls her "Reina." She asks Rena if she will not reconsider coming with her. Rena nods that she will not, and her mother leaves. Rena then stares at her pills, then angrily casts them aside. She walks down a hallway and appears to hear the additional step behind her. She looks and sees no one. The scene shifts to her in a bathtub. What looks like blood drips from her fingers into the water but then runs down the drain like a worm. Rena looks at scratches on her left wrist. They suddenly foam as she gasps and she hears Hanyū's voice repeating "I'm sorry"--"Gomennasai"--ごめんなさい. We then see a shadowed figure of Hanyū, with her face obscured, dressed in her miko robes as she

R Hears R Apologize

Rena's Vision of Hanyū

repeats, "I'm sorry." It appears that Rena does see Hanyū, which will be

significant in the next episode, for she calls her vision of Hanyū "Oyashiro-sama!" She then looks at her wrist where the scratches are normal again and the scene fades.

The next scene opens to Rena introducing herself to neighbors in Hinamizawa. The neighbor recognizes her as "Reina-chan," and Rena meekly corrects her that her name is "Rena." To herself, Rena says that she is no longer "Reina" and will restart her life under her new name. As she walks away, the scene shifts to Satoshi walking along a school corridor. He feels someone is following him, and he looks behind himself in fear to see no one. Rena then touches his shoulder, frightening him. She offers to listen to him, and he replies that, "Footsteps are following me around." Rena admits that she knows about "those footsteps."

The scene then shifts to Irie talking with Satoshi in the waiting room of his clinic. Satoshi has told him he is quitting baseball in order to take a job to purchase a stuffed Teddy bear for his sister's birthday. He then asks if he can take his bat home with him in order to practice swinging. Irie looks concerned as Satoshi leaves.

The scene shifts to pictures pinned to a bulletin board of views of a woman's body. Ōishi Kuraudo's partner declares this another example of "Oyashiro-sama's curse." Angry, Ōishi vows to avenge his friend the dead manager of the dam construction project.

After the commercial break, scene opens to Irie leaving a store with Satoshi and the large stuffed Teddy bear. They enter Irie's car together. Along the way Satoshi believes the people he passes all look like his dead aunt. He asks if this is "Oyashiro-sama's curse," and he confesses to Irie as if talking to Satoko that he originally planned to use the money to run away. He starts to scratch at his wrist wondering if "there are maggots crawling around in my blood as well" then he starts scratching at his throat despite Irie's demands he stop. Irie speeds to his clinic. As Satoshi is taken away, Miyo offhandedly asks what is wrong. Irie diagnoses him as high level, to which Miyo delights in their luck--"Could this also be thanks to Oyashiro-sama's curse?"--in obtaining "another specimen."

The scene shifts back to the field with the sounds of Rika and Hanyū laughing. They run towards Ichirō Maebara who is still holding his camera. We never really see his face in this scene. The children stop before him, and he is surprised. Rika tells him in her child's voice that Hinamizawa is a great village which she is sure has things he did not have in his city. Maebara agrees with a smile. Rika continues that she is sure he will bring something from his city that cannot be found in Hinamizawa. When Maebara asks if she is sure, Hanyū happily replies that he definitely has this thing, ending with a happy "Au-au!" Rika continues in her child's voice that they have been living in the village for a long time, "and that's why nothing has changed." Maebara asks if that is not a quality of the village. Rika asks did he not come to Hinamizawa because he sought change. He smiles and agrees. Rika states that it is like fresh water is purified if it is allowed to stream. "A lake without currents is but a dank marsh." She then states that "we" have been waiting for him to move to Hinamizawa, and says his name to his surprise.

The previously asleep real estate agent catches up to Maebara, asking him not to wander so far off. Maebara turns to acknowledge him, but when he turns back to the field to find Rika and Hanyū gone.

Scene shifts to the real estate agent and his van now at the Sonozaki home. He is talking to Sonozaki Oryō. Mion approaches and calls the real estate agent "uncle." Mion is surprised that a customer wishes to buy a home in Hinamizawa. She asks Oryō why she decided to put lots up for sale even though Oryō "hates outsiders." Oryō replies that she does hate outsiders, "especially those from the city," but it is necessary for the village. "It is like refreshing the air." She then reminds Mion that "Rena-chan" moved from outside and became Mion's friend and how Mion use to complain how boring it was at school. Oryō notes that even in cold winters one has to open a window to refresh the air: "Fresh air comes in, and stale air like us will have to be driven out." Oryō confesses she hoped it would be someone energetic to which the older people could depend on, but she will be happy if he just causes a "stir." She then reminds Mion of the day when Satoshi disappeared when Mion confronted her. "You know . . . that opened up my eyes." Oryō confesses she thought the family conflicts would die out as the "old guard" died out, but she now feels it must happen sooner. Mion rhetorically asks that Oryō cannot do it herself, "so you're leaving the task up to an outsider?" Oryō replies, "That is the best I can do." Mion smiles and Oryō reminds her that the "new wind" will be of her generation. She must accept the "new wind" from outside and mix it with the "old wind" of Hinamizawa. She then laments that since she is old she can only take care of the "thankless tasks" as we fade into the end titles.

After the end titles, we find Keiichi standing outside the school expressing surprise that it is actually the school. Presumably his father--we do not see his face, we only see the backs of two adults who are presumably his parents--scolds him that to the people of the village this is a school. The Principle and the teacher Chie Rumiko appear. The Principle states that they are just a branch school who borrowed a building from the Forestry Preserve. Keiichi states he does like the place and prefers it to a school in the city. As he runs in the building, and we do not get a view of the faces of the adults, we hear the Principle state that it looks like the school "will become lively again." As they leave the frame we hear his father telling the Principle to "give him hell!" if he acts up. Their leaving reveals Rika and Hanyū sitting on a pile of wood. This time, Hanyū is translucent and dressed in her miko robes. Rika simply says in her child's voice that "So you've finally moved here. We were getting tired of waiting." Hanyū emits a happy "Au-au" and states that, "things are going to change again now." She claims that Keiichi is "our trump card who taught us how to make a miracle happen." Rika reminds her that his miracles often "collapse at important times." Hanyū protests with an upset "Au-au-au-au" that it is not his fault. Rika agrees: it is Hanyū's fault! "Apologize to Keiichi," she says with a smile as Hanyū turns chibi with tears and "au-au-au." Rika then speaks in her adult voice that up until now they have only assembled the "usual pieces on the game board." They are missing the piece that can stand up to Takano. "That piece is you, Hanyū." She then invites Hanyū to begin with her: "I have lived a hundred years for this day."

Chibi Rika and Hanyū have Hanyū announcing "'Tell me, Dark Rika' corner," with the caller, again, being Teppei Hōjō. Hanyū relates that he asks just who Hanyū is, "Is she really an alien who came from the M37 star cluster like someone says?" and if she can shoot laser beams from various parts of her body. Rika angrily tells her to answer questions about herself. Hanyū makes "bee-bong" noises, translated as "blink," ending with an "auuu" and then announcing the title of the next episode. She then zooms off the scene and Rika sighs, "So you ran away." This is all a reference to the fact that exactly "what" Hanyū is is never fully explained and, as Rika confesses in the next episode and the manga versions, no matter how many times Hanyū explains it, she can never understand it!

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