So I think we have a starting point of when things started happening. “That” certain day 14 years ago on the island. A certain something happened that Alan had brought up that seems familiar to what’s happening right now, and it includes Nagumo aka Hizuru. She even mentioned the name Haine, the same name she mentioned last episode. It looks like Hizuru has an even bigger role in this than I thought.
This was a very Hizuru-centric episode where we finally got to see her POV from the moment she leaves the ferry. We mostly got a bit of her backstory, such as her growing up on the island and also having a connection with Ushio as she and her friend would hang out at the cafe and sometimes talk and play with a much younger Mio. The whole island did the same, watching over the girls as Alan would work the restaurant. I like seeing that little detail of their daily lives and actually getting to see how much the local townsfolk really did love and care for Ushio and Mio, like the other characters have been saying from the start. We see Hizuru make it over to the funeral home and she meets up with Alan. She mentions the fact that Ushio had strangle marks on her neck, Hizuru flabbergasted that there hasn’t been a proper police investigation about this. There’s a lot of strange happenings here and it looks like Hizuru has an idea already of what’s going on. There’s a certain something that caught my eye that relates back to the last episode, and on top of that we learn other things.
First of all, it’s sad that Hizuru’s friend from the flashback is Shiori’s mother. Seeing the Shadow identification in action was exciting to see, such as Hizuru not being able to step her foot into Asako’s shadow and that ant walking in the Kobayakawa family shadows. I love the visual effect and it’ll make identifying them a lot easier. What’s sad is that we find out that Shiori’s parents are long gone and with where the time loop starts, it’s too late to save them. From Hizuru and Nezu’s theory of the events that have taken place, the real Shiori was drowning because she was being attacked underwater by a Shadow. The Shadow kills Shiori and Shadow Shiori pretends to drown, where Mio will save her and Ushio ends up dying. Then Shadow Shiori ends up killing her parents and turns them into Shadows, so it’s not possible to try saving them if any of that is true, it was done long ago. It’s pretty sad, especially seeing Hizuru’s reaction. She’s a pretty straightforward and direct person, and she’s taking on whatever mission she’s taking against the Shadows matter of factly, but knowing the truth about her childhood friend is still extremely painful. Makes me pretty sad too knowing that no matter how hard they try, there are going to be innocent people that are going to be dead no matter what.
In the end, Shinpei ends up meeting Hizuru after deciphering a code from one of her books. Thankfully they were able to meet and next time we should be getting into some important stuff about the time travel and the Shadows. Shinpei played out the day as perfectly as possible, but also doing things a little differently like asking certain people about Shadows and asking about Hizuru, where he had gotten the code from Alan. Speaking of, I was terrified that Alan seriously was going to die from his Shadow and it was going to make me sad. But wow, Hizuru slamming a sledgehammer in the bathroom with the real Alan in the stall next to her was both super badass and hilarious. She’s pretty cool.
Now, one thing that stood out to me this episode was when Hizuru asked where Ushio’s body had been dressed. Alan said it was done by a nurse at the Hishigata clinic. Now, Hishigata is Sou and Tokiko’s last name. We know already that Sou’s father is a doctor and they have their own practice. Is it a coincidence that they’re the ones that had to dress her? Probably because this is such a small town on a small island that the Hishigata clinic is probably the biggest, or only, clinic on the island. It would also explain why Sou knew that Ushio had marks on her neck, but anyway. One thing from last episode were Tokiko’s last words before dying which were something along the lines of “I didn’t mean to get my hands dirty for this”. Something like that. That alone had me really suspicious of what sort of connection Toki or the family in general had to the Shadows. The fact that her family were the ones that dressed Ushio’s body and didn’t report anything to the police or just tried hiding the strangle marks on her neck makes things even more suspicious. The hiding the marks with makeup I can understand as wanting to hide any imperfections on Ushio’s body in respect to the family as this was an open casket funeral, and it’s just common practice anyway. Still, the Hishigata family is connected again. I won’t feel satisfied unless the family is confirmed to be connected in some sort of way, but it might be awhile until we find out. And then maybe I won’t feel too bad for suspecting Sou and Toki from the start. Though again seeing Sou die like that was pretty sad.
This was a good episode, continuing to build the suspense and intrigue. A welcome change with having most of the episode in Hizuru’s POV, but let’s see how this time loop fares.