Shinpei meets up with Nezu and Hizuru and their team forms as Hizuru naturally believes Shinpei’s story. All of them being aware of the Shadows and personally being affected by them, they create their Shadow hunting team. We learned lots of really interesting things both about the Shadows and the characters. On top of that we had exciting scenes as well and one hell of a cliffhanger leaving me excited for the next episode. Let’s jump in.
Right off the bat Hizuru welcomes Shinpei with open arms and gives him a little bit of backstory about herself, such as losing her brother Ryuunosuke to the Shadows. The circumstances of his death were more or less similar to Ushio, with both having “strangle marks”. Though in reality they believe them to be bite marks with those marks being masked as strangle marks instead. What on earth could the bite marks signify? What reason would they need to be eaten if all the Shadows have to do is simply copy them with that light they use. Upon learning about Hizuru’s brother, we also learn two big pieces of info. One, the Shadows specifically target families. Being off the island, both Hizuru and Shinpei were safe. But now being back on the island they’re both targets, and that is why Hizuru is being sought and Shinpei’s family, being Alan, Ushio, and Mio were targets. If they really do target families, do they leave those on the island that are single and live by themselves alone? Or I take it to mean that they specifically target families first, and then the single homes are targeted last. I wonder, but what Shadow Shiori said later makes me think otherwise. On top of them targeting families, we now know that once someone’s Shadow has been killed they then gain immunity for life. We haven’t seen this in action just yet, but according to Nezu he was able to kill his Shadow and has been immune ever since then. And with Hizuru having killed Alan’s Shadow, that should mean he’s completely safe too. This is extremely important and helpful to know, because that gives this whole situation a semblance of hope. As long as they’re able to kill the Shadows, they can make their numbers dwindle. It’s easier said than done but knowing this huge weakness is amazing. Obviously Shinpei’s target is Shadow Mio. but first thing’s first, they need to officially settle the Kobayakawa family successfully this time.
Upon learning about Ryuunosuke, I do remember “Hizuru” introducing herself as Ryuunosuke in the previous time loop. It’s explained now that Hizuru has dual personalities, her other personality being her twin brother Ryuunosuke whenever she ties up her hair. I wonder if she was always like this or this specifically came about with the trauma of losing her brother. Either way, interesting that he comes out when it comes to taking out the Shadows as we’ve seen plenty of times. He really went all out with the Kobayakawa family and it was really fun to see. Lots of great creepy shots and the action was fantastic. He has really interesting methods when it comes to taking them out, with that sledgehammer and all. And seeing his tricks and techniques was very fun to see. And it looks like that it is specifically Ryuunosuke that has that ability to see ahead of time and predict his death, so I wonder what that is about.
With the fight with Shiori, we learn that when it comes to subduing Shadows you need to pierce them three times in order to hold them down and prevent them from moving. I had been wondering what Nezu was doing with a nail gun but it really is a smart tool in essentially tying them down. Though that nail gun is stronger than normal ones lol. And when they mean holding them down, it seriously renders them paralyzed. They’re not even able to switch to their “liquid” Shadow form to escape as we saw Shiori did earlier, so that’s another great weakness to take note of.
Shadow Shiori reveals the truth: She did indeed kill Ushio and strangle her underwater, while also creating Ushio’s Shadow. When an angry Shinpei asks their motive and what the point of everything is, Shiori simply answers that “the end” is coming in the summer and that she’s going to leave with her family. “The end” that she’s referring to has to be what we saw at the festival. Where she was planning to go with her family, we don’t know and she doesn’t elaborate further. Instead, she says that she IS Shiori Kobayakawa and that she was just reborn. The question comes up, what is the difference between a human and the Shadow? I’m not sure what they could be insinuating just yet, and what the Shadows’ main goal is. Ryuunosuke kills Shadow Shiori as she teases Shinpei and that’s all we’re left with. It’s a lot to think about and it only makes things even more mysterious. They do mention that Shiori was different than other Shadows so that’s another thing to think about.
Speaking of Shadows not being like other Shadows, Ushio coming in at the end is really concerning. This is a HUGE change from previous time loops. Obviously Hizuru/Ryuunosuke and Nezu working together with Shinpei is a big change to the time loop but Ushio suddenly showing up and entering the house is something I don’t think Shinpei could have predicted happening. Though I love that we got that tease of Mio with the knife, not gonna lie it got me for a second! Mio cooking is also a change to the time loop and even a little change like that made me a little nervous, but Ushio showing up like that makes me even more nervous. This time loop was looking better but this change is certainly concerning.