I think you’re right. The term used in Himatsubushi was “Onigafuchi Defense Alliance”.
Okay, time for the main course. So let me work through that list I made last post. And first on that list is this:
A big round of applause for EisenKoubu for figuring out that it was Shion all along back in Watanagashi!
Also like I said on one of my tweets, a round of applause for pictoshark for getting the idea that Mion and Shion might have switched their position at an early point in their lives and never reverted that switch.
There’s actually not that much to look back on in the Watanagashi topic. At least nothing that springs to my mind. It is enjoyable to read after knowing most of the answers, at the very least. Well, one thing:
Oh how wrong I was, considering that such a switch in a scene actually did happen. It’s easy to forget that Kei-chan was hit with the stun gun again near the end.
Okay, next up on the list, open mysteries in this chapter. Actually, let me do this differently. Lemme pull up a quote from another topic:
Remember this one? Let’s go over them one by one:
What really is the meaning behind the opening poem in each chapter?
Well, we have made the assumption that Frederica Bernkastel might be a pseudonym for Rika. Thus, all the verses are from Rika’s perspective. And it seems like she has a good sense of Shion’s character, as this chapter’s poem describes Shion pretty nicely. In fact, Watanagashi’s poem might refer to Shion as well. Let me refresh your memory:
I will not quench your thirst.
For you seek the truth and could not accept that.
I will not quench your thirst.
For the truth you desire does not exist.
But I still want to quench your thirst.
For I am the one who cast you into the desert.
Think about it: Shion is searching for the truth of Satoshi’s disappearance, but already believes that it’s the Sonozakis’ fault. She can’t accept the truth that the Sonozakis haven’t caused Satoshi’s disappearance. She desires the truth that it’s the Sonozakis’ fault, a truth that doesn’t exist. This actually shows us something very interesting. Because if we follow this interpretation, then the last sentence would mean that Rika caused Satoshi’s disappearance, as this metaphorical desert and thirst we’re talking about would be Shion longing for Satoshi in our interpretation. I’ll get back to this interpretation when tackling a later lime, so keep this in mind for now.
Who is the mastermind behind Oyashiro-sama’s curse and what is the motive for it?
We don’t have much more information on this one, the only thing we know by now is that it is not the Sonozaki family (and even that was said in Tatarigoroshi before). Otherwise, the theories made in Himatsubushi still stand.
What really are those sounds that shouldn’t exist (extra step behind Keiichi, that sound in the toolshed in Watanagashi, etc.)?
I’ll combine this with What is common between Ch1 Keiichi, Ch3 Keiichi, Rena, Ch2/5 Shion, Ch2 Tomitake and Ch5 Satoshi?
Okay, the best I can come up with here is that every single one of these seems to have a reason to be paranoid or at least afraid for one reason or another once they do hear footsteps. Admittedly, Satoshi is the biggest stretch for this one. However, that extra footstep is only perceived by the one affected, and is not something actually happening. If we go full curse, this means we have some sort of ghost or otherwise supernatural entity doing spooky stuff. If we’re trying to go full human, then this is a delusion that seems to frequently affect people. Since it’s something that is actually given to us in Tatarigoroshi, one might be able to put forward a case saying this extra step is one of the symptoms of the so-called Hinamizawa Syndrome.
Now lately I was thinking if it’s possible to tie the footsteps into the timeloop theory. Basically my idea was if it’s either different timelines kind of bleeding into each other and those affected actually hear their own footsteps from a different timeline, or alternatively if it’s some kind of deja vu. For the former, why it does only affect certain people, I can only say because we’re dealing with wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… stuff. So basically, I don’t really have a clue.
What is Tomitake’s true identity?
No clue, no information. Next!
In Onikakushi, what caused Keiichi’s suicide?
We have the suspicious syringe confirmed by now (although I’m going to put doubt on that later), so maybe that?
Why did someone almost run over Keiichi in Onikakushi?
Why was part of Keiichi’s note destroyed, why was the syringe taken away?
If Keiichi is crazy at any parts of the story, at which parts is he crazy?
There’s no new info on these, so I’m skipping them.
In Watanagashi, which scene is with Mion, which is with Shion?
Well this one’s confirmed now. Before Watanagashi, most are probably with Mion (basically all-you-can-eat is with Shion), after Watanagashi all of them are with Shion. Watanagashi itself, Mion is indeed Mion and Shion is indeed Shion.
At the end of Watanagashi, who stabbed Keiichi?
It was Shion. She had access to a motorbike, that way she was able to make the distance pretty quickly.
Why did Shion commit suicide?
She lost Satoshi and realized all her murders were pointless.
In Watanagashi, why did Rika have a syringe on her?
This one’s going to take a bit longer. Now, the more obvious answer that most are probably siding with by now. Rika tried to kill Shion (did she think it was Mion?). She did that because Shion strongly hinted at her being behind the curse. In the full human theory, Rika would now assume that it’s Shion who’s trying to kill her. Before then she might not have known who exactly plans to kill her, only that someone does. In the timeloop theory, the line of thinking is similar, it’s only easier to explain why Rika actually doesn’t know who’s behind the curse. Furthermore, especially in the timeloop theory, we could assume that the clawing out itself might not have been caused by the substance in the syringe and was, like I said, Rika choosing between killing herself and dying somewhat quickly or getting tortured by Shion and as a result dying very slowly. In the timeloop interpretation, we could assume that back in Watanagashi, Rika actually didn’t have pepper spray and thus got tortured instead. This is backed up by Shion saying that she tested the torturing device she uses on Keiichi on both brats in Watanagashi. This time, she was better prepared, although not good enough. Furthermore, in the timeloop theory I would say that the Meakashi and Watanagashi timelines happen after each other. Otherwise, there would not be much reason for Rika to assume that Shion’s behind everything.
However, that interpretation I did of the poem earlier leads us to a third possible theory. And that theory is Rika “still quenching Shion’s thirst”. Let me build my case from the beginning. First of, I’m saying Rika caused Satoshi’s disappearance. Here, I’m thinking that Rika figured out that Satoshi killed his aunt and suggested him to skip town until it’s safe to come back. I’m also thinking that Rika actually got the teady bear. We know that the owner of the toy shop is both very old and a Sonozaki, and we know from Himatsubushi that Rika is sometimes allowed to just get stuff from stores without paying, so maybe she was able to get that bear by friendly and cutely asking for it. She might have even planned to relay the bear to Satoko, both her and Satoko try to get that big plushie in Onikakushi, and earlier I have brought up the possibility of that being the same bear. Now, unrelated to this, Oryou approves of Shion’s and Satoshi’s relationship behind the scenes and Shion’s parents most likely approve as well, so Shion’s father might be the one to produce that false culprit of the murder of Akane Houjou. Rika now realizes that it wasn’t needed to make Satoshi disappear and feels bad for that. She cast Shion into the desert. And she wants to make up for it in her own way, by pretending to try to kill Shion, thereby supporting Shion’s theory and quenching her thirst. Thus, I’m basically saying that the contents of the syringe are actually harmless in this third theory.
There are several characters who we could assume to have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Who, if any of those, actually has that disorder?
This chapter makes it very possible to claim that Rika has DID.
Now that we know more, who are the cats and the dogs in Keiichi’s confession to Rika and her reassurance to him?
First of, Keiichi talked with Rika after Shion talked with her. And wow, just rereading that, Rika figured out a lot. First, we start with Rika talking about cats sneaking into the ritual store house and that that really wasn’t that bad. The cats here refer to Takano, Tomitake, Shion, and Keiichi. Then Keiichi says that the dog saw them. Rika reassures him and say she’ll do something about it and that the dogs (plural!) are misunderstanding. I think here she refers to all the committee members. She further says that if she doesn’t do anything, something bad is going to happen to the dogs as well. From that I think Rika might have actually figured out that Shion is actually doing a lot of murdering lately, although she thinks it was Mion, since she goes on to say that the big sister cat (so Mion) is angry. Well, or she is really good and actually even knows that it’s actually Shion that’s living in Hinamizawa.
Why did Teppei not die?
Why did Irie die?
How was the Great Hinamizawa Disaster caused?
How did Keiichi survive the GHD?
These four also have no new info, so there’s nothing new I can say.
Now for the current theories and how they hold up, I’ve already brought up new supportive points for the timeloop theory, and as Meakashi doesn’t tell us much about the chain of freak deaths, the Takano culprit theory also still holds up.
On the topic of the timeloop theory, I think we have shown at several points that there’s a good amount of backing for that theory that would be foreshadowing if it’s true and a wonderfully crafted red herring if it’s false. As such, I don’t want to see any bold assertions disproving it in the case it’s wrong, as I as a new reader should be allowed to fall for that red herring (in the case it’s wrong, remember. If it’s right, that’s foreshadowing).
Next time, as I’m really sleepy right now, I’ll try to look into how severe or not severe a court might view the crimes Shion committed. I haven’t studied jura though, so it’s not going to be an expert opinion.