Kayo’s mother becomes enraged at Sachiko for ‘kidnapping’her daughter, despite Sachiko trying to tell her that she clearly didn’t really care about Kayo given that she didn’t even look for her, and only cared about how Kayo missing reflected on her. Just when she starts to get violent, however, the child services finally show up, announcing their intent to take Kayo into custody. Her mother flatly refuses, threatening to involve the police, and then suddenly her mother shows up.
This woman – Kayo’s grandmother – apparently abandoned her due to marriage disagreements and did nothing to help her when she was abused by her husband. Now she apparently regrets it all and has come to apologize, leading to a big ridculous crying scene where both the terrible mothers get to bond with eachother! She eventually decides that Kayo can live with her grandmother, and Kayo is taken away, her life now saved by Satoru (nah who are we kidding here, the show isn’t over yet.)
Now that Kayo is gone and presumed safe for good, Satoru turns his attentions to the next victims – Aya and Hiromi. Given that Hirom is one of his friends, it’s very easy to make sure he isn’t left alone and watch over him. The difficult one is Aya, someone Satoru doesn’t even know, and who doesnt even go to the same school. All he really knows is that she sometimes hangs out with Yuuki in the park. He starts to follow her after school and manages to determine her schedule and cram school times, which lets him know the times when she is most vulnerable to being kidnapped.
Kenya cant help but notice Satoru’s increase attention to Hiromi and wants to know what’s going on, so Satoru decides to enlighten him on most of the information minus the time travel – that he ‘believes’a child murderer is active in the area. Kenya once again agrees to help to the best of his ability.
Meanwhile, Mr Yashiro becomes so suspicious it’s almost laughable.
Man, Kayo’s mother has some hilariously bad vision which makes the opening scene unintentionally humorous in a way. First she doesn’t notice Sachiko and Satoru standing behind Kayo until she is about to hit her, then she doesnt notice the child services until she’s about to attack everyone with a shovel. Way to go, lady.
At first I thought it was pretty ridiculous to have the grandmother show up out of the blue – but she was with the child services and is definitely a more suitable guardian for Kayo. The whole scene with her was just so ridiculous and over the top that it was hard to take seriously, though. I still can’t decide if it was being intentionally sappy (Kayo certainly felt that way, and she flatly refused to show sympathy to her mother) or if making her mother look ridiculous was the point. It was nice that they gave her a tiny bit of backstory briefly explaining why she started to take her anger out on Kayo, but sorry lady. I don’t have a shred of sympathy for your child-abusing arse either.
So, Kayo has been ‘safely’ removed from the picture, and I will be very surprised if that’s the last we hear of her. The whole thing was, after all, orchestrated by Yashiro, who is still being the most suspicious guy in the entire show. In fact, he was almost outrageously suspicious in this episode – his glove compartment in his car is filled with candy, which he insists is to help cope with smoking addiction after quitting – not to mention that all the murder goods left in the bus only disappeared from there after Satoru told him that’s where they’d been hiding Kayo. Although, the latter point is a bit confusing as it would imply that he didnt know Kayo was in the bus, whereas the previous episode implied that he definitely did. The weird part is that Satoru is completely oblivious to this and there’s this weird sense that he wants Yashiro to be his dad. He even eventually asks him why he’s unmarried out of his earshot of his mother, with the implication being that he hopes Yashiro marries Sachiko. I want to believe Yashiro is innocent and just really unfortunately awkward, but I’ve seen anime where the ‘too obvious to be the real killer’ ended up being the real killer before so all bets are on.
There’s a pretty interesting theory going around that, given that the killer didnt look too much older than Satoru in the present day, he could be Kenya. I dismissed this immediately considering it’s an adult man we see going to the bus, but then I remembered the crytpic, still unexplained scene of Yashiro speaking to Kenya about something. Accomplices aren’t off the table either, especially since we still dont know who the hell that clearly different guy at the pizza parlour was. It would also make the fact that Satoru is now divulging nearly everything to Kenya all the more relavent.
Lastly, yes, I’m glad that now Satoru is dedicating himself to protecting Hiromi despite not saying a thing about it before. Half because it makes him look less like an asshole who doesn’t care about his friends, and half because the scenes of him interacting with Hiromi are absolutely adorable. Please save this child, Satoru.
Out of 5,
Satoru decides to finally approach Aya directly and awkwardly attempt to be her friend, however it doesn’t go well as she believes them all to be childish weirdos. (She reads Shakespeare, you see, she’s very mature.) That is, until Satoru’s other two friends, who had been following him the whole time (AKA ‘the two that dont do anything’) finally come out of hiding and Kazu manages to win her over with his manly declaration of passion about hideouts. Although in an unexpected way, Aya starts visiting them at their hideout, now with an obvious crush on Kazu.
Things seem like they’re going fine for all the kids who were previously let alone for long periods of time, but Satoru quickly notices that his interference with history has led to another kid taking their place. This is Misato, the same girl who tried to frame Kayo for stealing the class money before, and due to now being found out for it, has become unpopular and lost all her friends. Satoru decides that since the others are now safe, she will likely end up as a substitute target, so begins folllowing her too.
When Misato is invited by Mr Yashiro and a group of other kids to watch the ice hockey, Satoru tails her and notes that she is sitting far away from the others. When she gets up and leaves – apparently to the bathroom – he waits around for her and becomes worried when he realises that she’s taking far too long. Suddenly believing that she has been kidnapped, he requests Mr Yashiro’s help in following a suspicious truck that just drove away – the truck for Yuuki’s father’s bento delivery, in fact. Mr Yashiro obliges and a car chase of sorts kind of happens for a bit until he decides to tell Satoru that he was the culprit all along. Everyone, look surprised!
I actually did like the first part of this episode, it was really cute. Sure, it was a little overly convenient how ‘easy’ it seemed to win Aya’s trust, and it may have happened a little too quickly. I’m wondering if the manga paces this better because I know they’ve probably had to condense a few things to get everything to fit into the amount of episodes it has. Still, Aya developing a crush on Kazu was quite adorable, and it had the bonus of giving Kazu some relevance too seeing that Satoru’s friends who arent Kenya or Hiromi really never get to do that much. (There’s still glasses kid, of course. Maybe he’ll get to do something later). We also finally get to see their hideout, something that’s been referred to since the beginning of the show and never actually shown. I know more than a few people were expecting there to be some kind of big secret at the hideout, in which case this was probably pretty anticlimactic because there really isn’t. Just some cute scenes of everyone being friends.
The focus of the episode then switches to Misato and…that’s where things start to unravel. The whole incident culminates in learning that yeah, it was Mr Yashiro all along. Cue me facepalming because damn was that anti-climactic. Look, it’s not a huge twist when the most suspicious guy in the show turns out to be the killer. Being all “you thought he was TOO obvious to be the one but GUESS WHAT he is!” isn’t good writing, nor is it satisfying at all. It’s just lazy, honestly. The twist is that there was no twist. But that’s not the only reason it annoys me.
In hindsight, the entire plan Yashiro had to get Satoru into his car was so goddamn convoluted and ridiculous that its absurd. He puts a laxative in Misato’s drink to get her to go to the bathroom for a very long time to convince Satoru that she has been kidnapped, makes sure he has ordered bentos from Yuuki’s father and somehow manages to time everything perfectly so that the truck is driving away when Satoru looks for her. The thing is, this was all 100% unnecessary because SATORU STILL BLINDLY TRUSTED HIM FOR NO REASON AT ALL. He could have taken him aside after school and said ‘hey satoru wanna go for a joy ride ol buddy ol pal’ and Satoru is so goddamn dumb he would have jumped straight into the car without suspecting a thing. The convoluted bullshit plan was not only unnecessary, it was also pretty improbable considering it relied on things all happening at the right second and Satoru seeing a truck and concluding that Misato was inside it for..some reason. Right up until Mr Yashiro suddenly divulges his whole diabolical plan to Satoru during the car ride and how he totally would have gotten away with it too because the meddling kid never suspected him, Satoru believed him innocent.
Which is the real problem I have with the reveal. I wouldn’t have been so mad about there being basically zero mystery to solve if there had been some satisfaction in catching the culprit. If Mr Yashiro had made a mistake, or said something he shouldn’t have, and Satoru, or anyone else, had been all ‘aha! the culprit is YOU!’, then I may have forgiven this. Instead, he just…spills it all out for no goddamn reason. And I really need to stress that. He had zero reason for telling Satoru this, Satoru would have gone on suspecting the wrong people the entire time no matter how hilariously suspicious Yashiro was because he’s just that dense. The fact that Yashiro even saw him as a threat that needed to be dealt with is almost laughable in itself. And the fact that the entire reveal happens while he starts doing his Anime Villain Face makes it all the more silly.
The episode has a pretty big cliffhanger this time, given that Yashiro just sent the car with Satoru trapped inside straight into an icy river. The prospect of Satoru dying in the past and thus erasing himself in the future is something that he’d never actually considered, and it’s really about time he did. Let’s see what the plot does with this development because man was this episode a letdown.
Out of 5,