Monday, December 17, 2007

Shion no Ou 2-3

EPISODE 2: Secrets
With Ayumi's arrival, Shion's stalker scrambles away. Ayumi gives Shion his handkerchief and brings her to the police station. The police think the incident may have something to do with the murder of Shion's parents and assign one of their men to ensure her safety. However, the stalker finds out and lies low for a while.

It's six months later and the Women's League Tournament is starting off. With prize money at 1 million yen, media coverage is high. But there might be another reason for the publicity.

In a quiet part of town, a man wearing glasses speaks with a mysterious blond man about the three new pro female kishi. He seems particularly interested in Shion.

With an eye on the prize money, Saitou Ayumi is slowly making her way up the ranks, defeating stronger players. She wonders if Nikaido Saori might be her next opponent and has a chance to observe the latter's match. Later, he tells Saori
that her shougi is "kind," seeming to belittle her. Saori takes the offhanded comment hard.

That night, the Yasuokas and Hisatani are having a family dinner. Unknown to them, a man is standing just outside, watching their happy little gathering. Meanwhile, Saori drops by Hani-meijin's apartment and begs him to play one match with her.

As the the end of the tournament draws closer and closer, players face more pressure, not only from their opponents but also from the media and the public in general.

Saori plays shougi online and surprises the other players because her game has changed. This seems to satisfy her, but is it enough for her to win at finals?

On the other hand, Shion's father gets a threatening letter while Shion has difficulty sleeping as dreams of her parents' murder keep replaying in her mind. To make matters worse, the association also receives a threatening letter, this time addressed to Shion.

During an elimination match with an older player, Shion gets ambush-interviewed by a reporter, who asks her about the threat she received. The reporter is soon ushered out, but the real threat to Shion's safety remains at large.

More screencaps from "Shion no Ou" Episode 2

EPISODE 3: The Sound of Shougi Pieces
The police are analyzing the threatening letters that the Yasuokas received, believing that the sender might be the stalker. Meanwhile, the blond man from the previous episode tells someone over the phone to continue writing stories about the Women's League Tournament.

At the Shougi Association headquarters, Shion is hanging out with Hisatani and Saori when Ayumi arrives, catching Shion's attention. Hani-meijin also arrives and invites the three of them -- Saori, Hisatani and Shion -- to dinner.

Afterwards, Shion's parents find out for the first time that Shion actually remembers what happened the night her parents were murdered. She's been having dreams of that night.

The next morning, the police drop by the Yasuokas only to find that Shion has fallen unconscious due to shock after seeing blood from her first period. While Shion is recovering at the hospital, the Tournament continues. Someone has been tipping off the media about the association and its members.

When Shion finally wakes up, the detectives make her ID the stalker. That same night, they arrest the man but find out that he is not connected with the murder from eight years ago.

With that case solved, Shion prepares for the most important match of her life -- her second match with Saitou Ayumi. But she nearly misses it because her mother thinks she's too weak to go out of the hospital. At Shion's insistence though, and with her father's support, she finally convinces Sachiko to let her go.

At the match, Ayumi makes the first move -- a very aggressive, very shocking move -- but instead he is the one surprised when he looks up and sees Shion crying.

More screencaps from "Shion no Ou" Episode 3