Summertime Rendering - 13: Friend

Title:Summertime Rendering
Episode:13: Friend
It's July 22nd of the 5th loop. Ushio is glad to see Hizuru/Nagumo alive and well again. Hizuru asks if she really died in the previous loop, and Shin confirms it. Shin passes along 4-Arms' claim that "The world you (Shin) observe becomes reality". He asks how he got this fantastic power. Hizuru says his left eye, Haine's eye, is "made of Shadows". Shin doesn't know when it first appeared (was 'printed'). Hizuru concludes that it was Ushio who gave him the eye. Hizuru asks Shin why he thinks the last attempt to stop the Shadows failed. He says it was because he and Ushio were operating separately from her and Nezu. She agrees and promises that this time they will cooperate (even though Nezu remains suspicious of working with Ushio, a Shadow). When Hizuru shakes Ushio's hand a strange vision of alternate realities occurs to everyone. 4-Arms' goal is to resurrect Haine. Nezu concludes that the 'giant flat body' (at the Summer Festival?) was the real form of Hiruko. They conclude that her girl-getting-a-transfusion body in the caves is fairly weak at the moment. Shin feels they need to find a way to beat 4-Arms before daring to go after this target. Ushio suggests that they capture her Shiori form, like last time. If they do, she thinks she can erase it by reversing the process which Haine used to try to take control of her mind while in the cavern. Meanwhile, Sou insists on talking to his father, the Doctor, who finally grants him five minutes of his time in the evening. While alone the Doctor is talking to someone with his cellphone. He is told that Shin is investigating Shadow Sickness. He wonders why first Ushio, then Hizuru, and now Shin became interested in it. The person he is talking to is the one who failed to completely erase Ushio's Shadow (Haine?). Shin asks if it was Haine who killed Ryuunosuke 14 years ago. Hizuru says yes, and that Haine was then her friend. Ushio, Ryuunosuke, Shin and Nezu prepare to attempt to capture the Shiori Shadow. Ryuunosuke knocks on the Kobayakawa's door just like last time. He enters and swiftly deals with the parents, just like last time. As they wait outside, Ushio shows Shin and Nezu that she can still use data that she scanned in previous loops. For instance, she duplicates a nail gun from a strand of her hair. Suddenly a badly injured Ryuunosuke is hurled into the street from a second story window. He shouts at them that the loop has been altered and they should run for their lives. 4-Arms appears and finishes Ryuunosuke off. Haine (in the form of Shiori) reveals that she 'branded' Shin with the mark on his wrist and can now easily find him wherever he goes. She says she has been chasing him since their eyes met at the Summer Festival; and she can loop, too. "Two observers is one too many" 4-Arms says. "The world the survivor sees shall become the truth!" (Shin and Haine/Mother are the two 'observers'). Amid the desperate fight with 4-Arms, Ushio says "If I scan the whole thing, I'll lose my sense of self! But if it's just one arm--". She fails, and instead slices Shin's head off to begin a new loop. Haine vows to catch up to Shin and "finally seal away that power". Inbetween loops Shin and Ushio confer. She had hoped to find out whose Shadow 4-Arms is, but says his body was 'empty' of data, which is perplexing. She did notice that he 'smelled' like Haine for some reason. Ushio predicts that Haine is pursuing them and will wind up at the same starting point for the 6th loop. They find themselves outside their home in the rain--and see hizuru as a teenager. Inside, Shin finds his parents. They realize it it is 2004, 14 years earlier. No one else can see or hear them. It reminds Shin of what happened the first time he looped, when he somehow saw a memory of Mio's. Teenage Ryuunosuke says Hizuru has made a new friend, which is unheard of what with her being as introverted as she is. Shin finds himself at the old Hishigata clinic, where Hizuru meets her new friend--it turns out to be Haine.
Again, I feel that ever since the adventure in the cave I have only a partial, imperfect grasp on the plot of this show, which I hate because previously it was so easy to understand and was going so well. Is 'Asako' the sister of Hizuru that has been mentioned previously? Wait a minute--at one point in this episode, aren't Hizuru and Ryuunosuke talking to each other via cellphone? That suggests that maybe each of them really does have their own body. I'm confused. Ryuunosuke's body would have to be a Shadow since he was killed long ago. And what is the relationship between Haine and Hiruko? Where do they overlap? Haine was once a friend of Hizuru, whose body was (I presume) converted into a Shadow by Hiruko. Is the sickly girl in the cave Haine? I have lost track.

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