Summertime Rendering - 14: to be/not to be

Title:Summertime Rendering
Episode:14: to be/not to be
At the old Hishigata clinic back in 2004, Haine is meeting with teenager Hizuru as Shin and Ushio observe. Haine is glad to have a friend, because she says she has been forbidden to meet humans by someone named Shide. She says Shide is 'greed incarnate' and has four arms--Shin and Ushio immediately make the connection. They jump to another old meeting between Haine and Hizuru. This doesn't seem like the evil Haine that they are all too familiar with. They see a series of memories. In one, Haine says to herself that she hates being hungry--apparently her parents and brother starved to death. Haine asks Hizuru to touch her shadow, and can feel her hand via it. She asks Hizuru to 'stay my friend forever'. In another memory Hizuru meets Nezu who is serving as a snake catcher and resents her carelessness. Teenage Ryuunosuke comes looking for Hizuru on Mt. Tadanosu and comes upon Haine. Shin fears this will be the incident in which Haine kills Ryuunosuke, and tries to warn Hizuru, who is nearby. She sort of hears him, but decides she is imagining things. Hizuru finds Haine kneeling beside a dead Ryuunosuke. Haine freaks out, insists this wasn't her work, and takes on Ryuunosuke's form, then her eye bursts out of her head and scrambles away on its own. Two Wild Ones appear and are about to pounce of Hizuru when Nezu stops them. One copies Nezu, injures him, but before it can finish him off Hizuru somehow grabs him, and, displaying superhuman strength, vaults away to safety. Ryuunosuke's mind appears within Hizuru's body for the first time. Ushio deduces that his data 'bounced off of Haine and entered Hizuru', giving her some of Haine's powers. In the fight Ryuunosuke/Hizuru stabs Nezu's Shadow, killing it (and rendering Nezu immune to being copied again). Next we see Hizuru leaving the island. She sees Haine on the shore, who vows to kill her the next time they meet. At last the memories end and Shin finds himself with Ryuunosuke and Nezu on their way to the Koba Mart to attack Haine in her Shiori form. Shin warns them it isn't going to work. Inside, Haine/Shiori remembers what happened at the end of the previous loop. She realizes that the starting point for Shin's loops are moving forward in time. 4-Arms is there, too, and suggests this might be because Shin's powers are 'waning'. Haine agrees, and decides that killing him over and over might not be a bad idea after all. Eventually he will remain permanently dead rather than loop. She refers to 4-Arms as Shide. Shin confirms that Ryuunosuke's mind entered Hizuru's body during the episode at the clinic. Shin guesses that Hizuru is reluctant to ask him to fight the same Shadow as has already killed him once. Hizuru predicts that Mio's Shadow will come looking for Shin at the Kofune residence again, and as much it would like to finish off Mio herself it will concentrate on killing him, as Haine has ordered. Shin fears that having been 'branded' by Haine she will always know where he is. At the local school Ushio uses her ability to transfer her memories to others to bring Mio, Tetsu, Sou and Tokiko up to date on what's going on and where things stand. With varying degrees of enthusiasm they all pledge to help fight the Shadows. Mio is especially fiery, and wants to be a fighter rather than just be protected. Tetsu is fearful as always but agrees to help. Tokiko thinks the fight is hopeless but promises to go down fighting. While attempting to call Alan, who does not answer, Shin experiences a strange vision. He reluctantly accepts the position of group leader. Nezu is standing guard outside but is surprised and killed by Shadow Mio. Haine (in the form of Shiori) is along as well. Suddenly Shin finds himself home alone. He asks himself if he has just died and looped again.
I bet when this is all over Haine will have reverted to a fundamentally good girl who was just being manipulated by Shide. And I bet it was Shide, not Haine, who actually killed Ryuunosuke. It's kind of odd that greed would be the ultimate villain in this story. It is not mentioned in the scene at the school, but Shin and Ushio should know about Tokiko's deal with the Shadows, shouldn't they? I'll have to review a previous episode summary (this is why I keep them).

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