With the grey overcast as the setting, the (apparently) blank white character of Souya is further explored through Rei’s lenses this episode. But it’s not all Souya’s-character-worshipping- Rei reflects upon his approach to his shogi match in the latter half of the episode.

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Rei opens the episode with attaching yet another metaphor to Souya’s character- this time, a white bird that used to come to his yard. And how Souya is like that bird Rei used to observe from afar. Yet, he is sitting before him and he will be playing against him. Rei, himself, stops from being carried away with awe and tells himself to play to win- otherwise, he will lose instantly.

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Excitement rushes through the discussion shared by the match observers as Rei stands up competently to the initial testing playing style of Souya. But the swelling piano collapses as Rei makes a careless mistake and as he feels a spark in his fingers after letting his piece go, he realizes that might cost him the match. Nevertheless, Rei doesn’t exude panic and doesn’t slip up afterwards and makes Souya bring out his own playing style- strings comes back with the piano as Rei and Souya immerse themselves into the flow of the match, each move connecting one another on a subconscious level- like Rei aptly puts it, “It was like silvery dazzling water flowing into ever nook and cranny.”

Poetry bows out as Rei brings in the facts- time curves back as he recollects how he kept his mentality strong after messing up that move, and that he wondered how long he could keep the match going despite him being in a losing position. And as abruptly as the spark in Rei’s fingers, rain pattering fills the background as the viewer sees Rei waiting for the bullet train- the match is over.

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It turns out that Souya will be taking the same bullet train as Rei to return home, and as Rei sees Souya, he realizes that he never seen Souya interacting with others. Rei also realizes that he never felt less tired after losing a match- he reasons that Souya is immeasurably ahead of him in terms of experience and studying.

He makes a really fair and matter-of-fact point about enjoying or feeling refreshed about a loss- it is disrespectful towards your opponent that you put him on a pedestal and act like he/she isn’t a human being. It’s an excuse everyone tends to make.

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Anyway, from there, Rei brings up about how he usually gauges a line of thinking of his opponents after playing a match, but he drew a blank when playing against Souya. He felt unafraid playing in that pure white immersive ambience of their shogi match where silver currents connected their moves- it felt other-worldly yet comfortable. Souya’s telekinesis gets ‘EXPOSED!’ as Rei recollects how Souya answered his question about the ‘world’ they were teleported to that white, bright place-  with, “That’s what it feels like.”

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After it is announced that the bullet train services are suspended, Rei tries to wake Souya up. Souya woke up, not with words but upon Rei touching his soldier. And as Rei tries to talk to the unresponsive snowman- it sinks in. Souya is deaf.

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The last five minutes of the episode follow as Rei and Souya find out that they have to stay the night in Morioka, Souya picks an inn to stay inn for the night and Rei buys snacks twice the price of Souya’s.

After the ending sequence, Rei narrates a short poem about how a god is quietly following him. Alright, poet boy- that’s enough lines for you this week. But I wonder what more will transpire about Souya’s character as they stay inn the inn for the night. And that’s enough bland, repetitive inn puns from me, too.