It's a new POV! Yoshimi, one of Mitsuko's two followers. It's ten am. She's been hiding in the residential area, which you may recall was one of the new forbidden areas. She has until eleven to get out of it.
Yoshimi has yet another gun, this one a Colt .45, and she seems ready to use it, holding it as she makes her way out. This seems more defensive, but at the same time it's not clear if she's so cautious because she's hoping to avoid anyone she sees or because she wants to be sure she'll get the first shot.
She's pretty scared, though. She saw what happened to Yumiko and Yukiko.
No doubt about it. The killing was continuing. Not everyone was hiding out like she was. There were others willingly killing their classmates.
But the important question is, does this knowledge make her willing to kill her classmates? It doesn't seem like it, at least not yet.
She had further to go, though, to get out of sector H=8. She actually might be beyond the border, but it wasn't as if there was a white line running on the ground. It was best to err on the side of caution. Otherwise she'd go nuts.
How true, Yoshimi. Even if I considered myself particularly good with maps, I still wouldn't want to risk being anywhere near the edge when it involves my head getting blown off.
There were blue dots on the map indicating houses and the group of houses where she was was cluttered up with so many dots she had no idea exactly where she was. The sector border was at the edge of this clutter.
And I wonder how much that's intended, particularly after what she just mentioned. The houses are extremely desirable to the students - they're secure from the weather, probably have all sorts of food left, a place to sleep...and they're also defensible, particularly for anyone with a gun. Plus they're familiar, which would count for a lot under the circumstances.
If not all houses fall within the forbidden area, then people who can get past their fear of the explosives can take advantage of the few outside the border. And people who don't read the map properly will get themselves killed in the attempt. It's another wrinkle in the whole thing - also, yet another variable that reminds us that this is not how you get useful data.
Yoshimi's on the verge of tears, which I guess answers the question of if she was willing to kill. She thinks that if she wasn't part of Mitsuko's gang she could have joined up with another girl but no one will trust her now.
Well, she'd done some bad things with Mitsuko Souma and Hirono Shimizu. Stealing from, even at times terrorizing her classmates. No one would believe her even if she insisted she meant no harm.
We're not told precisely what her crimes are, which is somewhat of a problem - there's bullying and there's pulling a knife on people, after all.
But what's particularly sad here is this isn't true. If she's started crying in front of Megumi, she's have been believed. It seems like most girls would say they wouldn't trust any of Mitsuko's group, but a lot of them would probably reconsider if Yoshimi went to them and they saw how frightened she was.
But then, fear is always the problem here:
Before she hid in the house last night she saw another girl heading in the opposite direction. She was leaving the residential area. Was it Kayoko Kotohiki (Female Student No. 8)? Maybe she'd first hid in the residential area but then decided against it and moved on. (Her decision proved a good one, since the area became the game's first forbidden zone.) It was a perfect opportunity to contact someone, given the timing and proximity, but Yoshimi just couldn't bring herself to do it.
So ultimately it isn't what she's done that prevents Yoshimi from finding someone, it's how bad she feels about it and how sure she is no one will forgive her.
Kayoko is one of the few students remaining that we know nothing about, so there's no way to say if she'd have had any luck if she'd tried.
She thinks about Mitsuko and Hirono, who she say without hesitation are indeed bad. They're her friends, so would they trust her? It's a moot point, she finds, because she couldn't trust them. That's actually pretty wise. Usually with delinquents they're not really as bad as outsiders think, but this is Mitsuko, we know she's way worse than most people know.
So she thinks of a boy.
The one who said he didn't care she was with Mitsuko Souma, he still liked her. He kissed her gently on the bed and kindly warned her, "Stay out of trouble." The boy who made her believe she could actually change.
The hooker with a heart of gold transcends culture.
She was hoping he'd wait for her when they left the school, but no, and she connects that to the two corpses she saw, which made her assume the same would happen to anyone else who stayed too long. This also crosses a name off Shinji's list - Yoshimi is last to leave the school, and the group is gone by then. They weren't waiting for her.
She sticks to the dense bushes once she's away from the buildings, running whenever there's less cover. She's planning to find someplace to hide when she hears someone else. She's terrified. She thinks it must be someone after her, but then she calms a little because she figures if she was seen they would have come right for her. She manages to see the person.
And it's her boyfriend.
Yoshimi put both of her hands on her chest. Had it not been for the gun she held in her hands, she would have looked like she was praying.
Which is an interesting way of putting it, because she is praying, blindly to whatever god was involved in this.
Yoshimi blurted out as she stood up, "Yoji!"
There's been little about Yoji either. All we know is that Mitsuru saw him while rushing off to meet up with Kazuo.
They hug and he kisses her face all over and says he was so worried for her and they'll be okay now and stay together.
Yoji's words sounded reassuring and tears came gushing out from her eyes. The rules only allowed one survivor, but I get to be with the one I love most. There was something about a time limit, but we'll just stay together until time runs out. If someone attacks us, Yoji will protect us.
The book really does well at how unbalanced a lot of the characters feel. You can see Yoshimi coming undone from the stress as soon as she doesn't think she's completely alone and in danger. She doesn't even have the energy to imagine they somehow escape, she's grateful just to be with him at all.
We flashback to their time together, which involves a lot of ordinary cute dating stuff.
She asks where he's been and it turns out he was hiding in a nearby house and they laugh. Then he notices the gun she's still holding. He says it's a good weapon. All he got was an antique dagger. They didn't even bother cleaning the rust off the blade for him. She hands him the gun and he checks it out, asking if she also has bullets.
Yoshimi couldn't believe her eyes. She was completely clueless as to what was going on as if she were watching some baffling magic trick as she looked at Yoji's hands.
Yoji was pointing the Colt .45 at her.
I think he comes off somewhat worse here than the manga chapter, where I don't recall there being so long a leadup - she just sort of rushes over and hands him the gun, so while what he does is horrible in both, it at least doesn't seem as incredibly manipulative as here.
Yoji orders her to leave.
As if fed up with her, Yoji cried out, "You expect me to be with a bitch like you!? Get out of here, bitch!"
Yoshimi asks if she's done something wrong. She gets a rant about how she's a slut and she's been arrested and so forth.
It's true. She's stolen and she was caught blackmailing some highschooler, though it doesn't say what about.
A while ago Yoshimi had slept with some middle-aged men Mitsuko Souma had introduced her to. The money was good, she wasn't the only one doing it, and at that time of her life she was getting so fed up with everything. So wearing makeup she'd never worn, acting like an adult, and being with men who seemed in their own way generous didn't seem like a bad thing.
It's interesting she's not such a victim in this telling. In the manga she's miserable and seems to be bullied into all this, but here she seems to have enjoyed it at the time and stopped just because things changed.
She didn't try to keep it from Yoji either, she'd figured he'd known. Of course she'd stopped doing that stuff when she started dating him, although she stayed friends with the other two girls.
This actually seems like a surprisingly realistic look at delinquency - she's doing stuff largely because she feels rebellious and stops when there's other stuff in her life instead.
She starts to cry and says she stopped doing those things for him. This seems to shake him for a moment but then he tells her to stop with the crocodile tears and that he only went out with her because he knew she was a slut. The only positive thing about the guy is that he keeps telling her to go away rather than just killing her. Even the fact he pauses when she swears she stopped seems to imply he really did believe she was still involved in prostitution and theft and didn't care because he was just in it for the sake of a hot girlfriend, which then makes all this ranting seem like it's at least somewhat sincere.
Anyway, as foreshadowed by Yoshimi being too afraid to try to reach out to any of the other girls, she reacts to his insults by running up to him and begging him to stop because she has the self-esteem of dirt. This makes him even more upset and he pins her to the ground and puts the gun to her forehead.
She understood everything now. She didn't want to, but it turned out the person she adored was only an illusion.
This prompts her...to decide Yoji is still the best person ever.
Still, it was a wonderful illusion. With Yoji, she thought she could start over. It was Yoji who gave her that illusion. Without Yoji she would never have believed it could happen.
So although the description it gives of delinquenthood seems accurate, the judgement the book has for it is more conservative - that she really is terribly stained by it and even the most positive option for her still involves starting over. Mind you, blackmailing and perhaps some of the theft seem worthy of talk of starting over, but the focus here has mostly been on the sex aspect. You don't really have to do much to get past that. You just stop having sex with people for money and you've done.
Yoji cocked the gun and placed it against her forehead. His finger was ready to pull the trigger.
Yoshimi stared back at Yoji and quietly said, "Thank you, Yoji. I was so happy being with you."
And her complete lack of any internal sense of self-worth saves her, because her acceptance that his wishes trump hers makes him decide she really is worthy of being his girlfriend. Which I guess is sort of true - Yoji will really struggle to find this much of a doormat again. Yoji doesn't shoot and instead says her name.
Through the thin film of her tears, she saw how his eyes were now those of her beloved Yoji. They were even filled with remorse and self-reproach.
Then he dies. Thank god for Mitsuko.
TUNK! It was a pleasant but somewhat strange, damp sound.
That's the sickle going into his head. His fingers twitch, causing the gun to fire, but luckily he'd already aimed it away and the bullet lodged into the patch of grass above her head. A tiny cloud of dirt rose in the air.
Yoshimi is too stunned to even react. Mitsuko helps her up and asks if she's okay. She takes in the scene and starts shaking uncontrollably at the realization she's lost someone so precious to her. She comes out of her haze in time to see Mitsuko trying to pry the sickle loose from where it's stuck in Yoji's head, prompting hysterics:
Yoshimi screamed and shoved Mitsuko aside. Mitsuko fell back onto the grass, exposing her well formed legs, from the hem of her pleated skirt up to her thighs.
Yoshimi shielded Yoji's body. The sickle was still planted in his skull. Her tears fell onto his body. The sickle was telling her: shaking me won't revive me, don't shake me, there's a sickle stuck in me, man, that hurts.
Also really, why is the narration paying attention to Mitsuko's legs right now?
Then Yoshimi glares at Mitsuko, deciding that she's her greatest enemy, and demands to know why she killed him.
Mitsuko says he was going to kill her and she saved Yoshimi's life.
"No! I got Yoji to understand me! You're so evil! I'll kill you! I'll kill you! Yoji understood me!"
Oh god, Yoshimi. Anyway, Mitsuko just blows her head off.
Mitsuko then continues her explaining-to-corpses thing.
"I killed him because it looked like he wasn't going to kill you after all."
I think overall the manga chapter was a lot better just because it had ambiguity. Yoshimi comes off a lot more messed up, which makes her love for this asshole seem more like another expression - she's holding onto him so tightly not because he deserves it, but because her life is so bad he seems good by comparison, something that seemed supported by the fact she describes all sex as painful but that it's not quite as painful when it's sex with him. It's also ambigious if Mitsuko thought she was saving Yoshimi or not and how she felt about being rejected in favor of this guy. (She also gets a cooler ending line.) It seemed like her behavior tied into her own issues with men as well, where she couldn't believe Yoshimi could care. Here, that's all missing - Yoji really was converted by Yoshimi's lack of self-preservation or self-esteem and even Mitsuko could tell, and all she cares is that she still doesn't have a meat shield. (Of course, with this in mind you could easily say that the manga isn't intended to have any of that and the author was assuming the chapter would be read as having Yoji really not going to kill her and Mitsuko killing him knowing that.)
I'll give Yoji one point in his favor, which is that it's believable this is all the result of stress. Having accepted the idea only one person can survive, he'd rather cut all ties to Yoshimi and pretend he never cared about her, which is why he's calling her a bitch and a slut while ordering her to leave. That kind of falls apart when he actually does decide to kill her, though, and makes it look like maybe he was just afraid to use such a noisy weapon.
Regardless, this is one of those things where it's noble to let a guy beat you so that your saintly acceptance of suffering will redeem him.
Which is particularly depressing here when Yoshimi seems like a really nice person. She just doesn't want to be alone. If only she'd been able to reach out to the other girl she saw, or if the group had been willing to wait for her too.
25 students remaining Which is to say, we're nearing half the class being dead, and it hasn't even been a day. It hasn't even been half a day.
2 Keita Iijima
4 Toshinori Oda
5 Shogo Kawada: Looks older than the rest, has facial hair already, transferred in, scarred. Shotgun. Saves Shuya and kills Kyoichi. Doctor skills.
6 Kazuo Kiriyama: Awesome. A sociopath who decides to play the game by flipping a coin. Kill count: 6.
11 Hiroki Sugimura: Tall and knows martial arts. Seems tough but is actually shy, likes Chinese poetry. Shuya's friend. Close to Chigusa.
12 Yutaka Seto: Class clown. Best friends with Shinji, joined up with him. Fork weapon. Had a crush on Izumi. Decides to take on the government.
13 Yuichiro Takiguchi
14 Sho Tsukioka: Part of Kazou's gang. Escaped Kazuo's massacre.
15 Shuya Nanahara: Main character? Minor but utterly harmless teenage rebelliousness. Popular with the girls.
16 Kazushi Niida: jock, soccer. Killed Yoshio by accident.
18 Tadakatsu Hatagami: jock, Shuya's friend when they were younger. 'Shuya had started playing electric guitar, which was considered an "unpatriotic" activity. Tadakatsu's mother was uptight about that sort of thing."
19 Shinji Mimura: Shuya's current friend. 'short hair and wore an intricately designed ring on his left ear', highly athletic, knows a lot of information, particularly about the outside world. Extremely cool under pressure. Best friends with Yutaka, joined up with him. Pistol weapon. Uncle probably part of the rebellion. Decides to take on the government.
1 Mizuho Inada: A friend of Megumi's.
2 Yukie Utsumi: class representative, braided hair, Haruka's volleyball teammate. The first one to speak after their abduction. Noriko's friend. Not playing, joined up with Haruka, sees Kazuhiko and Sakura's suicide.
8 Kayoko Kotohiki
9 Yuko Sakaki: Sees Shuya kill Tatsumichi and runs away unnoticed.
10 Hirono Shimizu: Part of Mitsuko's group. Tormented Megumi.
11 Mitsuko Souma: Delinquent group leader. "Even though Mitsuko had the gorgeous looks of a pop idol, she always wore a strange, listless expression on her face." Has a sickle and a diving knife. Kill count: 3.
12 Haruka Tanizawa: Yukie's volleyball teammate, exceptionally tall. Not playing, joined up with Yuki.
13 Takako Chigusa: Close to Hiroki.
15 Noriko Nakagawa: She has a crush on Shuya he's unaware of and Yoshitoki has a crush on her she may be unaware of. She's nice and likes literature. Suffering a leg injury.
16 Yuka Nakagawa: Yoshitoki says she's fat. Class clown.
17 Satomi Noda : "model student who wore wire-rimmed glasses which suited her calm, intelligent face"
19 Chisato Matsui: always quiet and withdrawn
20 Kaori Minami: A friend of Megumi's.