Now that the clock has been reset, this new arc is focusing on Keiichi’s relationship with Mion’s twin sister Shion. As the MVP of the old series, it’s great to see Shion now that she has some time to shine. But with the new twists and turns this alternative sequel has, we get some early insight on why Shion is nothing to mess with.
As with the beginning of most of these arcs, this one helps to lighten the mood by having Keiichi in higher spirits. Whether this is a good or bad thing is subjective though since he spends the beginning of this chapter trying to pimp out Satoko and Rika to the kids he was playing against in board games. Not sure how metaphorical it is that Keiichi has to bargain not to get killed at The Game of Life, but there is something fun there that can be played around with by the time we get to the end of these chapters.
From Keiichi’s perspective, his personal life is flipped upside down when he starts to see Shion more often. Mion is a little shy about having Keiichi gush over her twin sister, but she’s not nearly as timid as Shion, who finds herself trying to familiarize herself with Keiichi. Keiichi might have no game, but Shion helps to humanize him by having him grow attached to her presence beyond her looks and behavior. This is mostly shown when she invites herself into Keiichi’s house to give him food while his parents are away. It aims to embed her presence deeply within Keiichi’s life as he starts to get more comfortable with her around.
But with this in mind, we begin to see the darker side of having Keiichi get closer to Shion as she is in cahoots with the scarier crowd in Hinamizawa. When Keiichi accidentally angers some hooligans with funny voices, Shion gets her scary face ready as she intimidates the gangsters along with any surrounding locals. Speculating as someone with familiarity with the source material, Shion is the furthest engrained with the cultures and customs of Hinamizawa’s leaders, making her more familiar than Mion with whom she can call on to help her out in a pinch. At the same time, it calls direct attention to how much influence she has that she’d be able to corral anyone in the area to intimidate the hooligans into cooling down. While it’s anyone’s guess as to what will be the catalyst that steers this arc in an entirely different direction, it’s an interesting start to the arc that gave Shion a warm welcome.