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Oniokoshi-hen Chapter 2 (第2話 Dai Ni-wa) is the second chapter of Oniokoshi-hen.


Keitarou's group walks to the bus. Sakiko asks Keitarou if he made any more friends and convinced anyone besides Kihiro to join the club. Keitarou says he made no new club members, but he did get 23 new friends. Tamaki asks him to introduce her to someone who might be a good husband if he meets one. Kihiro says he might be a good man from a man's point of view, but he has no idea what Tamaki's POV is and suggests she pick a husband based on her own values.

Keitarou wonders about this point of view and tells the others that she met a weird girl today. Even though Keitarou and the school nurse talked to Inori, she never responded. Keitarou wonders if it's "that thing" that affects teenage girls and asks Sakiko and Tamaki for advice, but his friends all stand silently. Sakiko grimaces and says it must be "them". Keitarou is confused, and Tamaki says he shouldn't get more involved with that girl because nothing good will come of it.

Keitarou asks who "they" are, and Kihiro asks if he's heard of the Polaris Family Society. Keitarou looks it up and finds the group's home page, showing confusion at their belief that "no communication outside our family is necessary". He says it sounds like a religion, and Kihiro says it's exactly what it looks like: Inori was most likely a member of Polaris. They're a shelter for domestic violence victims who live a self-sufficient lifestyle together. Keitarou sees that their symbol looks like the keychain that Inori dropped and finds something weird about it.

Tamaki says that Hinamizawa's population has been declining ever since Keitarou's previous visits from Tokyo. New generations tended to move to the city since the station and school are far away, and though main street has become a tourist destination, there are still many vacant houses. Tamaki points out a house that collapsed from the snow this past year. Hinamizawa's population dropped to around 500 people and was in danger of becoming a ghost town, however two years ago a few hundred people suddenly announced they would be moving there. Keitarou is excited since that means Hinamizawa avoided becoming a ghost town, but Tamaki says he should know who those people were: Polaris Family Society members, and 500 of them at that.

Keitarou is shocked to hear that half of the village is associated with them. He wonders why he never saw anyone like that, and Tamaki says they all live in a community near Yagouchi and don't interact with main villagers at all. Sakiko repeats the Polaris belief that "all misfortune comes from bonds with others" and says that Keitarou should've noticed some people ignoring him even when he tried to talk to them. Polaris members are dogmatic and don't interact with non-members, not even to offer simple greetings. Keitarou remembers the creepy looks other kids were giving him earlier.

Keitarou wonders what living in Yagouchi is like, and Sakiko says her grandpa's been going crazy trying to figure out who let Polaris into the village. A lot of older people are displeased since they get ignored when talking to Polaris members. Sakiko wonders if that kind of ostracism happened in the old days and doesn't think there are enough people for it to work in the present day.

Keitarou asks Sakiko if she hates the people of Polaris. She replies and asks if anyone in the village likes them. The group stands quietly. Sakiko breaks the silence and suggests they all go to her mother's shop for some ice cream. Aunt Satoko greets everyone there and unveils a new store product, tapioca milk tea. She also reveals new outfits and comes out wearing cat ears and a dress. Keitarou is bewildered by the sight. Sakiko and Tamaki put on costumes themselves and take a picture together. Seeing how energetic they are, Satoko muses that after becoming a mother, she now understands how Irie felt. Sakiko says that Keitarou and Kihiro should join too, and Kihiro says he'll only do it if Keitarou does so; Keitarou refuses.

Keitarou and Kihiro eat ice cream outside. Kihiro appreciates Keitarou being a people person and wanting to get along with everyone, but he's worried that it will be bad if he gets involved with "them". Keitarou looks at the Polaris keychain in his hand and agrees, deciding there's no point to hanging with people who despise communication. He thinks about Inori again, but is distracted by a sudden camera flash.

A man with a camera nearby introduces himself to the boys as Marutake, a freelance writer. Marutake says he comes to Hinamizawa from time to time and wanted to get story material when he heard it was becoming a World Heritage site. He hands the boys a business card; Kihiro is confused by it saying BBKB, but Marutake takes it back and says it's the wrong card, chuckling nervously. Keitarou questions why he took phoros of them without their consent, but Marutake says they looked so picture-esque. Sakiko comes out and greets Marutake, calling him Uncle. Marutake is excited to see her outfit and falls over. Sakiko explains to Keitarou that he's a regular customer and goes back in to bring refreshments.

Marutake and the boys talk about how beautiful the village is, though he worries that "that" disturbing incident may harm its image. Keitarou thinks he's talking about the curse of Oyashiro-sama. Everyone in Hinamizawa has heard about the string of deaths and disappearances that occured almost 50 years ago. Keitarou has asked his dad about it many times, but he always says that many people still hate the story, so Keitarou shouldn't go around talking about it.

Keitarou doubts that an old ghost story would harm Hinamizawa's image, but Marutake ominously mentions that it was a grisly incident and they still haven't found one of the victims from last year. Keitarou is shocked to hear this, and Kihiro says it was just a coincidence since it happened on the Watanagashi last year. Marutake explains that last year, one person died and another went missing on the night of the festival, and the one who disappeared was a member of Polaris.

Keitarou comments that Marutake knows a lot about Oyashiro-sama's curse, and the photographer says he learned all about it on the Internet while researching Hinamizawa. Many theories circulated about Oyashiro-sama being an alien, parasites existing, and rumors that the curse was a system allowing enemies of the village to be killed off. Keitarou doesn't like those rumors since they accuse the villagers of condoning murder. Marutake also believes the village doesn't have any bad people in it, hoping that nothing will happen during Watanagashi this year and that Hinamizawa will succeed in becoming a World Heritage site.

Oniokoshi 2-3 arson murder incident

Marutake notices Keitarou's holding a Polaris charm and asks if he's with them. Keitarou says a friend dropped it, and Marutake becomes lost in thought. He tells Keitarou to be careful around Polaris since there are many bad rumors about them. They seem like they live together as a makeshift family, but they're very reclusive and don't talk to anyone outside their circle. Polaris is known for causing big commotions excused as festivals, and they don't follow local rules and have a lot of tension with other residents; said problems seem to be trash being left out, dead animals being stuffed in mailboxes, and graffiti. Marutake says there was also a serious incident where a house with thirty Polaris members argued with a housewife next door, which culminated in a boy and girl from Polaris breaking into the wife's house, killing her family, then setting the house on fire and committing suicide. Police suspected Polaris of orchestrating it but couldn't find enough evidence, but still the group became well known among neighborhood watch groups.

Keitarou can't believe that Polaris members would ever do something like this. He understands their dislike of communication, but the arson and murder makes them sound like a cult. Just then, Marutake points out that Polaris is coming, like the family they are. A large line of cars drives down the road, and Keitarou sees Inori and Kururu in the seats; Keitarou is shocked to learn they're both part of the group. Marutake says it's surprising that the curse of Oyashiro-sama revived after Polaris moved in.

Keitarou ponders. If what Marutake says is true, then Polaris won't hesitate to use suicide and murder to their advantage, and if hundreds of them are in Hinamizawa, then they must be planning something.