Was there more to Ryosuke's death?
Yes, I believe so. Book of Shadows wasn't particularly interesting in terms of the entire series, but we got an entire chapter on the Byakudan students. And TeamGrisGris were going to make their story just as complicated, weren't they?
As shown, Ryosuke slices his leg in half after walking into a piano trap. To me, this immediately doesn't make complete sense. There were multiple students with Ryosuke at the time who weren't caught in the string, which would have covered the hallway from wall to wall. And Ryosuke most definitely was not going to be the person leading the group. It's theoretically possible, but illogical.
So the only explanation for why only Ryosuke got caught in the piano string is that it was conveniently in front of him at the time. That it appeared as he was walking.
This isn't impossible. In BC:RF, there is a wrong end which depicts Yoshiki and Ayumi turning levers on old wind-up mechanisms. They split up and try to work them, but this results in Ayumi being chopped up by piano strings. She may well have walked into this, but when Yoshiki is mouning over her, he is not moving when the mechanisms make a noise and he gets caught up by piano strings that literally appear cutting through his body.
This kind of thing also takes place in the Anthology true end where Morishige and Yoshiki once again get cut up, showing twice that piano strings can appear when triggered by particular actions.
If I were to go even further into it, there's also Seiko's death in Book of Shadows. Naomi tries to stop her from suffocating whilst being hanged, which only results in Seiko running away into a wire and chopping her head off. This was intended to show Naomi that the deaths cannot be avoided, but also shows that this string was purposefully there at the time to kill Seiko once she had been saved from suffocation.
So we've thoroughly investigated that GrisGris have multiple endings where piano strings appear out of nowhere to kill our cast. The question we're left with now is: Who triggered the piano string to kill Ryosuke?
Six people are out of the question. Ryosuke, Tomohiro, Shimada, Kizami, Emi and Tohko were all in the same space and together at the time that this occurred, and did nothing to trigger the action. The three remaining Byakudans, Kurosaki, Fukuroi and Mitsuki, were together in a different space. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible for the Kisaragi cast to have also caused this.
In part of BoS, we are given the perspective of Mitsuki and Fukuroi, who find a lock on the back of a bathroom stall.
Before this occurs, they find a key. In between piano keys. There's already a reference to pianos in the puzzle they begin to solve.
I should also mention that they previously picked up a wind-up key - the exact same kind that Yoshiki and Ayumi used in the previous game to make the mechanisms that caused the piano strings to appear function.
They use this in the hole, and there is a quick reaction, suggesting that whatever was just triggered caused a quick injury.
Yes. My theory is that that key turning the lock triggered a piano string to appear. It made the same sound effect that the mechanisms in BC:RF did.
This piano string could have appeared in a different space; namely those of Mitsuki's comrades; and caused Ryosuke to chop half of his leg off and eventually bleed to his death.
Japanese Attachments in Corpse Party
Disclaimer: This blog post discusses different types of families and what is typically accepted or normalised in certain cultures. It does not intend to paint certain family dynamics as unstable or undesirable. If you have family issues you are sensitive about or a family structure that differs from the nuclear family, please do not take offense to this as it does not reflect my personal opinion and is an overview of factual knowledge. If you are still uncomfortable despite knowing this, feel free to refrain from reading for your own comfort.
One of the most observed factors that groups the majority of the Kisaragi students together is their family arrangements. From a Western outlook, some of these arrangements can already be seen as out of the ordinary - Seiko's mother abandoning her and Morishige's emotional neglect - and so this already builds up the majority of characters to be somewhat troubled because of their family situations (the extent to which they are troubled differs between each student and your own opinion).
However, in Japanese culture these arrangements would stand out as even more atypical than in more Western cultures. The family is extremely significant by tradition and and there are set expectations for how children are brought up, along with how they address one another (Of course, we are all familiar with Yuka's common use of 'Onii-chan'). For instance, in Western cultures people are typically brought up to work hard and strive to achieve their own goals. Self-benefitting desires are promoted over the success of a general group - an individualist approach. In Eastern cultures, however, the approach towards success and security tends to be more collectivist. People work together to achieve a common goal (often family or community-orientated) and place the needs of the majority over their own.
Japan in particular emphasises collective families in comparison to other East-Asian cultures, and so Japanese families tend to be more close-knit than foreigners may expect. Children are encouraged to spend much more time with their families in order to learn from them. They are rarely separated from their mothers in their early years and left around strangers even less. For this reason they develop extremely strong attachments to their mothers, look up to and idolise their older siblings, and put a great deal of trust and respect in their fathers and grandparents. Therefore, in situations where young children become separated from their families and attachments, they tend to get more intensely distressed than children who were not brought up in cultures centering around this. As the culture heavily surrounds tradition and celebrating its unique historical features, it certainly would be considered abnormal not to have such a structure in families and for children to have reactions to sudden isolation that are anything other than complete shcok, bewilderment, and panic from a Japanese perspective.
Deviation from typical Japanese families in Corpse Party: Kisaragi students
Ayumi's parents decided to segregate themselves from their other relatives in hopes of leading a life separated from the supernatural elements of their ancestry. It's likely Ayumi didn't see any relatives living outside of her household growing up and so was not taught to make attachments and trust other people aside from her parents and sister. This could give an explanation as to why Ayumi doesn't like to trust in adults or their authority - she wasn't raised to in the same manner that others were, perhaps believing that her other family members were bad people.
On top of this, Ayumi's parents are unsupportive of the 'not normal' careers their daughters are pursuing. Hinoe's case is more understandable as she is associating herself with the occult against her parents efforts to take them out of that lifestyle, and so there may be pressure on Ayumi to pick a more regular and stable job and to lead a typical family life in the Shinozaki name. This may be part of the reason she is insecure in her artistic abilities as she has been made to believe that a successful career and non-deviating family is essential, and by hiding this part of her life from her parents she is actively distancing herself from them more than the average child would.
Additionally, the nature of sibling idolisation in Japan is evident in Ayumi and Hinoe's interactions. Having not trusted her parents with her dialemma as a practising artist, Ayumi seek's Hinoe's guidance and reassurance, shown in an extra chapter which is crucial to see how close the sisters are despite their age gap. It builds up to why Hinoe sought after Ayumi and sacrificed herself without hesitation in the first place, and how Ayumi avoids her parents when they mention Hinoe after her death, stabbing herself with scissors as she is reminded of the event.
It is heavily implied that Mayu's parents argue often over her father's job and the effect the move will have on their daughter. The brief snippet we get of Mayu's mother shows how much she cares for her daughter's wellbeing, when in reality the hostile environment created by her parents fighting is more likely to have a detrimental effect on her emotional state, given her attachment to them.
Naomi is the clearest example of the disruption of traditional Japanese attachments in the series. A flashback from her childhood shows how upset she is that her parents are away working all the time - something the cat she was given as substitute company cannot replace.
Naomi's dad is likely to have died soon after this incident, which would have been extremely painful for Naomi as not only is one of her parents dead, but she will likely see even less of her mother now that she has become a single parent and has to provide for her child by herself. Cue an even stronger bond between mother and child now that they only have each other in their immediate family being further disrupted.
The relationship Naomi and her mother have pre-Heavenly Host is shown directly through Naomi when she tells Seiko her mother will be "worried sick" about her and wouldn't "stop looking for [her]". This clearly demonstrates the extent to which Naomi's mother cares for her, and Naomi's assurance of this care, which is typical for Japanese people to be accustomed to.
This therefore makes the mental descent of both Naomi and her mother after the main incident of Heavenly Host even more tragic. Naomi is presented to be particularly clingy to those she is close with, and Seiko's death was particularly harsh on her wellbeing given she had already lost enough in the past. Her dissociation with the world she and the rest of the group returns to is inclusive in the way she treats her mother. Naomi's withdrawal has a detrimental effect on Natsumi and this, over time, damages their relationship beyond repair as Natsumi realises she will never truly get her daughter - seemingly the only person she has left - back. The result of this is left not exactly ambiguous, but up to interpretation as Naomi sees her mother sharpening a knife after showing her the imprint on her eye, and leaves the house never to return.
Also a good example of disrupted attachment as well as a lack of it ever forming in the first place. Sakutaro mentions in Blood Drive how he was never brought up to be close to his parents, despite spending more time at home as a child due to being prone to illness. Having never formed a supposedly secure attachment with them he is shown to be more independent and is rather cold towards others due to not being taught how to emotionally behave by his parents. In Germany, this kind of independent attachment is more common, but very much less so in Japan, and so Sakutaro is likely to have felt isolated by his lack of friends, seeing his peers depend on their families and each other so much more than he is able to, and in general just emotional deprivation. It may even be that he formed no attachment whatsoever to them.
This also highlights the significance of the relationship between Sakutaro and his grandfather, of whom he seems to have relied on as an adult/guide in the past. His grandfather is supposedly the only person he trusted and was close with as a child. His death would likely have dragged Sakutaro down into full-blown isolation and possibly deterred him from making attachments due to the fear of those he loves dying or leaving him.
Though some research shows lack of attachment in early childhood to have irreversible consequences, other studies show that this can be overturned to a certain extent over a long period of time. Thus, our attention is drawn to the relationship between Mayu and Shig. They're blatantly described to have a sibling-like bond, and though on the outside it seems as if it is Mayu who looks to Sakutaro for stability, he admits himself that he relied on her presence to an extreme extent. Given that they met in middle school, over several years it is perfectly plausible that Sakutaro may have become attached to Mayu and solely dependent on her, and so her death in Heavenly Host was, for him, much more than the loss of his best friend, but his teacher, carer, and driver in life since the death of his grandfather.
But this also brings us onto the subject of how his parents would have reacted upon notification of his death. In a Dead Patient profile we see that Sakutaro's father is 'devestated' at the loss of his son. From a Western perspective this seems odd as they were never close and so it's easy to deem the guy as an asshole. To an extent, it probably is pretty bad considering Sakutaro never felt like his parents were there for them. However, in reality we have to consider that Sakutaro was their only child. The way his parents were brought up by their families were likely via the traditional Japanese way (and if they weren't, it explains a lot about why they seem distanced from their son), and so would have learned to cherish their entire family. Therefore, it may be that the 'nervousness' Sakutaro's mother shows around her son isn't just treating him as fragile and unpredictable, but is that she is afraid to lose her child, who falls ill often and seems more emotionally devoid over time (which could have been stimulated in the first place by Sakutaro being prone to illness; he would have been fatigued and not have the energy to interact with his mother as a child normally would).
Satoshi, obviously, shows the most secure attachment when following Japanese customs. He gets along with his mother fine, his parents seem to actually like each other, he has a nuclear family in which his younger sister idolises him. It is also heavily implied that Satoshi's parents spoil Yuka and are close with her due to her being the youngest and having the brain of a child. Yuka is therefore very attached to her family, which I suppose may give an excuse for her 'OnIiChAn'ing in Tenjin. It would also explain Satoshi's constant concern and worry for his younger sister whilst trapped in the school.
Despite her lack of presence, Seiko seems to view her mother in a positive regard, implying her devotion to 'make her proud' to Naomi during their argument in Heavenly Host. She trusts her mother and so it can be assumed that she, along with her other siblings, had a close and secure attachment with her.
The concept of a mother abandoning her children is rather extreme considering Japanese customs surrounding the family, and from Seiko's shown perspective her parents didn't seem to hold anything against one another (This may be the case, but anyhow, abandoning all children in the process of leaving your husband is still rather strange). Therefore, if such a thing happens it would have significant effects on the children, who have lost their primary attachment. The home life would also be extremely disrupted as Seiko's father would be unable to both provide for his family and cater for them at the same time - likely to cause exhaustion, which would make it much harder for his children to depend on and remain close to him.
Thus, as the eldest child, Seiko is forced to take on the role of the mother as to protect her family from falling apart after the key mechanism is gone. The small aspects of Seiko's homelife we are exposed to present her keeping her younger siblings in order, feeding and bathing them and playing around with them. This is exactly what a mother is expected to do in Japan - cater for their children physically, pass on traditional morals and manners and form an emotional bond with each of them. Her family may be considered a little wayward, but Seiko was at least taught the basic principles of attachment via her mother in order to pass on to her 'children'.
Yoshiki's actual relationship with his parents as a child is never fully revealed. It is implied, however, that he got upset and even depressed after fighting with his parents, and so it can be assumed that in early childhood he did have some sort of secure attachment with them. It's also possible he was brought up in the German fashion of independence over reliance, given his ability to adapt quickly to the world by himself once disowned.
Yoshiki's younger sister doesn't seem to idolise him in the way that children are prone to doing in Japan, further indicating the upbringing of independent discovery of the world. She does, however, clearly care for him, and even has the authority to tell Yoshiki off for not taking care of himself adequately and cooking for him. This is rather unexpected of a younger sibling and potentially reflects a more Western outtake on family relationships and attachments. It should also be noted that Miki has confidence in her father 'coming around' and forgiving Yoshiki, and so her relationship with their parents also seems to be pretty solid and secure.
Other examples of 'abnormal' families in Corpse Party
The Niwa family
• Aiko lives practically alone, but shares a house with her sister Kuon rather than her parents, who abandoned their daughters to travel the world using Kuon's money. Does not idolise her elder sibling, but claims to despise her and be jealous of her abilities.
The Saenoki family
• Naho appears to have such a poor relationship with her parents (perhaps due to her occupation) that she seeks refuge in Kibiki's home and idolises and looks up to him as a child would to a close parent/older sibling.
The Kizami family
• Yuuya's parents seem to have given up on their child due to his psychopathic tendencies, and whilst his older siblings try to look out for him and teach him how to behave, this is ineffective because of how Yuuya's mind works, and so he despises his siblings instead of depending on them for guidance.
The Kiriya family
• Misuto was made an orphan at a young age and an outcast from the rest of society, leading him to be apathetic and uncaring towards others, having been brought up in an environment where he knew he would not be respected by anyone other than his parents.
The Nekoma family (Satsuki Mizuhara before becoming fused with another being)
• Satsuki was abused by her parents, who cared more for religion than her and made her into a tool for Magari to use. She still, however, was attached to her mother, mistaking her abuse as an act of love, making their relationship even more unhealthy. Before being experimented on Satsuki was extremely introverted, likely a product of her parents' neglect and lack of emotional attention.
The Shinozaki family
• The entire Shinozaki family pre-Ayato's birth was disrupted by the death of the husband each generation, but then entirely depended on the mother-daughter relationship, which is a prominent feature of Japanese family customs.
As you can hopefully now see much more clearly, there is a recurring motif of domestic disturbance or deviation from the traditional Japanese family present in Corpse Party. By insinuating that the characters are already partially 'disturbed' in the beginning it becomes easier to provide motives for those characters to be pushed to their limits and succumb to the darkening, as well as make poor and irrational decisions. It also emphasises the friendship the Kisaragis share and how much more it means to them than perhaps the regular player, extending the tragedy of their loss of these bonds, and overall the tragedy of the story as a whole.
A PSA about Kurosaki
Since Kurosaki spikes his hair up it probably adds about three inches or so to his height
And considering he's only just average height (5'6" ) he probably looks a lot shorter compared to Kizami, who he's hung around his whole life
so he might do that just so he doesn't looks so small next to his best friend and that's adorable tbh
fascinated by the quotes that seemed to foreshadow Blood Drive Ex. Chap. 1
S A C C H A N
Kisaragi drunk headcanons
Satoshi: The classic 'came out to have a good time' drunk, but by the end of the night is violently sobbing over something minor like a spilled drink or tripping over someone's foot. Mayu is the only one with sympathy for foolish ass
Naomi: Probably handles alcohol the best, knowing her extent of self control and the fact that the rest of her friends will be incompetent in due course. Usually looking after Seiko or Ayumi and yelling when she's had enough of their shit
Seiko: Exactly the same as usual, if not more daring. Does stupid shit that probably falls under public disturbance and and indecent exposure (Morishige has plenty of blackmail on his phone). Remembers absolutely nothing in the morning
Morishige: Everyone thinks he's sober until someone says something that catches his attention and he proceeds to call them out for everything they've ever done. Roasts without mercy and has to apologise the next day when he finds out he has no friends left
Yoshiki: Is so much louder than usual it's painful and will tell everybody he loves them "so, so much, I swear it's unreal how much". Means well but becomes everybody's least favourite person after a couple of hours due to his excessive volume and clinginess
Ayumi: You thought the class rep would be responsible? No. She's tiny, so after a glass or two she is #gone and ends up trying to fight people she would absolutely be killed by if they decided to partake and jeez she really thinks she can be aggressive with everyone
Mayu: Unrealistically giggly. Cuddles up to everyone and tries to be helpful and look after others, but is more like a delirious doll. I emphasise 'tries' because she is far too clumsy to improve the situation despite her best efforts
gym is not a fun time for them