Originally posted on 29 October 2013
Source: Siren Maniacs, page 32-33

Siren: Tomoko Maeda

Tomoko Maeda
前田知子
Middle-school student / female / 14

A totally normal country girl enrolled at Hanuda Middle School, year 2 class 1. A dreamy girl, raised being doted on by her parents, who loves cute things like princesses and strawberries. The things written in the diary show trivial everyday events as seen through the eyes of a young girl, but she is at an age where she finds it embarrassing for people to know things like which celebrities she likes. However, since her grades at school are dropping low enough to worry her parents, it appears as though Tomoko was experiencing lovesickness, something everyone goes through in puberty (a very plausible explanation is that once she enters the age where she begins falling in love she can't do anything, and therefore stops studying. This is the only reason I can think of for the grades of a girl of this age to drop!).

That day, Tomoko realises that her parents have read her diary without permission and it causes the biggest shock of her life (at the age of 14, the thing likely to cause most impact is feeling helpless and betrayed by the one you trust most). Naturally she has a big fight with her parents, but still won't forgive them for looking at her diary (or rather, will not forgive the action of stealing a look at her possessions), and to show her parents that she is truly angry she decides to run away. Rather than actually leaving home, she does not actually run away, but rather stages a spirited protest towards her parents... but during her stint away from home she becomes caught up in the incident.

Awakening in the Other World, Tomoko trembles with fear at the strange presences she feels around her and begins to search for her parents alone, forgetting that she has run away. Even after being abandoned by the Guiding Priest on whom she has relied, Tomoko is for a time protected by Guiding Nun Hisako. However, Tomoko is led to the abandoned house in Tabori in which Shibito await by the gradually awakening Hisako, and ends up turning into a Shibito.

In the level Day 2 6:00, an aurora and beautiful, angel-like bodies of light sparkle in the sky around her... This fantastical scene shows the world of the gods as seen by Tomoko as she turns into a half-Shibito. The Shibito gleefully welcome the half-Shibito Tomoko. This is because becoming a Shibito means forsaking life as a human, but it is also an expression of joy at becoming closer to god.


Actually loves her parents

Alone, Tomoko often speaks to herself to hide her fear. Raised with affection by her parents, she seeks the protection of adults.

A fateful moment for Tomoko

In front of Tomoko, sobbing with exhaustion, appears Hisako. At first, Hisako begins to lead Tomoko to the church under her protection as Guiding Nun, but...

The "reason" for not being attacked by Shibito

Surrounded by beautiful lights, the Shibito no longer attack Tomoko. Knowing the reason why, they welcome Tomoko.

Happy days spent with her parents

Even after becoming a half-Shibito, Tomoko is sad at having left home, but finally her parents, now also Shibito, come to meet her. The three reunite, a happy family...


Tomoko Maeda in Each Level

Day 1 / 17:54:51 (Hirunotsuka - Mizuhiruko Shrine)

Neither Tomoko nor Harumi possess the means to fight back against the Shibito, and can do nothing but flee. In this level Tomoko finally resolves to escape by her own efforts after becoming separated from the Guiding Priest, but as she descends the steps to the shrine she sees before her a sea and the sky, a deep red colour, the like of which she has never seen. This level is gloomy, perhaps hinting at Tomoko's unfortunate future.

Day 2 / 6:06:01 (Karuwari - Rice fields)

By this point, Tomoko has already been turned into a half-Shibito by the other Shibito. In the sky above Tomoko glows a beautiful aurora, fantastical lights appearing around her... This is the only level in which the player is afforded a glimpse of the world as the Shibito see it, usually only visible through visions, and seeing this makes you think that perhaps those who turn into Shibito are happy.

Day 2 / 6:32:56 (Karuwari - Irazu Valley church)

Frantic, Tomoko finally arrives at the church where her parents are, but has turned into a half-Shibito without even noticing, and is rejected by her parents. Still unable to understand that she is a half-Shibito, Tomoko despairs, thinking that her mother and father will never let her come home, angry at her running away. Seeing this, the player with empathise with her... despairing.


Tomoko Q&A

Q: When did Tomoko turn into a Shibito?
A: While on their way back to the church, she is led by the awakened Hisako to Tabori. After being attacked by Shibito, Tomoko, her mind hazy, continues aiming for the church.

Q: What happens to the Shibito Maeda family afterwards?
A: Until Kyoya Suda appears, the three of them live happily together.

Q: When does Tomoko learn to use the Shibito characters she scribbles?
A: She becomes able to read them when she turns into a half-Shibito.

Q: Is the creature you can see momentarily in the earthen pipe beside the abandoned car a tsuchinoko?
A: It is common opinion that it is indeed a tsuchinoko. You can see similar creatures in other levels as well.

Tomoko Maeda character archive

Tomoko's note (archive No.047) is written on cute strawberry-print stationery, but it details a serious fight with her parents, which seems to be why she selected a special sheet from a letter set in her possession. Her mindset at the time is like that of a girl wearing her lucky underpants, deciding that today will be the day. To Tomoko, then, the stationery is like her "lucky underpants" - or "lucky stationery" - directed towards her parents (though the strawberry print is still very much something that a 14-year-old would choose).

The Day Before

Has a big fight with parents after realising they have read her diary. Runs away

Day 1

0:00 - Loses consciousness due to siren. Awakens after a while, sensing strange presence in the area. Scared, Tomoko tries to return home

7:00 - Runs around in a panic trying to escape from half-Shibito chasing her. By coincidence meets up with Guiding Priest Makino; they escape together

12:00 - Witnesses umi-okuri with Makino. A red sea stretches out ahead of the cut-off highway... Attacked by a Shibito and separated from Makino, Tomoko flees inside the shrine and falls asleep
17:00 - Runs away alone

21:00 - Protected by Hisako

Day 2

0:00 - Something about the Guiding Nun seems strange. Behaves as though suffering some kind of malfunction. Heads for abandoned house as told by Hisako... Turns into Shibito
6:00 - Tomoko is now alone. Strange bodies of light drift around her, a beautiful pillar of light and aurora in the sky...

12:00

18:00 - Umi-okuri

23:00 - Umi-gaeri. Turns into Shibito

Day 3

0:00

12:00

Later