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Only descendants of class 3 from 26 years ago can see Misaki.
That explains why only Sakakibara can see her out of the whole class: He's the son of someone from the original "cursed" class.

This may be eventually made obvious; but hey, I'm only assuming from watching episode 3 of the anime.

  • Jossed. The manga is being translated by several scanlation groups. It's rather deep into the story, and there it's been revealed that Mei isn't invisible at all. Everyone chooses to ignore her and treat her as if she weren't there. This may seem cruel, but the reason for this is very understandable: ever since the incident with the original Misaki in nineteen-eighty-whatever, an "extra" student mysteriously appears in class 3. This student is dead, and everyone's memories is automatically altered so that they can't tell who it is. But everyone still knows that this dead person is hidden amongst them, but no one will be able to tell who it is until graduation, when their memories revert to normal. The presence of the "extra person" causes an imbalance that leads to the inexplicable deaths of anyone connected to class 3 or the previous class 3s. The only way to counteract this is to treat one random student as if he or she didn't exist, thus neutralizing the imbalance.

Misaki manipulated Sakuragi into her accident because she saw Misaki.
It's not like it doesn't seem possible with the tone of this series. On top of that, Sakuragi may have been able to see her because her mother too was from class 3.
  • Alternately with the info in the first theory on the page when she realised that Kouichi wasn't ignoring Mei she realised that the "curse" might be active for that year (the previous year hadn't been affected, the curse can affect family members of students if they also were in the 3-3 class) and caused her Mother's accident, she then suffered a Freak Out! and slipped due to being overcome by her own panic and not paying attention to where she was going.

People are going to die in the order they appear in the Ending sequence.
  • Jossed second victim isn't even featured in ending at all
    • Alternate theory: Those that do die won't necessarily be shown in the ED, but if they do appear they will die in the order they're shown.
      • If that's true, that makes Kouichi the Dead All Along student, since he appears first but has not yet died on-screen.
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  • Double-Jossed: The last person shown was the first to die. (The OVA shows that Fujioka Misaki's hair is brown, not pitch-black like Misaki Mei's.)

The ED and OP are going to be Evolving Credits
  • Presuming the WMG above this one holds, this is what will happen to the OP and ED to match events in the story.

The myna bird's words are important.
They are the last words of the original Misaki, and Reiko is involved in their death some how, either through murder or by causing an accident (or in the latter case she at least she blames herself anyway). Her apparent drunkenness/insomnia are guilt with the bird acting a bit like Poe's tell tale heart.
  • It might also be that the bird is repeating Ritsuko, Kouichi's mother's, last words.
    • This seems unlikely, given how long ago Ritsuk's death was. Could the bird possibly have been alive then?
    • Depending on the breed some birds can live in excess of 25 years.
    • Third variation related to the above, it's the words of Kouichi's father when he was mourning Ritsuko.
  • Jossed. It's a pet Ritsuko and Reiko's parents bought to help with their mourning of Reiko's death, that's why it says "cheer up!" That's also why it asks "Rei, why?" It's parroting Kouichi's grandpa.

The only way to break the curse is to discover who the dead student is and have them leave town.
  • Possibly Jossed as of Episode 10. According to Matsunaga's confession on the tape, the only way to stop the calamity is to find the extra and "Send it back to death" by killing him/her.

Mei can see the extra.
There's got to be something about her Doll-eye. Mei mentioned being near death once due to a tumor in her eye, which had to be removed... and in Episode seven, when she reassured that Koichi is NOT the dead student, her eyepatch was off. Which gives a strong possibility that she's able to see who the extra is, or may already KNOW who the Extra is.
  • Confirmed in episode 10.

The Extra may in fact, be a ghost from 26 years ago whose possessing someone every year to MAKE the extra.
As in, someone, some poor schmuck (most likely directly related to the ghost) is being possessed and somehow directed into being a part of Class three, therefore, causing an unbalance each year.

The Extra may be subconsciously aware of the countermeasures taken to protect Class 3 and work to subvert them.
This is also assuming that Kouichi is in fact The Extra. With information given that even with the same countermeasures taken, the success rate is only about 50%. Kouichi ended up being an unexpected wildcard in the balance otherwise, and ended up triggering the calamity for that year. It could be that past years that failed were due to The Extra of that year either breaking the rules, or becoming the Forgotten and cracking under pressure to ensure people acknowledged them. It also doesn't help that Kouichi has had personal interaction with almost all of the victims so far, and present for or witness to their deaths in some way. Could be that The Extra instigates the events, and the closest ones to them for that year are the ones that died, creating more 'candidates' for the next cycle. In essence, the success of the plan relies on the will of the students in the class. For the class that had invited death in, the years it failed had students that unknowingly invited death into their lives though the acceptance of The Extra.

The people in the end of episode song background picture will live
Correct me if i'm wrong but so far none of the people that fade into the scene have been killed, however Misaki fades OUT of the picture, possibly meaning that she will be killed by the curse.
  • Dude, you're totally wrong. Sakuragi was the very first person to "fade into" the picture and look what happened there.
    • My mistake then, i'm pretty damn bad with names and faces, carry on WMG.

The "Extra" is...
Kouichi Sakakibara
  • The students who visit him question that they know him from somewhere, which is due to knowing that he died a previous year as a victim of the curse. They can't remember this because everyone's memories are altered to accommodate him, as it goes every year. It's even said that the name Sakakibara is associated with death to them, though it's not explained why.
    • This seems to be supported by episode 6: Kouichi's father's memories seem to change mid-sentence on something when he's questioned about the past, and his aunt can't remember something important about the year his mother died. Maybe he actually already died in birth?
      • Unlikely; if he died at birth, there's no reason he would seem so familiar to his classmates. If he died at all, it was a year and a half ago, as implied by being the apparent time of disputed memories in his father.
    • Also seems to be supported by Koichi's dream in episode 7. In the dream, Mei tells Koichi that he's the dead student. If this is true, then it becomes Foreshadowing combined with Dreaming of Things to Come.
  • Jossed by Misaki in episode 10.
    • The reason for the weirdness around him and his family is that the Extra is related to him.
  • The reason the students say the name Sakakibara is associated with death to them is because there was a Real Life serial killer the year before the story takes place with the same surname. It has nothing to do with Kouichi himself.
Mei Misaki
  • The series seems to make effort to avoid the obvious answers as far as possible, so a double-switch might be a potential solution. She has a credible death-story as well (her eye-tumor at the age of four), and her strange relationship with her mother might be due to the fact that they haven't actually had a mother-child relationship in over a decade.
Ritsuko Sakakibara, Kouichi's Mother
  • It's not been stated (to my knowledge) that the dead student actually died at that age so she could be there and a combination of her being under her maiden name and the curse's alterations of memories and records (i.e. the class photo would be changed) perhaps helped along by people's Weirdness Censor would hide her.
Izumi Akazawa
  • A consistent feature of the curse is that peoples' memories are altered to include the extra up until the point of either graduation or the premature death of the Extra. This has held true for the current Class 3. One point on this matter that stands out is one occasion where Koichi is speaking to his father, who mentions having been to Yomiyama one year ago, conflicting with Koichi's memory that he'd never been there after his birth. His father backpedals to go along with this right after. There should be no reason to change such a recollection, unless perhaps Koichi had direct contact with the Extra during that time. Who did we see Koichi meeting in flashback in episode 10? Izumi Akazawa.
    • Ultimately Jossed all around. She dies from a balcony fall in the light novels, cut down by a shattering window in the anime, survives the manga, and in none of those cases is she the "Extra."
Tomohiko Kazami
  • He just didn't die like Teshigawara thought, and that's why everybody still remembers him.

The curse trying to kill the Extra is a Shinigami with a Death Note

The Shinigami Realm also suffers from the dead person masquerading as an alive one, so the King tasks one of the Shinigami to kill the Extra; the problem is the Extra's influence on memories alters its own death date thus making the Shinigami eyes useless, so he start randomly killing the students until he gets the right one. Hence why a lot of the deaths are so illogical; it's because the bored Shinigami is playing around with how many ways he can kill a person. Takabayashi didn't die from a natural heart attack, but because his written death was too impossible and so the Death Note simply killed him via its usual method. Once the Extra is dead the Shinigami goes back to his usual job until the next year when another one has to do it.

There will be a sequel set in modern day

It will involve a new class trying to stop the curse once and for all. Misaki or Kouichi might make a guest appearance as a teaching assistant or school staff. This first series would essentially be a big prologue to the sequel, which would explain why it's set in 1998 for no apparent reason.

The curse was started by a Witch.

A burakumin girl (the descendants of Japan's Buddhist equivalent to the Hindu "untouchable" class, who still face some discrimination) was a member of Class 3 back in at least 1946 (26 years before the curse's previous appearance). Her family was of course rather poor, and so she wished to be able to pass the entrance exam to Yomiyama North Middle School. The class had only 25 desks (just one short), and so she was forced to stand. On top of all that, postwar Japan suffered severe food shortages, and not only could her parents not afford to make her a lunch, she had no money to buy and her classmates refused to share theirs. Eventually her grief and loneliness at being from "the bottom caste" and literally "the odd girl out" consumed her.

  • The "extra" is either a familiar of hers, or perhaps just an entity created whole-cloth from her powers, assuming the form and personality of one of the class members' recently deceased relatives appearing every 26 years, in recognition of the 26 students in the girl's class. And the Higurashi-esque (ahem) Witch Hunt at the end of Episode 11 was just as planned by the Incubators, knowing the scared, suspicious students would likely suspect a quiet girl like Mei, who would also have possibly made a contract.

A Theory on the curse of 3-3.
If I remember correctly, the curse is made up of the souls of the deceased. If Misaki Yomiyama was popular when he died, and people kept playing along like he was alive, maybe he never felt he died. But since people didn't talk to him like he was there, he discovered he was dead. When another student entered the class he felt angered that someone was taking his place, he wanted to be recognized. So they died and after a while the souls of the dead merged into a giant being of hate, with so many minds fighting for control, the ghost became uncontrolable.
  • It's explicitly stated that the phenomena is not a true 'curse' since it has no malice, and has no guiding intelligence behind it. It just happens.

The whole story is an tabletop roleplaying game campaign. The curse is the killer gm.
It explains why the deaths and the extra are so arbitrary, why any attempt to solve the curse or well... do anything is doomed to failure, and why the curse itself appears to run mostly on bullshit(instagibs, memory control with no other limitations or rules but plot, npc mind control) The players doesn't leave because they like the other characters and don't know of any other game in the area. The gm also thinks he is a genius.

The deaths are a metaphor for sex.
It's all symbolic. Kouichi just really gets around. A lot.

The lady in the doll shop is played by the same actress as the principal from great teacher onizuka.
Even though she's animated.

Mei Misaki is Ragna The Bloodedge's daughter
That could explain her rather paranormal nature plus the heterochromia.

Izumi's death was the result of Reiko Mikami inadvertantly using the death curse.
There was a brief scene where Mrs. Mikami shielded Mei from Takako when she thought Mei was the extra. Izumi would have killed Mei if not for that convenient bolt of lightning. This leads this troper to believe that the Extra has some degree of control over who gets to die.

The clues surrounding Reiko Mikami being the extra were there in the beginning.
We just didn't see it until it was revealed to us. The first being that she couldn't stand the talking black bird. While it's not that breed, blackbirds often associate themselves symbolically with crows and ravens, which are universal birds for death. The second was when Mochizuki remarked that his crush, Miss Mikami, who was never seen in that particular episode was looking Ill. Most stories that mention an ill person are often doomed to die. In this case she was already dead. The The third and final clue, that this troper saw at least. Was when Mochizuki was blushing at the sight of Reiko in a swimsuit. Since he has a crush on only Miss Mikami, it's quite obvious who she really is at that point.

The Students knew all along who the extra was.
Save for those that were investigating the Calamity, every other student were simply bullies that used the curse as an excuse to try to pull the perfect murder on Mei Misaki. Why else would they be so eager to kill her even with the evidence showing that she isn't the extra?

The Ending Credits were Izumi Akazawa's dying dream.
Much of the credits show all the people happy except Mei who is disappearing. This is pretty much Izumi imagining what life would be like without Mei. She dislikes Mei and believes that everyone would have survived and be better off without Mei.

Mei's eye can hypnotize people.
It wasn't until she told Kouichi "Believe me." That he didn't deliver the killing blow to Reiko. The voice it self sounded a tad hypnotic and if she can see the color of death. What's to say her eye can't do other things.

Kirika is Other Mother.
She treats Mei like one of her dolls and the doll's eye can see things that should remain unseen. Somehow Mei persuaded her to give her one dolls eye. The reason why it's not a button? She switched from stuffed dolls to glass eyed ones.

The Curse actually is a curse.
An earlier WMG states that it isn't really a curse because it bears no actual malice. I believe it does - the point of the curse is to draw upon the ugliness of human nature. It's a curse specifically designed to seem like it just happens, that there's no real reason for it, to make the ensuing panic even stronger. What's worse? - knowing that your class is cursed, and by knowing that, knowing there's a way to lift the curse, or that horrific death is just going to happen for no good reason. The ability of the curse to seem more like a force of nature causes the people of Yomiyama even more pain. Not only are the students of Class 3 constantly in fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones, it draws out their suspicions of those different from them, because anyone could be the Extra. It takes away their compassion and their value of human life, and ultimately drives them either insane with fear or to murder. The curse is not only a curse, but more malicious than anyone in Class 3 realizes.

Possible ideas to get rid of the Curse, and what might happen if they tried them:
  • Have the school have a class 3-3 on the roster but don't put anyone in it. That way class 3-4 really is 3-4 and not 3-3 under a different name.
    • Ways this could go horribly wrong: the Curse/universe might react to having a whole class that doesn't really exist by making a whole class of Extras.
    • This was confirmed to be attempted in the series; the curse somehow always knew which class was "supposed" to be 3-3 even if names were different.
  • Have the entire school/town gather at the start of each year before the class rosters are made and symbolically "kill" and bury an effigy of the dead student to acknowledge that he's dead. Only put people in class 3-3 that were there.
    • Ways this could go horribly wrong: Since this is a horror game, they would probably come up with the idea that they had to use an actual student as the effigy and kill them when they could just use a doll or something.
  • Have the entire class of the original 3-3 that started the curse gather and acknowledge that Misaki was Dead All Along.
  • Add or subtract at least 5 people to the roster of 3-3 and hope the imbalance confuses the curse enough to stop it from doing anything.
  • Add Misaki's name to 3-3's roster every year and then cross it out. So the class has an extra person on the roster who is already acknowledged to be dead and not actually in the class.
  • Keep Mei/ people like her on staff so they can immediately identify and eliminate the Extra.

The curse is caused by ghosts trying to fit themselves into Class 3
In eastern cultures, the presence of a ghost is usually tied to causing bad luck. In the beginning, because the class refused to acknowledge Misaki's death, they were creating an environment where ghosts were welcome and treated like they were alive again. The class becomes a beacon for all ghosts, piling up all of their misfortune in this one single class. By killing the extra student or ignoring them, the class essentially sends a message to all the ghosts stalking the class that they are not welcome, hence why the ghosts leave and the curse is lifted.

Additionally, the curse they cause is also a misguided attempt to bring themselves back to life. They hope that the person killed will be treated like they were alive just like Misaki was, hence creating another slot for a ghost to impersonate a living person. However, this is just not the case so these deaths just keep happening for no seemingly no reason. This is also why the extra student is never killed in any year, as mentioned by Katsumi since his year is the ONLY year that ended short because he killed the extra. The dead student is a ghost themselves and is not affected by the misfortune.


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