Posted by psgels on 31 July 2006 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni



I have one advice for the people who are planning to watch this: watch it during the afternoon. I watched it late in the evening, and I’ll probably have a hard time sleeping. The disturbing scenes took another turn for the worse during this episode. Honestly, this was the first time in anime ever in which I couldn’t bear to watch some scenes, apart from some horribly bad anime, perhaps.

In any case, I’ve spoiled myself a bit with Wikipedia, about the contents of each of the arcs. The current arc will be the second arc, but now in the perspective of Shion, which should give us the answers to the questions from the second and the third arc. The next arc will show the answers from the first arc, in which we see the same arc, but now in Rena’s perspective. I’m looking forward to that arc. Keiichi and Rena make a good combination. The seventh arc will then solve the fourth arc, and all of the questions involving the main plot as well. As in, the reason why people act weird, Rika’s death and the volcanic gas. There wasn’t any information about the eighth arc, so I’m really wondering what it’ll be about. I also don’t think it’ll appear on the anime. OVA?

In any case, this episode was nice in the fact that it provided some nice and interesting material. The fact remains, though that it focuses on three of my least favourite characters: Shion, Mion and Satoshi. I didn’t feel anything for the characters at all. Also Mion’s torture scene only disgusted me, though I didn’t feel along with the characters. Ironically, the best moment of the episode was in which Rika displayed even more of her foreseeing abilities.

We start the episode with Shion still feeling down from the previous episode. Mion then gives her a call with the message that Satoshi called her, in order to apologize to her. Mion found it better if Shion was the one to listen, so she told him that she’d call him back, and she hung up. Shion then goes to call Satoshi. Both parties apologize to each other. Satoshi claims that he’ll never forgive the people who put he and his sister in the situation they’re in now. This actually is very interesting, as he mentions that these people may be very close to her, though she isn’t one of them. This suggests that there was an external party who assigned Satoko and Satoshi to live with their aunt and uncle. You would expect the Sonozaki-famly to do such a thing, though that means that Mion was directly involved. Unless Satoshi believes that at the time that the Sonozaki-family moved, Mion had nothing to do with that decision. Still, if it isn’t someone from the Sonozaki-family, then who was it?

Satoshi then reveals that he’s quit his job, and that he’s achieved enough money for his goal. I always thought that this money was meant as money to survive for a while, after he fled from Hinamizawa after killing his aunt. Satoshi also reveals that Satoko’s on the verge of losing it. After that, we have another interesting revelation. As it’s the night before the Watanagashi, Satoshi has made his plans, though he needs Satoko out of the way. Therefore, he asks Shion to take care of her during the Watanagashi.

How did Mion know about this during the third arc? This gives us some heavy clues that Keiichi made a call to Shion, instead of Mion, back then. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have known. And so far, Shion hasn’t been crazy enough to tell Mion about it. Unless, of course, this scene was omitted later in the episode. After all, during the Watanagashi, Shion pretends to be Mion, while Mion’s nowhere to be found. Shion could have told her there. That or Mion and Shion like to swap mobile phones.

Anyway, Satoshi asks whether Shion believes in Oyashiro-sama’s curse. Oyashiro-sama is said to curse all those who leave the village and run away. At least, according to Satoshi. Satoshi also reveals that he did have plans to run away from the village, though he gets cut off by his aunt who happens to get home.

We then switch to the evening of the Watanagashi, in which a suspicious Satoshi walks in the forest with a suspiciousbat, walking towards a suspicious abandoned closet with a suspicious look on his face. If I had to summarize this scene in one word, it would be “suspicious”. He then looks at the closet, and drops the bat. Meanwhile, we see Rena, Rika, Satoko and Shion pretending to be Mion at the Watanagashi-festival. It probably is Shion, as the arc remains focused at her, not at Mion.

Then there follows a very nice dialogue between Rika and Satoko. Satoko’s feeling so down that she doesn’t feel like doing anything. Rika tries to cheer on her, though that doesn’t really work. What follows is Rika acting awesome again, by predicting the murder of Satoko’s aunt. Okay, she predicted the end of all of Satoko’s pain. If you look at it one way, this is true. Her aunt gets killed, her uncle moves away and she gets to live with Rika. Another reason for Rika to be happy. ^^ On the other hand, though, the fact that her brother left isn’t exactly happy.

Then we see the scene in which Satoshi’s aunt walks up to a certain suspicious closet. She mentions the fact that Satoshi talked about it, and that it’s quite useable for sale. Then we see the silhouette of someone who looks like Satoshi, with the same voice as Satoshi, bashing Satoshi’s head in with something that looks a lot like a certain baseball bat.

Meanwhile, a member of one of the three main families rushes to another member of the three main families, and tells them that something horrible has happened. He also tells this to Obaba, who isn’t surprised about it. Her reasoning is the fact that if it happened three times, it’ll happen a fourth time. This could suggest that another murder happened, though it can be something else as well.

The police meanwhile has found the body of Satoshi’s aunt. It wasn’t buried or anything, he just left it for anyone to see. I guess that he didn’t have the superb planning skills of Keiichi. The next day, Shion hears from Mion that Satoshi’s uncle was killed. There are no clues of the culprit. Mion also gives the real proof that she does not like Ooishi, at all, when she talks negatively about him, in a normal way. In any case, Shion immediately believes that Satoshi really did kill his aunt.

Shion then, dressed up as Mion once more, runs into Satoshi. Surprisingly, he has yet to run away. His eyes don’t look too healthy. It seems as if he hasn’t slept in ages. Satoshi is looking for something to give Satoko for her birthday. His eye has fallen on a huge stuffed toy. Shion eventually makes him put it on reserve, so that nobody else can buy it, because she finds him so indecisive. Satoshi then thanks Shion, by patting her on the head again. He then looks extremely shocked when he sees Oishi.

Oishi seems hungry for questions as usual, and he attempts to question Shion and Satoshi about their alibis. Shion then shows again that she has an incredibly impulsive personality, as she quickly makes up a couple of lies, and even goes as far as revealing that she really is Shion, instead of Mion. She really can make up lies as good as Keiichi.

Satoshi really begins to look hopeless after her story. He’s really getting spaced out. Oishi then decides to take both of them to the police station for questioning. Mion advices Satoshi to keep talking about the alibi she came up with. Still, Satoshi isn’t angry to Shion for lying to him. Anyway, back at the police station, Mion gets to leave before Satoshi does, due to individual questioning. Seh then sees that the Estate, otherwise known as the guys who freed her in the previous episode, have been waiting for her. Kasai, the guy who did the main talking in the car at the beginning of the previous episode, however, seems to be missing. The estate then takes Shion to the Sonozaki Main house, in which Mion waits for her.

Mion then reveals that Obaba is in an outrage. She’s waiting in the Underground Shrine under the Sonozaki-house. It’s obviously Shion’s first time in here, so she’s surprised by all of the torturing devices which are lying there. In the middle of the room, Obaba is sitting, looking extremely pissed at her. Still, she doesn’t say the reason. She only says that Satoshi has something to do with it, and she marks the Houjou-family as a bunch of people with filthy, traitor’s blood. Probably because of the fact that both Satoko’s parents were in favour of the Dam, because of their jobs. I guess this also solves the Second Watanagashi-murder: Obaba arranged for someone to push the both of them off a cliff. This indeed seems right with the fact that Mion was involved in all of these murders.

Shion then decides to get impulsive again, when she openly mocks the Sonozaki-family and pledges her trust into Satoshi. Obaba then mentions Satoshi’s huge mistake, though she doesn’t mention the fact that he killed his aunt. After Shion’s rant is over, Mion displays how much influence Obaba has had on her, when she’s even willing to torture her own sister, with a straight face. Mion then says to Shion that both Kasai as the owner of the restaurant where she works are in the room next to theirs. As Shion has three people which she’s indebted to in the village, she has to remove three of her fingernails in order to repent for the two of them and Satoshi, otherwise, something’ll happen to them. One interesting thing which Mion mentions is the fact that Satoshi has yet to do anything to them. This seems to clash a bit with Obaba’s opinion.

Let’s ignore the following disgusting scenes, now shall we?

What follows is Kasai and the owner of the restaurant remaining unharmed, though the message Shion gets is to forget about Satoshi Houjou. When she goes to the toy shop, the stuffed animal is gone. Satoshi did manage to buy the stuffed animal after all, after Satoko’s birthday. It makes you wonder about the date, doesn’t it. It basically means that Satoko has had to endure some horrible birthdays, a few days after the Watanagashi, and its murders.

She then runs into Irie, who also finds out that she’s Shion, and not Mion. Oishi then runs into them. He seems to know about what happened in the Underground Shrine. He then takes Shion to the police station again, for another interrogation. Not because of the death of Satoshi’s aunt, but because of the disappearance of Satoshi himself. It seems that he disappeared one day after his aunt was killed. Later, Shion hears from Kasai that the real murderer of Satoshi’s aunt has been caught. It wasn’t Satoshi, it was a psychopath, trying to copycat the bizarre deaths. Then the episode ends.

Okay, this is what I think happened to Satoshi:
– He told his aunt about the closet, and that it was in good condition to be sold.
– He then walked to the closet, carrying the baseball bat and waited for his aunt to come, in order to bash her head in.
– He was planning to do this all along, and part of the plan was to run away afterwards. In the end, he couldn’t do the last part, so he stayed, hoping that nobody would discover him.
– When Mion had to repent for the three persons she was indebted to, she had to *** for each person she was indebted to. She ***-ed the first two on her own will, though she couldn’t do the third ***. Guards had to do it, against her will. (I’m trying not to mention the disturbing stuff with too much detail)
– Because of this, the first two, Kasai and the restaurant owner were let go of, and they remained fine. But because Shion didn’t have the guts to *** the third ***, she didn’t repent for Satoshi.
– Mion then kidnapped Satoshi, in order to perform the Watanagashi on him, put him in a plastic bag and dump him somewhere in a river.
– The Sonozaki-family then found an idiot, who they manipulated into thinking that he was the one who murdered Satoshi’s aunt, in order to cover up for the things Shion did, and make their name look good.

This theory, of course has some flaws:
– Why was Obaba so angry over Satoshi?
– Why was the murder of Satoshi’s aunt not supposed to happen? After all, Rika foresaw it. It had to happen. Still, why didn’t Rika foresee Satoshi’s death? Does performing the Watanagashi on them make them immune for it? Or because it wasn’t decided?
– Why did Satoshi drop his bat?
– How come the bat is perfectly fine in the first and the third arc? You would expect Satoshi to throw it away somewhere, not store it in his locker.
– Why do the creators remain cryptic about this? It could be because of the added mystery, but they also can be trying to divert the attention from something else.

In any case, I still find this theory better than the one in which a psychopath killed Satoshi’s aunt, while Satoshi was doing something bad something elsewhere. Because if it did happen like this:
– Why did Satoshi invite his aunt to look at the closet in the middle of the forest?
– Why did Satoshi head for the closet with a baseball bat in his hand and with an angry look on his face?
– What else happened for the fourth time?
– Why was Satoshi scared when he saw Oishi?

Okay, so the events of what happened during the fourth Watanagashi-murder are clear now, I believe. I think we’ll fast forward to the next Watanagashi for the next episode, or another event worth mentioning. In any case, the first two episodes were dedicated to explaining a bit about the third arc, I think the last two episodes of the arc will explain a few things about the second arc. Mainly who did it, and why she did it.

Memorable moment: Rika in prophet-mode again.

2 Responses

  1. Enz says:

    About Mion forcing Shion to go thru with the torture, she had to pull off a straight face because she is the heir to the Sonozaki and showing weakness, even to your own flesh and blood, is something the yakuza’s code/honour don’t take lightly. Mion even hinted/pleaded with Shion to go thru with the torture since it could have been far worse than the nails coming off.

  2. Juni says:

    Actually, I think this episode was a good example… rather than going over the top with these scenes, this has been the most effective one so far, because instead of being psychopathic about it, Mion just acted like she was eating breakfast or something.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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