Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 4 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments

[Disclaimer]: This entry might contain MILD spoilers. However, while the analysis might push you to these mild spoilers, NO foretelling spoiler is present. Therefore, please follow the same guideline, and understand that any spoiler can just ruin this critical part of the story for any reader. (NO spoiler will be tolerated. Any borderline hint either. Don’t even try to test me, instant edit/delete might fall without your permission. You have been WARNED). Good reading!
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Well well… DEEN surely gave us a rollercoaster episode. Various important things are lurking in it, and I believe that grasping everything will be a bit hard. However, I hope I will give you the proper glimpse about the truth, which becomes clearer and clearer. This is the reason why this Analysis Spoiler “Scale” is considered MILD this time.
Fear not, I will still stick on the anime material as usual. The Mild level is however not really recommanded to read if you didn’t think a bit on the said episode beforehand.
That said, here are the previous Analyses. Don’t hesitate to read them at your leisure, if you didn’t already: [Reunion], [Oni Gokko], [Muryoku]
Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this!

Today, I will focus mainly on the following points:

  1. Rika, quart
  2. Satoko’s situation
  3. Irie Kyousuke
  4. “Janitor” Henchmen

No random things this week ! ^^”

[Analysis]

I. Rika, quart

Well, much like the other analyses, Rika will be the first subject to debate. I will focus on Rika’s mindset, thus the way how Rika was thinking and “planning” her actions for Yakusamashi-hen until now.

As you already saw in this episode, Rika was completely caught off guard by this slight change when she was preparing herself for the ceremony. But how so? well, it is indeed obvious : from the very beginning, Rika was really skeptical. While Tsumihoroboshi-hen turned differently, she didn’t pay it much credit, since Keiichi’s epiphany was a miracle, and this is pretty much well explained in Kanon : Miracles are named like this, since they don’t happen. (oh well, they aren’t supposed to do)

Simply put : Rika was completely pessimist, and much like what I wrote before, her mind is completely jaded due her past hopeless experiences.

Now then, what does this “cut thread” change imply, back when she prepared herself? Rika understood that “nothing will change” is her OWN FAULT. Everything was in her mind, and then, she could do something, since the result might change. Thus, she wasted an horrible amount of time, crippled by her own hopelessness.

How huge? Well, let’s try to determine “when” Rika “came back” from Tsumihoroboshi-hen. As I said, the power to revert back in time isn’t really almighty, and looks like it has a big toll. As we could observe on the first part of Yakusamashi-hen (the episode 2), it appears Rika couldn’t go prior a certain period of time around the 9th June 1983.
How can we determine this? Her first discussion with Hanyuu. Basically, Rika is commenting on the repeating Time and the World, but she was also surprised about Rena and Keiichi. This doesn’t make sense to talk about this, if it was way after the “reset”. Considering Himatsubushi-hen (5 years prior the current events), her ability (or Hanyuu’s) to come back in the time either wither, or can’t be used with the same intensity, considering both events. (Rika being able to foretell the incidents and her death in 1978, and the fact she returned only around the 9th june 1983)
The details cannot be deducted from there, thus, there isn’t any guarantee Rika didn’t do it on purpose, being tired and jaded to stick in a “past” impossible to act in. That said, this information can be invaluable: If it is correct, Rika won’t be able to keep this cycle endlessly, and the urgency will either create a miracle, or seal doom on her.

That said, let’s be back at the “cut thread” problem. Basically, Rika returned around the 9th june 1983. However, if we take the TIPS into account, the Watanagashi Festival is around the 20-22th June. While it looks like Rika wasted her time, you should pay attention to a peculiar event : In episode 3, Rika fell in that pitfall in PURPOSE. As you have seen in this series, Rika isn’t really the type of child who get fooled easely, despite her apparent moeness and “naivete”. If we add her ability to come back in the time, there is no way she would ignore this.
This is only my vision of this thing: I believe Rika tried to change the outcome of the future, with rather meaningless and random actions. As I wrote before, the “time” isn’t repeating itself perfectly, and various events change, depending of some factors, such as luck/randomness. This might be a hint that despite her jaded and dramatic condition, Rika still has hope, somehow.

Thus, Rika noticed this point, and tries to desperately grab that tiny hope. Unfortunately, this change also created another : Rika was forced to stay with the women. Yes it is indeed a change, if we consider Onikakushi-hen for example. (She was able to hang around her friends, and even participate the activities) This irony just stresses her more on the urgency.

Something which is REALLY interesting now : Rika desperately ran, searching for Tomitake and Takano.
However, she asked if they already ENTERED in the storage room. That means the fate cannot be changed if they screw around this sacred place, thus both are killed (this is ironically why many higurashi fans called Tomitake as the “clock”, and thus, being the alarm for the “everything will turn bad…”). This also demonstrate that there is NO specific time for their intrusion. (In Onikakushi-hen, Tomitake was there during the ceremony, and was even taking some pictures of Rika)
It is however not possible to determine if the “intrusion” was the “no turning back” point, or the cause of their death. If Rika knew who/how/why they have been killed, everything would be much easier.
Why didn’t she follow Tomitake then? Much like the previous times, she hasn’t the possibility as the shrine maiden. Despite she could run like mad and meet Tomitake, the fact she didn’t follow him, and the women said “does she go to the restroom?” pretty much imply that despite the ceremony is finished, the festival isn’t. (Remember that her performance doesn’t end the festival. As shown in Onikakushi-hen, the villagers perform the “watanagashi” with the cotton)

And unfortunately, Fate is back in its full force. This event just kills the little remnant of her hope, and she plainly gives up, despite the tremendous start. (as i said in the previous Analysis, Yakusamashi-hen had really a “nice scenario”) And as usual, the spiral of despair keeps going, as Rika is witnessing Satoko, struggling against the fate, which Rika herself couldn’t undo.

II. Satoko’s Situation

Being the closest person to Rika, Satoko was able to sense the danger lurking around Rika.
Now, what CAN she do?

Nothing much, just like what Rika sadly says :

  • Her friends aren’t really worried about what she said
  • She doesn’t ask help from Shion
  • Rika isn’t cooperative with the information
  • Irie died
  • The police isn’t aware of anything, since Kumatani died

Satoko is then alone against this unknown enemy, and things aren’t really pretty… Much like what she concluded in this episode, she has no other choice than protect Rika herself. But her abilities aren’t sufficient.
She has set an alarm, alright, now what? That doesn’t prevent the aggressors to attack them.

The traps? it is true that Satoko can create extremely effective traps, and that they can EVEN KILL if she wanted to. as fun fact, here are her “trap lessons” in Tatarigoroshi-hen, you can read these 3 TIPS without any fear of spoiler of course : Satoko’s Trap Lecture : Novice Level - Intermediate LevelAdvanced Level
As you can see… she can be much more fearsome than she currently is…

However, Satoko cannot really craft traps from nowhere, especially if they are more elaborated than what she usually does. Also, Time isn’t a luxury for her, and as you can see, she couldn’t have prevented anything earlier, since the enemy acted quite steadly and within a really tight scheldule. As for the effectiveness of the Traps, nothing can be really set in stone, especially considering her current state: she begins to be desperate and quite stressed.

The villagers? oh well… I think episode 3 was enough about her and them… And the matter would be much worse if Rika openly said that there isn’t anything.

Considering the preview for Episode 5, fate is already sealed…

III. Irie Kyousuke

The maidcon doctor passed away in this episode, and much like what it was expected from Tatarigoroshi-hen, things are repeating themselves. However, this Chapter pretty much proves that Irie was killed, and didn’t do any suicide. Much like Rika, Tomitake and Takano, Irie is probably connected with the disaster, and then get killed each time, EXCEPT in Watanagashi and Meakashi. Strange isn’t it?
For your instance: It is indeed confirmed that Irie died in each arc the Great Hinamizawa Disaster Occurs.

  1. In the Meakashi-hen ending scroll, it is shown that Irie is alive, which should be also the case in Watanagashi-hen
  2. In Tatarigoroshi-hen, the case is blatantly shown.
  3. In Himatsubushi-hen, Akasaka and Ooishi noted both Irie and Rika death
  4. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, the TIPS Demon’s Script confirmed that Irie died in the game. Reunion did the same for the anime
  5. We can then make the assumption (much like the link between Rika and the Disaster) : If the Disaster happened in Onikakushi-hen, so Irie died too, by a weird suicide.

But since Irie doesn’t die when the Disaster doesn’t happen, there is no doubt that the culprits most likely obliterate the doctor before creating the Disaster.

 

Let me get straight : considering the timing each time he is killed (In both Tatarigoroshi and Yakusamashi, Irie dies the very same day Rika is killed/attacked), there is no doubt that he knows something related to the Disaster.
There are BIG chances that Irie knows what the Disaster is “hiding”, thus he probably knows why the culprit(s) want to obliterate the village (not necessarely the motive, but the very reason/reasoning for this)

Considering his ability to check each inhabitants, the “biological” theory begins to be really frightening, considering three strange points :

  • In Onikakushi-hen, Irie gave a SHOT to Keiichi. A shot for a cold… wha? Also, Keiichi FAKED the cold, thus, it is much worse, since Irie should have noticed this. This double point is really fishy
  • In the same chapter, Irie asked Mion and Rena to restrain/sooth Keiichi while he is coming. Note that he was with some “janitor” henchmen.
  • In Tatarigoroshi-hen, when Keiichi was puzzled that everyone say he was in the festival and confessed that he killed Teppei, Irie suspected something as soon as Keiichi said that Teppei was still alive. Considering how quick he was in his judgement to deal with Keiichi, it is really troubling.

These points aren’t really a coincidence, with the fact Irie dies in each chapter when the Great Hinamizawa Disaster occurs.
Who is he then? A pawn? An associate? Nothing really sure. However, the chances he is involved in this case are rising quite easely…

Some point might be useful later : Satoko is the subject of some nutriement experiment. Since the Irie’s hospital Institute is the only modern medical facility around, the experiment must be from them.

Now think about it…

  1. Irie gave a shot for a FAKE COLD to Keiichi, in Onikakushi-hen
  2. Irie was coming for Keiichi, who was obviously in an advanced stage of madness
  3. Irie was really quick with keiichi’s paranoia in Tatarigoroshi-hen

Considering these above points, it is POSSIBLE that Irie is also “helping” Satoko.
Rika is also fishy since she insists that Satoko cannot neglect it (despite being an experiment), and had already obvious link with the Disaster, and the 3 other “clock” dead people. If we also mention that Rika was roaming around with a strange syringe for Shion (Watanagashi-hen, Meakashi-hen), and for Rena (Tsumihoroboshi-he/Reunion), as the purpose to make them feel better, things are getting clearer and clearer.

Of course, everything turns quite pointless if the “biological” source is false. But considering the various hints here and there, this path begins to be more and more the fittest.

IV. “Janitor” Henchmen

These guys are really suspicious, as everyone might expect, ever since Onikakushi-hen.
Let’s summary what they have done so far :

  • Keiichi thought that the white van tried to run over him. There isn’t any possible way to determine if it is true, considering his state.
  • The henchmen intercepted Keiichi when he was completely freaked out by Rena. They stunned him, and he was sent back at home.
  • Still in Onikakushi-hen, they were accompagnying Irie
  • In Himatsubushi-hen, they are the culprits of the kidnapping of the grand-son of the Minister, involved with the Hinamizawa Dam Project.
  • In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, they have a rather minor appearance

The bold part is extremely important : the henchmen stopped keiichi, who was erratically fleeing, but they were also with Irie, to restrain him.
Something is sure: they have something to do the weird events around.

However their presence around the institute, while Irie was found dead, strongly implies they did it.
As i wrote earlier, considering Irie’s personality and his relationship with Satoko, there is no way he could do that suicide. They are the perfect culprits.

How? Things are getting huge and really confusing. Let’s summary what we could get :

  • In Himatsubushi-hen, it is strongly implied by Ooishi and Akasaka that these men are WELL trained, much above the simple “yakuza” such like the Sonozaki
  • In Onikakushi-hen, they are under the orders of Irie
  • In this chapter, one man is shown having a suppressor. I would hardly believe that anyone can get these easely in that period of time, not to mention its usefulness for only specific case : assasination and the like

Basing on what we know from Reunion, we can suppose that these guys are trained much like soldiers, and serve a very powerful Organization or the Governement itself.
That said, the fact they erased Irie is troubling, since they were associates before. Thus, we can expect that Irie wasn’t really cooperative with the head of this Organization, or there is a change of heart. Various things might happen, and Irie might be a traitor as well. There isn’t anything enough to build a solid theory for this.

You can see there are too many holes to fully determine their roles or where lies their loyalty.
However, there are obviously other actors in that Organization/Governement operation.

That said, we can certainly conclude that these guys’ mission is to help X persons on a secret mission, and erasing any evidence, and any witness as well.
Still… Why do they have to kill Rika…?

It is true that Rika is the Miko and her death with the watanagashi-style can create a major ruckus/riot, especially if we consider this madness around hinamizawa. But since they are already covering this matter with that “volcano activity”, why not killing everything instantly?

There are too many holes, and i guess going further will be more confusing than resolving anything else…

As for why they were jacking this Padlock, which was locking the acces to this Broadcast Building, it is also something extremely strange… disrupting the communications? HQ? Observatory Post? oh well… wild theories…

…This Fate of June 1983 seems to be unbreakable…
…oblivious to anyone…
…a precious friend will struggle alone…

Now… Doom is really inevitable? Will everyone be happy?
This is your decision to witness the possible arrival of a miracle…

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai continues…

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My my… this episode was really difficult to “cook”, without being too “generous” in hints… I must admit, it is really hard to not spoil anything, and emulating an “anime-only watcher” Point of View isn’t something easy either. That said, I hope this Analysis will give you as much insight as the previous ones have done (well, IF they did, that is…)

No random things this week, there isn’t really anything to talk about, and The article is quite long enough already ^^”

Once again, don’t hesitate to comment this article, or starting to debate about the points.
*tired* well… another Klash’s Overload Babbling of Higurashi finally done…

See you next week for the end of Yakusamashu-hen : 雛見沢大災害 – Hinamizawa Daisaigai – The Great Hinamizawa Disaster. Quite self explanatory heh…^^”

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9 Responses to “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 4 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments”


  1. 1 FlareKnight July 29, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Well I’m curious to see what goes down next week. Since people said the preview was pretty spoiler almost glad it was left off the sub. Suppose the one thing I’m considering is Satoko’s traps. Seemed like she was spending a lot of time before school out in the yard. Sure it’s possible she was only setting up the alarm. But if you’re going to make an alarm wouldn’t you want to take the next step in making sure you can do something if you get alerted?

    She had the time to go visit the Doctor after she left Rika. True she might’ve just gone on after that, but we didn’t see her in school after that. On the other hand with the police apparently going to be involved maybe she wouldn’t take the step for traps. Plus I’m completely ignoring how long it takes to plan traps and set them up so that’s that. But if she spent the rest of the day and then fell asleep waiting for the cops she might have something ready. Could just be my hope for something to happen to help them even if it’s a dire situation. Maybe it’s just remembering those Home Alone movies. All Satoko really needs is an iron, paint buckets, ooh the blow torch was good too, tars with nails.

    Guess we’ll find out what happens soon. Even if they can’t survive I hope they put up a fight and something can happen to get Rika to give her best effort once again.

  2. 2 David Johnston July 29, 2007 at 3:07 am

    You know what? I don’t think that “cold” really was fake. I think he really did feel sick. Consider that the frontrunning explanation as of the start of the second series is some kind of disease, and that Rika tried to stop delusory people with some kind of injection, and that Satoko has to inject herself as often as a diabetic for an obviously bogus reason, and Rika pushes her _hard_ to not slack off on those injections. So given the indications that a disease is involved, doesn’t it stand to reason that Keiichi after his infection actually feels feverish as his immune system tries to fight it off? Note that Keiichi’s actual hallucinations only start after his day off from school. Before then, his paranoia is simply based on the legitimately suspicious behaviour of the girls.

  3. 3 kgptzac July 29, 2007 at 3:23 am

    allow me to be a bit skeptical. I think you have implied that either you played the game or in other way learned the true deal with the “government” conspiracy and such; so have I. Although I hail for your effort of writing this analysis for this Chapter as being original, but still, there are much “detuctive reasoning” of yours can only be formed with prior knowledge of Minagoroshi and Matsuribayashi hen.

    IMO you are giving spoilers out without readers, or perhaps even yourself noticing it. I have no intention belittling your work here and on the contrary, I think it is very informing. But still, you should inform your readers that you, as a writer, have prior knowledge of Minagoroshi/Matsuribayashi hen as you penned this blog entry. A spoiler achives its worst effect when people read thru it and not realizing it being a spoiler.

    Anyway, thank you for listening. I hope you don’t delete this comment as I am only here to make a suggestion of something I consider critical.

  4. 4 kgptzac July 29, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Hmm… I might not have been clear with myself with the last comment. I indeed have seen the spoiler notice on top of this entry, and what I tried to express was a necessity stating you played the game or read the spoiler/research etc.

    I apologize being a bit paranoied… I become a czar-ish person with spoiler for shows like Higurashi since the best way to get an answer for everything is from the motion pictures themselves.

  5. 5 klashikari July 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

    @DadivJ : That really depend of how you interpret what keiichi said and reacted. He was extremely shocked that Rena eavesdropped his discussion with Ooishi. Also, being spaced out like he was, it is a bit hard to really claim if he had really a cold (well if he really do think he has).

    @kgptzac : Don’t worry, your comment isn’t far from the truth.
    As I stated many times on my higurashi articles, I was indeed already spoiled, and got information through Minagoroshi and Matsuribayashi.

    However, despite the ability to “push people” to things that might “lead” them too nicely on the truth, that doesn’t really mean what i’m saying is the solid truth either.
    Much like what i wrote in the end, I tried my best to “emulate” an anime-only watcher POV.

    That said, the “governement conspiracy” theory was something I had in mind since the very first time i finished Tsumihoroboshi and read the Demon’s Script. Granted, i believe this is something pretty solid since Reunion and that most people would agree, much like i tried to emphasis in the first analysis.
    Something which was really bugging me, and checking Himatsubushi-hen back was reinforcing the multiple link i was able to to at that period, and now.

    It is indeed easier to get links while knowing the reasons/causes/culprits beforehand, but it doesn’t really give an ultimate approach, if you are starting to determine what is the meaning of X element ^^”

    But frankly enough, i believe that most of this article, if not all, was made without any Minagoroshi or Matsuribayashi material involved. Yakusamashi-hen, along with Reunion is really an explosive coktail of various golden hints, which have many messages to get through of them.

  6. 6 Exilon July 29, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Wow, this analysis made me jump out of my chair saying “OOOH so that’s it!” because I figured out something important, that contributes to one of the most commom mysteries of Higurashi… ^_^

    Very good analysis, though some deducting from Rika’s power to travel back in time is a little weird (And so I’m guessing it’s information revealed in Minagoroshi or Matsuribayashi). I’m guessing, though, that, since many things are random, that power as a random factor too, and so, the date where she comes back to may vary.

    Good job with the analysis!

  7. 7 David Johnston July 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Yes, it looks when you first watch the episode like Keiichi’s only reason for staying home is because Rena threw a scare into him, and if Rena hadn’t done that he might have come to school even with a not-terribly serious seeming fever. But when he’s reluctant to go to school, running a bit of a temperature is perfect excuse to take a day off…while also explaining why Irie gave him that injection in the first place.

  8. 8 Rose May 8, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I’ve been watching nothing but the anime, (I don’t have access to the game) and one of my biggest questions is “How did Irie die in Minagoroshi-hen?”
    In the anime, they say the “plan will go on as expected tonight” and Okonogi says “That was why I was here on standby”. After that it shows Irie, scared, asking “What do you mean?”
    Does this mean they shot him, or could he have been rounded up like everyone else and gassed?

  9. 9 klashikari May 8, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Remember how Irie died in Tatarigoroshi-hen and Yakusamashi-hen?
    Kuma reported to Ooishi that Irie “commit suicide” by an overdosis of narcotic.

    Considering that Kuma reported there wasn’t any trace of assault or violence, I believe the cup of tea Okonogi served him was filled with narcotic, hence sealing his demise.
    As reported in Himatsubushi-hen, Irie dies each time the disaster is executed.


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