[Disclaimer]: This entry might contain MINOR spoilers. However, while the analysis might push you to these minor 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!
Fuhaaa… Higurashi madness is finally back on the track! I wasn’t expecting so much traffic for my review. for this, thank you, readers, it made me feel that i wasn’t writing this for nothing ^^”.
Meh, anyway, as you can see with the title of this entry, it will be mainly based on deep and frying analysis on the Episode 1 : Reunion, digging up the details and hints which will probably have a critical role later on.
Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this ! (Talk about obvious, but better being cautious than being sorry later on)
Today, I will focus mainly on the following points :
- Scenes and Lyrics of the OP and ED
- The Nature of the “Hinamizawa Great Disaster”
- Random things, 2 legendary questions without any definite answers ! Rena’s Age (and in such extent, everyone else age) and Rika & Hanyuu, kissiiiinng !
EDIT : Bonus ! Little Talk about the so called “reversal” thing, and Link for Reversed OP2 !
Happy Rena’s Day, Everyone !
Insane レナレナレナの日 (read : renarenarena no hi) : “day of Renarenarena” fest 😄
Huh, why is that? well, here are some explanations (don’t consider me as a seasoned japanese reader/speaker, okay?) : today is the 07/07/07. 0 can be read as “rei”, and 7 as “nana”, so “reinana”.
Next, we just take out the final “na”, so reina.
In case you didn’t know, this pun was already present for 竜騎士07 / Ryukishi07 : while it is read often as “Ryukishi zero nana”, the true purpose of the number is indeed to be read as reinana, and so reina. The origin of this pun is a reference to Reina from Final Fantasy V (Ryukishi means Dragon Knight).
This is also the origin of Ryuuguu Rena (as a proof : a fanart of 7th expansion, ドラグアサルト（竜騎士レナ）- Dragon Assault (Dragon Knight Rena) ), which her original first name is in fact, Reina (礼奈). Read this TIPS “What’s with the name ‘Rena’?” for more insight.
Any given name for japanese native is never in Katana, except for pen names and surnames. you can then tell that Tomitake Jirou (富竹 ジロウ) isn’t his true first name either. A TIPS mentions this as well : Investigation Memo
Well then… thus, you have a huge spam of “rena/rena/rena”.
Much like how 1st march was considered as Mion’s day, 7th july, especially this year is an important day for the kaii-est character ever ^__^
Kaii Hime… kana kana?
isn’t she cute? ^^ ❤
Well then… that first random comment aside, shall we begin? Once again, don’t worry too much about spoilers, i only dig things that are shown, thus, the conclusions and hints are only from the anime material (and sometimes, the TIPS).
I. Scenes and Lyrics of the Opening and Ending
Note : I once again used Lyrics of the OP and ED by LiJianliang. Please refer to the Summary article.
the first thing to have many messages and meaning to me is no doubt the OP and ED. Unlike the OP1 and ED1 of the first season, which were only focalising on the aspect and mood, OP2 and ED2 have much more feelings, and substancial representation of the characters. This is the reason why I truthfully think that OP2 and ED2 are much more powerful and faithful to the series than OP1 and ED1 (of course, i love the 4 of them)
1) Opening :
the start is not really easy to grasp its full meaning. Hanyuu and Rika are shown as static and being blown by the wind. This pose pretty much make me think about one word : “memories”. Why is that? most likely because of the following shots of the 5 others characters.
- Rena, seen at her back, with a white shadow. This reminds me of a path of loneliness.
- Keiichi, seen with determination, though the second and closer shot is distorded. Sign of failure…
- Mion, seen with an uneasy and sad expression. i think it is related to her guilt for Shion, Satoshi and Satoko.
- Satoko, seen with an almost-daydreaming gaze. Her ni-ni is probably missing her a lot.
- Shion, seen with sadness but a slight impression of resolution. Her background is mirror to satoko, a bound easely understandable.
The lyrics during these scenes are really nailing their point : “Forget that the future will be smeared in blood again” is a reference to Rika, which will probably have to ignore the upcoming tragedies, so she will be able to fight against the fate. “if that soft wind begins to coil up” : basically, the wind represent change and kindness. if this factor is there, then… this a sign, for a better future. the fact that lyrics was said just after Keiichi is a direct reference for the miracle he has done in tsumihoroboshi, with his epithany and his sudden rememberance of the events in Onikakushi. The sign, being said during Satoko and Shion screening is also a great implication that the true intention of kindness will be granted.
“Run and Break free” : simply said, you can see it by yourself : Rika running like no tomorrow, in despair. She also trips,with absolutely NO sign of obstacle on her path, she is just running on the water. What i understand with this scene is that she is fighting against fate, but fate isn’t easely overcome. (“dash out from this too sad fate“)
Later, we see Rena, in sorrow, and erratic movement : Tsumihoroboshi incident and/or aftermath. the “flower of hell” mention is brilliant metaphor : basically, hell represents the madness and world of pain, the lyrics are of course pleading for the opposite. This is the absolute reference to Madness in Higurashi (with shots of a bloody cleaver, Sonozaki Torture Chamber, the shrine), and the flowers we have seen on the start with FEMALE characters (did you actually notice that keiichi had NO flower around?) are pretty much a symbol for them. But unlike the OP1, the flowers are in a good shape and blooming, they are NOT falling nor withering, which is the complete opposite, the reversal of the meaning : unlike OP1 which has eerie and heavy symbol of Death, the opposite for OP2 is of course Life.
I will not comment on Both woman and girl : their identities are hidden, and that isn’t without any purpose.
However, you can see that the lyrics insist on “don’t bloom there, don’t be entrangled”, which can mean that these 2 characters might be engulfed in Hell. (that would fit the little girl expression, a mix of sadness and wrath)
The next Scene is probably the most powerful of the whole OP. sadly enough… this is minagoroshi spoiler, i can’t explain you now, but this is the very symbol of Rika’s life. (Her determination is the biggest point to note)
And finally, the OP ends on a casual scene of the group, Rika waving at someone. of course, i think most of you all guessed that person is Hanyuu. But who is she anyway? well… expect explanations only at mid Yakusamashi or early Minagoroshi.
2) Ending :
Rika, looking afar, with sorrowful and daydreaming expression. There aren’t many comments possible for this, i think you already got the picture earlier.
“Pile soil on your corpse“… it is hard to determine to which character it is referring. i see 2 possibilities : either someone for Rika who is dead in each arc, or Rika herself, burying her dear friends, since most of the time, they die before she does.
“Even if that was forbidden, There was an incompletely hidden temptation” : this make me thinks about the fate and the will of breaking it, which appear to be impossible, and thus forbidden.
” In the bliss of your innocent gaze” : most likely, Rika’s sad feeling about her friends, who are innocent, not aware of the incoming tragedies… As you could see with Himatsubushi and Reunion, Rika doesn’t want to die, and be happy with her friends, so…
Just like I said in my summary, the wheel reminds me of fate : the wheel is black on white background, its spinning speed is constant, and doesn’t flinch any erratic movement, nor does it change the rotation.Lots of impression of unbreakable clock.
“Why does Sin exist? Why does Punishment exist?” : heavy link with fate, why you can’t fight against, why there is always this kind of punishment from nowhere.
The first thing which came in my mind is of course Onikakushi : but instead, their positions are much less “dead” like. Flowers are once again present, in a good shape, despite their expressions. The blood has been swapped with red shades, another dual meaning between life and Death (intense color, but also color of Blood)
” The head of the canal invited the very white ” : hard to understand it… canal might refer to the transition between Life and Death (lots of metaphor with “Tunnel of light” etc).
Shion and Satoko, hugging each other. Their expressions are comfort, calm and blissful softness. However, i also see something as an attempt to wait, and heal their respective pain from the disappearance of Satoshi, especially the fact satoko was once again clinging on her.
“And infinitely continuing darkness” : this refers to the tragedies from the fate (represented by the black background too).
“Just about everything might seem vivid And disappear soon ” : it is up to you to determine what it does mean, but i think this represents the world, being meaningless for Rika after the tragedies, and disappearing soon… for the next one.
II. The Nature of “Hinamizawa Great Disaster”
Well then, Reunion gave a LOT of hints which are extremely important for the future. but before entering in much development, here is a summary of what happens :
June 1983, very soon after the Watanagashi Festival, the very next day after Irie’s and Rika’s deaths, A volcano activity is detected. This event leads to a tragic aftermath : the whole village of Hinamizawa is completely wiped out. The SDF (Japanese Self Defense Force) is called on the sinister location, and secured quickly the area.
This Disaster happens in :
- Tatarigoroshi-hen, with the only survivor Maebara keiichi
- Himatsubushi-hen, with absolutely no survivor
- Tsumihoroboshi-hen, with absolutely no survivor
- Reunion (It isn’t really considered as Tsumihoroboshi), with the only survivor Ryuuguu Rena
However, the Disaster does NOT happen in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. we can deduce that it DOES happen in Onikakushi-hen, considering that absolutely no major “madness case” was detected in onikakushi outside of keiichi’s and Rika’s death is a clock, just like Tomitake and Takano.
Doesn’t it look strange to you? Fate is always on the move, and it is hard to believe that in 2 chapters, especially that they are alike, the Disaster doesn’t happen. but what are the differences in fact?
Think a bit about this before reading the rest
you found it? Bravo !
well… everything is related to the biggest mistery of Higurashi (aside of the culprit) :
In other words :
To put it bluntly, Rika had peculiar deaths in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen.
Unlike what you might have seen in the anime, Rika does NOT stab herself to death in Watanagashi-hen, this was a mistake by DEEN. In fact, Rika was TORTURED to death by Shion.
This is why Rika knew that Shion was a complete sadist in her madness mode, so she knew she should leave the stage by herself in Meakashi-hen, instead of getting through the pain galore once again.
If we take the ending scrolls of the game, it is indeed confirmed that lots of characters are ALIVE and WELL way after the Shion madness incident, while on the other chapters, hinamizawa is simply obliterated.
That means : the Disaster does only happen if Rika dies in a certain manner (and timing maybe?) : Watanagashi-ed.
This statement proves that the Disaster is absolutely not natural, and of course, this episode shows it well with the various inconsistancies Akasaka and Ooishi discovered.
so, to summary :
- Rika has an absolute link with the Disaster.
- the Disaster is NOT a result of a Volcano activity. The reason why the government used this lie is unknown.
Various suspicion about bacteriological origins may be true after all.
You can tell that the goverment or a really powerful Organization is controlling the case. However, the reason(s), the purpose(s) and the mean(s) are too shady to determine exactly the nature of the Disaster itself. (so, whe only know “When” and “Where“, but not “Why“, “What“, “Who” and “How“)
Rika is most likely the most mysterious entity, aside of the culprit/cause of higurashi. As you might have seen in the previous chapters, Rika looks like she had schyzophrenia, double personality. However, her “normal self” appear to aknowledge some things -if not everything- done by her “black self” (you can see this in Watanagashi and Meakashi)
In case you didn’t read these TIPS yet, I suggest you to read the following ones, which are in fact, some sample of Rika’s Mother Diary, talking about her daughter. Of course, fear not for spoilers, these TIPS are within Season 1 range, in Himatsubushi-Hen to be more accurate. These might help you to understand who is truely “Black Rika”. Mom’s Diary – Mom’s Diary II – Mom’s Diary III.
In Tsumihoroboshi, it is blatantly shown that Rika knows what happened in the other arcs, and knew what to do in some of the arcs, despite her helpless body.
At first, with Himatsubushi-hen, when Rika foretold what will happen in Hinamizawa, one might think that Rika is able to predict the future.
However, things are improbable, because she knows what happens in another chapter (Onikakushi) while, plot wise, they aren’t related at all (Tsumihoroboshi). Also, in Himatsubushi-hen, she wasn’t able to say the specific date, she says “the next day of watanagashi, or maybe later then, i will die”. That means she KNOWS that there are many possibilites for the date of her death.
Thus, she perfectly knows what should happen in some cases, despite the “butterfly/random” effects between the chapters. Several Theories might be crafted with this :
- Rika can “slide” between “dimensions”
- Rika is able to “live” several dimensions at once, who doesn’t seem to happen in the same moment
- Rika is able to return in the time
- Other Theories might be possible, but harder to dig up
The problem with the last theory is most likely the fact that if she can return in the time, she could be able to prevent things by freezing the time, and being able to get help. or is it activated only when she dies?
As for the “slider” theories, the problem is most likely the universe itself : dimensions, unlike reverting time back must be considered as parallel. thus, it is just like in “Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” : between dimensions, people might be looking the same (and maybe their souls), but the sitation/context isn’t the same.
Maybe Hanyuu is related to it? well, you will see.
But as you can see, Rika is the source of the Mystery, but also the Key to shatter the frigging Fate.
That said… It appears that Rika is unfortunately unable to take advantage of her “power”… Whatever the theory we chose, that doesn’t prevent her to be… a little girl… How is it possible for a young girl like her to persuade people that she will be killed? Especially in “such manner” : Watanagashi-style. This point is extremely important, because, as you may know, Rika is not only the miko, but also the messenger, and even considered as the Reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama. This is the main reason why people get freaked out after Hinamizawa Disaster, since most “survivor” or ancient inhabitants would think this is the punishment of Oyashiro-sama, because humans dared killing its avatar/reincarnation. (The Manga “Onisarashi-hen” is a perfect example of this case. Also, you should read this TIPS, which is the aftermath of Tatarigoroshi-hen Disaster : Great Hinamizawa Disaster)
Things are extremely complicated… This is a trial of hell, litteraly.
This Fate of June 1983 seems to be unbreakable… Yet a hero stood and saved his friends… only for a few hours…
Now… Doom is really unevitable? Will everyone be happy?
This is your decision to witness the possible arrival of a miracle…
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai has Begun.
Like i stated before, 2 legendary questions popped due the episode 1 :
- Rena’s age (and in extent, the other group characters age)
well, let’s begin with the first question, shall we?
First question : How old is Rena ! ?
First, we must consider the Time Lapse range. As Akasaka said, it has been nearly 30 years he didn’t come to Hinamizawa. but just like i said in the summary, Akasaka’s last visit was during Himatsubushi-hen PAST, so 5 years prior the “present”, thus in 1978.
That means that 2007 is the latest year possible (29 years). if we consider that 25 is helf between 20 and 30, it is hard to consider anything below 25 as “near of 30”. thus, the range i considered is 25-29 years after 1978, thus 2003-2008. We can take Demon’s Script as reference (so summer 2005), however, Reunion is NOT tsumihoroboshi per se, so there isn’t ANY guarantee the time is the same (just like in watanagashi and meakashi : some days aren’t the same, though the same actions are done).
but let’s take 2005 anyway, that’s 22 years after the present days (27 years after himatsubushi).
the minimum for Rena with 2005 is obviously 35 years old. why? it has been stated numerous times that Rena might be a middle schooler. However, Ryukishi never confirmed, and NEVER gives us dates for character birthday. this is completely a foggy field, and we can only guess with the hints.
OTOH, in other places of the novel and PS2 games, the story implies also that Rena and Keiichi are high schooler, around 15-16, while Mion is 16-17. As you can see, it is pretty messy to determine a correct age for them, especially the lack of apparent hints (their bodies are just a way to determine some age range, but nothing really accurate).
So, We can set her age range : around 13-17. (17 is a bit stretchy, since Mion would be really near of getting into University, but that was already set up for her. she might be 17 to be 18 in the present year of 1983.)
To summary a bit :
- 2003 (min range. 25 years after Himatsubushi) : Youngest Age possible considering the minimum of 13 : 33 years old
- 2005 (Canon Year for Demon’s Script : 27 years later) : Between 35 and 39 years old
- 2007 (max range. 29 years after Himatsubushi) : Oldest Age possible, considering the maximum of 17 : 45 years old
Not too bad for her late thirties/early forties right? ❤
As for my opinion, i would hardly see her below 15 years old, considering
- her physical traits in various media and manga,
- her strength (since she was able to hack lot of… “things”, despite the Cleaver wasn’t really that sharp to begin with)
- various “wise” moments (despite her overal “kaii” behaviour and personality)
- her reasoning abilites.
All these points are much more obvious in the manga and novels. The serious parts involving Rena in the Manga are more evident for statement 3 and 4. (especially end Watanagashi-hen and the whole tsumihoroboshi)
So 15-16 years old in the “present” is good enough. With Demon’s Script year, that will make her 37-38 Years old.
One might argue she is way too physically young… it is possible, OTOH, we have another “MILF!” : Sonozaki Akane, who is certainely in her late thirties. ah… Anime fantasy ^^
Second question : Did Rika and Hanyuu kiss in the ED ! ?
First, no don’t consider me as a hentai yaro, i just don’t give a crap about if it is true or not (especially that this is absolutely no canon anyway… much like the numerous DEEN arts of the Sonozaki twincest)
Here are the screencaps :
Basically, the problem are the hands, and you can tell they did on purpose to split the opinions among the fans. (i can easely imagine studio DEEN, grinning “you didn’t like our first arts? okay, here you go, but it is up to you to determine the meaning of this ” )
however, i think they did, because of :
- The angle of their heads
- Rika was blushing
but meh, fantasy is always something in the debate !
BONUS STAGE !
Well then, it has been a while it was already stated, since trailer 2 (with Naraku no Hana played in it), and of course, we knew that OP2 had various points from Reversed OP1.
What is Reversed OP1 you ask? basically, it is “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni”, by Shimemiya Eiko, played backwards. Lots of people at that time were wondering why there were so much of non sense chorus. While playing the reversed OP1, they could also hear words such like “aishiteru” (i love you), “Onii-chan” and “Nigera nain da” (I can’t escape/run away)
Youtube Link (I’m sorry for the extremely creepy picture… i don’t have any other link for Reversed OP1… or i’m rather too lazy for this XD)
If you are interested, there is also Nageki No Mori, PS2 game OP in reverse mode :
What is the deal then? well, like i said, it was kinda obvious to notice the “reversed chorus” from OP1 in OP2.
So finally got my hands on the Reversed OP2
oh well, another random thing anyway ^^
*pants* geh… that was my first “deep and frying analysis” for Higurashi… i’m kinda exhausted… 2 hours on it.
oh well, i hope it didn’t bore you too much… yeah, the wall of text might have crited you for 9999 damage XD.
I will probably do the same thing for the next episodes (Summary entry, and then, analysis entry)
Well then, once again, have a nice Rena’s Day !!! and be sure to stay tuned with Klash’s Overload Babbling of Higurashi ! Thanks again for reading this !