Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 2 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments

[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!
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“Just as Planned! Muahahaha” [/off Yagami Light] Alright, Higurashi is really back on the track, and this episode, despite its light-hearted aspect, was also rich in depth for the future events.

Much like my Analysis for Episode 1, I will write up several things interesting from Episode 2, which can gives various hints, and a better understanding of the plot development itself.

Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this !

Today, I will focus mainly on the following points :

  1. Rika, bis
  2. The relationship between Shion and Satoko
  3. Keiichi and the incidents of the Watanagashi Festival
  4. Random things. Tag, or “how this childish game can be tactical” and Irie’s Maid Mania and something else…

[Analysis]

I. Rika, bis

The episode is really straight forward and pretty much explains the question I submitted the last time about Rika. There is almost no doubt that Rika is able to go back in the time.

I can “claim” this statement, since she used the word “REMEMBER” and “FORGET“, which are strong verbs, implying : you recall what happened before, or you don’t recall anymore about something which happened before. Also, her discussion in the beginning of the episode implies strongly that the time and world are “reset”.

Yes, she can “control” the time somehow. But as you can see, there are limits, or else, the story would be already solved from a long time. Let me get straight : it appears that while Rika can travel back in the time, it doesn’t seem that she is able to freeze it, nor able to “see” through of it.

Why you ask? The major hint here is most likely EVERY chapter : Rika is NOT able to tell what will happen. Rather, since she seems to have lived some chapters several times, it does give her the chance to predict what character will do in a certain extent. So until things happen, she cannot act, since she doesn’t know what will happen, and how things would go if she does a really slight different action (That is basically the butterfly effect : any slight difference in parallel universe/occurance can drastically change the outcome. Much like a Snowball effect)

How can I be certain of that? Well, it is a bit obvious : If Rika was able to see the future, or “choose which period/chapter she want to go”, she could be able to prevent things. Example : she could be able to say to Keiichi about what happened in Hinamiza, in a specific manner so he wouldn’t go paranoid nor psycho in Onikakushi-hen.

But she CAN’T. Many events are “canon” for every chapter, and there is no way to determine “which” thing can “trigger” a said “disaster“, until Rika herself experimented it. (Example : Shion going nuts in both Watanagashi and Meakashi). Also, as you can see, Rika isn’t always there, and despite of this, some things happen beyond her control (the biggest example is the way how Keiichi learns about the incidents, which is completely independent from her actions). That proves she cannot determine in “which chapter she will be” (and there are probably more “scenari” than the 6 chapters we were able to get through until now)

Despite the “limits”, this gorgeous power seems rather convenient, however, just like I told you last time : Although her ability to retain what happened before is extremely precious, that doesn’t increase/improve her “physical” abilities nor her possibilities. That said, there might be a lot of questions due this power now confirmed. Let’s see if I can cover all of them (for the moment)

 

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Q
: Why is Rika unable to avoid her death, since she seem to have got through of it much more time that the story seemed to show?

A : I think I will borrow Sushi-Y’s analogy here : Usually in a RPG, there is a checkpoint before a really though Battle/Event. If you die, you will go back to this “checkpoint” (that is basically the “reset”). However, what happens if you go through the battle, while the screen go suddenly black with fuzzy sound?
Another analogy, from KJ1980 this time : Even if you can “reboot” the time, are you able to tell who killed you while you were asleep?

Basically, Rika was incapacited, and was most likely made unconscious when she got assaulted by her aggressor(s). Thus, there is no way she can know who killed her, despite her ability to go back in the time. The sole exception is of course Shion, since she tortured her to death, thus Rika was conscious and knew that if Shion goes crazy, she better gotta kill herself if she fails at stopping her.

 

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Q : Even though she can’t act directly since there isn’t any clue what will happen, why can’t she prevent “clock” events, such like Tomitake and Takano Death?

A : There is absolutely no way that she can do anything for them, since she is the miko of the village. Rika has the duty to stay during the whole festival, especially for the ceremony. Thus, she cannot help them, and of course, even if she told them what will happen to them, or to someone else, chances that she got listened are really low, if not, inexistent.
As for Akasaka’s wife and the murders… It is even worse since she is 5 years younger… even Akasaka didn’t believe her. So, how people could believe or help Rika, while she is so young? Also, most -if not all- murdered and missing persons were enemies of Hinamizawa… Considering that Rika is extremely jaded with the people of Hinamizawa (shown in Himatsubushi-hen), I guess she quickly gave up the possibility to prevent the cases prior the “present”.

 

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Q : What about Keiichi and Everyone? Why can’t she be able to tell them?

A : As you have witnessed in the chapters, “TRUST” is really something fragile despite their solid friendship. They are teenagers, and they are really out of the reality, and the rural environment of Hinamizawa doesn’t help either (this point is also an aggravating factor for Keiichi in Onikakushi and Tatarigoroshi, since everything is really beyond reality for him). Also, things like this might increase the paranoia of any of the character which gonna be nuts (You noticed that in every chapter aside of Himatsubushi-hen, at least 1 person around Rika goes insane, right?).

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Q : so how Rika will be able to break fate then?

A : Time will tell. However, you can see that various events are completely impossible to prevent, thus increasing the despair (as you can see with the OP, and that Rika said she is tired of this). The truth would be the best for her (and for us!). But we can suspect some clues… Unfortunately, Rika isn’t as blessed as us, since she can’t get beyond her death. We got the chance to have witnessed several dubious facts, most of them from the Disaster, especially the fact there is not Disaster when she is not watanagashi-ed (well, she doesn’t even know about the Disaster it seems). As i told you before, the “enemy” have a specific “scheldule” or plan to apply, or else the Disaster does NOT happen. This could actually help Rika for her reasoning… but no one can tell her, except maybe…

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Q : maybe that unknown entity of the beginning of this episode, huh?

A : Exactly. I was going to talk about that person too. This person is definitely able to get through the time much like Rika. I would say s/he might be the person that help Rika to reboot the time. I guess a lot of you have guessed who it is, and I already said it in the previous analysis : There is almost no doubt it is Hanyuu, the purple haired girl with horns from the OP, ED and previews. This is the only character who didn’t appear onscreen yet, and has the “inhuman” horns.

Now, how can she act? It appears she is a spirit, since she was not seen by Satoko in this episode. Also, there are various TIPS where it appears someone is observing Rika and Satoko, much like My Favourite Wine
I guess we must wait for her “official” appearance, so we can see the extent of her abilities.

 

II. The relationshion between Shion and Satoko

I was a bit surprised that lots of people were puzzled how Shion was “already” there, and why she was so protective with Satoko, despite her madness in Watanagashi and Meakashi.

Well, the main factor here is probably her promise with Satoshi. Remember? In the past (which is canon once again), when Satoshi was leaving with his bat, he asked to “Mion” to take care of his sister Satoko.
That same promise she failed to do in both Watanagashi and Meakashi. She even realised it when she killed her.

Ironically, there is a TIPS in Meakashi-hen, where Shion is acting the same : friendly and protective with Satoko, The alternate Future after choosing the other choice. (another great thing that DEEN included this very important scene in Yakusamashi-hen)

So, basically, there is nothing surprising here, since she is fulfilling her promise, and it appears she likes her a lot, since she was getting along with her for some time (as implied in this ep : Satoko said that Shion didn’t have to prepare her bento everyday).

“But why is she there ? What about the Sonozaki ?”
Much like the previous statement, the Sonozaki “incident” was settled for GOOD a year ago. She got through her distinction, and she was then forgiven for her sudden appearance and troubles she has done. She is present in EVERY chapter in either Hinamizawa or Okinomiya, Onikakushi-hen included (but in a very subtle way : She was at the Angel Mort when Keiichi meets Ooishi, that’s why Mion knew that Keiichi ate outside, because Shion told her)

The only difference in the chapters is of course her involvement, depending of the different events here and there. She get only close when she get along with Keiichi and the rest. And this time, since she wanted to fulfill her promise really early, she could be with everyone, and her relationship with Satoko and the rest is extremely solid. (as Sushi-y has noticed, you can see a solid extra friendship between the twins)

So, you can trash out that idea that “Shion is nothing more than a psycho”. Everyone except Rika were caught withing the Spiral of Madness, and this should give you another idea of what is going on. Is it related with the “biologic weapon” we were thinking in the previous analysis? Only time can tell.

 

III. Keiichi and the incidents of the Watanagashi Festival

I thought this was extremely important, since the difference between this chapter and the rest is extremely huge.
Keiichi learned the truth hard and really straight. But unlike the other chapters, it doesn’t affect him much. Why is that?

Basically, you can tell that the mood and the context are extremely different.

  1. In Onikakushi-hen, the reality “hit him hard”, from a complete stranger, but without absolutely no additional information aside of “a murder”. Rena and Mion denied quickly, since Keiichi was kinda curious but not straight. So they thought he was imagining things, and that he didn’t know a thing, which was somewhat true… until he read the magazines.
  2. In Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, he learned this on stage, and this affected only his curiosity, rather his paranoïa. However, the lack of trust was really a problem.
  3. In Tatarigoroshi-hen, Keiichi isn’t too affected by it when Tomitake tells him about this. Much like Shion in Wanatagashi/Meakashi, he thinks later on that the Sonozaki are behind the Murders and incident.
  4. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Keiichi was completely overwhelmed by Rena’s troubles, and wasn’t affected by the incidents at all.

As you can see, Keiichi is extremely affected by the Trust he has for everyone, but also the trust of them for him. This is important to note, because this pretty much sets Yakusamashi-hen as an “excellent scenario”.

  • Keiichi trusts deeply his friends, knows about the incidents, but isn’t paranoid at all
  • Shion is extremely friendly with Satoko, and her relationship with Mion is also reinforced

There are only 2 factors which can really start the troubles : Rina (for Rena), and without a doubt Teppei (Either Rena or Satoko).

This chapter is original, so it is kinda hard to guess what will happen. However, these 2 persons might bring chaos, and as you have witnessed in Tatarigoshi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen, the group are so devoted that they can even cover themselves if things like murders are involved with them.
So, this also proves they can be too reckless to help one of their friends in a desperate situation… And this is BAD, since both Rina and Teppei are really the very few “truely” despicable characters in Higurashi Universe.

Since the peview shows Satoko’s past, I’m afraid we will have some Tatarigoroshi factors, and Teppei might be back in this chapter (yes, he isn’t always here. As far as we could see, he was in Hinamizawa only in Tatarigoroshi-hen (Because Rina was killed at the start of the Chapter). He was indeed present in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, but since he was pimping money with Rina, he didn’t have to return to his house in Hinamizawa)

That’s said, the following events might be much harder for Rika and her friends, since the start is really too good. And you can tell the name of the chapter wasn’t chosen for nothing…

…This Fate of June 1983 seems to be unbreakable…
…Yet a kind soul is fighting alone for her friends…
…over and over and over…

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 continues…

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[Random Things]

Well…with this episode, it was hard to find something “random” to talk about, but… let’s see what I can offer to you ^^”

Tag, or “how this childish game can be tactical”

I guess many of you were wondering why keiichi was trapping himself like an idiot in the storage room. In fact, i don’t think it was really a bad idea per se.
We can imagine that he knows the usual habits of everyone. As far as my memories could go, I rarely recall a Tag game (in my childhood of course) where you were allowed to hide yourself inside (of course, to avoid some problems with other people, but reducing the painful time to search for someone).

Thus, I believe his hideout wasn’t really something “allowed”. But, things were set from the start : you must note that Mion’s club is extremely peculiar, since you can do WHATEVER you want for the victory. So, cheap tricks are allowed, even borderline cheats.

And that is obviously what everyone did : Keiichi hide himself in the storage room, Rena abandonned him, Rika tricked Rena, Satoko didn’t “really” answer the question despite its obvious answer, and finally both Mion and Shion were doing a big scale feint to the very end.

Thus, it is extremely hard to determine “how to win this game”, considering the setups of the scenery and the rules. I can hardly think that you can run like mad to stall the time. Storage room (and so, in such extent, the classroom too) isn’t a good idead.
The roof…? ho well, i don’t think playing back tsumihoroboshi-hen is a good idea, especially that you can be screwed when spotted.

So… Mion and Shion tactic is the best maybe? well, not true. I think Rika assumed that both were Zombies, since Rena said so, while Satoko probably saw them acting zombies, so deducing that Rika captured them. Of course, things would turn completely differebtly if both were questioning to each other.

So what do YOU think? Yes, you the readers !
I can’t decently keep saying random things, so what about your opinion?

Don’t be afraid ! Leave a comment (along with another one if you want ^^) about which tactic might work.
Of course, you must consider the context of THEIR game, environment, and the “rules” as well.

 

Irie’s Maid Mania and something else…

Well, it was really sad that Irie’s Maid fetish was shown only once in season 1, in Tsumihoroboshi-hen… and lots of people were probably thinking he was more like a “lolicon” with Satoko. This isn’t really the matter. Basically, Irie was ALWAYS a complete psycho with Maids.

Believe it or not, but Irie CAN beat Rena in case of “madness” when Maids are present… and this is extremely scary with the DramaCD and Higurashi Daybreak.

To be more accurate, Irie has a secret dream which is… MAID HEAVEN ! Yes, you read it, and I think, many of you, Otaku yaro (heh XD) might follow his lead. If you didn’t know this, try to get your way through the DramaCD, Daybreak, manga or even the Game itself.
Sometimes, Omochikaeri Mode sometimes looks “soft” compared to “MAID HEAVEN” ^^

You do want an example? well, this is the same scene in Tsumihoroboshi-hen from PS2 Game, Matsuri. Enjoy ! ^^
Youtube Links (4 parts, of course, no translation) :

A tiny summary : Keiichi and Rena won the Batsu Game with the water pistols. The rest of the group must serve in the Angel Mort with fancy costumes. (Rika with an Angel Mort costume, Satoko with a Maid costume and Mion with Gym shirt, bloomers, Neko tails, Neko Bell collar, but no Neko ears…)
Keiichi and Rena are of course there, Rena got complety in her Omochikaeri Mode, while Tomita and Okamura are completely excited too.
Of course, Chaos ensue, with some otaku-like clients and the like. Irie makes his entrance in part 2, and is completely insane.
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Talking about Mania… well, someone else also got an obsession… and i think people with some eroge experience know who i’m talking about : Of course, Chie-sensei and the curry !

Basically, Chie-sensei is able to eat like mad any curry dishes, and revers this “delicacy”. This rampant mania is present much like Irie : DramaCD (much less often), Daybreak (only in the ending) , the manga and the game of course.

There is also a usual “challenge” for Keiichi and his friends : Insulting Curry in front of Chie-sensei… That is of course suicide, as you will see below, with scan of the manga (Tatarigoroshi-hen) and again 2 clips from the PS2 game.

 


Keiichi almost said the TABOO.
(left page first, right page second. Read from right to left, of course)


Keiichi, Satoko and Rika spell their doom…
[PS2 Version of this scene]

PS2 scene : 知恵先生のカレー地獄 – Ciel-Sensei’s Hell of Curry

 

Where does this obession come from? you really don’t know? ^^”
Well, to be “short”, Fumiko Chie is in fact a parody of Ciel, a character from Tsukihime. This character has also a weird insane obsession with curry. Ryukishi07 is a big fan of TYPE-MOON, so he asked permission to them if he could make a parody of this character. This is the main reason why you see “Special Thanks : TYPE-MOON” everywhere (Games, Manga, Anime, etc)


Example from the season2

Things are even more obvious in Higurashi Daybreak Kai, where Chie-sensei can wear “Ciel’s Executioner Battle Robe”, with also a change in her manner of speaking (She even says things like “Ikimasuyo, SEVEN!”, “I didn’t expect to face TATARI here as well…” and “I’m not telling you my name…”). Her seiyuu from the DramaCD, Anime and Daybreak games is indeed the same person who did Ciel’s voice in Shingetsutan Tsukihime.


Resemblance? C’mon ! Look more carefully…


Sweet costume…
I gonna pick the Black k… I mean the Lecture-use T Ruler!

 

 

Well, i hope these random points weren’t too random ^^

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Phew… the second analysis is finally done… I’m kinda exhausted, I think I fryed my brain on this, once again ^^”
Don’t be afraid to critic this entry, or ask your questions/points (as long as they fit the guideline, of course).
Also, if there are mistakes and all, that would be even better : mistakes aren’t really good for this kind of things, so heh ^^’

Well, another Klash’s Overload Babbling of Higurashi… hope your enjoyed the ride !
See you next week for the Summary and Analysis for the Episode 3, 無力- Muryoku – Powerless (thanks again, Sushi-Y ^^)

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5 Responses to “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 2 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments”


  1. 1 FlareKnight July 15, 2007 at 12:51 am

    So many things…think I’ll settle for the tag debate for now.

    We did get some pretty good strategies out there (honestly never thought tag was a tactical battlefield). Keichi had a reasonable plan really. First using mis-direction to get rid of some competition and get Satoko off his back for a bit. Plus hiding in a structure like that was risky but if no one looked in there it could buy some really good time. Plus it’s a defensible structure. If he had been quicker and a bit stronger maybe he could’ve held the door shut long enough since there aren’t a lot of ways in (or out of course) of that place. Negative side was he was trapped in that worst case scenario and lost.

    Mion and Shion used a very high risk strategy. Hiding amongst your enemies is a smart tactic. No one will be chasing after you and you can move carefully. However if you are touched accidentally which is a risk of being so close you could lose in an instant. It’s a gutsy move that could back fire especially if they wanted to have the zombies all shake hands or something just to be certain no one is lying. It’s a good move but has a chance to backfire.

    Rena didn’t do too bad herself. Knowing who their main target was, calling out Keichi (I’m not sure if this was a plan or not) drew attention away from her allowing an escape. Of course she didn’t get far but this move would upset Keichi more than anyone. So he’d be the one going in for the kill. Thus using a moe attack she can take him down which will throw the enemy into chaos talking about it. Though if Mion and Shion had actually been zombies this could’ve really gone down. Someone could’ve gone in eventually and just tagged Rena. It did a good job keeping Mion distracted since she was probably upset Rena got that kind’ve reaction from Keiichi. Really I think it was more luck unless she calculated how much time was left on the clock.

    Now on the best strategy. I do like the Mion/Shion one, but it’d be too high risk for my taste. Might go with Keichi but adding a bit. Use the students telling them different locations on where your heading. Either telling them not to say anything and they might crack under interrogation. Or making bribes to hand out if your successful. Another plan could be to use the Mion/Shion one and tell the kids that you were caught but don’t specify who. That way they won’t be looking so hard for you when you are bunkered down. I’d stay close to the door unless there is a space you can squeeze yourself into. Trying to make sure it won’t open and if you are caught try to kill time for the clock.

    My longest comment ever :).

  2. 2 jjshaka July 15, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Thanks for the great insight on this series- helps someone like myself who is sort of new to it.

  3. 3 Ceath July 23, 2007 at 10:54 am

    About the tag game, not sure if im overthinking this but to me it has overtones of something more sinister. The fact that the games name is Oni Gokko, Oni being demon, and i think we all know the relevance of Oni in higurashi. Maybe Satoko will be the one who goes insane again(turns into a demon so to speak) in this arc? And the scnene where everyone turns into a zombie and starts attacking keiichi..flashback to arc 1? or perphaps an omen? And rena leaving keiichi in the heat of the moment-just innocent fun or revealing something more sinister in the future?

  4. 4 klashikari July 23, 2007 at 11:04 am

    It is kinda an ironic and innocent game, in contrast with the prior sinister events.
    Basically, Oni Gokki is translated “litterally” as playing demons, but the alter point is simply “Tag”, with IT instead of demon anyway. It is kinda some points which conflict with prior behaviour (much like contrast between allies and enemies), but really nothing foreshadowing, especially that everyone are really sane and united.

    the problem with satoko is most likely her sensitive behaviour in this arc, and is fine, despite the villager treatement. until teppei shows his face, i don’t think satoko will be the “mad” target this arc.

    as for the zombie scene, we can safely assume it is only a dramatic and funny visual device, not really something with a huge meaning ^^”
    Considering this kind of case happen only in a extreme paranoid situation (Onikakushi and Tsumihoroboshi), it won’t really happen in Yakusamashi.


  1. 1 Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 3 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments « When Anime Past Meets Present Trackback on July 25, 2007 at 6:43 am

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