[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!
Yeah, the disclaimer is still there… redundant heh? Oh well, better being cautious than being sorry later one ^^
Well, since you are reading this, I believe you were also following my other analyses, right? If not, I would suggest you to read the earlier ones, as follow: [Reunion], [Oni Gokko]
Once again, I will focus this article on some elements which can be useful for a general understanding.
Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this!
Today, I will focus mainly on the following points:
- Black Rika or Rika, ter
- Satoko’s Past
- Random things. Hanyuu “Sweets lover A” & Kameda “Sweets lover B”
[Note]: I believe talking about Hanyuu is hardly a spoiler (as long as it stays within the current state of the story of course), since aside of her “name”, everything can be found on the episodes. (Obvious source: the OP and ED). And since she is blatantly presented on various magazines and the official website, there isn’t anything to fear.
I. Black Rika or Rika, ter
Much like episode 2, Muryoku shows how Rika is living her perpetual death. There are however two interesting facts here, which were covered a bit in the previous episodes:
- Rika, despite her death galore in each arc, wants to save her friends no matter what.
- Rika seems to remember everything she has lived so far.
The first fact is extremely important since it is her motive. As you can guess, at the very moment she gives up her friends, the world (or “hinamizawa” to be more accurate) is doomed for good. This point is really something to note: While “Black Rika” looks extremely gloomy, cynical and clearly jaded, she still cares about her friends, which demonstrates that she is herself and that “mode” isn’t really another personality.
Why is this important anyway? That simply determines her goal: she wants to break this fate, so she can be happy with her friends. I think some of you might have imagined some situations like Rika leaving Hinamizawa, so she can’t be killed. The problem with this “solution” is that it doesn’t resolve anything and even her friends can turn mad without Rika being around them. Also, it doesn’t make sense to her to live if her friends are dead. Like I mentioned before, once Rika gives them up, it is finished. Why? As you can see in this episode, Rika doesn’t really care about her death, though she tends to avoid useless suffering, especially for her friends. Thus, there are only 2 solutions for Rika: either she dies until she is mentally dead, or she breaks the fate.
Why “mentally dead” you ask? That point is linked with the second fact I mentioned above: Since Rika remembers of EVERYTHING until now, that means even if her body is reset, her mind ISN’T.
What does that imply? Simply put, Rika has lived several times this fate. Considering her various reactions and actions, it is extremely hard to think she has lived only six times. In each arc, she did something which required some “earlier game” before.
The biggest example would be Keiichi’s epiphany in Tsumihoroboshi-hen: this event wasn’t expected by Rika. Also, she said to Keiichi that if she tried harder before, she could prevent the incident. That means that “Tsumihoroboshi” usually happens with Rena going mad, but everyone being completely hopeless (chances that Keiichi keeps his fighting spirit without the Onikakushi remembrance, after what Rena told to him in the junkyard, are really low)
So Rika has lived many years (Especially Himatsubushi-hen, since she was able to determine how Akasaka will react with the death of his wife), without any real hope, forced to witness one of her friends (or several of them?) turning mad, which can lead in chaos and agony. I don’t think anyone would like to experiment this kind of life.
As a silly thought, I think “eternity” and things like “eternal youth” and the like are kinda useless and rather a curse than anything else: Living an unending life, with everyone else dying before you do, forced to do anything to not be bored, etc. All these things make life kinda tasteless and all… oh well enough with the philosophy!
Also, I think the following statement should be also pointed: where is the guarantee that Rika will be able to keep going in this cycle until she give up for good?
There is no doubt that Rika get through of some “magic” which gives her the ability to get back in the time. However, this kind of “magic” is usually portrayed as extremely difficult to use, rare and has a huge toll to pay.
I know I’m comparing Higurashi with usual “fiction universes”, but I don’t think this is that stretchy, considering how “Time” is permanent and eternal.
So, considering the various factors such like urgency (either her mental sanity or the ability to jump back in the time) and the hopelessness, things aren’t bright at all.
And unfortunately, just like I predicted in the previous analysis, Rika doesn’t want to involve her friends in her trial. Why? As you can see in the end of this episode, Rika doesn’t want them to be involved in this fate. “Friends are there” huh? I could read on several occasions that Rika is acting like a “wannabe” hero or something. That is of course incorrect, and her reasons are solid: once again, Rika can’t really impose a reality which is not only dubious, but beyond the “reality” of the “current world characters”. Her mind and sight are expanded to a much wider plane, while everyone else is stuck in “this world”.
Chances that they believe her without any remembrance of the past chapters are extremely low. Also, just like what Rika said, anyone getting to close of the “truth” will suffer from horrible atrocities. (Most likely madness and various other elements)
This is another point which explains why Rika is so jaded: not only she must repeat the tragedies, but she must also fight alone until true “allies” are there.
Come to the think of it… does she has at least an ally…?
Hanyuu finally made her entrance, and I think her seiyuu is self explanatory: Horie Yui!
Before I hear anyone complaining about her, let me get straight: she was already chosen as Hanyuu’s seiyuu from a very long time, even before the first season, so no, it isn’t related with her sudden and recent “domination” in “cute” girls roles. (I can clearly remember some clips of her, especially the Renapan “prize” after getting past 100.) Also, there is no doubt her “Ayu (Kanon) / Makie (Negima) / Suzu (Nagasarete Airantou)” voice fit perfectly Hanyuu.
That said… Who is Hanyuu anyway?
Well, this episode gives many hints of what she is, and her personality.
First, Hanyuu is either a spirit or a ghost: she is completely invisible to anyone except Rika, and this “rule” is also applied on her voice.
Second, Hanyuu is clearly aware of Rika’s situation, and is then probably her “only companion”.
What is her role and motives? Well, there isn’t anything which can be a hint for the former. However, the later can be somewhat determined: she wishes that Rika will be free from this fate. However, is she able to help her? It is kinda hard, but once again, considering the situation and the various hints around Rika, it is safe to assume that it is in fact Hanyuu who provides the “Reset” ability to Rika (especially that it would be weird for Rika being able to use a spell like this while being dead heh…)
You can tell easily with her personality and talk with Rika that she really cares about her. However, Hanyuu is definitely aware of the hopelessness, considering how weak and unsure her answers were in this episode.
This pretty much explains why Hanyuu isn’t that “useful” to begin with: I think lots of people think that a ghost or a spirit, completely impossible to be detected, should be the ultimate “spy”, and so, it would help Rika from the very beginning.
However, we don’t know what the “range” of her actions is. If we consider her reactions and personality, we can deduce that Hanyuu isn’t really “brave” in its literal meaning: Cute and innocent, but not really able to witness the tragedies.
Again, everything is still in “theorycraft”, and things might evolve later on.
A final point to keep in mind: Hanyuu observes Rika’s friends, and enjoy their company, though she isn’t directly involved. Another stretchy point you said? Maybe but I think it can be deduced with what happened in this episode.
… You don’t know what I’m talking about heh? Well in fact, Hanyuu wasn’t “introduced” only with her voice, but also with her appearance. Where? No I’m not referring to the feint red cloth you could see when Satoko woke up.
Here are 2 hints: [Daytime] and [Activity].
Watch this episode again, and try to find her!
You found her? Not yet…?
Subtle heh? ^^
It is indeed a bit tricky. To be honest, I found it on my first raw view, but not really instantly: the background looked too “weird” to be so innocent; especially that plan was shown twice within a short period of time. This is the main reason why I put two screencaps of Keiichi and Rena in the summary entry: I hoped that people would question why i have put 2 near identical screencaps. (I know I tend to use a lot of Screencaps, but it isn’t really innocent either ^^”)
III. Satoko’s Past
It was already covered in the first season, but I believe it might be helpful to remind you of some things:
Back in the period when the Dam War occurred, the Houjou were supporters of the government project. Basically, Satoko’s father (to be more accurate, her step-father. Satoko, Satoshi and their mother weren’t Houjou in the first place) wasn’t especially attached to stay in Hinamizawa, and was willingly accepting the government compensation.
As you can see in the flashback of this episode, the villagers were really angry, and considered them as traitors.
Unfortunately, the villagers were really narrow-minded and considered every Houjou as filth altogether. Heck, Houjou Teppei, the brother of Satoko’s step-father, and his wife didn’t help either, since their reputation made that statement much worse. (Considered as loud, rude and disturbing fellows even before the Dam War)
You can read some detailed information with this Tatarigoroshi-hen TIPS: Research Note
Everything was going downhill since the “second year” accident. Why? The Houjou were really considered as enemies, and they were blatantly under ostracism within the village. Their death confirmed the Curse of Oyashiro-sama, but also reinforced the belief that the Houjou deserve to die… So sadly, everything went into a spiral.
That explains why Satoko is nearly mentally broken in the past. (As shown in Meakashi-hen, with Shion’s past, a year ago)
Mion was unfortunately unable to do anything, since she can’t use her leadership to change the village. Instead, she created the Activities Club, so she can strengthen the relationship between Satoko and the other children. (Another reason might be involved here: since Shion made her promise with Satoshi under “Mion” identity, Mion made an effort as well)
Back in the present; you can see that the most hated child is alongside with the most loved one. But, once again, it doesn’t help either: people should reconsider about Satoko, since she is Rika’s friend but it is the complete opposite: the villagers think Satoko is abusing of Rika’s kindness, and everything gets worse once again.
Satoko is currently living with Rika, but as I already stated in the previous analysis, whenever Teppei comes back, it is completely overkill for her.
You can read some detailed information with this Tatarigoroshi-hen TIPS: Emergency Action
Things are much more complicated as you can see with this TIP: there was already another case involving Satoko being abused, but by her step-father… which is revealed as a false alert.
Read this TIPS : E2-3 Number 44
So, she can hardly get assistance with either the villagers or the children protection agency, until it is too late. Her only salvation is Rika and the rest of the group, but once again, while Satoko was able to say “don’t keep things for yourself, your friends are also here for you” in this chapter, you can tell that in Tatarigoroshi-hen, she wasn’t able to think like this at all.
Heart-wrenching tragedy will surely happen later…
…This Fate of June 1983 seems to be unbreakable…
…Soon enough, despair is growing…
…defiling the little remain of hope…
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…
Harder time to find some random things to talk about, huhu…
Well, what about a further discussion on the main comedy of this episode?
Of course, sweets!
And in this universe, we have two insane lovers of these things!
Hanyuu, “Sweets lover A”
Well well, the cute little spirit is really childish heh? ^^
To be more exact, Hanyuu likes a lot sweets, to the point she can be able to eat only these. Of course, she dislikes spicy food ^^
Things are much funnier when sweets are a wager, she can literally go berserk for this. As an example: in Higurashi Daybreak Kai, Hanyuu is really fond of “Choux à la crème”, and her victory sequence with Shion reinforces this statement.
I believe she can be really good friends with Ooishi, considering this Onikakushi-hen TIPS: Investigation Memo
But wait! She is a spirit… right? How the hell she can eat these then…? Well, you will see later in the anime, probably ^^ no I won’t tell…yet *grins*
Kameda, “Sweets lover B”
To start smoothly, Kameda scene was originally in Tatarigoroshi-hen, either in the game and in the manga. I believe DEEN wasn’t really able to add that scene, since there was really little to do with the actual plot. But it was kinda sad, considering they still put the Baseball scene so err…
Oh well, Kameda is a one time only, but I feel this part is simply too gold to skip.
It is a bit too bad that the Anime adaptation wasn’t complete, but at least, it kept the essential point of this overkill comedy scene.
Now, you want the complete scene heh? Lucky you, I uploaded the manga scene for you ! I hope you will enjoy it ^^ (of course, Credits to Hinamizawa Project)
Third analysis ! Geh… I was kinda late… lots of things to do (I can’t believe i’m currently doing a marathon of romance anime series… 3 in a row. I blame Skyfall for this ~~)
I will admit : this Analysis entry was weak compared to the rest… fortunately, I believe the next episode will give more material to observe in detail.
Well, another Klash’s Overload Babbling of Higurashi…The company wish you had a nice flight with us… heh?! wrong script !
See you next week for the Summary and Analysis for the Episode 4, 予定調和– Yoteichouwa – Prefixed Harmony