Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 4 : Yakusamashi-hen 3, Yoteichouwa

[Disclaimer]: This entry is SPOILER-FREE. 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) Also, please don’t forget this entry has its sole purpose to summary and show what is happening in the specific episode. So, read it at your own risk. Good reading!

It is time for the Watanagashi Festival. As you already know, this special event always turns everthing bad, and Yakusamashi-hen isn’t an exception.
However, things are much worse than you might expect, and Rika is entrangled deeper and deeper in despair…
This week, the title is 予定調和, Yoteichouwa : Prefixed Harmony, a very ironic title if you ask me…


Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Yakusamashi-hen part3 : Yoteichouwa

The Watanagashi Festival has finally begun! Keiichi roams around, searching for the gang.

The usual “greeting” for his lateness isn’t something unpredictable. Mion knocks him out with a Cotton Candy rocket right in the face.

The group is finally complete (Shion is in the crew, while Rika is of course not here, due the preparations). Satoko declares that they won’t go easy even if it is a festival, while Rena wonders if Keiichi will be able to compete well as a first timer. Shion declares the Batsu Game will be special, considering the Event. Keiichi don’t mind and is ready for today !

Rika prepares herself with the Miko outfit, with the help of some women. Rika is really depressed and thinks that nothing will change, and she still wears these clothes. However, one of the women suddenly takes a pair of scissors, and cut slightly an ornamental threads of her Ceremonial Hoe. Rika is really surprised of this change, and she is wondering if everything wasn’t in her mind. This basically mean that Rika was too late, thinking nothing will change, but it does. As a result, Rika tries to leave, but the women ask her to stay.

The gang is in the Takoyaki stand, but Keiichi isn’t able to keep the pace with the rest. Shion and Satoko taunt him, but keiichi doesn’t accept his defeat, and forcefully swallow bunch of hot takoyaki. Of course, Keiichi ate too much of these, and Rena gives him some water. Satoko comments that Keiichi is too reckless, but he argues that everyone was doing the same. However, Mion admits they were picking the cooled down dumplings.

However, he doesn’t give up, and accept the challenge. Keiichi litterally got a power up, and go berserk on various food stand, such like ice pilled desserts, cotton candy, etc. Later, Keiichi cannot proceed, and was utterly defeated.

Mion and Shion will inflict the Batsu Game to Keiichi, but he spots something afar. Mion doesn’t buy it, but Keiichi insists: he points at Rika, who is still accompanied by the women. Rena is in her Omochikaeri mode, while Mion calls Rika, but it makes her sad. Satoko notices it. Suddenly, they hear a signal for Rika’s performance, and everyone is rushing at it, except Satoko who is still worried. Keiichi calls her, and she stops spacing out.

Rika’s Ceremony. Everyone is really impressed by her performance, and they have some problem to have a proper place, without being pushed by the mob of spectators.

Once the ceremony is done, Rika tries to make quickly her way out of the temple. The women thought Rika is rushing to the restroom, commenting it should have been hard for her to withstand this during the ceremony. While running, Rika is desperately searching for Takano and Tomitake.

Suddenly, Rika bumps on Tomitake, obviously surprised to find the Miko here. Rika strongly grabs Tomitake’s arm, asking if they (probably him and Takano) already enter (the storage room of the Temple, with the torture tools), but the later is a bit embarrassed and tries to play dumb. Rika increase her grab, asking him to stop fooling with her. Tomitake still doesn’t say anything, and Rika releases his arm. He is then going to leave.

However, Rika warns him that tonight, Tomitake and Takano will be killed. This gloomy announcement scares a bit Tomitake, but then laughs dryly. Rika’s angst is much more apparent, and she yells this isn’t something to laugh at. Tomitake then believes that Rika-chama will curse them. The sole mention of “chama” basically admits he doesn’t believe her at all. He thinks they will get her forgiveness anyway. Then, he is taking his leave, greeting her good night.

Rika collapses, crying and lamenting that it is hopeless after all. Then, we can see Satoko behind a tree, who certainly eavesdropped their conversation, and it pains her to see Rika like this.

Some moments later, Tomitake struggles… He is scratching his own throat, in a complete disarray. His screams clearly indicate he died…


Next day, at school, Keiichi is completely caught off guard by the news of Tomitake’s and Takano’s death. Mion tries to calm him, but Rena says that everyone knows this already. Various gossips are floating, most around the fact it is indeed the Curse of Oyashiro-sama. This is the fifth time in a row, and the children are quite scared of this. Keiichi and Mion wonder why such things happened to them, especially they aren’t inhabitants of Hinamizawa. Rika is spaced out, and Satoko is observing her, remembers about the discussion between her and Tomitake.

Chie-sensei enters in the class, and calls Rika, who has a visitor. This person is no one else than Ooishi, who would like to interrogate her. (note that Ooishi is extremely much friendly in his approaches). Rika is rather cold, indifferent and in a hurry. Ooishi gets straight in the point, and wants Rika to tell him what She and Tomitake were talking about last night. It appears that someone witnessed Rika-chama (so a villager) running a short distance from the Furude Temple, around 8:30PM, talking with Tomitake. This person asked that their identity to not be revealed, which interest a lot Ooishi, considering the Gosanke, but Rika claims she doesn’t have anything to hide. She then answers she was just talking with Tomitake for a short while. Ooishi doesn’t understand why Rika was in the woods, away from the the Furude Temple just after her performance. Rika said that she had a leak, and was holding too long during the performance, which embarass Ooishi. He then takes his leave.
Rika gets back in the classroom, but Satoko was spying on her, and knows Rika lied to Ooishi. Then she realizes that at these times when Rika said there isn’t any problem, she probably lied to her as well.

Back at home, Rika was cleaning the dishes, but she is spacing out, and the water still flowing. Satoko arrives and cuts the tap.


Satoko then confronts Rika, saying that if something bother her, she can talk to Satoko about it. Rika still plays dumb, and Satoko wonders if she isn’t reliable enough. She then burst her feelings, and knows she was a bother for her brother, Satoko endured much pain about this, but thanks to everyone, she was able to lives “normally”, since they accepted her as how she is. This is why she believes that Rika is her precious friend. Rika confirms she is her precious friend as well. Then Satoko asks why she lied, but Rika still claims she didn’t lie. Satoko still cries and Rika is pained by this, asking for her forgiveness in her mind, but still thinks she cannot let anyone knows about this.

Suddenly, someone steps around their house. Both chibiko hear the noise, and Satoko believes it was a footstep, but Rika things it was a cat, and then closes the window. A shadow can be seen in the bushes…

Next morning, Satoko and Rika are in hurry for school. However the atmosphere is really weird, and a man is stalking them. Satoko feels really something wrong, but can’t spot anyone in the woods. Rika then calls her once again since they don’t have the time to slack off.

At school, Satoko notices a man, spying on them, but she is cuts short by Chie-sensei, who asks her to not space out during class.

After the school, Mion apologizes to everyone and they can’t do any activity, since she has a part job today. Shion will accompany her sister. Keiichi is OK, and Rena suggests him to go back home together. Keiichi agrees and then both of them say bye-bye to the chibiko. Rika greets them as well, while Satoko is looking repeatedly to the left and the right in turmoil. Rika wonders if something is wrong, but Satoko assures her there isn’t anything.

They are almost arrived, but Satoko is still looking for that “shadow”. Rika asks her once again if there is a problem. Then she says the same thing: she is her friend, and Satoko can tell her anything bothering her anytime, which comforts a lot Satoko.

Satoko then explains that she thinks a strange man is stalking them. Rika didn’t feel any presence, and she thinks it is Satoko’s imagination, and then she begins to play and stretch with Satoko’s mouth. She does this as well on herself, which relaxes the mood a lot.

The chibiko are in the town, buying some stuff. However, Satoko sees once again that weird shadow following them. Satoko panics and asks if Rika saw it, but she was checking the list meanwhile. Rika tells her she shouldn’t pay attention to this, and it must be her imagination, but Satoko hardly buys this.

At home, Rika talks under her “Black Rika” mode, and talks to Hanyuu (who can’t be heard this time). Hanyuu apparently commented that Rika looks tired, which makes Rika wonder if Hanyuu really thought Rika was used with this. Hanyuu probably apologizes, but Rika says she should do this instead. She then says she will die, and everyone will die. It is useless, and she is really tired. If she can’t do anything, she doesn’t want to do anything…

Satoko got back from the bath, but Rika is already asleep. She then remembers the three times she saw that man, and this chills her out. Rika said her it was her imagination, but that is…

Satoko then talks about this to Keiichi, Rena and Mion. Keiichi didn’t really notice anything. Rena says that Rika believes it is Satoko’s Imagination. Satoko confirms this, but she knows it is the truth, and says she is scared.
Mion then say she understood and will be careful. She also adds that friends are there for this, and she doesn’t have to worry about this. Keiichi and Rena agree and will do the same. Satoko is touched, and thanks everyone.
Later on, Rena and Mion are in the back of the school. Rena talks to Mion about that matter. She wonders how it is possible that Rika didn’t notice anything, while both Chibiko walk together. Mion thinks something might be wrong with Satoko, due her painful situation. But she believes that Rika will soothing her. Rena agrees somehow. Satoko was eavesdropping them…

In her bed, Satoko summaries what happened: no one believes her, but something is definitely wrong. She wonders who that man is, and what his objective is. Her? or Rika?
Then Rika enters in the room, and Satoko quickly feigns sleeping. Rika mutters she is scared and there is no turning back. Satoko is completely sure she isn’t imagining things, and that Rika was suffering from all this time. She then remembers the discussion between her and Tomitake. Satoko knows that Rika lied to Ooishi; she is completely puzzled about that fact. Then she hears Rika, crying in despair. Satoko then swears she will protect Rika.

It is morning, and Satoko is installing a rope, connected with various objects which will create loud noises: a basic, but effective alarm. Rika then leaves the house, and was wondering where Satoko was. They don’t have any time to waste. Satoko says that she was feed a stray cat around. She then closes the door, but leaving a leaf in-between. Satoko then suggests another path, as a shortcut.

Satoko remembers of something and stops. She says to Rika that she forgot something at home, and she will be back quickly. She asks Rika to go ahead without her, the later agrees. As Satoko left her, Rika bears a sad face, and says that whatever Satoko tries to do, nothing can be done, and the result will be the same.

At the Irie’s hospital institute, several police vehicles are stationing around. Kumatani Tatsuya (Ooishi’s Partner) is there, and makes his report to Ooishi. Irie Kyousuke was found dead. Kumatani says that Irie has most likely done a suicide, which surprises Ooishi, believing it isn’t really his style. Satoko heard this, and is completely in shock. Kumatani notices her, and orders her to leave. However, Satoko says she had an appointement with Irie. Kumatani was wondering what kind of appointement, and then Satoko says she called him this morning, and he answered that he will welcome her whenever she want to see him; thus she is completely puzzled why he could do a suicide later on. Kumatani asks her what thing she wanted to talk about. She explains that someone was stalking Rika. no one believes her, but she knows it is the truth, so she came to see Irie. Kumatani understands and will contact some policemen for a patrol; this relieves Satoko. They leave apart.

Around the area, a weird man is lockpicking a padlock, there is also a white van next to him. Kumatani was passing by, stops his cars and asks what the man is doing. But as soon as the man is turning, Kumatani bears a horrified expression. That man carries a gun, with a suppressor attached to it. He then shoots. After that, two other men appear as well. There is absolutely no doubt that Kumatani died…

At midnight, Satoko woke up, and doesn’t understand why Kumatani’s patrol isn’t here yet. However, someone stomped on her alarm, and Satoko heard it…

Preview :
Coming Soon…


Thoughts :

The episode started really like a cannon ball : the Watanagashi festival. Thus, as you might know, everything turns bad at this point, and the growing spiral of despair is really once again greatly done. I believe the way how it was structure even beats the very good “Onikakushi-hen” by DEEN.

Character design Quality wise, this episode was a bit under the previous ones, but it isn’t something “budget episode”. Again, at some moments, the girls legs are really too thin, but meh. The animation is still extremely strong and fluent. As usual, the camera angles were great, especially the sequences between Satoko and that stalker.

The tracks are still from the first season, but the choice, timing and duration were good.

This is really a Rollercoaster episode: like i mentioned above, I really loved how they crafted the atmosphere, stressful but much more oppressive than “creepy” so to speak. Rika and Satoko desperate actions are really heart wrenching and things will probably get much worse and uglier in the very next episode.
Again, this Chapter is really a nice change, not only to cover the previous holes in the season 1, but also, a new dimension for Higurashi, breaking the usual “situation – creeps – madness – death”, as the truth becomes clearer, but also much frightening, in its “realistic” aspect.


1 Response to “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Episode 4 : Yakusamashi-hen 3, Yoteichouwa”

  1. 1 Exilon July 27, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve been reading the Higurashi no Naku koro ni Kai summaries and analysis, and decided to (finnaly) post. This episode ended up to prove better than I was expecting. I thought that the plot would take a different direction (Satoko going mad and being the “villain”), but by the looks of it, though it seems that she’ll still go mad, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to kill anyone (well, at least not anyone from the “main cast”), but rather get desperate and depressed over Rika’s (and probably everyone else’s) atitude.
    I think this episode revealed some new information (that we hadn’t seen before in the other arcs (supposedly these are the “covered holes”?)), like Kumatani’s death (I’m guessing he also dies like this in some other arcs, like tatarigoroshi-hen).
    Apart from that, I noticed some little things I’d like to clear: when Satoko tells everyone she’s being stalked, Shion isn’t present. I’m pretty much sure that, having sworn she’d protect Satoko, Shion would believe her, and thus help them. (though I’m not really sure wether that would change anything.)The question is, where’s Shion? At the part-time job?
    I also noticed that there’s no mention to whether if Keichi believed Satoko or not. Looking at the way he is, I doubt he didn’t, though he didn’t believe it the first time Satoko told them about her worries. (Speaking of which, Shion didn’t believe her either then).
    And finnaly, I’m curious as to what that padlock was. It was in a door to a building, but just what building is that? Some sort of broadcasting station?… Or maybe, a place to hide some “secret” files or documents?… I’m not really sure…
    I’m looking forward to the next episode, which seems to be the conclusion of this arc. Let’s see what destiny awaits Satoko, Rika and the gang. (Though I’m certain of what it is…)

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