[Note]: What is Nekogoroshi-hen? This is in fact a DVD omake, an OVA if you prefer. Anime original? not quite much, this is based on the same Nekogoroshi-hen novel. If you want further information, i would suggest you to check the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Wikipedia Article. That said, much like the novel, this OVA is only available if one send all the stamps from the DVD set of Season 1. While it doesn’t follow the “main plot” of both season, this OVA is really interesting and can be considered as another arc by itself.
Well well, this OVA is finally released! Long story, but i recall almost clearly that it was supposed to be available around April-May on Oyashirosama.com. Ho well… better late than never heh? ^^. As you can see, the OP and the ED are from the season1, but the quality is definitely season 2, which probably explain the delay. Well then, here is the review, with screencaps of course!
ひぐらしのなく頃に外伝 猫殺し編, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gaiden Nekogoroshi-hen, STARTO!
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Gaiden : Nekogoroshi-hen
This episode starts with everyone gathered in school, once again playing wildly. This time, it is with cards. However, Keiichi is in pinch : he just has 5 coins. Mion warns him that if anyone bets 10 coins, the maximum, Keiichi will be forced to fold. Satoko adds then that whatever keiichi’s hand, He will be toasted by force by the rest of the club. Then, Rika reminds him the “fabulous” Batsu-game today: the loser will have a trip around the village with fancy clothes. Meanwhile Keiichi still keeps his KOOL and discretely looks his hand.
Very interesting hand, indeed! 3 Seven, and the Joker, so that means Four of a Kind.
Rika keeps going with her explanations and is really awaiting this awkward parade with keiichi (Maid? Swimsuit? etc). Keiichi then asks to Rena if she can lend him 10 coins, since she got a lot from him.
However, Rena refuses, and adds (with an unfair moe-attack answer!) that a battle is ruthless. Keiichi is surprised, but he understand that only a true member club can reverse the situation, which excite him much. Mion is pleased with his mindset, but she is wondering what keiichi will do then.
Keiichi then bypass his own pride, and is willingly betting something else, instead of the coins he lacks. Mion was expecting this suggestion, and then asks what it will be…
Swimsuit ! Garter Belt ! Miniskirt Maid outfit ! Letting himself being taken home ! Cleaning their ears !
Keiichi decided to go GUNG HO, and this is hitting hard Mion, who is delighted about these.
Rika comments that Mion is really excited and blushing, and thinks that Mion is surely imagining herself alone with keiichi, in an extremely lovey dovey situation. Mion tries to deny it in a panic. Meanwhile, Rena is powered up, since Keiichi will allow the winner to take him home! She claims she won’t lose.
Keiichi then asks if this substitute is enough for his coins. Mion agree, and even says it is even more than the mere 10 coins. He then declares the gam is on, and unleash his card attack : Shiny FOUR CARDO DA!
None of them were prepared for this, and they simply lose. Keiichi gots a ridiculeous amount of coins, and savors his victory.
Keiichi believes in his goddess of victory, and keeps going on. Rena wants to play, but she is unable to bet enough coins. Therefore, she also bets something else instead of coins: She will wear an apron maid outfit and will cook dinner and desserts for the winner if she loses. Satoko doesn’t want to fold with her current hand either, so she bets 10 coins and allows the winner to make her feed them with the outfit of their choice. Rika follow the move, and happily (and etremely moe-ly!) says she will bet 10 coins as well, and allows the winner to put a collar on her neck, and make her walk like a dog. Keiichi is completely excited with this bet.
Mion is satisfied with this surge of high spirit in this game. Keiichi then asks if she will also bet something special. Mion will wear what the winner choose, she will do their homework as well. Satoko is interested in this, especially for her maths.
Rena intervenes, and refuses, claiming she will win and will take everyone home!
Keiichi doesn’t permit her to proceed, and saying he will definitely win, enslaving everyone, making them doing “this” and “that”. Keiichi is lost in his imagination, and is drooling completely.
Keiichi then declares the game !
…It appears everyone kept winning and losing in the same time. Thus, no real winner, and everyone is forced to wear batsu game outfit ^^
- keiichi wears a robe with some bunny ears. (crosscosplay with the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?)
- Rena wears a cliché “kindergarten” outfit. the shirt and hat increase her moe-ness ^^
- Mion wears a … quite bold Cow outfit
- Satoko wears a classic China dress, with a cute hairstyle to fit it.
- Rika wears a Nurse outfit, with neko ears and neko tail !
Of course, the villagers are really surprised by this (not like it was the first time with the batsu game anyway ^^”).
Arriving on a crossroad, leading either to Fukudaya, Takatsudo or Yagouchi. Keiichi never step a foot in yagouchi and asks what kind is this place. Rika answers there isn’t any house in this area, and it is quite lonely. Keiichi is interested, and asks everyone to go there, since they won’t meet any more villagers with their outfits. Everyone takes their leave, but Rika stays behind and says she doesn’t think it is a good idea to go there.
Once arrived there, the gang sees there isn’t really anything in that place. Keiichi asks if people are living in there, but Mion answers only in the past, and that it was deserted for ages.
Then, Keiichi asks if there isn’t anything beyond this point, and Mion points there is a quarry site, past the montain. The enterprise which was responsible for the quarry went bankrupt, and they left the site.
Keiichi is then definitely interested in this place but Rika tells him to no go, saying that good kids shouldn’t. Satoko agrees, saying that even the guidebook warns the same. But keiichi is still interested, and “thinks” there might be some treasures, much better than the junkyard, which instantly interests Rena a lot.
Mion says they shouldn’t as well, and tells them there is also a pit. Keiichi wonders what is this pit. Satoko asks to Mion if the stories about this pit are true. Rika keeps saying it isn’t a good idea to get close of this pit.
Rena wonders what is this pit too, and Mion then understands both Keiichi and Rena didn’t hear about it. Rika explains that two people died there. Mion then tells her story, saying that she got scared that she could be one of the victim.
Long ago, around 6-7 years, The Dam War was still occuring strongly, and children were playing around fields and montains. One day, the President of the company owning the quarry was tricked by his employees, and as result, made a family suicide, killing his wife and his child, before burning himself alive.
Keiichi then says it conflicts with Rika’s statement. Mion says it isn’t really related to what she said and proceed in her story.
Since this incident, the Quarry was closed. Of course, various rumors lurked around, which indeed interested many children. Thus, Mion and some other children go there. The kids were playing a “kick-the-can” game. While hiding herself, Mion smells something weird, similar to rotten eggs. Keiichi concludes it might be sulfur, but the location is kinda weird, since it should be around a crater.
While still playing the game, the kids are interrupted by a mad man, who was wearing something like quarry personal outfit. This person was threatening them, and force them to go away from the site. The children got scared, and scattered out in fear.
But the story doesn’t end there, and one boy among them didn’t get back home. Considering the fact they spread out during their espace, none of them realized it. By the time they did, they think that boy disappeared already, struck by the Curse of Oyashiro-sama (being Onikakushi (demoned away), so to speak). Keiichi didn’t get it, and Satoko tells him it is just a ghost stories in this village.
The parents of the boy called every children of the group, but none was able to tell where he could be.
His father thought that his son might have an accident while getting him way to home and goes searching him by car. However, he never returned home either.
Satoko remembers that the car where the father and his son were in was found in a valley along the road from Yagouchi to Hinamizawa.
Rena is a bit pained by this story, but Satoko then says this story was a bit odd, since the car was found near of the Quarry. Keiichi wonders what it is odd, then Satoko explains that the father searched for his son during night, thus the surroundings would have been pitch black, forcing the boy to stay at the Quarry during all this time.
keiichi thinks it might be that man who captured the child, and scolded him hard. But Mion says that when the police investigated the site, they found no one around it. Still, Mion is sure at 100% that man was there, and was real. Therefor, people thought that man was maybe a ghost, but Mion doesn’t buy it at all.
Keiichi then wonders why the kid stayed around the quarry until it is night. Rika then says maybe he fell in the pit. Satoko explains this pit is really deep and was rumored to lead to the realm of demons, way below the ground. Mion then says that according the onigafushi legends, there is a world of demons below the village, so this pit might lead to hell. Keiichi understands and links both this statement with Onikakushi meaning. Then Rena argues that the child didn’t disappear.
Mion then says she mentioned already the weird rotten eggs smell back then. It has been stated that the man who discovered the car sensed that same strange smell in the car. Rena thinks of the sulfur, but Satoko thinks it is not really normal in this case.
Suddenly, Keiichi realizes it is maybe the hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas with a sulfurous odor. That kind of cases happen when some workers clean tanks in a factory and die from its poisonous effect. But Rena wonders if there is such tank in the quarry, which leaked it’s gas in there.
Satoko then follows the reasoning, thinking things make sense with this : while playing the kick-the-can game, the boy maybe goes in an unsafe place, filled of that gas, making him collapse.
Rika then finishes the statement: the Father arrived, inhaled the gas as well. (and thus, the effect might have kicked in while he drived back home, thus the accident)
Mion gets the reasoning, and that statement was the conclusion back then. keiichi is still wondering of some strange things in this case, which prevent it to be a “mere accident”:
- A worker who shouldn’t be there
- the reason why the boy stayed in the quarry until nightfall
- the mysterious deathon their way back
Mion then says they might find the answer if they check it out. Keiichi is surprised by this, and wonders if Mion isn’t thinking about getting in the site, despite what they conclude. Considering the situation, Satoko believes the ruins might still be a dangerous place. Rena isn’t really fond to go there either. Mion admits her curiosity has been teased, then asks if Keiichi isn’t interested. In the end he is, but Rika intervenes then.
Some places are considered taboo. Rika proceeds, saying in the world, everything has a good and bad side.
And some places are just so dreadful that humans cannot define well, so they stick a “taboo” in these.
Keiichi has a sudden flash, and the flashback of Onikakushi-hen kicks in, much like in Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
Since keiichi didn’t freaked out by this, this might be a unconscious flashback, foreshadowing the tragedy which might occur in this chapter, if Onikakushi-hen conditions are met.
Rena then follows this with that idiom: the curiosity killed the cat.
She then keeps going, saying that they shouldn’t let their curiosity overpowering them due of the bad rumors. Satoko agrees with her. Mion is a bit disappointed by this. Then, Rena suggest they go back home, her father will worry about her if she doesn’t go back home before nightfall. Things can’t be helped and Mion then calls it a day.
Everyone moves on, except Keiichi and Rika. keiichi asks to Rika if he will be onikakushi-ed after going around the pit. Rika confirms this. Keiichi finally gives up and join the rest, while Mion teases him about his fear.
Rika stays behind, and turns into her “Black Rika Mode“. Rika says that it is the best thing they can do, and even if they don’t go to the curse, it will come for them on its own, since the Watanagashi Festival is arriving soon…
In the ruined quarry site, a man is standing around, smirking…
After the little ED, a little parody about the Title. Well, litterally “Cat killing Chapter”. Aside of its obvious related matter with the idiom, another fun fact indeed ^^
Thoughts and little Analysis :
This OVA took really long time to be released, so I must admit i wasn’t expecting it anytime soon. Thus, once arrived, i was going gung ho ^^”
Suffice to say, Nekogoroshi-hen is a very enjoyable episode, with various fun points. (looks like DEEN really tries to implement many Batsu Game, to counterbalance the lakc of season 1 ^^)
As for the second part, the serious one, the hints are really interesting: the accident itself is really weird, and i begin to understand why they waited for season 2 to release nekogoroshi-hen : that man.
I think it isn’t far fetched to say that man looks too much like the “Janitor” Henchmen in Yakusamashi-hen. Heck, the last scene was enough to conclude this, and there isn’t any “paranoid” factor which could hinder this statement.
What could have happened then? Well, here is what i believe: It is possible that the kid witnessed something he should have NEVER seen in the first place. After being tracked down, he was able to hide himself, while the men are searching for him. His dad shows up, and they are able to meet each other. At this point, it is clear the men caught them and faked the accident.
How so? well, the Hydrogen Sulfide mention was really something too convenient, and extremely similar to Reunion: the Hydrogen Sulfide was also present in the “gases” statement so…
Thus this chapter prove these men are lurking much longer they appear to be, and the truth might be mugh bigger than expected…
That aside, I really liked how they scripted the mystery of this case, and its obvious link with the idiom and Keiichi’s flashback. What is that rememberance anyway? Like I said above, Keiichi didn’t freak out when he “saw” that flashback. Thus I believe this is a “crypted” one, in his subconsciousness. It is much more blatant with Rena’s idiom : the curiosity killed the cat. Ironically, this is really the big point of Onikakushi-hen (along with the distrust and paranoia, of course).
Well… then, really nothing to complain about, an excellent extra for Higurashi. A fair cocktail of Fun and Moe (gawd…lots of golden fanservice *_*) and mystery… that is our Higurashi heh? ^^
Oh yes, might be one tiny nitpicking: Observe Mion’s back… Yes, they forgot her Oni Tatoo (and it was always intended to cover almost the whole back, much explained in the TIPS and shown on the OP1). and no, there is no way it is Shion. Oh well…
That said, see you really soon (few hours ^^), for the episode 5 summary! Yup, double release for Higurashi today ^^