Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 9 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments

[Disclaimer]: This entry is SPOILER-FREE. Also, 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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Like last week, there isn’t exactly any spoilerish aspect in this episode to dig up. Again, many points are heavily based on character developments, situations. Hope it will be informative, nevertheless ^^
Links for previous analysis for Minagoroshi-hen: [Meiro no Housoku], [Unmei no Kaekata], [Yuragi]

Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this!

Today, I will focus mainly on the following points:

  1. Keiichi’s devotion
  2. Sonozaki’s hostility
  3. Satoko’s condition
  4. Random Thing: Angel Mort Nerd Army !

[Analysis]

I. Keiichi’s devotion

In this episode, Keiichi once again delivered an undeniable and remarkable performance. GAR you say? Definitely.
However, I believe lots of people might mistake his attitude and passion like “cheesy”, or something too exaggerated. Others might think there is something behind it, as shown as with his interactions with everyone in general (not only in this chapter).

Once again, I will point out the issues DEEN set in the season 1. What is exactly the main reason of Keiichi’s bravery?

Simply : his past. Much like Rena, Keiichi was also very affected by his past, which was supposed to be told during Tatarigoroshi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi.

First, in Tatarigoroshi-hen, during his mad brainstorming for Teppei’s murder, and his efforts to dig the hole, Keiichi had a reminiscence of his past.
Basically, Keiichi is a gifted child. As you might know, usually kids with a very high potential are most of the time a waste in the usual schools: they tend to get extremely bored during the “standard” lessons and all. This is often causes the talented children to be completely indifferent to studies, and will probably get serious troubles in the future (middle and high school).
In keiichi’s case, his parents were wondering why he was so-so for his grades, and met with a councilor. This person told them that Keiichi’s IQ is very high, and is in fact a gifted child. He explains that Keiichi doesn’t exactly “understand”, or simply ignore easy matters and problems, while advanced and conceptual problems (such like the 3D perspective of a cube) get his interest immediately and he is able to answer.

As result, Keiichi was moved to a specialized school, and he got quickly the very high grades he would normally get. Unfortunately, Keiichi was doing “too” fine, and many of his comrades weren’t pleased by this newcomer, getting almighty in the rank. Because of jealousy and envy, you can tell they quickly make the “message clear” to him. This is why you could see a dead rat on keiichi’s desk in Tatarigoroshi-hen flashback. Basically, the kids shunned on Keiichi, and he quickly became lonely and depressed.

This was completely different from what he was encountering on Hinamizawa, as everyone welcomed him gladly, and he was able to enjoy a rural life… however, this point isn’t the only interesting part of Keiichi’s past.


In Tsumihoroboshi, Rena was able to expose keiichi’s shameful past, and he got completely overwhelmed that he wasn’t frank (though Mion and the rest proved that they didn’t mind this, and people always have something hard to confess).
But why was his past shameful? Shooting at people with a silly model gun is that “horrible”?
Well, DEEN skipped a very important part of this past…

First, Keiichi explained to Mion, Satoko and Rika that he wasn’t exactly a “nice” guy back then. Basically, once he was able to get high grades, Keiichi got quite megalomaniac, as he was able to look down at people, those who he can’t beat in other fields, like sports etc. As he was getting better and better grades, to the point to catch the top of the school, adults were praising him a lot, which didn’t exactly improve his “high” feeling.

However, the “pleasure” didn’t last long, as he got more and more pressure (high expectations, planned future, etc.), Keiichi got less praises, and he lost completely his interest to studies, while he didn’t even like them to begin with. This is the period when he begun to be interested in model guns.
Much like any careless kid, he was curious to try how it would be on living target, so on children younger than him. Despite he didn’t have anything against his “targets”, Keiichi was completely thrilled by this, and goes on his “rampage”.
As the matter keeps going, people begun to classify this as a serial child assault case. Adults in the neighborhood are keeping watch around, while the school advice the pupils to be careful in their way back. This of course made Keiichi delighted, and kept him doing this stuff.

Until one day, a fateful day.

A girl was outside in the street. Keiichi justified himself that she shouldn’t be fooling around since everyone asked kids to not stay outside by themselves. Thus it was her fault.
He showered her with many rounds, and he was expecting her to flee. Unfortunately… much like anyone would do this, she turned the head, trying to understand what was happening before running.
But in this case… a pellet hits her eye. Instead of fleeing, she rolled on the floor, screaming of pain.

Keiichi was completely dumbstruck by this, and never realized the danger that could happen anytime if it hit someone eye(s). The matter is even worse, as he knew it would be severe, as a pellet could pierce easily a thick cardboard box… Since the girl saw her, Keiichi wasn’t able to take her to the hospital, as he would be toasted after that.
Thus… he ran away, letting the girl cry.
Keiichi was still in shock, and hoped the girl wouldn’t go blind. As his thoughts were completely messed up by this accident, Keiichi couldn’t sleep and broke a high fever. Then, the next morning, he confessed to his parents.
They didn’t believe him first, but they quickly realize everything make sense, as Keiichi was rebellious, and had a recent interest in model guns.
Her mother was crying, and his father… well you can guess: punished him hard, as any father would do.

Keiichi turned himself to the police station afterwards.

This was a very digest summary of his past. I suggest you to read the translation of it, as his thoughts are very insightful, over here as usual: [Keiichi’s past]

This is the reason why Rena was able to shatter Keiichi’s will, as she found out his past guilty pleasure.
As you can see, Keiichi was able to get through of all these things, because he was able to see life in another angle, which ironically, was caused by everything he has done.
I believe the progression of the story is self explanatory:

  1. Onikakushi-hen: Keiichi wasn’t able to trust his friends. The information he got was more important than the initial present. His curiosity and mistrust were much more important than his friendship, even when everyone were normal before his delusions. Engulfed in the spiral of madness, Keiichi just goes further in insanity and you know the rest.
  2. Watanagashi/Meakashi-hen: Keiichi is as what we usually see him: a very dedicated boy, though he was still affected by mistrust on some parts of the plot (especially with Shion). However, he redeemed himself, and tried to save “Mion” from madness. He unfortunately failed, as not only it was NOT Mion, but also, it was already too late for Shion.
  3. Tatarigoroshi-hen: His devotion was devoured by his impulses and his initial powerlessness.
  4. Tsumihoroboshi-hen: The reminiscence of Onikakushi-hen made him realizes that even during such situation, friends must help each other, as nothing is hopeless until the very end. This is the very trigger of his full and brilliant bravery, giving him the ability to demolish RULE X.

Keiichi definitely got a fantastic development, as he was able to confront everyone “sins”, without such judgments and all. Why? because he already fought what was already the issue of many worlds. Also, outside of his own sense of justice, Keiichi wants to take care of his dear friends, as they are his first and true friends.

Since he got already some shit on his own, I believe it is quite easy to tell that Keiichi cares the most for his friends, perhaps even more than Rika, who was stuck in this hellish loop for hundred years.
Do you believe it now? Well, no wonder why Keiichi mastered his language and passionate skills. He then never became the Magician of Words for nothing. All hail K !

II. Sonozaki’s Hostility

We finally got to another great issue in this chapter: The Sonozaki involvement in Satoko’s case.
First, you must know that the Sonozaki aren’t that bad to begin with, and they are far from the angry Yakuza, who can kill you just because you stared in a “bad” way to them. They even show dedication to Rena, in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, as they were searching for her to shelter her from the police, and even help the authorities about the scrapbooks etc.

Now, here is the problem… Satoko is a Houjou…
Should i remind you what happened 4 years ago? Well, the Houjou became the “traitors” of Hinamizawa, and the grudge even last nowadays (as seen as in Yakusamashi-hen).

What does it have anything to do now…? Well much like Ooishi says, the Sonozaki know about this matter from now. Here is the TIPS revealing what happened during their meeting (Of course, since Ooishi gives this “hint” in the anime, they changed the scene, so it is possible to imagine it). [No Back-Up]

As you can see, Sonozaki Oryou is clearly not thrilled about this, and won’t budge at all.
And here is the irony: [The Conduct of Being a Public Official]
What is the problem with this? No special treatment. How is it a problem? Basically, the Child Protection Agency appears to be not exactly impartial by any mean. Since the Sonozaki aren’t backing the matter up, they can go easy on it, even though the emergency is clearly existent.
It might be even worse: Since the Sonozaki are known for their grudge and big influence, “helping one of their enemies” might be a problem for them. This assumption is clearly not great, as it can have a very negative influence on the investigation.
Do you remember of one thing quite similar to this…?
Yes indeed… the annoying RULE Z. This rule is not only a food fest for RULE X, it can even deal many hindrances and problem to Rika, and this is one of the prime example: The Sonozaki can deal a negative impact on some events, even though they don’t do anything… ironically, this is because they are passive that things might go worse.

Now, how can they fight this? Mion had to get through the Sonozaki “Distinction” to get the possible answer of Sonozaki involvement about Satoshi’s case… So… how will they break this idiotic grudge?

Well… you will see.

 

III. Satoko’s condition

Last but not the least, Satoko. Well… let’s summary what is happened to her.

  1. Her mother countlessly get through marriages and divorces
  2. Mr. Houjou wasn’t able to get close to her, and she even faked a child abuse
  3. Even since the Dam War, the Houjou are hated by the villagers. Satoko isn’t spared.
  4. Both parents died in 1980.
  5. Satoko is completely in wreck because of her foster parents, especially her aunt, Houjou Tamae.
  6. Her aunt is killed and Satoshi disappear in 1982.
  7. She is following a medical treatment due a disease. She is currently in LEVEL 3, and can’t be cured for the moment.
  8. Teppei comes back in 1983, some time before the Watanagashi Festival. He completely enslaves her, and abuses her.
  9. Teppei prevents her to run away, as he is threatening her he will burn Satoshi’s room if she flees.
  10. She is forced to lie to the Child Protection Agency and even to her friends, probably because of Teppei, but also because of her own “trial” mindset.

As you can see, the current situation is absolutely not optimist. Satoko got through a traumatic past, is subject of a disease which can drive her mad, and her uncle just use her as a toy.
It is extremely unlikely she will last more than 1-2 weeks at this rate, considering how sensitive Satoko became to any factor reminding her of Teppei.

Remember what I said about Tatarigoroshi-hen in Analysis 8? It is safe to assume that Teppei sexually abused her in Tatarigoroshi-hen… He even thought in this TIPS, [Start of Trouble], that her mother was a beauty… and since Rina isn’t there anymore, you can tell this bastard can do…

Time is against Keiichi, Rika and the rest, but Satoko is already in crisis, as it is fairly possible to assume that she isn’t even able to take her injection. First, she couldn’t even go in school… what was she doing during all this time…? Read back the above TIPS… or if you are lazy, read the few lines below :

“As Teppei’s mood was well, he wanted to show off, and called his friends to play mahjong. He wanted to show off his new pet, who brought him Sake and snacks.

He told her, since she was a pet, to walk on all fours, but she refused.
But, as soon as he made motion to hit her, she readily obeyed.
Everyone laughed, and said they were envious. He was in a good mood.”

Yes, you read it correctly… so, how would she be able to treat herself? Even so, how would she has the mind to do this, as she is enslaved? Much like what Shion said in this episode, Satoko is used as a “trained animal”, as she is obeying like this, even without the need to act accordingly, as her own mind is doing it unconsciously…
Satoko’s psyche is then not only fighting against her own trauma, past… but also against her disease, as she doesn’t even take the injection which only stabilize her state (as implied by Irie).

It doesn’t end here. Why doesn’t Satoko tell to everyone her problems when she is at school for example? A simple fear? No in fact, it is tightly linked with Teppei’s threat with Satoshi’s room. Teppei obviously didn’t get on this room randomly, so he is still lurking for a lazy and dirty way to get money, which will permit him to keep going on his dubious and silly entertaintements. Not only he prohibited her to run away, but also to reveal the truth.
You can read what exactly happened in the following TIPS,
[The nuisance and her return to school].

With this, we can conclude that Satoko refuses help, not only because she must endure it as a trial, but wants to dearly protect what remain from Satoshi, until the later is back.

In conclusion, Satoko is enduring :

  1. Teppei’s abuses (Both physical and mental. Currently, he didn’t sexually abuse her… yet)
  2. Her traumatic past (the loss of her parents, loss of Satoshi)
  3. The general hostility towards her from the villagers, especially the Sonozaki
  4. Her disease (She isn’t able to treat herself considering her current situation)
  5. The cut relationship with her friends (Much like how Satoko was almost breaking, when everyone offered help to her)
  6. The trial she is inflicting to herself (as she thinks it is because of her that Satoshi disappeared, so what she is enduring is a punishment, and her trial is atonement)
  7. Her vow to protect Satoshi’s room (as the only physical place which gather everything her brother had)

That’s too much for a pre-teen girl. Now, you can tell it is REALLY a matter of time before she broke, just like how she did in Tatarigoroshi-hen (again, her freaked reaction to Keiichi’s pat was an indicator that she was already broken, and it is TOO LATE. This is why in this chapter, Keiichi’s pat is a very clear hint that Satoko is still in a “sane” state, but not for long)

…This Fate of June 1983 still remains the same, unrelenting…
…Time is running out, and a dear soul will break soon…
…but a growing wish of salvation is sparking…

…As a symbol of devotion…

Now… Doom is inevitable? 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 Thing]

 

Despite the tension of this episode, a fun fact was shown, and I believe it was interesting to note ^^
As you can see, the Angel Mort is filled by some nerdy lurkers… nothing exactly interesting, until you know they aren’t exactly “calm”…
They are kinda… well… lecherous? Mischievous i would say… Ho well, I believe their involvement in Satoko’s case in this chapter redeems them somehow.

You want to see what I’m talking about? Well, it would be faster if you check by yourself in the manga. It is the chapter 4 of Watanagashi-hen.
Meh… since I’m doing this, I guess nothing prevent me to host them again huh? ^^”
Here are the 20 pages of it. Of course, Credits to the Hinamizawa Project. Enjoy ! ^^

Angel mort fiesta huh?

Punks in action. but… GAR KEIICHI !

Unexpected defeat…

…but PLAN B in preparation!

Shion assaulted? No worries…Rena is here !

Cunning Chibiko ! Punks are in pinch !

Killing Blow ! Keiichi finishes them off! Victory !

 

Want more…? Well, unfortunately, I don’t have meaningful things to add… Or maybe…?
Here is the Kameda Scene in the PS2 version. Much longer, and “intense” I would say ^^

固有結界 (Youtube link)

Yes it looks even more ridiculous, but it is definitely how Kameda was “resisting” his Master K !
In the same process, Keiichi demonstrates even more skills to “brainwash” the desserts lover. (TSUNDERE CAKES ! priceless tsuntsun and deredere, with Satoko as Miss Higurashi. Completely messed up how Keiichi hits Kameda’s weak spots XD)
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Again a peculiar Analysis, as it is another very powerful episode based on Character developments and feelings. DEEN made a tremendous job on this pace, and things will be very enjoyable ^^

Next week will be 対決, Taiketsu, Confrontation. Do you feel it? I do, i really feel the burn, and Keiichi will go on a “rampage”, and this was the EPIC part I was thinking last week.

Now that the last part of “backstage” is set… the rollercoaster is ready to rush fullspeed. Get ready !

See you around!

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21 Responses to “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 9 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments”


  1. 1 sadakups September 2, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Wow, I’m not the only one who noticed that fat glasses guy in the Watanagashi-hen manga was also planning to join Keiichi’s cause. ^_^

  2. 2 Dark-Pie September 2, 2007 at 3:59 am

    Me again, I find it ironic that they’re all working together now. Even after all the bad things that have occured in last arks.

    Speaking of which I have another intresting question. Why don’t other people remember things like Rika’s friends do? Presumably Rika has been “alive” for more then a hundred years, is it not possible she could have encountered someone from hinamizawa who would have remembered? Furthermore, what triggers someone to remember a past “life”?

  3. 3 klashikari September 2, 2007 at 11:55 am

    The problem is: most if not all “outsider” of Rika’s circle are clearly not that close to her.
    As result, they didn’t exactly get through of any major event or important thing.

    I believe that the “miracle” is triggered with various things:
    1) the huge amount of “retries” everyone get through, even if Rika and Hanyuu are the only ones who can remember of the “past”.
    2) the very intense feeling as consequences of the other arcs, be it despair, regrets, or on the opposite, joy and bravery.
    3) their involvement on the earlier events and the current events.

    In the “past” worlds, everything was especially centred on Rika and her friends. The rest of the characters are only as a support, or interacting in the background, when it is their turn. They are not actively in the fray, so it doesn’t exactly help

    and finally, i don’t believe it would help anything if some people begin to remember things as well. (well, maybe for Tomitake and Takano, but considering how they are terminated “early”, not really that good)

  4. 4 Hecman September 2, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Wait I read the tip, but how does Satoko actually buy Sake for her bastard uncle? Ain’t there a age limit in Japan on minors buying alcohol?

  5. 5 klashikari September 3, 2007 at 12:48 am

    There are high chances that Satoko was forced to get in… well not exactly “legal shop”. And since Hinamizawa is a rural village, you can tell they aren’t as strictly tied as in urban cities.

    I might try to check some information about japan around 80′, but it isn’t exactly that surprising.

  6. 6 Narrator 1 September 3, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    That would explain why Rika is able to get her hands on alcohol as well. You’d have to be a rural town to allow prepubescent girls to drink that much, I think…

    (No offense to people who actually live in rural towns.)

  7. 7 Hecman September 3, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Since Rika is revered by the Hinamizawa villagers, getting a bottle of wine for her no problem. Hell, I’ll sell Rika a bottle of wine, thinking its for a shrine offering.

    Additional, the tip about Riks’s drinking habit makes a good point that a bottle will last her a very long time. I wouldn’t suspect her of drinking it. She a good little girl after all.

    To think alcohol is something you casually send a child to buy. Its not like its a piece of meat you buy from a butcher shop.

    On that note why would they sell alcohol to a Hojou, a traitor?

    Kind of strange that the child protection agency and Oishi to ignore Satoko’s fate when Teppei is a marked man. Does the tips have Oishi scrap book on Teppei’s return? Like Teppei sends minor, his neice, to buy alcohol and has her skip school for a few days.

    Oh Rika, maybe the store owner is reliving the same events like Rika and willing sells alcohol to Satoko. Maybe her bastard uncle will drink himself to death…

  8. 8 klashikari September 3, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Correct: Since Rika is worshipped, it wouldn’t be “that” a problem, especially if she lie about it.
    That said, a bottle would last a long time, since her body isn’t able to last long before she got drunk, so forced to dilute it XD

    As for Satoko, i begin to suspect either 2 cases:
    1) She is buying stuff with a shady seller (since teppei has friends in hinamizawa, you can tell there are few people who don’t mind that much. Keep in mind that during the Dam War, the Houjou were only the “apparant” supporters. There were other villagers who wanted the money as well, and didn’t mind much about leaving Hinamizawa. However, the way how the Houjou were treated make them withdraw, as they didn’t want to be ostracized as well…)

    2) She is forced to go to Okinomiya… you see what i mean? Yes… this bastard forces her to go to the town for this kind of shit…
    Considering the plastic bags, and the look the bottles and snacks, i believe this point is even more realist than the “shady seller”.

    Back with the child agency and the police, it is extremely tight.
    Ooishi cannot act, as they need a warrant to investigate. Let’s not forget that Ooishi is from the Okinomiya police station, and shouldn’t stick too much on Hinamizawa. he doesn’t have a great margin of action to begin with. (another reason why the villagers aren’t exactly thrilled with him, since he sticks his nose in some affairs he isn’t supposed to do to begin with)

    as for the child agency, the issue is that Satako doesn’t say anything. Worse, she could even say: i’m just doing this kindly for my uncle, he didn’t forced me to do so.

    if we add several parts how teppei “tamed” satoko, there is absolutely no way any party can act…

    it is extremely sad, and this is the reason why Teppei deserved to die for Keiichi and Shion (and Rena with the 2 others as well in Tsukiotoshi-hen)
    I’m still impressed that Keiichi was “just commenting” the murder in Minagoroshi, while it was almost as horrible as in Tatarigoroshi-hen.

  9. 9 Hecman September 4, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Your right! There no convenient stores in Hinamizawa, that explain why Irie gave Satoko a ride from town, but ain’t their a law that would bust Teppei for having a minor buy beer for him? Only way she can buy beer if it was conveniently sold in vendor machines… which is fact true… dam thats too convenient. >_<

    Then what your telling me its up to Satoko to free her self from this fate without having her friends stain their hands with Teppei’s blood.

    But the only way I can see that happening is for Satoko to forgave herself and let go of her dear Nii-Nii.

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