Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 12 : Minagoroshi-hen 7, Hinamizawa Shoukougun

[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!

After the despair of that axe murder (as I covered the delay issue in this entry), my impatience was overwhelming. I sincerely apologize and I will only provide some hasty job for now. I hope you will bear the inconvenience.
This week, the culprit is finally on their way for the disaster. Now, what will Rika and her friends do? The gap between each group “power” is abyssal… no, it can’t be even compared.
As she is rallying her allies for the truth, another unexpected event shall generate even more despair…
The long awaited episode today is 雛見沢症候群 – Hinamizawa Shoukougun – Hinamizawa Syndrome. Lots of revelations…

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Minagoroshi-hen part7 : Hinamizawa Shoukougun

Ooishi and Rika are in his car, and they of course talk about Tomitake and Takano’s deaths. Ooishi asks if she can remember of any clue about the persons who planned the murders, but Rika isn’t able to do so. Considering she is the head of the Furude Shrine, Ooishi gives her invaluable information about a very strange point for this year case: Ooishi explains the coroners determine the time of death as 24 hours prior the festival, and thus, she “died” the night before the festival. However, as everyone can aknowledge, she was definitely alive during the Festival. Rika is completely dumbstruck.
Ooishi explains they had to identify the corpse with the dental print from Takano’s dentist. And here is the interesting point: what if someone changed her dental print? Simply put, it would mean Takano is alive, and lurking somewhere. Rika reacts immediately to this comment, asking if Takano is the culprit. Ooishi answers that Oyashiro-sama’s curse is premedidate crime, so it would fit the chain of mysterious deaths in Hinamizawa.

At the clinic, Irie is desperate and doesn’t understand why Takano would kill Tomitake. Rika doesn’t know and tells him that Ooishi doesn’t have a clue. She asks to Okonogi if he doesn’t know anything.
Of course, Okonogi doesn’t know, and reports that since both victims are from the Irie clinic, they can’t discard a possibility that a traitor is among them. Irie understands that Tokyo even suspect him, but adamently asks what he would gain by doing this. Okonogi tells Rika to not worry about it, as they will stick on their duty.

Rika and Hanyuu are sitting, Hanyuu says they couldn’t prevent it after all. Then Rika says it is different now. She admits she never ever considered the possibility that Takano was the culprit. Hanyuu answers she isn’t able to tell who are their allies and who are their enemies anymore, but Rika says she won’t give up, ever.

Rika won’t go school, and Satoko wonders if she shouldn’t stay with her. Rika assures her she has a fever, and she will be okay soon, as she will call the clinic if her condition goes worse. Rika determines that if she will be attacked, it should be today or tomorrow, and so, she can’t let Satoko involved in this (Much like in Yakusamashi-hen). Hanyuu says if she dies, she can be reborn in another Hinamiza, and so she asks why Rika is so persistent. Rika wonders if Hanyuu doesn’t want to see what await them beyond the fate of 1983. Hanyuu argues she surely wants, but she says it is sorrowful to see Rika’s hopes getting betrayed like this.

Rika then receives a phone call from Okonogi. Okonogi tells her Irie is the culprit.
He furtherly explains that Tokyo investigation confirmed Irie was the mastermind in this case. It appears Takano and Tomitake discovered that Irie misuse some funds of the Institute, and therefore have been silenced. Okoniga then says Rika could be Irie’s trump card (blackmail?) and so, they reinforced the security and then asks Rika to not leave her house if possible. Rika is shocked, but doesn’t understand, and doesn’t believe Irie is the mastermind.
Rika calls Ooishi and tells him she is in danger and it might be the people who killed Tomitake and Takano. Ooishi understands and sends a police patrol immediately to her. He will come when his work in Gifu will be done.
Rika doesn’t know whoever between irie or Skonogi she has to trust. Thus, she believes that trusting the police isn’t a bad solution. As Rika is still thinking of trustful allies to get, she is interrupted by…

Satoko and everyone else. It appears she brought everyone, as she senses something is wrong, and they heard what Rika said. They are puzzled what she said about being killed, and ask firmly what is the problem.
Rika then asks Keiichi if he still believe he can beat fate. Keiichi answers affirmatively. Rika says she never told them this matter because she didn’t want to make them involved in this, but Mion and Satoko disapprove what she is saying. Rika understands and will explain them what is the Hinamizawa Syndrome and what is happening with her life…

Rika begins to explain the Hinamizawa syndrome, a peculiar disease which is exclusive to this area. The disease was discovered during the war. All soldiers from Hinamizawa had erratic behaviour: Once the symptoms kick in, the subjects can’t discern who are his enemies or allies due the surge of paranoia. Clouded by illusions, the patients begin to act violent. Then in the end, they die by clawing out their throat, trying to scratch their lymph glands.

Rika explains the research concluded that the disease is local to the village, and every inhabitants are affected by it. The symptoms emerge if the subjects leave Hinamizawa. The results of this are huge stress, making the subjects sensitive and easely affected by delusions and paranoia. In rare instances, the symptoms can calm down, but once the symptoms are emerged, the patients won’t heal even after returning to the village.
Rika believes the villagers knew about this before, but instead of considering it as a disease, they thought it was a curse. She says the legends of the demons of Onigafuchi was probably portraying insane villagers, killing each others. Then, the “curse of Oyashiro-sama” was a measure to prevent outbreak of the disease, as under the rule and fear of the curse, people would not conflict each other, thus decreasing the chances of suspicions, paranoia and the like.
Keiichi wonders why the disease wasn’t plubicized. Rika answers the lack of cure can bring more worries than anything else, but there is also another reason: some people want this disease as a biological weapon.
And for this purpose, the Irie clinic was dispatched, which is a disguise. In fact, it is the Irie’s Institution, making research on the Syndrome and creating biological weapons from it.

Irie is still not calm about this matter. Okonogi tells him he should be happy that he is now the leader of the institution but Irie can’t accept this advantage at the expense of the life of his friends. Irie admits Takano was the chief of the project from the very beginning. Despite of this, he was able to do the research for the cure, and because of this, he is thankful to Takano, but also claims Takano was passionate in eluciding the Syndrome. As result, he believes she had died with regrets as she wasn’t able to fulfill this. Okonogi comments that Takano would probably appreciate what Irie said.

Ooishi’s dispatched patrol finally arrived and the policemen are already protecting the house.
Keiichi and the rest are completely shocked by what Rika tells her, and they wonder from where Irie and the rest have their support, etc.

Rika explains it is directly from Tokyo, or rather a secret organization using this name. The sponsor is composed of various politicians, financial experts, military personnel and governement officials from the war period. While Rika doesn’t know much about them, she says they are in the core of struggle of powers, as many governement and even business circles are involved in it. Thus, they want a biological weapon, and since it would be against the biological weapons convention, this project is top secret. She then tells them that Irie is however more dedicated in the research of the cure, and thanks to him, they could create injections powerful enough to suppress the symptoms of even a LEVEL 5.
To maintain this secret, the Yamainu, a special force unit, was dispatched to protect the institute.
Rika understands they won’t believe her but…

However, Keiichi downright says he believes her. He admits it is hard to believe it, but since it is Rika, he will do so. Rena soon says the same, and remembers something wrong with her during the school incident.

After what Rika and Rena said, Satoko begins to realize there is a link between what Irie did to her with the injections and what happened during the accident in 1980. Rika quickly approaches her and pats her, saying it is okay, while Satoko is crying. She tells her she doesn’t have to remember, and someday the time will come, but it isn’t necessary now.

Keiichi then resumes the discussion about the fact Rika will be killed. He wonders how this matter is connected with what she just said about the disease. Keiichi naturally thinks this is maybe because she knew about it that she will be killed. Rika then corrects her earlier statement about the fact that “leaving Hinamizawa is the trigger”. She then tells them she is the element which suppress the evolution of the disease: Once a village leave her side, s/he begins to develop the symptoms of the syndrome.
Rika begins to explain that there is always at least a “Queen Carrier”, which is the lineage of the Furude.
The Queen carrier, much like a queen bee, creates some pheromones, acting against the development of the disease. Rika concludes it is perhaps the reason why the villagers treasure her and the previous female descendants of the Furude Family, instinctively.
Keiichi stops her and realizes something: everyone in Hinamizawa should be affected and he asks what would happen if she dies. Rika answers as soon this will happen, the villagers will get the symptopms, and much like how it is depected in the legends of Onigafuchi, everyone will turn into a demon, killing each other.
Rika doesn’t know for what purpose the culprit does that, but if there is a profit behind this, it is only natural they will hunt her life down.

Irie and Okonogi still chat a bit. Irie apologizes to Okonogi, forcing him to stay with him. The later doesn’t mind at all, as it is quite nothing compared to the time they had to kidnap the minister’s grandson. Irie hopes the culprit will be caught, as at this rate, the facility will probably closed soon. At least, he wishes they can finish to find the cure before that happen.
Then, a soldier enters and reports something to okonogi.
Irie wonders what’s happening, then Okonogi tells him they were contacted by Takano. Then they will resume the plan. Irie is completely oblivious…

Back with Rika and everyone else, they all deduce Takano is the culprit. Keiichi comments the inconsistency with the corpse is too fishy, and he can’t trust Okonogi’s call. Shion agrees with that, as it is hardly believable that irie would be a mastermind… rather, he would probably be the one being used in such case. As they are talking a bit happily, Rika is puzzled and surprised considering they believe her without any problem etc. Keiichi comforts her that they are friends/comrades and if they don’t trust each other, it is the end. Rena adds that since she believes them, it is natural for them to believe her in return.

While everyone are keep going in their chat, Rika is preparing some drink and talks with Hanyuu, boatsing about her wonderful friends. Hanyuu is still a bit concerned that Rika didn’t talk about the facts Keiichi, Rena and Shion went crazy before in other worlds because of the disease. Rika teases her, as she reminds her that as an aftermath of these events, she always tailed either of them, repeating “i’m sorry” over and over, because she can’t do anything. Rika then says it has nothing to do with “keiichi and the rest” of this world.
Rika receives a phone call from Ooishi, who will come soon. Rika is relieved and tell him to come quickly.

Ooishi and Kuma are on their way, but stop as they see a man lockpicking something with other men in the van, and they are suspicious. Ooishi is too concerned, and asks Kuma to check the car plate. Then Both are leaving the car. Meanwhile one of the yamainu man is talking with another one via radio. He is requesting from their headquarters the permission to open fire…

Ooishi arrives and wants some explanation about this late work. He doesn’t buy the yamainu guy explanation, but then…
Ooishi is shot in the head by a sniper… Kuma has barely the time to realize it as he is soon shot in the head as well.
They are the first to fall…


Thoughts :

To be quite honest, the wait for this episode was so annoying that this episode was almost a bliss ^^”
Like I warned before, this episode reveals tons of information, which is quite crucial for the later part of the series, either for the understanding or the solution of it. I will cover it on the Analysis, of course.

To raise my voice, I don’t see any flaws with the content of this episode. Basically, I believe most if not everyone will be satisfied at first with the answers, which are beyond the “petty” theories we could think before.
To be quite blunt, this episode is the natural consequence of Rika’s battle during the whole chapter, as she was able to prevent tragedies, but also build trust with her friends (No wonder why they believe in her quite easely in this chapter). Now, i’m wondering if some of you noticed some… “weird” parts in this episode…

There is however a solid complaint I would cast in this episode, which lowers the score to 9 in my books: the visual quality.
In various scenes, especially with Okonogi, one Keiichi+Mion+Rena and finally Satoko goofy design, you see they are quite inconsistant in the traits, especially the hair and the eyes. The colors aren’t exactly great either, and the sheer amount of low quality flashback (unrelated with the filters) with both new footage (Hinizawa soldiers, Irie and Rena) and old footage of the old season isn’t good either.
At least, neither Rika and Hanyuu were affected by this, nor the last scene with Ooishi.
It isn’t poor, but it is quite the least “eye candy” episode of the second serie, which still have easely the upper hand compared to the first season.
Ironically enough, the opening of this episode is much better in quality than the previous episodes’ opening ^^”
The animation didn’t suffered a lot either, though i could notice some lipsync issue (only one or twice), but nothing bad, or worth to note.

The sound doesn’t have any issue either. One might complain about the lack of track here, but the silence was well worth in various instances in Rika’s explanations. There is neat timing, such like the track used for Rika’s queen carrier explanation, and Ooishi’s scene.

The pace and the content, as said earlier are very good, unfolding the last pieces, before the massacre begins…

Everything is now set, and Takano is lurking around with her scythe…
As another warning,
It isn’t like episode preview for episode 11, but much like how was episode 5, the intensity might be watered down if you spoil yourself.
The analysis should be done in few hours or tomorrow… I guess i will have fun ^^”


6 Responses to “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 12 : Minagoroshi-hen 7, Hinamizawa Shoukougun”

  1. 1 LunA September 24, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    …is it back? *0* how happy I am

  2. 2 snobaste September 24, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Very very happy that a network decided to air! Can’t wait for a sub so i can see how this all goes down 😀

  3. 3 Hecman September 25, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Hmm… for some reason I don’t feel down that that Ooishi and Kuma are dead in this arc. Maybe, I’m just happy that Higurashi was showing at all.

    I wonder who will survive the end of this arc. Rika knows the end is coming now that Tomitake and Takano have been “cursed”. At least she made progress and defeated 2 of the rules. More importantly she learned fate can be changed.

  4. 4 Daek-Pie September 26, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Mr. Delicious! NOOOOOOOO!!!

  5. 5 CoasterVille Cheat May 23, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things,
    therefore I am going to convey her.

  1. 1 When WE cried… Higurashi Kai Episode 12 cancelled…TEMPORARLY ! Aired on SUN TV on 9/24! « When Anime Past Meets Present Trackback on September 24, 2007 at 7:51 pm

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