Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 23 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments

[Disclaimer]: This entry might contain MINOR spoilers. However, while the analysis might push you to these minorspoilers, 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!

Matsuribayashi-hen Analyses: [Makuake], [Trap], [48 jikan], [Koubou]

Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this!

Today, I will focus mainly on the following points:

  1. Playfield
  2. Failure
  3. Random Thing: EVEN more original BGM (available NOW)



I. Playfield

This episode was a drastic change in terms of “battlefield” compared to episode 22: The yamainu got utterly serious and assaulted their targets fully equipped. However, things didn’t end as Okonogi could expect, and there are many good reasons for this.

First of all, “trap” should be quite the word. Isn’t it a bid exaggerated though? Well, this is probably a mistake from the anime, but as you can see, the location itself was the trap, which was the biggest mistake the Yamainu could do.
Why would the club members wandering in the montains, instead of using traps in the Sonozaki grounds, as it is a better “castle”?
It doesn’t have anything to do with the prior “fall” of the said stronghold. Rather, the montain was a big trumpcard for them.

The reason? Because of the said traps. I’m sure people actually believe the traps here and there were absolutely absurd and such, as they are probablu numerous to take down all of them, especially if they cannot be displaced. However, this is where the anime made a mistake, but not from the script: the montains were Satoko’s playfield.
As seen in this TIPS and in Piece #30, the mountains were Satoko’s “territory”. As she grew up in Hinamizawa, she actually lay traps here and there for months, or even years. This is the reason why they could have such kind of defense, despite the very short time elapsed between the attack on the Sonozaki’s mainhouse compared to the present.
Adding the facts the club members had several trip around these as well, it isn’t even surprising to see them being able to use the booby traps around. Therefore, they only need to set a plan and formation, along with possible big traps requiring several peoples (such like the tree trunks).

That was the very first mistake of the yamainu, and they paied the price with the second one: their conceit behaviour. Okonogi was certain they spelled their doom because of the location. The moutains are indeed a good way to join Okinomiya, but it is an isolated place. Therefore, even if you hide yourself in the woods, chance you can get reinforcements or you can leave unoticed are very low, or even not existent. This is mentioned by Rika who admitted she tried to survive by herself in the woods in a random world, in Minagoroshi-hen and she could only live roughly until July.

On this basis, the yamainu have the obvious mindset “you are done for”: Rika and her friends won’t get any reinforcement until Tomitake can get out of Hinamizawa. Also, they cannot run away due the location. Furthermore, the isolated place allow them to use the equipment, and so their weaponry. If you think about it, it is like a side who finally got the favorable condition to use a Tank against infantry armed with water guns.

This behaviour was the trigger of their downfall, because they didn’t expect much resistance: considering the elapsed time and the place, who would actually think the area would be literally filled of traps, almost as dangerous as a mine field?
This point mutated quickly into some huge backfire, a toll which was translated as a failure for their mission: psychological warfare.

I’m not talking about Hanyuu’s bluff, but rather the whole deal: the traps. As some people would think, after several traps, the yamainu should be able to avoid the traps, due of an improvement of their awareness. This is actually a mistake, because even if you actually know there are traps, that doesn’t give you guarantee you can avoid them, especially if the pattern is random and filled with fake traps etc, as demonstrated at the start.
This isn’t all: some of these traps are almost lethal… and I think the traps lectures TIPS [Novice] [Intermediate] [Expert] proved that Satoko can obviously craft very painful, dangerous and hazardous traps. The result of this? Fear. Whatever you can claim, wandering in an environment where random traps that can almost kill you is exactly not a field trip. If you add the fact these guys KNOW that they were done by bunch of kids, it is even more troublesome to deal with.
The psychological impact is quite big because of this, as Kids are usually known as “futile” but also “reckless”. These traps were underestimated because they were kids, and then, they are feared BECAUSE they are kids, as they obviously don’t have a specific patterns and all. Since they don’t even know how many there are (as they wouldn’t expect that amount), the soldiers are trapped mercilessly.

The yamainu are let loose in a complete unpredictable situation: they have to retrieve their target who is a child among others hiding in an unknown field to them, filled with unknown amount of traps.

This is already quite big impact, but things go even more on a “snowball pattern” considering the traps: their looks, their effects are nothing to laugh at. What is worse is actually how it is effective… How would you react when you see your comrades falling one by one around you? By bunch of kids!?
That’s like a random nightmare apposed to you: where to go? Where is the target? How can i “survive” unscarred?
The troops were spread and scattered, getting another blow on the moral, as seeing professionals falling in the clutch of mere “pranks” of some kids is nothing funny… it is bluntly absurd for the concerned persons.

This is actually the true psychological effect of this siege turning sour for the yamainu: too much unknown factors, unbeliveably effective traps, big loss here and there… things done by mere kids…
This is a very worning out cocktail for them, as the situation looks too surreal, but they obviously can’t do anything…
What can they do? Trying to figure where are the traps is nothing but futile because it would waste their precious time (as they think the kids are actually trying to escape, instead of fighting them on the frontline). Even trying to be more cautious wouldn’t help, as it is the strength of traps: possibility to actually trouble the targets, since it is forcing sometimes unecessary prudence, which is even worse if the pattern is completely random… What’s the point, trying to notice a cable, if it is the ground itself which is trapped? What happen “remotely” activated traps like Rena and Keiichi’s?

This psychology massacre was kinda oppressive for them, despite how “child play” it might look for us. That’s is taking a huge toll on them, which creates much more opening for the club members to strike them down with psychological means, such like Hanyuu and Keiichi’s bluff.
I don’t disagree the fact that seeing that radio guy fleeing is a bitover the top, however, it isn’t as stretchy as one might think. First, Hanyuu’s voice they heard is obviously not something they would expect nor recognize. Keiichi’s, perhaps, however, please be aware that we are in anime, and there isn’t much way for the seiyuu to change their voices until it is absolutely silly (Hanyuu’s case is explanaible due… well her nature). Furthermore, it is quite usual since it doesn’t confuse the audience. It has been said that Keiichi used a skreetching voice, which means it would be actually hard to figure who it is, especially it is via radio AND they were not stalking that close to Rika.
The second point is actually the fact they were the deceivers of the curse with Takano. Now that something really eerie happens before them, some doubts might raise, especially that there isn’t any proof they are not infected by the syndrome as well.
These 2 points are mixed with a psychologically aweakened state, which obviously finish them off

Meanwhile, the club members are “enjoying” on their side. How can they act like that?
I think we cannot insist more on the facts that Keiichi, Rena, Mion, Satoko and Rika are NOT common children. It isn’t only a matter of past, but also of situation… They aren’t allowed to lose, they cannot think about that. Survival and victory are the main points, that’s their goals but also their wish. Remember how they bravely fought in Minagoroshi-hen…? That’s the same.
The extent of the situation isn’t fully grasped by the group and the tragedy only occured when Keiichi was shot down. This triggered the harsh reality which destroyed completely their “playful” behaviour despite they were trying to survive.
Thinking about their comrades is something more natural and vastly more priotirized considering the wager: the existence of the whole village. Their own life doesn’t matter much as long as the others are good and well which is proved in the various tradegies in the previous arcs, such like Watanagashi-hen/Meakashi-hen where Keiichi could be killed anytime, but he was still worried about “Mion”, or Tsumihoroboshi-hen where the same situation happened with Rena, and the whole ordeal became a surprisingly euphoric and entertaining “club activity” for both.
All of them proved to be caring… too caring for their own good sometimes. But this is actually their strength in this chapter, and why they are able to fight back bravely against bunch of soldiers who can massacre them with a simple touch of their machine gun trigger.

II. Failure

The yamainu don’t have much options, as their operation is a complete failure. There isn’t much possibility for them to salvage the situation until they are lucky enough or they can prepare a genius/desperate plan to find out Rika.

As shown in this episode, Okonogi and his men are only some kind of “mercenaries”. Even if they were paied by Takano, the bribe isn’t worthing much a complete loyalty if they are screwed big time.
I think you noticed how Okonogi was really nonchalant towards her superior, right? It might looks like he was fed up with her behaviour of “supreme chief you don’t know how the true battlefield is”, but considering his last line, it isn’t ironic to say that Takano might eat the same medecine she dealt all this time: treachery.

It is only natural: they were paied, but that’s it. They don’t share the same view of things, nor the beliefs and all. Considering how Takano was obsessed with her theory, this isn’t a proof of cool head or intelligent behaviour… if you add how Takano treats them like mere tools, it is obvious the bounds between her and her “men” aren’t steel solid.

This point is getting a stronger emphasis because of Takagi’s call, who weirdly requested a talk with Okonogi instead of Takano.
Remember what Takagi said to Takano? The plan was in jeopardy, and therefore, her clients were agitated, which could also result into a complete abandon of this said plan. Takagi’s true objective is only to take down the Koizumi’s party… And the situation is already in their favour as even if Takano fails, her theory would be proved wrong or silly, which will have an impact on the Koizumi’s party who was supporting her in the past because of Takano Hifumi’s theory.

If her partyisn’t cought, they will have large benefits from this situation, whatever happens. Therefore, withdrawing their support and all at the critical moment can be a good cover for them. This is the reason why she called Okonogi as he would obviously think the same way. This point is proved by his last comment as he was staring at Takano.
If they can get out of this desperate and crumbling situation, the aftermath for their client doesn’t concern them, so Takano will be alone in her downfall if the treachery is well done.


Fate of June 1983 will be soon concluded
…the struggle is progressively ending
as she gambled everything on her sacrifice…

…her safety was granted…for now…

Will everyone be happy?
This is your decision to witness the possible arrival of a miracle…
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai continues…


[Random Thing]


What is actually better than some great original BGM? MORE BGM ! ^^”

I’m finally done with the identification of the BGM, so now here they are.
First, here is sterling01’s request: 「エピローグ」 , epilogue. This is actually what happens after Rika travels to the next world, when Takano launches the extermination plan, celebrating her god achievement.

Nico video (PS2 version, with original BGM of the PC game).

It has much more impact, isn’t? I’m particularly fond of the tsuki BGM, as it is giving a big emphasis on power and superiority etc.

Now, for a more “appropriate” selection of BGM… the ones which should have been used in episode 23!

You do want more…? Well, I believe you will have to wait for “tomorrow”… This will be my Christmas present for you, faithful readers! ^^”


7 Responses to “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 23 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments”

  1. 1 sterling01 December 17, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Great to see you included those Watanagashi-hen/Meakashi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen points

    and Thanks for taking the time to look for those BGMs

  2. 2 Jakinbandw December 17, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    thought you might be intrested:

    Higurashi has a third season

  3. 3 klashikari December 17, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I already know about it 😉
    I will of course keep an eye on it and post any news about it of course! ^^

  4. 4 Hecman December 18, 2007 at 12:31 am

    Third season?! But this is the last arc. How can there be a third season? Its too good to be true.

  5. 5 sadakups December 18, 2007 at 3:55 am

    HiguRei arcs? Manga original arcs? PS2 Matsuri arcs? O__O

  6. 6 klashikari December 24, 2007 at 12:05 am

    @Sterling01: well, I believe these points were quite pertinent during this helluva long discussion on AS, so it would be already quite something good to add with the main arguments taken already.

    @sadakups: There are many possbilities for this. We will probably have to wait for January-March 2008 to get some news.

    And now, as you might see now, the BGM are fully uploaded by your faithfully yours ^^

  1. 1 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Episode 24 : Analysis, Thoughts, and Random Comments « When Anime Past Meets Present Trackback on January 1, 2008 at 12:43 am

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