Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai – 04
The festival is here – it’s time for some killin’!!!! Somebody’s gonna die by the end of this episode – that much is pretty obvious. Who’s it gonna be? How’s it gonna play out? Well, as if the screenshots didn’t spoil that already…
We start with the events of the Watanagashi festival – the group, sans Rika, assembles sometime in the early afternoon at the temple grounds, where the various food and game stalls are up and running. K-chan shows up late – bad move to have your girls all together in the same place, plotting how they will punish you. For starters, he gets his face stuffed with an entire mounds of cotton candy – twice – while I sit here wondering what it would feel like to be punished by Mion’s own two mounds. Moving right along, the first club contest is a takoyaki (octopus balls) eating contest. Naturally, K1 tries to show up the girls but ends up overdoing it – he gets last place if he’s incapable of continuing, right? Same deal with the shaved ice contest – same deal with the cotton candy contest (granted that he already had two to begin with…)
Elsewhere, Rika is in the dressing room suiting up in her miko outfit. Faced with the image of herself in a miko costume – the symbol of her role in the impending Watanagashi – Rika is overwhelmed with despair and hopelessness, almost to the point where she just wants to cry out and give up. But she continues on, all the way through the festival, dutifully performing her ritual dance.
Right after the dance, Rika rushes off into the woods, looking for him. Who? Who? Where is he? As Tomitake emerges from the bushes, Rika grabs him by the arm. Did you go in? Did you already go in?? He denies everything and walks away… just as Rika whispers “you better be careful… tonight, you and Takano will be murdered.”
Satoko hears the whole thing, spying from behind a tree.
Later that night, Tomitake begins clawing away at his throat through his gurgled cries of agony…
The next morning, the creepy cop shows up to question Rika. He tries to coerce some information out of her, specifically about her little chat with Tomitake in the woods, but Rika plays it off with her girlish charms. Ooishi, being the old lech that he is, falls for it instantly and leaves.
Once again, Satoko has heard the entire conversation. Why is Rika lying? What’s going on? Could it have something to do with Rika’s prior claims of her own murder?
That night, while Satoko confronts Rika about the lies, someone snoops around outside of their house. Satoko gets real suspicious while Rika plays it off, saying it was probably a cat. The next morning on their way to school, a similar feeling of being watched overcomes Satoko again, with Rika oblivious again. And one more time at school, with some creep watching through the window. Satoko tells Rika of her suspicions after school, and Rika completely dodges it by making a silly face. Ignorance is bliss…
Satoko is feeling pretty genki after that, until the dude pops up again on their way home from the market. By now Satoko is going pretty apeshit inside – she’s totally freaked out and she’s got nobody she can call out to for help, now that her nii-nii is gone.
That night, while Satoko is in the bath, Rika does another one of her doppelganger chats, this time voicing that she’s completely given up. If there’s nothing I can do… then I’ll do nothing.
The next morning (wow this episode covers a lot of days), Satoko spills the beans to K1, Rena, Mion and Shion. They all say they’ll look out for this stalker, but later on it’s clear that they don’t believe her either. So now, Satoko is feeling pretty damn lonely with nobody to depend on.
Nobody but herself. The next morning, she wakes up early to set up some trip wire hooked up to wooden clappers, so if anybody steps into the vicinity of the house, she’ll hear em. She heads off to school with Rika, but on the way, she tells Rika she forgot something back at the house and will catch up with her later. Rika knows something’s up, but lets her go anyways…
Satoko runs to the clinic to see Irie-sensei, who she was supposed to meet to talk with. There’s a bunch of cops when she gets there… turns out that Irie-sensei… had committed suicide. The investigator on duty sees Satoko standing there stunned, and after talking with her, decides that he’ll send a cop to go protect her. Satoko feels a bit better and heads off to school.
The investigator heads back to the station… on the way, he seems some suspicious looking dudes with a white van breaking into the radio tower. “Hey, what are you doing?” were his last words, before taking one in the face from a silenced handgun.
So much for that police protection. Satoko stays up until midnight that night, waiting for her protection. Instead, she hears the clappers go off…
So the deaths have started, and there seems to be no stopping in sight with the guys from the evil organization now just on the outskirts of the village. Even the only one who seems to have any sort of knowledge of what’s going on has completely given up, realizing that even with her futile effort to stop Tomitake, there was no going around her fate… or her job as a miko.
So, it seems like it’s all up to little Satoko now, who’s significantly more likeable these days without Satoshi around to baby her. She did seem a bit creepy sneaking around and spying on all of Rika’s conversations, but that only seemed to make her stronger and more aware of the situation, rather than just denying it like everybody else has. She even went as far to set up her alarm system… but now that it’s been triggered, what will happen? Kitchen knife? 2×4? Or just her deadly good looks?