「Episode 04」

I ask because this episode’s developments follow similar story threads as MK9 where Raiden is tasked with using his future memories to reshape the past so that the PS2 MK games don’t happen. Except in this situation, it looks like Rika will make a concentrated effort to switch up the events of the original Higurashi with results that vary from bad to worse. Unfortunately for Rika, her attempts to change the Onikakushi-hen chapter backfire horrifically.

As it turns out, having past knowledge of the old series helps to make Gou even more batshit crazy by flipping the script based on slight changes to the narrative. Rather than allowing Keiichi to wallow in his paranoia until he eventually beat two of the girls to death with a bat, Rika tries to intervene, getting Keiichi to calm down about Rena.

If we’ve been led to believe that Keiichi is only seeing these hallucinations because Oyashiro’s Curse hit him with something fierce, it might not be a bad idea to approach her with open arms. Keiichi is somewhat aware of what happened in the past timeline, so maybe his problem was that he approached Rena like she was a monster. If he unhooked the bolt-lock, maybe he won’t have to slam the door on her and eat a needle later on. If he let the door open and invited her in, the possibility could arise that the Oyashiro goggles will disappear and Rena will be the same sweet girl that he had some chemistry with back when they were at the festival. Seems well-intended, right?

Wrong-o! It actually made things worse and caused Keiichi to go on the defensive as she started clawing at her own neck and going after him with a knife. They did a good job of making the scene suspenseful with the music shift and the sudden twist of events. Part of me assumed that it would play out as a more drawn-out version of the original scene where Rena gets locked out of the house after creeping Keiichi out.

But what really made the scene terrifying though was how much the atmosphere dramatically changed once it’s set in stone that this isn’t going to play out like you think it will. As soon as Keiichi gets the knife in his gut, the scene intensifies even further as the music picks up the pace and Keiichi’s screaming gets more and more agonized. It’s a very intense sequence and with the lack of knowledge on what to expect from the show, it made it exciting to see just how the scene was going to turn out and how much of the past was changed just from Rika’s encouragement.

One unusual thing about the scene is that Keiichi manages to be the victor in this fight. The two start jabbing at each other with the weapons they have in-hand, but Keiichi had already been stabbed numerous times before he decided to start bashing a clock into Rena’s head. Even stranger is how Keiichi managed to survive the stab wounds he got for long enough to stay in the hospital. The curse he managed to take in might have saved him up until he realized his neck was itching the same way it did for Rena, but it did remind me of some of the fluke scenes in the original where characters survive falls off of buildings or life-threatening injuries.

Although this means that this chapter is coming to its close, Mion adds one piece to the puzzle that might factor into future arcs. After Keiichi and Rena had passed out from having tried to murder each other, the police also found that Rika and Satoko were murdered with the same knife Rena used. Additionally, everyone was mum about the details behind his survival, Rena’s demise, or the fates of the other girls up until Mion let him know what happened. It’s framed as a “robbery gone wrong”, but could it have been Mion? Or did Keiichi or Rena black-out and unknowingly kill the two? Or did Satoko and Rika come upon the knife and attempted to kill each other in a similar fight? Whoever might have killed them, it gives us something to think about for the next arc if we eventually get the answers as to what really happened.


  1. I’m guessing the case for Satoko and Rika was a murder-suicide. Rika, like the audience, thought she was in a version of Onikakushi where things were going right for Keiichi. Then upon realizing it was Rena she was supposed to watch out for killed herself to move on, but took out Satoko first to avoid making her suffer

    1. Wasn’t there a plot point in Kai that Rika never killed anyone in those 100 years? I imagine Rika killed herself because she didn’t want to wait to be killed and Satoko seeing her suicide did the same out of insanity.

      memi mori
      1. Was that a point? I do conclude that’s more believable, The reason why I figured Rika might not have wanted to let Satoko witness her death was because I wondered if the changes in events went far enough to mean the Hinamizawa disaster wouldn’t occur,

        1. I thought there was very little someone can do to help someone suffering from Hinamizawa syndrome? The virus/bacteria whatever, has multiple stages usually ending in suicide. Its such a self destructing condition that in the reality we’ve just seen things are going to end pretty badly without immediate intervention from the docs.

  2. So Rena was the one going crazy this time. Or both?
    It’s not a comedy but I had to laugh when we saw Rena’s “cooking ingredients” spread out, and even more so when it escalated with the amount of crazy stabbing and blood painting the walls red. In other words, this was a pretty good Higurashi episode. Well done lol.
    Rena killing the other girls beforehand would maybe be too obvious, so yeah, must be something else.
    I don’t even remember the order of things. Is the next arc the answer arc to this question arc?

    1. The preview says it’s for “Watadamashi-hen” but this looks like an anime-original arc by looking it up.

      I’m not sure if it’ll be a weird hybrid of the Mion arc that came after the first arc of the original anime, or its own thing.

  3. Rika and Satoko were killed with the same knife, period. No relation to the knife Rena used.

    Something you didn’t note was that Rena was shown to have opened the door (but was stopped by the chain), but that was followed by Keiichi UNLOCKING the door and opening it. Assuming no continuity errors, that heavily implies that Keiichi’s not all there. So what does that imply about the following scenes?

    1. There have been a number of “flashbacks” to events from the Onikakushi arc (the first arc of the VNs and original anime) scattered throughout the past four episodes, Keiichi with the bat being the most prominent.

      The scene with Rena partially opening the door, but being stopped by the door chain is also from Onikakushi, which implied to me that Keiichi “saw” it in his mind, but not in reality (this time around) and it was more about him struggling with whether he should be afraid of Rena or not.

      He chose…poorly.

    2. I mentioned the bolt-lock, but I was vague with it because it was one of the couple things that Keiichi flashed back to from the old series. Where originally, the scene was supposed to end by him only opening the door for her through the bolt-lock, but because she tried to break it, he had to slam the door on her. Then he found a needle in his bento, further fueling his paranoia.

  4. This one has hit me out of left-field…
    Everything seemd as if it was going for Keichi becoming murderer, then it shows that he was right to be suspicious of Rena!
    More than that, Rika and Satoko ended up dead as well, though we don’t really know who killed them – was it Rena, Keichi (in a case of unreliable narrator trope) , or maybe SPOILERED AWAY who has been the mastermind behind most of the killing series or her loyal henchemen SPOILERED AWAY who also show up in this episode as a cameo…
    Furthermore, we dont know if Keichi survives at all, considering we see him last being asked about itch in his neck…
    Was the shot that nurse ready to give him a vaccine for SOILERED AWAY?


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