For Episode 10 of Higurashi, it gives us a straight-forward summary of the events that took place as Keiichi was trying to figure out what was going on at Satoko’s house. It was a well-crafted episode that slowly peels back the layers of what is obscuring him from knowing exactly what her uncle is doing to her until the episode’s final moments where Satoko is unable to keep herself composed.
Most of the episode is centered around Keiichi piecing together the information he gets about Satoko to reassure himself that she’s alright. The first indication in Ep.10 that her situation isn’t as kosher as it appears is Detective Oiishi’s meddling in their situation, doing the most to give Keiichi a hard time. Whether it be stonewalling his efforts to find information on Satoko or actively avoiding the issue at hand, Oiishi plays a more antagonistic role to Keiichi this time around, making it trickier for him to find out info on Satoko or her uncle.
Thankfully, his friends are more responsive this time around now that it’s become apparent that they can’t hide the truth behind her abuse any further. Keiichi’s prying did some good with Chie-sensei going over to Satoko’s house after pressure from Rika and the rest of her students to see what’s going on with their good friend. He was also able to get information from Irie, but all of his leads point directly to the conclusion that her uncle is abusing her and, without her brother Satoshi to shield her for the most part, it’s only getting worse for her.
Higurashi excels the most in creeping towards one explosive scene after the next, and the final scene of Ep.10 doesn’t disappoint. With everything we know about Satoko’s situation, it’s odd that she’s walking in perfectly fine. But suspicion draws near when a few details slip about Satoko dismissing child protective services, we’re all waiting for her state-of-mind to go from bad to worse.
All it took was Keiichi trying to pat Satoko’s head, her old brother’s way of calming her down, that caused her to vomit and slip into PTSD from the abuse she continues to handle. The last anime really nailed down the fear she was facing from the trigger, but it took her not being able to pass down her lunch for the art to sink into the dark tone of the scene.
I’m curious how they’ll handle her uncle though since they already let the cat slip out of the bag for Keiichi beating him to death with a bat. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but that was also another scene that was perfect in the old anime with a murky thunderstorm as the backdrop for Keiichi beating his head into the mud. But knowing how Gou has handled odd flashes of the original timeline like Keiichi killing Rena and Mion in the first arc, I’d imagine this means that this won’t end up happening. I wasn’t too keen on how the first two alternative endings for this anime have gone, but hopefully, this arc is when we get a Gou ending that eclipses the old one.