This recent arc of Higurashi has been quite a long one as Keiichi takes his case all the way to the top of the food chain. While past episodes were a bit on the slow side, this episode picks up the pace and amps up the tension as Keiichi actively pursues members of the city’s council and the Sonozaki family to win their side in the custody battle for Satoko.
It’s easy to rag on Keiichi for not thinking things through to their fullest extent in the last two arcs, but it’s been a treat to watch Keiichi pull some of the craziest, stupidest negotiation tactics with people that could murder whoever they wanted at the blink of an eye.
He ends up fulfilling a fantasy that most who have read/watched Higurashi have shared by telling off Mion and Shion’s crank of a grandmother. It was a riot to see how ballsy he was to show constant disrespect to her to the point where he threatened to bash her head in and throttle her, and made it known that he would only bow his head to her once. Looking back at all of the murders and tortures associated with the older Sonozaki family members alone, it was truly jaw-dropping to see Keiichi continue to antagonize them into making a decision in their favor.
The only thing that comes close is how Keiichi and his friends straight-up told the city council that they were cowards who lost their way after they let themselves be pacified by the local government. There was some fear that Keiichi would continue to hit the same wall he’s been hit with everyone from the bottom-up telling him the same song-and-dance of not wanting to get involved.
But when Chie-sensei is stuck in a hard place due to how many toes she stepped on in order to teach where she’s at, the remaining students altogether storm the meeting once again to also antagonize the crap out of everyone there. I was cackling when Rena recited the words from the council’s memorial plaque for their big noble power-play as if to twist the knife that they’re now all too complacent and scared to publicly support any member of the Hojo family.
There wasn’t a big stinger or shocker near the end of the episode, but I’m still preparing for the very worst. With everything coming together and the matriarch of the Sonozaki family giving Keiichi and his friends “approval” to rally everyone in support of Satoko, there is a ton of potential for the entire strategy to either get ruined by the higher-ups in town or turn for the worst if Satoko doesn’t handle any of this well.
Before I wrap up the post, I also wanted to make an announcement that if the next episode turns out to be the last one of the arc and it ends up being two-cour as planned, next week’s episode will be my last Higurashi post until I do the Final Impression for the end of the series. It isn’t out of disinterest or loathing. My main reason is that I’d like to start 2021 with a clean slate so that I can give the newer anime more focus as they’re coming out the gate.
Similarly, I’ll be sunsetting my coverage of Yashahime once it becomes clear that it reached a good stopping point. I’m also trying to give myself more time for creative pursuits as a 2021 New Years’ resolution and I’d like to commit more to write a story I have in mind while I cover at least 2-3 shows next season. It’s a bummer to drop two shows I’ve been enjoying, especially since I’ve been kicking myself for dropping Akudama Drive early. But I don’t want my output for Winter 2021 to be predominantly carryovers, so hopefully, the next Higurashi episode will be as explosive as it looks.