Sequel to Higurashi: When They Cry — GOU. The summer of 1983 is continuously repeating in the mountain village of Hinamizawa. Can Rika find the way out of this endless cycle of tragedy and deaths?


Halimun Muhammad (The Indonesian Anime Times)

The original Higurashi: When They Cry visual novels comprise of four “question arcs” and four “answer arcs” which correspond with the “question arcs” and provides solutions to the mysteries in them. The first two episodes of Higurashi: When They Cry — SOTSU, that aired together, indicates that this season would do something similar to Higurashi: When They Cry — GOU. The new arc in these episodes, “Oniakashi-hen, seems to correspond with GOU‘s first arc “Onidamashi-hen” down to reusing some shots from the latter.

However, the narrative of “Oniakashi-hen” focuses more on Rena’s side of the story, providing an illuminating new perspective to the events. This is reminiscent to how “Meakashi-hen” corresponds with “Watanagashi-hen” in the past Higurashi materials, reframing the events in the latter by presenting Shion’s perspective.

Another point that cannot be ignored is how this arc fits into the overarching storyline of Satoko’s conflict with Rika over their future together past the summer of 1983. I have discussed in a separate essay how Higurashi‘s creator plays with the “later Queen problem” in mystery fiction. But the twist of the present Higurashi as revealed in GOU‘s last arc “Satokowashi-hen,” is that one of the characters practically has complete knowledge of the rules and actors of Hinamizawa’s cycle of deaths and possesses the capability and willingness to game those rules and actors to achieve her personal aims. “Oniakashi-hen” continues on this by clearly depicting how Satoko deliberately triggers one actor to go down the route of violence, maintaining the tragic summer to trap Rika in the same old, unchanging world.

In regards to Satoko and Rika’s conflict, it is interesting to think about how the repeating summer of 1983 and the village of Hinamizawa are symbolic of stagnation, a condition where meaningful, real change is impossible. Let us not forget that the characters for GOU (業) and SOTSU (卒) together make up the word sotsugyou (卒業) or “graduation,” which also implies moving on from something. While Satoko is still unable to go along with Rika’s changes and chooses to confine their relationship in Hinamizawa’s loop of murders, will the two of them  eventually be able to properly “graduate” and move on from their times in Hinamizawa and make their relationship continue to work as they grow up? That behind the murders, mysteries, conspiracies, and fantasy elements, the core conflict is actually highly personal in nature, is also one of the intriguing characteristics of Higurashi‘s story.

Higurashi: When They Cry — SOTSU is currently streaming on Ani-One Asia

Facts and Figures

Alternate Title(s) Higurashi no Naku Koro ni — SOTSU
Original Work Visual novel by 07th Expansion
Cast Chafurin as Kuraudo Ooishi
Mai Nakahara as Rena Ryuuguu
Mika Kanai as Satoko Hojo
Miki Ito as Miyo Takano
Satsuki Yukino as Mion and Shion Sonozaki
Souichiro Hoshi as Keiichi Maebara
Toru Ohkawa as Jiro Tomitake
Toshihiko Seki as Kyousuke Irie
Yukari Tamura as Rika Furude
Director Keiichiro Kawaguchi (Hayate the Combat Butler, Sket Dance, Nurse Witch Komugi R, Citrus, Dropout Idol Fruit Tart)
Scenario Naoki Hayashi (A3!, Flip Flappers, Blackfox)
Character Design Akio Watanabe (Nurse Witch Komugi, Monogatari series, The World God Only Knows)
Music Kenji Kawai (When They Cry – Higurashi (2006-2007 anime), Fate/stay night, Eden of the East)
Opening Theme “Analogy” by Ayane
Ending Theme “Missing Promise” by Konomi Suzuki
Studio Passione (Citrus, High School DxD Hero, Interspecies Reviewers)
Official Website
Twitter @higu_anime
Broadcast Date 1 July 2020 (1430 GMT/2130 WIT/2230 JST)

Screenshots and Trailer

©2020 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Production Committee © Medialink Group Ltd
©2020 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Production Committee © Medialink Group Ltd
©2020 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Production Committee © Medialink Group Ltd
©2020 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Production Committee © Medialink Group Ltd
©2020 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Production Committee © Medialink Group Ltd

The Indonesian Anime Times

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