Higurashi Gou has baffled fans with his twists and turns, but it turns out that the one behind Rika’s suffering has been with us the entire time.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 19 of Higurashi: When they cry – Gou, “People destroying – Part 2, “now streaming on Funimation.

When Higurashi: Gou first released, fans were confused if it was a remake or a sequel. The series began with the characters, world, and story beats featured in the previous series, but old fans couldn’t be fooled for long. Even as we watched Rika push her friends down the right paths to avoid tragedy, small inconsistencies began to fragment reality culminating in Rika suffering a horrific series of deaths.

The anime is finally revealed as a sequel as the well-trodden stories spiral out of control with Mion, someone who has never contracted Hinamizawa syndrome, becoming a villain. Someone has been rolling the dice for Rika and forcing her to go through the horrible timelines one more time. After a heartbreaking encounter and devastating reveal at the end of Episode 17, we learn that Satoko is actually the newest villain. This development left fans scratching their heads as to why Satoko would do this to her best friend, but Episodes 18-20 explain the younger Hojo’s motivations as Higurashi kai I did it once for Miyo Takano.

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After 17 episodes of Rika being forced through the wringer, Satoko’s surprise reveal with glowing red eyes and memories of the timeline almost confirms her as the new villain. To explain, Higurashi Gou unpacks Satoko’s story from the original timeline at the end of Higurashi Kai. It turns out that Rika wanted to go to St. Lucia to leave Hinamizawa and her traumatic memories behind. While this should Leading to a happy future, Episodes 18-20 show how the group of golden friends slowly part ways and Satoko begins to tire of her life in Saint Lucia. Episode 20 ends with Satoko with an intimidating angry expression as she looks at Rika through a window, wondering why Rika has left her.

These episodes revealed how Satoko is isolating herself and how she may have come to resent Rika. The Saint Lucia episodes have created Satoko’s increasing isolation, but the previous anime, Neither Y Kai, established that Satoko has a dangerously stubborn personality and a fragile state of mind. We know that Satoko blamed herself for Satoshi’s death and tried to become more independent, which caused her to refuse to ask for help during her uncle’s abuse and probably traumatized herself. So even though Satoko was able to talk to Rika about her feelings, she decided against it due to her stubborn need to appear strong. But Satoko was still affected by Satoshi’s disappearance, causing her to overreact to the idea of ​​people leaving, albeit inadvertently.

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After the reveal, it’s interesting to rewatch the previous episodes to see how Satoko’s behavior is rethought. The strange thing about the previous time cycles was how quickly the “villains” were brought to Level 5. But then we found out that a vial of the Hinamizawa Syndrome virus was stolen from the Irie Clinic. Satoko visits the clinic daily to control her own Hinamizawa syndrome and she could easily have been the thief. If we also look at the previous episodes, there are times when Satoko is with her friends one by one or is not taken into account.

For example, when Satoko followed Rena into the bathroom to wash the ink off her face, she may have said something that made Rena’s paranoia worse. Later, when Mion develops Hinamizawa syndrome, Satoko could have injected her with the stolen vial or stoked Mion’s fear as they walked out of the playroom together. As events escalate, Satoko is the only friend whose face is not shown when Kimiyoshi is declared missing and later when Rika disappears. In episode 8, Satoko is dead alongside Mion under extremely suspicious circumstances. At the end of his own abuse, he lured Keiichi away from Ooishi’s rampage only for Teppei to hit him with a bat. Thinking back, Ooishi went to arrest Teppei and it is quite possible that Satoko injected the police officer who went insane, leaving Teppei and Satoko behind.

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The most damning scene is the most horrible between Satoko and Rika, where the heiress Furude has her guts ripped out. Satoko is too composed to have Hinamizawa syndrome and only lightly scratches her neck like she’s acting. It also seems suspicious that Rika woke up at that exact point and if Satoko has control over time cycles, it could have placed her in that vulnerable position. Against the backdrop of Saint Lucia, it all comes together when Satoko uses pain to etch the idea into Rika’s brain: don’t leave Hinamizawa. Satoko is manipulating Rika to stay in Hinamizawa by hinting that she will have more nightmares (horrible timelines) if she leaves again. It’s no coincidence that when Rika agrees to this idea, the next timeline glides on as smooth as butter.

What is even more interesting is that there are links between Higurashi: Gou Y Umineko. For example, there are two Umineko characters, Okonogi and Juuza Amakusa, and this does not seem to be a coincidence. In Umineko, it is revealed that the events of Higurashi they were a battle between two witches named Bernkastel and Lambdadelta. Bernkastel has strong ties to Rika, while there are theories that Satoko is related to Lambda, as they are both blonde and red-eyed with an aversion to pumpkins. It’s very possible that this is a twisted new round in his game with Satoko taking on the role of Takano Miyo as the villain.

Higurashi Creator Ryukishi07 is a master of small details and has left a discreet trail of breadcrumbs for Satoko Hojo. This recent twist was masterfully foreshadowed and future episodes are sure to be a roller coaster ride as fans unravel the truth behind the latest series of murders.

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