The opening shot of this week’s episode places us back to mid-June 1983, a much simpler time with laughs, happiness and no murder. Much like the series’s first episode, this week’s episode lulls us into a false sense of security with some borderline cheesy slice-of-life segments. Keiichi and the rest of the group play games at a local shop, and have carefree days at school. In this ‘route’/ ‘arc’, it seems Mion takes centre stage as her and Keiichi’s relationships hints at something romantic. But, as always with Higurashi, the episode’s final moments remind us that this village is anything but peaceful.
To be very honest, besides quite a bit of fan service and just general gags, not much happened this episode. As such this review/ discussion may end up quite a bit shorter than my previous ones. The arc we’ve just begun is called the ‘Cotton-Deceiving Chapter’ beginning on the 12 June. The last arc, the demon-deceiving chapter began on the 10 June, and had a lot of focus on people being spirited away by demons. So as the Watanagashi festival is coming up I do wonder is this arc may culminate at that festival. Now, time to put my tinfoil hat.
So far there have been a few differences between the two timelines – obviously some clear ones like Mion and Keiichi growing closer, the group visiting the game shop on the 12 June instead of the shrine for a picnic. There’s two big implications with these changes. First off, Keiichi and Rena did not go to the garbage tip on the 12 June and as such Keiichi did not meet the cameraman (Tomitake) and was not told about the dam worker’s murder.
Secondly. Keiichi visits the maid cafe with his father before the Watanagashi festival instead of the policeman after the festival, which is when he’s asked to be an informant. It’ll be interesting to see whether this timing has any bearing on the story/ a domino effect. For example, if Mion was working in the cafe in the other arc, had seen Keiichi with the police officer and told Rika about it, this could have been the beginning of the end for that arc. . Now in this arc, Keiichi would know not to go there with the policeman. Or potentially, having never met Tomioka (so far) wouldn’t even be interviewed by the policeman!
My final note is a small one, but I did find it an interesting call back when Rika talks to Keiichi about how everyone is different from how they appear to be. The chilling cry of the cicadas as Keiichi wonders what the opposite of sweet, caring Rika could be gave me the shivers! Let’s hope in this arc he doesn’t find out the answer to that question.
Ok that’s it for this week, I’m having a bit too much fun trying to map out all the possibilities in this series. But that just goes to show how much I’m enjoying it. I forgot to mention it in last week’s post but Rena has had a figurine and nendoroid announced. I know the series has had a lot of fans over the years, so I’m glad to see it getting some more attention from figurine companies. Although that’s not to say figurines haven’t been made before, just nice to get some updated ones! Have a Happy Halloween everyone 🙂
What did you think of the fifth episode of Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou? Let me know in the comments (no spoilers for the VN and 2005 anime please)!