This week’s episode opens with Keiichi and his merry band of idiots entering the forbidden storehouse. Once they begin poking around, Keiichi is surprised to find the storehouse has more farming tools than typical ritual instruments. Takano takes the chance to tell Keiichi more about Hinamizawa murky history and their guardian deity Oyashiro-sama. But that’s not the only thing we learn in this episode, we also get a bit of insight into Shion & Mion’s family. As the night of the Watanagashi festival comes to a close, we find out who has met their unfortunate end.
I have to admit, it was hard to keep myself from facepalming for the first half of this episode. First they go into the storehouse and then they break the sacred statue!? Just completely unbelievable. I can understand Tomitake being a bit blasé about it as he wasn’t from the village (not too sure about Takano), but I believe Shion’s live in Hinamizawa all her life. I would have thought she would have been far more upset about destroying a sacred statue. A second ‘face palm’ worthy moment of this episode was Keiichi screaming at Shion on the phone. I think this moment was meant to be quite tense, but I had to chuckle a bit when Shion just hung up on him.
The episode really picked up during its second half. It seemed like for the last few episodes Rika was her normal, sweet self. But what was shown in the beginning of episode 2 – an older Rika going back in time to June 1984, has always lingered at the back of my mind. In this week’s episode Rika really showed she isn’t the naive girl she appears to be. There’s a much older Rika inside the child Rika’s body who is desperately trying to see the events of June 1984 play out a certain way. Imagine re-living the same month again and again, so many factors influencing so many different outcomes. I’m not surprised she cracked at Keiichi doing something so stupid as going into the storehouse.
I think what will be of interest in the coming episodes is working out exactly what sequence of events Rika is working to occur. From a previous episode where Rika says farewell to Tomitake, I believe his and Takano’s deaths are unavoidable. So, could she be trying to save her friends or simply herself? In episode 2, I believe she says she’s been reliving this month for one hundred years, and she’s definitely picked up some tricks along the way. For example, I can’t believe that she would make a mistake during the ritual (after doing it one hundred times supposedly), I believe she made that mistake as a way to test if Keiichi was really there when she asked him if he saw her. It’ll be fun in these coming episodes to see how much Rika will work to influence the characters around her.
Once again, this week’s episode of Higurashi had me entranced. If I wasn’t doing this weekly reviews, I’d probably wait for it all to come out and watch it one go. It’s so hard when an episode finishes and knowing I have to wait another week for the next one!! I really love how each episode provides a small piece of the Hinamizawa puzzle, and I can’t wait to see how the past and the present collide and play out in the upcoming episodes.
What did you think of the seventh episode of Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou? Let me know in the comments (no spoilers for the VN and 2005 anime please)!