This week’s episode opened up with one of Higurashi‘s biggest no-nos – someone (presumably Teppei) messed up Oyashiro-sama’s shrine. This leads to some of the Hinamizawa villagers thinking that the Hojos will be this year’s victims of curse, although let’s be honest, they were always on the list. On the other side of town, Keiichi continues to drum up village support and rallies in front of the Child Services Agency. However, Satoko’s family name may be the group’s undoing as the village elders issue their own version of a ‘cease and desist’. But Keiichi doesn’t back down so easily and the support for Satoko only strengthens.
This week’s episode was truly a lesson in the politics of rural / small villages – grudges run deep and suspicions are very difficult to get rid of. Despite Satoko having nothing to do with her parents actions and being just a child, the village heads not only refused to lend her a hand they actively worked to stop Keiichi and the others from helping her. Oryo, the current head of the Sonozaki family even goes as far as to say that Keiichi is selfish for wasting the villager’s time and that her grudge with the Hojo family will die with her. All of this only goes to prove how strict and almost self-monitory the Hinamizawa village is. Once something is set as a rule – no one steps out of line. No one wanted to be the first to offer forgiveness to the Hojo family lest they be marked as ‘cursed’ and ostracised themselves. I suppose it goes to show exactly how impactful Keiichi’s words were to the village mayor that he was willing to go out on a limb…well more like he lifted his pinky to try and assist Satoko. While it may take a while longer for the villager to truly ‘bury the hatchet’, there’s some major progress happening in Hinamizawa Village and potentially progress Rika has not seen before it all her time resets.
But speaking of Keiichi, I have to say he was like a yo-yo in this episode! One sentence he’d be at 0, speaking very calmly and respectfully and the next at 100 threatening to bash on old lady’s head in. I was in complete shock! I know Keiichi has really devoted himself to Satoko’s cause but this seemed completely out of character for him. I actually burst out in shocked laughter in one or two scenes. I can imagine next week Keiichi will need all of that fire to deal with what comes next. The detective seems to be keeping a particular eye on him, and won’t be too happy he’s rallied the village heads to Satoko’s cause. Whatever the reason may be, that detective certainly has it out for Satoko and I’m sure they’ll be a showdown between him and Keiichi before this arc is up.
To be honest given the last two arcs, I expected this episode to end in misery so I was pleasantly surprised by how things seem to be working out. However, if it does inevitably spiral, all this positive build up will only make the ending more tragic. With this week’s episode we’ve hit the exact halfway point of this series. Thank you to everyone who has been following on with my reviews. I’ve been wondering if I should keep them as weekly or change to fortnightly reviews. Please let me know your thoughts in the poll below (or leave a comment)!