As Rena’s paranoia continues to build, despite all of Rika’s interventions, the arc ultimately comes to a bloody end. Rika ends up resetting the loop, and Satoko follows behind shortly after. Despite the setback, Rika resolves not to give into despair and continue fighting. But with the start of a new loop, Satoko sets her sights on the next person to infect.
I discussed last week how Rena sees people as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ and twists the story so that one person will be completely in the ‘wrong’. Rena lives in a world of half-truths and becomes so focused on what she believes, she doesn’t even entertain the idea of something else going on. But there’s also a tragic irony in that even if she was a bit more open minded, over the course of the events in the arc, she’s never even give the chance to explore another side of the story.
She always just misses out hearing the full truth of a situation. There was a moment in episode 2 where she walked away before hearing Rina discuss how she felt bad about tricking Rena’s father. And, in episode 3 she walks in just a bit too late missing Keiichi talking about the zombie game and instead thinks he’s talking about her murdering someone. Rena constantly misses context or intentions from others, whether by her just quickly sorting them into boxes or just being unlucky. It reinforces just how tragic this whole arc is.
I understand that the intense neck scratching that forms a symptom of Hinamizawa syndrome is because those afflicted by it often feel like they have bugs under their skin. But I started having a look into the symbolism of the neck, and also had a bit of a personal take away with it. In terms of body language, we tend to rub the back of her neck when we’re tired or stressed. It can also be a sign of nervousness or embarrassment. But personally, I find any sensations with my neck come out stronger when I’m incredibly anxious. When anxious, I sometimes rub or (lightly) scratch my neck because I feel like I can’t breath and I’m trying to release some tension.
Whenever I see people with Hinamizawa Syndrome, I kinda look through it with my own experience with anxiety. I see them scratching their neck as they feel more and more closed in on. Trying to release the crushing tension around their neck, almost like a noose getting ever tighter. And then they lash out trying to do whatever they can to relieve it. Of course, like I said, this is just my personal takeaway / reflection. I understand Hinamizawa Syndrome has its own reasons for that being a symptom, but it was just something that resonated with me.
A final discussion point is on Satoko. Satoko went off the deep end long ago, but there’s a moment in this week’s episode that made me really think there may be no way for her to come back. And it’s when she decided to target Mion.
As Satoko said, Mion has never been infected by Hinamizawa Syndrome. I can understand she wants to target Mion as Rika hasn’t had experience dealing with an infected Mion, and no one can predict what may happen. It may even just be the final thing to push Rika over the edge. But it’s was the way Satoko discussed this with Eua. It was like she was playing a game, and just wanted to mess with the people around her to see what would happen. Just like when she purposefully infected Rena, she’s lost all connection and affection to the people around her. They are just pawns in her twisted plan to bind Rika to her.
I’m actually pretty happy that I’ve been reviewing these fortnightly as I don’t really have all that much to say about each episode. Like I said in the last review, I’ve definitely found that animation quality has improved since last season. Overall, I’m definitely still enjoying Sotsu but do find it a little slow. Hopefully it’ll pick up with the next episodes focusing on Mion.
That’s it for this week. Thank you for checking out this post. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out my review/ discussion of Episodes 1 & 2 over here!