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1) Put it All on Luck!:

a) pg 259) Alright, I already see the character flaw to dictate this story. Rika thinks that she’s been so lucky lately, that she can take on some angry bikers and be fine. I always thought Rika was more not stupid than that. Now, of course it works out (what would be the point if Rika was immediately knocked back down a peg), as Tomitake and Takano’s body guards for Rika step in. Still, don’t test fate, sir!

Maybe she was just testing if the Wild Dogs had her back. Also, the Wild Dogs, apparently Takano’s security force. Why does Takano have a security force?


2) After All, It’s Still Higurashi:

a) pg 270) That feeling, Rika, is the feeling of the Curse Killing arc replaying it’s ugly horrors.

b) pg 299) I’m tempted to say the curse is still in full effect, just on Rika this time. True, you could say she’s acting reasonably, but that could have been said of most characters at the beginning. She wants to kill Teppei Hojo; when Keichi tried that, I was pretty happy to call him cursed. And while she’s not doing it herself, she’s calling it.

Let’s look at the motivation for her getting Teppei killed. She’s paranoid. Paranoid that this is her perfect word, with god’s own luck on her side, where she will survive… and Teppei is here to ruin it by hurting Satoko. It’s got elements of Curse Killing. It just like Atonement; she’s fighting for her happy life. And just like Shion, she’s doing it to protect the one she loves.

c) pg 306) “You erased my mother!!” So many questions!

d) pg 322) Rka doesn’t go to her friends for help. Did you learn nothing from the Atonement arc, sir?

e) pg 334) Shion, I have never felt the way I do now about you before. Hell ya! I mean, murder is wrong, but you’re so damn good at it! All of my past problems with Shion are forgotten. Love her now XD (I think the way Momoyama drew her here is majorly responsible for this; she looks awesome!)

f) pg 566) Why Ooishi gotta be a dick? I mean, things were looking good, and I’ve never really disliked him before. He’s now throwing both of those into jeopardy, or at least hinting at it. He seems to want Keichi to give up in his peaceful protests to save Satoko. Why? What’s up with this guy?

3) Hanyu:

a) pg 272) I’ve been just a little suspicious of Hanyu for a while now. She doesn’t seem very happy for Rika, and frankly why should she? She gives everything for little Furude, and Rika doesn’t give a damn about her, she just wants her other friends. It was the foot step that Tomitake heard in the Saiguden that really set me off, but now… “Why are these the only times I can’t find her!?” I’m not saying for sure Hanyu perpetuates the curse (honestly, that would be too easy), I’m just saying that there’s a very interesting answer to that question.

b) pg 299) I already talked about Rika on this page, but let’s look and Hanyu for a second. Of all the people to suffer, to be lost in Rika’s perfect world, it’s Satoko. The one Rika’s closest too. The on Hanyu might feel the most jealous of.

c) pg 203) Look at the middle panel here carefully, where Takano explains that Ritsuko Mamiya, Teppei’s mistress, was murdered recently. We don’t get many details of the death from the art, but we do get one glimpse of a torture method we’ve seen before. There are nails going through her knuckles. While we’ve only actually seen this done by Shion to Satoko, it is strongly associated with Oyashiro-sama and the Saiguden. It’s unlikely this was the work of some stranger, and it wasn’t done out of sheer efficiency. This was purposeful, meaningful, and from someone in Hinamizawa. For now, Hanyu is my prime suspect.

4) Fringes:

a) pg 363) Keichi asked his parents for help. That just reminds of a little end note of Ryukishi’s in one of the Atonement arc volumes about asking friends for help, and he mentioned that he asked his dad to help him do a little research for some part of the story. It’s just kinda cuet, Keichi and Ryukishi learning the same lessons ^.^

b) I’d just like to end on Ryukishi’s end note from this volume. He talks about one of the challenges he came across while writing the early chapters. He didn’t want Rika to stand out so she could be a bit of surprise later, but hitting the right balance was tough.

It just made me reflect on something I’ve thought about Higurashi from the beginning. One of my least favourite things in anime is protag syndrome, that is, extremely generic protagonists that try to be relatable by simply not offending anyone. Even as a kid watching Pokémon, I saw this in Ash Ketchum, and while Keichi Maebara certainly isn’t the worst offender, it is something I’ve had a problem with in Higurashi since the beginning. Now, I will clarify that this chapter has elevated him out of that status, but that’s not what I want to talk about.

Ryukishi is right, Rika is the main character. The the POV changes a lot throughout the series, and any one protagonist is hard to nail down (though Keichi fits the role best most often), Rika is the character around whom everything else happens.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say here is, I’m glad we get a main character as wonderful as Rika.

Don’t Lose Your Way