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Takano:

a) p 5. Well, I’m already disappointed. The first chapter is called Miyo and Miyoko, indicating that this is going to be about Takano reuniting with her childhood self. The problem is, it’s very hard to mix that with what I want because you very rarely get to see childhood self reunions end with baseball bat bludgeonings.

b) p 29. Oh yeah, all this really comes down to that Emergency Manual 34. Once that’s gone, the main fight is over and the characters just have to avoid the Wild Dog’s wrath until they move on. Why haven’t we gotten an update on that yet? “Tokyo” should have believed that Rika had been dead more than 48 hours for about 7 hours at this point. They should have made a decision by now. Or maybe Takano’s been trying to convince them Rika might be alive, and now she finally knows she is. If that works, the entire plan has failed and they’re just going to have to take down Takano and the Wild Dogs… somehow.

c) p 33. So Takano pays the Wild Dogs herself. They’re not from “Tokyo”; they’re her own mercenary force. Just how much does “Tokyo” pay Takano? And she’s needed these guys, what, four times? Even one or two of those could have been easily avoided if she wasn’t quite so dedicated to her research.

d) p 73. Hey, a Golgo 13 reference! … Golgo sucks.

 

Satoshi:

a) p 8. “Satoshi is alive.” Oh good. We had a conclusive and satisfying answer on that front, or at least we thought we did, but thank god it was all a tease. That you, Higurashi, for teaching me that people never really die. And if they do, you just have to believe hard enough to bring them back. Unless they’re your parents, but those don’t matter!

b) I still don’t get why Takano hasn’t operated on him yet though. I mean, she’ll cut up anyone else who might help her research. Is Irie protecting him? I doubt he has the much power over Takano at this point. Even if he is, wouldn’t killing Satoshi be one of the first things on her agenda once Irie ran away? He’s a risk inside her base of operations.

c) And here’s a concern. Irie has been holding Satoshi because he’s in the late stages of Hinamizawa Syndrome. So how is that gonna work? I doubt “Tokyo” will want anything to do with the clinic after whatever happens next, and even if they do, Irie has technically kidnapped the kid. Unless, somehow he recovers by the end of this, which would just be so wonderful, and happy, and drowning in sap.

d) p 136. Let me guess, Satoshi eventually does wake up and freak out, but Shion’s love and trust in him brings him back to his senses and cures him of his Hinamizawa Syndrome, right? Yeah, I’m just gonna pre-emptively puke.

 

Shion:

a) p 10. Yay, Shion will apparently be relevant in the grand finale! Not sure why the last volume indicated she wouldn’t be if she was gonna pop right back in before anything significant even happens. Maybe they wanted an excuse to have Keichi and Mion holding the guns instead.

b) p 100-111. Oh goodie, gun porn. I don’t even like guns and I know this is completely inaccurate.

c) p 116. Why does the who ambushes Shion not have a gun?

d) p 121. Okay, so he did have a gun. He just figured he wouldn’t need when going after the girl hold a machine gun.

Good Guys:

a) p 10-11) We’re seriously going with the using the enemy’s own tracking device to trick them plot. I mean, I guess once you find out you’re being tracked it’s the only obvious thing to do, but it’s been done so many times before.

 

Irie:

a) p 129. Seriously? Talking about ganguro style while blaming young people for the decay of modern society? Irie should have his own spot on Fox News.

b) p 127-132. Irie going off on a passionate maid tangent while trying to emulate Kasai, then Akasaka just steps in and punches the Wild Dog out. That’s the first legitimately funny gag in this volume.

 

Tomitake:

a) Why did he and Akasaka have to drive out of town to use a phone booth to call for help? They were able to regroup and set up that sniping position with Shion and Kasai, so they obviously weren’t being watched in town. Why not just ask to borrow a villagers phone?

 

Fringes:

a) p 16. “Pretty girls never die.” See note 4f from last week.

p 17. “I won’t die, even if they do kill me!” But Shion, haven’t you heard? “People die when they are killed!”

 

Well, that sucked. I’m not gonna hide it; it sucked. Throughout its second half, Higruashi has gone from a mystery series, to a shounen. And a bad shounen at that. It’s all very simple, and sloppily written. The messages are just friendship and hope platitudes that I found condescendingly dull back when they were in my Saturday morning cartoons. And with that, it seems deeply unsure of its demographic. It has the intellectual stimulation of a bad children’s show, and has gone out of its way to not just avoid violence in this arc, but actually retroactively write it out of past arcs. And yet if you’ve read up to this point you’ve seen some violence, and Satoko killing her own parents is some of the darkest stuff yet. It’s like it’s trying to have a happy ending without realizing that it’s fucking Higurashi! It’s not a place for happy endings, and if you thought anybody got into this series for… this trite shit, I don’t know how to break it to you, but you’re an idiot.

Anyway, I should save some of the rant for now, because we’re not quite done. One volume left. Until then

Don’t Lose Your Way

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