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EP. REVIEW: Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU


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Ryujin99



Joined: 21 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:13 pm Reply with quote
To go a bit further with the discussion from @ThatGuyWhoLikesThings... in some ways, I wonder if they may develop some parallels between Satoko and Teppei.

Ever since it was revealed that Satoko is a driving force of the loops (spoiler[Specifically since the scene in Nekodamashi where she disembowels Rika with the ceremonial hoe]), I've been wondering if they're using Satoko to explore the increased tendency for abuse victims to abuse others. Given Satoko's behavior in the most recent arc and her past trauma and abuse, I could see that being what they're going for. If so, Teppei turning over a new leaf, even if only for selfish reasons, could also provide some insight on how Satoko and Rika can resolve their differences.

I also feel compelled to echo Lynzee's opinion that the conflict between Rika and Satoko is pretty tepid. While I get that this arc has been all about setting up Satoko's reasoning for starting/perpetuating the loops... "Will Satoko go to St. Lucia with Rika?" is a difficult conflict to take seriously. The school being a godawful place for Satoko does precisely nothing to change my opinion on that; if it's so bad, then just don't go. This arc has honestly felt like the show writers are trying to cook up a cheap excuse to absolve Satoko of wrongdoing for her later abusive behavior towards Rika.

All this being said, if even Teppei can get a redemption arc, perhaps Satoko can also recognize her wrongs and take steps to become a better person herself... though by the point we've gotten to at the end of Nekodamashi, I'd argue Rika has just as much reason to reject Satoko as Satoko has reason to reject Teppei.
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:15 pm Reply with quote
@AGuyWhoLikes Things I'm not assuming we won't, just that I'd rather we get to that than the aforementioned info dump.

As for Teppei, I'm not sure anyone expects him to magically be 100% redeemed and I appreciate that the episode showed that even if Satoko wants to take steps to forgive him it won't magically cure her PTSD. My point at least is that as far as a narrative, he's not a character whose redemption I'm interested in. We've got other conflicts and mysteries that still need resolved so reintroducing Teppei to show his guilt is just "eh, I didn't really need this."
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:08 pm Reply with quote
Ryujin99 wrote:
if it's so bad, then just don't go.


She kind of *did* tell Rika that she didn't want to go the second time, even telling her everything that she knew what happen. Rika insisted that she had nothing to worry about and pushed her to go anyway. Satoko decided to put her faith in Rika and lo and behold, the same thing happened again. She just snapped at that point.

And even the loop after that, where she confides a second time in Rika except this time much angrier, she makes it very clear that she won't go with Rika and that Rika needs to choose either St. Lucia or Satoko. Rika refuses to choose, so Satoko gives up on that fragment, and I think by the time of the next loop her mental state had already degraded into an obsession with keeping Rika in Hinamizawa.

ANNLynzee wrote:
We've got other conflicts and mysteries that still need resolved so reintroducing Teppei to show his guilt is just "eh, I didn't really need this."


This is fair but this could very well be important so far as those other mysteries are concerned (specifically the mechanics behind Teppei's change of heart - this is the first time we're actually getting an explanation from the franchise as to why non-loopers can remember other worlds and how, and I think it's because it is in fact a critical component of the question arcs)
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Gem-Bug



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:33 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I mean, great, glad to see the guy finally had an attack of consciousness, but did anyone feel like we actually needed a Teppei redemption episode?


Not at all, but I.....enjoyed it? Sure, the past doesn't change, but it seems like an effort is being made(albeit via magic visions of one's own deaths). Whether they've earned it themselves or not, when characters in fiction realize that they've literally got nothing going for them it really just hits me for some reason. So I liked this episode and it was over before I realized it was more than just a small segway within the episode.

And then on the other hand, even though I liked it, I have to agree with other folks that water is being trodden here. It's great that we're getting more episodes before the end, but that doesn't mean I want a bunch of them to be these semi-random character episodes.

killjoy_the wrote:
Is the implication that Satoko was just killing herself mid-game because she got the wrong card there because that's a freaking hardcore gamer if I ever saw one


I was wondering this too! We're been taught that the finger-snap is a loop change, sooo...
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Zeino



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:31 pm Reply with quote
Ok that was honestly ridiculous, Ryukishi07 isn’t genuinely expecting anyone to sympathize with Teppei, right??

I really hope that a couple of rumors are right about this roller coaster ride getting at least an extra 6 episodes because if not Gou is going to be a dumpster fire.
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Florete



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:47 pm Reply with quote
This is the first episode of this series that just felt off to me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Satoko's time-reversal is only when she dies and returns to that same first day, right? So did she do that every time she flipped a wrong card, then kept it all in memory as she waited to get back to that table? That's pretty ridiculous. And isn't Rika supposed to be remembering the loops by now? Why wasn't there any indication of that?

I don't necessarily mind seeing Teppei get a redemption arc, but...I dunno, maybe it's just the timing, or maybe it should have been faster. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be a waste of time. And Satoko at that part didn't seem like the "current" Satoko, but maybe it was acting, or maybe her PTSD after all this time is still just that strong?

Zeino wrote:
Ok that was honestly ridiculous, Ryukishi07 isn’t genuinely expecting anyone to sympathize with Teppei, right??

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?
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gedata



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Florete wrote:

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?

Indeed. Awful people like him shouldn't improve to gain the sympathy and forgiveness of the people they've hurt, they should do it because being awful is awful.

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.
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Rogural



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:28 pm Reply with quote
gedata wrote:

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.


Certainly makes me wonder what might be have been happening on the other side, and how she'd explain that her friends have the wrong idea about the situation and why more and more of the town are rallying together to get child services involved. Hopefully it'd be more than a simple Anti-Hojo sentiment handwave.
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kyokun47



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:47 pm Reply with quote
gedata wrote:
Florete wrote:

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?

Indeed. Awful people like him shouldn't improve to gain the sympathy and forgiveness of the people they've hurt, they should do it because being awful is awful.

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.
I think the main problem I'm having with all of this is that Satoko had an incredibly well-written arc from her experience with abuse to her finally being able to escape and thrive with her friends. What is happening now is that Satoko is being delegated to a dangerous stereotype around people who have suffered abuse that they too end up causing trauma for others, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Ryukishi07 write this into what was such a good portrayal of trauma. Turning Satoko into the "bad guy" in Gou was one thing, but turning her into a villain because of it is so incredibly disappointing to see (coming from someone in a similar home situation as Satoko did).

I would also argue that, sure, while Teppei doesn't deserve and shouldn't be forgiven, him being in this arc was unnecessary. We already know people can start to remember loops, we didn't need to see it in a moment of clarity for the abuser of our protagonist. Portraying him as a suddenly changed nice guy because he's dying was gross and manipulative on Satoko. I'm not having fun with watching this show turn a fan-favorite character into a horrible stereotype and backtrack on the growth she gained during the original Minagoroshi-hen arc only to use it to manipulate Rika and get her killed.
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Zeino



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:56 pm Reply with quote
kyokun47 wrote:
gedata wrote:
Florete wrote:

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?

Indeed. Awful people like him shouldn't improve to gain the sympathy and forgiveness of the people they've hurt, they should do it because being awful is awful.

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.
I think the main problem I'm having with all of this is that Satoko had an incredibly well-written arc from her experience with abuse to her finally being able to escape and thrive with her friends. What is happening now is that Satoko is being delegated to a dangerous stereotype around people who have suffered abuse that they too end up causing trauma for others, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Ryukishi07 write this into what was such a good portrayal of trauma. Turning Satoko into the "bad guy" in Gou was one thing, but turning her into a villain because of it is so incredibly disappointing to see (coming from someone in a similar home situation as Satoko did).

I would also argue that, sure, while Teppei doesn't deserve and shouldn't be forgiven, him being in this arc was unnecessary. We already know people can start to remember loops, we didn't need to see it in a moment of clarity for the abuser of our protagonist. Portraying him as a suddenly changed nice guy because he's dying was gross and manipulative on Satoko. I'm not having fun with watching this show turn a fan-favorite character into a horrible stereotype and backtrack on the growth she gained during the original Minagoroshi-hen arc only to use it to manipulate Rika and get her killed.


ALL OF THIS.

Making Satoko into a yandere manipulator while her abuser is now shown to be "not so bad" is just awful in it's implications towards real-life abuse victims. It raises the insidious idea that said victims must have done something to "deserve" their abuse.
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whiskeyii



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:27 am Reply with quote
I’m of the mind that while Teppei being Scrooge’d into changing isn’t a huge stretch, Satoko has every right to tell Teppei to GTFO and never be a part of her life again; Teppei can grow and become better and Satoko still doesn’t have to forgive him—both things can be true. That said, what I think this episode is trying to show is that Satoko could’ve stopped; she could’ve tried to build something of a stable life with a familial support structure that doesn’t rely on Rika, and yet we already know Satoko’s going to throw all of that away to keep on chasing Rika.

Having said that, I thought Ryukishi07 mentioned not infrequently that he was disappointed in himself for not extending the theme of forgiveness to Teppei. I think that theme is grossly unwarranted for a character we have so little connection to, but I could easily see this as Ryukishi07 trying to correct something he saw as a genuine flaw in his original story.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:12 am Reply with quote
Zeino wrote:
kyokun47 wrote:
gedata wrote:
Florete wrote:

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?

Indeed. Awful people like him shouldn't improve to gain the sympathy and forgiveness of the people they've hurt, they should do it because being awful is awful.

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.
I think the main problem I'm having with all of this is that Satoko had an incredibly well-written arc from her experience with abuse to her finally being able to escape and thrive with her friends. What is happening now is that Satoko is being delegated to a dangerous stereotype around people who have suffered abuse that they too end up causing trauma for others, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Ryukishi07 write this into what was such a good portrayal of trauma. Turning Satoko into the "bad guy" in Gou was one thing, but turning her into a villain because of it is so incredibly disappointing to see (coming from someone in a similar home situation as Satoko did).

I would also argue that, sure, while Teppei doesn't deserve and shouldn't be forgiven, him being in this arc was unnecessary. We already know people can start to remember loops, we didn't need to see it in a moment of clarity for the abuser of our protagonist. Portraying him as a suddenly changed nice guy because he's dying was gross and manipulative on Satoko. I'm not having fun with watching this show turn a fan-favorite character into a horrible stereotype and backtrack on the growth she gained during the original Minagoroshi-hen arc only to use it to manipulate Rika and get her killed.


ALL OF THIS.

Making Satoko into a yandere manipulator while her abuser is now shown to be "not so bad" is just awful in it's implications towards real-life abuse victims. It raises the insidious idea that said victims must have done something to "deserve" their abuse.


It...it implies nothing of the sort. What??? Am I living in a sitcom???

Teppei's hurt Satoko. Badly. It's why she recoiled as much as she did, why she, a century old looper, froze up in terror when she first saw him again. His actions are in fact part of the reason she's such an incredibly damaged person right now, because abuse and neglect often tend to strongly shape a person's behavior later in life (some of these victims even displaying abusive behavior themselves! Umineko talks about this extensively! Even Takano is like this! It's a thing that happens! Ryukishi would know this better than most people!). The writing understands this. Both parties understand this. The narrative is obviously strongly considering Satoko's feelings on the matter because that's the note the episode chooses to end on. Not Teppei's feelings. Hers. Hers take priority here. It's not asking you to take his side on this, just recognize that he's someone capable of self-awareness and a desire to improve, but nowhere does it imply we absolutely have to forgive him. That's *our* choice, just like it's Satoko's choice. It's not owed to him. That's what Higurashi has always been about.

And for the record, I'm just so tired of seeing people water down Satoko's motivations and fears and complicated psychology to "oh she's a yandere now lmao!" because god, that's just so disingenuously reductionist and shows no real attempt has been made at understanding who she is and what she's actually been going through, both in the last 5 episodes and throughout her childhood. Where she's at right now would never have happened if it weren't for her specific background and upbringing. But sure, she's just an anime trope now. Rolling Eyes

Regardless of anything else, I don't know how anyone could jump to the absolutely insane conclusion that Gou is trying to tell us that Satoko deserved to be abused because Higurashi is one of the *last* stories to ever even come close to suggesting anything of the sort.


Last edited by ThatGuyWhoLikesThings on Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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kyokun47



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:05 am Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
Zeino wrote:
kyokun47 wrote:
gedata wrote:
Florete wrote:

Sympathy and a redemption arc don't have to come together. This is just Teppei trying to be a better person. Is that not allowed? Is he supposed to stay a cartoon villain forever?

Indeed. Awful people like him shouldn't improve to gain the sympathy and forgiveness of the people they've hurt, they should do it because being awful is awful.

That said, I can't help but feel this episode cast Tataridamashi in a different light. The thought of Satoko deliberately playing the part of an abused child seems a lot more reasonable. We never directly see her being mistreated.
I think the main problem I'm having with all of this is that Satoko had an incredibly well-written arc from her experience with abuse to her finally being able to escape and thrive with her friends. What is happening now is that Satoko is being delegated to a dangerous stereotype around people who have suffered abuse that they too end up causing trauma for others, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Ryukishi07 write this into what was such a good portrayal of trauma. Turning Satoko into the "bad guy" in Gou was one thing, but turning her into a villain because of it is so incredibly disappointing to see (coming from someone in a similar home situation as Satoko did).

I would also argue that, sure, while Teppei doesn't deserve and shouldn't be forgiven, him being in this arc was unnecessary. We already know people can start to remember loops, we didn't need to see it in a moment of clarity for the abuser of our protagonist. Portraying him as a suddenly changed nice guy because he's dying was gross and manipulative on Satoko. I'm not having fun with watching this show turn a fan-favorite character into a horrible stereotype and backtrack on the growth she gained during the original Minagoroshi-hen arc only to use it to manipulate Rika and get her killed.


ALL OF THIS.

Making Satoko into a yandere manipulator while her abuser is now shown to be "not so bad" is just awful in it's implications towards real-life abuse victims. It raises the insidious idea that said victims must have done something to "deserve" their abuse.


It...it implies nothing of the sort. What??? Am I living in a sitcom???

Teppei's hurt Satoko. Badly. It's why she recoiled as much as she did, why she, a century old looper, froze up in terror when she first saw him again. His actions are in fact part of the reason she's such an incredibly damaged person right now, because abuse and neglect often tend to strongly shape a person's behavior later in life (some of these victims even displaying abusive behavior themselves! Umineko talks about this extensively! It's a thing that happens! Ryukishi would know this better than most people!). The writing understands this. Both parties understand this. The narrative is obviously strongly considering Satoko's feelings on the matter because that's the note the episode chooses to end on. Not Teppei's feelings. Hers. Hers take priority here. It's not asking you to take his side on this, just recognize that he's someone capable of self-awareness and a desire to improve, but nowhere does it imply we absolutely have to forgive him. That's *our* choice, just like it's Satoko's choice. It's not owed to him. That's what Higurashi has always been about.

And for the record, I'm just so tired of seeing people water down Satoko's motivations and fears and complicated psychology to "oh she's a yandere now lmao!" because god, that's just so disingenuously reductionist and shows no real attempt has been made at understanding who she is and what she's actually been going through, both in the last 5 episodes and throughout her childhood. Where she's at right now would never have happened if it weren't for her specific background and upbringing. But sure, she's just an anime trope now. Rolling Eyes

Regardless of anything else, I don't know how anyone could jump to the absolutely insane conclusion that Gou is trying to tell us that Satoko deserved to be abused because Higurashi is one of the *last* stories to ever even come close to suggesting anything of the sort.
I have no reference point for Umineko as it is not available on consoles in English, but hearing that Ryukishi07 explores more facets of abuse in his other works gives me hope that he knows what he's doing. Personally, though, I think he's walking a real thin line with this situation. It just feels like he's almost retconing Satoko's growth. Sure, Satoko is a multi-faceted character and exploring that is great for layered fiction like 07thExpansion universe, but Satoko went through hell and back and came out stronger. Now it feels like Ryukishi07 is just putting her through it again for content. I'm hoping for good things in the ending, and that there will just be a reason or some meaningful message to take away from this story, but right now it just feels cruel for cruelness's sake.

Side note though: if he did talk about themes of abuse in Umineko like that, that's great. But we're also living in 2021 now and the "abused becoming the abuser" trope in fiction has far passed its shelf life since Umineko's release. It has always felt yucky to me to see it happen in media and it portrays characters with serious traumas as "damaged" or "broken" and just serves to stigmatize mental health and therapy. Sure, getting treatment in a lone Japanese village in 1983 isn't happening, but it feels dated in a bad way in this most recent episode.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:12 am Reply with quote
kyokun47 wrote:
It just feels like he's almost retconing Satoko's growth.


I've seen a few people say this, and honestly?

1. While she did take in a couple of important realizations, namely that asking for help didn't make her weak and taking punishment isn't strength...that wasn't this Satoko. The Satoko that learned those lessons was killed, never lived to see how those changes would influence her or carry her through life.

2. And even if she did get a chance to undergo that same growth, she's still got a plethora of other problems that never got addressed. She's still an abused child, scarred by ostracization from the village and crippling abandonment issues. The abandonment issues especially were something that were never actually treated in any timeline. You don't just easily get over the things she's been through. She was never given meaningful help, was placed in a massively triggering environment like St. Lucia that exacerbated all of those problems and made her relapse without any of the support systems she had back in Hinamizawa, and given a destructive and unhealthy way to cope with it all by a malevolent entity when she was at her absolute lowest point. Her unstable home life leaves her unable to emotionally adjust to the radical changes in her relationships and environment. She never actually got the help she needed, and these are the consequences. The kind of growth she achieved in the other timelines wouldn't have done her much good here. She needed a different kind of help that she never received.

3. Remember, the club was formed *for* Satoko, to keep her away from her household as much as possible. There's only been a handful of months in her entire life that Satoko can really remember being happy, and almost all of that was with them, in Hinamizawa. Now she's lost all of that, with Rika "abandoning" her at St. Lucia being the most crushing of all. Miserable, depressed and fearfully lonely, is it any wonder that she'd give anything to get back those days, and develop possessive feelings towards Rika as a result? (For the record, iirc the VN actually makes a point of establishing that Satoko did have a bit of an unfortunate history of playing malicious and genuinely harmful pranks towards adult men in her life to keep them away from her mother, and generally lashed out in pretty alarming ways, so these possessive feelings aren't new)

And 4. Hinamizawa Syndrome, while the brainworms themselves may be gone, has been such an alarming constant in her life for years at disturbingly high levels that her brain is basically conditioned to react in extreme ways to high stress.
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killjoy_the



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:05 am Reply with quote
Florete wrote:
And isn't Rika supposed to be remembering the loops by now? Why wasn't there any indication of that?


I think that's only if Rika dies, if the loop is resetting because Satoko is offing herself for committing gamer sins Rika shouldn't be aware of anything
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