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EP. REVIEW: Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU


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MagicPolly



Joined: 26 Nov 2020
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:38 am Reply with quote
I think a big thing that bothered me in the first arc is the fact that Rina is made to be a bit more sympathetic and normal. She brings up her past as a child of a single parent and tries to be friends with Rena. The issue is that Rina is literally meant to be a comically evil character, I don't know why you would make her sympathetic in any way. The Nice Teppei thing was expanded upon and we saw him suffer and it contributed to the plot so I don't have issues with that, but Rina felt so weird.

Part of me wonders if Sotsu was cut down in episodes, which is why we have a 3 episode answer arc and an only 15 episode season (it would also explain why episode 3 felt so sporadic). Honestly I probably won't be very interested until there's a followup to the Nekodamashi stuff, that was when I started really getting invested in Gou.
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:48 am Reply with quote
Ok, I feel like you might have missed a few key points here ...

In Gou, we learned that due to Rika and Satoko looping so many times, some memories of other fragments/worlds have "bled through" to the non-looping characters, which is making them second guess or doubt their bad actions. This is why Miyo gave up and confessed in Gou instead of going through with her plan. We also saw in Gou that Teppei was starting to feel a lot of regret and remorse for how he and his wife treated Satoshi and Satoko.

In Umineko, Ryukishi really shows that abusers aren't just cut and dry monster villains all the time - they are real people who often feel guilty for how they behave and don't WANT to be cruel and abusive, but due to circumstances, personality, trauma, etc. lash out. He's not excusing or condoning abuse, but the word on the street is that Ryukishi used to work in the Japanese government with something to do with child welfare, so he's probably seen a lot and has a realistic perspective.

So I think in THIS fragment, Teppei does feel remorse and wants to have a better relationship with Satoko ... of course, it's too late for this to happen due to where Satoko is emotionally with Rika.

In Gou, Satoko did play her part somewhat to fool Rika, but she also never outright LIED about abuse, she just kind of ... disappeared and let Rika make assumptions based on Rika's knowledge from prior loops, and so yeah, Rika (and co)'s hard work to "save" Satoko was for nothing - which obviously just further traumatized Rika (which was what Satoko intended!)

I don't think we're supposed to necessarily assume that Teppei would suddenly be a perfect, model parent here if Satoko weren't messing around, but it clearly would have been a much BETTER situation.

Personally, I love seeing Satoko, now very emotionally damaged, just looping to learn and perfect things in such a heartless and cold way that Rika never did. I therefore liked how she got the gun and l(had previously) earned to use it.


As for Satoko injecting Sh/Mion, I've seen people elsewhere joke about whether she injected her in the butt and how did she not notice oh lol!!?! But I feel it's pretty obviously set up that she just emptied the syringe into Sh/Mion's drink when she wasn't looking, right??? I mean, people keep bitching about how obvious the answer arcs here are and do we really need to be shown all this information ?? (and I say, yes, since they are still trying to be SORT OF accessible to new watchers who wouldn't have known all this Rena backstory, for instance) ... and yet people are now complaining that it wasn't spelled out for them that the medication was put into a drink that they were obviously getting??


IDK, whether this ends up as an Umineko linking witch origin story or not, the watchers who complain the most seem to be those unfamiliar with Umineko and so are missing a lot of overall context (regarding WTC story-telling in general) IMO.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:55 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Has she already been removed from his care in this timeline and he wants to keep her happy in order to keep the authorities out of his business? Or is he just...not a bad person? Does his abusive behavior hinge on alcohol and stress and he's otherwise not awful?


The way I see it, Teppei's trying hard to make it up to Satoko (perhaps a bit too hard, as we see him occasionally overstepping his boundaries, much to Satoko's dismay), but he's still kind of a turd otherwise. We see him get needlessly hostile and antagonistic to multiple people that aren't Satoko, such as Chie, several of the villagers, as well as his landlord. Alcohol is probably a factor as well, which is why his doctor told him to lay off the stuff, but he's still definitely not what I'd call a good person. Even Satoko's forcing herself to interact with a guy she really doesn't want to be around.

The order of events in which Satoko acquires and learns how to use a gun are certainly ridiculous, but I don't think there was any scenario in which it wouldn't be. At the very least, it really hammers home the honestly absurd lengths she's willing to go to for her goals.

As for how Satoko injected Mion, she easily could've spiked her drink with the stuff. While probably not as potent as injecting it directly into the bloodstream, ingesting it orally certainly has to have *some* effect.
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 798
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:56 am Reply with quote
MagicPolly wrote:
I think a big thing that bothered me in the first arc is the fact that Rina is made to be a bit more sympathetic and normal. She brings up her past as a child of a single parent and tries to be friends with Rena. The issue is that Rina is literally meant to be a comically evil character, I don't know why you would make her sympathetic in any way. The Nice Teppei thing was expanded upon and we saw him suffer and it contributed to the plot so I don't have issues with that, but Rina felt so weird.


It's likely that just like all the other non-looping characters caught up in Satoko and Rika's many loops, Rina may have been having memory bleeds from other arcs in which she was murdered. Maybe this has made her second-guess herself and changed her as a person. Also, maybe previously when we saw things more from only Rena's view, she appeared far more evil and sinister than she truly is.

Also, now that Teppei is trying to be a better person in this fragment, it doesn't seem that he's working with her at all as a pimp / running badger scams, so that's going to make a difference if she's on her own and not hooked up with another bad actor.

After reading Umineko, it doesn't seem like Ryukishi likes to portray characters as only "comically evil."
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MagicPolly



Joined: 26 Nov 2020
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:02 am Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
In Umineko, Ryukishi really shows that abusers aren't just cut and dry monster villains all the time - they are real people who often feel guilty for how they behave and don't WANT to be cruel and abusive, but due to circumstances, personality, trauma, etc. lash out.

IDK, whether this ends up as an Umineko linking witch origin story or not, the watchers who complain the most seem to be those unfamiliar with Umineko and so are missing a lot of overall context (regarding WTC story-telling in general) IMO.

I will admit I've only read the first half of Umineko, I've been meaning to read the rest for like a year and I started reading the first half a few years ago so my memories of it that I do have are pretty hazy. The only thing about abusers I can remember is spoiler[Rosa being abusive, but she was tired at work or something? That probably gets explained further in depth later.]
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:06 am Reply with quote
MagicPolly wrote:
jenthehen wrote:
In Umineko, Ryukishi really shows that abusers aren't just cut and dry monster villains all the time - they are real people who often feel guilty for how they behave and don't WANT to be cruel and abusive, but due to circumstances, personality, trauma, etc. lash out.

IDK, whether this ends up as an Umineko linking witch origin story or not, the watchers who complain the most seem to be those unfamiliar with Umineko and so are missing a lot of overall context (regarding WTC story-telling in general) IMO.

I will admit I've only read the first half of Umineko, I've been meaning to read the rest for like a year and I started reading the first half a few years ago so my memories of it that I do have are pretty hazy. The only thing about abusers I can remember is spoiler[Rosa being abusive, but she was tired at work or something? That probably gets explained further in depth later.]


Let's just say (slight Umineko spoilers so hidden just in case) spoiler[all the abusive characters in Umineko are eventually shown in different lights. I think it's great to show that regular people can become abusive/terrible in different situations. Rosa is an amazing character who acts horribly, but also clearly regrets it. I'm of the opinion that she is perpetuating abuse she suffered and needs therapy and support more than anything ... which would have been impossible for a single mother to get in 1980's Japan unfortunately.]
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Dayraven



Joined: 21 Jul 2021
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:07 am Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
It's likely that just like all the other non-looping characters caught up in Satoko and Rika's many loops

My wild speculation about where all this is going is that the memory bleeds might end up being very important. What happens to Satoko’s plans if the rest of the game club start to have a strong awareness of the loops, after all?
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 798
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:16 am Reply with quote
Dayraven wrote:
jenthehen wrote:
It's likely that just like all the other non-looping characters caught up in Satoko and Rika's many loops

My wild speculation about where all this is going is that the memory bleeds might end up being very important. What happens to Satoko’s plans if the rest of the game club start to have a strong awareness of the loops, after all?


That's an interesting theory - an "everyone knows everything" fragment.

Honestly, as much as I want this to be a witch origin story (because that's really cool), I have some trouble working that out with how I feel about Umineko overall (Umineko spoilers) spoiler[I personally feel that the witches and meta world in Umineko aren't actually real, but are a 4th wall breaking story-telling technique while also being symbolic of various "real" characters' dealing with a traumatic event and seeking out truth etc. etc. So where does that leave me with Higurashi, which is presented in a much more "this magic supernatural stuff is definitely really happening" way? I dunno.] I would be thrilled if there was some sort of ambiguous ending that left some of the "what is real" interpretation up to the viewer. Like, what if Rika and Satoko aren't actually looping and it's just symbolic of something else? Hmmmm
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Mencor



Joined: 24 Feb 2021
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Some things to remember regarding Rina's "redemption".
The closer to Satoko the stronger the effect of the "miracles".
Teppei is closer to Satoko then Rina.
Teppeis past was not erased.

Thus Rinas past offenses are not erased as shown in the conversation in the caf'e when her friend asks her where the Rina she know has gone. Rina's answer is that she is the same person. She is just reminded of her past growing up with a single parent and sympathizes with Rena.

If not for Rena she would be willing to do the same things she was doing in the first go around provided she finds a willing partner now that Teppei has cut ties with his old contacts.
Had she succeeded in cutting ties with Rena's father she would happily do the same things to another victim, as long as she doesn't learn of him having a teenage daughter.

Then there is the "noble" act of trying to have Rena take the responsibility of breaking up with her dad on Rina's behalf.

Let's not forget that Rina can fake her personality quite well when there is something she wants. She did try to get on Rena's good side before Rena's hostility proved that pointless.
This time Rena wasn't openly hostile and Rina had no reason to break character until Rena dropped her facade and Rina realized her life was on the line.
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mrmoviemanic1



Joined: 02 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:26 am Reply with quote
I'm loving this season so far. I thought Gou was underrated, even though it had it's problems I really did end up enjoying it.

Higurashi is always gonna be my 3rd favourite anime of all-time I consider it one of the greatest anime of all time, but like all I do see the flaws and I hope Sotsu manages to correct them before it ends.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2461
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:35 am Reply with quote
yes, there is a huge stress factor regarding satoko s uncle.

he and rina steal money from the yakuza in some timelines, so he goes to satoko while stressed out because the yakuza is following him. iirc at this point of time rina is already dead. if satoko goes to him, that means he is not running from the yakuza and is not stressed. there is probably a parallel here with rina.
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ANN_Lynzee
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Is that game only info or was it also part of original Higurashi (i.e. being pursued by the yakuza).
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 561
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:37 pm Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
But I feel it's pretty obviously set up that she just emptied the syringe into Sh/Mion's drink when she wasn't looking, right???

That makes zero sense. Why even put the concoction into a syringe when if it can simply be digested? The answer is likely because the "go crazy" juice doesn't work that way. Why do you think you can't swallow all forms of medicine?
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Gem-Bug



Joined: 10 Nov 2018
Posts: 384
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:29 pm Reply with quote
Sotsu is pretty entertaining so far, even if what we seem to be getting are the events of Gou from different POVs. Definitely seems to be taking it's time getting us to the gun scene from the end of Nekodamashi-hen, but that's fine with me.

Episode 5 was interesting, as Watadamashi-hen had quite a few mysteries pertaining to what happened to who and when. I was surprised to see Mion kill Shion, at least this soon, and by accident. Her interactions with the doll earlier in the episode were cute and really give a better idea of how she was feeling during this arc. If I have a complaint, it's that we just saw Gou footage of Rika's dance like an episode ago, so it's kind of unnecessary here.

We know this arc ends with Rika in the septic tank and Satoko and Mion having killed each other at the Sonozaki house, and with the now established rule that Satoko has to die after Rika in order to follow her, I'm curious about how this is all going to play out. Perhaps Satoko senses things with Mion are going off the rails too quickly, kills Rika at school, then fights with Mion at home? But in that scenario, why wouldn't she just kill herself right after killing Rika(like in the previous arc)? It seems more likely that Mion kills Rika at school around the time Rika doom-speaks to Keichi, and Satoko just doesn't realize this until later that day/night.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty sure Mion dragged Keichi away from the area where Rika's body is eventually found? Since Gou ended I've watched the original first season again, so a lot of the events are jumbled in my head. Shocked
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NezumiVA



Joined: 20 May 2018
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:36 am Reply with quote
This week's review mentions what Oryo "gets up to" but to be completely fair, aside from the cruel and unusual abuse she's put Shion through in the past, the Sonozakis don't really get up to much of anything in the village. Not that Shion would know of, or really at all. Shion definitely suspected them of curse business back in the original Meakashi-hen, but that was ultimately proven to be a misconception, as the Sonozaki family doesn't have anything to do with the curse murders.

Shion was being a bit lax, I'll admit, but I don't think she had a ton of reasons to be alarmed from her perspective. Well, not at least until she was already being stared down at the dead of night, of course.
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