Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU
Episode 12

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU ?

As much as I would have liked to see this arc resolve here, GOU is taking a note from Kei and extending this arc out to five episodes. There is very little to discuss in Higurashi this week as everything is presented in a straightforward manner: Keiichi continues his crusade to get Child Welfare Services to intervene by recruiting more Hinamizawa townsfolk to his side. This time the group is told that CWS will have a decision within a month's time.

This isn't satisfactory. Every day Satoko is abused is a day lost and this is unbearable for her friends. Keiichi, Mion, Shion, and Rena are convinced that if they can get the actual village council to present the situation to the government, things will change. However, the mayor and older townsfolk think the kids are drawing too much attention and there's an unspoken idea that, even if they agree with Keiichi's motivations, they could anger the Sonozaki head and find themselves dead come festival time.

Satoko's family supported the dam project and in turn their name is as good as mud. No one holds Satoko responsible in particular but likewise no one is willing to take the first step in admitting that. Keiichi is able to give a rousing call to arms to the council that includes several instances of calling them cowards and hypocrites. They see the error in their thinking but still won't give the go-ahead until Oryo Sonozaki signs on.

My memory of Keiichi's attempt to convince Oryo is much different than what I saw here but I'm not confident enough in my recall to say for sure. I don't remember Keiichi being quite so aggressive; i.e. threatening to murder Oryo to her face. The two basically get into screaming match as a show of force which is just enough to fire up Oryo's cold, dead heart.

This arc is still playing it straight but there was a hint in the opener that it could take a turn. There were a few times where it seemed like instead of fighting this battle the clean way, the Sonozakis will just murder Teppei at the festival. That would solve a number of headaches within the village while still getting the outcome Keiichi is fighting for, at least at first glance. Teppei allegedly descreted a roadside shrine and pissed on a torii gate sometime before the start of the episode. His abuse of Satoko has Keiichi protesting outside the government building and the council elders fear that could jeopardize their government funding. Now, Keiichi did manage to convince everyone that fighting The Man is more important, but it doesn't mean offing Teppei wouldn't be a case of getting two birds with one stone. There's also the fact that Chie-sensei mentioned that the village school's accreditation could be revoked.

I get the sense that there are some older members in Hinamizawa that would rather take care of this internally, and no one would miss Teppei if he took a short walk down a well. However, a "good end" strongly relies on Satoko being welcomed back into the fold, so this alternate solution could lead to disastrous consequences if it happens at all.


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