Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU
Episode 14

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 14 of
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU ?

The penultimate episode of SOTSU is the bloodiest episode of Looney Tunes I've ever seen. It's vastly more entertaining than the majority of this season, but Rika and Satoko's beatdown ultimately feels a little flat. That comes down to both GOU and SOTSU failing to create a conflict beyond "I want to be with you but you want something different than me." This is two girls brutalizing one another with everything from frying pans to children's cutlery through multiple timelines because they can't accept that what they want from life is incompatible with one another.

Also, intentional or not, their face off's primary gimmick was just done in the conclusion to one of the largest anime franchise's in the medium. I'm not going to sit here and compare this to Hideaki Anno's big finale, but the effect is certainly lessened in Higurashi because of it. From a violent spectacle standpoint, this episode definitely delivers and looks a lot better than past week's offerings. There is some content in here that is really stomach-churning, be it Rika's swollen eyes and bloodied face or the fork-throat twist. It's definitely bombastic and up there with some of the big "wtf" moments of the original Higurashi series.

The final five or so minutes lost me though, as the B-horror violence devolves into a Dragon Ball Z-style fight in the old junkyard. Higurashi has always had background supernatural elements, probably best exemplified by the existence of Hanyū/Eua and the ability to loop. I was never thrilled about the introduction of the magic sword but I'm even less so about a Rika vs Satoko Super Saiyan brawl. To clarify, I think it's entertaining but wholly ridiculous even in a world like Higurashi. The original series was about making a miracle by believing in one another to upend fate, but there weren't literal energy blasts and flying around.

When it comes down to it, yes I was entertained but I'm not really sure I recognize this show anymore. Next week will be the conclusion and I can't imagine a natural ending to the events that will return things back to the "good ending." As for Eua and Hanyū's relationship, I'm not really expecting anything satisfying there either. SOTSU has routinely focused on forgiveness for characters that seemed beyond redemption, so I suppose it's not unreasonable to think that Satoko and Rika will just forgive one another, as ridiculous as that sounds. I guess when both characters are centuries old and death and suffering are just a continual, monotonous experience, you can start over yet again. Feels kind of hollow though, doesn't it?


Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU is currently streaming on Funimation.

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