NOTE: This freewrite is based off memories of my experience with the When They Cry series (Higurashi and Umineko) I am too lazy to check if what I said are correct . I may have some information wrong.
I’ve always enjoy characters that started out as heroes, but grew into villains. It’s interesting to see what events have such an impact on them that they decided to say “fuck it”, evolving into a villain. Some become villains due to an incident. Others as a result of losing their hope and giving up on their goals.
I feel like Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (When The Cicadas Cry) is such a heroine-turn-villain by the factors previously mentioned. Tragic factors that caused the young child to become the sadistic witch, Bernkastel.
Rika had a pretty fucked up life despite being so young. She’s theorized to be the queen carrier of the Hinamizawa Syndrone (a virus that cause victims to go into a psychiatric rage, increase anxiety, and commit violent homicidal and suicidal acts), her parents are dead, she can’t escape a timeloop that ends with her death, is an alcoholic at the age of 9, and she also tried to stab Santa Clause to death.
Initially, Rika started out as an optimistic and happy child, She believed she could prevent the endless June 1983 tragic events. She wouldn’t give up, no matter how bleak each situation felt. Even when Hanyuu (her ancestor ghost or whatever the fuck she is) flat out told her in the Massacre Arc that she and her friends will die, she just simply brush her aside, stating that she will defeat fate.
Of course, Rika failed and Hanyuu was once again right. Her friends got gun down by Miyo (the series’s true villain, who also had a fucked up childhood) and Rika got gutted by the crazed nurse-turned-terrorist. Rika was proven wrong once again. Don’t have hope children or you’ll end up like Rika.
After a few oh let’s say hundred years’ worth of losing and watching her friends and love ones die , Rika’s mind and views changed. Once a girl full of hope was slowly becoming hopeless. Overtime, she stop caring about fighting against fate and saving her friends. She became numb and cold. Emotionless even.
She became Bernkastel, the witch of Miracles; A collection of hopeless Rikas from different worlds and timelines fused into one sadistic being.
‘Lord, I don’t cry no more
Don’t look to the sky no more
Have mercy on me
Have mercy on my soul
Somewhere my heart turned cold’
–“Many Men” by 50 Cent (American rapper)
Bernkastel is one of the main villains of Umineko no Naku Koro ni (When The Seagulls Cry), the spiritual successor to Higurashi (which I’m not gonna go into in-depth details with both series about their relation. It’s fucking crazy). Simply put, Bernkastel is a piece of shit. She loves fucking with people, playing mind games with them. She use people for her personal gain. She’ll act like she’s your friend and ally, only to fuck you over at the end. Ange Ushiromiya (a girl with her own tragic past and pain) had to learn that shit the hard way.
Boy did she learn the hard way.
Simply put, Bern doesn’t give a fuck about you. Only herself. Maybe her lover Lambdadelta and her teacher Featherine. But that’s it. Bernkastel is the type of person who has clearly been through some shit. Horrible shit that changed her. The way she deals with that shit is by passing her own pain upon others to make her feel better about herself. She wants others to experience the pain she went through from her past. A past she really hates.
To conclude this unorganized freewrite, horrible events creates horrible people who started out nice and heroic. Rika was an innocent carefree girl, and yet due to being a victim one too many time, became a horrible corrupted being who had her point of view destroyed.
Shut the Fuck Up Hanyu:
Rika and Bernkastel