Skip to content

Tag: visual novel

Doki Doki Literature Club 0

Yuki’s Doki Doki Literature Club Adventrues: Act 1 (Freewrite)

Warning: Major Act 1 spoilers.  Major game spoilers below for certain characters.  Don’t read this and then get mad at me because I spoiled shit.

Last week, I decided to download Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) after six months of being bombard with memes, spoilers, and discussion across social media about the game.   With my friends filling me in on the game’s meta creepiness and horror, I figured it would be smart for me to buy some alcohol,  hit up my weedman for some loud, and get my mind right before playing DDLC.  In addition, I downloaded some Monika hentai off Danbooru and Rule 34; placing the hentai in the game’s folder. My homeboy told me that she can pull up your internet history. Apparently, she also reveals that she knows that you have porn of her.

If this game gonna fuck with my head,  I’m gonna fuck with its head.

doki_doki_hentai_folder

 

After drinking a 32 ounce of cheap ass Miller Beer, a glass wine, and smoking a blunt,  I booted up DDLC. The game warned me that I may not have a good time playing it. Of course, the game is wrong because I always have fun tearing overhyped shit apart.  Next, I had to give my character a name. First, I went with “RealNigga”; a reflection of me being the realest nigga in the otaku community (a title nobody will ever take from me). However, I changed it to “YourName” just to see if the game picks up on me being a smart ass.  Plus, I wanted to see if Monika said something about that (since she knows your PC name and gets angry with you for not stating your “real” name).

The game begins.  I’m greeted with the generic happy-go-lucky childhood friend Sayori aka “Hangtime” (and I’m not talking about NBA Hangtime for the Nintendo 64).  I decided not to romance her for obvious reasons.  Next, the game proceeds to the literature club where I meet the rest of the cast of the game. First, best shy girl Yuri. Yuri is just Hanako and Lily from Katawa Shoujo (who somehow learned how to do the Fusion Dance from Dragon Ball Z).  Following Yuri, there’s the low-key otaku Natsuki who’s a tsundere. I hate most tsundere characters, but Natsuki gets a pass due to reasons I’ll explore in a future post (maybe). Finally, Just Monika Lewinsky – the club president and game’s true villain or some shit.

Oh yea spoilers my bad.

With the girls presented this was my gameplan: romance Yuri and Monika at the same time. The other girls can go fuck themselves. Yuri has wisdom and knowledge.  I love wisdom and knowledge.  Monika has power and influence – two things I want in life.  Sayori will become ceiling decoration by the end of act 1. Natsuki (although a good character), doesn’t appeal to me just yet.  Moving forward, I did my first poem writing mini-game bullshit thing.  Being the crafty man that I am, I selected the words that I knew would get me to Yuri’s Act 1 route.

Look, I have a storied history of liking shy, quiet, weird people who are secretly interesting, smart, sophisticated, what have you.  I used to be super shy, weird, and quiet so I relate to those characters heavily.

Plus, purple is my favorite color. Yuri has purple hair and eyes.  I am a biased man.

DDLC 2018-03-24 01-09-22-06.png

After befriending Yuri I realized that the game must have programmed Sayori to become aware of this relationship. Sayori started saying things like “Would you walk with Yuri back home over me?” and “It won’t be long until you need me anymore, you know.” It worsens when Sayori admitted that she had life-long depression and suicidal thoughts. It was then where I said to myself “Oh fuck…” and realized I made a horrible mistake.

The two glasses of wine, the beer, and the blunt I consumed didn’t help this either.

 

DDLC 2018-03-23 23-48-59-83.png
“Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public…”

 

The next day (in-game), the MC and Yuri did some club project bullshit.  Yuri came over to MC’s house to work on club promotion.  Yuri (clearly trying to get some dick) gave the MC a sample of her aromatherapy talent.  Following that, she shows her knife off to the MC (who winds up cutting himself with it).  With Yuri freaking out she decided to put the dude’s finger in her mouth and lick his wound.  Then MC returned the favor, licking her finger and she started to blush.

Hmm…

So after that, the two decided to end their day.   The MC walked her out of the crib and by pure luck, Sayori catches their asses.  Sayori admits she was going to the house to confirm her fears – which were proven right.  I dunno what’s worse: The main chick catching you with the side chick coming out of your house, or your female childhood best friend – who you know has a crush on your – seeing you with another girl. I myself never been in either situation. All my female childhood friends are probably dead, racist, or have forgotten about me.  And I don’t have the balls to do the main chick/side chick shit. I can’t explain that shit to you.

Either way, pretty sure that worsen Sayori’s depression – which I will learn the hard way.

The next school day, I’m greeted by Monika.  She informs me that Sayori hasn’t shown up to school and states that I kinda left her hanging that morning. Monika, that’s fucking dark. Funny. But dark. But real shit I knew what was happening next.  I drank another glass of wine to prep myself.  Monika gives me Sayori’s final poem to read simply titled Get Out of my Head. I admit the title wasn’t subtle but I was getting scared playing the game. After school, the MC heads over to Sayori’s house.

 

DDLC 2018-03-24 23-25-25-28.png
Nah bitch, you did.  I read the spoilers.

 

I’m assuming you’re already hip to the Sayori’s suicide spoilers so fuck the details. If you’re not well you’re goofy for reading this far even with the spoiler warning. Anyway, as the MC was freaking out seeing his homegirl’s hanging body he says something like “This isn’t a game where I can reset and try something different.”

A smirk flashed across my face.  I pointed to my laptop’s screen and simply said “Bet.”  I made a second save file just in case if the game branches off to a new path (if you attempt to quit or escape Sayori’s room). My plan wasn’t to start over per se but to experiment with the different things you can do with the game.  So I saved, quit, and launched the game.

The game starts up, but I’m greeted with glitchy ass music and a gltich image of Monika (replacing Sayori).  I couldn’t access my load files.  In fact, they were all deleted.  “Fuck.  Maybe I was supposed to read that entire scene after all.”

That’s what I get for trying to play the metagame against a game that’s programmed to fuck with you using meta.

 

DDLC 2018-03-24 23-45-38-04
Unless you mod it of course. 

 

AFTERWORD:
Doki Doki Literature Club is amazing.  Go play it.  Just don’t do in under the influence of drugs and alcohol if you’re easily scared.  The music sucks tho. Not sorry. Project M died for this.

 

Video Games 0

“Comfort Misha” (Or How Did Ya Not Realize That Misha Was Trying to F**K?)

Katawa Shoujo is an old game.  Great game, but it’s old.  As with most old games, people rarely speak about it as time passes (sans hardcore fans).   The hardcore fans it alive through discussion groups on Facebook. Browsing through the Katawa Shoujo Fan Club Facebook group, I found a fanart/fake screenshot of Misha parodying some shit off Doki Doki Literature Club.  The parody reference the infamous “Comfort Misha” scene with the whole ordeal of one of the Doki Doki girls catching you trying to play another girl’s route.

Reading the comments, people were reflecting on how they did not realize that comforting Misha meant that she was trying to sleep with Hisao. Such a choice they regretted (since it led them to Shizune’s bad ending). I’m not even gonna lie to y’all: I was laughing at how their ignorance and borderline stupidity.

Let’s be real: Misha came up to Hisao’s room late at night – knowing full well that he’s her best friend’s  (Shizune) boyfriend.   That’s already suspicious. Next, no woman is going to come up to a man’s house or dorm or whatever late at night just to “talk”. Why couldn’t Misha wait until the next morning to talk, but whatever.  So, after Misha went up to Hisao’s room, she had the nerve lie up in his bed (while he was in it), get real close to him, kiss him and bury her head in his chest.

Yep.  She just wanted to “talk”.

At this point, you’ll say some shit like “Yeah no, ‘comfort Misha’ means sleep with her”.  I know I was.  I was like “Yea, this bitch trying to get some dick from Hisao”.  There’s no way you couldn’t figure that out. I can understand if  English isn’t your second language and you don’t understand subtle clues in that language.   But for those who can understand English with all of its subtle hints in the language, how did you miss all of this?  Even if you were never been in a friendly relationship with a woman prior to Katawa Shoujo, Misha’s action should have set off some red flags.

You’re pretty clueless. I’m not sorry.

Now, with that said, if you chose “Comfort Misha” as your first choice knowing full well it meant having sex with her, you’re the type of person that cheat on their boyfriend or girlfriend with their best friend.

Just saying.

(Also don’t blame Hisao for stickin his dick in Misha.  You were the one who selected that option.)

Nerd Culture 3

Dear Nerds: The Past is the Past – Get Over High School.

From my last article, I stated how nerd culture has reached popularity that rivals mainstream culture.  Years ago, anything nerdy was deemed pathetic – activities that only people with no lives enjoy. Today, it’s going through a renaissance. Superhero/comic movies are now major blockbusters. Video games are treated as a serious art form. Anime is no longer viewed as a joke  (for the most part).  Yet, despite those achievements, there are bitter nerds angry with the newfound popularity (of nerd culture). They’re upset at the past (as they were bullied for being nerds, weren’t accepted, etc.) They continue to cry about whatever happened to them in high school.  Can I say something?  If you’re this type of nerd, you need to get the fuck over it.

High school is over.  Nobody (but you) gives a shit.

The past is the past; let that shit go. You need to stop being mad at your peers from high school just because they rejected you (for being a nerd). The popular preppy girl who wouldn’t dare date you because you played Pokemon? She’s now fat, have five unruly children from three baby daddies, and she’s working at a dead end job. She’s hopeless.  The asshole who called you lame because you wanted to study rather than hitting up the weekend party?  I bet you he ain’t doing shit with his life today.  He’s strung out on drugs and begging people for money on the streets.

Ed_ed_Eddy_Thugs_2.png

You, my friend?  You’re doing well (I hope).  You’re working on your goals, dreams, making money, and life-changing moves for the better. There’s a special somebody in your life that appreciate your nerdiness.  You changed your wardrobe and rocking the fresher clothes of the season; clothes your bullies never imagine you wearing years after high school.

You changed, just like trends and the people who may have made fun of you.

 

Here’s what you need to understand.  The bullies and assholes that made fun of you could’ve changed after high school.  They could have realized that they were horrible to you and others.  Perhaps one day they reflected on their hurtful actions of the past, realized what they have done, and made the effort to never repeat that shit again. Teenagers are pricks.  They should know better, but it takes a while for people to grow and self-improve for the future.

People need to change for the future.

 

peter-parker-flash.jpg
Peter Parker and Flash Thompon; Peter’s former bully.

 

Let’s talk about the future.   We’re living in the golden age (of nerd pop culture).  Superhero movies are bringing studios hundreds of millions of dollars (the good ones of course).  Adults are playing on their 3DS in the open without normies talking shit about them.  Otaku are expressing their love for the anime medium without fear of ridicule.  You can talk about the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super or My Hero Academia with your coworkers.  Cosplay is getting the respect it deserves.  Everything nerdy is slowly becoming accepted and not made as a joke to belittle the people that love it! I can bet money that in a few years, people will no longer be mocked or bullied for liking anime, video games, comics, etc.  It’ll be too deep within the mainstream for anyone to go out their way to bully people over those things.   So what if there are some norimes who think that shit is lame?  Fuck them! Let them be stuck the past with that old mindset.

We’re moving towards the future.

Nsy0CYEx_o.jpg

FOLLOW ME ON THESE SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES:
My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

YouTube
Yuki TheSnowman14
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnW2H7VD6ahR4xXPba-DYLQ

Instagram
YukiTheSnowman314
https://www.instagram.com/yukithesnowman314/

Katawa Shoujo 0

A Bitter-Sweet Hustle: Katawa Shoujo

2017 marked the 5th anniversary of the Western visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”,  produced by 4 Leaf Studios (4LS).  The game (set in a boarding school for disabled students) touched countless lives and inspired many to better themselves. Except me; I’m still on some asshole shit even after finishing the game years back, but whatever. In the summer of 2012, 4LS ran a Kickstarter for their official Katawa Shoujo artbook titled Tomorrow Today: A Katawa Shoujo Illustration Book for the Anime Convention “Anime Expo”.  4LS requested backers for the book with rewards such as receiving a copy of the artbook and button set from the game.

20171219_113235[1]
My copy of Tomorrow Today before I sold it.
As both fan and future hustler, I saw the chance to support the project. I love the work 4LS put into Katawa Shoujo.  Plus, I never owned a video game artbook before. I went ahead and donated a dub for an ero video game artbook where you have sexual relations with physically and mentally fucked up girls (Hanako, Rin, and Emi got some fucking issues).   23 year-old me was like “Bruh, this gonna be worth some money one day.  Buy that shit and save it.”  So I did.  Back the Kickstarter and a few weeks later, the artbook arrived. I was impressed by the quality of the production (and the beautiful art) – and I was seeking the money.

 

20171219_113453[1].jpg
Hanako “Bacon” Ikezawa

After consuming the art in the book a few times, I put it aside in my closet in a box and let it sit for five years.  2017 came along.  I decided that I should start to work on my dreams of increasing my income and use the extra income towards my goal of producing infinite cash flow.  Around this time, Doki Doki Literature Club  (DDLC) came out on Steam.  Weeaboos were once again celebrating a feels-like Western visual novel masterpiece.  Some bold stated that DDLC was the second coming of Katawa Shoujo and many agreed.  WIth Wester Visual novels making a come back an idea popped in my head.

“I should take advantage of the success of another popular Western visual novel like DDLC and flip that Katawa Shoujo artbook.”

‘While we out here, say the Hustler’s Prayer
If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man, take a better stand.’

-Sky’s the Limit by Biggie Small

 

20171219_113748[1].jpg
Shizune and her creepy lesbian or possibly bi friend, Misha.

With Doki Doki Literature Club’s release and people comparing it to  Katawa Shoujo, I saw my chance. I made a listing for the book and put in on the market.  Within seconds, my friend hit me up asking if she could buy it off me. Within seconds, we made a deal for the book: $40 –  twice as much as I back the Kickstarter (yeah there’s that five years’ worth of price inflation and all that fun shit but whatever I don’t feel like doing inflation math).  That was about a week ago.  Today, as I’m waiting for my friend to come through and pick up the book, I started to reflect on Katawa Shoujo, the art book, and how bittersweet this sale is.

From my own estimation, there are only maybe 1,000 of Tomorrow Today in existence.  I am doubtful that the other owners of this book are willing to part with it (that or they’re smarter than me and waiting for the value to increase as the years pass by).  The chances of me encountering the book on eBay are rare (a copy was on auction on eBay  last weekend  and I almost won it…but I was signed out of my ebay account five seconds before I was going to snipe it for $48)  4LS stated that they will never touch Katawa Shoujo again, nor will they expand on the game.  The story of KS began and ended in 2012 – never to be retold again.

20171219_113947[1].jpg

Katawa Shoujo changed me.  No, fictional crippled animu girls didn’t make me a better person. I cracked jokes at Hanako’s pain (because she’s not a real person). I made fun of people who cried over this game. I sneered at anyone who got overly emotional about Rin.  I told fans who called Emi a slut  for having a boyfriend and sex drive that “They’re just mad because no woman will ever fuck them in their lifetime.” I got myself banned from the Katawa Shoujo forums for trolling, shitposting and overall keeping it real.   Yea, Katawa Shoujo didn’t make me a better person within the fanbase, online,  or in real life.

freemyniggahewasntdoingshit.png
Them five years ago: “You’ll never contribute to anything.” Me five years later: Working on my hustle and brand based off my internet tough guy persona.  Remember kids: Chess, not checkers. 

What Katawa Shoujo changed within me  however was my creativity. From playing Katawa Shoujo, it hit me: If these random dudes online can   get together and make their own shit for the world to see, then so can I.  In fact, I can do it better than them because there’s nobody better than me. Like  I’m on some Vegeta from Dragon Ball or Lute from Fire Emblem 8 type shit. Egocenteric pride aside, KS fuel some sort of creative fire in me and got me focusing on my craft.  I want to create something that has the same emotional appeal as it.  I long to create a visual novel that was consider a milestone of Wetern visual novels.  That or just write about otaku culture in a crude, spiteful matter.

Have my name in Western otaku history, you know?  No, global Otaku history.

20171219_114117[1].jpg

Katawa Shoujo touched many people.  Katawa Shoujo inspired those who played it.  I was inspired to sell my Tommorrow Today book for $40 to fund my hustle.  But, it’s bitter-sweet.  One part of me wishes that there was a follow up to Katawa Shoujo, but I understand why there will never be one.  And that’s okay.  Parting with the artbook feels like I’ve finally parted away from Katawa Shoujo for good.  It’s been five years, it’s time for me to move on.  I best use the $40 to wipe the tears away.

Money makes great tears wipers.

 

higurashi no naku koro ni 1

Playing Favorites: Shion Sonozaki of Higurashi

Warning: Blood, gore, spoilers, bad grammar, and no direction in the post I needed to capitalize on the Halloween Holiday before it ended.  You’ve been warned.

Happy Halloween everyone!  While some of you guys are out partying and drinking, I’m out here working.   While ya party, I work and get shit done like a real nigga. Real niggas do real shit.  We ain’t out here partying like ya broke ass lames!

…okay, I’m not out here making moves.  I wish I could go out tonight and get drunk in a costume.  Being a responsible adult working a full-time job is suffering.

lonely_hell_goddess
Me after I’m finished with this post

Since it’s Halloween, I decided that I should talk about my one of my favorite anime horror characters: Shion Sonozaki from the anime series Higurahsi no Naku Koro ni.  We’re first introduced to her in episode 5 of Higurashi with her all cheerful and laughing that she made Rika stab herself to death (Great first impression dear, you made a child commit suicide).  She doesn’t seem fazed that Rika’s blood gotten all over her.  Heck, I say she even seem interested in the whole “Rika Is Killing Herself Again!” thing.  Granted, she was dressed like Mion, and everyone thought it was Mion doing all the killing but we’ll get back to that later.

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-16h38m07s039.png
She’s watching a 10-year-old kid kill herself and she ain’t even worried about it.

 

Anyway, before that whole Shion snapping and killing people because she couldn’t ride Satoshi’s dick anymore thing happened, we see her at work at Angel Morte as a cosplay maid or some shit.  Shion seems like a normal girl. There’s nothing off or strange about her.  She’s nothing like her twin sister “crazy” ass (with that whole Mion trying to inject Keiichi with “drugs” an arc earlier). While Mion is more headstrong, rough, a bit boyish,  and traditional, Shion is mellow, chill, has feminine charms, and a bit of a rebel (she did escape her from her boarding school and was dating a boy who her family members hated).

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-16h45m39s674.png

She also can be a bit…scary.  I mean, it’s Higurashi who isn’t a little scary or crazy?

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-16h47m23s823.png
Today’s  lesson: foreshadowing.

 

But hey! Shion isn’t crazy or scary at all, right?  She’s just a normal girl who likes doing normal things.  Normal things such as teasing her sister, falling in love with a boy, sneaking into a holy shrine with a built-in torture chamber, and beating the shit out of her crush’s little sister. Normal things that every girl does at her age during the 80s.

Beating the shit out of your crush’s little sister isn’t normal, ain’t it?

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-19h01m37s953.png

About that. One lovely summer afternoon during school, Satoko spilled her lunch all over the ground.  She starts to cry for her brother Satoshi and Shion gets all in her yandere feelings.  Rather than helping the poor child (who clearly was stressed out due to a lot of abuse at home) to win dick points with Satoshi, Shion channels her inner R. Mika off Street Fighter Alpha 3 and throw Satoko across the classroom.  Satoko, rightfully terrified, calls out for her brother to save her.  Shion gets enraged and starts throwing shit at Satoko.  As she tells her to go suffer and die alone, Shion picks up a chair and threatens to cave Satoko’s skull in, but is stop by Rika, Rena, and Satoshi.

And that boys and girls, was any and all chance of Shion getting with Satoko.   I get having crushes.  Crushes are cute.  Crushes are fine. Hell, I have a crush on somebody that will never grow into anything serious.  But crushing a 10-year-old girl’s head in to get with her brother won’t get you laid – it’ll only land you in jail for murder.   Also why the fuck was Satoshi still fucking with Shion after the fact she beat his sister’s ass.  Like bruh, crazy pussy is amazing pussy but it ain’t worth it in the long run.

 

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-19h09m49s883.png
Sure.  Go ahead and apologize to the bitch who almost killed your sister no wonder your uncle and aunt beats you

I digress.  Remember how I said that Shion is a bit of a rebel in her family?  So Higurashi season 1, Shion wasn’t really supposed to get close to Satoshi because Satoshi’s family doing that pro-dam bullshit. She also didn’t suppose to sneak out of her boarding school either.  Her family got word on both things and fun stuff happened to her; like her nails being forcibly removed from her fingers one-by-one (well three but eh).  That didn’t discourage her from wanting to be with Satoshi. She’s loyal.

 

Speaking of Shion’s loyalty towards Satoshi, she even covered his ass when he was a suspect in the murder of his aunt. Shion made up an alibi for the nigga.  She stood up to him when Oishi tried to bring him in for questioning as well.  And then later Satoshi “disappeared”, Shion got angry, and horrible things happen to a lot of people.  Shion kidnapped Mion, their grandma, Satoko, and some old dude and killed them one-by-one (watch/read Higurashi I ain’t obligated to explain shit).

Oh and after killing Satoko, Shion remembered that Satoshi told her to watch over Satoko if something would happen to him.

Yeah…Shion fucked up.  Bad. But hey!  At least in the Beyond Midnight manga arc, she became a total sexy badass adult of the future whose total older woman waifu material…even if it was just Shion’s body being controlled by the ghost of her dead sister in an alternate timeline. Still, Shion truly shines in that arc and it was nice to see her portrayed as a hero after watching her villainess yandere bullshit in the anime and visual novel.

 

Sonozaki.Shion.full.767714 (1).jpg
I would seriously kill for a hack-and-slash action game of the Beyond Midnight comic

 

 

However, her heroism wasn’t just a manga exclusive. In Higurashi Kai, we’re treated to a kinder, gentle, big sister Shion.  Kai Shion is way mellower and chiller compared to question arc Shion.  Yeah, she’s still pretty pissed about Satoshi’s disappearance, but she ain’t bloodthirsty about it.  She even starts to treat Satoko like a little sister she never had (as opposed to treating her like a punching bag and pin cushion).  Shion loves Satoko and is willing to do whatever for her – even if it means killing her abusive Uncle.

vlcsnap-2017-10-31-18h11m48s655.png

Shion may have chilled the fuck out, but she still has problems with her temper and anger issues.  But this time she isn’t going around plotting to kill people in cold blood. Shion wants to kill Teppei to protect her little sister. And really, can you blame her? Yea?  Okay I get you,  she was kinda sorta on some premeditated murder type shit with Teppei so…

I guess this is the part where I explain why Shion is one of my favorite anime characters.  To be honest, I hate most yandere characters.  Hell, I’m not really a huge fan of the dere-archtype unless the character has a great reason to be dere (such as Hitagi off Monogatari being a tsundere because of abuse).  Shion gets a “pass” for being a yandere since her family pretty much rejected her for being a twin or some shit (it’s been a while since I last watched Higurashi I forgot).  Then, she had to deal with that bullshit from her family because she was in love with Satoshi.  There’s also the fact her family sent her away to boarding school.

Okay.  Maybe she does have her reason to be a yandere.

I admire Shion’s rebellious spirit.  I’m not a guy who likes tradition (especially Christian traditions — long stories lol).  Seeing Shion marching to her own beat and doing her own thing, rather than to do things to please her family, reminded me of me.  I don’t get traditions.  I rather do my own shit.

There’s also Shion’s anger.  While her anger wasn’t justified at all in the question arc, I totally understand her anger when she found out Satoko was being abused.  I feel her on her wanting to kill Teppei to save Satoko, and not rely on the justice system to make a move.

Overall, Shion is a cool character whom I would love to go more in depth and analyze her character in the future.  But for now, I’m going to end this here so I can spend the rest of my Halloween evening watching horror animu.

Later.

Anime Analysis 1

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship FINALE: Satoko (And The Unity of Hinamizawa)

‘I won’t show pain.
Never…

I’m not crying…I don’t cry…
Hide my feelings…smile!’

“Sukizuki Nii-Nii” by Mika Kanai (Satoko’s image song)

With all the hardships she went through, I’m pretty convinced that Satoko is Higurashi’s punching bag (and it’s pin cushion). To say that her young life is rocky is an understatement.    To start, she killed her own parents (whom she believed were trying to kill her) by pushing them off a deck. The village of Hinamizawa treats her like an outcast.  Her uncle Teppei abuses and belittles her. Finally, her beloved brother (who would protect her from the abuse) is missing – leaving Satoko all alone in the world.  Well, she has Rika, her best friend. The two  are for each other greatly; as if they were sisters.  The hardships they’ve suffered in young lives drew them closer to one another, creating a everlasting bond between the girls.

Rika and Satoko are inseparable friends.

 

higurashi_ecw.jpg
Expect for that one timeline where Satoko was a bullying bitch to Rika.

One day, Satoko went off on her own without telling Rika (which alarmed her) and haven’t return since. She fears the worse – her Uncle returning to the village; therefore forcing Satoko to move back with him.  Acting on this fear, Rika decides to confirm or deny her worries, and makes her  way to the Houjou’s house. Rika arrives, with Satoko  showing up behind her (who was returning from an errand at the “request” of Teppei).  While Rika is relive to see Satoko “safe” and alive, she is shocked at her physical and mental state.  Satoko appears drained.  She’s not her normal, happy, and cheerful self.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h10m35s371.png

Alarmed, Rika hits up Oisihi’s line.  She requests  to get in contact with her friend Mamoru , hoping he can  save Satoko.  However, Mamoru was away on vacation, ending her plan before it could start.  Rika then decides to visit  Dr. Irie and Miyo  at their clinic.  Rika figures she could convince the two to mobilize their personal militia (the Yamainu) to kill Teppei (in order to save Satoko, or at the very least, rescue her without violence).  The two decline the request; stating that the Yamainu couldn’t move to attack due to the police investigating Teppei (he was the pimp of Rina, who was found murdered days prior).  At best, they would have to wait until after the Cotton Drifting Festival to attack Teppei – which by then would be too late (due to the time loop).

Rika snaps.

The next morning, Rika’s classmates are asking why Satoko hasn’t shown up to school.  Rika (who is visibly depressed)  ignores them,  but decides to inform Chie-Sensei on the situation.  Chie-Sensei figures she should contact Child Counseling Center (an even worse version of the terrible real world child protective services [CPS] ) to see if they can intervene. Rika see this as hopeless, since Satoko filed false reports of abuse on her previous step-fathers, but Chie decides to take action regardless.

Chie  visits the Houjou household in an attempt to talk  Teppei into letting her speak with Satoko and get her back to school – which fails.  Chie returns to the school, telling The Club about her lack of success.  Shion goes off, demanding answers on why Chie backed down against Teppei. In her rage, Shion decides that rather than wait for the legal system to make a move, she would kill Teppei  and rescue Satoko herself.   She doesn’t want Satoko to suffer anymore hardships.

Shion attempts to leave but is stopped by Keiichi.  He tries to talk sense into her, telling the girl that she’ll only regret killing him later. Shion ignores him and threatens to kill him first (if it means getting to kill Teppei).  Mion tries to stop her but is quickly stopped by Rena.  Rena has faith that Keiichi will calm Shion down and convince her to see the errors of her idea.   Shion picks up a chair and smashes  Keiichi’s head with, which calms her down.  As Hanyuu attempts to cheer Rika up (since they’re able to prevent their friend from killing Teppei), Rika refuses to believe that things will resolve in a happy ending.

Rika’s depression and doubts reminds.

Later, Mion, Rena, and Keiichi discuss strategies to save Satoko without bloodshed.  Rena mentions that she was scared that Keiichi was going to mimic Shion’s actions and ideas of killing Teppei.  This is funny, given Keiichi actually did kill Teppei in a timeline before (which Keiichi tells the girls he had a feeling that she once did kill the him) They come up with the conclusion that it is best for them to fight without resorting to harming Teppei.

The next morning, The Club visit the CPS office to influence them to rescue Satoko.  CPS tells everyone that they’re working on it, but Keiichi calls them out on their bullshit;  Stating they failed to act upon the first reported case of abuse.  He tells  the case worker to not believe Satoko’s words,  as she hasn’t shown up to school.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h26m07s173.png

Reflecting on the situation at hand, Rika breaks down in tears.  She starts to beg Keiichi to save Satoko and not give up. His words gave Rika courage and inspiration to fight.

Rika’s hope is restored.

‘Gift of the silver tongue.  They say it’s the mark of a good officer.’
-Revolver Ocelot, Metal Gear Solid 2 (2002 Konami video game)

The next morning.  Keiichi and The Club rally their classmates save Satoko.  Keiichi – the magician of words – utilize his talents to convince everyone to save her.  He reminds the class of Satoko’s suffering, unhappiness,and how much she needs them. Keiichi ends his speech by informing the class that CPS  weren’t taking the matter serious. It’s up to them to fight for Satoko.

With his zeal, Keiichi is able to successfully recruit his classmates into his army.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h29m17s302.png

With his unit, Keiichi marches forth to the CPS offices to negotiate against them.  The two groups go  back-and-forth, with Keiichi’s unit not backing down.  Despite their efforts and emotional appear, The Club loses.  Yet, they will not give up hope. They must regroup and try again.   They can not give up.  Keiichi’s unit needs the support of everyone, no matter what.

Keiichi gathers new allies from all over Hinamizawa.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h30m22s334.png

After a successful night of enlisting new recruits, Keiichi and the others go over their new battle plan against CPS. As they talk, they’re surprise and relive that Satoko has  returned to school.  However, Satoko looks like hell: She show signs  of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Everyone surrounds her, happy to see her again, but thigns don’t seem right.  Satoko lies about having a fever. Cleary a cover up for abuse given nobody asked if she was sick.

Keiichi questions Satoko, asking her if thing are hard for her, which she denies. Satoko then  mentions her brother; Telling Keiichi while it’s hard for her, she must stay strong for Satoshi’s sake.  Keiichi gives Satoko a friendly, yet sorrowful smile and praise her for her hard work.  As a reward, he pats her on the head.  Satoko starts to weep as Keiichi and everyone else reach out to her.  They want to help their friend; they don’t want her to think that she has to suffer alone, but she refuses the help.

Until she has a trigger.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h32m43s602.png

Satoko hears footsteeps in the distance.  This alone causes her to have a panic attack (as she thinks her uncle was coming to hurt her again).  They manage to calm her down with injections (to combat her HImiizawa Syndrome) and let her rest.  Rika and Keiichi talk  about what they should do.  Rika reveals that Satoko was forced by her uncle to stay with him; as he threatened to burn and destroy Satoshi room.  This enrages Keiichi, who now wants to kill Teppei.  Rika manages to talk sense into Keiichi by calming him down.  Keiichi regains his focus. At this point, they can’t afford anyone to lose it this far – victory draws near.

The Club regroups with new allies.  They march back to the CPS.  While talking to Hanyuu, Rika analyze the events leading up to this point.  She realize that while she has been rooting for her friend, it was just at the sidelines.  Rika was just a mere spectator, refusing to take center stage .  She takes it up to herself to fight at the front lines.  She plans to convince Satoko to admit to the abuse.

She can no longer just stand by and watch her best friend suffer any longer.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h34m41s543.png

After the meeting, Keiichi receives word from Chie that they have stir up ill will from the elders who still hold a grudge against Satoko’s family (as they opposed the village during the Dam Wars).  The villagers believe that Oyashiro will curse them for allying themselves with The Club, but Keiichi continue to fight undisturbed.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h36m25s280.png

Keiichi stands up and steps up to the elders.  He outs them for bullshiting around, preventing Satoko’s resuce, and letting the conflicts of the past impact the present and future.  He gets bold – demanding the elders to tell him if they are his foe or ally.  The rest of The Club then expose the elders’ connections with the government (as they were getting favors from them).  They know that the elders don’t wanna lose that connection.  Using this to their advantage, the Club forces the elders to play with their cards. Keiichi’s relentless spirit and logic works:  He successfully recruits the elders to his side.

With the elders and youth in his army, there’s one more person whom Keiichi must convince to fight in his war – Oryou Sonozaki – the head of the Sonozaki clan:  The elder who still harbors hatred towards the Houjo family’s past sins.

vlcsnap-2017-09-26-08h37m45s620.png
Keiichi confronts her.  He presents his case to her in hopes that she’ll let go of her anger towards the Houjous for just a little bit to help Satoko.  When she doesn’t bulge, Keiichi threatens to kill her and  make Mion the new head of the family. This isn’t a smart move on  our talented magican of words as Oryou threatens to kill him.   Keiichi tries again, begging her to change her mind.  She still won’t buldge but it isn’t hopeless.  Shion and Mion’s parents seem supportive of helping Keiichi’s cause, which pisses Oryou off.  Keiichi goes off on her once again, which doesn’t piss off Oryou but her daughter, Akane.  Akane tells Keiichi to fuck off and return once he matured.

Keiichi’s effort (and perhaps his stupidity) pays off:  Oryou agrees to join his side and save Satoko.

The next morning, CPS is bombard with phone calls from the villagers of Hinamizawa.  The pressure and heat is on and the CPS office can feel it.   Supporters from not just Hinamizawa, but other villages and towns join forces to express their concerns of CPS delaying efforts to investigate the case.  Somebody even pulls up on the rally with a protest van equpired with speakers.    The CPS director starts to freak out.  He’s corner and knows it.

Victory is in sight…or so it seems.

Oishi pulls up on Keiichi’s protest.  He informs them that their assembly is illegal and they must stand down and break up, or risk arrest.  Keiichi refuses.  They cannot give up.  They’ve come so far and worked effortlessly.  Surrender means defeat;  not only for theme – but as Satoko well.

Inside the office, the director is planning to escape, but is thwarted.  Central office is calling.  Elder members of the Sonozaki clan have reached out physically to the central offices.  Learning this, the director surrenders to the demands of the people.  With the pressure on, he decides to take action and calls the Houjou household.

Meanwhile, Satoko is assaulted by Teppei…

After beating her, Teppei answers the phone.  The director requests him to speak to Satoko, which he agrees to.    Before handing the phone to Satoko,  Teppei violently grips her shoulder and tells her to tell the director that they’re a happy family.  He threatens to burn Satoshi’s room down if Satoko betrays him.

Satoko speaks with the director while Teppei behind her, installing fear in her.  Keiichi speaks to Satoko first.  He tells him how the village is rallying for her.   He promises her that nobody will ever bully or harass her again, even if she is a Houjou.  The same village that once outcast her  and her family is now rooting for her.  They want to see her safe and sound.  For a second, Satoko ponders if there is any hope for her to live a happy life in the village that once rejected her.

Keiichi then puts Rika on the phone to talk to her best friend.

Rika reiterates Keiichi’s statement. She promises her that nobody will mistreat her again.  Rika tells Satoko that she almost gave up, until Keiichi show her otherwise.  Rika then tells Satoko that she knows that she was doing all of this to atone for her sins.  She tells her that if she wants to make up for that the sins, t she must also ask for her friend’s help. It is the job of Satoko to reach out like her friends did for her.  Rika hands the phone over to the director.

The director asks Satoko if there have been any problems with her and Teppei since she returned to live with him.  There is a tense pause followed by stuttering from Satoko.

“He…He-help me!” At last, Satoko admits she needs help.  She stands up to Teppei, telling her abuser that this is her and her precious “Nii-Nii” (older brother) house; she will do anything to protect it – even if it means forcing him to leave.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-10h41m58s223

Teppei snaps. He slaps her, knocking the girl to the ground.  He then picks her up from her hair and slams her to the ground, threatening to kill her.  Before he can do further damage to her, the police force their way in, arresting Teppei and saving Satoko.

Satoko steps out of the house, greeted with the sight of her friends: friends whom all joined forces to save her.   Satoko spots Rika, runs over to her arms and break down crying.

Satoko is finally free.  With her courage, Satoko was able to stand up to her abusive uncle and confess she needed help.

Satoko has finally reached out to her friends.

Series concluded.

Anime Analysis 1

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship Pt. 2: Rena

‘Oh I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Oh, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.’
“With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles (1961 rock single)

Rena, despite her naive and ditsy nature,  has a rough past. She harbors hatred towards her mother (who cheated on her father and tore apart their family).  Her “friends” from middle school tried to rape her.  She fought back however, savagery beating them with a baseball bat. Following that, she went on a rampage at her school, smashing all the windows in it.  Following, Rena was admitted to a mental health clinic (due to the stress of the incidents).  After recovery, Rena and her father moved back to Hinamizawa in an attempt to continue their lives as normal.

Rena managed to move on, regaining her happiness and enjoying the company of her new friends, Rika, Satoko, Mion, and Keiichi.  Together they formed “The Club”, a clique created from their  friendship; spending many happy days with one another.

the_club.jpg
The Club

Yet,  Rena’s happy days would come to an end thanks to her heinous acts of murder.

__maebara_keiichi_and_ryuuguu_rena_higurashi_no_naku_koro_ni_and_tsumihoroboshi_hen_drawn_by_suzuragi_karin__sample-d062e48b884dfdd82d7c0067273613b7.jpg

‘I do you one better and slay these niggas faithfully.
Murder is a tough thing to digress
It’s a slow process
And I ain’t got nothin’ but time.’
“Dead Presidents II” by Jay-Z (1996 hip-hop single)

Discovering that Mamiya Rina and her pimp Teppei Houjou entrapped her father into a badger game (with Rina pretending to act as her father’s boyfriend and Teppei coercing him into a payment plan), Rena decides to take action. She lured Teppei and Rina into her hideout (the garbage dump).  First, she barbarously smashed Rina’s skull in with her lead pipe. Later, she cleaved Teppei’s head with her billhook – taking their lives.

The next day, The Club decides to check up on Rena, who was absent from school.  Upon arrival at her hang out spot, they see Rena dismembering the bodies of her victims.  Keiichi goes off on her; demanding Rena to explain why she committed such acts.  He also asks why she didn’t ask for help before killing the two.  Rena tells him that they couldn’t help her. She only sees friends as people to only have fun with – not as an outlet for emotional support. Because of past betrayals, Rena fears that she can’t disclose painful information to her friends.  She doesn’t trust them to help her. She believes by murdering Teppei and Rina, she made the best choice for her life.

Keiichi calls her out on her bullshit; telling her that she crying and suffering.  He presses the question of why won’t t trust her friends.  Despite her crimes, he wants to forgive and understand her.   The Clubs shares his idea, as they too want to still remind friends with her and help her (including helping her burying Teppei and Rina’s remains).  They assure her that they’ll never turn their backs on her – and that they’ll still be friends.  Rena thanks everyone for helping her out and understanding her actions.  Rena feels that she no longer has to bare the cross of her sins alone.  She can trust and rely on her friends.

vlcsnap-2017-09-23-16h31m47s213.png

And yet, this period of trust and reliance wouldn’t last for long.

Time has pass since the Cotton Drifting Festival. Oishi visits one classroom school of Hinimizawa,  requesting to speak to Rena.  The two have a little chat in his car, with him informingthe girl that Tomitake is dead and Miyo is missing. As the two talk, a flashback plays.  Rena and Miyo are chilling at the library, speaking about  Oyashiro’s  curse  and the influence it has on the village and Rena herself.

We learn from this flashback that Rena “broke the taboo” of leaving Hinamizawa.  Rena believes that the cause of her being cursed by Oyashiro was in relation of her family leaving the village years ago. The incident at her school and her parents’ divorce was punishment brought upon by the resident god to her to suffer from.  Rena then tells Miyo that she the god spoke to her, telling her she must return back to Hinamizawa.

“Believing” her story, Miyo gives Rena her bullshit “research” scrapbook. (Granted, Miyo only gave her this to agitate Rena’s Hinamizawa). Upon learning about Miyo’s disaperance,  grows paranoid.   With Tomitake’s murder and Miyo’s disappearance, Rena believes she’ll be targeted next.  She hits Keiichi’s line up, informing him on the situation, and theorizes that the Three Great Family had Miyo (and the rest of the Cotton Drifting Festival victims) murdered  in order to revive the Oyashiro curse.

vlcsnap-2017-09-23-16h34m12s239.png

Rena’s paranoia worsens.  The following day, members of the Yamainu unit visit the Hinamizawa School for an “inspection”.  Rena takes notice and investigates.  Going over the information left behind by them, she calls their business number, only to discover that the company doesn’t exist.  Rena thinks they’re after her , decides to leave school early, and goes into hiding. Worried about Rena’s behavior, Keiichi decides to search for her.

Learning that the both the police and Sonozaki clan are after her (given she stole money form the later), Keiichi grows concern about Rena’s wellbeing.  Assuming that she’s hiding out in the dump, Keiichi searches for her there.

Meanwhile, Rena is indeed hiding around in the dump – with the police nearby. While evading them, she overhears a dispatcher (from the radio) telling the field officers that she has been spotted at a warehouse near the Sonozaki land, thus making the police leave the dump to confirm this information. This should relive Rena, but she’s freaking out.  She thinks that she has been clone (thanks to Miyo’s bullshiting Rena in her scrapbook)!  It doesn’t help that Rena’s paranoia has gotten worse and the Hinamizawa Syndrome is screwing with her head.

Rena attempts to leave the dump (and the village) but she is caught by Keiichi.  He tries to convince her to return to the village but she refuses. She’s pretty pissed off at Keiichi. Earlier, she had went to check on the burial site of the victims and discovered that their bodies weren’t there. Keiichi tries to explain to her that Mion had her family exhume the bodies from the original burial site to their secret mass grave site  (due to government deforesting).  Rena doesn’t believe this.  She  feels betrayed by Mion (despite Mion was covering Rena’s ass for her own good) and snaps on Keiichi.

Keiichi begs Rena to trust The Club and Mion’s action but Rena is blinded by rage.  In her anger (and derange fits of laughter) she tells Keiichi a little secret – a secret  that Keiichi hidden for years.  Before Keiichi moved to Hinamizawa, he was facing legal issues. Due to stress, Keiichi hunted down young girls and shot them with a BB Gun (with one of the victims losing an eye). In her normally sweet voice, Rena taunts him with this reveal, calling him a shameless pervert (for attacking little girls) and that it must had been fun for him to install fear into young girls for his actions. She finds joy in making Keiichi cry and forcing him to beg her to stop, but Rena keeps at it. Rena finish her sadistic taunting by telling Keiichi that she’s not his friend and for not telling The Club about his past.

She leaves Keiichi alone in his pitiful state.

‘I think we all have stories we don’t want to share of misery, sadness, mistakes, or even memories we don’t want to recall.’
-Mion Sonozaki

The morning after, Keiichi reveals his past to the Club. When questioned by his friends on why he’s revealing such things, he tells them that he doens’t feel right about it from them.  To his surprise, Mion and Rika tell him that he shouldn’t feel shame from it.  Satoko follows suite, telling her friend that he’s a good person now.

His friends’ words of forgiveness and kindness trigger yet another seemly forgotten past:  his distrust towards his beloved friends – and of him killing Mion and Rena in another world.

Keiichi freaks out, weeping in front of the others.  He remembers his delusions of Rena and Mion plotting against him. In reality, they were only trying to help him get better.  Especially Rena whom, even at the final seconds of her life (of that world) literally reached out to him to tell him that it’s everything is okay – to believe in her.

Keiichi laments over this. He questions himself on  why he couldn’t see the fact that his friends wanted to help him. Rika calms Keiichi down and tells him that she forgives him. She knows that he’s a good person now.  Fully aware and understanding what Rena is going through (and awared of the multiple worlds), Keiichi is inspired to fight against fate and save his friend – and to atone for his own sins.

The following school day Rena, who hasn’t shown up to class in a while, finally shows up! To celebrate her triumphant return, she decides to take everyone hostage!  Yea, she pretty much went completely insane.  She forces Keiichi to join her side, as he was the only one who “believed” her story( along with Oishi)  As time passes, things get worse.  Rena starts to spread gasoline around the classroom.  You know, just a simple insurance policy, just in case things go south.

It’s normal in hostage situation trust me.

Rena takes her anger out on her best friend Mion.  She beats her with the blunt end of her billhook, screaming at her. “I trusted you!” She yells, slamming her billhook downwards on to her friend’s forehead and busting her open. Keiichi tries to stop Rena but she threatens to blow up the school right then and there.   Despite Keiichi telling Rena that Mion only had the bodies moved to a secured location; Rena still neither trust nor believe her friends.

vlcsnap-2017-09-22-23h03m44s788.png

Observation: It can be theorized that Rena does not trust her friends because she experienced mistrust and betrayal from people she once trust in her past.  Remember: three of her former male friends attempted to raped her years ago, friends that she probably trusted.  Additionally, her own mother lied to her father about her having an affair with a coworker.  This coworker impregnated her.  The mother tried to convince her to leave her father, which she refused.   Perhaps in Rena’s head, Mion and Keiichi’s acts against was yet another betrayal.

Her so-called friends violated her trust – therefore, they must be punished.

The day passes.  Keiichi (through an earpiece provided by the police) is informed about a homemade bomb crafted  by Rena, which is hidden in the school.   Keiichi sneaks out of the classroom in search of it.  He encounters Satoko, who concludes that the bomb was hidden away in the school’s storage room. Satoko then gives Keiichi a weapon – her beloved brother’s baseball bat.

Observation:  This scene can be considered a full circle of sorts. During the events of the first arc Keiichi “borrowed” Satoshi’s bat.  Keiichi was planning to use the bat for self-defense Rena (during his bout with paranoia).  This made Satoko upset.  Flash forward to the Atonement Arc. Satoko trust Keiichi.  She trusts him so much that she allows him to use her brother’s bat – one  of the few items she has to remember him.  After giving him the bat, Satoko  is staring at Keiichi, quietly saying “Nii-Nii”.

vlcsnap-2017-09-23-16h49m57s779.png

What we can take from this is two things:
1. Keiichi reminds her of Satoshi
2. Satoko sees Keiichi like an older brother.

(This is very important for the finale of this analysis series)

Keiichi finds the bomb and disarms it (with a second to spare).  As the hostages escape and the police charge in the school to capture Rena, she encounters Keiichi on the rooftop.  The two talk some shit, mostly with Rena speaking about aliens and Keiichi calling her an idiot.  She then challenges her to a fight to prove who’s right.  During their clash, Keiichi jokes about making Rena his service maid if she loses.  He brings up that their rooftop battle is like their old fun water gun fights and other past club games and ask if her she wanna go back to those days.

The two fight again but then stop when Keiichi thinks of all the fun things he would do to Rena if she was his maid.   He then asks what she would want if she wins, which are the same rewards of the battle he requests.  Rena tells Keiichi that regardless of the winner, they will still be together and happy.  Rena will still have her friends – something she truly wants.

Before they prep for their final blow, Keiichi brings up that this was fun, which Rena plies that it was fun for her too.  The two charge at each other, with Rena wining it by disarming Keiichi of his bat and knocking him to the ground.

“The fight’s over now, right?” Rena asks him.  Keiichi replies once she swings her weapon towards him for the finishing blow.  Rena – regaining her sanity – breaks down crying.  She doesn’t want to hurt her friends.  She weeps as she questions herself on why she cause her friends to suffer and shaming herself for not believing in her friends who only wanted to help her and ruining the happy, fun days they had.

Keiichi then tells Rena that she was right to be suspicious when she sensed something was wrong – anyone would have done the same.  He then follows up with that if there was something painful going on in her life she needs to talk to her friends about it.  Reazling this, Rena starts t ocry uncontrollably in Keiichi’s arms.

It is then that Rena realized her mistake – she needed her friends for support.

‘Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
Buy if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on’

-“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers (1972 soul single)

Series continued in part 3.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-10h42m13s947.png

Rena and Keiichi’s fight video source:
https://sakugabooru.com/post/show/18796

Anime Analysis 1

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship Pt. 1: Keiichi, Rena, and Mion.

 

‘Friends…
How many of us have them?
Friends…
Ones we can depend on.’
-Whodini, Friends (1983 rap single)

The power of friendship is a tired concept in anime. It’s  a trope used as either a final hour plot device or a moral boast given to the  hero from their freinds  as a power-up, or a motivation toll to push forward  in the face of despair. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni isn’t exempt from this.  However, how Higurashi tackles this theme makes it stand out from other series that uses the power of friendship such as Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh.

d142568ba0c9c3f45993e2f95328dceb.png
Oh you’re my best friend…

Using mature and controversial themes (such as child abuse, mental health, trust issues, etc.) for its overarching narrative, Higurashi makes the power of friendship, and the benefits of it feel realistic compared to other anime series.

With series main character Keiichi, we see Rena and Mion attempt  to reach out to Keiichi in his time of stress and paranoia, whom he couldn’t seem to trust.  Rena herself would wind up untrusting of her friends; accusing them of betraying her (as she believed they snitched on her for murdering Rina and Teppei).

Finally, The Club unites the village of Hinamizawa to rescue Satoko Houjou from her abusive uncle – including villagers who once outcast and hated her.

Join me in part one of my analysis of the Power of Friendship in Higurashi as we explore how Rena and Mion reached out to help their friend Keiichi, only to be murdered by him due to his paranoia.

Keiichi, Rena, and Mion

‘Give me a reason why not to adapt in this way,
or judge me to be guilty of  so many incurable sins
Tell me why, or why not, complaining way too much,
Maybe I overlooked something fatal for me’


“Why or Why Not” by Katakiri Rekka (Higurashi no Naku koro ni  ED 1)

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h05m13s993.png

Ever since he moved to the small and close-knit village of Hinamizawa, Keiichi grew close with new friends Rena and Mion.  They walk together to school, play after-school games and kick it and chill with one another as good friends.  It’s clear by their interactions and the time they spend with each other that they’re bonded by friendship.

A bond of destroyed by paranoia and distrust.

Keiichi’s distrust towards his friends began when he was informed by Tomitake about the Hinamizawa Dam War (a protest conflict against a dam construction in the village). The “war” resulted in the unsolved murder and dismemberment of the project’s director.  Now mind you, this information was given to Keiichi after he was joking with Tomitake that Rena may had hid a body in the garbage dump (the land that was going to be used for the dam) where she normally hangs out at. We must also note that some of the remains of the project director have yet to be recovered at this point of the story.

This news doesn’t ease Keiichi’s paranoia. It will get worse after the Cotton Drifting Festival.

It’s the night of the Cotton Drifting Festival. After kicking it with The Club, Keiichi goes off  on his own to explore the area.  He links up with Tomitake and his girlfriend, Miyo.  The lovers get Keiichi hip on Oyashiro’s Curse: a series of unexplained “supernatural” deaths and disappearances occurring  at the festival for the past five years – with this year’s festival being the fifth anniversary. This new information in combination of the murder and dismemberment case freaks Keiichi out.

There’s more to the village than he is aware of.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h06m10s915.png
Miyo explaining the legend of Oyashiro’s curse. 

The following morning, Keiichi is visited by detective Oishi at his school. Oishi notifies the boy that Tomitake was discovered dead during the festival. In addition, Miyo is missing. He asks Keiichi if he believes these incidents are linked to the curse. Keiichi replies that he doesn’t believe in such things such as curses and gods.  Pleased, Oishi sees Keiichi as an useful person for the case . Oishi ends their meeting with him requesting that he does not repeat anything to anyone –especially to Mion – as she is a member of the notorious Sonozaki Yakuza clan.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h54m39s087.png
Oishi informing Keiichi that Miyo is missing.

Returning to class, Keiichi overhears Mion and Rena discussing the disappearance of past victims of the supposed curse.  Satoshi is mentioned, which Keiichi questions Rena about the boy later.  After school, Keiichi confronts his friends about the murders, the village, and the curse.  He suspects them of withholding information.  Rena counters this, asking him why he too is withholding information.  She brings up that she knows that he spoke with Oishi (contradicting his lie of him talking to their teacher).

The friends argue back and forth.  Rena grows hostile. In the height of their verbal fight, Rena questions the subject of Oishi and Keiichi’s discussion, which he dodges.     Rena snarls at Keiichi – accusing him of lying.  Returning to her normal sweet nature, she tells Keiichi that just like he has secrets, they too have their own.

Knowing that the Hinamizawa Syndrome causes paranoia, one can assume that Keiichi is imagining Rena becoming hostile in her actions. For all we know, Rena could have been teasing Keiichi for fun.  Maybe she was concern that Keiichi was talking to a police officer that he did not know.

Later that night, Keiichi receives a call from Oishi requesting new information.  Keiichi mentions Rena and Mion were talking about the curse, the murders, and Satoshi (with Oishi informing Keiichi that Satoshi was one of the victims of the curse the year before).  Keiichi links everything Rena and the others told him earlier – suspecting that he will be the next victim; Confirming his theory that his friends are withholding information from him.  The phone call is cut short when Keiichi’s dad comes up to his room to give both Keichi and Rena tea.   Keiichi freaks out. He never noticed Rena standing outside of his room, even though his father saw Rena going there. Keiichi believes that Rena might have overheard the phone call and starts to worry.

Keiichi decides to skip school the next morning.  Feeling sick, he heads to the doctor clinic. At the waiting room, he overhears that Miyo may had been spirited away by the demon.   Following that, he links up with Oishi for lunch (as well as to provide the kid with new information).  Oishi informs Keiichi that  Mion and her family were involved in the  Dam Wars. He also supplies Keiichi with new information on Satoshi’s disappearance. Finally, perhaps the most important pieces of information he can give Keiichi – Rena’s past as well the links the curse’s past victims and his friends.

Oishi reveals to Keiichi that a few years ago, Rena suffered a mental break down; resulting in her assaulting her friends with a baseball bat.  She was admitted to a mental health clinic following the incident.  It was documented that during therapy, she repeated the words “Oyashiro-Sama”. It was also noted that Rena believe Oyashiro was watching over her.

(Bare this part of Rena’s past in mind as it will be important later on in relation to Keiichi’s paranoia.)

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h20m34s493.png

Oiishi then explains the link between Keiichi’s friends and the victims. The victims had a relationship with each friend.  The dam director got into it with Mion and her family.   The dam project’s supporters, the housewife that died in the fourth year, and Satoshi were kin of Satoko – blood or otherwise. The priest who died and his wife who disappeared were Rika’s parents.  Finally, Tomitake was friends with The Club.

With this knowledge, Oishi theorizes that Keiichi will be targeted next.

That night, Rena and Mion visits Keiichi out of concern (due to his absence from school).  They gift him with dinner and make him play a game to see who prepped it.  As they chat, the light-hearted visit turns into an interrogation of sorts.  They question Keiichi on his meeting with Oishi, which Rena brings up she noticed the two at Angel Mort. Keiichi starts to worry.  He tells Rena that they weren’t talking about them, but she doesn’t believe him.  Mion  tells  Keiichi that no matter what, she’ll find out his secrets between him and Oishi before leaving.

 

Keiichi examines the ohagai, suspecting nothing of it. As he takes a bite out of it, he starts to freak out and spits the food out into his hand. He spots a “needle” covered in “blood” sticking out and goes berserk.  He tosses the food in the garbage and screams.  Fearing that his life in his danger, Keiichi hurries back to his room, grab a piece of paper and starts writing:

‘I am Keiichi Maebara, and my life is in danger. I don’t know why or who. The only thing I know is that it has something to do Oyrashiro-Sama’s curse.’

In reality of course, the Hinamizawa Syndrome is clouding Keiichi’s thoughts.  As the disease grows, so does his paranoia – therefore, creating false perceptions of reality.  When examining the situation outside Keiichi’s perceptive of fear, you have to take in a few points:

  • The “needle” in Keiichi food (and the pain caused by it) is an illusion. The sharp, painful poke from the “needle” was actually spicy hot sauce (which also explains the “blood”).  This was a prank by from Mion used to mess with Keiichi and cheer him up.  We can assume that Rena and Mion both knew that something was bothering Keiichi and wanted to make him happy.  This can be further supportive with the fact the girls visited him to check up on him.
  • It’s possible that Mion and Rena knew Oishi and Keiichi were at Angel Mort through Shion; Mion’s twin sister and an employee at the café.  One could theorize that Shion informed Mion that Keiichi was talking to Oishi.  Keep in mind that Oishi and the Sozonakis have beef.  Oishi suspects that the Sonozaki are behind the mysterious murders.  The dam director (one of the victims) was Oiishi’s best friend and father-like mentor.  Taking this into account, you can assume that Mion thinks that Oishi is using Keiichi to get information off Mion. Mion could also just have been playfully teasing Keiichi (as well as telling him to stay away from Oishi because her family doesn’t like him due to reasons).

The following morning, Keiichi heads to school alone; planning his next course of action against his enemies.  He’s nearly run over by a van (driven by members of the Yamainu).   Thinking that they’re after him, Keiichi declares that he must not drop his guard. He must fight back.  Upon arriving to school, Keiichi search the lockers for a weapon. Coming across Satoshi’s locker he finds the perfect weapon – Satoshi’s metal baseball bat.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h23m31s299.png

At recess, Keiichi is “practicing” swinging the bat with aggression.  Rena and Mion see this, questioning why he’s playing around with the bat.  Keiichi lies, stating that he’s practicing for the national finals.  The girls looked on with confusion and concern.  They leave, letting Keiichi do his own thing. After school, Keiichi decides to drop out of The Club’s after school activities and tells them to leave him alone.

They’re worried about him.

Rena follows Keiichi to check up on him.  Keiichi sees her and snaps.  He points his bat at Rena with a threatening stance; demanding the girl to walk ahead of him.  Rena complies, but not before asking him why he’s emulating Satoshi’s actions from last year (as well as using his bat) Rena tells Keiichi how he and Satoshi are alike (such as carrying baseball bats despite not being athletic, being paranoid,  and dropping out of  the club activities). Then Rena asks Keiichi if he’ll “transfer out” of school like Satoshi did prior.  Keiichi uneasiness worsens.  He believes that he’ll disappear like Satoshi from the tone and body language of Rena’s words.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h24m57s144.png

Reality: Rena is troubled by Keiichi’s actions. She cares for him. She doesn’t want to see another friend suffering (remember: she regrets not reaching out Satoshi when he was suffering).  To take it one step further, Rena had her own bouts with paranoia, stress, and mistrust in others before receiving help.  She is by all means attempting to reach out and help Keiichi.

That night, Oishi calls up Keiichi again.  Keiichi tells the cop that he’s certain that Rena and Mion are trying to kill him (with the whole “needle” in his food ordeal and the Yamainu trying to run him over) Oishi asks Keiichi to find the needle for him for evidence.  Keiichi fails to do so (since the “needle” was hot sauce) and thinks he had accidently thrown it away.  Next, he explains how he got new information on the Satoshi situation from Rena to Oishi.  During this, he is startled by Rena ringing his door bell.  Keiichi goes answer the door.

Just like the other day, Rena brings Keiichi over food and checks up on him.  She asks him if he had anything to eat all night.  He lies to her, which Rena calls him out on.  Rena brings up that she saw him eating noodles and food  he brought from the market.  She starts playing around by yanking on the door chain of his house in an attempt to “break in”. Thinking Rena is out to kill him, Keiichi smashes her hand in the door several time, forcing Rena to leave.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h26m08s283
Now, if I was Keiichi and Rena came through to my crib while my parents were away for the weekend, I would totally invite her in for a few hours.  Just being real. 

Reality: Rena was reaching out and  checking up on him like last time (since he scared everyone earlier that day) Plus, Rena is close with his mom, so it is possible for her to know that Keiichi was alone without food.  And given that Rena has a playful nature, her attempting to break him was just a joke.

Returning to his room, he notices Rena standing outside in the rain, looking into his bedroom chanting “I’m sorry” repeatedly.  The following morning, Keiichi is back to practicing his swing with the bat.  Mion confronts Keiichi and orders him to stop.  Everyone is frightened of Keiichi’s unexplained erratic behavior.  He goes off on Mion, asking her why is everyone is scared. He also tells her that he knows that Satoshi never “transfer” (given his sister Satoko is still in the same school and town).  He tells her that he also knows about her fights with the dam war and asked why did she wasn’t truthful to him about that fact.

Mion breaks down in tears.   She becomes enrage soon after.  She assumes that Oishi – the “old bastard” – was the one who told Keiichi about her fights between the dam director and express regrets of not killing him earlier.  Keiichi ponders if the “old bastard” in question is Oishi.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h29m04s379

Reality: Mion is troubled by Keiichi’s actions.  Like Rena, Mion fears Keiichi will end up like Satoshi and run away.   Mion is also angry that Oishi made her seem like a ruthless killer to Keiichi due to her past with the dam director.  The stress of her family dealing with Oishi’s police force, as well as rumors of her family murdering people has taken its toll on Mion.  Therefore, out of rage, Mion snapped. Her wishing death on Oishi was due to anger.  Deep down, I just think Mion was blowing off steam.

Keiichi leaves school and walks alone again.  He spots Rena and  books it, hiding into the woods, but his efforts fail.  Rena catches up to him.  He notices her billhook in her hand and questions her why she has it.  She laughs at him.  She then explains about how Satoshi was doing everything that Keiichi was doing in the past, her regrets for not helping him, and if he knows about Oyashiro’s curse. She ends with telling Keiichi that only she and she alone can help him solve his problems and that she’ll save him.

Rena starts to manically laugh and Keiichi runs off in the woods.

Reality: Rena was carrying her billhook for one of two reasons:
1. To help her on her grand ‘ol treasure hunting adventures in the not-so-grand garbage dump
2. To protect Keiichi from danger, as it’s implied from Rena’s point of view of the Onikakushi-hen arc (which you can watch a video of that POV  below):

Rena is very observant.  Her watching Keiichi becoming like Satoshi and him pushing everyone away is something not out of the ordinary for her.  Like everyone else, she clearly noticed Keiichi felt and appeared troubled.  Thus, reaching out to him was a priority. She states that she felt regret for not helping Satoshi out with his problems before he left.  Perhaps she felt guilty for that and to atone for her it, she vows to save Keiichi.

Maybe, just maybe, she can save him.

A few hours later, Keiichi awakens in his room (he appeared to have been knocked out by a Yamainu solider).  In his daze, he notices Rena sitting at the foot of his futon.   He starts freaking out, asking her why is she in his house.  Rena tells him that she found him in the woods and decided to carry him back to his house to recover.  While they’re chatting, Mion comes through to the house, welcoming herself to his room.  Mion ask if Rena called the sports supervisor, given Keiichi has an “interest” in baseball. Keiichi (with his paranoia at its highest) asks who the supervisor is.  The girl simply laugh at him.

Mion suggests that they finish the Punishment Game before he comes, which Rena agrees.  Rena gets up, walks over to Keiichi, and restrains him.  Mion gets up and pulls out a syringe from her pocket with a sadistic smile.  Keiichi is terrified.  As he struggle to break free from Rena she asks what they’re about to do to him.  Keiichi remembers Oishi telling him how Tomitake died and they suspected drugs were involved.

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-18h32m23s095.png

Keiichi overpowers Rena, grabs his baseball bat and beat the two girls to death with it in what he believes to be in self-defense.  After killing the girls, he spots Dr. Irie rolling up to  his house in the same van that attempted to run him over earlier that week.  Seeing this, he reaches into the back of his clock to recover the letter he wrote earlier.

Finishing the letter, he names Rena and Mion as suspects, list five adults in the van, and suggests that the “drug” that Rena and Mion were planning to use on him is the same as the one that killed Tomitake.   He then escapes the house, dodging Yamainu guards in the process.  Keiichi calls up Oishi from a phone booth, panicking.  In his dying breath, Keiichi tells Oishi that he thought the suspects were human, but at this point believes that Oyashiro’s curse is real and that the god is following him.  Keiichi starts to tear at his throat – effectively killing.

Reality: Keiichi murdered Rena and Mion in cold blood.  There were no drugs discovered at the crime scene.  The “drug” he spoke of was a marker. Rena and Mion never attempted to harmed or kill Keiichi – simply, they wanted to help him and be there for him as friends.  They wanted to cheer him up and wish him to get better.  Sadly, Keiichi’s perspective of reality was distorted from his paranoia and the  Hinamizawa Syndrome.   He could not see that his friends only wanted to help him, not harm him.

Because of his paranoia, three young lives were cut short.

The truth of Rena and Mion’s kindness and Keiichi sins would be later revealed in the Atoment Arc.  Rena, the airheaded, kindhearted girl, needed help herself.  Help from her own pain, mistrust, and paranoia.

And what better friend to save her than Keiichi himself?

vlcsnap-2017-09-18-19h35m06s237.png

Continued in part 2.

(My bad about the spoilers fam  lmfao)

umineko no naku koro ni 0

Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – Raw Thoughts Pt. 1

August 17th, 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the hit visual novel series “Umineko no Naku Koro ni”.  Umineko no Naku Koro ni was adapted into a terrible, low rating animated series by Studio Deen in 2009. The manga adaption and the fighting game spin off are better. Seriously, don’t watch the anime.  In reflection and celebration of the series 10th anniversary, I will be providing my raw, unedited thoughts of the anime throughout the month of August.  I hope you’ll enjoy! 

WARNING:
Violent, gory images below.   Umineko spoilers below.  If you do not like gory imagery  or want to be spoiled, then please turn back now.  Check out my other Umineko related content on my website such as my utter hatred for Kinzo Ushiromiya  and my shame for enjoying the anime adaption of Umineko.

If you’re still here then that means you’re okay with being spoiled and you’re comfortable with viewing  gory imagery.

How I got into Umineko is funny.  Weird, but funny.  I had just powered through Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai and Rei around mid November 2009.  I was addicted.  I needed more When They Cry and Higurashi in my life.  A manga.  A new anime series. A torrent link (don’t pirate kids) to the VN so I could experience this beautiful and deep story  in it’s original,  ham fisted characters design and terrible free licence music form.

higurashi-when-they-cry.jpg
I don’t know how anyone can play the VNs with the original sprites and music.

 

I just needed a new When They Cry in my life!

Desperate,  I searched through /jp/ (4chan’s otaku board) for any information on  new and upcoming When They Cry material.  The degenerate weebs of /jp/ were discussing a new entry to the series: Umineko no Naku koro ni (lit. When Seagulls Cry) and its anime adaption by Studio Deen.  They had some rather…not-so-nice opinions on the anime, and were encouraging everyone to stay far away from it.

Yet, I could care less for their opinions! It was a new entry to this excellent saga!

Umineko_WHEN_THEY_CRY_Key_art.png
Umineko’s anime promotional art.  One of only three good things about the anime.

I hit up YouTube to see if any episodes of Umineko were uploaded.  To my excitement, there were some episodes up! Just that they were only in Japanese, as the subs weren’t up on YouTube at the time.  I was never smart enough to download a torrent for the subs, so I gave up. (again kids don’t pirate).

Disappointed, I turned to the image-board Danbooru.  I figured that I could get some minor information on the characters through fanart and fan comics.  A quick search of the title lead me to some interesting fanart and 4koma four panel by the artist Rifyu.

I randomly selected one of his artwork; a crossover of the Umineko and Higurashi cast.  The art was crude and simple,  but it wasn’t too bad (and it was a hella better than Ryukishi’s art for the Higurashi visual novel).  Based on this art, I assumed that that the characters of Higurashi might appear  in Umineko, or at the very least Umineko was an expansion to Higurashi’s story.

umineko_higurashi_cast.jpg

I continue to scroll through his comics when I came across a 4koma of a gothic lolita cat-like girl who I presumed was Higurashi’s Rika, and a redhead schoolgirl at a bowling alley.  The redhead made a successful strike and is at all cheers.  Interesting, the word “strike” was in red.   The gothic lolita doesn’t seem too  impressed.  Not by the efforts of her “friend” (ha ha ha), but by her usage of “red text”.

“Why is ‘strike’ is in red and why is Rika upset about her using this ‘red text’?” I questioned.   I was confused by this “red text”.  Was it something special for those two or anything?

Oh well.

The third panel focused on Gothic Lolita Rika throwing her ball in what I guessed was an attempt to one-up the redhead girl.  Gothic Lolita Rika not only earned herself a strike, she also destroyed the bowling alley, and possibly killed a few people in panel 4.

__frederica_bernkastel_and_ushiromiya_ange_umineko_no_naku_koro_ni_drawn_by_rifyu__e476b8597895f74cae3a75b439f97822.jpg
Ange: “Yes!  STRIKE!” Bernkastel:”Didn’t I tell you not to use the red text?”

“So I guess Rika is a jealous bitch in Umineko who feels the need to outshine people.” I assumed.  I went on to read another 4koma, this time featuring  a blue hair girl name Erika – a girl with bad fashion taste.

__furudo_erika_umineko_no_naku_koro_ni_drawn_by_drawfag__d0b2342658e0115820ddf0152f633ee7.png
Erika Furudo

“Erika, huh?  Is she like another Rika because of their names?”  I questioned, thinking there were a connection between the two.

 

From reading the Erika centered 4koma, I took a wild guess that she had a hardcore crush on Ange’s brother, Battler.  I mean yea, having a cute little crush is cool, but Erika was taking her crush way too far.   Creepy-stalker-with-a-crush levels of too far.  She will sexually harass you too far.  Erika is totally the type of girl you put a restraining order on because she doesn’t know what personal space means. And she might kill you in your sleep.

 

“Ya know, maybe this is why Ange is overprotected and super close with Battler in some of the 4komas. The women who are attracted to him are crazy.”

Not only was she a bit too protective of Battler in these comics, she might have been like him a bit wee too close as siblings. There were two other 4komas of Battler chilling with different women: Beatrice and Gertrude.  In these comics, Battle is on a date with either woman but suddenly Ange burst in and blocks any attempt of the Beatrice/Gerrude growing close with Battler.

“So, does Ange has a brother complex like she Lachesis off Fire Emblem 4?  Is she one of them fujoshi wotaku nerds that take their otaku hobbies and fantasies too far and want to get with her brother like some weird anime character?  Ange got some issues.”

(Man, she has issues indeed but I won’t go over them in this post.)

I spent the entire night reading through Riyfu’s comics of Umineko.  They were funny as fuck and gave me a nice insight of the series and characters.

“Man, Umineko is nothing like Higurashi! I hope the anime is light-heart and funny as these comics!” I foolishly told myself.

Man.

__black_battler_shannon_and_ushiromiya_battler_ougon_musou_kyoku_and_umineko_no_naku_koro_ni__sample-73543ff4fee00f8e25ca3e8e8c666d39.jpg

My.

the-second-slap.jpg

Black.

umineko-no-naku-koro-ni-chiru-episode-5-end-of-the-golden-witch-2874827.jpg

Ass.

dead-kasumi-512x286.jpg

 

Was.

dead-beatrice.jpg

Wrong.

umineko-no-naku-koro-ni-episode-4-2953033.jpg

AFTERWORD:
My bad for waiting until two days after the anniversary to post this work was kicking my ass and I didn’t have the energy or drive to work on this freewrite Thursday.   I am working on Part 3 of my Higurashi raw thoughts if you’re looking forward to that!

higurashi no naku koro ni 0

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Raw Thoughts Pt 2.

August 10th, 2017 marked the 15th anniversary of the hit visual novel series “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni”.  Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was adapted into  a successful animated series by Studio Deen in 2006 – setting the standard for horror anime which many series have tried and failed to emulate since.  In reflection and celebration of the series 15th anniversary, I will be providing my raw, unedited thoughts of the anime throughout the month of August.  I hope you’ll enjoy! 

WARNING:
Before I start I want to make it clear that this raw freewrite touch upon sensitive subjects such as child abuse and molestation.  There are also manga/comics scans below with gore and abuse. If you’re not comfortable with those things then please,  turn back now.  Check out some other contents on my website instead!

If you’re still here then that means you’re okay with reading about such topics and seeing the scans below.

During my first run through of the Higurashi  anime and manga back in 2009 I realized this: Higurashi was (and still is) that real shit.  I mean yea, it has that moe bullshit and slice of life elements to it,  but when you analyze and dissect how the series play with those elements,  it works well for the themes of Higurashi and it characters.  Themes such as child abuse, mental health, and (childhood) trauma.

Let’s take say Satoko for example.  Satoko is the typical (annoying) moe little sister type character in anime, right?  She’s a bit of a brat, a prankster, and an overall energetic child who seems happy to everyone who knows her.

vlcsnap-2017-08-12-01h16m11s570.png
Satoko and her smugness.

Yet, she has an incredibly fucked up life; resulted from a series of tragic events that no child should experience.

 

Deranged (from the Hinamizawa Syndrome), she pushed her parents to their deaths from an observation deck.  She was abused (both physically and possibly sexually as it was hinted in the Nintendo DS remakes of the VNs) by her uncle Teppei who downright hates her.  Her family were the subject of hatred from the villagers of Hinamizawa (due to her late parents supporting the government’s attempts of flooding the village).  Her beloved brother, Satoshi, disappeared, leaving her without any supporting and loving family members.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_2291q1tlfjesk0oo0okcso4ck_640
Fuck Teppei. 

The horrific events of her life would eventually take its toll on her mental health. Overtime, Satoko withdrew herself from her friends and club activities – believing she’s a burden on everyone.  In one incident, Satoko had a meltdown during class.  Keiichi’s seemly innocent gesture of  patting Satoko on her the head to cheer her up triggered a flashback of Satoshi doing the same.  Satoko violently shoved Keiichi across the classroom, blanks out, and starts to vomit.  After that, she tells everyone “I’m sorry” repeatedly while crying.

Nobody (sans her best friend Rika I’m assuming) knew she was struggling mentality (as far as I know).  Everyone thought she was doing (somewhat) okay with her cheerful, playful attitude that  she showing  everyone in school.   No one forreal knew she was suffering hardcore, she was  stressed out, that her happiness was just a mask for her pain.

‘Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public’
‘Now if I appear to be carefree
It’s only to camouflage my sadness

-“Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robbison

0d671aa3f3f1645dab0bfb225daf70b1.jpg

Since I’m on the topic of playful blonde characters who’re lowkey insane, Miyo Takano is another Higurashi character who appears they’re okay but deep down, she just as fucked up in the head like Satoko if not worse.   Like Satoko, Miyo lost her parents at a young age (from a train accident, and she witnessed her father bloodied and dying in the ER), leaving her orphaned.  She was adopted  by a government sponsored orphanage where she experienced extreme abuse from the so called “care-givers.

She was constantly beaten, saw children her age die from abused, forced to watch her friend’s remains consumed by chicken, and was forced to clean the bottom of an outhouse with her mouth.

The physical and psychological abuse she suffered would be one of two causes of her insanity which in turn would lead to one of the biggest tragic events later on in the series.

The second cause came after she was rescued from the orphanage by her dad’s mentor,  Hifumi.  Hifumi wanted to become God-like through his research of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.  One day, Hifumi presented his research, findings theories to fellow doctors and researchers – whom all mocked his work.  Miyo watched as  Hifumi’s peers mocking him, pissing her off. She believed in her beloved “grandfather” findings, watch him pour his soul into countless, sleepless hours of hard work, and not only encouraged him to continue despite the criticism, but she pushed herself to study as well.

After Hifumi passed away, Miyo continue where her grandfather left off.  in hopes of not only proving his theories correct, but also to prove themselves as gods.

Miyo’s God complex, in combination of her insanity from being abused as a child,  led to Great Hinamizawa Disaster – the massacre of 2,000 plus innocent people.  Miyo led a military force in slaughtering the Hinimizawa villagers, with six of the villagers were people she executed herself.  Six people she personally knew and befriended.

All of this, just because she wanted people to respect her and her grandfather.  Just because she wanted to become a God.

higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni-minagoroshi-2285501

‘I can tell you why people go insane’
-“Shadow of the Sun” by Chris Cornell and Audioslave

AFTERWORD:
The Umineko 10th Anniversary is coming soon.  May tie in Pt. 3 of my raw thoughts on Higurashi with that series.   Also I lied this wasn’t completely raw and unedited I had to change some things about Miyo given it wasn’t consistent with what I saw in the anime and manga.

anime 1

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Raw Thoughts Pt. 1

August 10th, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the hit visual novel series “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni”.  Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was adapted into  a successful animated series by Studio Deen in 2006 – setting the standard for horror anime which many series have tried and failed to emulate since.  In reflection and celebration of the series 15th  anniversary, I will be providing my raw, unedited thoughts of the anime throughout the month of August.  I hope you’ll enjoy! 

It was about ten years ago during my senior year of high school.  I was at my computer in business class, browsing Google for  anime wallpapers. While aimlessly browsing the images, I came across a wallpaper that stood out to me.  The wallpaper featured a young  teenager with a baseball bat, blood splatter, and film frames with the young boy  the frames  At the bottom there was layered text that  read “Please uncover the truth.  This is my only wish.”

8c87f9afd59e7a33bdb9be346c0d651a.jpg

I didn’t think much of who was the character, what anime he was from, or the text in the image.  I just saw this wallpaper as a cool and edgy anime background for my computer.  Yet, there was something about this it that made me drawn to it.  Overtime, I became curious about the character on my screen and the meaning of his words.

“Please uncover the truth.  This is my only wish.”

“What does that mean, ‘uncover the truth’?”  I questioned.  Beyond that, I thought of nothing else.  My dumbass wasn’t smart enough to google that line at the time, so that mystery wasn’t going to be solved , at least during high school that is.

Little did I know back then that the image would mark the prelude of  one of my most beloved series of all time: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (lit. When The Cicadas Cry).  So, when and how did I discovered the series?  Well, let’s fast forward to  my sophomore year of college in Fall 2009.  A friend recommended that I watch Elfen Lied so I could learn the OP “Lilium” on the violin after class. Once I was completed with classes for the day, I hurried  home, pull up the YouTube app on my Wii, looked up Elfen Lied, found the first episode and enjoy it.  Upon completion of the first episode, another anime appeared on the suggestion playlist.

 

“Higurashi no Naku Koro ni?  What is this?” I asked myself.  Curious, I clicked the thumbnail and laid back on my couch.

“This better be as good as that crazy ass Elfen Lied anime.”

814131012692_anime-when-they-cry-kai-altF.jpg

 

 

The video starts to play.  The show opens  with a young teen boy violently smashing the bodies of two lifeless, bloodied girls with a metal baseball bat.   Immediately, my eyes widen as I continued watching this dude beat these two girls to death.  The young boy dropped his bat as the camera focused on his carnage.  Finally, the focus was on the kid’s face as he panted, his eyes widened and blood on his face.

“Holy shit. ” I said to my self quietly.     “What is this show?”
higurashi_4_fate.jpg

I’ve never been much of a horror media guy. I find them boring and cheesy (due to American films) and thoughtless gore fest.  Most of them are just the bad guy slicing and dicing up their stupid victims, lacking focus on true fear – psychological fear . But the first 30 seconds of Higurashi felt different.   This feeling was solidly in the OP animation and music.

The distance, distorted haunting vocals, the fast-paced arpeggio bass-line, the visual contrast of of a bloodied Rena walking on glass barefoot, Satoko alone in a flower fields crying, and Shion surrounded in red with her face twisted in rage. Each character’s expression and the color usage of their introduction told me that this anime was not like any horror media I’ve seen prior.   Just off the OP, I could understand their feeling of sadness, confusion, rage, etc. Emotion plays a huge role in the show I assumed; based off the OP.

This sold me to watching Higurashi.

So, I watched.  I watched in confusion at Keiichi waking up in the morning and chilling with Rena and Mion – the two girls he had killed earlier.  Was that a dream? A vision he had? I did not know but I stay glued to my seat, wanting answers.  Yet, the more I watched, the more questions I started asking.

“What’s with this Himizawa muders and are those girls behind it? “ and “Are they pretending to be happy and carefree to lure Keiichi into a trap?”

As I progressed the first few episodes,  I started to figure things out about Higurashi , how the time-loop work, how each arc featured a character just one misstep away from snapping and killing everyone or themselves.  And it wasn’t just for say edginess like Elfen Lied, these characters legit have psychological reasons behind their actions.

1OXWgpN.jpg

Rena was bullied and almost raped by two male peers.  She (justifying) snapped and beat the two boys with a baseball bat.  Keep in mind this:  she was already  emotionally wrecked by her mom cheating on her dad and splitting the family up, so the bullies attacking her was her breaking point.   Shion was treated as a black sheep by her family, and was further disowned by them when she fell in love with Satoshi (a boy who is hated by her family).  Satoko (Satoshi’s sister) is a completely wreck mentality due to her the murders of her parents,  the disappearance of Satoshi, and her uncle physically abusing her.  Rika’s parents were murdered as well and suffers from hopelessness from living thorugh 100 of years of timeloops ending in the same result – death.

Hell, even the series final villain Miyo had issues that lead her into becoming the bad guy;  She was left orphaned after the death of her parents.  She was taken in by a government run orphanage which was abusing and torturing the children in it.  She was no exception to the abuse.  Thankfully, she was taken in by her dad’s mentor who treated and loved her like his own granddaughter, but the damage  done to her by her abusers at the orphanage took it toll.  Stack that with her witnessing her “grandfather” being belittled by his peers for his research, fueling her revenge against everyone that did him (and her) wrong and you got Miyo’s desires to become a God – desires that resulted in the massacred of 2,000+ innocent people a couple of  years later.

0d671aa3f3f1645dab0bfb225daf70b1.jpg

You just feel so sorry for these characters and understood why they’re behave the way they did throughout the series, ya know?

Anyway I’m going to end this raw freewrite thoughts here but don’t fret!  To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Higurashi VN, I will be dropping more raw freewrites on my love for the series and possibly an analysis article .

Stay tune!

Also sorry for the bad grammar I have to get to my gig ASAP

anime 0

Son Gohan, Rena Ryuugu, and Law 19 of the 48 Laws of Power

‘Know who you are dealing with – do NOT offend the wrong person.’
-Law 19 of the 48 Laws of Power

I’m going to say this: Don’t fuck with people.  Don’t  offend people.  Don’t underestimate people.  If someone tells you to leave them alone, do it.  Don’t assume everyone will react to your actions in the same way or won’t do anything.  It’ll cost you more than what it is worth and in some cases – your life.  Perfect Cell of Dragon Ball Z and Ritsuko of Higurashi: When They Cry, learned the incredibly barbaric way that underestimating and offending “weak” people isn’t worth it.  They believed their targets couldn’t do any harm to them, thus thinking they’ll be okay.

How wrong they were.

Son Gohan Vs. Cell

thumb-1920-681073

‘At last, has Gohan’s rage exceeded it limits?’

-Narrator

I can’t fault Perfect Cell for his pride and overconfidence.  When your genetic makeup has the features of the prideful Vegeta and the ambition Lord Frieza, you’d  be on some arrogant shit too.   Ever since birth, Cell was told that he is become perfect.  He’s like the child whose mother told him that he can become whatever he dreams of if he put in the work.  Well, Cell put in the work to become the perfect warrior.  He hunted down Androids 17 and 18, absorbed them both, and achieved   his boyhood dreams.

He became perfect!

Dbz-cell-06
Dr. Gero would be so proud of his favorite son.

So, fast-forward to the Cell Games.  Goku has just forfeited to Cell after an intense and destructive match.  Goku tells the bio-android that he’s no match for him.  Hell, he and Cell both knew that he couldn’t defeat him. Dude just wanted to fight someone strong. Goku assured Cell that there was somebody stronger than him.  Someone who could provide Cell with more entertainment that he could provide.

That someone – Son Gohan: Son of Goku.

GohanDuringTheCellGames

Cell is introduced to the peaceful, young, but powerful kid by Goku.  When Cell directs his attention  to the rice child he just scoffs and laugh;  believing that Gohan couldn’t possibly this super powerful warrior his father hyped him up to be.  Nevertheless,  he entertains the thought of fighting Gohan.

After some prep talk from his pops, Gohan steps up to Cell with delay.  The kid really does not want to fight the monster and attempts to talk the dude out of it with reason.  Gohan tells Cell that he won’t pursue him if he just cancels the tournament and leave earth.  Cell just laugh as if Gohan channeled his inner George Carlin and told a  humorous and politically incorrect joke.  Being the naive that he is, Gohan again tells Cell he doesn’t want to fight – he sees no joy in it unlike his father.

In fact, he even gives dude a warning of his hidden power – a power induced by rage. Gohan is quite scary when he’s angry.

Cell ain’t hearing none of Gohan’s shit and proceeds to beat him like if Gohan was cosplaying as Tina Turner, and Cell as Ike Turner, and they wanna really get into their character roles(Cell was just missing the shoe). Cell starts taunting Gohan, begging the child to unleash his inner rage and special power that he was braggin’ about! The man wants a challenge, not a living punching bag.  Assuming Gohan may had just been all talk, Cell turns his action towards Gohan’s friends and father.

vlcsnap-2010-08-18-14h25m31s108

Cell figures if he harms Gohan’s love ones, he could draw out his hidden power.  So Cell reproduces himself, creating seven “Cell Jrs.”.  Cell orders his seven mini-mes to attack Goku and his crew.  The Z Warriors go on the defense, but the brats are too much.  They’re are quickly overpowered and savagely beaten.  Cell starts taunting Gohan once more, demanding that he sees his hidden power, or he’ll have the Z Warriors slaughtered.

As a last ditch effort, Android 16 (who survived a failed suicide bombing attempt against Cell) begs Mr. Satan to throw his head towards Gohan.  Android 16 was inspired to become a motivation speaker, decided to use his newfound passion to tell Gohan to stop being a little bitch, and unleash his power against Cell.  16 knew that Gohan is a gentle person like himself and understand Gohan’s feelings of peaceful resolve.  However, 16 tells the kid that there’s nothing wrong with using his rage for justice and protecting others. As 16 begs Gohan to protect the nature and animals he came to love in his short life, Cell walks over to the android, talk some bullshit, and crush his head, killing him.

36ea02fdba420931b681889e738b042a1c4fe7a3_hq

Gohan blanks out.   He’s in a trance. This goes on for a few seconds until he release all of his inner rage, hidden power, and finally – Super Saiyan 2.  The same Cell who was taunting and underestimating Gohan earlier is now fearing for his life.  He realize that he just made a fatal mistake with his offense.

Cell fucked up.

172-44

Gohan charges at Cell with great anger and pure ruthlessness.  Cell tries to fight back, but to no anvil.  Gohan vows to make Cell suffer for his evil deeds and tortures him.  Cell has no chance of recovery and Gohan knows this. As one final act to embarrass “Perfect” Cell, Gohan gut checks the monster, forcing him to vomit up Android 18; resulting in Cell reverting to his Second Form.  Gohan has victory in sight!  He won!  He just need to blast Cell away with just one good energy blast and the nightmare will be finally over!

Unfortunately, Gohan’s justice boner  and unethical method of torture against Cell would go to his head.  Cell (who’s utterly embarrassed and humiliated) decides to say fuck everything and everyone, pictures himself as an ISIS suicide bomber, gathers massive ammounts of ki in a last ditch effort to destroy Earth and.   With no other choice (due to his son’s fuckery) Goku teleports in front of  Cell, grabs him, teleports  to King Kai planet.  Cell has no choice but to blow himself up on King Kai;s, killing everyone on the planet besides himself because plot demands that Goku shouldn’t grab Bubbles, King Kai, and Greg and teleport back to Earth.

Congratulations Gohan.  You played yourself.

maxresdefault (1)
“Gohan before I die I just want to let you know that this is all your fault.”

‘Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop.’

-Law 47 of the 48 Laws of Power.

Cell  survives, somehow learns Goku’s  teleport , and uses it to teleport back to Earth (he also regain his perfect form because plot).  He greets everyone by blasting a hole through Trunks’s chest. He dies. Vegeta snaps, finally admitting to the world he’s actually a big softie who loves his family, blasts Cell but he lives. Cell is too much for everyone thanks to that Zenkai boast he earned from blowing himself up.  Everyone starts to lose hope until Gohan gets that classic Shonen power-up, get a prep talk from his dead dad, and then kill Cell! YAY!

CellsDeadGohan

Everyone lived happily ever happy expect for Chi-Chi who just became a single parent thanks to Gohan’s and Goku’s  bullshit.

Rena vs Ritsuko

Rena_Beating_Ritsuko_to_Death.
Gotta love curb stomp fights!

Speaking of single parents, you shouldn’t fuck with the daughter of a single father, especially if she’s a daddy’s girl and they all they got.

After  being cucked by his ex-wife (which lead to her being pregnant by the man she was sleeping with), Mr. Ryuugu and his daughter Rena Ryuugu moved to the peaceful and  lovely village of Hinamizawa to start over.  For those unawared of the Higurashi series let me fill you in on some information.  Rena is crazy.  Like, she’s not psychotic crazy like Yuno Gasai of Future Diary, but she’s pretty crazy (that’s of course, if you ignore the one time she tried to blow up her school).  Her madness is triggered when  somebody tries to mess and offend her or somebody she cares about – like her father.   She’s your classic yangire; a usually sweet person who becomes violent due to extreme emotional stress.

tumblr_lx76nyTYNf1qbvovho1_500
Rena’s a sweet girl deep down if you ignore the fact she may have a few bodies on her like Suge Knight or P. Diddy.

So Rena and her pops are chillin’ and livin’  peacefully in Hinamizawa  until one day, Papa Ryuugu hooked up with the alluring ho Rina Mamiya (a.k.a Ritsuko).  Rena’s dad instantly falls in love with Ritsuko, believing the woman is  better than his former wife.  He showers her with gifts, praise, and even buys her a luxurious condomimum!   Papa Ryuugu has finally found the perfect woman!  That or he’s on some rebound shit after dealing with his ex-wife, but I don’t like to rain on people parade, so let’s pretend he’s actually happy and not being played like a sucker.

And boy – he’s being played.

Rina_sifuku.png

A couple of days into their “relationship”, a man in a $5 Walmart Hawaiian shirt comes a knockin’ at the front door of the Ryuugu house.  Mr. Ryuugu answers, and is suddenly attacked by this guy claiming to be Ritsuko’s man.   The man, A Pimp Named Slickback Teppei, threatens if Mr. Ryuuguu doesn’t fork over a couple of millions of yen for sleeping with his girl, he’s going to do some horrible things to him.  Like forcing him  to watch the anime version of Umineko no Naku Koro Ni.  Or blow his head off with a gun I don’t remember the details.

Mr. Ryuguu suck at picking women, doesn’t he?

Anyways, Rena overhears Ritsuko and A Pimp Named Slickback Teppei boasting about their latest Badger Game, with her dad as their current victim.   The two are proud that they’ve  ruined a man and his daughter’s lives.  They’re about to cash out like Bobby Shmurda and get this illegal money quick.  Or so they believed.  Rena is pissed.    She wants revenge.

You do not fuck with people’s family.

2262102_1324423014590.72res_478_300.jpg

Now, Rena could had just gone crazy and kill Ritsuko right then and there, but Rena is extraordinary wise for her age.  She knows if she just rush and try to confront either Ritsuko or Teppei, it would spell doom for not only her, but her beloved father as well. Rena comes up with a plan.  She’s just gonna use her innocent and naive charm to lure both Ritsuko and Teppei into a murderous trap.  For all they know, she is unaware of their plan to entrap her father.

‘Play a sucker to catch a sucker  – seem dumber than your mark.’
-Law 21 of the 48 Laws of Power

hqdefault

Rena hits up Ritsuko to come and kick it with her at her hide out spot: The Garbage Dump.  The two meet up at Rena’s super-duper ultra-edition secret hideout and the two have a lovely girl chat about…well I’m not a girl so I don’t know what girls like to discuss in private.  Ritsuko asks Rena about her hideout place and Rean tells her it’s a secret place that only she knows about, describing how peaceful, quiet, and serene the place is if you can ignore the smell of rotting garbage.   Ritsuko then brings up that her and Rena’s dad are to be married soon and if Rena approval of the marriage.

Rena flats out tells Ritsuko no and explain to the scam artist that she’s hip to her and Teppei’s plan to entrap her father, and scam him out of his fortune.   Rena goes further, telling Ritsuko that she hates her and to remove herself from their lives.  Ritsuko snaps, berates Rena, beats her, slams her to the ground and starts choking her. She becomes overconfident, believing that she can get away with killing Rena at her private hideout.   Yeah. Rena’s private hideout.  Ya know, the same hideout that Rena lured her into as if she wasn’t prepared to fight against her if shit went south.

hqdefault (1)

As they’re struggling on the ground, Rena grabs a piece of glass and slice  Ritsuko’s stomach open.   Ritsuko freaks out, favoring her wound.   Rena grabs a lead pipe, gets up, and enters her yangire rage mode.  Ritsuko starts begging for her life as Rena raises the pipe above her head, asking for pardon,  but it’s far too late.  Rena brings down the pipe with power, speed, and accuracy – craving in Ritsuko head.  Rena continues her assault chanting “Die! Die! Fucking die!”  with each strike until she snaps out of her rage.

hqdefault (2)
WOOOORLD STTTTAAAARRRR!!!!

Confirming her kill, Rena hides Ritsuko’s battered body in a fridge and makes her way home.  As luck would have it, Rena encounters Teppei at her house, attacking her father.  Rena hides behind a tree as she watch Teppei contitiune his assult on her dad and threatening him for his money.*  As Teppei walks away, Rena greets him sweetly.  She tells the man that she’s the daughter of the man he just beaten, and that she and Ritsuko  have become close.  Rena tells Teppei that Ritsuko needed to see him to ask him something.  Teppei is confused but follows Rena to her hideout.

*(So I totally got the time order of Teppei arriving at their house  assaulting her dad mixed up.  Whoops.)

maxresdefault (2).jpg
“Hey I know you just beat my father up, but follow me to this remote garbage dump where nobody can hear your screams. I’m totally not going to kill you for hurting my dad!”

Rena lures him to her hideout the same fashion as she did Ritsuko.  As Teppei questions why Ritsuko needed to see him in the garbage dump, Rena cleaves his head in two with her billhook, killing the man instantly – gaining revenge on the two who offended her.

e0d111c266c4705f94abfdb3c296ae11ca24926a_hq.gif

The following morning Rena snitches  on herself to her friends about the murder  but since they’re good friends they help her chop up their bodies and bury their remains.

tumblr_myy9gnZSeE1t3w6c2o1_500.png

Later, Rena repays her friends back by taking them hostage at their school, which was infested with homemadee bombs and gasoline.  Depending on which universe you wanna follow, either Rena and Keiichi have an epic showdown on the top of their school which ends with Keiichi forgiving Rena (as she did for him in another universe), or Rena blows everyone up in the school, killing them all!

 

The End!

Rena-anime.png
Niggas be like “Free my homegirl she wasn’t doing shit!”

 

Kids, do not fuck with people.  Do not offend or hurt them in any way.  It’ll cost you more than what’s it worth.  Cell learned the hard way with messing with Gohan and Ritsuko with Rena.  Learn from their mistakes.

 

Thanks for reading!  Later ya!!

 

anime 0

Day 2 – Anime You’re Ashamed You Enjoyed: Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

One should never feel ashamed for enjoying an anime (well, unless it’s some sexualized loli crap, then you should be ashamed and arrested). You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by it – even if it’s a terrible, flawed adaption.  You enjoy it regardless.  This is how I feel about Studio DEEN’s infamous animation adaption of the visual novel series “Umineko no Naku Koro ni” (When The Seagulls Cry).  Despite the disrespect towards the original source material, such as key story elements left out (creating loose ends untied) and animation errors, I hold a small space in my heart for Umineko.

A space I use to make fun of shitty adaptions, but a space nonetheless.

nigga_how
Nigga how?
I_have_no_mouth_and_I_must_grin
Seriously nigga how?

The Umineko anime is garbage compared to the original visual novel and amazing manga counterparts. I can’t deny that Studio DEEN did a horrible job on it. Even if visual novels are awkward to adapt (I assume it’s hard to animated scenes from a source material that only has a static image, character sprites, and background music) , Studio Deen is known in the anime community for being lazy with their work and  creating horrible adaptions (see: their version of the Fate/Zero anime). Umineko isn’t exempt from DEEN’s laziness.

The Umineko VN is heavy with detailed dialogue scenes which were omitted from the anime (which I can assume DEEN was being lazy). Any mention of kid Ange’s sickness preventing her to attend the Ushiromiya annual family meeting by her parents from Episode 1 in the anime?  Nope! Did you love how Rosa barbarically jammed an ink pen in the eyes of a Goat Butler and  saying her saying her epic line ‘I’ll show you how lukewarm the hell you came from is!’  before blowing it brains out with her gun in the visual novel? Well, DEEN decide to not add that in.

Reflect on how sorrowful  you felt for Ange when she revealed her true identity  was to her brother Battler, pleading to him to defeat Beatrice and return to Kid Ange to prevent living the lonely, depressing life as her future self as she was dying in the visual novel. Remember man?

Well, It’s in the anime, but DEEN managed to ruin that with one simple frame:

hqdefault
Oh the jokes the fanbase were cracking with this awkward shot. 2009 was an amazing time in the Umineko fan community.  

Because  of Deen’s  hilarious errors , the Umineko fanbase straight up loathe the anime.  The very mention of  the anime and anyone admitting that they enjoy it will trigger even the most chilliest Umineko fan. You’ll get attacked with great vigor by the diehards.  It’s not worth it unless you like creating conflict.  Go on the Umineko tag on tumblr or /jp/, say you think Studio DEEN did nothing wrong with the anime,  sit back and watch the rage.

Despite the  flaws of the anime, I still love it as  it’s special to me.

ange_best_girl
Ange (best Umineko girl) and one reason why I love the series

 

There’s something about the anime that I can forgive its awfulness.  It made me aware of narrative themes in anime such as abuse (sexual, emotional, and physical), the past returning, revenge, and suicide.    Umineko (both the visual novel and anime) shows how abuse can be passed down within a family, as we see patriarch figure Kinzo passing down his abusive ways to his children. This results in mother Rosa abusing daughter Maria.

4uxkie

Hell, this gets worse with Eva (suffering from being the sole survival of the massacre of her family in Episode 4) abusing her niece Ange (who too was suffering from losing her love ones).  The abuse from her aunt, the impact of losing her family (who was involved in some pretty illegal shit mind you), and being bullied in school drove her to become suicidal. Even with the awfulness of the anime, it made me aware of narrative themes within the story-line which got me hooked into the series.

I do not feel ashamed about my love for the Umineko anime.  In fact, I feel given it got me into the original visual novel and the manga (which is a superior adaption compare to the anime),  Yea, it’s garbage, but it made me notice themes in anime.

But seriously, you fucked up Studio Deen.

umineko-eva

 

anime 0

Rika to Bernkastel (Freewrite)

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_nipah
Oh innocent Rika. So full of hope and optimism despite a fucked up life.

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.

Tumblr_mwt9my4jI91roxjq2o1_400.png
Seriously she really did try to murder Santa Claus. 

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.

tumblr_n7ca6qnK2h1txivxto1_400
Rika in her alcoholic rage.

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.

rika_dies_again_lol
Keep thinkin’ that kiddo.

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.

Ber_a11_def2.png

‘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.

Ange_Ushiromiya_Casual_Form_Umineko_no_Naku_Koro_ni.png
Best Umineko girl

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.

tumblr_o03pyrrh4Z1u665aio1_500.png

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.

higurashinonakukoronirei_04-00

 

 

ART SOURCES:

Shut the Fuck Up Hanyu:
http://kyousgayart.tumblr.com/post/89109835477/serious-higurashi-fanart

 

Rika and Bernkastel

https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=28677576

 

Feature image:
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=207464