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May 1, 2017

Higurashi's Steam page posted:

The 58th year of Shouwa, early summer
It’s June, and the summer heat has arrived earlier than it does most years.
By day there are crickets, and by night there are cicadas.

We’re in Hinamizawa, a small village in the countryside.
There are fewer than two thousand people here. But every year, there is an event.

This event is a mysterious death.

On a certain day in June, someone dies, and someone else goes missing.
The series of deaths is connected to the upheaval surrounding the dam construction project.
A murder case that was covered up is being reenacted.
Is it a conspiracy? A coincidence? Or perhaps a curse?

Someone who was supposed to be there isn’t.
Someone who wasn’t supposed to be there is.

Someone who was alive last night is dead now.
And someone who is here right now isn’t alive.

So, there is no way to avert tragedy. There is no choice but to give up.
But don’t give up.

Only you can stand up to this.
Hello, welcome to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Hou.

What is Higurashi?

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, translated as When the Cicadas Cry, is a sound novel released in 2002 that was written and drawn by Ryukishi07. Initially sold and distributed through Comiket, the game has since then been remade and ported across various platforms and mediums.

In the game, you play as Keiichi Maebara, a city boy who recently moved to the peaceful and close-knit village of Hinamizawa. While he initially spends his days playing various games with his new friends, the discovery of a string of disappearances and murders that happen in the village set him on a path towards conspiracies, paranoia, and a fight for his own life.

Hou is the subtitle given to both the Steam and Nintendo Switch ports, published by MangaGamer (the same publishers for the first English releases of Higurashi in 2009 and 2010). The Steam version is largely untouched compared to the original release, aside from the inclusion of new sprites (which can be toggled with the original sprites) and changes to the BGM and script that needed to happen as the game had to be mass-marketed to an international audience.

What is a ‘sound novel’?

Sound novels are a play off the term ‘visual novels’, which are characterized by stories told through images and words through an interactive medium, allowing the reader to choose their own endings by going through various story branches. Common characteristics of visual novels include sparse gameplay, time management systems, and detailed CGs meant to draw the attention of players - of which Higurashi has little to none of.

Higurashi is entirely told through text and sprites - though some 'bad end' choices and CGs were only added in later releases. The original game didn’t even have fully drawn backgrounds - instead, backgrounds were photographs with blurry filters to remove the majority of distinguishing features (not that it stopped Higurashi fans from finding where those pictures were taken). Higurashi's strength lies instead in the music and sound effects used throughout the novel which give the story a strong, atmospheric tone. Thus, the name.

What is the spoiler policy?

None, period. This is a mystery game, so spoilers are out of the question. No allusions or discussions to future arcs, no wink-wink-nudge-nudge, even behind spoiler bars. This includes discussion of arcs and characters in spinoffs and/or extra material not mentioned or included in the main eight arcs.

People going into this blind are encouraged to speculate freely and with abandon. Higurashi is the sort of game that thrives under moment-to-moment discussion, after all.

What about spoilers for Umineko and Ciconia?

Spoilers for future When They Crys can be a little looser, as the stories of Umineko and Ciconia aren't connected to Higurashi...technically. That said, there are definitely allusions/spoilers of prominent events for Higurashi in both that I'd prefer people avoid mentioning in the thread at all. To that end, anything that doesn't talk about specific story beats or events in either WTCs can be talked about under marked spoiler bars. e.g., In the last update, (Umineko) scene X has thematic parallels to the themes of Y in Chapter 8 of Umineko.

Isn’t this that, uh...gorey horror anime?

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni received an anime in 2006 that tried to adapt the main 8 arcs of the story. The animation was pretty infamously janky, but the bigger problem was that they largely ignored the mystery element of the story in service of making it more horror-focused, omitting several key scenes in the original novel in service of the shock and horror value of cutesy cartoon characters violently killing each other. (From what I’ve heard, anyways - I haven’t actually watched the anime for more than a couple episodes.) The second half of the series, Kai, aired the next year with a significantly higher budget and boost in quality.

While the anime wasn’t very faithful to its source material, the change in genre did seem to attract a lot of fans, eventually making Higurashi a proper franchise. There are a lot of extra bits and bobbles attached to Higurashi, up to and including:

- An extensive manga adaptation featuring different artists, a pretty good medium to consume the series through as well (though it omits some minutiae)
- Several drama CDs
- Light novel adaptations and side arcs
- Two live-action film adaptations
- A live-action TV series
- A mobile gacha game (yeah)
- A million side/offshoot arcs from various mediums
- And most recently, a 2021 anime ‘adaptation’ of the original eight arcs by Passione that was marketed as a remake, only to spoil the central twist of the entire series at the beginning of episode 2 and completely go off the rails thereafter.

The game was ported to mobile (both Android and iOS), Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, several PlayStation consoles, and Steam, so there is no lack of options through which to consume it. In this Let’s Play, I will be playing through the Steam port (the easiest to access with a high image resolution) with some...tweaks.

I see that 07th-Mod screen there. What on earth could you mod on a sound novel?

07th-Mod is a fan-led group that gives those with the Steam versions of Higurashi and Umineko (the spiritual sequel of Higurashi, of which Quinn2win did a fantastic LP of here) the ability to mod different aspects of the port, up to and including sprites, sound effects, BGM, backgrounds, and voices.

I’ve opted to mod in voices, PS3 sprites/backgrounds, and to replace the Steam version BGM and SFX with the original Japanese ones.

(There is also a PS2 version of the sprites that the PS3 versions made minor edits on.)

While I personally prefer the original sprites - they are much more expressive and unique compared to their other counterparts - I’ve decided to stick to the PS3 sprites to match the Umineko LP and because they have the most "widespread appeal". I’m not even entertaining the thought of using the Steam sprites because they are ugly as sin. I am also using the drawn backgrounds as they are pretty neat, and mesh better with the style of the PS3 sprites.

The BGM and SFX mod is a different beast altogether. Ryukishi had no qualms using royalty-free music in the original game that had to be replaced in subsequent releases - and fans agree that the new tracks generally suck. In a sound novel like Higurashi the music can make or break the story, so it’s worth the effort to go in and install the patch. Voice acting is also not included in the Steam version, so that was also added in as I find the voicework pretty great overall, if not over the top sometimes. Pretty much the only thing remaining of the base Steam game is the script, but the client makes it easier to record videos and gives higher-resolution screenshots, which is why I ultimately decided to use it instead of modding the first MangaGamer release.

(Credit to Admiral H. Curtiss, who informed me that the initial releases of the first six chapters of Higurashi on Steam and GOG mostly featured original audio, which were eventually patched. For Steam, there is an in-game toggle for the original sprites. For GOG, people can use GOG Galaxy to ‘downgrade’ the games to earlier releases.)

I’m well aware that trying to pitch to people that they need to play the game in this incredibly specific way is more than a little off-putting. People who like the original sprites and don’t mind the lack of voice acting can hunt down the original release, and people who don’t mind the BGM changes can buy and play the game through official channels without installing mods. There are several dozen ways people can enjoy the story of Higurashi. This LP is for me and me only.

Will you be playing the Hou-exclusive arcs? Or any non-mainline arcs for the matter?

No, I have my hands full with the main story as it is. I will only be LPing the four main Question arcs and the four main Answer arcs.

How will this LP be formatted?

This is a hybrid LP, meaning I’ll be recording the relevant portions of the game and transcribing it with screenshots and GIFs. That said, any commentary in the written portions are minimal, and the screenshot/GIF half is supplemental to the video. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of video LPs and would much rather read novels like Higurashi in a screenshot format while occasionally clicking video and music links. This LP will accommodate people who have similar tastes as mine, but I do request that if a viewer has to choose between one or the other, to watch the videos. It is a sound novel, after all, not a visual one.

In the screenshot sections:

Italics will be used for commentary.

Regular text will be used for narration from the POV character.

Dialogue will be posted with portraits next to it.
And for the duration of the Question arcs, Keiichi (our POV character) will have his own face shadowed out for the sake of a recurring joke that only comes up two or three times very important reasons.

Triple dashes (- - -) will denote scene breaks.

Updates will come every other day, give or take - I can’t promise to keep this speed up as it is my first LP, but I will try.

Special thanks posted:

- Admiral H. Curtiss for writing up a script extractor in a few hours after I posted in Tech Support. I left him hanging for like half a year.
- My friend who messed around with the extractor code so that even I could use it pain-free.
Blanket trigger warnings under spoilers:

The novel contains detailed descriptions and occasional images of:
- Gore, mutilation, torture (adult and child)
- Murder and death (adult and child)

- Insects
- Eyes, neck, fingernails
- Needles, guns, knives being used

And will mention and/or address subjects relating to:
- Child abuse
- Sexual harassment and abuse
- Suicide

among those mentioned above.

I will put the appropriate warnings at the start of every update that requires it, but the ones in bold that I have listed will be present far too frequently for a reader to get the full experience of the story while skipping sections containing them. I implore those who are severely triggered by those subjects to think twice before reading Higurashi.

Above all, I hope you enjoy your time here.

Update list:


limeicebreakers fucked around with this message at 00:07 on Aug 2, 2021


May 1, 2017


May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Prologue

BGM: None

Every time the screen shakes, you can hear something blunt hitting something else, as well as a bloody squelch.

I trusted her.
...No, I still trust her.
Even in this very moment, I trust her.
But… I’m starting to realize.

And those tears… those tears making a mess of my face…
That mechanical, repetition sound finally stilled, and everything fell silent.

And yet…
...I felt as if I could still hear her voice.
...But that’s not possible.
She is no longer speaking.
The only one crying is me.

Even when she repeated those words over and over, she never expressed any emotion, because there were none to show.

If she had no tears to shed for me, then I… shouldn’t need to shed any for her.
Then why… this pain, my eyes getting moist...why was this happening?
I still wanted to believe… I hadn’t been split apart.
That’s enough, right?

Inside me, an inner voice whispered gently…
My spirit had suffered enough…
...and countless times I’d wavered over whether I should just throw the battered thing away.

I’d feel better if I just threw it away.
Even knowing that, I chose to believe, didn’t I?
Only I can understand that painful struggle, and appreciate it.

Hey, me?
...I’ve tried more than enough.
...I’ll acknowledge that much.
...Isn’t it all right to just take the easy way out?

Besides... I’m not throwing it away.
I’m leaving it behind, with her.

Now then.
...Calm your nerves.
Even though you can’t feel your right arm.
...Just lift it up.

The shaking starts again.

That kindness made me happy.
That adorable smile brought me joy.
I liked petting your head.
I loved how demure you were.
...Because this will be the last time.
Because when I swing this down, I’ll forget.

Onikakushi-hen | Intro

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 1 Part 1

BGM: None

...Somebody has been apologizing for a while now.
I wonder what she’s apologizing for.
It felt wrong to eavesdrop, so I tried to ignore it.

Even though I’ve lived there until last month, I found the bustle of the city to be overwhelming.

Those skyscrapers and the multi-lane roads.
The melodious cacophony of the crosswalk.
Even the campaign speeches blaring in front of the station felt nostalgic.
The place where I live now isn’t nearly as lively.

Rather than making me feel lonely, that quietness had begun to instill a sense of serenity.
There is nothing where I’m living now.

I don’t just mean there aren’t any burger joints. There aren’t even vending machines.
No music stores, no restaurants… and no arcades.
An ice cream parlor? No chance.
The nearest town has some stuff like that, but it’s an hour away by bike.

There were music stores and arcades and ice cream parlors where I used to live, but it wasn’t like I ever hung out at any of them.
I had lived in the city for ten years and never once been to an ice cream parlor.

...I should have gone at least once.

It’s only now that I’m starting to regret that a little.

Who is she apologizing to?
She’s apologized so much, so just forgive her already.
There’s no reason anyone should ever need to apologize so much.

I started to feel a bit annoyed at whoever was refusing to forgive her.
No matter how bad the mistake, there’s nothing that can’t be forgiven.

There’s no such thing as an irreparable mistake.
You just need to be more careful next time.

Then… has she really done something that can’t be fixed?
I have no idea what she’s done, but if it can’t be fixed, then that’s all the more reason to forgive her.

No matter how much she apologizes, nothing will change.
But even so, she keeps apologizing in such a heartbreaking voice…

Hey, you. The one she’s apologizing to…
Why don’t you just go ahead and forgive her?
She’s apologizing… in such a pathetic voice…

I was finally roused from my nap by my father’s prodding.

We’d spent hours riding everything from the bullet train to the local routes.
It was hard to believe that the landscape beyond the window and the city I was in half a day ago were in the same country.
No… that they were even from the same era.

- - -

Although, in exchange, you could fill your lungs up with crisp, clean air.

Flipping open the window, I was greeted with a verdant expanse.
Nothing but trees.
The neighboring house was far away on the other side.
So I was probably the only one enjoying that view and that air.

I filled my lungs with another deep breath.
Since I started living in Hinamizawa, I learned that even air had its own taste.

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

He was probably up working until the early morning.

Dad had a rather unconventional job as a painter.
It’s such a laid-back profession.
Get up when you want, sleep when you want, and work when you want.

I was so jealous of that easy-going lifestyle,
I even wrote for school that I wanted to be a painter when I grew up. Dad was ecstatic about that.
It was just because it looked easy. I’d never tell him that, though.

Mom laid breakfast out on the table.

My mom was such a good cook, it was scary.
A perfect, immaculate, ideal breakfast.
Unlike my dad, who didn’t even know the meaning of the word “schedule,” my mom never squandered any time or effort.

She hummed a little tune as she brought over the miso soup. It seemed like she was in a good mood today.

“If I don’t get up early, I don’t make it in time for your early breakfasts!”

I thought I was being cute, responding with a wise-crack after being praised for being good.

“Full bowl of rice? Or will half be enough?”
“Pile it on.”

First, I savored the steaming hot rice with the seaweed. After that, I covered it with the egg.
Between bites of rice, I enjoyed the crunch of the pickles.
Not bad at all. Excellent, as usual.

“I’m so happy you haven’t skipped breakfast ever since we moved here, Keiichi.”

I was not a morning person when we lived in the city.
I slept right until the last minute before school and rarely ate breakfast.
Boycotting the breakfast Mom made me each morning… that was probably the only way I could protest being forced to attend cram school.

...I guess that was what you’d call my rebellious phase.
I wouldn’t so much as look at the breakfast she woke up early every day to make.

Mindful of the time, Mom rushed me along with a wide grin.

“Isn’t it about time to meet up with Rena-chan? Hurry, hurry.”
Mom really seemed to enjoy the fact that her son was going to school with a girl.

Rena is one of my classmates.
She really loves looking after people, coming to meet me every day without fail.

The way I looked at it, a guy my age walking to school with a girl was just lame…
But, well, keeping a classmate waiting for me every day wouldn’t be very considerate.

...Seriously, though, how long does Rena wait there for me every morning…?

Taking one last gulp of miso soup, I raced for the door.

Come to think of it, those pickles weren’t store-bought, were they?
...If I’d known that, I would have savored them a bit more!

- - -


“You’re always so early. You should try sleeping in sometime.”
“If I sleep in, I’ll keep you waiting.”

Rena uses her own name in place of pronouns, which - coupled with her tendency to repeat the end of her sentences - gives her speech a childish tone.

...She’s so conscientious, and such a good person.

“If that ever happens, I’ll just leave you behind.”

“I’ll leave you in the dust. Without looking back.”
“Why are you so mean? ...Why?”

Rena had a slightly troubled look on her face.
Toying with her was rather fun because of how quickly her mood changed.

“I’m kidding. I’d wait for you.”

With those words, Rena seemed to relax.
Her face flushed bright red.

“...Ah ...Th-Thank you…”
“I’d wait forever until you came, Rena. No matter how long.”
“...Ah-ah, ah… ...For… Forever…”

She’s especially weak to this sort of talk.
It’s quite rare to find someone this fun to tease.

“Have you ever read a romance novel, Rena…?”
“...Huh… ...Ah ...I haven’t. N-Never read any before.”

From that response, I gathered she was interested in them but was too embarrassed to actually buy one.
I couldn’t imagine what would happen if she did read one.
She’d probably turn red and pass out…

“Oh, yeah, message from Mom. She says thanks for the pickles.”

They weren’t that salty.
Actually, they had a pretty light flavor to them.
It would have been fine to just be honest and say they were good, but apparently I couldn’t be that forthright.

“I’d like to ask something before that. Were you the one who pickled them, Rena? Or was it your mom?”
“Huh? ...Huh? Why do you ask? Were… Were they too salty…?”
Her attitude completely changed as she began to panic frantically.

“Was it you, Rena? Or was it your mom?”
“...Wh-Why are you asking who made them? ...Why!?”
“Depending on who made them, my opinion of them might change drastically.”
“...Huh, huh uh…!?”

...It wasn’t like I was trying to tease her, but I couldn’t stop myself.
Guys who take pleasure in this kind of thing are probably the worst. ...Guys like me.
Rena nervously opened and closed her mouth over and over, trying to muster a response.

“...I-It was me…”
“Pretty good, just like the last ones. They went perfectly with the rice.”

Her face went bright red again. She was completely spacing out.
It truly was a lot of fun to tease her.
I pray that Rena never gets taken advantage of by some lowlife.

“Let’s go! If we keep Mion waiting, we’ll never hear the end of it.”

Seeing as she’d just keep spacing out otherwise, I called Rena back to reality so we could make our way to school.

This strange, easily flustered girl is Rena Ryuugu.
I’ve only known her for about a month, but I’ve come to realize it’s not just her name that’s strange.

- - -

BGM: Hello!

Coming up to the next rendezvous point, we saw another person waiting for us. Noticing us, she waved.

“Usually, you’re the one who’s late!”

In sharp contrast to the diligent Rena, this one marched to the beat of her own drum.
She’s Mion Sonozaki.
For what it’s worth, she’s our senior and head of the class.

“Morning, Rena. And it’s been a while, Kei-chan! How many years?”
“I was only off two days!”

Mion’s gaze started at my chest then dropped straight down, focusing on the point between my legs.
...So she was saying it was my crotch that was cuter back then.
Before you ask, just to be clear, I’ve never actually tried to show it to her.

“I’ve grown quite splendidly. You’d be surprised.”
“Not only is he bigger, but he has a little moustache now~✰”
“Being so *engorged* with energy every morning is quite a problem, though. I’ll introduce you next time, so be sure to greet him properly.
“Don’t say ‘next time.’ Right now is just fine. How about letting the little guy get a breath of fresh morning air?”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard talk so dirty you could smell it fouling up the morning air before.
Mion sure does act like an old man sometimes.

Mion occasionally calls herself an oji-san sometimes, which is the world for an uncle or a middle-aged man.

As my hand reached for my fly, Rena began to ramble in a near panic.

“...Hey, hey hey… What are you talking about? What’re you talking about!? What’re you talking about…!!”

Red-faced and flustered, Rena tried to play dumb, but it was obvious she knew exactly what we were talking about.

- - -

Mion switched gears, dropping the dirty talk and changing the topic to something more befitting the pleasant morning.

“I only went for a funeral. I didn’t have much time.”
“So yeah! Did you look for it? ...That thing I asked for?”
“You’re… not listening… at all. I just came back from a funeral! I didn’t have any time to look around in toy stores!”
“Tsk tsk tsk. Toy stores and hobby shops are completely different, you know? It’s really difficult to get western stuff around here, after all.”

Mion nodded proudly as Rena giggled.
“Yep! I wanted Kei-chan to bring me back a ‘west port’ catalogue, you see.”

“West port” was short for “western imported games.”
Using that abbreviation did make it sound pretty geeky.

“You can just get them to send you one in the mail, can’t you?”
“Well, guess I have to now. I’m going to get another game full of hot action!”
“...Th-This time, I’d like a game that’s easy to understand…”

According to Rena, Mion’s room has kind of become a museum for domestic and foreign games.

“If there’s a game you think I’d understand, let me play too.”
“Heh… of course! If Kei-chan is up for it. I should warn you though, we’re pretty tough.”
“Just what I want. I play all sorts of games. I don’t intend to lose!”
“...Whoa… Then we’ll let you in the group this time, I guess. ...I guess!”

Bristling with joy from head to toe, Rena looked back and forth between me and Mion.
Mion gave her an affirmative wink, and her expression perked up even further.

“I thought boys preferred playing outside more, so… I figured you wouldn’t want to.”
Rena laughed happily.

I understood that they did all they could to make a transfer student like me feel at home.
I’ll have to try harder to fit in, so they won’t feel like they have to try to make me feel welcome.
I felt like if I acted a bit more open than I usually am, it should probably be about right for this place.

- - -

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

That class encompasses all different grades and ages.
There are about 30 students at different levels, and they all study in the same class.

I’m told that, long ago, there used to be a bigger school building and they had actual separate classes.
However, it seems something happened that made it become a single class, and now it stayed that way out of tradition.
I was shocked at first, but humans adapt pretty quickly. I’ve already gotten quite used to it.

With such a lively mood, it felt more like a kindergarten than a proper school, not that that was a bad thing.

Mion, who had been walking in front of us up until then, suddenly let me take the lead.
Right in front of the classroom door.

So I was meant to slide the door open and enter the room first.
Heh… Too bad. I wasn’t going to fall for that again.

BGM: Digital Network

Mion chuckled with a haughty smirk on her face.

“Wh-What is it… you guys…?”
“Step back, Rena. It’s dangerous. ...She’s here!”
“Huh…? Then… Satoko-chan is…!?”

Her name was Satoko Houjou.

She was a disrespectful, impudent, bossy kid.
The way she talks was annoying, but it would be immature to get worked up over just that.
The real problem… was this…

A haughty laugh came from beyond the door.

“Excellent, Kei-chan! ...I guess that means you win this round?”
“...No, this is Satoko we’re talking about. I doubt this is it..!” [sic]

After falling for such intricate traps since the day I transferred, I no longer let my guard down.
Satoko liked to combine a variety of traps: traps that were simple there to bait you into the main one, traps that relentlessly kept coming at you like a sadistic Rube Goldberg machine, the list goes on.

As well as being clever, they almost never misfire.
When you least expect it… she strikes!
No escape. No time to relax.

“By the looks of it, this eraser is normal. No rocks or anything in it.”
I took a pretty heavy hit from a blackboard eraser loaded with rocks on my first day.

“That’s what it is!’

That’s what Satoko was after.
Making me focus my attention upward. So as I lifted my hand to the door…

There were thumbtacks stuck to the sliding door handle with tape; a frightening trap.
A potent and terrifying trap.
Concealed by using the blackboard eraser…

Assured of my victory, I threw the door open and stepped into the room.

By the time I realized she had me-hook, line, and sinker- it was already too late.
I began to fall in an almost picturesque manner.

“Kei-chan, watch out!!”
Instinctively reacting to Mion’s shrill warning, I twisted my body in midair before I landed on the floor.

“...Ow ow… ow!?”
An ink stone, filled to the brim, was placed right where I would have landed…!
I shuddered, imagining the situation had I landed square on it.

BGM: Helter Skelter

Still sprawled in an awkward position, I was greeted by a mocking voice.

Satoko's speech mannerisms are rather formal and haughty.

“That was a step up from your usual traps, Satoko!!”
“I haven’t the faintest idea what you mean. You’re quite unlucky this morning.”
“You little~...!! ……...Owowow…”

It seemed I’d inadvertently sprained my back a little when I’d landed. ...Better than landing on that inkstone.

“...Pain, pain, go away.”

The small, dainty hand continued to gently stroke my head.

“...You didn’t sprain your back or anything, did you…? If you rub it like this, the pain disappears…”

I thought about asking how rubbing my head would help my back, but I didn’t.
It’s not so much about what you actually do, it’s the thought that counts.

“Y… Yeah, thanks Rika-chan. The pain’s going away now.”

“...Good morning to you, Rena. A good morning to all.”

Rika-chan greeted each of us with an adorable little bow.
It was infectious. Rena, Mion, and I all bowed back.

Rika's speech is polite, and often ends with -desu.

“You’re such a good kid, Rika-chan… So much better than Satoko…!”

I glared over in her direction. Satoko was whistling while rather deliberately trying to avoid eye contact.

“A good girl wouldn’t set those nasty traps!”
“Nothing but lies and slander! Exactly what proof- ...Uwah!”

I picked up Satoko by the back of her collar. She looks like a misbehaved cat when I do this.
But a cat wouldn’t be setting traps.
...She’s much harder to deal with!!

“I-M S-O-R-R-Y. Try saying that. If you won’t say it…!”

I cocked my index finger on my thumb, letting it tremble as I brought it closer to Satoko’s forehead.

“Just so you know, my forehead flick really hurts. It can split plywood right in half!”
“Eeeeeeeek…!!!! Stop! Get away from me, you beast~!!!”
“Don’t say that in a way people will misunderstand!!”

A small hand tugged on the back of my shirt.

...Rika-chan really is just so…
How could I do anything more after being told that?
I gently released my grip on Satoko, who at this point was on the verge of tears. She still had her eyes clamped shut as she braced herself for the forehead flick.

“...You mustn’t cry, Satoko. Keep on fighting, yeah.”

Rika gently petted the head of her prankster friend.
You would never guess those two are the same age.
I think Satoko could learn a thing or a million from Rika-chan.

“...Next time, set an even more amazing trap.”

...Waiiit a minute…

“...Hau!... Satoko-chan is crying… Sho kyute…”
“You can’t take them home.”
“...Huu! ...But, but… they’re sho kyute?”
“You can’t, no matter how ‘kyute’ they are.”
“But… just for a bit… is fine? Is fine?”

According to Mion… Rena is ridiculously weak to cute things and always tries to take them home.
Object or person…!

“Stealing is bad, but abducting people is even worse. Give it up.”
“Then I can just look. Just looking… that should be fine, right? Right?”

Rena swooned over Satoko’s crying form.
If a girl ever goes missing in Hinamizawa, I’ll be forced to turn Rena in to the authorities.

Forgive me, Rena.
I’ll be sure to bring you care packages when they put you away!

SFX: Bell

Just from Mion’s single statement, the entire mood of the room shifted back to normal.

The inkstone was bad, but the thumbtacks stuck to the door handle were an even bigger problem!
I pulled the tape off carefully, making sure not to skewer myself.

Even though Satoko was the one who set it up, everyone had to pick up after her.
By the time the teacher entered the room, the bedlam from before had been neatly tidied up.

“Ahahaha, we made it in time!”
“Rise, attention!”

Mion gave out the morning commands.

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 1 Part 2

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

She has to teach something different to each one.
But naturally she ends up spending all her time with the younger kids.

Rena and Mion, being in the highest grade in the class, end up mostly doing self-study.
They even end up helping teach the younger kids, so it seems like they can never get to their own studies.

They’re actually way behind where my studies have progressed to.
As a result, I’m pretty much taking over for the teacher and helping Rena and Mion with their studies.

Rena took a breather after finishing highlighting an important section.

“Teaching is making me lose confidence. It makes me aware of how shallow my understanding of the subject is.”
“They say that to teach someone something, you need to understand it backwards and forwards. So while you’re teaching us, you’re getting in your own practice.”

In contrast, this person over here is quite laissez-faire about things.
For one, isn’t she supposed to be in a higher grade than me!?

“It’s not like I’m aiming to go on to a prestigious school. I’ll be fine as long as I pick up what I need to know for the entrance exams a little at a time!”

Her staunch defiance was really something else. This was a different type of relaxed than somebody who already knew what was going to be on the entrance exams.

“Mii-chan, Keiichi-kun is doing his best to teach us. We need to try hard, too.”
“You’re such a good and honest kid, Rena. I’ll make sure you guys get accepted into a good school.”
“...Wh-Wha… Th-Thanks so much…”
“Especially you, Rena. Private lessons… just the two of us.”
“...Pr- ...Private...le- lessons…”

A puff of smoke shaped like a halo… Popped out of Rena’s head.
Exactly what kind of private lesson is she fantasizing about that’s making her turn so red…?
I’d like to hear the play-by-play of that next time.

While Mion was flipping through her vocabulary flash cards, she threw out a casual question.

“If you don’t know at least this much you can’t get into university.”
“So you study just to get into a university?”
“Well… Yeah, basically. While knowing that this stuff won’t ever come in handy in the future.”
“Out here, you can get into university as long as your attendance is good enough.”

Study = Entrance Exams. Having that basic law of the universe so easily overturned sent me into a state of shock.

“That is right. There aren’t really enough people around here to warrant weeding them out with an exam.”
“If anyone can get into university, then there’s no need to be all uptight about this stuff, right?”
“...Well, that’s true… but you should at least know stuff that’s common knowledge…”

It was too profound of a statement to simply laugh off.
But since it was Mion, it probably didn’t actually have that deep of a meaning.

SFX: Bell

In place of a chime, the sound of the principal waving a hand bell drifted through the classroom.

In a complete 180 from her unmotivated state, Mion gave the commands that signaled the end of the morning period.

“...Keiichi-kun, let’s have lunch.✰”

I might have been making a very troubled face.
Rena smiled brightly at me.
“Awright! Let’s eat!”

BGM: Hello!

Most of them were divided up by gender and age, but our group was different.
Our ages were different and we had both boys and girls.
But we weren’t reserved around each other.
This level of openness makes a transfer student like me pretty happy.

Rena and Mion pushed their desks together so they were facing each other.
At the same time, Satoko and Rika-chan were slowly lugging their desks over as well.

“Keiichi-kun, hurry, hurry!”

Rena waved her chopsticks in an unrefined manner, trying to hurry me along.
Unless everyone was together, they wouldn’t even open their lunch boxes.

Even though Satoko was hurling insults at me, she still wouldn’t open the lid to her lunch box until I was there.

I pulled out my lunch box swiftly and dragged my chair over to join the circle.

“Hey, sorry to keep you waiting!”
“...Well then, Representative Mii, please give the signal to start!”

At first, this was kinda embarrassing, but I got used to it pretty fast.
At this point, I probably wouldn’t even open my own lunch box if someone else was too slow.
Our ages and genders may have all been different, but we were all friends.

”””Let’s eat!!”””

The sound of our little five-part chorus echoed beautifully throughout the classroom.

Of course there are other boys in the class, but they were a lot younger, so they were scared to approach me.

Well, that’s to be expected.
Younger boys just see older boys as scary.
Compare that to girls… Well, at least these girls aren’t picky.

We put all the side dishes in the middle where everybody was free to pick at them.

I thought girls would mind sharing a meal with a guy, so I was a bit flustered joining in. However, Mion noticed that and teased me quite a bit.

“My, my. Isn’t Sir Keiichi’s lunch extravagant today?”
“My, my, isn’t Madam Satoko’s lunch extravagant as well? The stewed stuff has a nice look to it, rather trendy.”

Buying into the fight that Satoko was starting, our chopsticks locked in a cross-counter, stabbing into each other’s lunch.

“My, how delicious!”
“Oh, this taro is good. The stewed stuff is good too, even cold!”

“...I saved some from dinner last night.”

By the way, Satoko and Rika-chan’s lunches are always the same.
It seems that Rika-chan makes it for both of them every day.

“Rika-chan made this too? ...These taste like Mom’s home cooking!”

I was honestly impressed.
The carrot rosettes weren’t from a mold: they were done by hand with a knife.
That’s not easy to do.

“I guess Rika-chan’s just good at this sort of thing.”
“She’s really good at sewing, laundry, and stuff like that. Amazing, right? Amazing!”
“Rika is quite exceptional in many ways. Ohhohohoho!”
“That’s nothing for you to boast about!”
“...Rena’s actually better at cooking than I am.”
“...Huh, ah ...well… you know.☆”

Rena’s lunch really was the star of the table.
Not only did it look good, it tasted good!
Everyone else pulled from Rena’s lunch box constantly.

“Everyone liked this one so much before, so I made a lot this time. ...It’s good, I hope? ...I hope?”
“It’s got high marks from me! Ah, Mion, you’re taking too much!”

Knocking Mion’s chopsticks aside, I reached out, trying to secure my own portion. Satoko and Rika-chan reached over at the same time and a struggle ensued.

Everyone shoveled in mouthful after mouthful while praising it, and Rena’s lunch box was soon empty.
It was kinda bad that no one thought to leave any for Rena.
But Rena seemed rather satisfied as she looked on.

“How did you like it? Isn’t Rena-san an extremely good cook too? Quite different from Keiichi-san!”
“I said that’s nothing for you to boast about!”
“You’re not much different from Kei-chan, Satoko. Can you tell the difference between broccoli and cauliflower yet?”

BGM: Helter Skelter

“...Hey, hey. Even I can tell the difference between broccoli and cauliflower, you know?”
“O-Of course I can! ...I really can!”

It’s really hard for her to lie.

“Keiichi-kun, both taste good when they’re boiled and topped with mayo, right? You shouldn’t be picking on her… Mii-chan too!”

Rena hurriedly tried to follow up, but Mion laughed haughtily as she drew closer to Satoko.

“Well, well, just pretend it’s a little home-ec lesson. ...Now then, Satoko… What’s this?”

Mion lifted up her chopsticks. Between them was a piece of green stuff wrapped in bacon.

Mion made eye contact with me and within .3 seconds, I had Rika-chan’s mouth covered.
Holding a piece of bacon-wrapped asparagus and giving her two choices… She’s pretty terrible.

“Uum, well! Uhh… The yellow one is cauliflower… No, wait… the green one is cauliflower…”
“So which!? Hmm?”
“Probably… the yellow one is broccoli and the blue one is cauliflower… But the green one is… um… uu…”

“Do you really know which is which? How about you just give up~?”

I’d expect no less from the class representative. The oldest. The way she drives people into a corner just shows how much experience she has.
This is just a hunch, but being brought into the Sonozaki household must be quite the ordeal…

“I do know…! I really do!!”
“Then answer the question!”
“...I know… I know…… Uwaaaaaahn!!”

She finally broke down and started crying.
When she acts like this, she actually starts to seem her age.

Rena entered a state of euphoria as Satoko bawled her eyes out.
Rena was in a state of bliss as she rubbed her cheek against Satoko’s head and smothered her.
...Really… a very content face.
One that wouldn’t care if the world ended right then- it was that kind of smile.

“Rena, Rena~! MiiMii is picking on me-! Uwaaaaahn!!”
“Khyute khyute..! It’s okay, Rena-oneechan will take care of all those bad people who tease my little sister!”

SFX: Consecutive Punches

It was like a flash of lightning.

“...What… was that… just now…?”

Before we knew it, Mion and I were sprawled spread-eagle on the floor, staring up at the ceiling with matching welts on our faces…

"...This is the first time you've gotten one, right? ...Today... she went easy on us..."
"...E-Easy... You mean, there's something harder than this...?"

With that, Mion and I both slumped our heads back to the floor in unison.
From now on, I'll be careful when I'm within striking distance of Rena...

Making sure Rena couldn't see it, Satoko stuck her tongue out at us.
Tsk, drat it all~! Using Rena like a puppet!!
Rika-chan massaged our bruises without saying a word…

- - -

BGM: Orange-colored Time

Our shadows stretched off into the distance.


It was such a direct question from Rena I inadvertently blushed.
I-If it was for a date, then wouldn't you do it more subtly??
Rena saw me lost for words and realized that I'd misunderstood, and turned red as well.

"...Uh, ...ah, ...N-No, ...I didn't mean it like that... you see...!"

So apparently that wasn't what she meant.
But since it's always fun when Rena's in a panic, I went along with it a little.

"Oh, really... So... it wasn't meant that way..."
"Huh...!? Huuh!?"

Playing it up, I slumped my shoulders, feigning dejection.

"...K-Keiichi-kun, why are you so disappointed, why? Why!? ...Mii-chaaan!"

Unable to hold it in any longer, Mion slapped me on the back.

"I see! This old geezer never knew you could push her buttons like that. Wahahahaha!!!"
"...Huh? ...Huh? What? What!? What is it!?"

Mion was rolling on the floor clutching her stomach while Rena flailed around, completely bewildered.
I couldn't help but start laughing as well. Feeling just a bit guilty, I ruffled Rena's hair.

"Kidding. Sorry, it was a joke... That was my fault."

She really is a cute one.

"...Huh? ...Huh? ...A joke? Since when!? Since when!?"
"Huh, ah... about halfway through."
"...Halfwaaay? So Kei-chan, that means you weren't acting when you blushed at the start?"
"...Huh...? ...Th-That means...?"

"Uh, well, you see..."

Saying anything more was also a bad idea...
In my bewildered state, I slipped further into an unfavorable position.
After that, Mion continued to tease me about it for a while...

- - -

"Huh...? Oh... What were we talking about...?"

It had been so long that Rena had forgotten. That's how long Mion had teased me.

"It's just, Kei-chan... you probably can't find your way around Hinamizawa by yourself yet, can you?"

That was true.
I hate to say it, but if you blindfolded me and spun me around three times like we're playing pin the tail on the donkey, I wouldn't be able to tell up from down here.

"...Yeah. I don't think I know how to get anywhere besides back and forth from school."
"Yes, yes. So you see, tomorrow, we were thinking that Mii-chan and I could escort you through Hinamizawa and show you around..."

That would be a godsend. Frankly, I was happy about the offer.

"You'll come of course, right?"
"If I'm free."
"You're being invited by a girl, you know!?"
"If I'm free."
"You're probably free anyways."
"If I'm free."

I was being stubborn so as not to give a clear yes or no.
Even though I thought it was a godsend, I'm too much of a scamp to say so up front.

While Mion and I had our rather sour back-and-forth, Rena peeked over at me hesitantly.
Figuring I'd been a bit too rough on her, I just gave in.

"...Sorry. Forgive me. I apologize. I'm free."

The trepidation disappeared from Rena's face as it blossomed into a smile.

It seems Mion didn't care for how rude I was to her, compared to how quickly I agreed with Rena.
But her being annoyed was very interesting.
So I pushed Rena forward, speeding up our pace to leave Mion behind.

"...Huh, woah... If Keiichi-kun... is okay with that, then..."
"I'm the one who came up with the idea to take him around~!! Don't ignore me, Keiichi Maebara!!"
"It'd be great if the two of us could go on a picnic together! Should we bring a basket, Rena?"
"...I-If we're bringing a basket... I'll... make all the food, maybe... Maybe!"
"Don't you ignore me too, Rena! I'll tell everyone that you two disappeared into the hotel district together!"

SFX: Punch

Rena bounded off like she was walking on the moon.

After the dust settled, all that was left was me standing next to Mion sprawled out on the ground. There was a welt on her face.

"...Are you all right...? There was over two meters between you guys..."
"...S... Since you came, they've become sharper... This old geezer's body can't handle it..."

...Maybe it'd be easier if you stopped saying stuff that makes Rena want to hit you...
Or else this will end up being Mion's Slapstick Comedy Hour.
If that happened, the results might be fatal...

"Don't feel bad, Mion. You're probably the only one who can dodge her jabs!"

...Could it be that we were hanging around with an unrivaled martial arts master?
Maybe someday we'll see her debut in an extreme contact sport...

"You can't lose to Rena! You need to train up and have a rematch!"
"Kei... Kei-chan, you should... This old geezer will root for you..."

Mion and I reaffirmed our determination to discover a way to counter Rena's infallible technique...

- - -

TIP 1: We're a mixed grade?
TIP 2: We don't have a uniform?

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.

Oh hey this finally started!

Higurashi is a bit rough around the edges -- definitely rougher than Umineko at least -- but I still quite enjoyed it and I hope other people will too.

Jul 11, 2016

They ate all her lunch? Rude.

Viola the Mad
Feb 13, 2010

A Higurashi LP?!

I'm a fan of the anime and despite its flaws I still stand by it, though I know that makes me a traitor in the eyes of the SN fans. It left one hell of an impression on me when I watched it back in college (binged the first 8 episodes in one night and then went to bed...not the wisest decision I've ever made), enough that I looked up this "Umineko no naku koro ni" thing that was just starting to come out. These days I'm far more interested in Umineko and Ciconia, but Higurashi will always hold a special place in my heart for introducing me to WTC in the first place. I've thought about picking up the SNs, but the original art was a huge turnoff for me, and I didn't have the time to give it the attention that it deserves. I've always been curious about them, though. I was one of the nerds who was super-hyped for the Higurashi remake--I was hoping for a show that was more faithful to the original. Finding out that it was an unnecessary sequel (in my opinion) was a big disappointment.

Thank you for LPing this game! I'm looking forward to this trip back to Hinamizawa.

Apr 30, 2009

...Well, this caught my attention!

I've read... like, two arcs worth of the manga (and even NOW I'm still not sure what the gently caress happened because (to my understanding) I'd have to be spoiled on a crapload of even more things) so I remain puzzled and eager to try to piece this crazy poo poo together in LP discussion.

I gotta say though, putting aside meta context that if things were different these kooky kids wouldn't be in school/interacting together, but you'd think if the local school is just a single class that the scant few kids in town--all different ages, at that-- are all squeezed into, with ONE TEACHER, then more parents would be putting them on buses to the closest bigger towns with actual schools.

May 1, 2017

Admiral H. Curtiss posted:

Oh hey this finally started!

Haha yeah, sorry for the wait. IRL etc. etc. I hope people enjoy Higurashi, too - definitely rougher than Umineko or Ciconia, but with its own message that resonated with me more than the other When They Crys.

Viola the Mad posted:

I was one of the nerds who was super-hyped for the Higurashi remake--I was hoping for a show that was more faithful to the original. Finding out that it was an unnecessary sequel (in my opinion) was a big disappointment.

Thank you for LPing this game! I'm looking forward to this trip back to Hinamizawa.

Thank you! I personally was hoping for a remake instead of a sequel anime as well. I was going to lure my friends in with it...alas...I'll just have to make this LP instead.

TKMobile posted:

I gotta say though, putting aside meta context that if things were different these kooky kids wouldn't be in school/interacting together, but you'd think if the local school is just a single class that the scant few kids in town--all different ages, at that-- are all squeezed into, with ONE TEACHER, then more parents would be putting them on buses to the closest bigger towns with actual schools.

There surely are some kids living in Hinamizawa who go to bigger schools, but those who don't need to learn somewhere. Mixed-grade classes are pretty common in rural areas - though by the 1980s (page 5), Japan prohibited multi-grade classrooms of three or more grades in primary schools, which is a far cry from the elementary-to-high-school grade range we have in the novel.

Feb 18, 2014

This statement is a lie!

I did not realize until recently that there wasn't already an LP of Higurashi in the master list. I enjoyed the first season of the anime when it was new, and I liked what little I read of Ciconia. Haven't tried Umineko yet. Looking forward to seeing how the original Higurashi reads.

Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons

Count me in as someone who wanted a remake (although I still enjoyed Gou in all its bizarreness). I'm glad this is getting a LP!

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 2 Part 1

BGM: Silence

I took it a little too easy on the morning of my day off. I was totally late.

And to top it off, that pesky mom of mine pushing a return-journey errand on me just as I’m trying to leave the house..

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

"Kei-chan, you're late!"
"S-Sorry, sorry! The show I was watching last night was really interesting! Blame that!"
"Ooh~ So that's your excuse for being late and keeping two girls waiting!?"
"...Mii-chan, you just got here yourself."
"Ahahahahaha~!...☆ Last night's episode of 'A Day in the Life Of' was interesting, wasn't it?"

She was just as guilty as me.

Rena was carrying a pretty heavy-looking handbag.
What... is that?

Mion answered my unspoken question with a wink.

"Kei-chan, after you left... Rena pulled out all the stops!"
"It's not like I forced her to do it...!"
"...I-It was nothing... so don't worry about it... Okay?☆"
"She's been like this since last night, you know!? Can you take responsibility for this!?"
"All right, all right... I am a man, after all. I'll take responsibility."

- - -

It didn't seem logically feasible that it would be entirely filled with lunchboxes.

...Except this was Rena we were talking about here!

"... About two kilos... I guess?"
"When Rena was picking it up, I could see she was struggling a bit... I say five."
"...You're exaggerating! Keiichi-kun is a boy, after all! I thought he could probably eat a lot, so... I made a lot... Okay?☆ ...Ahaha... Let's get going! ...Heave ho!"

"...Correction. I say five kilos, too..."
"I'll help out. ...But all of it needs to be eaten! I won't forgive you if you make Rena sad, got it!?"

The only thing I could do at that moment was exercise a bit to make myself hungrier...

- - -

BGM: Hello!

A care-free walk, bathed in the gentle morning sunlight.
I couldn't have even imagined something so wholesome existed during my time in the city.

These were the boonies, after all.
No slovenly desk jockies trudging to work on the weekends out here.
It really was a nice place... peaceful and quiet.

"Ah, good day."
"Good day. Oh, you would be... Maebara-kun, I believe?"

My two companions exchanged greetings with everybody we ran across.
All of these passersby even knew my name.

"When did I become this famous!?"

We passed three people and, when all three of them knew me, I started to feel a bit paranoid.

"Ahaha, it's a bit sad to say. Everyone knows everyone since there are so few people here in Hinamizawa."
"So that means...So that means when an unfamiliar face walks by, they automatically assume it's that Maebara fella who just moved here?"
"Yeah. That's how it works out."

It was a process of elimination you could only pull off in a place like this... but it was quite effective.

From now on, I'd better make sure to maintain a good reputation.
The day I'm discovered accidentally gawking at a dirty magazine in the bookstore... I can expect all the villagers labeling me as a letch by the next day...!
Hinamizawa is not to be trifled with...!

"Of course I know them. The first person we met was old man Takezou from the Makino bike shop. His hobbies are bonsai and playing the flute."
"Next we met the grocer's second son, Daisuke-kun. His hobby is sharpshooting, and he hopes to be an ace sniper in the future."
"And the person we just met was Miyo-san, the nurse from the clinic. Her hobbies are birdwatching and photography."
"...You know the names of everyone we passed by... and even their profiles!?"

"Well, yeah. We're not like the city, where people hardly know their neighbors."
"Then let's try it out. You there, who am I?"
"Ahahaha. You're Keiichi Maebara. You say some mean things but you're actually a kind, shy person."
"It's been three weeks since you transferred here. Your hobby is taking afternoon naps. Lately, you switched over to wearing boxers. ...Didn't you?"
"That's enough, that's enough!!"
"Enough of that!"

Apparently there is absolutely nothing you can keep hidden here.
Hinamizawa was not a place to be trifled with!

- - -

"That's right."
"We're parading around like this, after all. Don't you all think so, too? That Kei-chan is fitting right in here in Hinamizawa!"
"The population in Hinamizawa is shrinking. ...So the villagers welcome anybody who's new here."

I thought about brushing it off with something to the effect of "You're kidding me," but I held back.
Had I ever greeted someone who'd just moved into the city like this before...?
Thinking about that made me believe what they said wasn't a joke at all.

We passed another person.
Of course, we were called out to again the same way.

"This lady here is Fujishima-san. Good day~!"
"Oh my, Maebara-kun! How wonderful for you, having a lovely girl on each arm! How are you? Getting used to life here?"

Instead of regurgitating a prepared response like I would have in the city, I responded with an emphatic nod.
The old woman chuckled, voicing her appreciation of how energetic I was.


As I looked back over to Rena and Mion, they gave me a wink.

"...So, now then.☆ About time to have lunch, maybe? ...Maybe?"

We both looked at each other.

"...I'm a man. I'll do what I can. ...But it's just too much!"
"...It's fine, Kei-chan. Leave it to this old man."

...Mion has never seemed as reliable as she does right now.
I'd expect no less from the Class Representative!

"Rena, if we're going to eat, we might as well go somewhere with a good view."
"...Uwaa... Yes! Good idea. I agree~!"

Rena nodded her head happily in response to Mion's proposal.

SFX: Silence

It had worn down a bit through the years, but the fallen leaves had been swept up, giving it a tidy feeling.

"This place. Be sure to remember it! On our next break, a festival will be held here."
”Ahh. Isn't it a bit too early in the season for a festival?”
"The Watanagashi isn't a summer festival. Long ago, it used to be a celebration of the end of winter."

I was embarrassed for assuming that festivals had to be held in the summer.

Various colored lunch boxes were placed one after the other on top of the plastic sheet.

It sure did smell delicious. It was Rena's home cooking. It went without saying that it would be delicious.
...But is it even possible to finish all of this!?

Hey, Mion! It'll take more than just a good view to get this all down, you know!?!?

"...Good afternoon."

BGM: Small Town (Satoko)

...Why are they here!?

Mion grinned over at me.
I-I see... this was her secret plan... to power in numbers...!
You have my thanks, Mion!
Following up when all the pieces are in place is my specialty!

"We just had to come since there was such a commotion...... What is the meaning of this!?!?"
"Take a look. It's time for lunch. Buffet style. A handmade gourmet meal by Rena."
"I can see that much!! Why have you laid out a tarp on our property!?!?"
"The temple is public grounds. It's not yours."
"...Keiichi is right. This is everyone's property."
"Wow~...Rika-chan is such a good girl...!! Have a seat! Eat with us!"

"Hold on one second! Where is my spot!?"
"No spot for you and nothing for you to eat!"
"...D-Don't worry... There's some for you, too..."
"None! I'll eat all of hers!!"
"I will not allow that!!! Rikaa!"
"...Here, chopsticks."

Both Satoko and I leapt at the boxes, having it out with each other.

BGM: Hello!

"Have a plate. One for Mii-chan and Rika-chan, too."

Rena whipped out pairs of chopsticks and paper plates.

"...If we don't hurry, it'll all be eaten up."
"That's right. Okay! Shall we commence this battle!?"
"Please eat a lot! There's enough for everyone.☆"

Rena said, as she opened up a thermos.

Just then, I realized that this lunch was made under the assumption that five people would be eating.
It didn't change how much there was, but the implication behind it was different.

"I will not allow you to have this hamburger!!"
"Hurk!! Using your elbow is against the rules, Satoko!!"
"Grabbing the back of my collar is also against the rules!!!"

"Aaah! The last meatbaaaaaaaaall!!!"
"Satoko Houjou has been bested!!! NOM!!!!"

Satoko and I amiably began choking at the same time, falling backwards and spasming.

Rika-chan patted me on the head to clear it, even though it was actually stuck in my throat.

Seeing that made Rena blush and breathe heavily in excitement. It was almost like flowers were floating all around her.

Mion advised Rena to refrain from saying anything that could get her locked up.

This is how our meals usually go.

...I'd do anything in my power. Just so things could stay like this.

- - -

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

Receiving tea from the thermos, I let out a small sigh.

"I do wonder why there are so few words in Japanese to praise how something tastes!"
"Isn't it because the idea of togetherness during a meal didn't begin until the modern era?"
"It seems that, long ago, people ate in silence. ...It must have made the people preparing the food a bit sad, don't you think?"
"It's probably because back then the people were busy even while eating and didn't have the time to compliment the flavor!"

That's just you.

She blushed a little as she said that.

"...It was delicious."

With absolutely perfect timing, Rika-chan struck Rena directly with "praise."
She looked straight at her with an expression of bewitching innocence.


After Rena uttered an unintelligible noise... A ring of smoke rose from her head with an audible "poof!"

"...It was really delicious."

Rena flushed red with excitement, embracing Rika-chan and rubbing her cheek against her so hard you could almost hear it.

"T-To reward Rika-chan for her praise... Ta-da! These are special!"

Two apple rabbits! After sticking toothpicks into them, she thrust them toward Rika-chan.

After Rika-chan accepted them, the mood suddenly shifted in a bizzare way.

BGM: Sutakorasassa (Helter Skelter)

"Has everyone prepared proper praise to receive apples from Rena-san?"
"Don't push yourself. What kind of praise can you think up with your weak vocab!?"
"Hohoho...Well then. Allow me to show you."

After Satoko flashed Mion and me a defiant look, she changed the tone of her voice suddenly.

Satoko looked up at her poutily while talking cutesy.

Wha! ...How was that praise!? That's not even persuasion by tears, that's persuasion by cuteness, isn't it!?
This is a Rena-limited special skill.

She blushed and her head spun, waving around in circles...!!

D-Don't fall for it, Renaaa!!!!

"...Aw... haow!!"

"Kyuuuteee!! ...Satoko is so... kyute...☆ ...take you home...hao!"

Swish, stab! Push! Satoko was also presented with apple rabbits.

After stuffing them into her mouth, she looked over at Mion and me again with that defiant gaze.
It took only five seconds to take down Rena.

T... That's unfair! To think she had such a trick...!!

"If it upsets you so much, why not reward Rena-san with some praise~?"

Daaaamniiit!! That was a dirty trick!!
First of all, that wasn't even praise!!!

"Satoko. You think you've won with that, don't you? How about I show you guys something much better than your superficial gimmicks!?"
"Th-That sounds great, Mion! What kind of trick is it!?"
"Kei-chan is going to be the one who does it."
"Ho ho ho! Why don't I have you show me, then? The writhing of an old maid!!"

But it was the only thing we had to beat Satoko!!
After sipping my tea, I started talking, very naturally and calmly. ...Perfectly.

"...It really is good, isn't it? ...This is all freshly made, right?"
"Ah, no. ...Actually, most of it... almost all of it was frozen stuff..."
"Then which ones did you make fresh?"
"...Uh... Umm... Well... I-It's embarrassing... Do I really have to say? ...Must I?"

"...I already know. This one... right?"
"Uh? ...Uh huh...!? ...Uuu...!"

Rena turned an even deeper shade of red, the words "I can't believe it" practically written on her face.

"H... How can you tell...!? ...How? ...Uu... Th-That I made it..."

Of course, Mion had told me beforehand.
...It's been perfect so far!!

After acting like I was shy, I waited a beat. ...Next would be... the finisher.

BGM: Silence

...Rena, face still completely red, froze solid.
With a small yelp, Satoko also blushed. Of course I did, too...

"...I sure would like... to try one of Rena's handmade apple rabbits......... or something..."

Even if this was all because I was competing against Satoko... It felt like I had crossed the line by a good 9 yards, I think...

...Then, at that moment…

It was a Tupperware container filled with rabbits.

"P-P-P-Please eat some, Keiichi-kun!?! Th-Th-Th-There's plenty for you...!!"

Huwarkh!? Instantly, dozens of the apples were shoved into my mouth, knocking me over.

"O-O-Okay. S... Say ahhh... K-K-K-Keiichi-kun... ...Tehehehehe...☆"

My head was forcibly laid upon her lap and even more apples were shoved into my mouth. While she was squealing, one apple after another... was forced into my mouth... ...more and more...... ap...... ples......

"Kei-chan, that was a beautiful sacrifice!! How's that, Satoko!? This is our complete victory, isn't it!?!"
"I can't believe it... such trickery!!! I-It doesn't bother me at all!!!!"

Satoko ground her teeth, mortified! We did it!!
I claimed victory as my consciousness drifted slowly away from me.

...At that time, Rena stopped her squealing as she suddenly realized something.

"...Rika-chan, you're not eating it? ...Did the... salt water make it too strong, maybe...? ...Maybe?"

Looking over, Rika-chan had pulled the toothpick out of the apple rabbit, placed it into her cupped hands, and seemed to be at a loss for what to do.

BGM: Baby's Walk (Rika)

"...Poor Mr. Rabbit... I feel sorry for him... I save him."

...That was the sound of blood spurting from Rena's nose.

BGM: Sutakorasassa (Helter Skelter)

"...Kyu... Kyky... Kyuute~ ......Tonight... I will... take you home...☆"

She shook sporadically, her head wobbling back and forth.

Then, coming back to her senses, she took all of the apples around me, gathered them up with a fwip fwip fwip, and fixed them back up on a plate.

"Now they're all just fine, 'kay...? Here, I'll give them to you, Rika-chan... 'kay? ...'kay!"

Rika-chan raised up Satoko's hand like a referee after having that plate of rabbits shoved to her. She whispered.

"...Wha... ...WhaaAaaAaaAat!?!? A comeback!?!"
"...Hai... Hest Honhu hair hehiho... (I... just don't care anymore.)" sacrifice... ended up being in vain…

limeicebreakers fucked around with this message at 18:19 on Jul 5, 2021

Apr 30, 2009

limeicebreakers posted:

Haha yeah, sorry for the wait. IRL etc. etc. I hope people enjoy Higurashi, too - definitely rougher than Umineko or Ciconia, but with its own message that resonated with me more than the other When They Crys.

Without resorting to too many buzzwords, there is something very... raw about about Higurashi that gives it more of a sinister edge and at times, the plot simply just hits harder. Umineko used an Agatha Christie Mystery style set up with a bunch of rich (and mostly) assholes but here whatever's going to go down, is here in a neighborly small town. These MCs aren't people squabbling over an inheritance as the audience has a much harder time of trying to find someone to root for, they're just kids having a good time. There's something more personal/empathetic about that in a twisted "this could happen to you" kind of way, that builds up dread way more significantly.

Also, I always feel like no matter what she's wearing, any outfit Rena wears automatically turns into a school uniform.

Jul 11, 2011

I love this series and every character, but... at the same time, Keichi and Satako's mischiefs are loving infuriating.

Feb 28, 2008

I wanna get a Super Saiyan Mohawk when I grow up!

In Chinese, taste and smell are not considered separate concepts; I'm fairly sure the same goes for Japanese but I'm not 100% certain, so Rena might not have been overreacting in her embarrassment.

Jan 10, 2020

Really enjoying this so far. I like how our protagonist Keichi is a fully realized character and not some insert for the audience. He really is a cheeky little bugger, though at least he doesn't delve into the sadistic (so far). Though from some of the chat between Keichi and Mion, it seems a bit weird that they only known each other for three weeks +2 days. It feels like they knew each other since they were kids. Guess they are competing for authority as the oldest kids in town?

Apr 30, 2009

DelilahFlowers posted:

Really enjoying this so far. I like how our protagonist Keichi is a fully realized character and not some insert for the audience. He really is a cheeky little bugger, though at least he doesn't delve into the sadistic (so far). Though from some of the chat between Keichi and Mion, it seems a bit weird that they only known each other for three weeks +2 days. It feels like they knew each other since they were kids. Guess they are competing for authority as the oldest kids in town?

Keichi strikes me as a guy who's started off trying to be polite but nervously awkward about the weird social situation he's in, but quickly realized how to roll with it, treating most of the girls like he would any group of actual piers he'd be with were he in a high school with other guys his age. It's either that or go talk to a wall or a tree for social support, and hey, these girls all seem nice.

Jan 10, 2020

TKMobile posted:

Keichi strikes me as a guy who's started off trying to be polite but nervously awkward about the weird social situation he's in, but quickly realized how to roll with it, treating most of the girls like he would any group of actual piers he'd be with were he in a high school with other guys his age. It's either that or go talk to a wall or a tree for social support, and hey, these girls all seem nice.

Yeah that does make sense. Each girl seems to by dynamic in their own way (except Rika, who is an adorable bundle of kawaii). Mion is cunning tomboy who shoots the poo poo with keichi, Sakoto is a sadistic little nugget who keichi can't let his guard down around lest he gets tacks in him. Rena seems to be pushed to be the love interest, or at least is teased about it repeatedly. Especially this last update. Though with her she is quite dynamic in her expressions of affection (beating up keichi and mion after teasing sakoto because of her older sister complex and the apple rabbits scene). Keichi has to be open and assert himself with this group he found himself in, lest he get left to the wayside and be alone for the rest of his time at school. I think it said he is the only older boy there and all the younger boys are scared of talking to him. So its them or the wall. Though, this group looks to be tight-knit despite all the teasing stuff that goes around (though Sakoto seems to be broaching it with the whole tacks thing).

Apr 30, 2009

The tacks and the loving ink well are really kind of pushing it, yeah. I can only imagine that with Keichi being older/bigger/snarkier than pretty much everybody but Mion, he's the only target she can in good conscience try to prank like this. Unless she really is just an rear end in a top hat and was setting out nails or paintbuckets for actual children, or Rena, but I doubt she'd have any friends if she was pulling that crap.

May 1, 2017

TKMobile posted:

Also, I always feel like no matter what she's wearing, any outfit Rena wears automatically turns into a school uniform.

She makes it work!

StrangeAeon posted:

I love this series and every character, but... at the same time, Keichi and Satako's mischiefs are loving infuriating.

DelilahFlowers posted:

Though, this group looks to be tight-knit despite all the teasing stuff that goes around (though Sakoto seems to be broaching it with the whole tacks thing).

TKMobile posted:

The tacks and the loving ink well are really kind of pushing it, yeah. I can only imagine that with Keichi being older/bigger/snarkier than pretty much everybody but Mion, he's the only target she can in good conscience try to prank like this.

No one's taken real issue with her antics so far (in-game, at least ) so I've always assumed they saw it all as part of the fun. And agree, can you imagine Satoko pulling this stuff on anyone else?

May 1, 2017

A bit of a short one today.

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 2 Part 2

BGM: Silence

It was a fun-filled, crazy day.

But as soon as the sun began to set, the end of the day really did come quickly.

"Thanks for today, Mion. I had a great time."
"See you tomorrow~!!"

Satoko and Rika-chan went home as well. We parted ways with Mion, and it ended with just Rena and myself enjoying the evening air on our way home.

"Yeah. Lots of fun. Almost feels like a waste to go home now!"
"Ah... Then, well... would you mind taking a little detour... maybe? ...Maybe?"
"A detour? Is it far?"
"It's a bit of a walk... but it won't take long!"

Since we had been walking around all day, I must have seemed a bit tired.
Not feeling like teasing Rena, I quietly nodded.

BGM: Orange-colored Time

There... What looked like the remains of a dilapidated construction site came into view.

Probably illegal dumping. I recalled it being in the newspaper.

"Ufufu! It's been quite a while~ I wonder what's here, I wonder what's here...!"
"When you say it's been a while... you mean the business you had here... was with this garbage pile!?"
"I-It's not garbage! ...To me, it's a pile of treasure..."

Rena had already entered that well-known kyute mode of hers.
So that meant there was something 'kyute' here??

"...Whoa... A new pile. ...I can't wait... I can't wait...!"

She bounded up the unstable slope.
...I'd expect no less from a born and bred country girl.

"Hey, wait, I'm coming ... Wohoahoa...!"

My city-raised self was completely pitiful...

"It's all right! Just stay right there, Keiichi-kun! It won't take long!"

Rena kindly declined my accompaniment.

"...Don't fall! Watch your step!"

Literally bounding up the heap of trash, Rena disappeared over the other side.

I didn't like being left behind, but I was still pretty tired from the whole day so I just ended up waiting.
Without the lively Rena around, the surrounding area quickly fell into silence…

SFX: Higurashi

...The cry of the higurashi gently cooled the air.
Fairly exhausted, I began to feel a little sleepy.

Just then, the sudden noise of scattering pebbles alerted me to somebody's presence. Startled, I turned around.

His body was tanned and fit. But something about him seemed unreliable, and he had a bit of an aloof air about him. ...Well, it didn't seem like he was a bad guy in any case.

"W-Whoa! ...You surprised me!"

Although startled when I turned around, he overplayed his reaction.
That was my line.

"...I'm the one who's surprised here."
"My bad, my bad. I didn't mean to startle you. Are you from Hinamizawa?"

I gathered that he wasn't, from that question.
Unfazed by my suspicious outlook, he introduced himself without my prompting.

I didn't ask you who you were...

"Quite rude to photograph someone without consent, one would think."
"My bad, my bad. I mainly photograph wild birds. They can't refuse, you see. Ah hahaha!"

So, what... You're saying I'm the same as the birds?

"No, well, you see... that image of a young man in the twilight was just picturesque... I apologize for trying to take your picture without asking."

...Adults are pretty slick.
All that annoyance I felt for being startled just flew away as he buttered me up.

I had no intention of hanging around with this guy trying to get cozy with me, except it didn't seem like Rena would be back soon.
But this older guy... Tomitake-san... He didn't mind my cautious responses and continued rambling on by himself.

"Keiichi-kun~! Sorry to keep you waiting~! I'm finished now!!"

Rena popped her head out from one of the lower piles of garbage and waved her hand.

"You have someone with you? ...What would she be doing over there?"

That's what I wanted to know.

"Dunno. Maybe she's checking on that dismembered corpse that was out here long ago."

Tomitake-san looked shaken up by that for a moment.
Uh-oh, I responded like I would if I were talking with Rena and the others.

BGM: Silence

"I'd best leave you two lovebirds alone. Again, my apologies for startling you, 'Keiichi-kun.'"

Tomitake-san chortled suggestively, then disappeared into the twilight.
Missing my chance to retort put me off a bit.

"...Keiichi-kun, are you angry? ...Why, I wonder? ...I wonder?"

It wasn't Rena's fault, so I decided to just brush it off for now.

BGM: Orange-colored Time

"Oh, yes~ so listen! Ah,, you see! There was...! A Colonel Randy doll!♪"
"A Colonel Randy doll!? ...Oh, that thing. Those statues they always have out in front of that fried chicken place... That life-sized dummy?"
"...Yes! Colonel Randy.☆ ...Hao... kyute... I want to take it hooome...☆"

You can imagine what 'Colonel Randy' was before it was changed.

I couldn't tell how she decides what's kyute or not... but, well, she seems to want it.

"It's garbage, right? No one would care if you just take it home, right?"
"It's become the base of another pile. ...I can't dig it out easily... There's no lamp posts over there, so it'll get dark pretty soon..."

"I'll help you out. To repay you for that delicious picnic you prepared today."
"...Hao... Th... Thank you..."

Birds heading home to roost proclaimed that nightfall would soon be upon us.

"Keiichi-kun is going to help.☆ ...I can take Colonel Randy home... hao..."

Rena staggered along as if intoxicated in her dreamy state of mind.

I tried asking her in a way that wouldn't take her out of her cheery state.

"...Hey, Rena. Long ago, did something happen here?"
"Seems like they were building a dam here. I don't know the details, though... hao..."
"Just wondering if you knew about, you know... an accident or something."

BGM: Silence

Her tone was disturbingly frank.
It sounded more like a denial than an answer.

I must have appeared rather dumbstruck. Rena quickly lightened her expression.

"Actually, I didn't live here until a year ago."
"Huh? You transferred here too? I was sure that..."
"So you see, I don't really know much from before that... Sorry.☆"

'Don't really know; don't want to talk about it.' That was the kind of feeling she gave me.

"...It was quite a disturbing incident... It seems they haven't been able to find one of the arms."

If it's just like Tomitake-san said…
Then I had a feeling only the higurashi would know.

- - -

TIP 3: Maebara Manor
TIP 4: Dam site murder (Newspaper Ed.)

limeicebreakers fucked around with this message at 16:09 on Jun 24, 2021

May 1, 2017

The drawn backgrounds are quite lovely, I have to mention - it's clear that a good amount of care was put into making them both recognizable with the old, filtered photographs and match better with the new sprites. Here's two whose equivalents were in the last update:

Jan 10, 2020

That is... a weird reaction. Like an "I don't wanna talk about it" would be fine enough but a flat "I don't know". Like, I guess it makes some sense that she wouldn't know the ins and outs more than him, with her being there just a year. Prolly only knows stuff just from the news. And like, this kind of incident wouldn't be something the town would want to talk about, being a gorey murder and all. But the monotone delivery of "I don't know" puts me off. It's not like Rena.

Edit: What were the places that those photos were taken. Kind of surprised by the diligence of fans in finding these locations.

Apr 30, 2009

Is illegal dumping a huge problem in Japan? I mean, on the one hand, it sure would be easy to ditch your garbage in Back-rear end Prefecture like where the game takes place, but you'd still have to send truck after truck out there to do it.... But getting whoever's doing this to stop may also be a hurdle?

DelilahFlowers posted:

That is... a weird reaction. Like an "I don't wanna talk about it" would be fine enough but a flat "I don't know". Like, I guess it makes some sense that she wouldn't know the ins and outs more than him, with her being there just a year. Prolly only knows stuff just from the news. And like, this kind of incident wouldn't be something the town would want to talk about, being a gorey murder and all. But the monotone delivery of "I don't know" puts me off. It's not like Rena.

Edit: What were the places that those photos were taken. Kind of surprised by the diligence of fans in finding these locations.

This is a place where everybody knows everybody. Talking about how Tenchi-san from two blocks down was chainsaw-murdered in the middle of August or whatever would probably be taboo.

Also, I'm kinda new to the "Tips" part of this. Some of the info in them were just integrated to the storytelling of the manga, but is there a reason they're side notes/stories rather than exposition within the game itself?

May 1, 2017

DelilahFlowers posted:

Edit: What were the places that those photos were taken. Kind of surprised by the diligence of fans in finding these locations.

Hinamizawa is - well, not based off of so much as literally is Shirakawa-go, a heritage site and village Ryukishi went to, took pictures of, and put a blurry filter over. That's what those pictures I posted are. (Don't look the village up unless you want to risk getting spoiled.)

That said, many fans did flock to the village and took a bunch of pictures of landmarks - the waterwheel you can kind of sort of see from Day 1 Part 1, and the Maebara Manor down here as examples!

TKMobile posted:

Also, I'm kinda new to the "Tips" part of this. Some of the info in them were just integrated to the storytelling of the manga, but is there a reason they're side notes/stories rather than exposition within the game itself?

Just seems like information Ryukishi couldn't organically fit into the main story, or thought would come across better in this format. For example, TIP 4 definitely feels like information Keiichi will discover later down the road, but is given to us a bit earlier so that we can chew on the implications.

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 3 Part 1

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

"...I understand her wanting to take home Satoko and Rika-chan. But I can't understand the Colonel Randy! What's so good about that four-eyed geezer!?"
"Probably better to hear it from Rena, don't you think? She'll probably just say, "because it's just so kyute☆" though."
"Does Rena often... go to the construction site to hunt for treasure?"

"But... a girl her age rummaging around in garbage is, well..."
"...If Rena enjoys it, then I think it's fine."
"What were they doing over there? Dam construction?"

It had been bugging me since yesterday, like an itch I couldn't scratch.

"Hahaha! It was cancelled a long time ago."
"...Everyone gathered together and fought against it."

Hearing an ominous word like "fought" come from Rika-chan's mouth startled me.

"That's right! It was unbelievable! They said Hinamizawa would be sunk into the reservoir and we had no say in the matter!"

So, I'm only able to be here because the protest succeeded.

BGM: Hello!

"My deepest apologies, Keiichi-san. It took me a while to powder my nose!"
"Satoko. Wait to use the can until you really have to go. It's a lot easier since it shoots right out."
"Eek...... Eek... How dare you speak that way to a maiden of unparalleled beauty such as myself!?!?!"

Who was she calling a maiden? If Satoko really was a maiden, she wouldn't have reacted like that.

The usual hijinx ensued.

"Rena has no objection!"
"Ohohoho! I wonder if the likes of this peasant is up to the task."
"...Me and Satoko both approve."

The three that Mion had queried voiced their approval.

"A unanimous decision! Congratulations, Keiichi Maebara-kun. I present you the honor of being allowed to take the entrance exam for our club!"
"Start from the beginning! I didn't say I would join! What club is this?"
"What our club does, you see... In order to cope with our complicated society, we perform various activities under different sets of rules. ...Sometimes they are in your favor. And sometimes they work against you...!!"
"...I'm pretty weak... so I'd prefer if you didn't single me out. Let's try to get along."
"You're so naive, Rena! The Law of the Jungle is survival of the fittest!"

...This was starting to sound a bit sketchy... So what kind of club was it!?

"...To sum it up, it's a club where we play games together."

Rika-chan was the only one to answer my question with a pertinent response.

So basically this "club" put Mion's hobby of collecting games to use.
By playing the various games that Mion had hoarded every day.
It seemed that, depending on the day, there were prizes for the winner or a penalty for the person who finished in last place.

"W-What's wrong with just having fun...!? Don't make it sound so crazy."
"The first rule of our society!! Aim only for first place! ...Going at it half-assed just because 'it's a game' is not allowed!"
"Rule number two of our society! For that reason, you are obligated to make all possible efforts!"

...The way Satoko said it, it sounded like she was saying, 'use any means necessary.'

"...Of course, I will do my best, too."
"I'm pretty weak... but I'm trying my best."

I knew what they were trying to say.
In a game where everybody is aiming for the top, it's rather unsportsmanlike to play just for fun.

"All right. Then I, too... will go all-out!!"

With that, I was finally ready for the rite of initiation... My baptism into the club.

"A word of warning, Kei-chan. ...Rena can get pretty nasty."

This initiation looks like it's going to be rough...

...They have the games here at the school? ...Well, it's club equipment, so I guess that's fine.

"Complicated games would put Kei-chan at a disadvantage. So today, we'll play a game that you should be familiar with. How about a standard card game...? ...Like Old Bachelor!?"
"All right! Let's do this!!"
"Can't really get into it unless there's a penalty! This time the loser will be sentenced to having their face drawn on! What do you think!?"
"Whoa, whoa, ...It won't be a permanent marker, right? ...Right...?"

...Permanent… She wants to draw on our faces with permanent marker?

Satoko cheered the idea on.
She didn't even flinch at the thought of such a severe penalty. It seemed like she was raring to go.

...If it's going to be like this, then I can't lose either!

"Then I'll just cut the deck... and start dealing!"

Old Bachelor is pretty much the same as Old Maid.
There's only one difference: there's no joker. In its place, one card is pulled out at the start.
Meaning there will be one card without a match left over at the end.
You don't know which card will end up being the joker. It's a pretty thrilling game!

BGM: Digital Network

Rena took out one card and left it face down on the table.
Everybody stared at the card intently.

"Well, it'll be pretty obvious in the endgame. No way to tell at the start."

But... the rest of them were very serious. They didn't seem as relaxed as I was.
They compared their cards to the one face down, all the while gauging each other's reactions.

It was as if...they could see what the face down card was...
...No, it couldn't be.

"...This deck is pretty worn out. ...No way... Can everyone tell by the scratches what the card on the table is...?"
"Remember the second rule of our society~ Keiichi-san must try his hardest to win as well~!"
"A number of cards are quite unique... Keiichi-kun should be able to remember them pretty quickly."

She said that so matter-of-factly.

...I lashed out angrily, but it was rather obvious I was at a disadvantage.

After all... they'd gone so far as to memorize the wear and tear for each individual card...!
This wasn't a simple game of Old Bachelor. ...If this was a test... then they were playing with the answer sheet in front of them!!

Bring it! I'll take advantage of your carelessness and beat you at your own game...!

"Kekeke! How about I tell you your hand starting from the right? Three, Four, Nine, Jack, Queen."
"...By the way, the bachelor is the Jack of Diamonds."
"I can tell what they are even if you switch them around! I am out!!"

I thought I was prepared... but for it to be this brutal... Just overwhelming...!!!

"D... Demons... You're all demons...! Rena... isn't... a demon, are you...?"
"S-Sorry, Keiichi-kun. ...This is the Three of Hearts, isn't it? ...I'm out!"

Not even a hint of mercy...!! Rena... Even Rika-chan...!!

These club activities weren't to be trifled with. An alumnus of this club would definitely survive in the cruelest of situations...
If our entire class had self-detonating collars strapped to their necks and were dropped into a death match on a deserted island, these guys would probably take to it like fish to water.

"It's a lowest point system. The order itself dictates the points. Whoever has the lowest point total wins!"
"...Since Keiichi finished last, he has five points."

There's already a 5 marked down on my scoreboard...!

"...I-I think it's unfair to Keiichi-kun if we don't use a new deck."
"It's fine, it's fine. Kei-chan is a man after all.”
“ He can turn the tables even if the odds are stacked against him, right!?"
"It's fitting for a lowly peasant to scamper home and soak their pillow in tears, don't you think~??"

A petite hand laid itself on top of my head, which was trembling from uncontainable frustration. ...It was Rika-chan's.

Thanks to Rika-chan's words of encouragement, I was able to calm down.
You need to be calm, especially when you're cornered. ...That's the "power" I could muster during this crisis.

Think clearly, Keiichi Maebara.

...Take your time and look at the cards carefully.

It's just as Rena said, each card has its own distinct markings making them stand out. Memorizing them should be pretty simple.
Think about what you can do in this situation. Try everything in your power to improve your chances of victory.

I covered the uniquely-marked cards with my hands or other cards, arranging them in such a way that they couldn't be seen.

"...The one with the ripped corner should be the Five... And... I'm out."

I couldn't let any of those precious hints slip by me. All information is a weapon.

Then it was my turn.
Satoko fanned out her cards for me.

"You see, I want the Seven. ...Is it this one?"
"...I wonder about that... You won't know unless you take it..."

There was a bit of dismay in her expression. ...Like she doesn't want it taken... That kind of expression...!

"I know!! It's this ooooone!!!!"

Got it! Seven of Spades...!!!
A cheer of "Ooo!" rang out!

"W-Wh-Wh-What is this!? The Seven should be the hardest one of all to tell apart~!?!?!"

It wasn't from memorizing the markings. Those slight changes in their expressions as I was selecting a card were enough!

She was startled by her own misread. Of course everyone else was too...!

"...Whoa, ...It's rare that Mii-chan gets a card wrong."
"N-No... Kei-chan ... Could it be... you...!!"

They told them apart by different "marks." That mark was a "nail scratch."

So... I put... a new one on it!!

"...Keiichi landed a clean hit."

Clap clap clap...

"That's great, Keiichi-kun! That was an incredible match, you know!? You know!?"

Having defeated the forerunner, Mion, my brilliant battle left me ecstatic.
But by total points, it was already set in stone that Mion would win and I would finish last.

I laughed haughtily, selecting the tone of my voice carefully to get on Mion's nerves.

"...Well... I'm going to end up the loser, but I'm satisfied with one-upping Mion at the end.☆ Bwahahahahahaa~...♪"

That should be the proverbial slap in the face to Mion, who was at the top already and ensured victory...!

"Of course I do!"
"Let's have a duel. One chance! If you win, then we'll swap first and last place! ...How about it!? You up for it!?"

She fell for it!
A chance for an upset that wouldn't be possible without goading her into it!!

"One chance, you say? Let me hear the rules."

"The card in my right or the card in my left! If Kei-chan can guess which hand the joker's in, then he wins!"
"When you turned around just now, you didn't pull out the joker, did you!?"
"If you lose, I'll show the card in the other hand. That okay?"

The other three gulped nervously at this unexpected turn of events.

"...All right!! You've got it!!!!"

Mion grasped one card in each hand and thrust them out at me!
First, I needed to inspect them closely...!

The card on the right had no distinguishing marks, I couldn't tell which one it was.

"...Which one, I wonder... Keiichi-kun... Be careful!"
"Yeah, of course! ...This is my chance... for a big comeback!!"

Looking closely at the card on the left, I saw a little wear. It wasn't one I hadn't seen before.

I didn't let that bit from Satoko slip by me.
Mion clucked her tongue.

I didn't recognize the mark on the left card from the small number that I had memorized.
I didn't know what the left card was, but I could tell from Satoko's reaction that the card had already appeared during the game.

Since it had already appeared before, it meant that it definitely wasn't the joker!

"...Ooh. Kei-chan thinks it's the one on the right? Will you choose that one then? Will you?"

...The left card definitely wasn't the joker. If I could trust that theory, then I should've been able to declare that the card to the right was the joker.
Even without Mion's taunting... The one on the right was the most suspicious.

But wasn't it a bit too rash to decide based solely on Satoko's reaction!? More... carefully... ... Ah!

...I remember now...!! That mark... The left card... No doubt about it! The Seven of Clubs!!!

"Hmm... It's the Seven of Clubs, I see..."

I've won! The card on the left was the Seven of Clubs!
So that meant the card on the right was... the joker!!!!

"...Huhuhuh... heheheh... I would expect no less from you."

There was a wave of murmurs amongst the onlookers at my sudden halt, right before I confirmed the right card was the joker.

"?? Huh? What could Keiichi-san possibly be saying?? I mean, the left one is..."
"Ooh... What makes you so certain that the right one isn't the joker, Kei-chan?"

Mion let loose an unexpected question. Everyone else was baffled.

"I don't know what the card on the right could be. But I know that the one on the left is the Seven of Clubs."
"Then! Doesn't that leave the right one as the joker!? One of them has to be the joker, right!?"
"Yeah. ...One of those is the joker, right?"

"Huh? Rika-chan, what do you mean by...?"

Everyone's attention snapped to the discard pile at the same time!
The truth of the matter couldn't be discerned from that sloppy pile...!

"So that means... Mion pocketed one of discarded cards... then aligned it over the left card... and that means—!!!"
"...I see, I get it! This left card... is being disguised as the Seven of Clubs, right!?"

It was the first time since the start of the match that a shadow ran across Mion's expression, and I didn't let that slip by.

Then... with a grand flourish, I declared it loudly!!

It was an intense moment...! That one second felt like an eternity for everyone there.

Breaking that silence, the first one to speak... was Mion.

"...Being the first president of this club, I've been witness to a variety of performances. Kei-chan... yours is... the best. ...The best of the best of the best!"

That was probably the greatest compliment Mion could give. Mion accepted her defeat...dropping the cards from both hands.

...My... comeback victory!!!!!!!

"Huh...? ...Rika-chan is...?"

Rena and Satoko gaped at us... as if they had seen a ghost.

"What is it, Rena? It's not as if I cheated or anything, right?? This was fair and square!"
"...Rika... only pets someone on the console them."

Huh...? What's the meaning of...?
At that moment, Rena let out a small shriek.

"Ke... Keiichi-kun...! ...This is how it was...!?!?"

Everyone froze. ...No, it was just me...

"It was a gamble. If you had just jumped to conclusions like a little brat, then I would have lost."

...It was the answer everyone was certain about...

Mion picked up the card from the losing hand...

"Kei-chan, you know, you should take pride in this loss."

She turned it around...
...That was... the card that proclaimed the victor of this duel.

The card under the Seven of Clubs ... Unbelievable! It was the Two of Diamonds!
I-It was a setup behind the setup...!! If I'd just picked the right one without reading so deeply into it...!

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

As I slumped to my knees, dazed, everybody let out a round of applause for the excellent effort I gave despite my defeat.

"The match is now over!! Today's victor is me! Mion Sonozaki! And our exalted loser is... Keiichi Maebara~!!!"

Everyone made a commotion, applauding cheerfully.
I felt I was bested, but I was so soundly beaten that it unexpectedly felt rather refreshing...


Hey, wait.

All of them knew from the start and still got so excited so earnestly...??

"...Everyone got excited to make it more fun."

... You...

"Now, then, Kei-chan... it's time for your penalty...! Since it's your first day participating, I'll go easy, okay? ...It would be a problem if you refused to come to school!"

The other three members held down my arms and shoulders firmly.

Mion approached, licking her lips...
Her right hand went to pull something out of her pocket.

That's... a felt tip marker!! And it's... a giant permanent one!!!

She took the cap off the marker and brought it slowly up to my face while I was immobilized...!

"N-No... NOoOoOoOoo...oo...oo...!!!"

I let out my death throes…

May 1, 2017

I played the NEO TWEWY demo yesterday, and I...can already tell this LP will be in trouble if I don't write a bunch of backlog in advance. If you have issues with the video speed, formatting, or something in the LP that's been a consistent problem, now is the time to tell me.

Apr 30, 2009

All things considered, Keiichi is being an incredibly good sport when the girls invite him to a card game where they're all cheating like sin and he still sticks around after being trolled into losing.

Mar 30, 2010


For some reason the club game segments are always way more hype than they have any right to be
(it does help that Digital Network is one of the best tracks in the whole first half of the game, tbf)

Jan 10, 2020

Mion is wickedly cunning. Fooling keichi that thoroughly. Dude doesn't stand a chance in any games. Hes gonna have black marker on his face for the rest of his time there.

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 3 Part 2

SFX: Bell
BGM: Orange-colored Time

Probably so she could dig out that kyute Colonel Randy that she wasn't able to take home yesterday.
So today it was just Mion and me walking home together, a rather rare occurrence.

"A mountain of treasure, huh... The guys throwing it away probably never thought in their wildest dreams that Rena would be grateful to them."

'Mountain of treasure,' meaning that dam construction site from before.
...Oh, right. Mion would probably tell me.

That murder by dismemberment that seemed to have happened there...

"Over there, you know, at that dam construction site. ...Did something happen there? Long ago?"
"Something sure did. A grand battle! There were sit-ins and demonstrations!"

"It was our land that was going to be sunk into the dam reservoir. I would have fought as well, probably."
"The government guys were really adamant about it. Acting all big and full of themselves! Since they figured out that they couldn't settle it with money, they did a bunch of nasty stuff! They were nasty guys!"

Mion spoke excitedly, as if the whole thing was happening right in front of her.

"I'm amazed you guys won... You were facing the federal government, right?"
"The mayor and prominent figures in the village all signed petitions. They went to Tokyo and struck deals with legislators... And as a result, the development plan was retracted. It was our complete victory! Ahahahahaha!"

"There wasn't any... violence, was there? Like assaults... or murders?"

She promptly cut me off.
The same as Rena had.
Her words signaled the end of discussion.

Tomitake-san said, 'one arm wasn't found' in the 'incident.'

I thought... that a murder by dismemberment had occurred... but I guess I was wrong.

My curiosity unsated, I sighed dejectedly inside.

"I got it. I won't!"

Mion held back her laughter while stealing glances at my face.
...I wonder what kind of nasty doodles they drew...

drat you, Mion! You shall rue this day...!
If our roles are ever reversed... I'm going to slop it on! All over your face so you won't be able to take it off, even with a scouring pad...!!!

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

The mood I'd come home to was already on edge.
...It's not an uncommon thing in our family.

Whenever Dad can't come up with a good idea, it always ends up like this.
He stomps around the house with his arms crossed.

Mom whispered into my ear.

"Welcome home, Keiichi. ...Dad... he's in a bit of a rut right now, so don't bother him, okay?"
"He can't come up with a new idea?"
"It's because the deadlines are so close together this time. Your dad needs time to recharge or he doesn't work as well."

"...Wouldn't it be easier to get an idea taking a walk outside rather than wandering around the house?"
"The theme of the piece this time is 'in the household.' So it seems your dad wants to use this house as a motif."

...That's quite a bothersome motif.

"...Keiichi!! Pick up your room!! It looks terrible!"
"S-Sorry! I'll clean it up later!"

Ah, come on! Please don't use my room as the motif...!

"Keiichi, there's still some time before dinner. So please go take a walk out back or something."

His bad mood is only temporary.
As soon as he gets an idea, his mood improves and he starts humming.
Until then, it wouldn't be a bad idea to just go take a walk so I don't aggravate him further.

"Well, I guess I will then."

BGM: Silence
SFX: Higurashi

I just needed to kill some time.
I got on my bike and pondered where to go.

I could just go read at the bookstore, but it would take about an hour by bike to get to town.
It would be dark by the time I got back, so I didn't want to go unless I had to.
The roads at night here in Hinamizawa creep me out.

Oh yeah.
Rena was probably still at the mountain of treasure... The dam construction site.

The excavation of Colonel Randy was probably taking her a while.
It wouldn't be so bad to have her owe me one.

"...She might return the favor next time we have club activities."

With a little bit of self-interest in mind, I set off towards the dam construction site.

The only person with information about the incident that both Rena and Mion denied knowing anything about.
If I met him again, I'd like to ask for more details...

...To ask, 'Was there really a dismemberment here in Hinamizawa?'
That was my real intention.

It looked like Colonel Randy was lodged in there pretty firmly.
It didn't look like Rena would be able to excavate him by herself.

Realizing that Tomitake-san wasn't around, I began climbing up the slope unsteadily.

"Hey, Rena. Looks like you're working up a sweat."

“...What brings you to a place like this?"

A place like this, huh? I see. She was aware of it, at least.

"I received a signal for emergency assistance at the accident site! Where is the injured party!?"
"Huh!? Huh!? Accident!? ...Huh!?"
"But there was a report Colonel Randy was buried alive in the trash pile...!"
"Huh? ...O-Oh, that. You scared me... Don't frighten me like that, Keiichi-kun."
"...I was just kidding. I thought you might be struggling by yourself, so I came to help you out."
"...Eh? ...You came... for me...?”

"Just kidding. You're embarrassing me now!"
"...So... huh? ...What part... was the joke? What part was it!?"

I just ignored her bewilderment.

"Okay, now move out of the way. So where is Colonel Randy?"
"...Ah, sorry! ...Can't you see him... in that gap?"
"He's... really buried in there...!!"

According to Rena, it wasn't like this yesterday.
It seems as though another illegal dumper came yesterday, dumped again, and now he's buried like this.

"...You're trying to move this pile all by yourself...!? With those scrawny arms...!?"

There's no way she would be able to do that with her slender arms.

If Rena gave up on this Colonel Randy, she'll probably start devising a plan to steal the one in front of the store...
As Rena's guardian, I won't allow her to sully her hands with crime!

"Out of the way. I'll do it."

The pile was enormous.
Also, the more days we wasted, the more likely another illegal dumping would occur.

If it got buried any deeper, there would be nothing that could be done.

"Keiichi-kun, I'll help too. Let me help."
"You'd just get in the way, so stay back! Hrrrrnnnnnngh!!"

SFX: Swishing and throwing

Pulling out scraps, bending them, tossing them aside.
I quickly became covered in sweat and dust.

Flying objects drew beautiful arcs across the twilight sky, one after another.

Lumber, timber, plywood.

drat iiiit!! No matter how much I threw out, there was still more!!
Even though I could see Colonel Randy right there!!

"...If I was going to do this seriously... I'd need an axe or saw or something...!"
"That's enough, Keiichi-kun...! You're so sweaty. ...You don't... have to try... so hard..."
"I'm just doing it for you, Rena. Don't worry about it."

Rena began sputtering and turned beet red.

Ah, whoops... I meant to say I was trying my best so as to keep her from becoming a criminal...
Oh well.

I sprawled on my back over the grassy slope.

"I'm so sorry... You're... covered in sweat..."

Rena patted her handkerchief against my forehead.
It felt pretty nice.

"U-Uhm, well, wait here a minute, okay? My house is pretty close. I'll bring you some barley tea, okay?"

Leaving the handkerchief on my forehead, Rena took off running.

SFX: Higurashi

The cries of the higurashi gently cooled the air.
After I was certain that Rena was gone, I picked myself up and headed towards what I'd discovered earlier.

BGM: Silence

That was a garbage pile of magazines and newspapers bound up in twine.
Unless I'm mistaken... I believe it... was around here...

They were bound stacks of not-so-reputable tabloids.
They were stacked chronologically, going back quite a few years.

BGM: Silver Mirror

(...It was quite a disturbing incident. ...It seems they haven't been able to find one of the arms, you see.)

If it was just as Tomitake-san said, then undoubtedly there would be mention of the murder.

These are troubled times. There is no end to these sickening incidents.
There's a large part of society drawn in by these incidents, as well.
So it had to be recorded. Somewhere.

I unfastened the packages and opened the rain-soaked pages carefully, looking over the table of contents.

It was hard to search since I didn't know when it happened.
I didn't know who the perpetrator or the victim was, either.
I only knew it had happened here.

I looked up every so often, checking to see if Rena had come back or not.
I wouldn't want her to see me gawking at a dirty magazine, but it wasn't just that.

Both Rena and Mion said they didn't know.
But it had happened, without a doubt.

...As long as Tomitake-san wasn't lying.
Then if both Rena and Mion... "Ah. Yeah, there was." If they had just said that, then I wouldn't have gotten so hung up on it.

An 'incident' that neither Rena nor Mion wished to talk about.
Trying to uncover it after they tried to conceal it out of good intentions...
That made me feel like I was acting against my friends.

BGM: Silence

...Here it is!

The featured article was in the back and it seemed that there was a photograph in the colored pages at the front.

The pages of the featured article were stuck together and weren't easy to open.

Rena could return at any moment.
...Feeling rushed, I gave up and opened the photograph page.

The image was blurry and hard to understand, but I could definitely make out the headlines.

'A Tragic Nightmare at the Hinamizawa Construction Site! Lynching and Murder/Dismemberment!'
‘The victim was the site foreman. He had assaulted his assailants daily with...'
'An explosive backlash from his daily actions? It's a horrible image, to see the site foreman as...'

...It happened... It really did happen...

It seemed the details were on the next page.
...I turned the page without pausing.

...On it was...

'The assailants butchered the victim's body with hatchets and pickaxes,

I could understand just from the headline that it was... just too terrible... an incident.

Normally a lynching is just assault and murder right...?

Dismemberment with hatchets and pickaxes? That wasn't a lynching.
It was a merciless killing to the letter, a brutal murder...
Done by a group of people.

...With hatchets. ...With pickaxes. ...With... a hatchet.

"Eek! S-S-Sorry...!!! Did I startle you!? Did I startle you!?"

SFX: Higurashi

"Keiichi-kun, you see, earlier, yeah, you said it would help if you had an axe, didn't you!? S-So then I... brought an axe for you... from the shed...!!"

Rena fluttered her arms in a panic, continuing to explain and apologize.
It seemed I'd been glaring at her pretty intensely.

"I-I'm sorry... I guess my reaction was a bit overboard."
"N-No... I-I'm sorry as well! ...I'm sorry!"

...Night was drawing close.
I was pretty worn out, and it wouldn't hurt to do the rest tomorrow.

"Doesn't look like we can break that last beam without an axe. You brought it after all... I'll have to borrow it tomorrow. All right?"
"Why do you look so glum? Tomorrow we'll be digging out Colonel Randy, right!?"

We both knew that it was useless to apologize any more than that.

I quenched my thirst with the barley tea Rena brought and wiped off the sweat that had now gone cold. We took the path to head home.

I felt quite guilty about the tabloid wrapped up in my jacket.

- - -

TIP 5: The Hinamizawa Dam Project
TIP 6: Special tabloid report

Apr 30, 2009

Aaaannnd here we go, things start to get creepy.

Mion and Rena have been caught now in an obvious lie, though they couldn't have known Keiichi would have found plot convenient magazines over at the dump or otherwise have been able to follow up on it easily. Makes me wonder if everybody else in town would react with either answer were someone to ask after the murder incident.

I honestly don't know if the illegal dumping is actually a later plot point for any of the chapters/arcs, but given that this small town made a huge stink over, you know, not being destroyed to the point of protesting the larger government and committing a gruesome murder, I can't help but wonder if any of the neighboring towns, prefecture/state politicians, et. all. aren't retaliating in the most petty ways imaginable that they can get away with by slipping waste disposal trucks a few hundred yen to divert garbage to this town.

It's been awhile since I had college courses in Japanese culture, but one thing I seem to recall is that calling attention to, or protesting wrongdoing can be seen as being almost as bad as the wrongdoing itself because it's disruptive. You're simply not supposed to make waves, even if you're being screwed over.

Which, ironically, seems to be what Mion and Rena are (not) doing rather than be honest with Keiichi by pretending this poo poo didn't happen. Given the way they cheat at cards, I shouldn't find it so surprising...

May 1, 2017

Posting today's update extra early, as I'll be gone all day today and most of tomorrow. In fact, today will be a bit of a "double" update, as I'll be posting both Day 4 Part 1 and Part 2. Same will happen for Day 5 this Friday as I couldn't really find a natural point to cut off the first half for both days, making the second part woefully short.

May 1, 2017

I can’t believe I have to put this here of all places, but trigger warning: very mild allusion to sexual assault.

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 4 Part 1

The function of this school as an educational facility is very questionable.

The only things we do together are the warm-ups at the start.
The teacher isn't even there after that. All we do is play together.

All the little kids were gallivanting about.

Well... they certainly are being active. They might be getting plenty of exercise, but...

"...The board of education probably completely forgot about this school."

"We're all together now. What shall we do today for PE!?"
"All right. We have all of our members gathered now."
"Now then, Class Representative, what shall we do for PE today? What shall we do?

...Mion harrumphed and crossed her arms haughtily, surveying the area.

"Explosive power and endurance. There are no friends in the world of sports. Everyone is a rival! The only thing you can trust in is your own body!"
"What the heck do you mean by that? You really read too much manga."

I quipped without missing a beat.

It was quite the adorable choice to make after playing it up so much.

"Just what I was hoping for~!! That dunderhead Keiichi-san shall be the first one to be it!"
"...I won't be beaten."
"I'll try my best too! You can't beat me~!"
"...Why are you guys all so into it...?"
"The third rule of our society!! You must partake in the game, enjoying it without question!!!"
"Then... this counts as a club activity!?"

Everyone smirked at each other.
They all seemed pretty confident. I'm a man.
Physically, I should be able to keep up with any girls my own age.

Regardless, Mion and Satoko looked like they were aiming for victory and Rena was looking at me as if pitying my disadvantage.

"...Fine. Tag, I'm iiiiiiiiin!!!"

My yell echoed across the school grounds.

Anyone who was able to evade being tagged before the bell was a winner.
But we didn't switch who was 'it.' The ones who were tagged by 'it' also became 'it.'
So the number of people who were 'it' could increase exponentially.

The endgame would become a hellish siege.

"They call the version we're playing here zombie tag, you see."
"I see. Anyone infected by a zombie turns into a zombie."
"...Why do you make it sound so scary, I wonder? ...I wonder?"
"As soon as I catch Rena, I'm going to tear out her entrails while she's still alive...!!"
"...G-G-Gr-Gross, Keiichi-kun, that's gross...!"

Rika-chan placed her hand on Rena's head as she panicked.

"Rika, that isn't comforting at all."

Both Mion and I nodded deeply.

"So, the first 'it'... how do you decide who's the zombie? ...With rock-paper-scissors?"
"Well, it is class time after all. Let's decide by answering questions. I'll ask the questions, and the one who isn't able to answer is the zombie!"

I have no idea which grade level they're coming from.

BGM: Sutakorasassa (Helter Skelter)

...I was bewildered by the sudden question.

Mion repeated it.

"So you need to answer! What's 「roku」 in English!?"
"Uhm, it's six!!"
"How about 「kutsushita」!?"
"What's the third-last letter in the alphabet!?"
"...It's X."
"What does 「seibetsu」 mean!?"
"Of course I know what that is~!! It’s…!!”

seibetsu (性別) means ‘sex’ - for what it’s worth, it’s the definition of sex related to gender, but it’s still a pretty awful thing to make a grade schooler say...

Satoko cut herself off before finishing the answer.
...I see. It's quite a lewd question.

"You're an adult, aren't you~? Of course you know what it is, right??"
"...I-I certainly do...! Of course I know...!!"
"Then go ahead and say it. 'That,' you know? 'That.' What does 'that' mean, exactly?"

"Don't take her home. It's a crime."

If I didn't nip it in the bud, she really might have tried to take her home...

"Now then, go ahead and say it, nice and loudly!! What does 'that' mean!?!?"
"I do know...!! I do know!! I do know!!!... ...I- it’s..."
"'That' means a person, thing, idea, action, or event which has been previously indicated in context."
"Huh? ...Ah."

All of us were a bit surprised by Rika-chan's unexpected answer.
I see. Well it certainly is what 'that' means. ...That could have been awkward.

...I wonder what I would have done in Satoko's position.
...I'd probably get ticked off and just blurt out you-know-what at the top of my lungs...
I wouldn't want you as an enemy, Mion Sonozaki!

Thank goodness you were born a girl.
If you were a boy, you'd probably be a perverted rear end in a top hat...

Seems like she's raring to go.

"All I must do is count to 100 correct!?"
"Some jerks skip numbers while counting to 100. So you can start chasing after you solve this problem."
"Whoa, Keiichi-kun... give her a simple one, okay...?"
"1/5th of a cake, 1/6th of a cake, and 1/7th of a cake are all on a plate."
"Oh no!! Th-There are no common denominators?!?!"

Satoko grabbed a stick in a panic and began drawing a cake and fractions on the ground.

"If Satoko, who can eat one cake in 60 seconds, eats all of them... how many cakes are left on the plate?"

Just as I finished giving the word problem, Mion shouted.

BGM: Digital Network

On Mion's signal, everyone but Satoko scattered.

"Heheh... Keiichi-kun, that wasn't a problem at all, was it?"

Satoko had already lost the moment she started working it out.
She's eating it all, so of course there's nothing left on the plate!

Everyone dashed off in a direction they thought was best.
Knowing the lay of the land, they probably headed right to the best spots.
It was obvious I was at a disadvantage.

At a time like this, it would have been more effective to go along with those trained in survival skills... Like Mion, for example.
...The fact that I didn't realize it at the start of the game probably hurt my chances.

Glancing back over the school grounds, I saw Satoko just rising up to start.
She was really, really mad. Mwahaha! ...She got tripped up on such a dumb question.

I had clear sightlines in two directions and would probably have a good response time if any zombies started closing in.
For the time being, I caught my breath and focused on what I was trained to think during club activities yesterday.

...Now think calmly, Keiichi Maebara... If I was 'it', what would I do?

Increasing my numbers would be the shortcut to victory.
...Then going after the weakest player first is the obvious plan of attack.
Meaning... me!

...But of course.
What would be the best method to track me down?

Footprints or smell... or maybe some type of trail.
If I could craftily hide my tracks... then there would be no trail for Satoko to follow!
But I was no detective... Would I even be able to do that kind of thing in an amateur game like this?

"Tomita~ Okamura~! Have you seen Keiichi-san recently!?"

Wh-What the heeeeeck!?!?
Do zombies hunt their prey by asking nicely where they went!?!?

Tomita-kun and Okamura-kun pointed to the location where I was hiding.
After confirming she was headed in this direction, I abandoned my position.

It was becoming even more obvious that I was at a disadvantage from not being familiar with these surroundings...!

If that's how it was going to be... Then to confront this intelligence-gathering zombie, I'd just counter it in a similar vein...!!

I approached some girls playing with a ball.

"...I'm sorry, but could you relay this message? Tell Satoko Houjou that her parents are at the gate, please."
"Message, message, ahahaha~~!! Okay okay!"

I stopped the girls as they turned to run off.

"Wait, don't go yet! Also, take this one to Mion Sonozaki. Tell her the teacher is calling her to the gate."

Mwahaha, I am quite the schemer, if I do say so myself...!
If things went well, then Satoko and Mion would run into each other at the gate!!

It would put me at a disadvantage if more people were 'it,' but this was Mion we were talking about. She'd figure out a way to escape.
...But that was just fine. As long as it bought me more time...!!

Having my fill of playing the conman, I looked for a place to hide.
If you think about it logically, I'd only bought myself a scant amount of time. ...And it might even come back to bite me...!

Once it became apparent I'd started spreading false information through messengers, I could end up being the recipient of one of those 'messages.'
Satoko would probably ask the messengers to help her look for me.

That would mean... there would be more zombies than participants in the game!!

The virus that was brought about by my mischief could cause an epidemic...
All my classmates would transform into zombies... and would only be searching for me!

...This tactic... This tactic might backfire horribly.

While trembling at the thought of the impending Dawn of the Dead, I began searching for a safehouse.

After climbing up to the roof, I held my breath.
It wasn't a bad place to hold out.
Not only did I have good line of sight but, if necessary, I could jump off in three different directions to escape!

It was getting rowdy down there. The lower grades were running around below the shed.

"Maebara-san isn't around. Is he over there?"
"Nope~. Where's Keiichi-san, I wonder? His dad is at the front gate."

That was definitely a lie.
The word, 'gate', the same one I'd used, gave a hint of revenge. So Mion was behind this...!

I was still keeping one step ahead of the game. I felt bad for my underclassmen, but they'd have to search until the school bell.

"Hey, hey, do you know where Keiichi-san is at~? His mom suddenly got really sick~!"
"A message for Maebara-san. They said his house caught fire and he needs to come to the gate!"
"A jumbo jet fell on top of the Maebara residence!"
"The police have come to question him!"

...Anything goes now.

The voice line says that he collects dakimakura - a.k.a. body pillows. Not entirely sure what the subsequent lines are, but you can make up your own.


"Is it true that he's going around every night stealing panties?"

Who were they talking about!?

"I heard he wears panties on his head and smells them and stuff."

No way I would do thaaat!!

"I heard that Class Representative Mion was a victim too~!"


This was your doing, Mionnnnnnn!!!

C-Calm down, Keiichi Maebara!! This is Mion's battle tactic to flush me out! Just hold on!!
If my underclassmen thought about it logically, they would know it's all nonsense!

...But small kids don't think about things logically.
To them, all of those things were true, so they all chuckled together while looking for me.

Heheheheh... Bwahahahaha...! I win, Mion! It's my victory! Bwahahahaha...!!

"Did you hear? I heard that the new transfer student Maebara-san is a really perverted person! Kyahahahaha!!"

The cost of beating Mion had too high a price...
Ah! ...Oh. Someone passed below.
That's... Rena and Rika-chan.

"...Haah haah. Rika-chan, you're still okay!?"

"...Haah haah. ...It seems Mii-chan is 'it,' as well..."

Mion!? It couldn't be... She'd become 'it' because of my little strategy!?

This confirmed that Mion was behind this relentless message war. ...Then... This wasn't good...

"We finally got away from Mii-chan, but Satoko-chan... She's..."
"...Satoko is searching around the pipes... so we should be safe here for a while."

Upon hearing that, I breathed a sigh of relief.
While Rena was slumped on the ground breathing heavily, Rika-chan had started creeping up to her...

Rika-chan doesn't normally make noise when she walks... but it's strange. ...It couldn't be...

"...Don't worry."

I had never seen Rika-chan smile so creepily before.

"Wh-Why are you coming closer? Why!? Rika-chan isn't... a zombie, is she!?"
"...Don't be scared... I'll be sure to... eat you, gently."
"N-N-N-No way!? ...Rika-chan, no... Eeeek...!!"

Rena was pressed against the wall and Rika-chan lurched forward with both arms out, just like a zombie...
Rena quaked with her back pushed up against the wall.

It was quite a surreal scene of horror...
Like one of those zombie breakout videos you'd see.

"K-Keiichi-kun! Save meeee!!!"

Zombie Rika-chan turned 180 degrees, Exorcist-style, and glared at me!

Mion popped out from behind the cinderblock wall around the garbage dump, also seeing where I was.

My position was only advantageous when there was one zombie. Being surrounded was not as good!!!

I could tell that Satoko was rushing my way.
It seemed that Rika-chan had let Rena escape, and now she was baring her fangs in my direction.

"Uuurgh~... oooough~..."
"...Come~ on~ down~... Keiiiiiii-chaAaaAan..."

The three zombies circled the shed, moaning curses.

"Y... You guys are scary!!! Too scary!!!"
"I wonder how Keiichi-san's guts taste!! Keichi-saAaAn...!"
"...Keiichi... I want you to become one of us."
"S-S-S-Someone please save meeeee!!!!!"

An apology. Sorry. Leaving me for dead? ...R-Renaaaa!!!!!

I leapt off the roof out of fear, slipping as I landed.
Satoko and Rika jumped on top of me and, after straddling me... they tickled me, all over my body.

"Gwa ha ha ha!!! Stop! Stop!! Gwaaaah!!!!!"

"...drat you, Renaaa...!! How dare you... leave me for deaaaad!!"

The feelings of a zombie. I understood how vengeful ghosts with lingering regrets felt.

"...It's sad, so sad. ...But Keiichi is one of us now."

It felt like I'd been bitten by a vampire and was now one of their thralls.
It was a strange feeling, being welcomed over to the side that had pursued me.

"...Zombie tag is quite profound!"
"This is no time to postulate!! We must capture Rena!!!"
"The principal is walking down the hall. ...The bell will ring soon!!"

To devour Rena... I, who had been turned into a demon of vengeance, needed to use any means necessary.

Using the same trick that had tightened the noose around my own neck, I used my classmates to further my evil designs.
I gathered up the lower grades from around the school grounds.

"Everyone listen! Rena's in big trouble! All of you, please look for Rena!"
"...It's a bigger problem than a jumbo jet crashing into your family's house?"

...Oh, yeah, it had turned into that, hadn't it.
Mion whistled nonchalantly, trying to avoid the blame.

"Yeah! It's not even in the same league as jumbo jets! What fell on Rena's house...Was a space colony!!"

"Yeah, it's a really big disaster! Everything in a 100 kilometer radius was obliterated! But that's only the prelude to this tragic tale!! This is the beginning... the start of a war for independence by the Propagandapality of Zeon!!"

The lower grades were dumbfounded, their eyes like saucers at the grand turn of events...

"Wh... What will happen...? Will the Terran Federation lose?"
"If things go on like this, they will!! Only one person can defeat the Red Comet!!”
”That person is Rena Ryuugu!!"

The lower grade students all gulped...!
It seemed I'd made them fully understand that the fight for Earth was lost without Rena.

"Now scatter, comrades!! We must find Rena!!!"

My comrades in the lower grades let out an enthusiastic cheer and dashed off in various directions around the school grounds.

...Hm? There was still one person who hadn't gone.

"But... I thought even the Terran Federation's Impulse Wave Diffusal Cannon... didn't work on the Comet Empire..."
"You're close. That's the white variety of those comets. The reason it didn't work was because they didn't know the weak point. Of course, Rena knows their weak point all too well!"
"...Ryuugu-san is amazing..."

Satisfied with that, she also rushed off to look for Rena.
...It does seem... like there are some promising up-and-comers amongst the youngsters.

It didn't really feel like she was complimenting me, but whatever.

"...Really, though... How exceptional, Keiichi-san...!! This looks quite promising!!"
"If we have this many... we can win!! With this many, we will win!!"
"...I was thinking that Keiichi would have been a better nominee for the initial zombie."

Rika-chan's words stung a bit, but I'd let it slide for now...

As a result of everyone's thorough search, Rena was finally cornered in the back of the sports equipment shed.

It probably was scary being chased around by the entire student body.
All the lower grades closed in on Rena, saying she was the only one who could save the world.

"What are you all saying!? I can't control a mech!"
"Renaaa, how could you leave me for deeaad?!! Are you ready to pay for it...!?!?"
"I-I-I'm sorry about that, Keiichi-kun ...b-b-but I didn't have a choice...!!"
"Do not resist... Let yourself be devoured~...!!!"
"...Let's all... be together."

Rena had stumbled onto a mat, trembling, with tears in her eyes. I closed in.
Associating this situation with a similar, particularly immoral one made my pulse quicken just a little bit.


...Satoko and Rika-chan were both wiggling their fingers. They probably wanted to tickle Rena.
Rena, wanting no part of what she knew was about to happen, went stiff with fear.

"...I woOoOnder~!?!?"
"...Uu... ah... hao..."
"...Nowww then... Are you reaAaAady!?"
"...Okay... so long as it's Keiichi-kun..."

The face she made as she resigned herself to her fate made my heart skip a beat.

"I-I believe... that Keiichi-kun won't... do horrible things to me..."

...Argh... Body... won't move... That had to be some sort of anti-zombie mantra.
The second my sense of reason chimed in, the beast inside me died instantly.

SFX: Bell

There was the bell! Game over.

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

Rena pranced around merrily as if a curse had been broken.

"...Heh, so daylight broke in the nick of time and the evil zombie army disintegrated into dust... And so, the heroine survived... Well, that's how it goes in the movies, anyway..."
"What are you postulating about!? This is all because Keiichi-san was dawdling about!"
"...Punishment is required."

"Eeeeeek! F-Forgive me! Eeeeeeek!"
"Then the award for surviving goes to Rena Ryuugu and Mion Sonozaki. Yaay!"
"Huh...? Mii-chan wasn't a zombie...?"
"Only pretended to be one. They say you need to deceive your allies before you can deceive the enemy, you know~?"
"...Uroooogh! Mion~ you little!"
"Yeah, yeah. Hurry up and change, all right~? Don't be late for the next class~!"
"Let go of me, Satoko! Rika-chan!! GwaaAaaAaa...ah...!!!!"

Having had my fill of being terrified to my very core by club activities, I solemnly swore I would have Mion crying for mercy next time.

...Let’s pretend all of this never happened.

limeicebreakers fucked around with this message at 18:21 on Jul 5, 2021

May 1, 2017

VIDEO: Onikakushi-hen | Day 4 Part 2

SFX: Bell

BGM: Afternoon in Paris

I had agreed to meet with Rena to dig Colonel Randy out of that mountain of treasure from before.

"Mom, do we have work gloves? I need towels, too."
"Aren't they in the shed out back? The towels are by the sink."

All right. Now I was all ready. ...Looking at me, my mom stared quizzically.

"What's going on, Keiichi? Where are you headed to in that getup...?"

If they come to dump again illegally, he'll be buried completely and it'll be impossible to dig him out, and if that happens... Rena will undoubtedly go after the Colonel Randy in front of the fried chicken place in town.

"A bit of excavating. So my classmate doesn't become a criminal."
"...Well, don't be out too late."

- - -

BGM: Orange-colored Time
SFX: River

Probably taking pictures of wild birds again with that precious camera of his.
...It couldn't be that all he took pictures of was handsome young men in the twilight...??

"Hey, long time no see. Keiichi-kun, right?"
"My due regards."

I expelled the rude imagery from my head and greeted him without inciting anything.

"By the way... Was that girl an acquaintance of yours...?"

He was probably talking about Rena. Guessing by the way Tomitake-san was shaken up...

"Wh-What was that all about!? She was walking around with a bared hatchet! And she was laughing with a huge smile across her face!!"

That was Rena, without a doubt.
I expect that she was grinning in anticipation of taking Colonel Randy home.

Well, it certainly would be quite the spectacle for a girl of her age to be roaming around with an axe.
Tomitake-san's reaction was the epitome of logical.

"It's fine, it's fine. Just leave her be. She's just wandering around looking for more victims."

Tomitake-san was alarmed by my crass response.
Well, it's probably hard for normal people to understand Rena. I'll just toss out a bunch of baloney.

"If you were to be killed out here, she'd probably be the one to do it. ...Try not to snoop too much around here."

With a condescending smirk, I started off in the direction of the dam site where Rena was waiting.

"Keiichi-kun, is that meant to be a warning for an outsider like me?"

...Uhhh, I didn't mean that seriously. I did try to make it obvious, but...

"Hah hah hah! I'll try my best to be careful."

Leaving only those words behind, Tomitake-san turned around and left.
I didn't really mean to call him an outsider... I wasn't really implying anything when I said that...
It was only meant to be a joke, but it felt like I'd said something bad...

- - -

I understood what Tomitake-san was trying to say.
Somebody gallivanting about while waving a hatchet around certainly would seem dangerous.
"You should cover the axe with something when you have it in public. It's not good to carry it around out in the open like that!"
"Seems that I lost it... so there isn't one."

Thinking about it, there really was no need to try to keep up appearances.
Everyone in Hinamizawa probably already knew about Rena's eccentricities.

She's probably the only person who could carry a hatchet around Hinamizawa and not be considered suspicious...

"Ah well! Let's finish this today! If we bust through this last beam, we should be able to pull him out. I've got everything I need. Leave it to me!"

I took the axe from Rena and made my way up the unstable slope.

"All right, get back. ...I'll finish this in one gooooo!"

"...How is it? Think you can do it? If it looks too hard, you don't have to strain yourself..."
"If I can break through this, then we'll be good! I have plenty of power today! I can do it!"

...But this adversary was more formidable than I expected.

First of all, I'd never used a hatchet before.
During a school camping trip, I had wanted to split the wood, but I lost at rock paper scissors and wasn't able to do it.

Because the spot where I was standing was so unstable, I soon became tired. I decided to take a break.

"I'm fine! I'm almost there. I'll make sure Rena can give Colonel Randy a good-night kiss tonight."
"...Yeah. ...Thanks. ...Giving Colonel Randy... a good night kiss... hao..."
"Come to think of it... Rena, you're a transfer student too, right? Where did you live before?"

I asked her nonchalantly while drinking tea.
I had thought she'd lived here all her life.

"Hm? In Kanto. It wasn't as rural as it is out here, but it was still out in the countryside.
"Why did you move here? To Hinamizawa, I mean. You know, this is pretty far out in the boonies."
"Why did you move here? Does it have to do with your dad's work?"
"Dad said he wanted to move out to a studio. He'd been saying for a while that somewhere deep in the mountains like this would be perfect."

"He paints scenery. Seems that twice a year he opens a gallery for the stuff he does."

When he started, his works were displayed in an industry plaza in Tokyo, but now they're exhibited in the Makuhari Messe.
He's determined to have them displayed in the Waterfront International Exhibition Hall.

"That's amazing! Let me see them next time!"

...I was too embarrassed to tell her that I didn't really know what kind of pictures my father painted...
Well, eventually I would. I picked myself up while giving some vague answers.

"But... you transferred in the middle of the semester, didn't you? Wasn't that a hassle?"
"Not really. ...I was getting bored of the city anyway."

I was trying to get answers from Rena, but I ended up being the one giving out all the answers.
With a bit of a wry smile on my face, I grabbed the handle of the hatchet and headed back to worksite [sic].

BGM: Silence
SFX: Higurashi

The higurashi began their song, as if to tell me to stop and head home for the day.
Just a bit more. Today... I would end it!

When I first started, I chatted with Rena as I worked, but now I didn't have that luxury.

"Hooyah! You little...! drat it!"

I had swung the axe countless times today, just like this. Contact. Shards of wood splintered.

"The assailants butchered the victim's body with hatchets and pickaxes."

I recalled that passage from the tabloid.
One hit with something like this would smash someone's head in...
Axes and pickaxes are not meant to be swung at people, ever.

The weight I put behind the hatchet not only split through the beam, but smashed the statue's shoulder as well.

The arm came off with a sickening sound.

It clattered down noisily, stopping at my feet.


"S-Sorry... The figure's arm... I broke it off..."
"...Oh, that's all? I thought Keiichi-kun hurt himself."

I probably had a really guilty look on my face. Rena said that without a hint of dismay as she smiled.

"We just need to tape it back on and put a coat over him. Nobody will even notice."
"...I see. Let's pull him out then. Can you get that side?"

I laughed dryly at how pathetic I was for considering the arm flopping down and rolling to my feet to be such a bad omen.

Both Rena and Mion knew how sickening that incident was.
So they pretended that they didn't know.
I had looked it up all by myself.
...and shamefully enough, I was scared.

"...Whoa! We did it! We did it, Keiichi-kun! Yaaay!"

The right time to give three cheers! That moment of two days of work bearing fruit.
He who was brought to Hinamizawa covered in filth to meet his end. Instead, we were able to welcome him back.
You're pretty lucky, Colonel Randy. Your new master is a pretty decent person.

"...Waa... Colonel Randy... He really is kyute!"

It didn't matter that he was dirty. Rena nuzzled him cheerfully with her cheek.

I was dead tired, but seeing Rena's happy face made it all worth it.

"I'll help you carry it back. It'd be bad if it gets dark.
"...Yeah. Right! I really want to thank you, Keiichi-kun! I won't forget this!"
"Think real hard about what you'll do to repay me, okay?"

For now, I'd just hold back my evil cackle.

We were ready to take it to her house, but we couldn't go like this.
We rolled the statue up in the tarp and lifted him.

I prayed that we wouldn't run into Tomitake-san.
If he saw us here and took a picture... we'll need to get rid of him. (lol)

"...Is that meant to be a warning for an outsider like me?"

Something struck me as odd about the words Tomitake-san, unable to grasp my sense of humor, had left behind.

- - -

TIP 7: What kind of name is “Rena”?

Jan 10, 2020

That tag scene was seriously funny. The gundam bit had me laughing my rear end off. Really lifted the levity up from the previous part.
The end of the tabloid bit gave me a good chuckle too.

So yeah, they are clearly lying about it. Rena's delivery of "I don't know" and Mion being a townie herself gave that away to me. The murder of a foreman of a federal dam project would be big news even if hinamizawa was in nowhere. This town of 1200 has 5 brutal murderers (or at least one mastermind brutal murderer and 4 accomplices). That no doubt had an effect on the town. I can see Keichi going "I know you know" with Rena and Mion, maybe get more info that the tabloids and news media didn't pick up.

Apr 30, 2009

I've been thinking more about retaliation against Hinamizawa with this last update.

We already know somebody's dumping garbage on a regular basis there, but Keiichi's opening narration, questioning the education value of the school, could be another clue: Nobody loving cares about this place. The Japanese zeitgeist concerning putting your kids into the best schools/education is extremely hardcore, 80s or no 80s, so I'm frankly stunned, and would have expected, like, a Board of Education to poo poo a gold brick too if they cared or knew about it. This laissez faire attitude towards their school, basically letting all the kids go free range is about as shocking as the gruesome murder everybody's pretending didn't happen.

Apr 8, 2008

I joined the #RXT REVOLUTION.

he knows...

I'm currently reading the third arc of Higurashi and clicked this thread to refresh myself on the start of Onikakushi. The first post detailing version differences confuses the hell out of me however, as I'm playing the Steam versions and contrary to the OP they feature the filtered photograph backgrounds (which is a style I love), without even a config option for the drawn ones. Shocked to hear the music in Steam ver is considered bad as I've found it to enhance any type of situation and rather listenable in it own right, from the madcap brain overdrive piano jam of the club games to the somewhat wistful afternoon walks to some genuinely unnerving pieces accompanying spooky stuff and more (can't exactly look for links for risk of spoiling myself, sadly). Is there some kind of phantom Steam version that had these things all different?

Also having played with the original sprites the difference in expressiveness truly is something, it feels like the PS3 ones are different, more reserved characters entirely.


Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.

Correct, the Steam version is basically the original VN, art and full-page text presentation and all (if you switch to the OG character art anyway), *except* for the audio.

If you have bought the Steam version years ago and never updated it, it did originally come with the original audio, but it was patched in April of 2019 due to (presumably) copyright shenanigans.

Admiral H. Curtiss fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Jul 2, 2021

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