PrologueIn the Okinomiya Police Station, as Komiyama intently takes notes as he listens on the phone, Ōishi laughs and confesses to Shion that he was quite sure that Satoshi was the murderer of his aunt. Shion asks him who the real suspect is, admitting that she heard he is mentally troubled, but Ōishi continues to smile and laugh as he reveals that the person was already dead when the prefecture police called them. Still amused, Ōishi explains that they are not sure if he committed suicide or became deranged while being held at the prefecture police department. Shion stares back in shock, and Ōishi becomes more serious. He tells her that in Hinamizawa it is being said that he was "spirited away by the demon." He smiles as he draws a cigarette, then asks her closely if the villagers could be referring to Oyashiro-sama's curse. "It's ridiculous!" says Shion.
First HalfSitting and doing research in the Shishibone Municipal Library, Shion notes to herself that the first year involved the Construction Manager's dismemberment. The second involved the accident with Satoshi's parents. The third year involved the sudden death of the Furude Shrine Priest. She concludes that all were connected to the Sonozaki: an "enemy," an "uncooperative," and a "traitor." She explains Satoshi's aunt from the fourth year as a traitor's relative. Angry, she starts to scribble "Oyashiro-sama's Curse" under her notes, when another voice reads it behind her. Shion is startled to find Takano Miyo now leaning over to read her notes. Takano giggles and apologizes. Takano then asks if she is Shion as she reads Shion's notes. Shion snatches her notes, turns from Takano, then asks if she is her sister's friend. She responds that she supposes she is and introduces herself. She asks Shion to call her "Miyo," while addressing Shion as "Shion-chan." A semi-chibi Shion remains guarded, as the still smiling Miyo asks if she is angry. She then turns away and with overwrought wistfullness, states that it is "too bad," since she thought the two would get along well. The still semi-chibi Shion turns to protest that her notes are merely her "wild imaginings." Still looking away and with a more serious voice, Takano muses about the serial deaths called "Oyashiro-sama's Curse." She repeats the formula: every year one person dies due to the Curse while another disappears as a "sacrifice." Surprised, Shion repeats, "O-one dies due to the curse, and another. . . ." She asks Takano what she means, and Takano pleasantly replies that the number of sacrifices must match the number of deaths. Miyo explains that she has been researching the "unknown history," the "dark history," of Hinamizawa.
Outside the library, Takano explains that before the Meiji Era, Hinamizawa was called "Onigafuchi." She assumes Shion knows some of the "dark history," specifically "the history of human-eating demons." Shion does know of them. Takano then assumes that Shion knows about the stories of half-demons who descend the mountain to kidnap humans to feast upon. This Shion does not know. Takano explains that the half-demons strapped down their victims, sliced them open like fish, then dragged out their intestines which they drifted down the river. Shion understands the reference. Takano produces her own set of research notebooks which she offers to show Shion "as a treat." Takano explains that the "sacrifice" is the drowning of the victim in the Onigafuchi Swamp. "A bottomless swamp," she adds as she brings her face close to Shion's. Shion asks her if she believe the previous year's victims are in the swamp as she inwardly specifies "Satoshi." Takano merely invites her to look at her notes. Mion accept the two notebooks.Her bell rings in her apartment, and she asks Kasai who it is, but Mion quickly identifies herself. Shion hurriedly invites her inside. Mion, dressed in her school uniform, sits at Shion's table with a cup of tea before her. They appear awkward with neither looking at the other. Mion compliments the apartment, but Shion does not answer. Finally, Mion looks at her sister and asks her how she is doing. Looking down, Shion claims her new school is "boring" as she suspected. Mion looks sad and both lower their heads. Mion finally asks Shion if her nails have healed. Shion clicks her thumb and index finger nails as she looks at the scabbed beds of her remaining fingers. She pleasantly announces that the wounds have closed, "but they're still crooked." She muses that she cannot really show them to anyone
Mion apologizes. Without looking up, Shion calmly replies that she does not need to apologize, since Mion simply enacted the duties of the head of the family. She claims that she does not hold a grudge, and Mion apologizes again. Shion clicks her index fingernail one more time, then smiles and declares that that "forgave everything." Mion asks if Shion will really forgive her, "including that thing with Satoshi?" She admits that she knew Shion had a crush on Satoshi; Shion airily replies that she did confess her love in front of "all those people." Mion tries to reassure her that their grandmother, Sonozaki Oryō, really thinks Shion showed responsibility. Silence returns again for a moment. Shion looks down and away and states that it would bother her if Oryō did not given how much pain she suffered.Mion then quietly wonders where Satoshi went. Shion looks shocked. She narrates that "right then, the demon awakened within me." She becomes angry. Sheepishly, Mion apologizes and tries to explain that she really does not know anything about Satoshi. Shion quietly accuses Mion of lying. She insists that even their grandmother does not know what happened to him. Shion repeatedly screams, "You're lying!" 嘘だ! (うそだ・usoda). Shion tips over the table and throws Mion to the floor. As she grabs Mion by her throat, she accuses Mion of having Satoshi "spirited away by the demon." Shion adds that Mion did this with the Sonozaki family. She demands that Mion give her back Satoshi. Mion tries to grab her arm with her left hand. To Shion's shock, she notices that Mion is also missing the same fingernails. She relaxes her grip, and Mion breaths.
Tears flowing, Mion explains that "it's too heartbreaking" for only Shion to have her nails torn off. She ask why only Shion when they are twins. She reveals that she yelled at Oryō to leave Shion and Satoshi alone. Oryō replied that if Shion showed responsibility, she would forgive her. Mion reveals that, because of her contrition, Shion and Satoshi could have been together "normally," "but Satoshi disappeared." She begs Shion to believe her that she does not know why Satoshi disappeared.Shion craddles Mion's face to her own, apologizes, and asks if she was in pain. Mion claims that Shion was in more pain. As she holds her sobbing sister, Shion narrates that she told the demon inside of her that she believed her. She than sealed away her feelings for Satoshi deep in her heart.
A windchime rings.
Shion narrates that a year passed by smoothly after the day she confronted her sister, "Until that day . . ."Shopping, Shion accidentally raps her knuckes against the protruding seat bar of some motorcycles. She cries in pain then demands to know who would park there. She kicks one of the bikes which generates the familiar "domino" effect. She wonders if it is "déjà vu" just as the same Motorcycle Gang confronts her. Once again, she is taken to the alley where the gang harranges her. She recalls that the situation is the same as before as she reaches for her taser. "That's enough!" she hears. A boy is a shadow in the sunlight. Shion at first sees Satoshi standing determined. She whispers, "Satoshi-kun?" as the figure reveals himself to be a smiling Maebara Keiichi. The gang quickly surround him. Keiichi tries to laugh that violence is "never good," but the member with his hair swastika shaved hair takes a swing at him from behind. Keiichi turns, causing him to trip over Keiichi's foot. Two children from school, Okamura Suguru and Tomita Daiki, arrive with an older teen. Okamura announces that he has "called everyone." The Motorcycle Gang quickly flees. Keiichi walks up to Shion and happily informs her that he made sure "not to see your teary face, so cheer up, okay?" As the higurashi cry, Shion looks up at him.
Second HalfMion and Shion sit in Shion's apartment enjoying some cake and tea after school. Shion playfully accuses Mion of having a crush on Keiichi. While Mion still has her fork in her mouth, Shion demands that she identify Keiichi's charm "in one word!" Mion tries to laugh, but then in full sparkly-eyed anime girl, bubbles that it is how funny he is. She then excitedly starts telling story about a Club meeting at a toy store as Shion patiently listens. She narrates that she learned his name from Mion. She learned that he is a grade below her, that he just moved to Hinamizawa, "and Sis likes him."
The windchime rings again.Mion becomes sad as she looks down and describes how Keiichi was given a doll. Shion asks her if she wants it, and Mion continues that Keiichi gave it to Rena since he felt it "didn't suit me." She starts to cry as she says she wants to start over with Keiichi "from the beginning" so that he will think of her as a girl. Shion looks kindly upon her sister as she blubbers over this incident. She tells Mion that she is being "too serious," and she can make up for it. Excited, Shion declares that Mion does not need to act differently: "be normal, and try to attract him naturally." Further, she must let Rena know of her interest in Keiichi. Comically scared, Mion bites on her napkin as she remarks that "Rena definitely is cute!" Shion scolds her not to slack off "if there's a rival." She then directly tells her that "tears have the power to attract guys, but they can't keep them!"
"Keep smiling" she advises as her chibiness is surrounded in anime lights and sparkles, "and cry at certain points!" Returning to reality, Shion notes that this sounds like a "typical supergirly style." She then offers to test it with him as well. Comically stunned, Mion stammeringly tells her not to do that. Shion turns chibi sly and asks if Mion wants to try to "race" to see which of them wins his heart first. Chibi Mion explodes in denial. As Chibi Mion rants and threatens, normal Shion relaxes, smiles, and thinks that she is glad for Mion: "I envy you for being able to worry about a guy you like." She then turns sad and says outloud, "I don't have a person like that."
Mion stops her rant at this. Shion shakes her head and brushes off her confession. Still, Shion looks down at the table with tears welling in her eyes as she concludes: "Even if they have a good time together, no one will blame them. I won't be envious. I won't be jealous." She looks out her window, as the higurashi cry, and notes that it will be one year since Satoshi disappeared, and the Watanagashi Festival will come again.She narrates that on the day Keiichi thought she was Mion, they ran in to Mion. Rena, Satoko, and Rika watch as Shion and Mion engage in a human tug-o-war with Keiichi as the rope: "And that's how this mess started." As the two chibi struggle, Satoko blames Keiichi for being "perverted"; Rika reminds her that he is a boy. Rena tries to tell Mion and Shion that Keiichi is troubled by the situation. Chibi Shion asks Mion if she wishes to keep playing until Keiichi tears. Chibi Mion retorts that it will end if she stops pulling: "Go back to Okinomiya already!" Shion suddenly cheerfully agrees and lets go, which sends Keiichi and Mion sprawling. Naturally, Keiichi ends up on top of Mion. Shion addresses Keiichi, which elicits a chibi growl from Mion, to tell him that Mion will probably bite her if she keeps teasing her. Keiichi rises to thank Shion for the day, as an angry Chibi Mion rises behind him. Shion playfully insists that "that was nothing," as Mion steams. Keiichi then wishes her goodbye by patting her on her head. This causes Shion to suddenly flees while pretending to be bubbily and happy. She wishes Mion well, who chibi demands that Shion never return. She then chibi commands that Rena stand guard, Satoko set traps, and Rika throw salt.
Meanwhile, Shion runs away. Some distance away, she stops at a telephone pole and inwardly apologizes to Satoshi. She insists that she has not forgotten him. She recalls Keiichi patting her on the head, and violently shakes her head denying that the pat was "warm," and it did not make her happy. Falling to the ground crying, she calls to Satoshi. She recalls his image which retreats from her. A truck drives by, and Shion rises, rubs her eyes, and continues walking.
She stops and hears an extra footstep.
She turns, looks, and asks, "Satoshi-kun?" She smiles and concludes it was him.
Shion walks up the steps of the Furude Shrine to the site of the festival on the night of the Watanagashi Festival. She looks around at the stalls as she walks and bumps into Tomitake Jirō. As she bows to apologize, she hears Takano's voice. She is with Jirō who introduces himself to Shion. Takano playfully notes that Shion has not been to the library since their last conversation since she wishes to discuss many more things; Shion smiles and responds that she will go back to the library if she "feels like it."They are interrupted by the sound of a drum which heralds Rika's dance. Shion excitedly asks them if they are going to watch; Takano slyly confesses that she and Jirō were thinking of entering the Saiguden. Shion reminds them that it is locked and forbidden. Takano replies that Jirō "is good at many things." They leave as Takano invites Shion to "sneak by later," "since this chance will never come again." Shion watches and says, "Saiguden . . . lot's of torture tools." She has a sudden flashback to the interior of the Sonozaki bunker's torture area. She curiously concludes that she might discover how Satoshi "was spirited away." She looks behind her where a crowd has gathered above at the actual shrine to watch Rika's dance. Keiichi is in the back futily jumping up and down trying to see. She feels it scary to go alone, but if Keiichi accompanies her, she will not only feel safe, "Even if we're caught, Mion will forgive us for sure!"
Keiichi walks with her and asks if the place to gain a better view of Rika's dance is much further. Shion playfully asks "who said that?" as they come to view the Saiguden where Takano and Jirō are already at the entrance. Jirō quickly picks the large padlock on the door. Shion greats him, giving both him and Takano a shock. Shion impishly waves.Takano opens the doors to the Saiguden. She enters with Shion and Keiichi while Jirō waits outside to keep watch. Takano triumphantly raises her lantern which illuminates a large statue of Oyashiro-sama. Keiichi and Shion shiver in surprise while Takano identifies the statue. Shion becomes very angry as she stares at the statue. She repeats to herself that she will never forgive Oyashiro-sama if he "erased" Satoshi.
They gaze at a rack, a morning star, and an iron maiden as in the scene in Watanagashi-hen. To herself, Shion considers that if Takano is correct, the brutal customs have been continued. She approaches Takano and Keiichi who are examing the torture table. When she stops walking, she hears a very loud extra step. She looks back then hears extra small steps running in the direction of Keiichi and Takano. To herself she asks "Satoshi-kun?!" as she looks around trying to follow the steps. She inwardly asks as she faces the noise, "You are Satoshi-kun, aren't you?!" In response, she hears a very rhythmic and loud stamping.She quickly concludes that this is not Satoshi and runs to Takano and Keiichi. She grabs Keiichi around his waist as she buried her head into his back. Keiichi asks her what is going wrong, and then laughingly asks her if she got scared. Takano suggests that Shion is afraid that this is the night Oyashiro-sama's curse occurs. As the loud stamping continues, Shion wonders if Takano and Keiichi cannot hear it.
Jirō enters to announce that Rika's dance is nearly finished. They turn to him, with Shion briefly embarrassed to be holding on to Keiichi.
At the Sonozaki residence, Mion pours sake for Sonozaki Oryō who seems quite happy. A large number of people enjoy eating and drinking. Shion sits in a corner flushed. Later, Mion, Oryō, and Akane stand outside to say goodbye to their guests as they leave. Shion lays in her bed. She stirs, looks up, then rises. She notices that the bed next to her is empty with the covers moved to suggest the occupant left. As a clock ticks at 3:03 A.M., Shion walks the hallway. She passes a room with the lights streaming through the shōji. She hears Oryō from within state, "it can't be helped. That youngster was too nosy." Mion replies that they cannot help it, "because she angered Oyashiro-sama."Inside, Oryō notes that the police are investigating, "but are you sure about that?" Mion replies, "It's probably Takano-san." Shion fearfully repeats, "angered Oyashiro-sama," "the police are investigating," and "It's probably Takano-san." Shion concludes that Oyashiro-sama's curse happened for the fifth time. She wonders why Mion and Oryō claim Takano angered Oyashiro-sama. As her legs shake, she quickly concludes they know who snuck into the Saiguden. She starts to walk away but hears a nearby phone ring. She then hears the floor boards behind her creak as a shadow appears. As she slowly turns, she recalls Rena standing with her at the bus stop during the rain and asking her if she "ever experienced it? The footsteps follow you . . . and it stands over your pillow and looks down at you at night. Someone is observing you from far away. Someone is always following." She recalls that Rena explained that Satoshi experiences this "which foreshadows Oyashiro-sama's curse."
Asking herself, "Then what's that?" as the phone still rings, Shion slowly turns. She fears that since she entered the Saiguden, the thing that has been stalking her all along. . . .Her thought breaks as she imagines a hand reaching out to grab her. She falls to her knees to find it is Mion who looks down on her severely. The phone continues to ring as Shion looks at her sister in fear.
The Adult Voice of Rika reveals that:
- "What you seek is slight comfort. What you can see is a gallery of hatred. Where you fell is beyond the darkness.
after introducing the next episode, over the flash of Shion suddenly screaming at Mion, she asks:
- "Can you believe it?"
In order of appearance
- Ōishi Kuraudo
- Sonozaki Shion
- Hōjō Satoshi (mentioned)
- Hōjō Tamae (mentioned)
- Crazed Drug Addict (mentioned)
- Construction Manager (mentioned)
- Mr. and Mrs. Hōjō (mentioned)
- Mr. Furude (mentioned)
- Takano Miyo
- Kasai Tatsuyoshi (mentioned)
- Sonozaki Mion
- Motorcycle Gang
- Maebara Keiichi
- Okamura Suguru
- Tomita Daiki
- Inhabitant from Okinomiya (unnamed)
- Hōjō Satoko
- Furude Rika
- Ryūgū Rena
- Villagers from Hinamizawa
- Tomitake Jirō
- Sonozaki Oryō
- Sonozaki Akane
Referbacks and Forwards
- Oryō did claim that the Hōjō have a tainted bloodline in Settlement.
- Takano's interest in Shion's notebook, and Shion's protection of her notebook.
- Takano gave a similar explanation of "Watanagashi" in the Second Episode of Watanagashi-hen.
- Cotton versus Bowels: "Cotton" is 綿 (わた・wata) and "bowels" is 腸 (わた・wata).
- Onikakushi: "spirited away by the demon," of course.
- Shion blames Keiichi for "reawakening" her "demon" in Watanagashi-hen.
- Mion not knowing what happened to Satoshi, and, more importantly, her claiming that Oryō does not know either.
- 嘘だ! (うそだ・usoda): Rena is not the only one to scream this.
- Major Spoiler: What would cause the windchime to ring?
- Shion, dressed as Mion, met Satoshi in the process of objecting in the strongest possible terms to the parking choices of the Motorcycle Gang.
- In this arc, Keiichi first meets Shion when she is dressed as Shion, rather than in her uniform at Angel Mort.
- How Mion really felt when Keiichi gave the doll to Rena in Watanagashi-hen.
- Takano states that this festival is the "last chance" to sneak into the Saiguden.
- A human directly challenges Oyashiro-sama.
- Shion is able to hear more than just the extra-step that Keiichi heard in Onikakushi-hen and Rena has reported in more than one arc.
- Major Spoiler: regarding the "stamping."
- This explains why Ōishi knew Keiichi, Shion, and Takano entered the Saiguden in Watanagashi-hen.
- Shion does not appear to realize that the serial murders also involve a disappearance.
- Shion does recognize the pun of "cotton" and "bowels."
- Déjà vu: which is not to be confused with the opposite:
vujá dèjamais vu .
- Shion does say, "déjà vu."
- Meiji Era: Traditionally, the Japanese date years to the reign name of the respective Emperor. While less prevalent now, Higurashi retains that dating for its time by referencing the year of the Shōwa Era of Hirohito.
- Swastika or Manji: Western audiences will understandably interpret the shape one way. It, in both directions, has a long history before it was perverted by Nazi Germany. While the gang member is a thug; there is no evidence that this represents some reference to the Nazis. Nor does describing him as a "thug" suggest that he strangles people as a sacrifice to Kali.
- The implication is that Shion and Mion have not spoken to one another, let alone met, since Shion's punishment.
- Shion Calling Mion "Mion": Shion always calls Mion "Big Sister" (お姉・onee) or a more formal "Elder Sister," (お姉さん・oneesan) even when calling her a fool. In this episode, she begins to address her as simply "Mion."
- Mion and Keiichi: Mion pretty much confesses that she has a crush on Keiichi. The depth of which players, readers, and viewers will debate until the bovines return to their domiciles; nevertheless, Keiichi does not "pick up" on this, even later in this arc. Previously in Onikakushi-hen, he makes Mion cry. In Watanagashi-hen, he remains oblivious to why Mion is embarrassed and avoiding him, even when Rena advises him to leave her alone. It will not be until a much later arc that he receives a more direct indication, and what comes next is left to speculation. Though, his persistent cluelessness to her feelings inspired manga writers and artists to have some fun in endpages of volumes.
- Stamping . . . in the Saiguden . . . stamping.
- "That's too bad, I thought we'd get along well." - Takano to Shion
- "The wounds have closed." - Shion to Mion
- "No need to apologize. You just enacted the next head's duties." - Shion to Mion
- "Give him back! Give me back my Satoshi-kun!" - Shion to Mion
- "It's too heartbreaking to only have your nails torn off." - Mion to Shion
- "I yelled at Granny to leave you and Satoshi alone." - Mion to Shion
- "I made sure not to see your teary face, so cheer up, okay?." - Keiichi to Shion
- "And since Kei-chan helped fire things up, he was given a doll." - Mion to Shion
- "Are you saying you wanted it?" - Shion to Mion
- "But Kei-chan didn't give it to me. He said it didn't suit me. Crying He gave it to Rena. I want to start over! I want to start over from the day we met . . . and make sure he thinks of me as a girl!" - Mion
- "Sis, tears have the power to attract guys, but they can't keep them!" - Shion
- "I am sick of how perverted Keiichi-san is." - Satoko
- "You can't help it since he's a boy." - Rika
- "Jirō-san is good at many things." - Takano
- "Oyashiro-sama! If you're the one who erased Satoshi-kun, I'll never forgive you!" - Shion
- "You are Satoshi-kun, aren't you?!" - Shion