|Original VN Release Date||August 13, 2004|
|Translated VN Release Date(s)|
|Anime Air Date(s)||July 4-11, 2006|
|Manga Release Date(s)||Japanese
|Light Novel Release Date(s)||February 2008|
Himatsubushi-hen (暇潰し編, Time Wasting Chapter), is the fourth and last question arc in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, released on August 13, 2004. It is shorter than the previous arcs, with only two chapters, and takes place five years before them. It is preceded by Tatarigoroshi-hen and is followed by Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, beginning with Meakashi-hen. Himatsubushi-hen revolves around the experiences of Akasaka Mamoru, an investigator from the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo. It also continues to reveal a more mature and moving side of Furude Rika.
The story begins much differently than any of the previous arcs, because Maebara Keiichi is not the main character. Instead, the story begins five years earlier than any of the other arcs, and its protagonist is Akasaka Mamoru, a detective from Tōkyō. He is sent to Hinamizawa, to rescue Inukai Toshiki, the grandson of a government official, who is taken hostage. While waiting for Makino, he meets a younger Furude Rika at the bus stop and notes how cute she is. From there, Rika shows him around the village. Thanks to Hondaya, who support him in his search, he meets Ōishi Kuraudo, a detective from Okinomiya, who will aid him in saving Toshiki. Meanwhile, Rika takes Akasaka to the Furude Shrine and the two spark a conversation. Within this conversation, Rika threatens Akasaka to leave Hinamizawa, or bad things will happen. Akasaka shrugs it off, and assumes Rika is just kidding.
A few days later, Ōishi and Akasaka rescue Toshiki from his kidnappers, though his politician grandfather has already given into the kidnappers' demands and ended the dam construction, making Toshiki's recovery useless. His work complete, Akasaka decides to spend his last few days in Hinamizawa. With Rika as his companion, she takes him to the Watanagashi Festival though it is merely a get-together for the locals to drink. While at the Festival, Rika reveals to Akasaka the future of Hinamizawa, predicting that the festival will grow into a wonderful one, but an unfortunate accident will necessitate his return home. She also predicts the deaths and disappearances of several construction workers, Hōjō Satoko's parents, her own parents, and several others—even herself. Rika then tells Akasaka her wish: to break free of the cycle, and have everything back to normal. Akasaka leaves the festival, feeling rather confused.
Later, he tries to make contact with his wife, Yukie, who is expectant with their first child. However, it seems that his connections to the outside world have been eerily cut off. It is later revealed that Rika was guilty of this, and had cut the phone wires, making it impossible for him to contact anyone. Soon, Akasaka receives a call. Yukie had died in the hospital due to fatally falling down a flight of stairs. With this, Akasaka returns to Tōkyō.
The story picks up five years later, when Akasaka, along with his child and Ōishi, return to Hinamizawa after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. In the five-year time span, the deaths and disappearances that Rika predicted, including her own, all came true. Akasaka decides to fulfill Rika's wish, and along with Ōishi, they create a book called: "Higurashi: When They Cry", possibly detailing the tragedy and sorrow that Rika mentioned to Akasaka.
Disappearances and Deaths
All deaths and disappearances are listed only as they are told in Himatsubushi-hen. Spoilers are only for the individual arc, not the overall series.
- Kumagai Katsuya: went missing with his vehicle one day after the Watanagashi Festival June 1983 during an investigation.
- Akasaka Yukie: fell down the stairs of a hospital on June 1978, while coming down from the roof.
- Everyone Rika predicted would die: on the Watanagashi Festival from June 1979 to June 1982.
- Tomitake Jirō: died on the day of the Watanagashi Festival June 1983 by clawing out his throat.
- Takano Miyo: found burned to death in the mountains of Gifu on the night of the Watanagashi Festival June 1983.
- Irie Kyōsuke: committed suicide one day after the Watanagashi Festival June 1983 by overdosing on sleeping pills.
- Furude Rika: drugged into a coma, and disembowelled alive in front of Furude Shrine some time before GHD in June 1983.
- The entirety of Hinamizawa: after they were wiped out during GHD.
- In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri, each arc has a chronological chapter number (Taraimawashi-hen is "Chapter 1", Onikakushi-hen is "Chapter 2", etc). Himatsubushi-hen's number is "Chapter 0", which implies that this world's kakera is actually the oldest one in the series.
So who is the culprit, you ask?
So who is the culprit, you ask?
So who is the culprit?
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni||Onikakushi-hen • Watanagashi-hen • Tatarigoroshi-hen • Himatsubushi-hen|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai||Yakusamashi-hen • Minagoroshi-hen • Matsuribayashi-hen|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei||Hajisarashi-hen • Saikoroshi-hen • Hirukowashi-hen|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira||Batsukoishi-hen • Ayakashisenshi-hen • Musubienishi-hen • Yumeutsushi-hen|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku||Higurashi Outbreak|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gō||Onidamashi-hen • Watadamashi-hen • Tataridamashi-hen • Nekodamashi-hen • Satokowashi-hen|