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Synopsis

First Half

Ōishi Questions Rika
Ōishi's car is parked outside of the school. He apologizes to Rika, who sits behind him in his car, for startling her on the way to school. He pointedly asks if she can describe the people she overheard planning the murders of Tomitake Jirō and Takano Miyo. She claims that she did not see them long enough. Ōishi sighs and responds, "You are the Head of the Furude Shrine so I will be frank with what I say." He mentions a few "strange points" about "this year's incidents. The time of death of Takano does not match up with known facts, and since her dental records could prove fraudulent, he does not rule out the possibility that she is still alive.

Stunned, Rika asks if he means that Takano is behind the murders. Ōishi replies that this murder was carefully planned to fit the The Series of Mysterious Deaths known as Oyashiro-sama's Curse. He admits, though, that this is just his theory.

Irie Kyōsuke reacts in shock and demands to know why Takano would need to kill Jirō. Sitting in his office with him and Tetsurō Okonogi present, Rika confesses that she does not know, and Ōishi does not have any actual evidence for his theory. She asks Okonogi. He responds that his superiors are investigating, and he cannot say anything "irresponsible" about it. He does concede that the two were members of the Irie Clinic, they cannot rule out the culprit works with them. Irie notes that "Tokyo" suspects even himself, then asks out loud how he would benefit from killing them. Okonogi reassures Rika that his superiors have ordered him to tighten security around her. Rika responds with a quiet, "Mii."

Rika and Hanyu Lament
Hanyū sits with Rika and laments that they failed, again, to prevent people from dying. Rika admits that one thing is different: she never considered the possibility that Takano is behind everything. Hanyū laments that she cannot tell who their friends and enemies are, and they do not have enough time to find out. Rika vows not to give up.  Satoko meekly suggests that she should also call in sick. Rika replies to her at the entrance of their home that she just feels "a bit feverish," and reassures her that she will call the Clinic if she feels worse, "Nipaa~!" Inside, she concludes that if she will be attacked it will happen that day or the next and refuses to involve Satoko.
Hanyū Cheers Up Rika

"Thanks . . . Hanyū . . . let me celebrate with some kimchi.

Hanyū appears next to her. She sadly tries to encourage her that even if she dies, she will soon be reborn into a new Hinamizawa. Rika asks her if does not want to see what the world is like after June, 1983. Hanyū protests that it is not that she does not; she regrets seeing Rika become obsessed with it only to be betrayed every time. The phone ringing interrupts their conversation. Rika learns from Okonogi that Irie is the culprit. He explains that Takano and Jirō discovered that he planned to embezzle large funds. He warns that Irie may try to use her as a bargaining chip. He asks her not to leave her house. After she hangs up, Rika tells Hanyū she cannot believe it is Irie. She thinks for a moment as she looks at the phone. Ōishi's voice is heard as the scene shifts to outside the Okinomiya Police Station. Inside, he responds to Rika's warning that someone is planning to kill her. He promises to immediately send over an officer. After he returns from Gifu, he will come over as well.
Rika Plans
After she hangs up, she explains to Hanyū that since she does not know whom to trust, she might as well involve the police as well, though she suspects that they will not be enough. 

Keiichi interrups and surprises both Hanyū and Rika. She turns to see him with Satoko, Rena, Mion, and Shion. Satoko asks what her call was about. Before Rika can answer, Rena insists to know why she believes she will be killed, and Mion demands to know what she did. Rika finally answers by asksing Keiichi if he still believes Fate can be broken. When he insists that he does, she decides to tell them about the Hinamizawa Syndrome. She describes it as a "special, regional disease," discovered during World War II. In a historical flashback, soldiers from Hinamizawa began to act strangely. She describes the development of extreme paranoia where the sufferer imagines all around him is an enemy "or just plain evil." They develop visual and auditory hallucinations. In the end, they claw at their lymph nodes, especially in the neck, and die. The work of the physician who studied the disease has been passed down ever since. Research demonstrates that everyone in Hinamizawa is infected. So long as they remain in the region, they never develop the symptoms. Over a flashback of Keiichi's opening the door to Rena, then staring at a needle in an ohagi, his note, and Satoshi's name on his bat.

The trigger for the disease, explains Rika, is leaving Hinamizawa over a montage of Keiichi, then Shion, then Rena's flashbacks, ending with Keiichi dropping his axe. At that point, victims become more susceptible to their paranoia and hallucinations. She continues over a further flashback montage which includes her suicide in front of Shion: "There are rare cases where the symptoms settle down"; however, even if the person returns to Hinamizawa, they usually will not recover. A cure has yet to have been found. Historically, the people of Hinamizawa recognized the Syndrome but believed it was a curse rather than a disease. She explains that the legend of demons (鬼・oni) who arise from the Onigafuchi Swamp attack people may refer to an incident where a large number of sufferers began attacking and killing one another.
Religion 101

Religion 101

The folklore of angering Oyashiro-sama cursing those who anger him or the terrible torture meted out upon those who disobeys customs may have just been a way to prevent the development and spread of the disease. Fear of Oyashiro-sama, "prevents feuds and disputes from happening," such that no one becomes suspicious of others or feel stressed. Keiichi asks the obvious question: "But why has this horrible desease not been publicized?" Rika responds that since no cure yet exists, it is to prevent panic. She also fears that some wish to use it as a biological weapon, and the Irie Clinic continues this research. It is really known as the "Irie Institution" secretly devoted to developing a biological weapon. As she describes this, Irie drinks some tea in the presence of Okonogi who advises him to relax and reminds Irie that he is now the head of the Irie Institution: "why don't you enjoy it?"
Irie the Saint
Irie refuses to be "happy over a friend's death." Irie reminds him that he was hired and brought in by the military to research a cure for the Hinamizawa Syndrome, "nothing more." Okonogi patiently listens as Irie lauds the "Late" Takano for her passion in identifying the disease. He feels that she must somehow regret dying halfway to achieving her goal. Okonogi swallows a bit, then suggests she would be happy if she could hear what he said.

Second Half

Two police officers stand outside Rika's home she shares with Satoko. Inside, Keiichi and Mion are surprised to learn that the Irie Clinic is actually a biological weapons research center. Rika insists that Irie and Takano were deployed as biological weapons researchers. When asked who deployed them, Rika darkly replies, "Tokyo". She explains that it is a secret organization which sponsors the Irie Institution. In a flash to a government building where the malevolent faces of malevolent men fade in and out, Rika explains that they are politicians and financial experts from the "war generation," which includes military personnel and bureaucrats. She admits that she does not know much about them, but she does know that within they experience struggles for power. They want control of a biological weapon which would go against the UN Biological Weapons Convention Treaty. Nevertheless, she insists, Irie is more passionate about researching a cure to the disease. Due to his research, patients with "Level 5" can have their symptoms suppressed by an injection. As for "Tokyo," Rika feels they created the Irie Institution through the government, but few actually know of its existence. Over a view of a uniformed Okonogi surrounded by three "Men in Grey," Rika explains that the special forces unit known as the Yamainu is stationed to guard the Institution.

Rika pauses, looks down, and suspects no one believes her. Keiichi states that he will believe her. Mion and Shion quickly agree. Rena agrees because, she haltingly describes, she vaguely remembers her behavior at the school when she was away from Hinamizawa.
Satoko Shots
Satoko realizes what Irie's development of injections means to her. She begins to panic as she flashes back to her parents falling from the observation point at the Furude Shrine into the river below. Rika hugs her and tells her that she does not have to remember. Keiichi returns the discussion to Rika's impending murder. Rika explains that another trigger for the disease is her death since her presence holds back the disease. It is leaving her side that really triggers the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
Rika Good to be the Queen

"It's Good to be the Queen!"

However, there has always been at least one person in the Furude House who acts as a "Queen Carrier" that emits "some sort of chemical pheromone" that suppresses the outbreak of the disease in people nearby. Rika suspects that for this reason the people of Hinamizawa instinctively dote on the women of the Furude Family. 

Keiichi asks if everyone in Hinamizawa is infected, including themselves, what happens if Rika dies. Rika turns very serious and responds in her Adult Voice that the disease will be triggered in every citizen: "And, just as in the legends of the Oni who appeared from the Onigafuchi marsh, a horrible killing spree will occur." She does not know why anyone would want this. 

At the Irie Clinic, Irie apologizes to Okonogi for keeping him. Okonogi responds that it is nothing compared to the time he kidnapped the Cabinet Minister's son. Irie hopes they will catch the one responsible since the clinic is scheduled to be closed, and he needs to finish the cure. A Yamainu enters the room and whispers to Okonogi. Another stands at the door. Irie asks what is wrong, and Okonogi responds that he has received a message from Takano: "The plan will go ahead as scheduled tonight." He explains that he has been on standby for that very reason. Irie asks what he is saying.

Back at Rika's home, Mion suspect that Takano is the culprit. Keiichi agrees with her based on the discrepancy regarding her time of death, and he further feels they cannot trust Okonogi's phone call. Shion cannot believe the culprit is Irie. He seems more of the type to get used, which causes Mion to giggle. While others share in their laughter, Rika stares surprised. Keiichi asks her what is wrong, and she responds that she is surprised that they would believe her so readily.
Hanyū Reminds Rika of Truth
As they begin to plan their response, Rika addresses Hanyū as she pours drinks: "Don't you think my friends are terrific?" Hanyū appears and reminds her that she has not told her friends everything: "about the other worlds where Keiichi, Rena, and Shion became sick." Rika sadly adds she has also not explained that because Hanyū felt sorry for not being able to do anything, she would follow them repeating, "I'm sorry." Hanyū gives an embarrassed "Auu~!" Rika rationalizes that their past lives are irrelevant to them in this world. 

She receives a call from Ōishi. He announces that he is on his way to her home from Gifu. Mion feels they can trust him and the police. Rika confesses that she feels safer with them than even with the police. Ōishi drives with Kumagai and passes a white van stopped at a generator. One of the Yamainu is cutting the lock on the gate. They stop, and another Yamainu contacts his superior to warn that probable police have stop while he was disconnecting the phone lines from Hinamizawa. He asks for permission to shoot. When Ōishi and Kumagai approach and question him, the Yamainu sniper kills both of them. 

Teaser

Chibi Hanyū announces another episode of Dark Rika-Sama's Advice Corner. Today's question comes from
Teaser
"Hinamizawa resident Okonogi-san." 
  • "I have been sexually harassed by my female boss recently. What should I do?"

Chibi Rika in her Adult Voice responds:

  • "First, you should open your heart. Then your female boss's feelings will turn into love for you."

Chibi Hanyu "Auu~"s: "I don't really get what she's trying to say, but she sure is confident about it!" Chibi Rika giggles. After she introduces the next episode, Chibi Hanyū invites people to send in more questions at any time.

Characters

In order of appearance

Referbacks and Forwards

  • In Strong Will, Rika lies to Ōishi to explain how she knows Jirō and Takano will be murdered.
  • Despite seeing the evidence of asking for help work with Rena and Satoko, Rika still does not trust her friends with the complete truth about what happens to her.
  • Keiichi's flashback comes from Onikakushi-hen. Further come from the respective Question Arcs of the respective characters.
  • Hinamizawa Syndrome: as explained in its own article, there will appear contradictory details since the reader and viewer receive information from characters who do not know all of the details, and the author appears content to leave things to the imagination. Thus the competing theories of its origin. Nevertheless, Rika's description explains:
    • Paranoia, Fear and Other Emotions as Triggers: Keiichi and Satoshi
    • Once Developed it Rarely Subsides: Shion is able to "quiet the demon" until Keiichi's treatment of her sister rekindles her anger over the loss of Satoshi. Similarly, Rena's symptoms subside until stress from her father rekindles it. Satoko has to take daily injections.
    • The Ritual Rules: not only serve to prevent the spread, they prevent the development of stress and paranoia since people believe if they follow them, and everyone around them follows them, they are safe from the "Curse."
  • Why the Saiguden contains torture implements.
  • Takano is the actual head of the Irie Institution.
  • Satoko imagines herself outside of the car when her parents die.
  • Why Not Come Down to Cleveland, Rika?! as joked about for decades, one central problem of any horror story is why the characters remain in the "Scary Place." Thus, the obvious question is why she does not flee Hinamizawa. Put simply, she believes if she leaves she will trigger the disastrous outbreak of Hinamizawa Syndrome in everyone, including her friends.
    • The reason she does not walk into the Okinomiya Police Station and play mahjong with Ōishi for a few days is because she hates mahjong, of course. . . .
  • Irie states that the Institute will be closed down.
  • "I'm Sorry" (ごめんなさい・gomennasai): recall a note that the Sound Novel of Onikakushi-hen opens with Keiichi hearing "a girl" saying "I'm sorry," while he is killing Mion and Rena. He, Rena, Shion, and Satoshi all hear her steps. Satoko will repeat, "I'm sorry!" when Teppei prevents her from receiving her injections, and she reacts to Keiichi as if he is an abuser.
  • In Pre-Established Harmony of Yakusamashi-hen, Kumagai alone is killed by the sniper on his way to Rika's home.

Trivia

  • Ōishi claims they identified Takano based on her dental records which suggests "her" body has been burned to the point that there exists no other way to identify it. Higurashi never explains exactly how they determined such a specific time of death on a body so burned.
  • There are two chains of lymph nodes located laterally in the neck. They are not in the center which is where Rena, Satoshi, and Another--Arg! Still Spoilers There be!--start scratching.
  • UN Biological Weapons Convention

Cultural References

Memorable Moments

  • Rika reveals almost all of the truth to her friends.
  • Hanyū is the one walking behind people, apologizing, "Auu~!"

Quotes

  • "If I am to be attacked, it will be either today or tomorrow." - Rika
    Teaser
  • "Hearing it all so suddenly . . . it's only natural if you don't believe me." - Rika
  • "Even if there is a day you have to remember, now is not that time." - Rika to Satoko
  • "He's more of the type that gets used." - Shion on Irie
    • "That's terrible, Shii-chan!" - Mion

Gallery

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