|Original VN Release Date||December 30, 2004|
|Translated VN Release Date(s)|
|Anime Air Date(s)||July 18-August 22, 2006|
|Manga Release Date(s)||Japanese
|Light Novel Release Date(s)|
|Live Action Release Date||November 25-December 2, 2016 (TV)|
Meakashi-hen (目明し編, Eye Opening Chapter), is the first answer arc in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, released on December 30, 2004, serving as the answer arc to Watanagashi-hen. It follows Himatsubushi-hen and precedes Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Told from Sonozaki Shion's point of view, it follows her life and her psychotic behavior caused by the loss of the person she loves, Hōjō Satoshi.
This arc confirms that Satoshi did kill his aunt, and that he saved and withdrew money to buy Satoko a teddy bear. He was not planning on running away when he disappeared. Shion and Mion's estrangement, such as why they go to different schools, is also explained.
Sonozaki Shion escapes from her private school to return to Hinamizawa. During her time there, she meets Satoshi, who protected her from a group of thugs. She also begins borrowing her twin sister Sonozaki Mion's identity, eventually taking over her life as her paranoia increases. This arc reveals that because Mion and Shion switched occasionally, and that their own names were reversed, Shion (the twin we know as Mion) was given the demon tattoo instead of Mion (the twin we know as Shion).
The twin in Watanagashi-hen who tortures everyone is actually Shion dressed as Mion. She imprisons Mion in the cellar the day after the Watanagashi Festival which means that all occurrences of "Mion" afterwards in Watanagashi-hen is Shion acting as her. Shion switches places with Mion one final time and tells her to go down the well and apologize to Satoshi, only to tase her at the edge of the well and causing her to fall to her death. Shion is later rescued by police, appearing as if she was kept prisoner, which leads everyone to believe Mion was the true culprit who fell down the well and broke her neck.
While tormented by her consciousness which, Shion continues her vendetta and stabs Keiichi in the stomach declaring that she succeeded in killing all she targeted for the responsibility of Satoshi’s disappearance as she laughs maniacally and asks Satoshi to praise her. When she tries to sneak into her apartment through her window to avoid police surveillance, she slips and falls. As she falls, she sees Satoshi’s smiling face in the moon and tearfully apologizes to him before falling to her death.
Recovering in the hospital, Keiichi hallucinates "Mion" torturing him and dies from an apparent heart attack.
- Episode One: First Love
- Episode Two: Settlement
- Episode Three: Demon's Blood
- Episode Four: Retaliation
- Episode Five: Cold Hands
- Episode Six: Conviction
Endings (Console Adaptation)
In 2007, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri (ひぐらしのなく頃に祭, When the Cicadas Cry Festival) included an adaptation of Meakashi-hen, which was adapted for all console releases henceforth. This version of Meakashi-hen follows a non-linear storyline. Depending on the choice the player makes during game play, they can achieve different endings. The player must make the correct choice in order to reach the true ending, which corresponds to the one in the sound novel and the manga. In addition to the true ending, the player may also encounter the following alternate ending:
This ending is available if the player (Shion) "notices Keiichi's gaze", instead of "turning around to look at him", after she has captured Keiichi and is preparing to torture him towards the end of the arc.
In this ending, Keiichi realizes that the perpetrator behind the crimes is Shion disguised as Mion. When confronted, Shion is deeply disturbed and has a mental breakdown, only to claw at her throat and later die from the blood loss. The police arrive and rescue the survivors who explain that the real culprit is Shion. As the investigation resumes, Mion who is traumatized receives treatment and rehabilitation. Keiichi's parents decide to move back to Tokyo. He tells Rena and Mion about this and is disappointed by Mion's dejected reaction. Deciding to make some good memories and to cheer Mion up, Keiichi suggests they go on a short trip to a big city. Rena backs out and makes an exaggerated statement about how Keiichi and Mion should go "alone." Keiichi is embarrassed, thinking this may be a date, but he asks Mion to go with him regardless.
Mion later agrees, and the two have a fun-filled day at a big city together. After going all out at a game arcade, they stop at a park to rest and decide to have dinner before they leave. Mion excuses herself to go to the bathroom before they do so, and as Keiichi is considering their future after he moves to Tokyo, he is approached by an unknown visitor. Mion returns, only to find Keiichi unconscious and severely injured and it is implied that Keiichi may have died.
Disappearances and Deaths
All deaths and disappearances are listed only as they are told in Meakashi-hen. Spoilers are only for the individual arc, not the overall series.
- Hōjō Satoshi: went missing from the village on June 24, 1982.
- Hōjō Tamae: murdered June 20, 1982 on the night of the Watanagashi Festival by Satoshi.
- Tomitake Jirō: died of blood loss after clawing out his own throat June 19, 1983, on the night of the Watanagashi.
- Takano Miyo: hung in the mountains of Gifu on June 19, 1983. Her corpse was burned up in an oil drum.
- Sonozaki Oryō: died from shock by Shion's stun gun. Shion went on to whip the corpse causing severe lacerations on the scalp and head before disposing of the body down the well.
- Furude Rika: committed suicide on June 21, 1983. She repeatedly stabbed herself in the neck with a kitchen knife, then tore her own throat open with her bare hands. In the anime, she stabs herself in the side of her neck and bleeds to death).
- Kimiyoshi Kiichirō: shocked by Shion on June 20, 1983. He was left to hang barely on his toes from a restraining device tied around his neck, where he eventually died from strangulation on June 22, 1983.
- Hōjō Satoko: captured by Shion on June 21, 1983. She was tied to a cross and stabbed repeatedly with a dagger. Died of hemorrhagic shock on June 22, 1983. In the anime, Shion stabbed her multiple times in the arms to torture her, before finally stabbing her in the forehead.
- Sonozaki Mion: shocked by Shion as she was climbing down the well's ladder, she loses her grip and falls and fractures her skull on June 22, 1983. In the anime, Shion tases her as she stands at the edge of the well. She is rescued and survives in the alternative console arc ending.
- Maebara Keiichi: stabbed in the stomach by Shion (disguised as Mion) on June 30, 1983. Sustained heavy injuries, but recovered steadily after surgery. He suddenly died in the hospital from acute heart failure on July 3, 1983. The anime cuts just as he sees Shion, appearing as her "Mion" from the Sonozaki torture chamber, start to torture him. In the alternative console arc ending, he is spared by Shion but later killed by an unknown person.
- Sonozaki Shion: slipped off the side of her apartment and fell onto a room's roof below and suffered a concussion. She regained consciousness and committed suicide by falling once more, smashing her head open on June 30, 1983. In the anime, her shirt becomes caught on an "invisible nail" and she falls directly to her death. In the alternative console arc ending, she dies of blood loss after clawing out her own throat.
- Kasai Tatsuyoshi: died in 2002 from liver cancer (according to the TIPS).
- During this arc, a sound effect of a bell is played multiple times, to signal to the player that something important is about to happen. Shion describes this sound as "alarm bells" that she heard whenever she was in danger ever since she was a child. This sounds is used in similar fashion in the remaining Answer Arcs, despite them not being from Shion's perspective.
The little girl cried when she lost her marbles in the desert.
The little girl cried when she thought she might've lost them in the sea rather than the desert.
The little girl cried when she thought she might've lost them in the mountains than the sea.
|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|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu||Oniakashi-hen • Wataakashi-hen|