|Alternate Name||Sonozaki Shion, 園崎 詩音|
Old Man) by herself
|Birthday||July 10, 1968|
|Verbal Tics||Calling herself Oji-san|
Sonozaki Mion (園崎 魅音) is one of the main characters in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, Sonozaki Shion's twin sister, and the heir of the Sonozaki house. Mion is the more well-known sister of the Sonozaki twins, as well as the more mature, stable, and tomboyish one. Her and her sister's age are implied to be 14 in most media (or around 17 in the live-action adaptations) as of June 1983, since she is in her final year at the Hinamizawa school but has not yet had her birthday that year. The new anime-only arc Satokowashi-hen, which takes place in June of 1984, confirms that she has entered her first year of high school which makes her 15 in 1984.
Mion is the heir of the Sonozaki family and is the leader of the Hinamizawa School club. As the oldest in the class, she is the Class Representative. She is the granddaughter of Sonozaki Oryō, the current Sonozaki head. Because her mother, Sonozaki Akane, married a man from outside Hinamizawa against Oryō's wishes, Oryō passed her inheritance to Mion rather than Akane. Since the Sonozaki family is quite rich, Mion has a large allowance. The 50,000 yen announced as the winning prize at a game tournament is said to come from her own pocket. She is a tomboy, and since she is the oldest among the rest of the students, she refers to herself as "oji-san (叔父さん)" – "old man (literally "uncle" but used generically)" – throughout the games, manga, and anime, though she also has a girly side. It is very often strongly hinted and ultimately revealed that she has a crush on Maebara Keiichi, which she expresses by picking on and teasing him at every possible occasion as well as confessing her feelings to her twin sister.
Due to being the oldest child and thus the heir, Mion was branded with the oni (鬼) – "ogre" or "demon" – tattoo presumably on her back. Her name also contains mi (魅), a kind of forest demon or elf.
Mion is actually the younger twin, and she was therefore born with the name Shion. Mion and Shion intentionally switched places when they were young because "Shion," the current Mion, felt it was unfair for only one of them to attend family meetings while the other had fun. They switched places the day the oni tattoo was to be applied, resulting in the younger sister, "Shion," the current Mion, becoming the next heir. No one but the twins themselves seemed to be aware of this. In the manga, when in danger, Shion asks Mion to allow her to be the "big sister." The switch is further developed in the manga in that Shion, rather than feeling cheated, expresses regret that Mion bears all of the responsibility she avoided.
Despite Mion's wild personality, Furude Rika notes in Minagoroshi-hen that she is the only club member who does not commit murder or become dangerously violent in any world. This changes with the new third and fourth anime seasons. In Watadamashi-hen, she takes much of the role of her sister. In its answer arc, Wataakashi-hen, Hōjō Satoko makes the same observation as Rika before and wonders if, in spite of her emotional behavior, Mion is actually very logical. Eua confirms the possibility and suggests that Mion's resolve, bolstered by her sense of duty as the next Sonozaki family head, likely helped her avoid usual triggers of Hinamizawa Syndrome in previous worlds. This piques Satoko's curiosity about how Mion would act if she fell victim to said disease, and she decides to set Mion on that path for very first time.
Unlike others, Mion is also the only one who usually does not wield any real weapon, though she is often depicted outside of school wearing a holstered air-soft gun. And if she needs to defend herself, she is well-trained in martial arts (enough to even take down Okonogi in the manga) and the use of firearms (in which she states being trained by foreign ex-soldier). As next head of Sonozaki family she is also shown to have easy access to various firearms like AK-47 or Revolver. Although Mion is seen using a syringe once in Onikakushi-hen, it's later revealed in Tsumihoroboshi-hen to be a black marker, which Mion was going to use to draw on Keiichi's shirt. It is said that the marker appeared to be a syringe because of Keiichi's paranoia and resulting hallucinations.
Mion has long, mint green hair and turquoise eyes. Her bangs part in the middle, and she ties her hair into a ponytail. She has a trim figure and a large bust. She has a demon tattoo which is never shown. The Sound Novels and opening to the First Season of the First Adaptation suggest a full back tattoo which could not be applied to a child in one day. In subsequent episodes where her back is partially exposed, the tattoo is not seen.
During her school days, Mion wears a white short-sleeved shirt with a bright green (anime) or amaranth red (games) tie and wears a sunshine yellow, unbuttoned vest. She also wears a long magenta skirt, black socks, and chocolate brown shoes. During her free days, she wears a sunshine yellow shirt with a slight black turtle neck, a white sweatshirt tied around her waist, navy blue jeans and chocolate brown shoes. She also wears an airsoft gun in a holster on her shoulder, though it is never used in the anime.
In the anime's first episode, she wears different casual clothes: a white shirt with a dark-red collar, shorts, a green sweatshirt tied around her waist and a purple gun holster.
At the end of Taraimawashi-hen, 10 years after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster, Mion appears as an adult in her mid-20s. Her hair became significantly longer, constantly hiding her face. She's also described as unnaturally pale and "almost as white as her pajamas or the hospital's curtains". As a result of her severe mental trauma and amnesia, her eyes also became rather lifeless, constantly giving Mion an empty, blank stare. Due to 10 years of hospitalization and lack of exercise, her basic motor skills deteriorated to the point of being described as awkward, almost mechanic. Her speech also became slow, silent and unenergetic.
In the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, Mion wears a Chinese-style red and yellow bathing suit. Oddly enough, the large trademark demon tattoo is missing from her exposed back. This is due to the fact that (according to the TIPS) Mion has waterproof skin makeup for such events.
Mion acts boyish, energetic, and confident, often teasing her friends. She is a very cheerful and sociable girl who enjoys games. As the leader of the after-school games club, she organizes various card or board games, which she has become extremely good at, partially through cheating. She is the club member that tends to win the most, but as Rena reveals to Keiichi, she was the biggest loser at the beginning of the club. Mion designs most of the "punishment games" that the loser must perform, but, again, in the beginning, she often had to do them herself. It is a tribute to her determination that she has advanced so far in skill.
Although Mion seems very self-confident and tomboyish, it is revealed that she is quite girly. This is an important point in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, where Keiichi decides to give a doll he won to Rena rather than Mion, thinking that she would not like girly things. Meakashi-hen reveals that this event triggers the development of the Hinamizawa syndrome in Shion with the resulting tragedies. However in Minagoroshi-hen, Keiichi avoids this by offering the doll to Mion instead of Rena. Mion tries to play hesitant: "Wh-what?! I don't like that sort of thing! I'm sharp and spunky as you always say!" Keiichi, however, tells her that she's still a girl to him, and she ends up revealing her girly side by saying, "Yes, I will treasure this doll," and looking lovingly at it. Mion is seen to be somewhat shy around Keiichi in moments where her crush on him is obviously in plain sight, and because of her shyness, she is unable to open up to him. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira, she is shown to still have the doll, keeping Keiichi's promise on taking good care of it.
As the heir to the Sonozaki family estate, she must act very formal and responsible when dealing with family matters. As a result, Mion has another side of her personality that contrasts with her normal self. When she assumes this role, she becomes almost completely expressionless and very serious. She is seen to be very straightforward and always goes directly to the topic, avoiding any other conversation that might interrupt. A good example of this side of her is from Meakashi-hen, where she forces Shion to rip off three of her own fingernails as punishment, despite the fact that she cares deeply for Shion and later rips off three of her own as retribution.
Shion is Mion's older twin sister. They do not argue about how their changing places changed the heir to the family, and they continue to switch places at meetings without the family members noticing. In all versions of the series, they are shown to be very close, despite not seeing each other often. In the Meakashi-hen arc, Mion was seen to be scared of Shion when she was locked up. However, this fear could have been because of what Shion was going to do to Keiichi, but mostly because of Shion's psychotic behavior. It is shown that despite their constant bickering in public, Mion opens up to Shion about many personal subjects and both are quite close to each other. In Tatarigoroshi-hen, Shion is implied to actually be a much more difficult opponent than Mion in their club games; when Rena asks Shion to join a club game, Shion replies, "Oh, I wouldn't want to ruin Mion's reputation as the club leader. Hey Mion, how about a sister showdown?", resulting in Mion blushing heavily and quickly escaping the conversation. In Yakusamashi-hen, Shion is part of the club and she works together with her sister to win a game of Zombie Tag, where they both came up with the same winning strategy. Overall, besides the latter halves of Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen, the two sisters are seen to get along extremely well.
In Minagoroshi-hen and Matsuribayashi-hen, the two sisters are shown to get along immensely well, and have a strong sister bond, but are not above calling each other stupid, such as Mion shouting, "Stupid Shion!" and Shion replying, "Stupid Older Sister!" in a comedic relief scene when the Yamainu have arrived at the Sonozaki state thanks to the tracking device planted on Irie. However, this could also just be for comic relief for the anime and manga. Shion is deeply aware of Mion's feeling towards Keiichi since as seen in previous arcs, Mion opens up to her on the topic. In Matsuribayshi-hen, Shion whispers to Keiichi "Although the person I love is gone, Mion still has hers," as an argument as to why Shion should sacrifice herself and not him, showing that Shion wants her sister to be happy more than anything. She also asks Keiichi to tell Mion that she hopes they will be twins in their next life. When Shion's life was in danger, Mion became extremely aggressive and tense, even to her friends Rena and Keiichi whom she loudly scolded for their comments, she then broke down in tears after Satoko tried to calm her down. Keiichi described Mion in that scene as "half-crazed from fear".
Keiichi and Mion's relationship is arguably the one most expanded on, but undefined throughout the series. Keiichi and Mion are hinted to develop feelings for each other, most notably in Meakashi-hen, where Mion confesses her love for Keiichi to Shion. Mion has also mentioned that Keiichi is a fun person. However, Mion herself has difficulty not only in gathering the courage to voice her feelings across to Keiichi but also in getting him to acknowledge her as a feminine girl. When Keiichi fails to give Mion a doll he won, explaining she would not like it anyway, and gives it instead to Rena, Mion later cries. This is all reversed in Minagoroshi-hen when Keiichi notices Mion's expression and gives her the doll instead. In the later arcs, Mion is still seen to own the doll. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, when Keiichi hugs Mion as an apology for killing her and Rena in Onikakushi-hen, which she and Rena do not remember, she blushes and stammers profusely.
Whether or not Keiichi has a crush on Mion, in turn, proves less certain. In the Sound Novels in particular, Keiichi flirts with both Rena and Mion but does not pursue either further. His flirtations seem more like jokes to him rather than serious attempts to start a relationship with either. He seems oblivious to both of their feelings. Nevertheless during Watanagashi-hen, when he is about to be tortured by Shion, whom he believes to be Mion, Keiichi declares that if it will soothe the demon inside of Mion she may go ahead. He only asks the demon that in return it spare both Mion and Shion.
Mion also shows a deep concern for Keiichi, such as in the Minagoroshi-hen arc where she breaks into tears after Keiichi has been fatally shot. She declares that she does not want to leave him to die nor does she want him to die. For his part, when Mion blames herself when her friends are in danger in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku-Outbreak, Keiichi comforts her saying she did her best and that she should not blame herself.
In Musubienishi-hen, a number of characters notice Mion's feelings for Keiichi. Takano states that they both make a perfect couple, Sonozaki Oryō says that he better prepare himself to get comfy with her as his grandmother, and Hōjō Teppei describes them as "making out." For his part, Keiichi jokes that he would not mind being Mion's boyfriend. Throughout this entire scene, Mion blushes and stammers then later hits Keiichi in embarrassment. When Keiichi asks why is she blushing and if she took it all seriously, she turns completely red and says to him to not say stupid things. At various times, she will instantly turn red when Keiichi gives her a kind look.
In the Sound Novel and manga adaptations of Watanagashi-hen, both Rena and Shion tell Keiichi that Mion is upset over the doll not being given to her. Toward the end of the arc, Keiichi wants to buy the doll and give it to Mion. He, later on, stands with the doll in his hands, saying to himself "If I ever see you (Mion) again… When I do… If I do… Then… this time… I will give the doll to you… So you'd better take it without making fun of me. I know you'll probably be all stubborn and say you don't want it. But in the end, you'll turn all bright red and take it from me," giving hints to why things turn out differently in Kai. In the Watanagashi-hen visual novel arc, where Keiichi gave the doll to Rena and made Mion upset, Keiichi buys the same doll a few days later to give to Mion as an apology. Still believing that Shion is Mion, he gives both the doll and a whole-hearted apology regarding his ignorance of her feelings to Shion a second before Mion appears from the toy store's counter. Mion witnessed what Keiichi had done, which explains her embarrassment and leaving the classroom every time Keiichi looks at her. Near the end of the arc, he buys the same doll a second time and tries again to give it to Mion who, unfortunately, is actually again Shion in disguise. This marks the third time he gave the same doll to the wrong person, without Mion ever knowing his true intentions.
In manga and anime versions of Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion whispers in Keiichi's ear that she has lost the one she loves but Mion still has hers, implying him. The manga artist plays with this in intentionally humorous "Cover Bonuses." In the first, when talking about her future, Mion muses that she – "ojisan" – wants to "be more feminine and get married." Keiichi interrupts that he cannot hear her muttering to which Mion reacts with comic embarrassed violence.
In another comic scene, Mion calls Shion stating she wants to deepen her relationship with Keiichi before she graduates, and an eager Shion encourages her to "go for it" and offers to give her tips. In the next panel, Mion arrives at school in a dress with huge bows in her hair which shocks everyone, including Hanyū, to which Mion tearfully responds to Shion in the next panel: "He's totally freaked out now! Stupid Shion!"
How deep of a "crush," then, either character has for the other remains debatable, uncertain, and appears to vary depending on the arc and even depiction of the arc. Mion does seem to have a crush on Keiichi, but how serious it becomes remained unanswered until the Watadamashi-hen arc where Mion actually confesses her love directly to him. Interestingly, in the previous arc, Mion happily tries to match Keiichi with Rena; in this arc, Rena returns the favor. In Tatariakashi-hen, Mion suspects Satoko is flirting with Keiichi and inwardly enthusiastically compliments her when she steers him away from the Festival.
With Keiichi, it remains less clear that he views Mion as any more than a close friend, though as with Mion's confession, The Sound Novels indicate he does have a burgeoning interest in girls, but it does not seem directed to one girl. As Shion teases him in both Watanagashi-hen and Watadamashi-hen, she is the first girl whose arm he has ever held. In the end, Keiichi and Mion's relationship is left in progress and varies depending on the version of the life experience in the respective arc.
While the original Sound Novels, and their respective anime, and manga adaptions, never depicts what happens in the future after Matsuribayashi-hen, the new arc Satokawashi-hen begins one year after Matsuribayashi-hen in June, 1984. the third episode of that arc reveals that in 1988, Keiichi, Rena, and Mion attend the same university with the former two having joined Mion's gaming club. The teenaged Rika suggests that Keiichi must be actively pursuing Mion, but Mion does not react in anyway to the question to suggest whether he did, is, is not, or what she feels about any of it.
The manga adaption of Onidamashi-hen ups the sexual innuendo on the part of Mion. When she meets him and Rena at the water wheel in the morning, she makes a show of staring at his groin remark on how "good" he feels that morning, to Rena's shock. She then suggests that it must be difficult for him to experience such every morning then suggests that she should "greet" him, to Rena's further shock.
Mion and Rena are very good friends and have been since prior to the start of the series. Shion considers Rena to be Mion's rival when it comes to Keiichi's feelings, though they never fight about it. Mion and Rena share with each other almost as much as the twins, possibly
partly because Shion is away from Mion so frequently. As noted above, in Watadamashi-hen Mion actively encourages a relationship between her and Keiichi. As noted above, in Satokawashi-hen, she attends the same university as Mion.
Mion and Satoko are good friends throughout the series. Like Keiichi, Mion sometimes enjoys teasing Satoko, as seen in Onikakushi-hen when she asks Satoko to distinguish broccoli from cauliflower. Despite her teasing Mion does care for Satoko. Their closeness is especially evident in Meakashi-hen, as Mion begs Shion to spare Satoko's life and offers to die in her place. She agrees to Shion's lucrative terms for saving Satoko by apologizing one thousand times, though she ultimately fails, and Satoko is killed by Shion.
Mion is close friends with Rika, having known her since she was a child. Rika deeply cares for Mion. Mion and Rika are both in line to be the heads of their households, though Rika inherited her position much sooner than Mion after her parents were killed. Rika also seems to be interested in Mion's breasts, as seen when she fondled them saying "I won't lose." As discussed in her own character page, Rika looks forward to growing older and has, perhaps, unreasonable expectations regarding her "development," so to write. With the release of the new season and, in particular Satokawashi-hen where both are shown in early 1988, it appears, as delicately as When They Cry Wiki can put it, that Rika is still "losing" to Mion as well as, well, Satoko.
- "A Gentleman Never Asks:" Mion and her sister's age appears fluid given the live-action adaptation that pushed up their ages. However, since Japanese students enter high school at the age of 15, and 1983 marks Mion's last year before graduating and entering high school, this would put her age at 14 prior to her birthday in July, 1983. When They Cry Wiki understands the desire for precision, but we have to deal with the marked cards dealt! As noted previously, the new arc Satokowashi-hen, which takes place in June, 1984, confirms she is in her first year of high school.
- Only a very small number of subbers have noted the fact that Mion says "oji-san" very clearly in many lines where she refers to herself. Oji-san can mean either uncle or old man. MangaGamer's translation of the games includes this detail as "Uncle Mion."
- During the ending special of the 2nd episode of Kai, when Hanyū recites the "ABC's of Higurashi" and asks Rika to provide an input for the letter S, Rika replies, "Shii and Mii go 'Gugegegege'!" This guttural sound is heard during the Zombie Tag game when Shion and Mion were acting as bloodthirsty zombies, and also in the 5th episode of Rei when Mion receives a violent uppercut from a love-cursed Rena.
- Her and Shion's father is a yakuza boss. Befitting her role as a yakuza heiress, Mion's school uniform is of a style stereotypically associated with the "sukeban" delinquent subculture.
- She is 165 cm and weighs 52 kg.