| Sonozaki Shion|
|Alternate Name||Sonozaki Mion, 園崎 魅音|
|Birthday||July 10, 1968 (February 11, 1966 according to Matsuri)|
|Daybreak Weapon(s)|| |
|Portrayed By|| |
|Image Song|| |
Sonozaki Shion (園崎 詩音) is one of the main characters in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, Sonozaki Mion's twin sister, and the antagonist of the question arc Watanagashi-hen and its answer arc Meakashi-hen. She is well known for her spectacular mental breakdown and the ensuing bloodbath in those arcs, her mischievous nature when it comes to teasing the other club members, as well as for her relationship with Hōjō Satoshi, which has been the subject of at least four different songs. Her and her sister's age vary depending on the source from as low as 14 to as high as 17 years with 15 years at the end of Matsuribayashi-hen fitting the details of the story and subsequent manga.
Shion is the actual older twin sister of the Sonozaki twins. She was sent to St. Lucia's Boarding School, but escaped in 1982 and 1983 with the help of Kasai Tatsuyoshi, a man who acts as a bodyguard to the Sonozaki family.
Shion is the main antagonist in Meakashi-hen, which appears to be Watanagashi-hen from her perspective, though different events mean the two are actually separate arcs. While in Meakashi-hen she blames Hōjō Satoko for Satoshi's suffering, in the subsequent arcs the two develop a sister-like bond Shion even risks her life to save her to keep her promise to Satoshi to look after Satoko. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Rika explains that Shion's early dislike for Satoko in the years before 1983 and her learning how to control her inner demon afterwards are both momentous events for Shion to avoid being a victim of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
While she acts as the younger twin to Sonozaki Mion, in truth, she was born as the elder sister with the name "Mion." Due to the sisters swapping places at a young age, Mion, named "Shion," received the oni tattoo which marks the presumptive heir to the Sonozaki family. Since that event, the sisters have maintained that roll replacement: she become the younger "Shion" while her younger sister became "Mion." They still switch roles or impersonate the other which leads to some of the mystery of the earlier arcs.
Shion works as a waitress at the Angel Mort (エンジェルモート) restaurant and is also the manager's assistant for the Hinamizawa Fighters little league team.
Despite her being seemingly more girly and refined than Mion, thanks to schooling at St. Lucia, she is incredibly shrewd, cold, manipulative, and delinquent, more so than Mion. She hated St. Lucia, calling it a "factory for manufacturing ladies" and got in trouble with the administration numerous times for various misdemeanors. To escape, she studies all of the school's security systems, guard schedules, and behaviors of the administration staff, to the point where she manipulates them by propagating a rumor of her having a love affair with a male teacher. In Watanagashi-hen, she enjoys angering Mion and making her jealous by taking control of Keiichi whenever she has the chance. In Meakashi-hen, when the motorcyclists attack her, she is capable of mapping out how to ruin their reputations in numerous ways to create the most entertaining and interesting outcome for her own enjoyment. Also in Meakashi-hen, Shion easily manipulates the whole village of Hinamizawa. When Furude Rika, Hōjō Satoko, and Kimiyoshi Kiichirō go missing, Shion exploits the resulting paranoia to her own advantage in order to lure all of her targets to their deaths in perfect fashion and fulfill her own "promise" to Satoshi.
Despite being cold to hating Satoko in some arcs, Shion also has the capability to become fiercely protective of her. In Minagoroshi-hen, when the club members were trying to plan out how to save Satoko from her abusive uncle, Hōjō Teppei, she threatens to kill everyone who stands in her way of killing Teppei, even those whom she cared for, and only calms down when Keiichi allows her to bash his head with a chair. In this arc and possibly others, Shion is willing to die for Satoko. Later in Minagoroshi-hen, when she pleads to Takano to kill her but spare Satoko, Takano agrees and kills Shion by shooting her in the head, but later kills Satoko after she answers a question.
Like Mion, Shion often behaves as a very cheerful and friendly girl. In the arcs where she is protective of Satoko, Shion acts like her older sister by both helping out whenever she can and teasing as a sister would. She has a very supportive personality and openly supports Satoshi, convincing the store owner selling the large stuffed bear he wanted to give to Satoko for her birthday to hold it for him to allow him to earn the money to pay for it. Under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, Shion will become violent as her paranoia grows as it did in Keiichi and Rena.
Shion tends to become envious very easily and frequently, which contributes to her progression of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, her violent insanity, and how she chooses to seduce the victims "to make sure they get what they deserve." In Meakashi-hen, Shion's inner "demon" awoke out of jealousy when she was listening to Mion talk about Keiichi; she found it unfair for Mion to have a living crush nearby when her own crush was possibly dead. Other things that drive Shion's jealousy include Mion's status as the next heir of the Sonozaki family, Rika's status as the reincarnation of Oyashiro-Sama, Satoshi's protection and love for Satoko, and, as Shion describes it, Ryūgū Rena's own inner "demon" which far surpasses her own in terms of power and monstrosity: "In the heavy downpour, I saw those eyes. It was like a situation where, because I knew how to play tennis, people admired me for being able to beat other novices at tennis. But then I met a girl who said she also played tennis; she even took private lessons. When I competed against her, she completely beat me, and I felt humiliated when everyone began to admire how she was much better than me. To me, that was Rena. I could sense her aura, that her demon was much more fearsome than my own."
Physical AppearanceShion resembles Mion in every way, except Shion leaves her hair down and has a yellow ribbon tied on the back of her head to differ from her sister. Like Mion, Shion has long, pale green hair and teal eyes.
Starting with Minagoroshi-hen, on her school days Shion wears a short sleeve buttoned white shirt with a blue- or white-striped ribbon tied around the collar, and a blue mini-skirt. On her free days, she wears a sleeveless vertical-striped turtle neck shirt. On the chest region of the shirt, there is what appears to be yellow gems of some sort. She also wears a black buttoned mini skirt and small white heels.
Shion's original boarding school uniform is only seen in the beginning of Meakashi-hen. It consists of a long sleeved white blouse, a red tie, a pale gray blazer, a navy blue skirt, white socks with blue stripes on the top and brown shoes. It is sometimes included in art or other media, but officially it is only seen that time. In the concluding panels of the manga version of Matsuribayashi-hen, she visits Hinamizawa dressed in her St. Lucia uniform primarily to dote on Satoko and insist she call her "Nee-nee."
Her weapon is a stun gun.
The events in the arcs involving the Hinamizawa Syndrome generate much of the conflict between the two. In Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen, under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, Shion blames Mion for Satoshi's sudden disappearance and eventually kills her.
In Minagoroshi and Matsuribayashi-hen, the two sisters get along immensely well, but they are not above calling each other "stupid" in certain moments of tension, such as Mion screaming "Stupid Shion!"--"Shion no baka!"--and Shion responding "Stupid Big Sister!"--"Onēsan no baka!" While played for comic relief in the anime and manga of Matsuribayashi-hen, in a later scene Mion screams "Stupid Shion!" when she fears Shion will sacrifice herself. In turn, Shion is deeply aware of Mion's feeling towards Keiichi. In previous arcs, Mion opens up to her on the topic. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion whispers to Keiichi "Although the person I love is gone, Mion still has hers," implying she wants her sister to be happy with him. She also asks Keiichi to tell Mion she hopes they will be twins in their next life.
In the comic "bonus" pages of the manga of Matsuribayashi-hen, Mion calls her to ask her advice to get Keiichi to "build a deeper relationship" with her before she graduates, and on Shion's advice dresses up incredibly feminine to the shock of everyone including Keiichi. She angrily calls Shion back, crying, "He's totally freaked out now, stupid Shion!"
It remains unknown whether Satoshi ever returned her feelings or if he even liked her at all. He does say, "Shion. That's a nice name, . ." but he may at that point have only thought of her as a new friend. Rika calls him Shion's boyfriend in Minagoroshi-hen and Irie Kyōsuke jokes about their relationship in Tatarigoroshi-hen, but whether this is just their assumption or a fact is left unknown. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion tells Irie that she plans to visit Satoshi every day at the Irie Clinic and read him stories while patiently waiting for him to wake up some day.
In early arcs, Shion dislikes Satoko because she blames her for Satoshi's suffering and kills her in Meakashi-hen. In other arcs, she develops a different relationship. Shortly before Satoshi disappears, Shion promised him she would look after Satoko. After that, Shion becomes something like an older sister to her. On some occasions, Satoko even calls her "nee-nee," a cuter term for "older sister" similar to her use of "Nii-Nii" for her older brother. In Minagoroshi-hen, Shion went as far as to plan to kill Satoko's abusive uncle Teppei to save Satoko from him.
In the beginning, Keiichi does not believe in the separate existence of a "Shion," rather, he believes her to be Mion pretending to have a twin. In various scenes where Shion pretends to be Mion, Keiichi appears just as fond of her as he seems to be of the real Mion. As soon as she is revealed to be Shion, he does not seem to find her as interesting nor as attractive, perhaps with the exception of when she is wearing her work uniform; however, at the time he believed she was Mion. For her part, Mion delights in the fact that Keiichi apparently did not notice nor respond to Shion's attempts to flirt with him during the Watanagashi Festival in Tatarigoroshi-hen.
It is possible that at one point in time Shion developed a crush on Keiichi, since she frequently finds similarities between him and Satoshi in her mind. This may be the reason she hesitated to torture him in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. However, she does directly tell the reader in Meakashi-hen that she dislikes Keiichi's brash personality and says that his head-petting is incredibly rough and uncomfortable to her, "unlike Satoshi's soft, warm hand." At the end of Meakashi-hen, she understands why her sister fell in love with Keiichi and she accepts that she would have been able to fall in love with him: "If I was in her [Mion's] position, I would have fallen in love with Keiichi too. If Shion [Mion] was able to fall in love with him I could fall in love with him too." In Minagoroshi-hen, she is devastated when she sees Keiichi shot. In the Musubienishi-hen, Keiichi accidentally knocks over the line motorcycles and is beaten by the group of thugs after he tries to protect Shion, who is disguised as Mion. Keiichi reveals that he knew that she was Shion from the start. She then asks why he went on with her as Mion, and he comforts her by saying that he tries to do his best for others, not mattering if he got hurt. He then faints into her arms, to which Shion responds by hugging and holding him tightly in tears. Apart from Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, Shion and Keiichi get along well and become good friends, though Shion appears to enjoy using and manipulating Keiichi in certain moments to make her sister jealous, although sometimes it may be unintentional.
- In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Chikai, there is a scene where Keiichi and "Mion" stay after school (without the club). Keiichi asks "Mion" about Satoshi. She tells him that he was hard working and everyone liked him. She also pulled her hair band out of her hair, letting her resemble Shion during the scene.
- Shion is a bit of an anti-hero since she is both a protagonist and an antagonist, though her murders were committed under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome and arguably not out of her own malice.
- Since Shion has a liking towards teasing and playing pranks on others, especially Mion and Keiichi, she is often noted as the internet meme Luv or troll of the Higurashi series. Also, the "Shi" (詩, kanji for poetry) in "Shion" is also spelled the same as "shi" (四, kanji for four), so fans celebrate "Shii's Day" on April 1, which is also April Fool's Day, as a homage to her name and unique personality.
- Similar to Satoko's case, Shion is the only other character in the series who has reached L5 that has not scratched her throat at any point in time.
- In Higurashi Daybreak, Shion often says "Ora ora ora!" when attacking. This is a reference to Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, in which he yells whenever he does a quick combo chain.
- Shion has an irrational fear of canned foods. When she was younger, Kasai used to tell her stories about canned foods containing human meat.
- Shion bears some similarities to Saki Yurikawa, one of the main antagonists of Reiko the Zombie Shop. Both possess similar hairstyles, were infamous for their murderous, psychotic behavior, betrayed (and even murdered) innocent people with no remorse, and both were known for having an estranged relationship with their siblings (Midori in Saki's case and Mion in Shion's case).
- St. Lucia is a Catholic bording school which, in one visual novel, Shion regards as a living hell. Her stay in it is portrayed in the abandoned manga Utsutsukowashi-hen. It is also the name of the school Ushiromiya Ange attends in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.