|Alternate Name||Sonozaki Mion, 園崎 魅音|
|Birthday||July 10, 1968|
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. She and her sister are implied to be 14 in most media (or around 17 in the live-action adaptations) as of June 1983. The new anime-only arc Satokowashi-hen confirms that in June, 1984, Mion has entered high school which puts the twins at 15 in 1984.
Shion is the actual older twin sister of the Sonozaki twins. She was sent to St. Lucia's Boarding School, but escaped in 1982 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 and 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 role replacement: she became 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, 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 teasing 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. Shion is not immune to embarrassing situations herself however, as shown by her mother teasing her in Minagoroshi-hen and accidentally making a fool of herself by unwillingly luring the Yamainu in Matsuribayashi-hen.
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.
In Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, 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."
Despite being cold to hating Satoko in Meakashi-hen, 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 cares for. However, Keiichi points out that in reality she doesn't actually want to do that and that she instead just wants Satoko to return without anyone she cares for getting hurt or going to jail, in fact she calms down when Keiichi allows her to vent by bashing his head with a chair, whereupon she stops offering murder as a solution and the next day agrees to help him bring Teppei to justice using legal means, feeling embarrassed when Keiichi teases her about her previous violent behavior, to which she responds that she's serious now and even becomes passionate about convincing the child welfare center employees about saving Satoko. She also fights the Yamainu with her friends at the end by using her stun gun to temporarily incapacitate them instead of killing them. 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, she agrees and kills Shion by shooting her in the head, though Takano later kills Satoko anyway after she answers a question. In Matsuribayashi-hen, she's willing to sacrifice her life so that her friends can escape from the Yamainu, and even though she has access to firearms, not once does she kill her pursuers and instead just tries to delay them or disarm them later on when she and Kasai use a sniper rifle. This is a sharp contrast to the far more aggressive Shion in the first half of the previous arc, showing that she can now control her emotions and make rational decisions even when her loved ones are in danger, as she even recalls the events of Meakashi-hen and treats them seriously, much like Rena and Keiichi did with their respective personal arcs in Minagoroshi-hen to learn from their own mistakes.
Shion resembles Mion in every way, except Shion leaves her hair down and has a sunshine yellow ribbon tied on the back of her head to differ from her sister. In her Matsuri and Kizuna sprites, she has two yellow ribbons pulled back on the sides of her hair. Like Mion, Shion has long, mint green hair and turquoise eyes.
Starting with Minagoroshi-hen, on her school days Shion wears a short sleeve buttoned white shirt with a navy blue- or white-striped ribbon tied around the collar, and a navy blue mini-skirt. On her free days, she wears a sleeveless vertical-striped turtleneck shirt. On the chest region of the shirt, there are what appear to be sunshine 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.
Mion is Shion's younger identical twin sister who originally had the name "Shion," while Shion was originally "Mion." Due to them switching places on the day that happened to be the day the heir to the Sonozaki clan would receive the demon tattoo, the younger "Shion" permanently became the "older" Mion, while the older "Mion" became the "younger" Shion. While the two generally have a close relationship, the rules of having only one heir forced the now Shion to live apart from the family. While Shion sometimes resents this treatment as a younger and seemingly unwanted sister, she also bears some guilt for permanently dumping the responsibilities of the older sister on her younger sister.
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 feelings 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!"
In Kokoroiyashi-hen, when Mion is at risk of failing her high school entrance exams due to not even knowing how to factorize, Shion is willing to spend her entire summer break tutoring her so that they can both enter the same institution together, if a bit strictly. Later on, Shion agrees to impersonate her sister so that Mion can escape from her grandmother and go on a trip with her friends. In Satokowashi-hen, it's shown that Mion managed to enter Okinomiya High School.
Disguised as Mion, when she first meets Satoshi Shion initially judged him an interesting boy with whom she could relieve her. This opinion quickly turned into a crush when he softly patted her on the head. Her crush deepens and leads her to declare her love for Satoshi and disgrace the Sonozaki name at the same time in any way she could. Her love for him combined with his disappearance triggers her Hinamizawa Syndrome: she experiences hallucinations of him speaking to her as a ghost and eventually commits the murders in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen.
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's ending, Shion visits Satoshi on her off days at the Irie Clinic and reads him stories while patiently waiting for him to wake up some day. In Miotsukushi-hen, however, Satoshi recovers and is reunited with Satoko and Shion brought by Irie, although it is not possible to know if they developed a relationship from there, it is possible to see genuine happiness between them.
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 a surrogate older sister who deeply cares for her, looks up to her strengths and works to treat her phobia of various foods. 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 but later works with her friends to get him arrested for his crimes instead. Matsuribayashi-hen ends with Shion transferring to Hinamizawa so she can take care of Satoko.
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. When "Mion" starts flirting with him and going out on a date at night, she starts noticing how much more feminine she is compared to the usual Mion, apologizes for not giving Mion a doll and offers to buy her a toy. As soon as she is revealed to be Shion, he initially seems frustrated at her during their next meeting near the Furude shrine at being taken for a fool this whole time, however, he's completely entranced when Shion pushes her chest against his arm the night of the Watanagashi festival while Rika rubs hers on his other arm. 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, this of course being a wishful made up story by his friends to cover up Keiichi's murder of Teppei, since the former didn't actually attend the festival.
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." Regardless, by the end of Meakashi-hen, she changes her perspective of Keiichi and understands why her sister fell in love with him, accepting that she would have also been able to fall for 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.", even downright admitting her explicit love for Keiichi in the bad end of the console re-release. In Minagoroshi-hen, she is devastated when she sees Keiichi shot. In Musubienishi-hen, Keiichi accidentally knocks over the line of 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. She then realizes she's fallen in love with him and imagines a life where he picks her up from school and they study together. However, she is hesitant to proceed at first as she does not want to steal her sister's love interest, but Kasai convinces her to push forward, because even Shion deserves her own happiness. In Matsuribayashi-hen, although Keiichi offers to sacrifice himself to save Shion, she refuses and tells him to escape with the others instead as she stalls the Yamainu, since she values Keiichi's life over her own. 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 the new anime-only arc of Tataridamashi-hen, Keiichi stops Shion from leaving the school with the intention of killing Satoko's abusive uncle. She angrily takes a chair to him, but he successfully calms her down by explaining that she is fighting to regain the world where they were all happy, but if she follows through her plans, she will be lost to Satoko's world.
In Minagoroshi-hen, the day before Teppei is arrested by the police and Satoko is rescued, Shion claims that Keiichi is so charismatic he could have ended the dam war a year earlier than it did if he had been there. She also says that his speeches are very moving, which matches his title of "The Magician of Words."
- 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 pulls her hair band out of her hair, letting her resemble Shion during the scene.
- "And a Lady Never Tells": Shion and her sister's age appears fluid given the sources. However, Japanese students enter high school at the age of 15 and university at 18. Since 1983 marks Mion's last year before graduating and entering high school, which is confirmed in Satokawashi-hen, this would make her prior to her birthday in July in the original Visual Novels and their anime and manga adaptations. The live-action adaptations pushed up the ages of the characters. When They Cry Wiki will use the original age of the original Visual Novels.
- 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 not described as scratching her throat even when she reaches L5 in most media, though she commits suicide this way in the console-exclusive bad end of Meakashi-hen.
- 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. Mion finds joy in teasing her about this.
- 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).
- Shion may have also coincidentally inspired Dandy Mott from Freak Show, the fourth season of American Horror Story. As both characters are main antagonists, serial killers, known for being high-class, possess firearms (taser and revolver), have mentors (Kasai and Twisty), have their own catchphrases ("許せない!" and "I HATE YOU!"), were used for fanservice, laughed after murdering someone (Dora and Rika), were infamous for their unstable, violent behavior, betrayed (and even murdered) innocent people without showing any remorse, were known for having an estranged relationship with their families, and both died in a decade where the number ends in "3" (Shion died in 1983 in the episode "Conviction" and Dandy died in 1953 in the episode "Curtain Call"), along with both being the finales of Meakashi-hen and Freak Show respectively.
- The difference between her and Dandy however, is that Dandy's murders were done out of him showcasing that he will be the "U.S. Steel of Murder" and his purpose to bring death, while Shion's murders were committed under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
- St. Lucia is a Catholic boarding school which, in Meakashi-hen, 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, who also despises it with a passion. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gō shows that Rika went on to study at St. Lucia after the events of Matsuribayashi-hen.