Higurashi Ch. 2 Watanagashi Full Series Spoilers General

Spoilers discussion topic for Chapter 2: Watanagashi of Higurashi When They Cry. Chapter 2 refers to volumes 3 and 4 of the manga, and episodes 5-8 of the first anime series.

This topic is intended for people who have finished the entirety of Higurashi and wish to discuss this chapter in light of future events. For those who have yet to finish Higurashi in its entirety, please tread carefully, because there will be untagged spoilers! Please tag references to outside works with the [spoiler] tag, with adequate context provided in parenthesis.

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The Watangashi Tea Party has finally commenced! I look forward to all the discussion and speculation that results from this. Be sure to highlight topics or questions you’d like to see brought up in the podcast with bold!

We’ll be looking at your discussion here to decide on a Watanagashi Tea Party MVP to win a free copy of Tatarigoroshi, so get posting!

For me, this arc is largely overshadowed by Meakashi, but I still like it. It does a good job digging into the history and lore of Hinamizawa.

The parts with Mion and Shion switching places in the first half of the arc might seem superfluous, but the fact that Shion pretends to be Mion pretending to be Shion is a good clue for later in the arc, because Shion of course does the exact same thing under more sinister circumstances.

But you know, I realized that Mion kind of gets the short end of the stick, because the arc that’s “supposed” to revolve around her actually revolves more around Shion (although we don’t learn that until later).


Hmm, whilst I agree with Isae that Meakashi overshadows Watanagashi somewhat, I really like Watanagashi. As it’s previously been stated, it expands the story around the village more rather than just it being revolved around the school and explores the characters more rather than in Onikakushi that it was mainly focused on Keiichi, and even though he is the protagonist yet again in this arc, it feels that the other characters truly are more involved with the mystery and one of them truly is this time, of course. Learning more about the lore of Hinamizawa was pretty interesting too, as well. Watanagashi also introduced Shion that is my favourite Higurashi character and the twins’ backstory which I find very interesting and there are quite a few clues scattered around that hint to the answer, the twins switching places and even showing the ritual tools shrine in which parts of Meakashi take place.


By the way, not to be gross, but does anyone think it’s interesting that despite Hinamizawa’s history of cannibalism, no one in Higurashi actually eats anyone else? Maybe Ryukishi thought that would be going too far…

Okay, so I had read the manga and I had seen the anime but this is my first time really reading the Watanagashi Arc in the VN form. I’m not quite done yet but I thought I would leave my thoughts so far - I’ve just finished the part where Mion and Shion are first seen together for the first time.

Damn, Shion is conniving. In other versions I always felt like her hitting on Keiichi was mostly to get a rise out of Mion, but in the VN it feels a lot more like a move of revenge. A lot more of a “If I couldn’t have Satoshi-kun you can’t have Keiichi.” from earlier on. I want to go back through at some point go over the early scenes and have a real go at figuring out the two since it felt like there was more to pay attention to in that regard.

It really bothered me that Keiichi keeps rambling about how Shion and Mion are the same person. Even if it was my first time reading it is the kind of thing that broadcasts “KEIICHI IS DUMB THERE IS DEFINITELY TWIN SHENANIGANS GOING ON”

I really like the Club activities way more going through it this time around than any other time I sit through them. The Club activities really feel like the hard training lessons Keiichi has to go through to eventually build up the strength to create the miracle fragment Rika is searching for.

They do drag on sometimes though.

And now, with them more next to each other like this, I understand why I had such a different experience with Higurashi than with Umineko (vague over-arching talk of Umineko) and it comes down to the characters. In Umineko the appeal is the game itself but in Higurashi the appeal is much more the characters. In Higurashi Hinamizawa and the events of Watanagashi are presented as a thing that keeps happening to the characters, but you have really no idea what the rules are - you just know that you are learning a lot about these characters and end up really rooting for them. Umineko gives you the side seat with the game masters very early on, so you understand even the relationships of the characters in terms of The Game it self. It works out, because I think Higurashi has more (as in a larger number) of likeable characters, where Umineko is full of well written characters you don’t necessarily like that much.

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Well, to be fair, all the "Shion"s Keiichi talks to are actually Mion, up until he gets the phone call about the Angel Mort dessert festa. So it makes sense that he wouldn’t think it was suddenly the real Shion.

Also, Rena thought they were the same person, too.

That’s a really good way to put it. It helps show why people might prefer one or the other, without saying that one of them is objectively better.

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All of them were? I thought the first time he went to Angel Mort was probably actually Shion too. And I figured that was part of what planted the idea in Mion’s head.

Well, that’s what the manga implies, anyway. I guess it’s possible that it was Shion, though.

Watanagashi is one of those chapters where I just can’t pretend to be ignorant as to what’s going on. For me this arc is mostly setup for Meakashi-hen, my favorite arc of Higurashi, and is kind of overshadowed by it. But looking back on it, there’s a lot of really cool foreshadowing. The very first thing Shion says on the day after the festival is teasing Keiichi about “worrying about her”, which Keiichi himself remarks is something entirely out of character for Mion but something Shion does a lot.

Also it did kind of surprise me that Rena doesn’t know about Shion. Somehow I had it in my head that everyone but Keiichi was fully aware of her existence, hanging out with both twins occasionally, kinda like in Minagoroshi-hen.

I believe all Shion encounters pre-festa were indeed Mion, yes. Although I’d have to reread the first Angel Mort scene to confirm it I suppose.


Interesting. I would have to go through and read it again for clues, which I will probably do because I plowed through some parts of it really fast for the podcast.

Going through the end again this is very true. Rena shows very clearly how perceptive she is. Shion and the allusions to the Demon, Rika and Rika’s syringe, and Shion hating on Satoko so much. Lots of juicy foreshadowing here.

Reading Watanagashi again, especially fairly close to Onikakushi makes you feel like this is the real Welcome to Hinamizawa and Onikakushi ends up feeling like a sort of prologue. You have the introduction of important characters such as Shion and Kimeyoshi, as well as the first real explanation of the power dynamic of 3 families, and the witnessing of actual torture tools, and in the end the actual violence between Shion, Mion, and Keiichi is so much a step above what we had seen in Onikakushi.

The world of Watanagashi is so much more vicious feeling than the world of Onikakushi.


In one of Takano’s scrapbook Tips, she mentioned the old custom of the three great houses to immediately kill the younger twin of the heir if they had one (Shion also mentions this in Meakashi). But I was wondering…what would they do if it was fraternal twins and it was an older girl and a younger boy?

The three great houses obviously don’t have gigantic hang-ups about the gender of the head of the family, but at least in the Sonozaki family a preference for boys is implied. (In Minagoroshi, Akane asks Oryou if she still holds a grudge that Akane didn’t have a boy.)

Indeed, indeed. The world of the story and the ways the mystery can go are just expanded overall and many more elements are added. It just has a lot of twists and turns and even makes itself sound as if everything it’s telling you is true and reliable, cause more important characters are involved this time rather than just being told mainly by Keiichi’s point of view. And I agree about Onikakushi feeling like a prologue in comparison to Watanagashi too, frankly when I watched the latter it felt like I was watching a completely different and much better story, Onikakushi truly feels incomplete and very vaguely written in comparison.

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Maybe it has to do with that from Watanagashi on, Keiichi feels like he’s a resident of Hinamizawa and gets involved more (he helps out with getting the festival ready in Watanagashi and other arcs) whereas in Onikakushi, Keiichi is constantly feeling left out and either trying to prove himself or further isolate himself. Like for example, Keiichi joins the club a lot later in Onikakushi than in later arcs, and in Watanagashi on (save for Himatsubushi but that’s set in the past), Keiichi is in the club by the time the story picks up in June of Showa 1983. Onikakushi, you and Keiichi are outsiders who know little about this small town in the country, but by Watanagashi, you’re at least a little accustomed to the town and it’s residents, and the narrative reflects that.


That would make a lot of sense. And you’re right about Keiichi joining the club earlier; in Onikakushi he doesn’t join it until June 13th, but Watanagashi, he’s already joined it by the 12th (and he seems to have been a member for at least a few days by then).