Higurashi - Keiichi Maebara Character Discussion (Full Series Spoilers)

Discussion topic for Keiichi Maebara. Feel free to discuss the entirety of Higurashi without [spoiler] tags, but please tag references to outside works, providing adequate context in parenthesis. This topic will contain massive spoilers, so if you have not finished reading Higurashi yourself proceed with caution.

A couple of thoughts on Keiichi:

  1. While Keiichi is not always the most perceptive person, what he does perceive, he seems to always attempt to really acknowledge it and respond to it. In fact, you might even say that this Keiichi’s most essential trait.

The part in Tsumihoroboshi where he remembers killing Rena and Mion is a good example of this. He doesn’t try to escape the weight of his sins at all (for example, by trying to shift at least part of the blame onto Rena or Mion, or by dismissing his memories as not real). It’s like, he’s determined to shoulder this thing, even if it breaks him. And maybe it would have, if Rika hadn’t forgiven him, or if he didn’t have the chance to save Rena.

I’m not just talking about major events, either. There are countless examples of Keiichi doing this in regards to relatively small stuff, too. For example, in Minagoroshi, when he gets that recommendation to be the auctioneer at the festival, at first he considers the possibility that the villagers are just trying to push a troublesome job onto him, but he realizes that’s a city-dweller’s way of thinking, and that the villagers really are offering him the job because they think he’s the right person for it. So he feels very grateful about it, with a strong desire to live up to everyone’s expectations.

In contrast, there’s Keiichi’s attitude towards the auction in the anime, where he seems more annoyed at having been given the job than anything.

But anyway, this tendency definitely isn’t always a good thing, either. It can make him gullible, and it can make things considerably worse when he has the syndrome.

  1. For a long time, I had this theory that Keiichi was subconsciously aware of the existence of the “time loop” and I was recently able to confirm this with Ryukishi07. So that’s interesting.

Wait so, Ryukishi himself confirmed that Keiichi is aware of the time loop?

Yes, I asked him on the Shirakawa-go pilgrimage event. I have a crappy-quality audio recording of me asking the question if anyone wants it.

So I guess the next thing to speculate about is why that is… I actually have an idea, but I’d like to polish it up a bit before I post about it here.

Okay, one often overlooked fact is that Rika has control over whether Keiichi moves to Hinamizawa or not. Not only that, but in Rika’s hundred years, he’s only ever not moved there “once or twice.” That means Rika purposefully made it so he moved to Hinamizawa every other time.

But isn’t this kind of a terrible thing to do? It’s true that Rika doesn’t know about the “Great Hinamizawa Disaster.” But she does know that things very often go south even before she dies. She brings Keiichi to Hinamizawa over and over, anyway.

Effectively, she’s trapping him in the same dead-end fate that she herself is trapped in. My theory is that Keiichi’s subconscious knowledge of the time loop is partly due to this connection Rika forged between Keiichi and herself. Depending on how the worlds work, she might even be “dragging” him from world to world.

Or, to put it in a more Umineko-esque way, you could perhaps say that Keiichi is Rika’s game piece. Not in the sense that she controls his actions, but in the sense that she’s the one who always “places him on the game board.”

(Umineko spoilers) If you’re skeptical about someone being able to have a piece unawares, remember that Featherine said that Beatrice was like Battler’s piece.


I find this really interesting. I never would have thought of that. It really makes you think and also does explain why he remembers more than everyone else. Keiichi and Rika both influence each other in many ways and wow Keiichi being Rika’s piece… That official art already had it down to a point. xD

Rika also remarks to those worlds without him were one of the worst worlds. I still wonder what happened in those. I know in Saikoroshi they said in that in that certain fragment he was happy at his school without having committed that sin. I wonder if there are other worlds where he committed his sin, but couldn’t go to Hinamizawa or just didn’t care to try to befriend anyone.

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Well, not to suddenly get dark, but I think it’s possible Keiichi may have committed suicide in the worlds where he didn’t move to Hinamizawa.

For one thing, he didn’t decide to make a fresh start until after he moved to Hinamizawa. (As shown in the ‘Keiichi Maebara’ fragment in Matsuribayashi.)

For another, he says things like this:

Also, in Tatarigoroshi, he does actually attempt suicide. It’s true that this was after everyone he cared about died in the “disaster,” but I think it still shows that he has the potential to try to kill himself.

So in those couple of worlds where he didn’t show up…maybe he just committed suicide “too soon.”

I know I said Rika did something terrible by bringing Keiichi to Hinamizawa, but I only meant that in the sense that as far as she knows, making it so he didn’t come to Hinamizawa would be the “right” thing to do.


Wow… that is really something.

It would make sense with the whole bb gun incident and all. :frowning:

So in a way Rika did save him from that possible outcome.

I remember back in one of the question arcs Keiichi was surprised by learning about how easy it was to advance to another level and that he joked about studying for nothing. It really hurt later when you read about his former school life.


This really is interesting, Isae. Keiichi is the one who motivates and helps Rika to ‘move in the game board’, particularly in the Minagoroshi and Matsuribayashi though I feel something can be said about the question arcs too. He is the so-called protagonist of most of them, and what little things somebody who is reading the novels discovers during the question arcs are mostly cause of Kei-chan. That’s because as Rika’s piece, he probably feels some unconscious determination to get involved and solve the mysteries, so even in those scenarios he may be indirectly slightly helping Rika. Well, he fits better as the protagonist for the question arcs for other reasons, such as being new to the village and not knowing much about it, thus he’d be more curious to the mysteries and not as knowledgeable about them to get himself involved, but I still think that this may subtly hint to your little theory here, Isae.


Thanks, Sapphire! I think it makes sense for there to be a connection between Keiichi and Rika, seeing as they’re both “the protagonist” of Higurashi (Keiichi as the apparent protagonist and Rika as the hidden protagonist).

Another way Keiichi helps Rika in the question arcs is by learning the lessons he needs to in order to help Rika learn the lessons she needs to. Rika/Frederica hints at this in the “fragment-weaving” section of Matsuribayashi when she talks about why all the arcs (at least, Onikakushi thru Minagoroshi) were necessary.


Agreed about the apparent-hidden protagonist connection. Though it’s a theory we’re discussing here, even without it, it can just simply be said that Keiichi and Rika are connected cause of their ‘protagonist’ roles. And what Frederica said makes sense, the previous painful world experiences were necessary for both of them, not only so they could learn more about the mistery but also to grow emotionally.


Well, to be honest, I think most of my “theory” is just a simple way of expressing the relationship Keiichi and Rika already have in canon. Rika is always the one who “places him on the gameboard” by having him move to Hinamizawa, and he is largely her proxy in her fight against fate. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to call Keiichi Rika’s piece.

The only part that’s really a theory is that Keiichi’s link to other worlds is due to his connection with Rika. I guess I favor it because it explains Keiichi’s memories of other worlds while also going well with the canonical connection I just outlined.

If I ever get a chance to have a talk with Ryukishi (not as unlikely as it sounds if he ever comes to Anime Expo again), I’m going to tell him about this theory and h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶o̶n̶ uhh, I mean ask him if it’s true.


You’re right, that makes a lot of sense. I didn’t express myself very well though, I just meant to say that even if one were to think of this theory when reading Higurashi, they wouldn’t really think of the pieces aspect nor would they get any answer or anything at the end of the series. But the one thing that would assure somebody that there’s a connection between Rika and Keiichi is their protagonist roles. Until they read Umineko and put all the pieces together, that is.

Oh well, who knows, some chance to ask him might happen somehow and you’ll get to ask him. :slight_smile:

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To be honest I would love some more When They Cry games which Keiichi as a main character and Rena too because unlike everyone else Story there was still more to go into which there Story like both Keiichi thing which the girl he most likely make lose an Eye or at least the ability to see in that eye. Keiichi once again running into her and for Rena the Stuff which Rena mother and maybe forgiving each other for how they make each other feel. Also I just want to see what became of Keiichi in the World where he never move to Hinamizawa I can see a When They Cry Game in that World.

This is just a Theory but what if the World Keiichi never move to Hinamizawa were the first few World when Rika did not have a complete understanding of why she wake up in a new world and was still a child after dieing.

I also think the fact that Rika was the One who force Keiichi into solving her and Hinamizawa problem should be something that need some closer. Even if Keiichi doesn’t know about it.

Rika action you could say force the title of Hero onto Keiichi which can be a good thing to be call a hero but also a Cruel Curse. Maybe Ryukishi07 could make a game around that fact at some point.


I would love to see something like that, and I think there are various other things that could be expanded upon in the Higurashi universe. But I don’t know if Ryukishi intends to return to it again.


There’s another thing that might be considered a loose end in Higurashi.

It’s easy to see that the story of Higurashi revolves around the club members’ close relationships with each other. Especially Keiichi’s relationships with everyone else. And those are largely based on Keiichi’s usurpation of Satoshi’s place. He even literally takes Satoshi’s place by sitting at Satoshi’s desk as school. Even Keiichi’s trademark weapon isn’t really his.

Now, despite the ways Keiichi echos Satoshi, the two are actually quite different personality-wise. But in a way, that makes it more “ideal,” because if Keiichi really were a carbon copy of Satoshi, I think that would push things into uncanny valley in his friends’ eyes.

In other words, Keiichi makes an extremely convenient focal point for the other club members’ regrets and other feelings towards Satoshi.

I’m not saying that they would drop Keiichi like a hot potato if Satoshi returned, but their relationship would definitely have to change to an extent, because right now Keiichi is clearly filling “the Satoshi role.”


Yes that would be something I would like to see what would happen if Satoshi return and you could even make a very good story if Keiichi feel like he should leave Hinamizawa because of Satoshi return and how at the beginning everyone would most likely be all around Satoshi do to his return after he was missing for a year which could make Keiichi feel alone and isolation even if that not what they are trying to do.

Also a theory I have is that what if the two world that Keiichi never went to Hinamizawa where the first Two World which would make what Rika did even worse to Keiichi by pulling him into her Hell when form the start he was never met to be there.

It funny if you think about it, that Battler Story had a complete end but Keiichi Story did not have a complete end and we even don’t know the aftermath of Keiichi Story but Battler we did which the 20 year time skip form 1986 at the end of Episode 8. It funny we saw more aftermath of the bad end stores in Higurashi then we did of the One Good End story.

It’s possible… although, of course, the first time she brought him it would have been unintentional.

Well, personally, I wouldn’t want to see that far into the future in the good end… maybe a few years after Matsuribayashi, at the most. Because that way, you can imagine it more freely.


You know it’s really interesting how Keiichi seems to roll with Rika’s ‘changes’. Her ‘mature’ voice and demeanor… I think Rika has shown that side to him the most if anything. He doesn’t change the way he treats her and doesn’t seem to overall mind it as much as other characters. I wonder why?


Also Keiichi is connected with Rika through Hanyuu (dunno if it counts as spoiler but I guess it’s a EP7 spoiler?), like that time in EP1 where Keiichi crushes the shoe rack. There is also that loud noise in the temple in EP2 too, and it’s later revealed that Hanyuu was stomping on the floor with anger :joy: but thinking back I guess it’s just an expression of fragility of characters, which would explain why only Tomitake and Shion heard it?

EDIT: Maybe I went a bit off topic tho

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