Higurashi’s my only 07th Expansion Experience, so picking from the main cast, I’d have to give status of favorite character to the Sonozaki twins. Rena’s a strong contender, but I loved the twins in not just every arc, but every scene they were in, both together and apart, and their relationship with each other is quite honestly just really sweet. All the trouble they get up to is just icing on the cake, too. I’ve said I think that Ryukishi07’s sense of humor isn’t quite praiseworthy in some areas, but something about the way the twins are written makes them seem human and not just cardboard cutouts hamming it up during Go Fish or something.
Even after having gone through all of the hardships and separation that their family has forced them to live through at such a young age, they’re still extremely close and can find it in each other to forgive and forget; even Shion, (Spoilers for Meakashi-hen, Minagoroshi-hen) when we first truly meet her in Meakashi, is a pretty impulse-driven character who can hold a grudge, tries her best early on to rein that part of herself in around her sister. There’s so many scenes that I can think of that made me love these two, but if I had to pick just one, it’d probably be the one where Mion almost gets asphyxiated by her sister. Almost. Probably sounds a bit weird out of context, honestly. In the vein of Meakashi-hen spoilers, while it’s evident where Shion’s mind was influenced due to the syndrome, I feel as if her constant assertions that she had become a demon was a way of – intentionally or otherwise – disassociating herself from her crimes, because underneath all of that, she was still there. Just buried under so much anger and resentment towards so many things that just exploded outwards all at once. Meakashi’s a depressing arc, but it hit close to home in a lot of areas for me personally, both with its upbeat beginning and grim ending. Disclaimer: I have never actually murdered someone, so I cannot truly relate to Shion Sonozaki in Meakashi-hen. That life experience is something I’m willing to not have.
(Minor Spoilers for Meakashi)When we meet Shion in Meakashi-hen, we’re immediately presented with the idea of a capable, active character who does things and makes snap decisions. …Unlike Keiichi. Ha ha.
While we never get much POV time with Mion, she’s a genuinely nice and loyal person who loves her friends and will do anything in her power to keep them safe. I see a lot of characters who adopt the whole “group leader/mother bear” thing, but Mion pulls it off really nicely, I think. (Spoilers for Matsuriyabashi-hen, Meakashi-hen)The few fragments we get to experience the world from her eyes in during Matsuribayashi-hen plus when she confesses to Shion in Meakashi-hen about how she was almost ready to strangle Oryou really give the impression that she’s a person who has remained largely unaffected by her family’s dated traditions and shady dealings, and a person who has a strong sense of justice. She does what she feels is right, even when it might just be hurting herself – such as when she peels 3 nails because she thought it was unfair that only Shion had to suffer that torture – and while some might call that naive, I quite honestly find it admirable that she so firmly believes in her own rules. Even when she was forced to act as the family head and oversee the torture of her own sister, she let that mask slip for long enough to both attempt to help Shion keep it together and help get it over with. In a way.
They’re so close and yet so different, and I think over the course of the very few arcs that was see both Mion and Shion together consistently, we see them developing even more distinct personalities. They’re pretty perfect foils for each other too, of course. After my re-read of all the arcs, I couldn’t help but appreciate the twins more than I ever could have when I first experienced the series through the anime. I’d like to give them both hugs. They really need them.
In terms of minor characters/side characters, Akane isn’t bad, and every time she’s onscreen and acting as her chatty self I always crack a smile. You can’t stay expressionless when Akane is talking, at all. Her dialogue is in the same vein of entertaining as what the twins say.
Wow, that was a long post. I left out a couple things too. What large spoiler tags. Better safe than sorry, though.