I've finished the second Higurashi
! My thoughts are under the cut.
Poor Keiichi. Everything's always his fault. 'Yes, Keiichi, I murdered five people, but YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE BROKEN INTO THAT STOREHOUSE, SHOULD YOU? YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT MORE CAREFULLY ABOUT WHICH OF YOUR FRIENDS TO GIVE A CUTE DOLL TO. MAYBE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO DIE.'
The ending was a little heavy on the backstory dump, which I've come to realise is a recurring problem in this series, but there was also a lot about it that really interested me. I hugely enjoyed Keiichi and Mion laughing together at his bad joke as she openly prepared to torture him to death. And that he promises not to hate Mion, and he holds to that promise even when she goes 'by the way, I lured you in here so I could kill you.'
My feelings on Shion fluctuated a lot, but I liked her by the end. When you first find out she's a person of her own, she doesn't come across well; it seems like she's using Keiichi to torment Mion for her own amusement. In the end, though, when she's begging Mion not to kill anyone else, it's hard to hold her pettiness against her. She's not necessarily a nice person, in some respects, but she's not a bad
I'll admit I also resented Shion at first because I'd thought there was a weird Keiichi/Mion romance developing, and then it turned out that the person Keiichi had a crush on wasn't actually
Mion in disguise. But the last chapter served my desire for weird Keiichi/Mion romance rather well. I love that Mion killed two of Keiichi's friends, but he still can't bring herself to hate her. I love that his response to hearing the police have found Mion is mingled 'so she won't try to kill me again' relief and 'but I don't know if I actually wanted her to be caught' sadness. Plus there was Mion's strangely throwaway line before they went into the underground murderbase:Mion:
I am nothing more than a demon, so I don't understand human feelings anymore. I have a feeling, though... that I know why Mion fell in love with you.Keiichi:
...Don't say that like it's not related to you. You're Mion.
The ending was so cruel. 'Okay, a load of people were killed in this one, but at least Keiichi and Shion narrowly escaped death! ...nope. Oh, hey, Keiichi survived the second attempt on his life as well! Maybe he'll get out of this instalment ali— nope
.' I thought he was safe! Permanently traumatised, but safe!
What's Rena going to do now? There's nobody left. In a weird way, though, she seems like she might be able to handle the loss of all her friends. Better than Keiichi, certainly. She's a lot stronger than she appears at first glance.
Rena was so level-headed and forgiving in Watanagashi
that I have to believe Keiichi was imagining her malice in the first instalment, or that there was some sort of possession or other external factor influencing her behaviour in Scary Mode. The 'real' Rena genuinely is kind, even when she knows Keiichi has been lying to her, whereas Scary Rena's appearances often seemed to be brought on by lies. Although her detailed knowledge of how Satoko was lured to her death might suggest that she's still in the habit of spying on friends.
As for the 'real' Mion, who knows? Mion's the only one who's scary in both instalments so far, and she's also the only one who ends up dead in both, other than Keiichi (and Keiichi only probably
dies at the end of this one). I'm interested to see what she's like in part three, assuming that things are going to be reset again.
My favourite part of the Higurashi
games might actually be the full-cast party at the end of each one, where all the characters gather together to celebrate finishing the game and discuss the story as if they're actors in it. It's a nice way to make everything feel a little less dark. Keiichi is so affronted that all these terrible things keep happening to him.