'Imagine that your favourite cosplay is stripped entirely naked because of your stupid desire. Now, think! If you take all of their clothes off, that's not cosplay anymore, is it?! That sort of video is rampant lately! It's just lamentable! Humans without clothes aren't civilised, they're animals! If only naked girls excited you, you'd be a pack of dogs.'
Direct quote from Higurashi: When They Cry
. This is a game about murder.
I love that Keiichi steps in in an attempt to save Shion and then goes '????? I've just realised this is a genuinely dangerous situation and I have no idea what I'm doing!' Keiichi, you're hopeless.
(I'm so used to being inside Keiichi's head! It's weird to see him from the perspective of a different character.)
I'm around chapter twelve of instalment five, 'Meakashi', and by this point it would probably make most sense to finish playing before posting an entry, but TOO BAD; I have a lot to say and I'm posting an entry right now.
Wow. Shion Sonozaki: the worst, or actually a bit worse than that?
'Meakashi' is a retelling of 'Watanagashi' from Shion's perspective. I'm going to quote my impressions of Shion from 'Watanagashi' here: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 one.
So the thing that made me warm to Shion was specifically the moment she begged Mion 'no, kill me if you have to, just not Keiichi, not anyone else.'
In 'Meakashi', I tried to hold on to that during the horrifying scene where Shion was screaming and throwing things at Satoko, in the guise of Satoko's friend
, blaming her for her brother's suffering. There was no excuse for that, but I reminded myself that Shion had a better side, even if she could be incredibly thoughtless.
I tried to hold on to that when it turned out she'd dragged Keiichi to the ritual storehouse because, if it got her cursed, she didn't want to be the only one. When she was thinking, The boy I liked disappeared last year; maybe it'd be fair for the boy my sister likes to disappear this year,
I was telling myself she doesn't mean it, she's going to be begging for Keiichi's life later.
And instead Shion deliberately took multiple further steps to place Keiichi's life at risk, and Mion (barring any inexplicable twists in the last few chapters) was the one begging. You can imagine how hard it hit when I realised the one thing
that made me think 'okay, Shion's not a bad person at heart' wasn't actually Shion
'It was actually the other
identical twin' is the oldest trick in the book! I can't believe this possibility never even crossed my mind!'He's fun to be around, but I wouldn't shed a tear for him if he became a victim of the curse.' I thought you cared, Shion! I thought it was your one redeeming feature! I just feel so betrayed.
She... she still cares about Satoshi, at least? I mean, yes, she cares about him to 'murdering four or five people' levels, which is perhaps to be discouraged, but it's something.
And now I know that Mion didn't actually snap and kill her friends; she was forced to watch helplessly as they were killed in front of her. They probably believed that she was the one killing them, too.
I'm so nervous about what Shion's going to do when she gets her hands on Satoko. When I thought Mion was the one who killed her, I thought that she did it reluctantly, because she felt an obligation to her family, and maybe she at least made it quick because Satoko's her friend. But Shion has loathed Satoko all along, and she has access to a storehouse full of torture implements.
The scene where Shion spends ten minutes psyching herself up to rip out her own fingernails was already tough enough to read. Maybe it won't be the most painful scene in this instalment.
(After the fight with Rika, I'm editing this post to note that, yes, the fingernail scene was definitely not this instalment's most disturbing read.)
I suppose this is making up nicely for the fourth instalment being insufficiently horrifying, at least.