Since the beginning of the Higurashi Answer Arc, fans were surprised to learn that the resets weren’t only being seen by us viewers but by one of the main characters within the series. Rika Furude—the one who has undergone 100 years of resets—has had to relive the same several days of June 1983 for reasons unknown to even her. Despite every attempt at escaping this nightmare, Rika continued to endure death from friends and enemies alike, each being more gruesome than the previous.
Most recently in Higurashi: When They Cry - New Rika has finally been given the gift of remembering her “loops” and that has allowed her to finally see a means of escaping this horrible fate. Unfortunately, episode 17 shows that even escaping one horrible fate for poor Rika leads to an inevitable crash into another painful revelation and this one might be worse than them all!
Rika’s Uncomfortable Feeling
Episode 17 felt very foreign to us viewers of the horror that is Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Peace and respite aren’t often experiences we see in the world of Hinamizawa and Rika also felt a painful foreboding as she saw the days ebb closer to the usual day of her death. Ultimately, Rika somehow made it past June 23rd and on the 24th day experienced a true shock thanks to her “best friend” Satoko.
A New Threat from the Best Friend
Satoko Hojo has long been the other child character us Higurashi fans feel for. Not only did Satoko lose her brother—who does make a brief cameo in episode 17—but she’s been forced to deal with the Hinamizawa Syndrome effects multiple times herself. We here at Honey’s Anime thought poor Satoko was yet another victim of the pain that is June 1983…turns out we might have been having sympathy for an enemy.
Gift of Deception
When the gang all went to celebrate Satoko’s birthday, each member bestowed our little trickster a nice gift. Rika was about to unveil her gift—which looked like a familiar gag jack in the box—when Satoko did something unusual. In one of the previous resets, Satoko took the gag item and was punched in the face by the spring-loaded boxing glove within. Satoko remembered this and ducked to the ground to avoid it. Yet, how did Satoko remember something from a previous reset that was unaware to all but Rika?
Just in case you readers forgot, here’s a few things we know from the Higurashi series. Rika was the only person to constantly remember her past resets with the exception of her death, which was rectified by Hanyu in Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Keiichi, Rena, Mion/Shion, and Satoko have had moments where past resets have trickled into their memories too but never without being forced to remember either by Rika or enduring a tragic series of events. That’s why Satoko remembering the past comes across strange and why we believe in a concept we’re about to discuss next.
Satoko is like Rika
That’s right readers! We here at Honey’s Anime are making a bold statement based on the ending of episode 17 of Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Satoko Hojo is like Rika and has undergone multiple resets of Hinamizawa! Don’t believe us? Let us convince you with three big episode 17 revelations
The first major moment that reveals Satoko’s ability to reset comes in the form of Satoko’s eyes which turn a strange reddish hue like Rika when she experienced a moment of remembrance from past “loops”. These eyes haven’t been seen by any character other than Rika and that alone acts as a big tell.
The second reason we believe Satoko is like Rika comes from the fact that she was packing a gun to a birthday! Why would Satoko—a child mind you—come to her birthday armed with a handgun? This means she was prepared for a possible confirmation and we doubt it was due to Keiichi’s usual acts of playful bullying.
The final reason we believe Satoko is like Rika comes from a line Hanyu said a few episodes back. When Rika hit a dark wall and wished for death, Hanyu mentioned a sword—which we learn has been broken and only a shard remains—could end the life of anyone with Rika’s “gift” of resetting. Maybe Hanyu wasn’t trying to tell Rika to end her own life but to seek out someone else with the ability to go through resets!
Satoko Hojo has always been a threat due to her high chances of contracting the Hinamizawa Syndrome—like her brother Satoshi—but now we believe she is a threat in another way. How will Rika proceed knowing that Satoko, her best friend, has possibly been manipulating the world since day one? We can’t wait to find out but for now, we’d like to open the floor to you readers! Let us know your thoughts on Higurashi: When They Cry - New in the comments below! For even more coverage of this anime and tons more be sure to keep stuck to our still shocked hive here at Honey’s Anime!