The Fated Battle for a Future!
- Episodes : 15
- Genre : Avant Garde, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense, Psychological
- Airing Date : July 2021 – September 2021
- Producers : Passione
Introduction and Story
Satoko Houjou has been given the same power as her childhood friend Rika Furude, now she too is a “Looper”. Hell-bent on keeping her friend from leaving the peaceful village of Hinamizawa, Satoko begins making moves to demoralize Rika. Can Rika find some means of beating this curse and finally ending the nightmare of June 1983? The final battle for sanity and for a future begins in
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU!
The time has finally arrived, fellow otaku! Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU aimed to be the finale for this horror franchise and you know we here at Honey’s Anime were long awaiting this closing chapter. Does Higurashi: SOTSU give us fans the closure we wanted or is the ending an utter disappointment? Let us find out in our full review of Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU!
Rika Vs Satoko
Hands down some of the best elements from this final Higurashi season lie within the climactic battle between Rika and Satoko. Once Rika learns of Satoko’s ability to “loop”—traverse time upon death—the two clash in such a surreal way that it almost didn’t feel like Higurashi. Yet, this intense battle of supernatural beings wasn’t goofy or over the top and instead felt needed as Rika unleashed her inner pains against her worst enemy…her best friend.
Really, that was what made Higurashi: SOTSU truly noteworthy despite the major issue it has—which we will talk about soon—seeing how Satoko played us viewers from the very start. The majority of Higurashi: SOTSU is a recap of the previous season—Higurashi: When They Cry – NEW—but with new moments showing Satoko and how she played with the deadly Hinamizawa virus and used that to keep Rika from succeeding in gaining her dream of leaving the village. Watching Satoko play this innocent girl corrupted by the selfishness of desire and friendship was interesting and extremely freighting which fits quite well with the Higurashi motif.
90% Recap and 10% New Content
Unfortunately, Higurashi: SOTSU suffers greatly thanks to its way of executing this “behind the scenes” view of Satoko’s actions. A majority—and we mean almost the entire season of SOTSU—is a recap peppered with new scenes showing Satoko’s manipulative actions. It is a pain to see an episode that is mostly a recap of the last season with only three to four minutes of “new” content. People complained about the recap in series like One Piece and Naruto but, Higurashi: SOTSU might be the worst offender of the recap we’ve ever seen in an anime.
An Almost Too Perfect Ending
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU 15 episode run acts as a true finale to the Higurashi franchise and it literally ends the entire franchise…almost too perfectly. As the credits roll, we see how everyone has grown up and has moved past the hellish month/year of June 1983 and now are adults with futures. We even see Satoshi—yes Satoko’s brother—finally awaken and seem normal! It almost seems like the desired ending we Higurashi fans wanted but when you really think about it, Higurashi: SOTSU ends too cleanly.
If you wanted a happy ending with smiles and laughs, then SOTSU will satisfy you in spades but if you wanted an ending that answers all your burning Higurashi questions—like why did Eua do all of this and who will Keiichi hook up with—you’ll be sorely disappointed. Higurashi: SOTSU seemed like it wanted to just wrap up Rika’s tale in a nice bow but not care how that bow looks on the package.
Sidelined Main Cast
Aside from the ending and recap issues—though the ending isn’t bad per se, just too neat—the worst sin SOTSU commits is how it sidelines the main cast aside from Rika and Satoko. Where the original two seasons gave more power to characters like Keiichi Maebara, Rena Ryuuguu and the Sonozaki twins—Mion and Shion—Higurashi: SOTSU is all about Rika and Satoko. Despite how the intro seems to make it seem like the various kids of Hinamizawa have a purpose in this tale, they really only are here to be parts of this strange chess game between Satoko and Rika.
Those who remember Higurashi back in 2006 also remember how Keiichi was not only the main character but was the reason Rika finally began to break the loops. Due to the loops’ strange side effect where repeated deaths begin to alter the minds of those involved—aside of Rika—Keiichi was able to gather his friends and make moves to stop their deaths and keep Rika alive to find their true enemy. SOTSU undermines this unity of friendship and makes this the Rika and Satoko show which really is a bit annoying as we love the various cast members that make up Higurashi.
Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU doesn't have a bad finale and ends the series on a high note—which we needed as fans—but it just feels like it could have been a better season overall. SOTSU relied way too heavily on recaps and repeated scenes which make the entire finale feel almost like déjà vu. Thankfully, the ending does make us smile as Rika and Satoko finally find their future. SOTSU also ends on a note where we could see extra OVAs or content but, in a way, we almost kind of hope this is it for the Higurashi franchise.
What did you readers think of the Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU ending? Did you love it or hate it? Spill your hearts via the comments below! For even more anime reviews and anime articles, keep stuck to our Higurashi-loving hive here at Honey’s Anime!