Higurashi finally found it’s grand finale in the form of the second season of the more recent reboot—or continuation—in the form of Higurashi: When They Cry – SOTSU. Rika Furude at long last discovers the cause of her “loops” from the hands of a fellow looper and longtime friend Satoko Houjou. After 15 episodes, Rika performed another miracle to end her nightmarish repeated cycles of June 1983 but this is where Higurashi: SOTSU had fans mixed. When the end credits began, die-hard fans contemplated if this “happy ending” was really the best way of ending the long psychological horror franchise. Today, we here at Honey’s Anime look at the ending—there will be spoilers for the entire SOTSU season—and determine for ourselves if this ending was the one fans needed or an ending that was just too clean.
The Happy Ending Rika Needed
Those who adored Rika no doubt smiled from ear to ear when she finally got her wish of going to St. Lucia’s prestigious academy and rid herself of the small town of Hinamizawa. While Satoko was forced to watch her best friend leave town—unlike in Higurashi: When They Cry – New where she joined her—and bid their friendship adieu, at least temporarily. Both loopers gained some peace from their bloody loops and game of chess but, was this the best ending for Rika? In short, yes it was.
Rika is one of the few characters from the Higurashi franchise who has endured the most in her loops. Forced to relive June 1983 possibly hundreds of times—so her mental age is way higher than her physical one—Rika began having her sanity waver with each failure to stop her death from either her friends or random townspeople. Rika needed this happy ending, she needed a break from the seemingly never-ending loops, and Higurashi: SOTSU gave her the ending she deserved.
Satoko Gave Up Way too Easily
Satoko’s mission to imprison Rika in Hinamizawa was almost a success but her ego was her ultimate demise in SOTSU. That being said, we watched Satoko who—like Rika—endured her own hells thanks to her uncle and the “loss” of Satoshi so we understand her desire to hold on to the one thing she loved so strongly and selfishly. Yet, we have to wonder. Did Satoko give up a bit too easily in the climax?
Satoko’s various actions in SOTSU were pretty dark. We watched her manipulate her reformed uncle to make him believe the town hated her and we even see Satoko give the Hinamizawa virus to her close friends like Keiichi Maebara without a moment’s hesitation. This makes us feel that Satoko could have kept fighting Rika—remember she lost her kind side when Eua ripped it from her spirit—till she stood victorious and found a means to trap Rika in a failing situation. Satoko—in our opinion—gave up way too easily, losing to emotions we know she didn’t have and when she could have just continued looping while Rika finally began to break.
Satoshi Houjou has been one variable to Higurashi that has always been quite obscure. Acting as a minor character in Higurashi: New and Higurashi: SOTSU, Satoshi really only reappeared at the very end when he finally—FINALLY—opens his eyes and speaks. A grave sin committed in SOTSU is having Satoshi not only not meet his sister again—that would have been a beautiful scene—but gave no reason why he was cured of his Hinamizawa syndrome or if he is cured at all. SOTSU did Satoshi dirty and we will always have that biting our love for this final season.
Was This All a Prequel to Another Series?
Those who eat, breathe and live Ryukishi07—the creator of Higurashi and Umineko—are used to his strange ways of tying his stories together via red-herrings and legit otherworldly connections. Higurashi has always been theorized to be connected to Umineko and we here at Honey’s Anime can see the connections but that does make us wonder if Higurashi: SOTSU was indeed a prequel to another Ryukishi07 work. How the ending shows a now younger Eua—Umineko fans know what that means—leaving one “world’s” otherworldly plane to possibly go somewhere else and meddle with others as she did with Satoko. This revelation could have made the ending so much more impactful and for those of you scratching your heads in confusion, let us explain what we mean.
Theories of various When They Cry franchises—like Umineko and Higurashi—have always needed that one true link to make their theories seem more plausible. Had SOTSU given just a hint of a connection, we might have finally seen the light and begun to piece together—without a doubt—the numerous connections of the When They Cry timeline. Unfortunately, how rushed the finale is—and how it focuses on Rika and Satoko’s happiness—leaves us with more questions than we had even before this conclusion! Hopefully, a new series arrives eventually but for now this is yet another flaw of the Higurashi: SOTSU ending.
Higurashi: When They Cry- SOTSU ended on a note that we neither completely love nor completely hate. There’s a strange balance of feelings when it comes to the ending of SOTSU that helps us feel happy for the various cast members of Higurashi but also wish various questions would have been given true answers. Maybe that’s the charm that makes us always love Higurashi, the constant questions with the fleeting answers that ironically, lead to even more questions.
What did you guys and girls think of Higurashi: When They Cry- SOTSU’s ending? Tell us via the comments below and share your theories with us as well! For even more coverage of Higurashi and various other series keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime!