Satoko Houjou has been a truly loved character from the Higurashi franchise. Cute, tomboyish, fun, and adorable, Satoko has been that little sister character that you hope gets what she desires. Our Satoko has endured painful days—especially in Higurashi: When They Cry - New—which is why we rooted for her to somehow walk away from this happy and healthy. We here at Honey’s Anime got our wish… but like all wishes, you need to be careful what you wish for…
SATOKO IS BAD?!?!
Those who watched the last dozen or so episodes of Higurashi: When They Cry - New no doubt know that Satoko gained a freighting new power similar to her best friend—and possible love interest—Rika Furude. Like Rika, death isn’t the end for Satoko and now she’s able to relive through different worlds just like Rika did for the past century. However, this new power has given birth to something we didn’t think we’d witness in Higurashi…Satoko becoming the new enemy of the series.
Desiring nothing but a happy life with her best friend Rika, Satoko has quickly learned how her “looping” power works and how to manipulate it to change the world. Unfortunately, seeing as how Satoko loves to win, she’s adapted this power as a means of doing just that…winning. Satoko has become obsessed with trapping Rika in Hinamizawa and her being already on the warpath to ensuring her victory means Rika’s captivity in this quiet hellish town.
Explaining it All
Higurashi has been a franchise beloved by horror and mystery fans due to the fact that it has so much of both. Not only is Higurashi creepy and hyper-violent—plenty of horrid deaths all around—but it continues to assault the mind by giving viewers a new mystery to figure out. Satoko’s new power has unlocked a new mystery for fans—who is that godly being that gave her the power?—but it possibly ruins the entire franchise by explaining all mysteries in one fell swoop.
As we learn early on, Satoko’s newest power is basically a stronger version of Rika’s “gift”. Death isn’t the final curtain call for Satoko—like Rika—and she can remember each death/failing to try again in a new “loop”. However, Satoko’s ability is quickly upgraded from Rika’s and if the timeline is leaning to where we think it is going…it explains everything the series has kept hidden from us viewers.
For example, many have wondered why Keiichi or Mion have become infected with Hinamizawa Syndrome—the series’ main illness that causes deranged behavior—but can all that be explained from episode 24’s ending? When Satoko steals from Miyo’s briefcase the syndrome vial, does that mean Satoko has been injecting her friends with the virus to keep Rika from escaping June 1983? If that is the case, all the mysteries aside from why someone got mysteriously infected end up going back to one cause…Satoko Houjou.
As noted in our intro, Satoko has been a girl who has endured many pains in the Higurashi franchise. She lost her brother—Satoshi—to the syndrome and she’s experienced quite a few deaths just like Rika. Add to that her uncle, who basically made her suffer physical and psychological trauma, and you end up having a lot of sympathy for the little Satoko. Yet, does our sympathy for Satoko warrant her reason for keeping Rika locked within her small village of pain?
Satoko is basically caging Rika in due to a common issue many of us face as we grow older, detachment from longtime friends. If you have a childhood friend for years you no doubt can understand that once time marches on, you begin to often separate as you go your own ways in life/careers. However, does that justify caging your friend in a bubble to keep yourself happy? No, Satoko’s reason for being evil is truly perverse and makes us root for her downfall now as a character. We truly hope Rika can overcome Satoko using her powers and 100+ years of intellect.
Satoko Houjou is a great villain on paper but in our minds, she can possibly ruin the entire theme of Higurashi. Unlike Rika, Satoko’s power has been used for selfish reasons and we truly despise one of our favorite characters becoming so evil. Maybe Satoko has always been this evil but we’d like to believe there was a time where she was just as innocent as many of the Higurashi cast. What are your thoughts on Satoko becoming enemy number 1 from Higurashi? Let us know in the comments below and for more articles examining our favorite characters, keep stuck to our powerless hive here at Honey’s Anime!