Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei – Episode 4October 8, 2009
I finally decided to watch Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, or rather, watch half of it.I didn’t bother to watch episode 1 and 5; I’m not into this kind of stuff. So, derederehina-chan was kind enough to let me blog this instead of her so I guess I should express some graditude. Thankies~ ^^
This episode picks up excactly from where the last one left to. Rika’s mother explains to her that she should keep the fact she is the Oyashiro-sama incarnation a secret from the rest of the world; as it’s just the two of them who know of it right now. Rika senses a warmth inside her mothe who’s now hugging her -a feeling similar to Hanyuu’s powers- leading us to discovering where the fragment which keeps Hanyuu from entering this world is at. Of course, that brings Rika to a difficult situation, as she has to destroy this sinless world by killing her mother to return to the place she came from.
Later into the night, Rika is now reporting to Hanyuu her latest discovery. She’s confused about what to do, after all, this world is what you could call perfect. Through the magical rock communicating device-thingy, Hanyuu tells her of a story from long ago, before she was even to be called Oyashiro-sama. When Hanyuu decided to be a god, her daughter -Rika’s ancestor-, was sad. That was because she knew she would become a god who harboured great malice from the world. But, as people kept on sinning, Hanyuu had decided to take them all on herself, and thus, by being killed from another, she would carry those sins to another world. She left the task of cleansing those sins to her daughter, who hadn’t accepted would’ve been ostracised as the child of a vicious god. In the end, the daughter decided to accept her fate and killed her mother as she wished; leaving an oath to her that she would re-create the world into a better place, as her mother had visioned. Hanyuu leaves that world oathing she would, too, return to this world once her daughter’s words have become reality.
Her daughter indeed cleansed the world with the powers left by her mother and the village returned to peace. Hanyuu however was unable to return to that world; her power was just too great to accept the world. They both knew that this power wouldn’t last forever, also. Then, decades later, the Furude family gave birth to a baby girl for the eight generation in a row. Using that “key” Hanyuu was able to return to the world and started living with that kid, Rika. That lifestyle wouldn’t last for long though, as she encountered the tragic dead-end of Showa 58. For a last time, she decided to sin once more to save Rika’s life and travel to another world with her.
Rika gets upset by what she’s heard. She asks Hanyuu if she believes they should’ve given up on the very first world, where Takano torned her chest open. Apart from sounding cruel, the god concludes that this would indeed be the very best thing to do. She regrets sinning like that and realises she should’ve just accepted the end, whatever its form was. Rika can’t believe the words she’s hearing. After hundreads of years travelling together with Hanyuu, striving for a better future for them, she’s listening to what she though would never. Anyway, having driven offtopic, Hanyuu decides to go back to their original subject.
As Rika has to choose whether to kill her mother or not, she decided to asks Hanyuu’s opinion about it. But by entrusting this to her, she is also shifting the responsibility over to her. Hanyuu says that there is no meaning to a life which is chosen for us and advices Rika to weight her decision seriously and take responsibility for it. Rika then asks Hanyuu what would happen to her if she chose to stay into this world. The god tells she’ll stop existing, and their long journey would come to an end. Rika asks her if that’s OK with her but Hanyuu tells her to stop using her as an excuse. She proceeds by telling her everything she knows of the world they’re currently in.
In this world, Maebara Keiichi, even though stressed by his exams, has never been involved in the toy gun incided and thus, has never sinned. The same goes with Rena, whose parents have never divorced. Life is also happy for the Houjous too; Satoshi is still alive and they haven’t been ostracised out of the village. And lastly for the Sonozakis, Mion is undergoing training to be he new head of the family, while Shion provides support secretly from the shadows. In other words, this is a beautifully pure and clean world; the perfect place for everyone.
Rika questions Hanyuu on whether she thinks she should kill her own mother simply for the purpose of choosing her own life. Hanyuu’s reply is simple though, she says that if she were her mother, she’d say her own life is nothing compared to her daughter’s happiness. Rika is surprised by her words. She asks her if she ever considered the feelings of her daughter, who had to kill her own mother. It’s easy to die, but the killer has to bear that weight for the rest of their lives. She tells her she should’ve lived and fought. To these words, Hanyuu replies by asking Rika what she inteds to do her and now. Her options are to chose to live into this peaceful world, or throw away all those comforts and return to her original one; the one she fought for. She goes on by telling her her daughter didn’t make a hasty decision, and that she won’t allow anyone to make light of their battle. Finally, she informs her that the Kamunomikotonori (AKA the magical stone) that links them together will soon lose all power left in it, and so will the powers of the fragment which is inside her mother. That means she has to decide her future quick. She thanks Hanyuu and tells she’ll fight and weight her decision seriously before the communication device runs out of power.
Next thing we know, Rika wakes up on a hospital bed. Irie rushes into the room to see she’s doing fine, after sleeping for a really long time. Overjoyed to see her regaining consciousness, she explains that she got into an accident while returning to Hinamizawa and has been unconscious since then. Rika asks him about her mother, who has actually been dead for two years according to Irie. That proves she has finally returned home. The doctor leaves the room for a second, leaving some time alone for Rika and Hanyuu. Rika asks her if the world she was in was reality or a dream. Hanyuu tells her she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and a little later tells her it was all a dream, probably to stop her from feeling guilty. Rika doesn’t believe this, of course and bursts into tears, realising what she’s done. Her friends rush into her room soon after, telling her they knew she’d wake up and that they’ve been visiting her every day for the whole month she was here. Just to confirm she’s in the right world, she asks them if Satoshi’s there, only for Satoko to tell her he’s run away from home for over two years.
Rika decides to tell them about her ‘dream’ of the other Hinamizawa, where everyone was happy. She believes the reason she’s here now is because she chose this world over the other one. Mion thinks that was caused by a near-death experience. Rena on the other hand, thanks her for making them being happy even in her dream, but tells her that if it were her, she would also choose this world. That’s because, even though she’s gone into hard times, she’s learned a lot from them and has taken them in as trials of her life. Keiichi also agrees with her and says he’ll never forget about the toy-gun incident and regret it untill the end of his life. Satoko also agrees with the other two, saying if Satoshi stayed home, she’d just depend on him more and more.
Rika wonders why they would chose this painful world instead of the other one. That’s because they fought to obtain their future in this world, and thus, becoming different people from the others of the other world. She brings up the example of two flowers: one raised on the field and one in the greenhouse. Of course, the one raised in the greenhouse is still beautiful, but a flower growing in the field that has braved wind, rain, cold and heat possesses something more than just beauty. Rika procceeds into asking her whether she’d choose to live in a greenhouse or a field but Rena stops her, as she realises what her mistake was from the start. Rika was trying to compare an impossible world with the one she’s currently in; something only a God who could travel between them could do. She was trying to think from the viewpoint of someone above the flower, someone greater than human. That’s not her job though. Although she exists in both worlds, she cannot travel between them. It’d be wrong for the flower of the field saying it would rather have been grown in the greenhouse. After all, Rena says we’re all flowers, and we should do our best to grow regardless of where we take root. To make this easier to explain, she takes some candy from Mion and plays a game with Rika.
She puts some candy in her hands and asks Rika which one she prefers. Rika is happy to see that the hand she chooses has indeed one piece of candy in there, and is happy that she won. However, she couldnt be more wrong. Rena shows her other hand which contains two pieces of candy. That’s how she’s telling her that comparing two different worlds isn’t something a human, like her, can do. Rika finally realises her position; a human trying to play god, being confused about some very important things. She decides to give up being a witch and return to being Furude Rika, casting her life as the witch of Bernkastel aside. She smiles and tells everyone she should be careful about any accidents in the future.
For the final scene, we have Rika’s final meeting with Hanyuu. The god tells her that if she were to lose her life again, that time she would’ve accepted the fate. Rika says that it’s fine, she’s been relying on her too much. She thanks her once more before she they say their final goodbyes. Rika says she’ll visit her parent’s graves after being discharged off the hostpital, and that now she understands the meaning of having to kill her mother. Hanyuu made her realise that she’s always choosen this world without feeling as it if were a sin to do so, and thus, killing her mother over and over again. Having heard that, Hanyuu thanks her for realising her greatest sin. She tells her it’s fine and that she hasn’t stained her hands with her mother’s blood, that the world she was in was a dream she created to bully her. Her finally wish is for Rika to forget all about it when she wakes up before vanishing forever…
As a Bernkastel-fanboy, my only thoughs about the end of Higurashi is: WE NEED MOAR BERNKASTEL. Heck, they didn’t even show how she got her name, nor they actually explained who she is (But that, the viewers should have already understood). Sigh, sigh, sigh. Bernkastel was left out of Higurashi for good. Good job Studio DEEN >.>
So, what follows from here is general information about Bernkastel’s identity, something that should’ve been cleared up in Higurashi. Who’s Bernkastel? Well she’s just the aggregate consciousness of all the Rikas that existed through the world-travelling; simplier, she is the Rika who travells the worlds. As for her name, Frederica comes from Furude Rika and Bernkastel is a brand of wine.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. I’m hoping for more Bern in Umineko…
See ya on Saturday, ~Akio.