Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU ‒ Episodes 22-23

6 months ago 85

Okay, so we're just padding things out now, right? This six-episode flashback (if you'll recall, the current timeline is Satoko being confronted over the gift box in the classroom) did its job about three episodes ago. Viewers had a decent enough grasp on the situation and the motivation for Satoko's looping without dedicating a whole episode to how her former guardian feels bad about smacking her around. I mean, great, glad to see the guy finally had an attack of consciousness, but did anyone feel like we actually needed a Teppei redemption episode?

It's starting to feel like the team wrote themselves into a corner. After a century of looping and finally escaping her own demise, Rika is going to go stretch her wings no matter what. Satoko, after many failed attempts to persuade her otherwise and trying all sorts of emotional blackmail, refuses to accept Rika's dream of leaving the town. The clear answer is obviously the two "besties" need to accept that they want different things, growing apart is normal, and maybe they can visit one another once in awhile. But this is Higurashi, so someone needs to jump in front of an oncoming truck instead.

I'm not trying to rain on the gore parade but the motivating conflict here, in the end, is tepid. I was hoping with the introduction of Featherine Eua [alt English translation suggestion: Uma], the stakes might shift away from jilted friends to something on a larger scale. That could still happen, of course, but I think it's time to get on with it. Spending an episode on a pre-Gou timeline infodump, when instead we could have gotten some confirmation on Satoko's movements during the early Gou Question Arcs in pursuit of 'breaking Rika' is a waste.

The only newish information we got, lore-wise, is about the horn inside the statue. Eua says the horn is hers and it is undamaged while the horn that granted Rika her looping powers (Hanyu's) was cracked and that's why she was unable to remember the few hours preceding her death. Otherwise, we're just treading water here with little to comment on or even acknowledge. This friendship has become extremely toxic, but like most problems in Higurashi, it could be solved with an honest conversation and everyone putting their cards on the table.

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Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU is currently streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

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