Higurashi Sotsu Finally Breaks Satoko in Two

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 10 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Sotsu, "Curse Revealing - Part 4," now streaming on Funimation.

As Higurashi Sotsu quickly reaches its end, it's finally time for Satoko to face the severity of her actions. With her uncle Teppei set up as the villain and Ooishi machinating on the sidelines, Satoko has once again crafted the perfect tragedy to break Rika’s will. But when her uncle’s affections suddenly reach her, Satoko starts to have serious doubts that reveal something more sinister at play.

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Satoko’s relationship with Teppei has been a huge part of Sotsu's Curse Revealing arc, and as sad as it’s been to see her manipulate her uncle, the two seem to have become closer and function like a normal family for the most part. Considering Teppei’s past abuse and Satoko’s trust issues, this relatively healthy dynamic is a massive step forward for both of them.

Keichi, Rika and co.’s efforts to “save” Satoko move her plan into its final phase, though she doesn’t seem too preoccupied with it -- her attention seems more focused on her mundane home life with Teppei. At points in Episode 10, however, cracks form whenever Satoko interacts with her uncle, and things finally ramp up when the two are visited by social services.

After deceiving their child services agent and convincing more people of the village’s harassment, Satoko decides Teppei has served his purpose and prepares to kill him. Sporting both a normal and red-colored eye, she is unable to go through with it. Events then shift to the Sea of Fragments, where the human Satoko struggles against her newly born witch persona.

Satoko’s witch side proves to be more powerful than her human side, both physically and mentally. All the maliciousness Satoko has displayed throughout Higurashi Sotsu appears to belong to the witch, while the human remnant is little more than a fading voice of reason.

Eua, who knew this would happen from the start, has used Satoko as nothing more than a means of entertainment. By the time Satoko's human side finally comes to this realization, her witch persona shoots her. Considering this happened in the Sea of Fragments, the human Satoko is likely not dead, though it’s clear the witch is in full control now.

Having defeated the “weaker” Satoko Hojo, the witch returns to the current time fragment and kills Teppei. It's worth noting that after shooting Teppei, Satoko beats him in the exact same way that Keiichi does in the “Curse-Deceiving” arc in Higurashi Gou. This probably means that what Keiichi sees and experiences is some sort of hallucination, which shrouds the events of the festival even more.

Satoko’s breakdown in class likely kickstarted her split in the Sea of Fragments, which explains why Eua dubbed her a witch at the time. The establishment of a separate persona for Satoko continues to point Higurashi fans toward Umineko, which could paint a pretty bleak picture for both her and Rika. For now, Satoko’s remorseful humanity has been put to rest. Whether or not she can return and redeem herself will be revealed as Sotsu continues.

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