Higurashi Sotsu Premiere: Satoko Makes Her First, Toxic Move

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Sotsu, "Demon Revealing - Part 1," now streaming on Funimation.

After a brief hiatus, Higurashi is back. Now that Gou’s narrative is done with, Higurashi Sotsu looks to fill in some of the blanks, starting with the “Demon-Deceiving” arc. The “Demon-Revealing” arc tells the events of the former from Rena’s perspective, with Satoko’s toxic schemes quickly ensuring the fragment’s failure.

In the series premiere, Rena becomes troubled when her father, Yasunori, begins spending most of his free time in Okinomiya with a local woman named Rina. Yasunori often drinks too much during these outings and Rena seems to be distrustful of his new acquaintance. Though Yasunori seems to have become fond of her, Rena is visibly distressed when her father makes any mention of Rina.

The episode continues just as its Gou counterpart did, with Rena and Keiichi visiting the junkyard and arranging to retrieve the Kenta-kun statue later on. Rena returns home to find her father on his way out. And while vacuuming Yasunori’s room, she finds a business card for a gentleman’s club with Rina’s name on it.

Yasunori’s frequent outings into Okinomiya continue to eat away at Rena to the point of exhaustion. While she’s able to momentarily enjoy herself during the scavenger hunt, the mental strain leads her to leave the club early and head for the infirmary. Satoko sees the opportunity present itself and uses Rika’s prank on her as an excuse to follow Rena out of the classroom.

This is where her scheme kicks in. After washing her face, Satoko finds Rena sleeping in the infirmary and injects her with the H173 syringe. She also apologizes to Rena, promising that all the upcoming suffering she and the rest of their friends will experience is for the benefit of the group.

Rena starts showing signs of L5 Hinamizawa Syndrome as soon as she wakes up, and begins scraping her neck on the way home. Finding that her father has gone out once again, Rena ransacks his room and finds his bankbook. Inside she discovers that he’s spent a large sum of the settlement money from his divorce at Rina’s club.

Then things take a turn for the worst. Rena recalls her mother divulging her intentions to divorce Yasunori and how much the process devastated her father. This further agitates Rena’s increasingly unstable mental state. As she feels the need to protect her father, Rena begins scratching at her neck again and decides to head down to Okinomiya herself.

After failing to get into the gentleman’s club, Rena heads to a nearby café to take shelter from the rain where Rina and a coworker are seated at a nearby table. Rena overhears Rina’s coworker joke that Yasunori’s infatuation with her would make him easy to blackmail, and Rina seems to agree. Surprised by this revelation, Rena leaves the café in a hurry, determined to protect her father at any cost. What she misses, crucially, is Rina telling her coworker of her intentions to end her relationship with Yasunori. Having been raised by a single parent herself, Rina sympathizes with Rena and can’t bring herself to hurt the family any more than she has.

Satoko wastes no time in manipulating this fragment in Higurashi Sotsu's premiere. As most fans theorized, Rena’s injection takes place after the events of the scavenger hunt. The episode shows Rina as the latest character to undergo an unexpected change of heart. But whether or not her situation mirrors what Miyo and Teppei experienced remains to be seen. Viewers might already know that this fragment is doomed, but seeing just how much of a domino effect Satoko’s interventions have on a given timeline shows just how cunning a foe she’ll be going forward.

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