Higurashi When They Cry Tricks Fans With Its Second Episode

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Higurashi: When They Cry - Gou, "Demon Deception - Part 2" now streaming on Crunchyroll.

After months of marketing itself as a simple retelling of the original series and a deceptive first episode, Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou drops a bombshell on fans within the first moments of its second episode: this is an entirely new series we're dealing with.

The episode opens up on a slightly older Rika in a different school uniform awakening in the plane of multiple time fragments first introduced in the original series. Realizing where she is, a horrified Rika looks around only to find Hanyu. Rika tries to find out what caused her to repeat the cycle and cries over having to once again go through the events of June 1983. She eventually steels herself and resolves to win her future back with the knowledge she’d gained from the previous timelines.

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The scene then transitions back to Rika overlooking Keiichi and Rena in the junkyard. Keiichi reads about the murder from the magazine while Rena creeps up on him with her Nata. Keiichi notices her shadow and screams, scaring both of them and causing them to fall over. With the sun going down, Keiichi decides to go back for the statue a different day and he heads home with Ren --a though he brings the magazine detailing the events of the murder with him.

The next day, Keiichi and his classmates get ready for their P.E class. Mion approaches him with the other members of their club and they decide to play zombie tag as their P.E activity for the day with Rena and Mion eventually coming out as winners.

After the game, Keiichi briefly notices Rena’s reflection in the window and notices a dark expression on her face. When he turns around, Rena smiles at him, and the two head back to the junkyard to get her statue. As the two walk to the junkyard, Keiichi offers to carry Rena’s Nata but she uncharacteristically snaps at him. Once there, Keiichi starts swinging the Nata and gets a vision of him wielding and swinging a bloody bat. He starts to sweat as Rena watches over him with a cold expression, so afterward, Keiichi and Rena find a tarp, wrap the statue in it, and then bring it back to Rena’s house.

The next day, Keiichi’s friends once again bring up the Watanagashi Festival and Mion announces that the group will be participating in a series of games during the event. After school, Mion, Keiichi and Rena walk home where they run into Jiro. The four have a brief conversation and Keiichi comments that Jiro acts suspiciously, but his suspicions are quickly put to rest by Mion and Rena.

At the festival, the five friends compete in various eating competitions and eventually run into Jiro. Mion asks him whether or not he’ll be taking pictures of Rika’s performance, and he reveals that he initially planned to but had something else come up. Keiichi suggests that Jiro play games with them next time he visits Hinamizawa and Jiro promises to do so. As Jiro is about to leave, Rika rushes to him and pats his head which he thanks her for.

Rika then makes her way to the nearby stage in order to perform the Watanagashi Festival’s ritual dance. Keiichi and Rena initially get separated from Mion and Satoko but the group meets up in time to watch Rika’s performance, which involves dancing and swinging around a ceremonial hoe. The episode then cuts to Jiro and an unseen woman meeting up by the river, eventually revealing the woman to be... Miyo Takano. It's an unexpected direction for the anime to take, but not an unwelcome one.

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