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"Magician of Words" Keiichi Maebara
Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (JP), Grant George (EN)
The main protagonist in the "question" arcs. The son of a famous artist, his family recently moved to Hinamizawa after an unfortunate event involving him in their hometown. His charisma and remarkable talent for speechmaking allow him to easily make new friends and become popular in the village.The first arc, Onikakushi-hen (Spirited Away by the Demon chapter), is focused on him.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Eye variation. The anime and the Mahjong game are the only continuities in the series that display him with purple eyes, though occasionally a manga color will show him with purple.
- All-Loving Hero: In the later arcs.
- All Men Are Perverts: Strong believer in this and proud of it, even if he himself is more chivalrous about it. This applies more to his anime counterpart than to his character in the visual novel.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: "What have I done? I killed Rena and Mion!"
- The Atoner: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen ("Atonement Chapter"), naturally.
- Bad Liar: Whenever he does anything that will get him in loads of trouble, he will act very guilty and his lies are horrendous, especialy in Watanagashi-Hen and Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- However, in all other cases, he is an absolute god at getting people to believe crap that he makes up.
- Batter Up!: His go-to weapon is Satoshi's baseball bat.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Keiichi gets smacked around with this Aesop in Tatarigoroshi-hen. Create a perfect murder that can't be discovered and verified? Fine. Except it can't even be verified by you. Wish people who are making your perfect murder more difficult were dead? Fine. Insanity Ensues.
- Berserker Tears: He cries his heart out while killing his two best friends in what he thinks is self-defense. This is pretty much the first thing you see in the series.
- Big Brother Instinct: An incredibly dark twist on it.
- Big Fancy House: Called "the Maebara Mansion" by the villagers, though about 2/3 of it is taken up by his father's art studio.
- Bishie Sparkle: Used in liberal amounts.
- Bishōnen: He's noticeably pretty and even sparkles on various occasions.
- Book Dumb: Played with. In the first episode, he's seen helping Rena and Mion to understand their work, and in Tatarigoroshi-hen, it's shown that part of the reason he was teased so much in his hometown was because he was doing too well in school. He just has a different learning style.
- Break the Cutie: Tends to "snap" rather than "break", though.
- But Thou Must!: In the PS2-only adaptation, Matsuri, there actually is a way for Keiichi to offer the doll to Mion before Minagoroshi-hen. She still refuses, and you can unlock Watanagashi-hen through that route as well, though instead of flaying you for not giving the doll to Mion, it instead flays you for offering it to her when there's no way she feels she can accept it without embarrassing herself. You just cannot win.
- Butt-Monkey: The other members of the club seem to take glee in pulling pranks and embarrassing him even outside their usual punishment games. Especially Satoko who spends hours designing and setting up traps just to humiliate him and Mion whose tabasco sauce/needle filled ohagi convinced him they were trying to kill him. In fairness if your friends treated you like they do and you were suffering from a disease that causes extreme paranoia, you would have probably come to the same conclusion.
- In Kai, he is horrified when Hanyu joins the club... and everyone still decides to haze him. Apparently club ranking is not determined by how long you've been in it.
- In Watanagashi-hen, the earlier chapters (especially at the game store) are an entire Humiliation Conga of this, mostly done by Mion. This may have been a factor in him giving the prize doll to Rena instead of her, kicking the story into high gear.
- Buxom Is Better: Averted in the manganote . He tells Mion her boobs are too big and that he prefers Rena's more average size. Then again, he may have said that merely to tease the both of them.
- Strangely, it's the other way around in the VN: after criticizing Mion for skipping breakfast and praising Rena for eating hers, he encourages Rena to grow curvier, not flat like Mion. Probably a subversion of the trope since, as Mion is visibly not flat, Keiichi is definitely teasing.
- Character Exaggeration: He's notably more Hot-Blooded and a pretty big pervert in the anime adaptation. In the original sound novels, he's more of a rather generic, but good-natured Nice Guy who only occasionally acts hot-blooded (typically only during club games) and perverted, and often even chastises some of the girls (like Mion) for acting like a pervert. He's also much less subtle and introspective in the anime, however this can easily be justified in that it's hard to get across an introspective internal monologue in an animated format, as opposed to a sound novel format.
- The Charmer: Called The Magician of Words for his supreme charisma and talent in bullshitting.
- Chick Magnet: Though it can also work against him. Shion was attracted to him in Watanagashi/Meakashi and it's one of the things that set her off since she didn't want him to replace Satoshi in her heart. Either way, he has Mion, probably Rena and maybe Satoko based on one of her last lines in Tatarigoroshi as well as general popularity. Furthermore, the manga Kataribanashi-hen (drawn by various artists with the approval of Ryukishi07) suggests that Rika likes him as well.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Takes pride in being a pervert, but he cares very much for his friends.
- City Mouse: A nicer example than most, but he moved to Hinamizawa from the city. He sees the village as a huge improvement over his past life there once he gets used to it.
- Conveniently Seated: He always sits in the second-to-last row, along the windows.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His family moved to a little town in the middle of nowhere for a reason...
- Decoy Protagonist: Though he remains an important character, in Kai it's revealed that the real main protagonist of the story is Rika.
- Determinator: No matter what, Keiichi does not give up.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: In the sound novel, he wonders why the other club members can read his wacky thoughts like an open book when he is nervous. When the narration switches to Rena in Tsumihoroboshi, it turns out it's because he doesn't just think them.
- Dragged into Drag: This happens to Keiichi a few different times as the result of punishment games. Usually it's a Meido costume.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Has an entire army of loyal fanboys that call him Comrade K because he helped them embrace that All Men Are Perverts.
- Fanservice: The first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei. That's all.
- Featureless Protagonist: In the sound novels he was this, but only for the first half of the series, after which he gets character sprites like the other major characters.
- Foil: In sharp contrast to Rika's fatalism, Keiichi is a Determinator who won't believe fate decides everything. Also serves as this towards Mion and Rena, being less calm than them.
- Foreshadowing: In the sound novel, Keiichi hears Hanyu's voice apologizing as soon as just after the title screen of the first chapter. Since he has been away from the village for a few days, he has already started to develop the syndrome. At that moment though, he's half-asleep and thinks it's just a girl apologizing to someone.
- This later counts as Fridge Brilliance, too. Annoyed with the unknown girl's constant apologies, he thinks that whoever she's apologizing to should just forgive her already, as she clearly feels guilty over what she did. Higurashi is the story of how Hanyu and Rika forgive themselves for failing the "Groundhog Day" Loop so many times, and are thus able to move on to the future.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: In the VN, Keiichi does this during the bento competition (at least in the CG), when he basically turns it into Phoenix Wright: Lunchtime Edition.
- The Heart: When he's not a Villain Protagonist. Rika and Hanyu comment in the manga that he is the 'piece' that brings change to Hinamizawa. Because Hinamizawa is a village so traditionalist and unchanging that its people have begun to stagnate, it is very important that he comes and stirs up their preconceptions - in particular, changing the ostracising attitude that many have towards the Houjou family. In Matsuribayashi-hen Rika and Hanyu are shown to takes measures to ensure Keiichi moves to Hinamizawa.
- He Knows Too Much: Keiichi spends most of Onikakushi-hen being harrassed by Rena and Mion because of this. Or so he thinks.
- The Hero: Takes up the role in Tsumihoroboshi and Minagoroshi. In two of the prior three arcs he's actually a Villain Protagonist.
- Hope Bringer: His presence is what gives hope to Rika, since according to her he didn't move to Hinamizawa in two unseen timelines and these were "sad and doomed worlds".
- Hot-Blooded: Keiichi just about oozes passion, no matter what he's talking about. For just one example, see his speech as K.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: In Kira, this is Keiichi's response to the romantic shenanigans going on. More justified than most examples, in that the story fully establishes that he knows how wonderful it is to have True Companions that one can trust like family, and he doesn't want to screw that up by causing jealousy between anyone.
- Image Song: "Cool ni Nare". Also has a rather humorous rap with Ooishi… at least until the end.
- Indy Ploy: Along with fast talking, this is a characteristic distinct to Keiichi, and what his club mates admire and rely on him for.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: In the Tatarigoroshi-hen arc, it's revealed in a flashback that he was bullied for being too smart. As a result, he tended to be isolated from the class and even had a dead rat placed on his desk as a result. You know the rest, but this leads him to becoming Book Dumb. He recognized that moving to Hinamizawa meant he could change himself, and jumped on the chance - partly because he was afraid of becoming entirely isolated from emotion again, to the extent of hurting others for fun, and partly because his 'past life' was joyless and ultimately unfulfilling. The fact that his current personality - social, warm-hearted, and The Heart - is entirely opposite to his old one is probably not a coincidence.
- Interrupted Suicide: The full ending of Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- I Wished You Were Dead: Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In Higurashi Daybreak, he's this along with Nata Rena. He has decent running speed, plausible defence, great melee range and powerful range attacks that cover quite a distance. However, all three of his weapons lean slightly towards being a ranged moevest of varying styles, with the Baseball Bat being more Boring, but Practical , the golf clubs going for more damage at expense of less control and the shovel has an emphasis on wide-spread keep-away tactics.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: What he does to Teppei in the 3rd novel and the PS2 "Exorcism Chapter".
- Knight Templar Big Brother: In Tatarigoroshi, once he learns about Satoko's plight, he takes extreme measures to put it to an end.
- The Leader: Type IV - Charismatic. His charisma and force of personality are essential to bringing everyone together as a group. Rika mentions that there have been worlds where Keiichi never moved to Hinamizawa - all of them doomed to failure.
- Lethal Chef: Screwing up some basic stuff like Miso soup or rice is a thing. Almost setting fire to your house while cooking vegetables is Homer Simpson level.
- Loners Are Freaks: Once, he got bored of studying and decided to shoot down random kids with a BB gun. He stopped and turned himself in because he hit a little girl in the eye.
- Love Epiphany: The first part of his narration is a very dark example towards Rena, who he has just murdered in a crazed fury. It should be noted, though, that he may mean platonic love rather than romantic love. Also crosses over with Et Tu, Brute? and Was It All a Lie?.
- Manly Tears: In the Atonement Arc.
- My Greatest Failure: The first is that he realized what horrible things he had been doing back in his old life when he was shooting at children with a BB gun. He later confesses this to his friends, which leads him to remember Onikakushi and having an even worse case. Both of these occur in Tsumihoroboshi, or Atonement Chapter.
- Naïve Newcomer: Onikakushi might be a Deconstruction. The fact that Keiichi knows nothing about Hinamizawa or important past events and feels like an outsider, is a major cause of his growing paranoia and suspicion toward his new friends; and serves to lure the equally clueless reader as well.
- Nice Guy: More so in the sound novels.
- Oblivious to Love: Can't seem to catch on to Mion and Rena's attraction to him. Taken Up to Eleven in Musubienishi-hen.
- Actually, in the latter it isn't so much that he doesn't realize, rather that he doesn't want to choose.
- Intergenerational Friendship: In Minagoroshi-hen, with Ooishi. Doubles as a rather Odd Friendship, especially considering their cold relationship in the previous arcs.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In Onikakushi, a few days after he ate the Ohagi with the "needle" (actually tabasco sauce) inside, he screams at Mion, saying that her ohagi was so good he almost died. She answers, almost crying, that it was just a little prank. It's obvious in this exchange that they are not talking about the same thing.
- The One Guy: He is the only guy in a club full of females, but most of them aren't interested in him, and even the ones that are take it more as 'Hey, let's gang up on the new guy!' rather than, 'Oh, we should abandon our friendships to fight over him.'
- Only Sane Man: Seems so at first when he's his normal self.
- Psychological Horror: The horror from his arc Onikakushi-hen comes more from paranoia and fear rather than blood and gore.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The "furious red flame" to Rena's "silent blue flame". Later plays the same role, but to Rika instead. Also has this relationship (same role, but to a lesser extent) to Mion.
- Rousing Speech: An expert on these. Mion goes so far as to call him a master of words. Becomes a plot point in Minagoroshi-hen.
- Running Gag: In the visual novel, it's a running gag to have Keiichi imagine something really outlandish and then have everyone respond specifically to the outlandish thing he was thinking. Everyone else says that you can tell exactly what he's thinking by his face.
- Smarter Than You Look: He's actually among the most intelligent people in the main cast. Shion in particular doesn't think much of his brains.
- Sole Survivor: In Tatarigoroshi-hen, he is the only person living in Hinamizawa who survives the Great Hinamizawa Gas Disaster. He does die eventually, though. Just not from that.
- Stock Shonen Hero: Keiichi is a Hot-Blooded Determinator and in the arcs he isn't a Villain Protagonist he firmly believes in The Power of Friendship and will do anything to try and save his friends. Even though he isn't the main character, Keiichi still acts as The Heart and inspires to real main character to not give up.
- Stupid Sexy Friend: Often feels this way towards...well, every teenager in the club. He's not interested in dating yet, but the fact that all of them are hot chicks makes such things as swimming expeditions awkward.
- Supporting Protagonist: The story is really about Rika. However, he is the character that inspires her the most.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subverted. In-universe his similarities to Satoshi are often pointed out, but it turns out the only they are just the similarities others want to perceive... until the syndrome strikes, and they act Out of Character in almost identical ways.
- Sympathetic Murderer: In Tatarigoroshi.
- Thinking Tic: Rena once remarked that when Keiichi is thinking deeply about something stupid, he will often bend his head backwards and start speaking his thoughts without realizing it.
- Too Dumb to Live: So your friend has just admitted to committing multiple murders, then suddenly decides she wants to go on a walk with you alone? Sure. Then said friend asks you if you want to see her sister, whom she has kidnapped? No problem. She leads you into a Torture Cellar, admits to killing two of your closest friends, torturing her own sister, and said sister screams bloody murder at the sight of her? Everything's absolutely fine. Somehow he still manages to act surprised when he gets knocked out and wakes up strapped to one of the torture devices. Through dumb luck, he survives, and still trusts this friend enough to step out of his house and speak with her when she drops by in the middle of the night. At this point, he deserves to die.
- Unreliable Narrator: In many of the early arcs, especially Onikakushi-hen.
- Unscrupulous Hero: A pretty dark take on this in Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- Villain Protagonist: Only in Onikakushi. Not that he, or the reader, are aware of that.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Satoko - except in Tatarigoroshi-hen, where Keiichi tries to act more like Satoshi - constantly snipe at each other, and it's very clear that their friendship is built on this dynamic.
- Weapon of Choice: Satoshi's baseball bat.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Rena finds out some things about his past, she calls him on this. Also the catalyst for the Atonement Chapter having the name it has.
- Worthy Opponent: Partly why Mion likes him so much. They're not equals in skill, but they share a competitive, easily riled spirit that no one else in the club has.
- Would Hit a Girl: If said girl set up a combo-trap for him on his first day at his new school, yes he would. Not to mention hitting a girl in the eye with a BB gun in his backstory.
- You Can Always Tell a Liar: In one scene in Taraimawashi-hen, Rena claims that when Keiichi lies, his nose twitches.
"Cute Mode" Rena Ryugu
Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (JP), Mela Lee (EN)
A girl who returned from Ibaraki to Hinamizawa one year ago, and she is in same grade level as Keiichi. She has an obsession with things she perceives as cute, whether they're actually adorable or butt-ugly. Every now and then, she goes treasure hunting in the town's trash heap, searching for "cute" things to collect, and upon finding something "cute", it's difficult to stop her from taking it home. Despite this disarming trait, Rena is shown to be amazingly observant and perceptive about the things around her. According to Mion, while Rena might seem cute herself, people should be careful not to anger her as she becomes quite scary. She is especially sensitive about the topic of Oyashiro-sama, who she fears will curse her for leaving Hinamizawa.The sixth arc, Tsumihorobishi-hen (Atonement chapter), is focused on her.
- Action Girl: Very violent behind her usual cute self.
- Agent Mulder: She believes whole-heartedly in Oyashiro-sama and the legends surrounding the god, especially the curse. Questioning her beliefs will make her angry and quite unstable.
- Alliterative Name: Rena Ryugu.
- An Ax To Grind: Alongside her signature "cleaver", she's even strong enough to wield a great axe to brutal effect.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: On Keiichi to push him to apologize to Mion in Watanagashi. It kind of feels like a mother scolding her kid.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As a Background Boss in the "Strolling Rika" mini-game.
- Attempted Rape: She may or may not have been on the receiving end of this, as she was affected by Hinamizawa syndrome at the time and possibly only thought this is what her male classmates were attempting to do, and she nearly kills them as a result. But because the boys refuse to talk about Rena's attack, even to the police, they really might have been trying.
- Ax-Crazy: Only in Tsumihoroboshi-hen and Exorcism, though she's someone infamous for being this to those who aren't familiar with the series.
- Badass Adorable: Cute, but with the biggest 'inner demon'.
- Berserk Button: Don't mock her belief in Oyashiro-sama.
- Also, being called "Reina-chan" by Rina in the same way as her hated mother. In this case though, the problem is not so much the button than the person who presses it.
- The Big Girl: Don't underestimate Rena because of her size. She looks cute, but get her mad and she'll have a cleaver to grind with you.
- Break the Cutie: Like Keiichi, snaps more often than breaks.
- Catch-Phrase: "HAU~! OMOCHIKAERII!"
- The Confidant: To Mion in Watanagashi. She also helps Keiichi realize that he hurt Mion's feelings, so it may be a indirect case of Playing Cyrano.
- Covert Pervert: She blushes when she hears Keiichi say that it's soo hot his crotch is getting sweaty to both her & Satoko in the VN.
- Cry Cute: At the end of the Atonement arc. Also counts as a Cry into Chest.
- Cry Laughing: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, she spends a long monologue insisting that she had no other choice than killing Teppei and Rina who were swindling her father, and that telling her friends would have been useless. Then she mocks them and starts laughing out loudly before bursting into tears, as she understands fully well that this may not have been the right choice.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: In Tsumihoroboshi, she may not be all there but there are a few things that she actually gets right. Notably the Okonogi gardeners being a fake society hiding secret agents, the fact the Hinamizawa Syndrome is being researched at the Irie Clinic, or the fact that there is some kind of relationship between said research and the mysterious deaths. Of course she is completely off the mark about all the rest, but that's still ironic.
- Well... at least until Hou, when it's revealed that one of the mysterious viruses is the work of an alien. Une's, that is. It wasn't Hinamizawa Syndrome, but it was close.
- Cute and Psycho: She supplies the Page Image. Though in truth it is a subversion. It's not actually in her normal personality to snap like that.
- Cute Bruiser: Once she goes into "Cute Mode", she's prone to Megaton Punching anything in the nearby area, even without her famous cleaver handy. Able to snap the rope that has her tied up with ease. Can wield the axe without any difficultly also. And probably brought home the statue of Col. Sandersnote that's bigger than she is without any assistance. When Hilarity Ensues she doesn't hesitate to hit her friends, and she's thrown tables a few times when things get rough. She's apparently quite strong.
- Keiichi thinks that he wouldn't be able to beat her in a fight. The climax of Tsumihoroboshi-hen shows he was right.
- Cuteness Proximity: One of her Running Gags. However, she doesn't have quite the same idea of what's "cute" as most people do.
- Daddy's Girl: Remained very loyal to her father after her mother betrayed/cheated on him, and as shown in Tsumihoroboshi-hen she is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect him. If only he were worthy of such loyalty...
- Dark Action Girl: When she's under the Hinamizawa Syndrome's effects.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She discovered that her mother cheated on her father. While her parents were finalizing their divorce, she attacked her classmates while suffering from Hinamizawa Syndrome. She then attempted suicide and was treated with medication and therapy. She and her father then moved back to Hinamizawa to start a new life.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: This is how the English translation of the manga decided to translate her signature "kaaii" (A slurred way to say "kawaii," the Japanese word for "cute"). In the translation, it became "adowable", while in the sound novel translations it's rendered as "sho kyute".
- Evil Laugh: Gives a very nasty one in Tsukiotoshi-hen after she burnt down Satoko's house.
- Expy: According to Word of God, her name and appearance were based on Lenna from Final Fantasy V (specifically, Rena's appearance was based on Lenna's SNES sprites).
- Figure It Out Yourself: Rena asks for Keiichi to do this regarding how he hurt Mion's feelings in Watanagashi-hen.
- Foil: To Keiichi and the twins. She is more calm and quieter compared to the loud Keiichi or Mion. But when it comes to bad situations, she is the most insane and scariest. Shion is jealous that Rena is way more intimidating and perceptive than her.
- Giant Waist Ribbon: Part of her usual outfit.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: She's quite famous for wielding a cleaver.
- Glurge Addict: Subverted; while she is obsessed with "cute" things, her idea of what's "cute" isn't the same as most people's (like a statue of Colonel Sanders, for example).
- Hot-Blooded: She defiantly shows this, sometimes to the degree of Keiichi, whenever she snaps out of her calmness.
- Hyper Awareness: Seen best in Watanagashi-hen. Most of the time she hides it very well.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Pulls that move on Keiichi during the zombie-tag game to "paralyse" him.
- Image Song: "Egao Happy Peace"
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Trope Namer. Not only does she often declare that she wants to take cute things and people home with her, but she'll frequently try to physically run off with them.
- Interrupted Suicide: Motivated her to return to Hinamizawa.
- Kill It with Fire: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen she plans to burn down the school along with the hostages and herself should Oishi doesn't agree to investigate the Sonozaki. She also burns down Satoko's house to kill Keichi and destroys the evidences after succumbing to the syndrome in Tsukiotoshi-hen.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her killing of Rina and Teppei in the 6th novel and Teppei again in the PS2 "Exorcism Chapter".
- Leitmotif: "Lunch Time" (although you only hear it in the first novel).
- Lightning Bruiser: Very fast when in Cute Mode. Avoiding her punches is actually a reflex-based mini-game.
- MacGyvering: A rare non-heroic example. She makes a school-blowing bomb with a little gasoline, a cook timer and a base-ball. And it works horribly well, as Yoigoshi-hen shows us.
- Meaningful Rename: She changed her name from "Reina" to "Rena" to reinvent herself when she returned to Hinamizawa. She felt that, by removing the "i", she was removing her bad memories. She also changed the writing of the name from kanji to katakana; using katakana in a name was quite unusual at the time.
- Mood-Swinger: It's hinted in the games that she's actually bipolar.
- Ms. Exposition: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, as she explains Miyo's scrapbook to Keiichi.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: She seems to believe that it will prevent Hinamizawa from being destroyed. Instead, it sends her down spirals of madness.
- Mighty Glacier: In Higurashi Daybreak Kai, she has a weapon called an "Iron Clad Nata". This cripples her mobility, giving her no ability to run on the ground and having a very small stamina bar, meaning she floats very slowly in the air in a very short period of time. She also barely moves when she walks, giving her the slowest walk speed in the entire game. However, all her attacks are very powerful and have enormous range.
- Nice Girl: Her usual, normal self which fits the name in general. A cheerful girl with a sweet and friendly nature who has a high sense of morality, usually trying to do the right thing.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She finds some very odd things to be "cute". One of the TIPS say that this might be a psychological reaction to prevent other people from entering and ruining her household.
- Nosebleed: Has frequent ones in the Visual Novel, triggered by the presence of cute things.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Compare her behavior at the end of episode 4 of Rei with her behavior in episode 5.
- For that matter, see the end of Watanagashi-hen. She figures out the identity of the killer (mostly) just based on a flyer and the state of Rika and Satoko's dinner.
- Parents in Distress: Rena wants to protect her father from two scam artists who want to steal one million yen from him.
- Parent with New Paramour: Rena's mother divorced her father and married another man, resulting in a permanent estrangement between them.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The "silent blue flame" to Keiichi's "furious red flame".
- Sailor Fuku: Her chosen school outfit.
- Silk Hiding Steel: The scary yangire under her usual seemingly light and girly demeanor.
- Smarter Than You Look: She's often underestimated due to her cute mannerisms and vaguely ditzy/detached manner. However, she possesses one of the most analytical minds among the cast.
- Sole Survivor: Rena is the only person living in Hinamizawa to survive the Great Hinamizawa Gas Disaster in the anime's adaptation of Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Originally, in the visual novel, she's supposed to die with everyone else. In a more limited scope, she's also the only one of the True Companions to survive the events of Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen.
- Stepford Smiler: She acts cheerful, but she has a lot of issues and insecurities and actively tries to keep them surpressed most of the time.
- Supreme Chef: A great cook, Satoko and Keiichi will fight for her side dishes.
- Survival Mantra: "Hauuu~ I'm taking her home with me!"
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. She did see a therapist after the little... incident at her old school.
- Third-Person Person: Usually when she's joking around.
- Through His Stomach: She tries this with Keiichi in the third episode of Kira.
- The Unsmile: There is her happy and cheerful "cute mode". There is also her "Oyashiro-sama mode". Her smile in this mode is described as looking "as a sharp cut from a knife".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Mion's Tomboy.
- Verbal Tic: She has a case of Palilalia which is the ocasional repeating the last words of her sentences, most notably "kana, kana?" ("I wonder, I wonder?"). Done to very sinister effect in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. As an added bonus, "kana" is also one of the onomatopoeias for the cry of cicadas.
- Also "Haooo..." when bashful, depressed, or suffering Cuteness Overload.
- Weapon of Choice: A japanese gardening tool called a "nata". The in-game text called it an axe on the first chapter but promotional game art showed her using the more distinctively shaped weapon, and it stuck. Eventually the in-game dialogue started referring to it by name (Rena was nicknamed "nata-onna"), and the english translation started to call it a cleaver thanks to its rough silhouette (by extension, Rena herself was nicknamed "cleaver girl"),though that it has more in common with similar gardening tools such as billhooks and machetes.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tsumihoroboshi-hen. She genuinely believes that her actions in that arc are going to save Hinamizawa from the disaster. Ironically, it might actually have, at the cost of the lives of all her hostages. She also just wants the happy days in Hinamizawa to last, it's just that she thinks that Murder Is the Best Solution.
- Although we later learned in Yoigoshi-hen that it is NOT the solution at all as Takano still has the entire town gassed anyway.
- Wise Beyond Her Years: Tsumihoroboshi clearly shows it, especially the sound novel.
- Woman in White: Her play clothes are almost completely white except for her boots and a purple ribbon.
- Would Hurt a Child: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, she held her classmates hostage and threatened to bomb the elementary school with all of them inside.
- Zettai Ryouiki: In an odd way in the Visual Novel. Is she wearing anything at all under there?◊
"Club Leader" Mion Sonozaki
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (JP), Megan Hollingshead (EN)
The oldest classmate in Keiichi's class. As the elder, she is the class president and everyone looks up to her as the leader. Her social skills are on par with Keiichi, whom she highly respects as a friend and rival (though it is later shown that she has a crush on him). She acts boyish, but has a hidden girlish side. She is next in line to be the head of the Sonozaki household, one of the Three Families which holds tremendous influence in Hinamizawa. Her position as heir is marked by an oni tattoo on her back.The second arc, Watanagashi-hen (Cotton-Drifting chapter), is focused on her.
- Berserk Button: Shown in Matsuribayashi-hen, do not bring the resentment against the Houjous into the school. As the "den-mother" for the students, you'll regret it. This Berserk Button is the only one in this series that doesn't result in bloodshed.
- Blatant Lies: In Watanagashi, Keiichi first thinks her having a twin sister is this. He was wrong and right at the same time. The few times they meet at the beginnig it's really her pretending to be her twin. The last time though, it's the real Shion. Her red face and stuttering when asked about Shion and Angel Mort really don't help.
- Bokukko: Refers herself as "Oji san" or old man.
- Boobs of Steel: Very busty and very competent in close combat. She hands Okonogi's ass to him beautifully in Matsuribayashi.
- Book Dumb: She may need to ask Keiichi for help studying, but that does not mean she's stupid.
- Break the Cutie: When she is threatened to die.
- Cain and Abel: The Abel versus Shion. Though not as much as you are lead to believe, since Mion and Shion genuinely love each other. She even had three of her fingernails ripped out because she thought it wasn't fair that only Shion had to suffer.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Calls Oryō out over her unfair treatment of the Hojo siblings after the "distinguishment incident" offscreen (talked about in the Eye Opening chapter). The incident was the last straw as Mion was comtemplating KILLING HER in a Noble Top Enforcer style rebellion.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Even pretending to be Shion to show her feminine side to Keiichi doesn't really help.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Often before she decides to mess with someone.
- Club President: The Class/Club President. The school is so tiny that she can get away with being both.
- Comatose Canary: In the Playstation-only Taraimawashi-hen, the inspiration for Satoko's scene in Yakusamashi-hen.
- Also in the one-shot chapter Hinageshi-hen.
- Creepy Monotone: At the end of Taraimawashi-hen, her lines are delivered in a monotone that is half-creepy and half-depressing in the context of being a Comatose Canary.
- Curtains Match the Window: Green hair and green eyes.
- Dirty Old Man: A boyish girl who is openly perverted, often joking about sex towards Keiichi.
- Dual Wielding: She uses the traditional "katana and wakizashi" combination in Yoigoshi-hen.
- Empty Shell: See Comatose Canary.
- Fingore: Similar to Shion below, she pulled off three of her own fingernails (though unlike Shion, she did so off screen) because she felt it was unfair that only Shion got punishments despite them being identical twins.
- Foil: To Shion
- Forced into Evil: She's forced by her family to take part in many morally corrupt deeds, but she's not happy about it.
- A Friend in Need: The origins of the club.
- Friend to All Children: She is a friendly and protective club leader who is well liked by all the younger classmates.
- The Gadfly: Really loves cranking Keiichi's chain, in part because she's really bad at expressing how she really feels. Her punishment games also show this side of her personality.
- Gag Boobs: The Sonozaki twins are the 'bustiest' of the gang.
- Gaslighting: Tragic and unintentional example in Tatagoroshi-hen, where she is the accomplice to Teppei's murder trying to prevent a repeat of the events of 1982.
- Genki Girl: When she gets ''way' too excitable and hammy during games or punishment games.
- Good Bad Girl: Prevalent in the manga where she does such wholesome things as grope Keiichi's rear in the Cotton Drifting chapters and raunchily stares at his crotch in the Curse Killing chapter. Gets blurry since its hard to tell how much of it is her being a pervert and how much of it is it being her normal gadfly self. Note that acting perverted is one of her favorite tactics for messing with people.
- Guile Heroine: Very much so, to almost Magnificent Bastard levels. See The Strategist.
- Hair Decorations: Her yellow, ponytail-tying hair ribbon.
- Image Song: "Futari no birthday" and "Ienai Kotoba".
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Had feelings for Satoshi, but sealed them for her twin's sake.
- Lady of War: Becomes this in spades in the alteverse sequel manga, Yoigoshi-hen. This technically applies to her twin sister Shion as well, whose body she is possessing.
- The Lancer: Although technically the leader of the club, in terms of the plot, she takes this role with Keiichi.
- Large Ham: She can get very hammy during club games.
- The Leader: She isn't The Heroine, but she directs the groups' activities. As the oldest member, she usually coordinates the abilities of everyone to maximum and frightening effect in and out of battle. Thus showing her brilliance despite being the most laid back of the group.
- Leitmotif: "Spring Step" (shared with Shion).
- Luminescent Blush: Happens every time Keiichi says nice things to her. And it's adorable.
- Also, note hug in the Atonement arc.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her sexy outfits during the punishment games.
- My Greatest Failure: The reason she refuses to talk about Satoshi is because she was unable to save him. To clarify, Satoshi specifically asked her for help dealing with his obviously abusive aunt, but Mion's grandmother ordered her not to. The only thing Mion did (could do?) was establish a 'safe zone' at their school where the Houjous were not ostracized or bullied. She blames herself for Satoshi's trauma, believing that if she had had the courage to rebel against her family, he would be alive. Which may or may not be true. It should be noted, however, that this was happening around the time when Shion tried to rebel against the Sonozakis and got three fingernails ripped out in a formalized torture ritual because of it.
- Nice Girl: Once you get past her playful competitive side, she's very friendly and one of the kindest members of the cast. And unlike Rena, who is just as nice, she technically has no dark backstory and according to Rika she never succumbs to Hinamizawa Syndrome.
- This is because she's the only protagonist to have gone through full Character Development pre-series (Keiichi also developed, but not fully.) After Satoshi's...disappearance, which she believes she could have prevented, she resolves to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. Hence, she is deeply loyal to her friends and very protective of those she loves
- Oblivious Mockery: In Tatarigoroshi, she eagerly and repeatedly mocks Keiichi's lunchbox, pointing out what a terrible cook he is, with Satoko nodding and snarking in agreement. Except Satoko is actually the one who made the food in said lunchbox.
- Ojou: Heir to a prestigous family, though she doesn't quite act the part, except when she is in a formal meetings or has to witness her sister's punishment.
- One of the Boys: Mion has trouble not just getting her feelings across to Keiichi but also getting him to acknowledge her actual gender.
- Only Sane Woman: Compared to the others, she doesn't have as much of a Dark and Troubled Past, and is one of the more psychologically well-adjusted characters in the cast. According to Rika, she's the only member of the known group to never succumb to Hinamizawa Syndrome's paranoia. Even Rika herself apparently fell victim to it, though since she's so weak she never caused much damage.
- Plausible Deniability: As per her grandmother's indirect phrasing during family planning meetings. This is a clue that the Motive Rant at the end of Watanagashi-hen wasn't from her.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Mion is a tomboy, openly perverted but secretly shy and calm when not playing games. Shion is a girly girl, The Tease instead of perverted and tends towards being selfish and actually hotblooded. Mion herself states that she's the warm friendly one while Shion is cold.
- It's actually subverted to some extent. At first, they seem very different, (even if one takes into account all the Twin Switch confusion) but then Meakashi reveals they're both gadflies, both friendly, both somewhat cheerful, both socially intelligent, both have weak spots the size of Mount Fuji when it comes to romance, both hate their grandmother, both adept at manipulating people. The main difference is how they approach these similarities; in the latter example, Shion likes to manipulate on a personal level, swaying individual perceptions; Mion likes to manipulate groups, with speeches and military tactics and ginormous guns.
- Rapunzel Hair: Long hair when not wearing a ponytail.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Shion's Blue. But her true personality is Blue; she acts Red because it is expected from the "older twin" role she is forced to play. The archetype is referenced by her blue oni tattoo.
- Shipper on Deck: She plays this role for Keiichi and Rena during the festival in Onikakushi (especially in the sound novel). Which is quite baffling when we learn her feelings for Keiichi in the following arc.
- Shorttank: Towards Keiichi when angrily snapping at him.
- Signature Laugh: An awesome one can be heard a few times in the anime, notably at the end of the Zombie Tag. GAHAHAHAHA!
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Revealed to be the reason she likes Keiichi so much during the Eye Opening chapter.
- Sole Survivor: She is the only survivor of Hinamizawa in Taraimawarashi-hen as she was imprisoned by Shion in the torture chamber which allowed her to evade being killed by Yamainu. This however left her in a minimally conscious state for the rest of her life. The story contradicts itself about the cause. One of the TIPS speculates that it was emotional trauma about what she witnessed, but in the ending of the arc, the narration states that it was from a physical injury to the head (presumably from when Shion locked her up).
- She also appears to be one in Yoigoshi-hen, up until Arakawa mentions that he looked at the records from after the school blew up, and Mion is listed as among the dead there. It's actually her twin sister Shion who has this role.
- Spirited Competitor: Moreso than the rest of the club unless Keiichi or Rena get fired up.
- The Strategist: "If she had joined Napoleon, Siberia would be French territory by now. If she had joined Hitler, the Third Reich would be all over Europe".
- Suspiciously Specific Denial. S-stupid Kei-chan! I'm just accepting this doll be-because you insist, n-not because I like it! S-so don't get the wrong idea!
- Team Mom: Being the oldest of the group and the leader as well so this naturally fall into her position.
- The Tease: In the manga especially, she has quite a few moments of this in the beginnings of different arcs. Is actually one of her favorite tactics for use in screwing with Keiichi, see The Gadfly above.
- Theme Twin Naming: The "on" in Mion and Shion is the same kanji, 音 (meaning "sound").
- Third-Person Person: Sort of. She uses ojisan ("old man") as a first-person pronoun. She does use watashi sometimes though.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's a tomboy, while her twin sister Shion is more feminine. At least it appears as such. As noted under Red Oni, Blue Oni, the two act this way because it is expected from them. Deep down, Mion is quite girly, while Shion is, well, you probably know.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: A very long one, which may also hint at her girlish side.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's a very boisterous Genki Girl who seems like a tomboy. Later, we learn that Mion is actually really girly. If one looks closely, her desires are feminine (she wants to spend time with her friends, she's attracted to Keiichi, etc.) but her methods are very masculine. (She takes a leadership role among her friends, often deciding when and why they meet; she gropes Keiichi, jokes about wanting to have sex with him - you get the idea.)
- Tsundere: A unique type B. She neither acts terribly tsun nor dere, but has the classic signs of denying her attraction or her desire for things. Note that since her "nice side" is the dominant personality, she has type B leanings.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Her usual rough demeanor is black but actually has a softer side (white). While Shion, on the other hand, seems more proper and considerate (white), but is really cold and insane (black).
- Twin Switch: Frequently with Shion. It's even already hard to tell them apart since they look the same and can impersonate each other. As children, they switched permanently.
- Unreliable Expositor: The Sonozaki family is often implicated in the goings on in the village, meaning that of all the cast she has some of the best reasons to lie. Subverted. More than just about anyone else, you can trust what Mion has to say. However, tricks can be played on the reader such as 'Mion' confessing to all the murderers and talking about the history of the village and really playing up the angst. However, not only is this not Mion, Shion was actually bullshitting throughout the entire thing, meaning that at least half of what she said was a lie.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one ever comments on the gun she carries around. It's an airsoft gun, but you'd still think it would draw some attention...
- Waif-Fu: Matsuribayashi reveals that she's excellent in hand to hand combat.
- Weapon of Choice: None. However, in Higurashi Daybreak, she wields her airsoft gun, and in the manga-only chapter Yoigoroshi-hen, she is convinced that Katanas Are Just Better.
- Yakuza Princess: To the point of being heir apparent to the whole gang.
- Yandere: One of the TIPS reveal that she was driven to kill because of jealousy that Keiichi gave the other girls more attention. Mion wanted to 'eliminate the competition' so she can have Keiichi all to herself. Though this is only an occasion, making Mion mostly sane and way less of a yandere than her twin.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has green hair.
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (JP), Megan Hollingshead (EN)
Mion's identical twin sister, who currently resides in Okinomiya. Unlike her twin, she is girly and somewhat cold. In spite of their different personalities, she and Mion often switch places, and it can be difficult to distinguish between them. She was sent by the Sonozaki family to a private boarding school, but escaped and returned to live near her hometown, where she lives with Kasai. She was in love with Satoshi, and blames the Three Families of Hinamizawa for his disappearance. She works as a waitress at the Angel Mort restaurant and is the manager's assistant for the Hinamizawa Fighters little league team.The fifth arc, Meakashi-hen (Eye Opening chapter), is focused on her. Infamous for its content. You Have Been Warned.
- Adapted Out: She's the only member of the party who doesn't appear in the live-action movies. Granted, she doesn't appear Onikakushi and only has a minor role in Tsumihoroboshi (the two arcs the movies adapt).
- Alliterative Name: Shion Sonozaki.
- The Atoner: After realizing what she did in the Eye Opening Arc, she becomes especially aggressive in protecting Satoko in later arcs.
- Asshole Victim: After everything she does over the course of Meakashi-hen, by the time she dies at the end she's thoroughly unsympathetic.
- Ax-Crazy: Incredibly so. She's one of the most dangerously psychotic and violently unstable characters in the whole series. Viciously torturing and murdering several innocent people in the course of just a few days, and all for a guy she just met.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Though she ends up regretting her actions, she still succeeded in taking revenge on all of her intended targets, and she dies without having to face any justice.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: She falls head-over-heels for Satoshi after he merely pats her head. She wonders herself how that could happen so easily.
- Berserk Button: During the arcs where she is a Yandere, even looking at Satoshi in a way she doesn't like is a good way to set her off. Special mention goes to her bullying of Satoko for calling him nii-nii.
- Big Little Sister: Seeing how she plays Mion like a harp and acts somehow superior to her, you really wouldn't think she's the younger twin. And that's because she is the older one.
- Boobs of Steel: Similarly to Mion.
- Break the Cutie: Warnings about tormenting cute things apply. She doesn't simply break or snap, she explodes.
- Bring My Brown Pants: In the anime, she wets herself after killing Satoko and suddenly remembering Satoshi's last wish. Some fans have theorized that what comes out between her legs is not urine. Not that she cares anymore at that point.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain versus Mion. Though not as much as you are led to believe, since Mion and Shion genuinely love each other.
- The Cameo: She appears in a short-story of Umineko, "Cornelia the New Priest" which doesn't make sense as that story clearly takes place in a Western town (or a different world?), but it's probably more of a joke anyway.
- The Charmer: When Shion wants to be, she is very charismatic. This is especially clear in the Watanagashi chapter, where newcomer Keiichi has none of the locals' fear of her family, and she basically waltzes in and starts fucking with him.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Much like her sister. She takes upon a different smile when she turns into a Troll.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Her MO. Ironically, she was the victim of it herself.
- Cool Big Sis: To Satoko, as a promise she made to Satoshi. And horribly screwed with in arcs where she goes insane.
- Curtains Match the Window: Like Mion, her hair and eyes are both green.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: In the anime only, curiously. In other versions, she wears a long skirt.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Her family is not happy about her being in love with Satoshi. Subverted: Her grandmother long sinced stopped detesting the Houjou family but has to keep up appearances. It also turns out that the main reason the Sonozaki family was against the relationship was that Satoshi is a murderer, not that he is a Houjo.
- Desecrating the Dead: In Meakashi-hen, after she figures out that Oryou is dead, frustrated that she didn't get to interrogate and (perhaps) torture her first, she lashes out at Oryou's corpse with a barbed whip over and over again.
- Desperately Craves Affection: A lot of Shion's actions and emotional responses make more sense when you remember how lonely she must feel. She's been estranged from her family for years at a time, (and they were abusive to begin with) separated from her sister, and the closest thing she has to a guardian is a bodyguard who admits he would side with Shion's family over her. Fortunately, this gets better once she joins the main characters and has actual friends to support her.
- Disney Villain Death: In the Cotton Drifting and Eye Opening chapters.
- Does Not Like Spam: She hates canned foods because Kasai traumatized her into thinking that human meat gets packed inside.
- Driven to Suicide: In Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, excluding the anime.
- Easily Forgiven: While still believing her to be Mion, Keichi and Rena listen to Shion admit that she murdered Rika and Satoko. They literally forgive her immediately for this and still consider her to be their beloved friend. It's...weird.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Her job at Angel Mort.
- Fingore: Forced to pull out three nails in order to protect people she had endangered.
- Foil: To Mion.
- Foreshadowing: From Frederica Bernkastel's poem in Meakashi-hen: "How many years will pass before she wonders if she really dropped them?"
- Fragile Speedster: In Higurashi Daybreak. She has A LOT of mobility options and great damage in the melee department. She also has the fastest walk and run speed and second best air dash speed, behind non-scythe Rika. She also travels quite the distance when attacking someone with a regular attack, dashing forward a few feet forward before actually attacking them, depending on the distance, giving her deceptively good range in melee. However, she is almost the first to be knocked out in a game, has less than an average health and has one of the lowest defenses in the game, along with Rika.
- The Gadfly: Her normal personality, with her favorite targets being Mion, Keiichi, and sometimes Kasai.
- Gag Boobs: See Mion's entry.
- Gainaxing: In some of the most disturbing scenes.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She inverts her twin because she is very girly, but is just as spunky and is as much of The Tease as her twin. She has some Hot-Blooded traits as well.
- Go Out with a Smile: Despite the shame and remorse she feels in her final moments in Meakashi-hen, she dies pretty happy. The visual novel and manga versions suggests she finds her own Heaven after coming to terms with herself.
- Hair Decorations: Her yellow ribbon.
- Hammerspace: Appears to be where she kept her taser as none of her outfits at time seem to feature any pocket.
- Ignored Epiphany: Her reaction to realizing she just crucified Satoko was, number one: wetting herself. Number two: Saying "Oh, what the hell". In the VN, it's expanded upon: She realizes that she forgot her promise to Satoshi, it's just that she felt it was already too late to atone, and she had no choice but to continue what she was doing.
- Image Song: "Futari no Birthday" and "Ienai Kotoba", along with Mion.
- It Amused Me: The main reason for her love of screwing with people; she's been stuck out in Okinomiya with no-one to talk to and nothing fun to do. By the time of her introduction, she's bored as hell.
- I Will Wait for You: Ever since Satoshi disappeared, Shion has been clinging to the hope that he will return someday and she will be waiting for him until then. Although two arcs involve what happens if she gets tired of waiting and decides to seek revenge instead. It's not pretty.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Common reaction to her killing Oryou in the 2nd/5th novels and Teppei in the PS2 exclusive "Exorcism Chapter".
- Knight Templar Big Sister: For Satoko after the Meakashi arc concludes and she remembers in future arcs that she was asked to protect her. She even would have killed Satoko's uncle to free her if Keiichi haven't stopped her.
- Laughing Mad: In Meakashi and Watanagashi.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: To contrast with her twin, she is a girly girl with her hair down.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Boy does it ever. Could also count as Love Makes You Evil.
- Loving a Shadow: Her attraction to Keiichi mostly comes from how he reminds her of Satoshi.
- Manipulative Bastard: Frequently, particularly in Meakashi.
- Matchmaker Crush: Has some feelings for Keiichi, but represses them to get her twin with Keiichi. Also, in Watanagashi, even if she takes a rather unsympathetic delight at making Mion jealous, she does make Keiichi realize that Mion loves him. Then things go downhill from there.
- Misplaced Retribution: She goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Sonozaki family in Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen because she's sure they are responsible for Satoshi's disappearance. Turns out they really had nothing to do with it.
- Ms. Fanservice: The fact she works at Angel Mort.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After torturing Satoko to death she remembers that Satoshi asked her to take care of his little sister and that while she gave up on Satoshi coming back and went for revenge, Satoko never lost faith. Has a straight example in the Massacre chapter after recalling what she did.
- My Sibling Will Live Through Me: In Yoigoshi-hen the world that Mion died in Rena's explosion, her spirit is with Shion.
- Off to Boarding School: Her family sent her to one that she managed to escape from before the beginning of the plot.
- Ojou: Subverted. As the younger twin, she is denied of family's privileges.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Has this dynamic with Mion. See Mion's entry for details.
- Proper Lady: Seems so with her usual self, until she isn't sane.
- Psychotic Smirk: When she's a Troll instead of her usual self.
- Rapunzel Hair: She likes to keep it naturally long unless she's impersonating her sister.
- The Rashomon: Watanagashi-hen was told from Keiichi's point of view, and Shion retells it in Meakashi-hen. Sorta. They actually are different ways of playing out the same sequence, but a few details differ such as who knocked over the bike and had someone come to their rescue, or the fact that Rika "exits the stage" herself in Meakashi.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Mion's Red. But her true personality is Red; she acts Blue because it is expected from the "younger twin" role she is forced to play.
- The Resenter: Normally suppressed, but she has some resentment for Mion because she can still see the boy she likes.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Her motive in Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen.
- Serial Killer: Unlike other arcs, her murders occur over the course of days. Visionary type combined with revenge sub-type due to Hinimizawa syndrome.
- She Who Fights Monsters: In Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen.
- Shipper on Deck: For Mion and Keiichi; she may or may not have a Matchmaker Crush on him, but Sane!Shion doesn't let that stop her. In Matsuribayashi, when she and Kasai are about to make what everyone thinks will be a Heroic Sacrifice, Keiichi asks Shion what her last words are. Her response, paraphrased, is essentially: "Tell Mion I love her and I hope we're twins in the next life...also, you know my sister wants to bang you, right?"Keiichi: What?
- Sibling Yin-Yang: See Mion's entry.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Despite her refined and girly persona, she is either a violent yandere or a badass tease like her sister.
- Sixth Ranger
- Spanner in the Works: Her actions in Watanagashi and Meakashi are what saves the village in those two arcs. More than two days pass between Rika's death and the finding of her body, but no villager has gone insane, destroying the basis of the Emergency Manual 34, and thus preventing the Hinamizawa disaster. Too bad Shion tortured and killed half of the main cast in the process.
- Start of Darkness: Subverted with the "distinguishment scene". It is so in arcs where she snaps but not in arcs where she doesn't.
- The Tease: Regularly and unsubtly hits on Keiichi, especially if Mion is with them. Marshmallow Hell optional.
- Theme Twin Naming: The "on" in Mion and Shion is the same kanji, 音 (meaning "sound").
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Mion's Tomboy. At least it appears as such. See Mion's entry for details.
- Troll: During Watanagashi and Meakashi, for which she is the protagonist of, she acquires a certain fondness for breaking people and causing severe pain, both physical and emotional. More in the Played for Laughs vein, she also basically steers Keiichi over to the toy shop where Mion works in order to get him to buy the doll that he failed to give to Mion (an unintended insult that she had told Shion about and was still smarting over) for her. She does similar activities as The Tease a few different times, mostly when Mion's around.
- Twin Switch: Frequently with Mion. As children, they switched permanently.
- The Unfavorite: As the younger twin, she is denied any family privilege. Especially painful because she is really the older twin, and thus should be the Sonozaki heir. However, it seems that for the most part she doesn't entirely mind because it's not very fun having the responsibilities of the Sonozaki heir.
- Unreliable Expositor: Like a lot of the cast are at varying points. However, this is specifically referring to almost the entirety of what she says at the end of Watanagashi being bullshit.
- Uptown Girl: For Satoshi.
- Villain Protagonist: In Meakashi-hen, she takes center stage by going absolutely insane in the pursuit of revenge.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: For Satoshi. GOOD GOD.
- Voice Changeling: She can perfectly imitate Mion's voice.
- Walking Spoiler: Its difficult to talk about Shion without spoilers for Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen.
- Weapon of Choice: A taser, as well as the contents of the Sonozaki family's torture cellar. She also knows how to handle an assault rifle.
- Would Hurt a Child: She bullied Satoko and later tortured and killed her.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: She has frighteningly good acting skills and can summon Distressed Damsel tears at will. She meets Satoshi thanks to that.
- Yakuza Princess: As a daughter of the Sonozaki family.
- Yandere: During the arcs where she snaps, she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against those she blames for Satoshi's disappearance.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Like Mion, she has green hair.
- Younger than She Looks: Maybe it's her civil outfit, her behaviour and personality or her Rapunzel Hair, but for some reason she looks older than Mion. Add to that her apparent military training and experience with guns, and it's really easy to forget that she is 16.
- Yubitsume: What she had to do to gain forgiveness from her grandmother for running away from her boarding school.
"Trapmaster" Satoko Houjou
Voiced by: Mika Kanai (JP), Minx Lee (EN)
A younger classmate in Keiichi's school. In spite of her young age, she seems to have an impressive arm strength and is quite clever in setting up traps, which she likes to practice on Keiichi. Although her personality is quite energetic and mischievous during the events of the games, Satoko's past was full of trauma; her family were outcasts for supporting the dam project that would have destroyed the village, her parents died in an accident, she was abused by her foster parents (her aunt and uncle), and her beloved brother Satoshi disappeared. She greatly misses Satoshi, and feels that by being strong, he will return. She cannot tell the difference between cauliflower and broccoli because she is color blind.The third arc, Tatarigoroshi-hen (Curse-killing chapter), is focused on her.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Because her parents supported the dam construction, Satoko and the rest of her family are seen as outcasts by the rest of the village.
- Badass Adorable: See Cute Bruiser.
- Big Brother Worship: She adores her Nii-nii more than anyone. His disappearance really crushed her to a degree that you only begin to see in Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Especially in the first Higurashi: Rei episode.
- Break the Cutie: See the entire list of other tropes regarding her. More than anyone else, Satoko's history has been a list of things going wrong in her life. Tatarigoroshi-hen is when she finally breaks.
- Break the Haughty: Rei Episode 3.
- Butt-Monkey: Besides her tragic past, it seems that, no matter who dies over the course of the series, one thing that's almost guaranteed is that Satoko's going to get beaten up at some point (most likely with a chair).
- Cheerful Child: Usually.
- Color Blind Confusion: Both her and her brother are colorblind, which means they can't tell broccoli and cauliflower apart.
- Comatose Canary: In Yakusamashi-hen.
- Covert Pervert:
- Crazy-Prepared: Sometimes you wonder how and when she sets up some of the traps that she does and how she times them so well.
- Cute Bruiser: She's strong enough to shove Keiichi across the room or off a bridge, and she also shoved her mother and stepfather off a cliff. Considering that on all of these occasions she was crazed due to the effects of Hinamizawa syndrome, it isn't all that surprising.
- Cute Little Fangs: Every so often during club activities, she shows these.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: A revolving door of replacement daddies was hard enough to adjust to before she was left in custody of her aunt and then uncle. Confirmed in both Saikoroshi-hen and Miotsukushi-hen that Mr.Houjou isn't a bad step father and if they're still alive she would have accepted him.
- Does Not Like Spam: She hates kabocha squash and complains about it very noisily in a few different arcs.
- Drop the Washtub: A preferred prank. She can summon them anywhere.
- Entendre Failure: Presumably because she's one of the Token Mini Moes, she is particularly prone to this. The one to lampshade this is usually Rika, the other one. Notably, she always gets it. Occasionally, it seems like she chooses not to understand the entendre. Makes sense as Rika is a 100+ year old being pretending to be a child.
- Fan Disservice: Her appearing fully naked (and not in Barbie Doll Anatomy) in the bridge scene of the Tatarigoroshi sound novel only makes it more disturbing.
- The Gadfly: Very mischievous, especially towards Keiichi.
- Genki Girl: Her facade is along these lines, until she breaks.
- Hair Decorations: She nearly always wears a black hairband.
- Image Song: "Sukisuki Nii Nii".
- Insistent Terminology: They are not "pranks", they are "traps"!
- Keigo: She speaks in an extremely formal way, using the first-person pronoun "watakushi", forms like "de gozaimasu" and the honorific -san with even her close friends, as well as the request formula "-kudasaimase". There is no clear explanation for why someone as young as her would talk like this, but according to Rika that's because she forced herself to be hyper-polite so as not to be a target of gossip when the Hōjō were ostracized. It didn't really help.
- Leitmotif: "Small Town".
- Living Emotional Crutch: We can assume that if not for her, Rika would have given up long ago.
- Morality Pet: To different character in different arcs, most notably Irie.
- My God, What Have I Done?: You might miss it and you won't understand it at the time, but it happens at the end of Minagoroshi chapter when she realizes that her parents weren't trying to kill her and she didn't need to push them off the cliff.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: "Oh ho ho ho!"
- Parental Abandonment: Boy, does poor Satoko get it bad. Her mother, father, aunt, and brother all died or disappeared, and her uncle skipped town.
- That last one really isn't a bad thing.
- Parent with New Paramour: Satoko suffered from this in her backstory. Her mother and father divorced when she was young, and Satoko's mother remarried multiple times. She suffered abuse from some of them, but got along so poorly with the last one that she called the child abuse hotline falsely. Ultimately, she deluded herself into believing her new stepfather and her mother were trying to kill her and shoved them off a cliff herself. The false call to the child welfare office unfortunately leads them to delay acting on reported abuse when Teppei returns in Tatarigoroshi-hen.
- Self-Made Orphan: An accidental, tragic example; her Hinamizawa Syndrome made her delude herself into thinking that her mother and stepfather were trying to kill her, and she shoved them both off a cliff in what she thought was self-defense.
- The Smart Girl: The "Trap Master" of the group. She can make weapons and traps out of anything. Her expertise even allows her to understand and figure out the things others make, such as quickly concluding that the bomb Rena created was hidden in the rain gutter on the roof.
- Technicolor Eyes: Pink and in some versions, Red.
- Trickster Archetype: See The Gadfly and Trap Master.
- Trap Master: It's her club title. She can make traps that can catch trained soldiers off guard!
- Trauma Conga Line: First, her parents die due to a tragic accident. Then, she and her brother are forced to move in with her abusive aunt and uncle. Then, her aunt is killed by her brother, her brother disappears a few days later, and her uncle abandons her.
- Vague Age: Like Rika, she's somewhere from 9-13, but specifics are never given.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Keiichi - except in Tatarigoroshi-hen, where Keiichi tries to act more like Satoshi - constantly snipe at each other, and it's very clear that their friendship is built on this dynamic.
- Weapon of Choice: It's given more importance in the games, but she is quite good at making traps.
- Yaoi Fangirl: She seems a little bit TOO happy at the sight of her brother about to feed Keichii will a spoon held in his mouth in the first episode of Kira.
- Then again, Keiichi was dreaming that entire sequence so it might not be true.
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (JP), Rebecca Forstadt (EN)
A younger classmate in Keiichi's school, who is in the same grade level as Satoko. Naturally, she is great friends with her, as they live together in the same house. She is the Miko of the Shrine of Oyashiro-sama, and some of the villagers revere her as a prophet. She has been the head of the Furude family since her parents died, but rarely attends town meetings due to her young age.She is the only one who can see Hanyu, whom everyone else thinks is an Imaginary Friend.The seventh arc, Minagoroshi-hen (Massacre chapter), is focused on her.
- A-Cup Angst: Rika at one point laments her small breast size (due to not being done with puberty yet), and a DVD extra has her do a Skinship Grope of Mion. There is also a manga omake where she is jealous of Hanyu's breasts (Hanyu is adult when in her ghost form in the manga). The reason she's so hung up about this is because she can never physically grow older thanks to the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Rika's hair is blue in the original sound novels, but the anime gives it a more purple tint.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Often does this to people. While most assume that it's her way of comforting them, she's actually mocking them.
- And I Must Scream: She has been stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for somewhere between a century and a millennium. In most iterations, one of her friends will go insane and kill a bunch of people. In every iteration, she is murdered, usually disemboweled while she's still alive, and most or all of her friends die within a few days. Then she's resurrected in the past, and goes through it all over again, and she's the only one who remembers what's happening, but enough important details keep changing that she can't manage to stop it.
- Animal Motifs: Between her punishments (often involving having to wear cat ears), her Verbal Tic ("Mii~", which is meant to be a kitten's mewing), and her general behaviour, characters in the sound novel often compare her to a kitten. And there is a mini-game where she's dressed as a Cat Girl. The theme is perpetuated by Bernkastel in Umineko: When They Cry, who has a cat's tail and can turn into a cat. Oddly enough, her club title compares her to a Tanuki instead.
- Badass Adorable: Near the end of arc 6: Fighting against a psychotic girl who is 4-5 years older than you physically, is stronger than you, and is wielding a hatchet, with a mop, and surviving to tell the story. That's no easy feat. And who could forget the line "I'll play with you. Come on, hatchet girl!"... *Nipaa~*
- Barrier Maiden: Her role as Infection Queen. However, this is subverted when the Fridge Logic of the ending of Meakashi-hen settles in.
- Blush Sticker: As a little child.
- Bokukko: Uses "boku" as a first-person pronoun, probably a habit acquired from Hanyu.
- Broken Bird: Underneath her cheerful and innocent exterior, Rika is actually a cynical and desperate girl who has almost entirely given up on her future after being repeatedly killed in gruesome ways.
- Cassandra Truth: Rika has long since given up trying to convince people that she knows the future.
- Cheerful Child: Or so it seems.
- Chekhov's Gunman: During the first half of the story, she gets the least amount of focus out of all the Games Club members. In Kai we learn a great deal more about her relevance to the plot, and she essentially replaces Keiichi as the main protagonist.
- The Chessmaster: Very intelligent and precise when fighting.
- Contralto of Danger: Whenever she drops the innocent child act, she also drops her high-pitched voice and sounds deeper while showing her more cynical true self.
- Covert Pervert
- Creepy Child: She occasionally acts in a knowing, creepy manner completely unfitting her age. There's a reason for this.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She is a frequent victim of this, usually involving disembowelment.
- Curtains Match the Window: Only in the anime, which gives her purplish-blue hair and eyes. In all other media, her hair is blue and her eyes are purple.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the silly episode previews.
- Also a majority of her dialogue consists of this when she isn't being innocent or serious.
- Deliberately Cute Child: Even before the reveal that she's mentally much older than she acts, you still get the sense that some of her cutesy behaviour is deliberate.
- Determined Defeatist: She has been trying for a long, long time, but she's been killed so many times that she's become a cynical fatalist. She keeps trying though, and eventually gets it right.
- Driven to Suicide:
- She is captured and tortured to death by Shion in Watanagashi. In Meakashi, when she ends up in the same situation again, she prefers to skip the torture part and kills herself with a kitchen knife.
- She also almost kills herself in Minagoroshi-hen when she finds out that Satoko's uncle has returned and neither Takano or Tomitake can help her. She stops once she realizes that by doing this she would just leave this world's Satoko alone.
- Drowning My Sorrows: She drinks wine when she's depressed, despite being underage. She knows she's fated to die anyway, so what harm could it do.
- Emotionless Girl: She is not, but is afraid of becoming one because of the repetition of an increasingly short period of her life. This is elaborated more in the Minagoroshi sound novel.
- The Fake Cutie: Acts like a cute Cheerful Child in public, but when alone with Hanyu or with her own thoughts she's very cynical.
- The Fatalist: Years of being stuck in a gruesome "Groundhog Day" Loop has led Rika to believe You Can't Fight Fate and there's nothing she or anyone else can do about it. Inspired by Keiichi, she keeps trying, though, and eventually gets it right.
- Friendship Favoritism: Downplayed in a realistic fashion; Rika cares about all of her friends, but she has a closer bond to Satoko compared to the rest. The rest of the cast is aware of both the favoritism and its innocent nature but are not really bothered by it.
- Groundhog Peggy Sue: Rika has been stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for at least a century where she relives the last month of her life continuously. She is unable to break the loop until the end of the series.
- Hime Cut: Due to being a Miko.
- Hive Queen: It's noted that the older residents in the city are all incredibly fond of her. This is due to a pheremone signal she releases for her "subjects". Though this is the extent of her power; she theorizes that the effect could have played the trope more straight in the past.
- Identical Granddaughter: She looks a hell of a lot like her ancestor Ōka.
- Image Song: "Mugen Kairou", and "S A G A Rinne no Hate ni".
- Immortal Immaturity: While she says she's mentally hundreds of years old, it becomes clear that it's not true. Instead, she's actually grown desperate rather than truly growing old. This can also be explained by the fact that her body has not yet reached puberty, so her brain is not fully developed, and thus she simply cannot be completely adult in mind since she is not physically capable of it. While she does not act her apparent age (somewhere around nine to eleven) it's clear that she's really still pretty childish. Considering how she's spent hundreds of years hanging out with kids and teenagers and acting like a kid to fit it, it's also likely that she doesn't know how to act like an adult.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: In the first half of Minagoroshi. You can't really blame her.
- Jerkass Façade: In Saikoroshi-hen, after (possibly) being shunted in another world where her parents are alive and well, she reveals that she deliberately acted cold and affront to her parents as a means to cope with their deaths in every universe (as they don't listen to her warnings about eventually being killed by the Yamainu). When it turns out in the same arc that their dying would no longer be a case, Rika is able to renew her bonds with her parents (especially her mother who she is overjoyed to finally have a part of her life and equally devastated when she learns that she will have to kill her to return to her original world and, upon awakening in said original world, that she just might have.
- Lack of Empathy: Some of her monologues in Minagoroshi make her appear not only cynical but also disturbingly selfish, only worrying about people's safety if that can allow her to survive (physically or mentally). The worst in all that? She perfectly knows that the Mountain Hounds killed her parents and she doesn't even care, since she considers it's her mother's fault for opposing the experiments in the first place.
- Lady Drunk: A bit of a disturbing example. Really 700 Years Old or not, she is physically a prepubescent girl. In large part it's a way for her to pick on Hanyu.
- Leitmotif: Baby's Walk; also used in some situations where a character ridicules himself without getting what's going on.
- Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Dark to Hanyuu's light.
- Little Miss Snarker: At first you may think her patting the head of people is to comfort them; you quickly realize it's her way of mocking them.Satoko: Mion must have caught a cold, she looks a bit feverish. Hey, Rika, why are you patting my head?!
Rika: Satoko, you too will catch a cold someday.
- The Many Deaths of You: Most of the time she is disemboweled following the "gut drifting" ritual. But there are also worlds where she is tortured to death by Shion, stabs herself not to be tortured to death by Shion, burns when Rena blows up the school, or is killed by Teppei when trying to save Satoko. And probably others in the early worlds when she actually tried to do something.
- Meaningful Name: Rika means Pear Blossom whose meanings are "lasting friendship and hope".
- This also created some sad meaning with Bernkastel as Rika removes herself (Frederica) from "Frederica Bernkastel" which means that Bernkastel has lost all the hope.
- Mental Time Travel: By unusual means (using Alternate Universes rather than actual Time Travel), but ultimately to the same effect.
- Miko: She serves as one at Oyashiro-sama's shrine, and she also performs rituals at the Cotton-Drifting Festival.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Due to still being physically a preteen, she cannot achieve complete mental maturity despite being mentally hundreds of years old, simply because certain changes in the brain that occur during puberty haven't occured for her yet. A line in the visual novel suggests she hasn't even gotten her first period yet.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: In Matsuribayashi-hen, as part of her Survival Mantra, she boasts that once the loop ends among most things, she's gonna grow taller and develop breasts.
- Oracular Urchin: Somewhat subverted. Rika often gives creepily ominous advices and warnings to the other characters, as if she can predict what is going to happen. She doesn't "predict the future" so much as she "remembers" it because of the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
- Out of Continues: Unlike other examples of "Groundhog Day" Loop, the period of time she and Hanyu can rewind becomes progressively shorter, meaning that her attempt in Matsuribayashi was probably her last chance.
- Out of Time, Out of Mind: Averted, though she puts on an act so as not to freak people out.
- Precocious Crush: Strongly implied towards Akasaka.
- Really 700 Years Old: Technically, Rika would be a 700 year old in a little girl's body.
- Reincarnation: She's thought to be the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Along with Hanyu (who's the one responsible for the loop in the first place), she's the only person who knows that there's a "Groundhog Day" Loop going on, and she remembers all the previous universes.
- Save Scumming: Each time she dies in one of the loops, she is sent back to the beginning of the loop. This has been going on for possibly over a thousand years. Not that it helps her much since she never fights enough to prevent everyone's deaths until the end of the series. Also, the period of time she and Hanyu can rewind becomes progressively shorter and by the final loop Rika can no longer remember the events of the latest loop.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: She has a habit of doing this, such as saying "pachi pachi" ("clap clap") while clapping. Her "nipa~" Verbal Tic is essentially this as well, since "nipa" is a Japanese Unsound Effect for smiling.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Underneath her cute and girly persona is a serious and snarky temper.
- Stepford Smiler: In a cast full of them, she's probably got it the worst; she acts like a cute Cheerful Child, but in reality she's suppressing how she's witnessed and experienced hundreds of years' worth of murder and torture.
- The Stoic: When she's not her usual self.
- Supporting Protagonist: Shares the status with Keiichi. Basically, the whole story is about her and the latter half is frequently from her perspective, but despite this, it is mostly Keiichi and the rest who act to save Rika from her fate.
- Tareme Eyes: When in her "cute" facade, otherwise they're not.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Satoko's Tomboy but Tomboy to Hanyuu's Girly Girl.
- Took a Level in Idealism: After having pretty much given up on fighting fate and resigning to keep dying continuously, Rika is inspired by Keiichi to not give up and keep trying. She eventually gets it right and frees herself from the loop.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bernkastel Wine.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: She drinks wine to drown her sorrows and she's not any older than twelve (at least, not physically). She does this behind everyone else's backs, though.
- Tsurime Eyes: In her "mature" form.
- Verbal Tic: "Mii", "Nipa~"
- The "nipa~" could actually be foreshadowing of somesort. Turns out, "nipa~", as well as being the Japanese onomatopoeia for "smiling", is also the name of a virus that causes neurological failure and death in humans.
- Like Hanyu, she ends all her sentences with "desu" or "nano desu", even when it makes no gramatical sense.
- Vocal Dissonance: Her "real" voice, when she's not Obfuscating Stupidity, sounds deeper and more mature than someone her apparent age would sound.
- Weapon of Choice: Satoko's Hinamizawa Syndrome medication, and strangely enough, a mop.
- With Friends Like These...: She and Hanyu are close friends, no doubt about it; that doesn't prevent her from regularly punishing Hanyu with wine and spicy food or outright shutting her up when she finds her annoying.
- Yaoi Fangirl: In the preview at the end of Kai episode 7 she claimed that she ships Keiichi/Ooishi.
- Younger than She Looks: Her true personality makes her seem adult-like.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is blue, though the anime gives it a more purple tint.
Voiced by: Yui Horie (JP)
The mysterious "transfer student" in Matsuribayashi-hen. She has appeared to Rika all her life, but only in Matsuribayashi-hen does she choose to interact with others. She is very meek and often makes the noise "Au au au" when she is nervous or uncomfortable. She dislikes alcohol and spicy foods like kimchi, which Rika uses in large amounts when Hanyu is being particularly annoying (Hanyu's and Rika's senses are linked together).The eighth arc, Matsuribayashi-hen (Festival Music chapter), is focused on her.
- Adaptational Curves: Her ghost form has a more adult appearance in the manga, making her considerably more busty.
- All-Loving Heroine: She is all about love and forgiveness. Even people she professes to hate, like Takano, she is willing to forgive and even sacrifice her life for when it comes down to it.
- Apologises a Lot: "Gomen nasai..."
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She was originally a demon in human form who ascended to godhood by dying for the sins of others.
- Bokukko: Uses "boku" as a first-person pronoun, despite not being tomboyish at all. According to her, that's because in her time (she is 1000 year old after all) boys and girls didn't speak differently.
- Break the Cutie: Quite a lot, though often missed in the anime adaptation or replaced with a more cute reaction.
- The Cameo: She appears in a single panel in the manga version of Episode 6 of Umineko: When They Cry as the Game Master who trapped Bernkastel/Rika in a hellish Unwinnable game.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: A fact that Rika likes to take advantage of.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The reason why her powers are failing lately.
- Continuity Snarl: At the end of Matsuribayashi-hen (the conclusion of the main storyline) and in the later Yumeutsushi-hen, Hanyu stays as a physical being... but in the in-between chapter Saikoroshi-hen, she's suddenly a spirit again. This is never explained, though the visual novels have implications that she can willingly transition between being physical and being incorporeal.
- Curtains Match the Window: Purple hair and eyes.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Before Matsuribayashi.
- Cute Monster Girl: Before she became a god, she was a demon who took on human form but couldn't hide her horns. What a "demon" actually is is left vague. In Matsuribayashi-hen Rika confesses to her that no matter how many times Hanyu has explained who she is and where she came from, she can never understand it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She was forced to kill her husband who was "possessed" by pure-blood demon to save him. She also had her daughter kill her to prevent her from turning "evil" again.
- Death by Adaptation: In Miotsukushi-hen, the new ending for the PS2 port.
- Deity of Human Origin: She was originally a demon who took human form and who was sacrificed as a scapegoat in order to "atone" for the village's sins. After dying, she ascended to godhood.
- Determined Defeatist: In a slightly different manner from Rika. While Rika has a tiny sliver of hope that the perfect circumstances may line up, Hanyu is only doing it because she wants to spend more time with Rika.
- Does Not Like Spam: Wine and spicy food.
- Freakiness Shame: She has something of a complex about her horns. Rena thinks they're cute (but then again, Rena thinks a lot of things are cute). The only one to react negatively is Takano, and even she probably didn't really care. It's implied that her complex comes not from her current-day friends' reactions (or lack thereof) but rather the fact that when she took on human form to mediate between demons and humans, she could not hide her horns. They are a large part of the reason why she was chosen as a sacrifice.
- God's Hands Are Tied: In fact, she even goes so far as to describe herself as "a powerless god".
- God Was My Copilot: She's Oyashiro, and, in spite of her In-Universe Historical Villain Upgrade, is the reason Rika can utilize Mental Time Travel.
- Going Commando: In her Miko outfit. Ironic given that her adult form's garb is much more conservative.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: In-Universe; She's Oyashiro, who's known as a god of torture and bloodshed.
- Horned Humanoid: She has a pair of dark-colored horns on her head, one which is chipped slightly. It turns out that she used to be a demon whose horns remained when she took human form. Her horns were largely the reason why she was sacrificed, since many people feared and distrusted her because of them.
- Image Song: "Nano Desu".
- Immortal Immaturity: Generally, she can act and sound like a thousand-year old goddess when she is serious, even calling Takano "child of man" at the end of the last arc. She actually seems to have the same kind of dual personality as Rika. The same voice actress voices her "child" and "adult" voices. In addition, she demonstrates some stunning immaturity by refusing to so much as apologize for stealing Tamura's offering, even though that minor transgression is what motivated Tamura to let Une's threat spread to a global scale. Disproportionate Retribution or not, what Hanyū did in that moment was wrong and yet she still can't bring herself to even say sorry to someone who put the whole world in danger.
- Interspecies Romance: In life, Hanyu was a demon who took human form. She married a human man and they had a daughter together.
- Leitmotif: "Over the sky" represents the "Goddess" part of her character. Really makes you feel like you are hovering above the clouds. The human part is represented by "Air Pizz".
- Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Light to Rika's Dark.
- Mayfly–December Romance: According to Kotohogushi-hen, Hanyu first met her husband when he was just a baby! Added to the fact that she's mentioned to be "long-lived" and this is in full effect.
- Messianic Archetype: Subverted. Hanyu was one in the past, allowing herself to be killed by her own daughter to initiate the first Watanagashi Festival to atone for the sins of the inhabitants of Hinamizawa, but now disagrees with the idea of people sacrificing others in the name of purifying their own sins.
- Miko: She wears a miko outfit in her spirit form.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: For every arc until the last she is undetectable to anyone that is not named Rika or in the later stages of Hinamizawa syndrome. It apparently never occurred to Rika to utilize her invisible ghost spy to do anything like figure out who killed Tomitake. Then again, Rika is still quite the child, even though it sometimes seems otherwise. And quite pessimistic at that, with the whole "what's the point" attitude since she can never seem to alter some events.
- Never My Fault: Downplayed in Higurashi Hou; while the situation with Une and Tamura is clearly more their fault than her own, Hanyū stubbornly refuses to take any sort of responsibility for her role in Tamura's backstory. While it's true that Tamura's actions are major Disproportionate Retribution of the highest degree and petty in their intent, Hanyū always tries to shift all of the blame on her when the more mature thing to do would probably be to apologize for her own (admittedly minor) wrongdoing against Tamura.
- New Meat: After she joins the club, Mion calls her the "newbie".
- New Transfer Student: Apparently to the other classmates who don't know her true identity.
- Nice Girl: Contrary to how others perceived Oyashiro, Hanyuu is a sweet and selfless girl.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: She has appeared to Rika all her life and Rika thought she was just her Imaginary Friend. When she was growing up, Rika's mother was bothered by her "imaginary friend" Hanyu. Not helped by the fact that Hanyu taught her to cook and do laundry.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most people call her Oyashiro-sama, people who know her call her Hanyu, but her real name is Hainiryūn Ieasomūru Jieda. She got the nickname of Hanyu because her husband could not memorize her full name.
- Our Demons Are Different: She's a demon who took on human form, though what a demon really is in this setting is left very vague; Rika mentions that she still doesn't understand what a "demon" is even after Hanyu explained it to her.
- Our Gods Are Different: She was a demon in human form who was sacrificed and ascended to godhood after dying. She's currently worshiped in a similar manner to most Shinto gods in real life, though her reputation has been distorted over the centuries so that now everyone sees her as a malevolent force who will curse anyone who displeases her. She isn't too happy about that.
- Overly Long Name: Hainryun Ieasomuru Jieda.
- Parental Substitute: A weird example. She replaced Rika's mother in teaching her cooking, sewing and so on, while the latter was alive and living with her. Naturally, her real mother was pretty freaked out and upset to see her daughter talk with a Not-So-Imaginary Friend and do things she never taught her. Probably not made better by the fact that as soon as Rika was born the villagers started adoring her instead of her mother.
- Physical God: But only in Matsuribayashi-hen. It appears to be a significant step down on the power scale.
- Played straight in the Daybreak doujin games; compared to the rest of the cast that uses whatever weapons/tools/toys they could get their hands on, Hanyu wields actual (powerful) magical energy blasts of varying types.
- In the visual novel she can switch between forms, she turns into her spirit form at least once during Matsuribayashi-hen, and there's the fact that Keiichi's father can see her when they are attracting the Maebara familty to Hinamizawa, this too implies she can switch at will. She probably stayed in spirit form in most worlds because she had yet to step onto the stage.
- Really 700 Years Old: As the origin of the Oyashiro-sama legend she's around a thousand years old. Even older when you factor in the Groundhog Day Loops. Not to mention her not even being in her true form either.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The few times she is seen legitimately angry.
- Shipper on Deck: She teases Rika quite a bit when Akasaka comes to her home to occupy the house while she and Satoko are hiding at Mion's place. As a response, Rika eats dinner with Akasaka; a super-spicy dinner.
- Shrinking Violet: She's incredibly shy around other people at first, but she gradually opens up.
- Silent Scapegoat: As part of the deal to allow her people to live in Hinamizawa, Hanyu allowed herself to be set up as a scapegoat and killed by Ōka via ritual butchering. As her daughter was also the daughter of one of the village priests, this brought unity to the two factions.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Don't underestimate her just because she's sweet and girly! She's the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama for God's sake.
- Some Call Me "Tim": Her real name is so long that her husband had trouble remembering it and shortened it to her current name, Hanyu.
- Spirit Advisor: Though when it comes down to it she's not a very good one, since the only "advice" she gives Rika is to not let her hopes up to avoid disappointment. This only served to make Rika more cynical.
- Supernaturally Young Parent: In life, she had a husband and a daughter. However, she was already an adult when she died, and only appears as a young girl in the present as a way to get Rika to relate to her.
- Sweet Tooth: She loves sweets, especially cream puffs.
- Synchronization: Her senses are connected to Rika's. Though it's Played for Laughs rather than drama, with Rika threatening to eat spicy food and drink alcohol whenever Hanyu annoys her.
- Tagalong Kid: Even before the group aside from Rika could see her.
- Time Master: Can stop time primarily in the manga version, though it is only really good for speaking because when she stops time not only do bullets stop moving, but so do people. She's also the one responsible for sending Rika back in time each time.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Rika's Tomboy.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cream puffs.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Subverted. The games reveal that everyone did notice her horns but avoided mentioning them because they either were too polite, they liked them or they thought they were some kind of accessory.
- Verbal Tic: "Au au auu~" and "Nano desu"
- The Voice: Until Minagoroshi-hen, she only appears in the form of a mysterious voice. In Onikakushi, in at least the sound novel remakes, you can hear her in the scene where Keiichi looks out his window at Rena. It's scary.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hers is purple.
Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (JP - drama CD), Yuu Kobayashi (JP - anime), Darrel Guilbeau (EN)
Satoko's older brother, who disappeared a year before the story began.
- Big Brother Instinct: Subverted - while he was very protective of Satoko, a repressed part of him was also tired of protecting her from their aunt and hearing her constant whining.
- Bishōnen: Quite handsome along with Keiichi.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: He's in a coma in Irie's clinic.
- Chekhov's Gunman: His disappearance is a major part of what sets off the killers in three of the four question arcs fueling Keiichi's paranoia (Onikakushi), Shion's grief (Watanagashi and Meakashi) and Keiichi's protectiveness (Tataragoroshi).
- Convenient Coma: Subverted to an extent. It means he's not dead, but he's still sick at the end of the story. He'll be kept in the coma at least until there's a real cure.
- Foreshadowing: From Frederica Bernkastel's poem in Meakashi-hen: "How many years will pass before she wonders if she really dropped them?"
- Ill Boy: According to Dr. Irie, he was frail due to a heart condition.
- Image Song: "Yellowsick". Ironically, he has one of the most energetic and hot-blooded image songs of the cast.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: He killed his aunt in order to protect Satoko. In large part it was due to Hinamizawa syndrome, though.
- The Lost Lenore: To Shion.
- Nice Guy: Usually nice and kindhearted, even moreso than Keiichi.
- Promotion to Parent: For Satoko.
- Technicolor Eyes: Pink.
- Would Hit a Girl: He hits Shion, although justified since he did it to save his sister Satoko from her beatings.
Voiced by: Chafurin (JP), Joe DiMucci (EN)
A veteran police investigator at Okinomiya who has vowed to solve the mystery of the Hinamizawa murders before his retirement, due to personal reasons. Due to his uncouth tactics and the lengths that he goes to in order to solve the mystery, he is looked upon as a nuisance by the villagers. He approaches one of the main characters to become his informant in several arcs, and is sometimes unwittingly responsible for triggering their paranoia.
- Dirty Old Man: It's more apparent in the manga and V Ns, but he really does have a strong interest in porn.
- Foil: Old, perverted, and usually implementing a very signature brand of Obfuscating Stupidity, to Akasaka's more young, straightlaced, and straightforward persona. He also foils a little bit against Kumagai, his relatively straightlaced assistant who is much calmer and better at negotiation, whereas Ooishi intentionally puts people off with his brash attitude.
- Gallows Humor: There's a bit of an on-going dark joke between Ooishi and anybody he has visiting to investigate the Tomitake murder where he'll end a conversation with, "Have a nice year!" in reference to the serial Watanagashi murders. It shows up repeatedly in the Onikakushi-hen TIPS.
- Inspector Javert: He's usually right, though, like in Tatarigoroshi-hen and Onisarashi-hen. But he's completely wrong in the most important way in that he thinks the Sonozaki's are behind everything. This keeps him from approaching the only person in the group that never goes insane.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Asakasa in Himatsubushi-hen and Keiichi in Minagoroshi-hen.
- Knight of Cerebus: In most arcs, he signals the end of comedy, or a sharper dive into tragedy, not always in his first appearance, but in his first confrontation with the arc's protagonist. Lampshaded by Dr. Irie.
- It's Personal: The dam construction manager who was the first murder victim was a Mentor to him. Once he finds out he was murdered and suspects the Sonozakis of it, he becomes determined to crack the case. However, as noted, this actually works against him because he starts looking for links between events that just aren't there, which impedes his effectiveness.
- Leitmotif: "Big Bear". Also, "Dancers 5" in Himatsubushi.
- Mentor Archetype: The "old man". Ooishi's father died in a bombing just after the end of World War II, and Ooishi spent the few years after that reluctantly arresting starving people who bought rice on the black market. While he was chasing one, a guy who looked just like his father punched him and scolded him in front of everyone. He started to consider that man as a second father.
- My Greatest Failure: His inability to solve the Hinamizawa murders and the eventual disaster that almost inevitably befalls the village serves as this for Ooishi in most of the endings.
- Not So Different: In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, the narration notes that the way that Ooishi operates is actually pretty similar to the stereotypes of the Yakuza, embodied in the story by his Arch Enemies, the Sonozaki family.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: His drawling accent, casual manner and crude humor put people off their guard. Unfortunately, it makes him come off as arrogant and causes distrust in him.
- Odd Friendship: With Keiichi in Minagoroshi-hen and Akane Sonozaki in Matsuribayashi.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In most of the arcs.
- Retirony: In the arcs where he is killed, due to the short time limit that he has to solve the case before he retires.
- Signature Laugh: Nfufufufu!
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He doesn't realize it, but his actions frequently wind up just making a given arc worse and making it so that there's really no one sane left for Rika to get help from. Particularly egregious in Onikakushi-hen, where he's arguably the cause of Keiichi going off the deep end, but he also exacerbates Keiichi's and Rena's jumps off the cliff in Tatarigoroshi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen, no matter how much help he might turn into near the end of the latter. And his consistent mistrust of the Sonozakis makes it impossible for anyone to trust the one reliably sane person in the group.
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (JP), Kyle Hebert (EN)
A freelance photographer who comes to Hinamizawa occasionally. He gets along well with Miyo Takano because of their similar interests in photography. Despite being only an occasional visitor, he seems to know a fair amount about Hinamizawa's past. Ooishi and the police are suspicious of his identity.In the first six arcs, he is consistently found dead of suicide on the night of Watanagashi, triggering many of the events that follow.
- Dark and Troubled Past: One of the very rare recurring characters who doesn't have one.
- Designated Victim: Like Takano, in most arcs, he is found dead on the night of Watanagashi.
- Driven to Suicide: In most of the arcs due to being injected with H173.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Irie calls him "Risa-san" As a subversion, this conveniently serves to hide their connections to the reader in the early arcs.
- Foreshadowing: He can hear Hanyu's fuss in the shrine storage. Meaning that he was already at least at level 4 of the Hinamizawa syndrome at that time.
- Friendly Sniper: He's a good guy whose also a skilled sniper.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Called out on this by the Mountain Hounds when sniping on a moving vehicle while on rough terrain.
- Love Martyr: Especially evident in Matsuribayashi-hen.
- Nice Guy: His most defining trait is just how kind he is.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He's a veteran sniper.
- Official Couple: With Takano. Yes, even after she tries to kill him.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: It's mentioned in several arcs that Jirō Tomitake is not his real name, but we never learn what it is.
- Weapon of Choice: Camera. "TOMITAKE FLASH!!!!" His weapon is actually a sniper rifle.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He usually dies too early to get any kind of development.
Miyo Takano/Miyoko Tanashi
Voiced by: Miki Ito (JP), Fuyuka Oura (JP - young), Karen Strassman (EN)
A nurse at the village clinic who has a keen interest in Hinamizawa's past and culture, recording all her speculation in notebooks. At times, her storytelling can be very mysterious and chilling, and she seems to enjoy putting people on edge. In the first six arcs, she consistently disappears on the night of Watanagashi, and an incinerated body thought to be hers is found in the mountains.
- A God Am I: The end of Minagoroshi-hen.
- Specifically, it was influenced by a metaphor from her grandfather, saying that if his research proves fruitful his legacy will live forever, like that of a god. Fast-forward to modern day and Miyo raves about how if she proves her grandfather's research is true, and re-inspires fear of Oyashiro-sama in the process, she will in effect become Oyashiro-sama and live forever with her grandpa.
- Anti-Villain: An interesting take on a Type II. Exposing the truth about the Hinamizawa Syndrome for the sake of her adopted Grandfather's legacy, someone whom she viewed as a savior, is hardly what you could call "evil." But with the abuse she took in the Orphanage of Fear before being adopted and the subsequent repeated brushing off of her Grandfather's research, desperation and insanity take hold and drive her to do gradually less savory acts in pursuit of her goal.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Lampshaded in a serious manner. She keeps sending in the Yamainu to attack an entrenched enemy on their territory no matter how many casualties they take nor how demoralized they are. Any sensible commander would have done a tactical retreat to regroup at the very least.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The consequence of being tortured into pretty much insanity in the Orphanage of Fear from her childhood. It's heavily implied that she suffers from severe PTSD as a result.
- Big Bad: Is revealed to be this toward the end,
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A kind nurse until it was revealed that she is the main villain.
- Break the Cutie / Broken Bird: Her backstory.
- The Chessmaster: She's behind everything.
- Cute and Psycho: Acts pleasant on the surface, but she's actually responsible for much of the chaos in the story. Is it really any surprise?
- Deadly Doctor: Although she's always one of the first two victims of Watanagashi, she isn't quite so helpless as you'd think. Especially since she isn't really a victim. Plus, her weapons of choice in Higurashi Daybreak are syringes.
- Designated Victim: Like Tomitake, in most arcs she goes missing on the night of Watanagashi, and is later found dead. Subverted, she was faking her death.
- Dissonant Serenity: To contrast all other infected ones.
- Drowning My Sorrows: After she learns that the research will be stopped, indicating that she has crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
- Easily Forgiven: By Tomitake in the realities where he lives, even though she attempted to kill him. Seeing her in a defeated, pathetic state probably helps, it's difficult to hate someone in that position. Not to mention that Tomitake is more aware of Takano's sad past and motivations than other characters.
- Epileptic Trees: A perpetuator of these in-universe. They range from the clearly correct (the prevalence of the "oni" character in the Sonozaki and Kimiyoshi family names), to the plausible but unprovable (the possible alternate spelling of "Oyashiro"), to the clearly insane (a UFO crashed in the swamp and Oyashiro was an alien doctor!). These trees are her tactic of choice in her trolling the cast.
- Evil Laugh: Gets a truly epic one when she's revealed to be the Big Bad.
- Faking the Dead: In every arc.
- Freudian Excuse: After losing her parents, she had to live in a hellish Orphanage of Fear. She was rescued from the orphanage and raised by a loving, kindly old man and now wants to prove his research, not matter what. Unfortunately, the trauma she already had from the orphanage led to her taking a few things that her grandfather said the wrong way, which, combined with people treating her grandfather's thesis as garbage, as well as her underlying selfishness and 'us-vs-them' mentality, led to her becoming a heartless monster.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From sweet kid to Break the Cutie to detached nurse to sociopathic, murderous researcher.
- Genre Blindness: Boy, does she ever catch a case of it in the end. Alluded to in Attack! Attack! Attack! above, while the entrenched enemy in question is a group of schoolchildren, they also happen to be the protagonists. Who also have a sort-of-Physical God on their side whom Takano had actually met with and thus KNEW would be acting against her at the start of the arc. Failure to acknowledge any of this leads to her downfall.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: One of the indicators that she's not the innocent victim she appears to be.
- Happily Adopted: After some very nasty experiences at her Orphanage of Fear, she was adopted by Hifumi Takano and was able to live a relatively happy life with him until he died. Unfortunately the trauma from her time at the orphanage eventually caught up with her, and she became willing to go to extreme methods to continue her adopted grandfather's research...
- Heel–Face Turn: But only in the very end of the series.
- Hospital Hottie: Her outfit consist of a really short skirt and a pair of high black stockings.
- Image Song: "Bon Karma".
- Ironic Echo: Not exactly a quote, but the scene near the end of Matsuribayashi-hen where her bullet misses Hanyu very closely echoes the scene near the beginning of the arc where "God"'s lightning bolt narrowly misses Takano, immediately after she asks God to either give her a better life or kill her. Since she was spared, she took this as a sign that she is meant to live, and as a result, she became something of a Determinator. It can be interpreted that her bullet missing Hanyu is a sign that Rika and Hanyu's determination to live has finally reached the same level as Miyo's will to live on that day.
- It didn't miss on purpose. Although the anime does not show this, Hanyu stops time and realizes that the bullet won't miss. Then Rika starts moving, despite time being stopped, and grabs the bullet, moving it so that it won't hit anyone.
- Karma Houdini: Hello, she tries to kill an entire village over and over again, and what does she get? Treatment for a disease that it wasn't well-established she had (though current evidence points to yes) and a good cry in her lover's arms. While in that chapter she didn't manage to kill anyone, she's still responsible for the death of Rika's parents and generally being an amoral researcher.
- It's particularly egregious in the worlds where Rika fails, and she succeeds in murdering everyone in Hinamizawa and gets away with it scot-free.
- Although, if she actually has Hinamizawa Syndrome, she bound to go crazy(er), and die by shratching her throat out.
- It actually makes sense in context a bit with Hanyu offers to forgive Takano of all her sins.
- It's particularly egregious in the worlds where Rika fails, and she succeeds in murdering everyone in Hinamizawa and gets away with it scot-free.
- Manipulative Bitch: The biggest in the series. She manipulates Keiichi, Rena, and Shion with both her scrapbooks, the Oyashiro Curse and faked her own death in order for them to succumb to Level 5 and throw a giant suspicion on the Sonozaki Family.
- Meaningful Rename: After being adopted by Hifumi Takano, she changes the kanji in her name to follow his Numerical Theme Naming.
- Milkman Conspiracy: Big Bad or not she's still just a nurse when it comes down to it.
- Naughty Nurse Outfit: Irie once notes that since she is a doctor she isn't supposed to wear a nurse outfit (with an impressive Zettai Ryouiki to boot), but she does just for the hell of it. Mion and Shion also tease her and Tomitake about their "foreplay" with that kind of outfit.
- Nay-Theist: She studies myths, religion, and the occult, but doesn't actually believe in any of them.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Gets a classic one in the anime after her A God Am I speech, yet it's somehow less disturbing than most the protagonists' laughs.
- Not Quite the Right Thing: Just before the Final Operation, she realizes that because of her obstination to continue the research on Hinamizawa Syndrome, instead of staying in history, her grandfather's research is going to be erased and forgotten, whether a cure is found or the Manual 34 is implemented. She is the only one who regrets it though.
- Numerical Theme Naming: The kanji for her name uses the kanji for three (三) and four (四). Just like how her adoptive grandfather's name is written as one (一), two (二), three (三).
- Nice Hat: Her nurse's cap. Also, her epic special forces beret.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Over the legends of Oyashiro-sama.
- Official Couple: Double Subverted with Tomitake. In the first season, they merely look like an Odd Couple. After Minagoroshi, one can think Takano was merely playing Tomitake and that he was the only one in love. But the following arc shows she genuinely loves him and isn't really eager to kill him.
- Orphanage of Fear: She was sent to one of these after her parents died, witnessing and suffering lots of horrors there. She got so throughly broken that she went INSANE and became the Big Bad with time.
- Plucky Girl: Enough will to alter fate itself.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Despite many characters describing her as a mature adult woman, her personality is actually frighteningly childish.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: She challenges God to give her a better life or kill her. A subsequent lightning bolt narrowly misses her.
- Softspoken Sadist: She enjoys making people uncomfortable in casual conversation, typically with her lurid fascination with the curse. Soon after introducing herself to Keiichi, she advises him to come to her clinic so she can give him BIG shot foreshadowing her Playing with Syringes and other overt sadism.
- Troll: She manipulates several characters into going paranoid and berserk out of sheer amusement.
- The Unfettered: She is capable of doing pretty much anything, no matter how heinous.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Whether it's intentional or not, she's partially responsible for causing Rena and Shion to go off the deep end by giving her the scrapbook.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The sweet girl who collected flags and loved to go out with Dad and Mom? Yeah, she grew into a horrible bitch after she was tortured in the orphanage. Although she still was a sweet child when with Dr. Takano, and it's only after his death and his research is mocked that she goes off the deep end.
- Villainous Breakdown: Started in Matsuribayashi-hen when Rika was falsely reported as dead for 48 hours and it just got worse after she was beaten.
- Walking Spoiler: Her past and the fact that she is the Big Bad makes her this.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Oh yes.
- Would Hurt a Child: A woman who disembowels a little girl? After executing her friends? Holy crap.
- Zettai Ryouiki: As part of her nurse uniform.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (JP), Dave Mallow (EN)
The head doctor of the village clinic. Initially interesting in being a doctor just for the money, he became devoted to the field of psychosurgery after a head injury changed his father's personality. Despite his young age and the fact that he has a severe maid fetish, he is highly respected in the community. He cheerfully makes house calls and seems to truly care about everyone's health. He has (half-jokingly) admitted that he wishes to marry Satoko when she is older, but is not above chasing after Rika when she is wearing one of the uniforms from the restaurant Angel Mort. In addition, he is the manager of the village's baseball little league team, the Hinamizawa Fighters.
- Bishōnen: He's noted to be quite good looking.
- Comedic Lolicon: He tends to express an attraction towards Satoko (and sometimes Rika), and it's always Played for Laughs.
- Creepy Physical: To quote Irie, "It's good to be a doctor... because I get to touch the skin of young people many times, and I can turn them into my slaves with a little injection." Off-putting sense of humor for a doctor.
- Curtains Match the Window
- Deadly Doctor: He performed psychosurgery on unwilling patients in the past, although he had good intentions. Patient consent wasn't required at the time.
- Domestic Abuse: Figures a lot in Irie's backstory. After his father suffered a traumatic brain injury, he began to act abusive toward Irie's mother. The two ended up hating each other, a fact that Irie regrets. This serves as a major motivator for, among other things, joining work with Takano on Hinamizawa Syndrome.
- Driven to Suicide: In Outbreak, he hopelessly realizes that the parasite spread too fast and is infected himself so he Ate His Gun right in-front of Rika Furude.
- He's also claimed to have committed suicide near the end of Tatarigoroshi-hen, and by extension any arc in which the Great Hinamizawa Gas Disaster occurs. Given the circumstances explained in some of the later arcs, however, these are at least as likely to be cases of Never Suicide.
- Hospital Hottie: For a doctor, he's quite young and handsome.
- Large Ham: When he goes into a Keiichi-esque nonsensical rant about Maids in Matsuribayashi. In the middle of a life-or-death situation.
- Meido: His fetish.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He always listens to the main characters' worries about what's going on and helps them if possible. Unfortunately, when he figures out what's going on, it's not always to the benefit of the character telling the story...
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his past anyway. May have had good intentions but his medical practices were ruthless. See Deadly Doctor above.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP - drama CD), Daisuke Ono (JP - anime), Patrick Seitz (EN)
A young police investigator at the Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo. He befriended Rika while investigating a case in Hinamizawa four years ago, all due to a prophecy about his wife which came true; he, however, just brushed it off as coincidence.The fourth arc, Himatsubushi-hen (Time-wasting), is dedicated to him.
- Alliterative Name: If you call him "Akasaka-san".
- 11th-Hour Ranger: In the Festival Music Arc.
- Foil: Young, straightlaced, and straightforward to Ooishi's older, perverted, and more wily persona.
- Future Badass: In the worlds where his wife dies.
- Leitmotif: And a pretty cool one.
- Meaningful Name: "Mamoru" means "To protect" in Japanese.
- My Greatest Failure: His inability to solve the Hinamizawa murders and the eventual disaster that almost inevitably befalls the village and consequently his failure to prevent Rika's death serves as this for Akasaka in most of the endings.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Himatsubushi, he's just a greenhorn. In Matsuribayashi, he is refered multiple times as a monster.
- And learned the Falcon Punch during the Level Grinding. He punches a bulletproof windshield, causing it to shatter.
- In the VN, he doesn't only shatter the winshield, he destroys the entire van with his punch!
Voiced by: Shizuka Okohira (JP), Barbara Goodson (EN)
Mion and Shion's grandmother and head of the Sonozaki household. She appears to be a very harsh old woman and is considered the most powerful person in Hinamizawa. Shion call her "Oni-baba" ("demon granny").Shion suspects that she was the mastermind in Satoshi's disappearance.
- Abusive Parents: Treats Shion like garbage. Best grandmom ever!
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The "distinguishment" scene.
- Covert Pervert: According to the preview for Kai episode 18, she's an active dominatrix.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Motive for the "distinguishment" scene.
- Evil Matriarch: Her granddaughters call her demon granny, what more do you need to know? Hey! She even has the voice of Rita Repulza so why not?
- In reality, she's not actually evil, just a Jerkass.
- Fingore: Again, standard punishment among the Sonozakis. First she had that done when young, then she forced Akane to do it when she didn't like her choice in men, and ultimately makes Shion go through it. (And as a bonus, Mion does it on her own.)
- Meaningful Name: "Oryou" contains the character "oni", as do all the names of the Sonozaki heirs. Oryou's daughter Akane (Mion and Shion's mother) used to have an "oni" in her name, but was forced to change the spelling when she was disinherited for marrying an outsider.
- Pet the Dog: When she gives her support to Keiichi in Minagoroshi-hen, and later in Matsuribayashi-hen when it is revealed that she was pulling the strings on Keiichi, of all people — she put real estate up for sale for the explicit purpose of having an energetic outsider kid like him move in and clear up the village resentment against the Hojou family.
- Plausible Deniability: She's carefully indirect with her phrasing at formal family and village meetings, and alert family members carry out her "wishes". Unless she personally gets her hands on something, she knows nothing of the details of operation. She teaches Mion to function this way as head of the family.
- Red Herring: She is an Unwitting Instigator of Doom with a Sure, Let's Go with That policy, and the Yakuza background is not helping her case.
- Slave to PR: She actually does love her daughter and Shion, plus she forgave the Houjou family long ago, but she has to keep up appearances.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: A policy she has in place. If anything mysterious happens and it's credited to the Sonozaki's, she acts like she is responsible without confirming it. Nastily deconstructed as this causes a lot of problems.
- Tsundere: In public, she's always harsh, but in private she cares a lot about her daughter and granddaughters.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Major offender of this trope; the Sonozaki family's policy of making them look tougher than they really are bites everyone in the ass by causing them to become incredibly suspicious and cause distrust in the Only Sane Man of the club. Oryou's actions are the primary cause of the Cotton Drifting/Eye Opening chapters. Her Sure, Let's Go with That attitude is a cause for Ooishi being one himself, which causes her to be indirectly responsible for the Spirited By the Demon and Atonement chapter. Her stubborness towards not cleaning up resentment towards the Hojou siblings is a contributing factor in their problems with the Hate Plague.
- You Got Spunk: Has this opinion of Keiichi after he threatens to split her head open if she doesn't give her support to rescuing Satoko from Teppei.
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (JP), Sam Carr (EN)
The female teacher of Keiichi's class, who is a parody character of Tsukihime's Ciel-senpai (permission for her usage was given by Type-Moon). The seiyu for her character in the anime series is the same as the seiyu of Ciel from the Tsukihime anime. Going along with the parody, her favorite food is curry rice, just like Ciel.
- Berserk Button: Don't you dare insult curry in front of her. It won't be pretty. Sometimes she can hear an insult even when she's not in the room!
- Expy: If the above wasn't enough, in Higurashi Daybreak, many of Rumiko's moves are direct references to some of Ciel's moves from Melty Blood. In the Expansion Pack, one of Rumiko's alternate outfits is Ciel's nun outfit and, if the player uses this costume, she will talk very much like her Tsukihime counterpart.
- More specifically, she's an Expy of Ciel-Sensei - she even wears the same pendant. Unlike Neko Arc, her status as just Ciel in a teacher's uniform or as a separate character is not quite confirmed. At least one story in Kagetsu Tohya seems to suggest Ciel Sensei is a separate character, which would make Chie an Expy of an Expy.
- Hot Teacher: Parodied in Kira with Keiichi "sketching" her as punishment game in the Soul Brother's delusion.
- My Nayme Is: Her name is oddly spelled "Lumiko Cie" in the French version, most likely to make her Punny Name more obvious.
- Punny Name: Her name in Japanese order is Chie Rumiko. If you combine "Chie" and "Ru", you get "Chieru", which sounds very similar to the Japanese pronuncation of Ciel's name.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unfortunately, there's generally little she can do.
- Schoolmarm: Keiichi is impressed that she manages to teach a class full of students from different grades. Higher grade students are also expected to teach to lower grade ones during free study periods, effectively raising the number of teachers.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Curry.
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (JP), Steve Kramer (EN)
An employee of the Sonozakis, who looks like a secret agent. He was more active in the past, but has settled down to become Shion's caretaker.
- Cool Shades
- Sunglasses at Night: He is always seen wearing sunglasses.
- Red Baron: "Shotgun Tatsu". Do not mess with this guy!
- Romantic Runner-Up: According to Shion, her father, Kasai and Akane had a Love Triangle in their youth. Kasai lost but stayed close to Akane as right-hand man. It didn't end so badly for him at all since he does get to watch over Shion.
Voiced by: Katsuhisa Hoki (JP), Steve Kramer (EN)
Satoko and Satoshi's uncle/foster father. He and his wife were forced to take care of Satoko and Satoshi after the death of their parents, but they abused them. He left Hinamizawa after Tamae's death, and currently lives in Okinomiya. According to Kasai, he is a pimp and uses his lover Rina to swindle men out of their money.
- Abusive Uncle: Not only does he treat Satoko like crap and hits her, one of the TIPS flat-out states that if she had been a few years older, he would have had no qualms about abusing her sexually too. It doesn't end well for him.
- Asshole Victim: In Tatarigoroshi and Tsumihoroboshi. Also in the PS2 Exorcism chapter and Miotsuki-hen.
- Child Hater: Taken to truly repulsive levels in Tatagoroshi and Minagoroshi-hen
- Evil Uncle: To Satoko and Satoshi. He's not even their real uncle. His older brother was their stepfather.
- Hate Sink: He clearly was meant as someone who the audience wants to suffer, and does.
- Jerkass: All the time. Even in episodes where he isn't doing anything morally reprehensible, he's still an asshole.
- Karmic Death: In Tatarigoshi, Exorcism, Tsumihoroboshi, and Miotsuki-hen.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Frequent target of it.
- Knight of Cerebus: His presence always signifies things getting unpleasant. Lampshaded by Rika in the Massacre Chapter: in any world where Satoko's uncle returns to Hinamizawa, Rika feels she might as well give up at trying to fight against any circumstances.
- Loan Shark: One of his activities, with the help of Rina.
- Oh, Crap!: That's how most normal people react to putting the light on and seeing what was a cute teenage girl 2 seconds ago, brandishing an axe ready to cleave your head in two. Or seeing a furious teenage boy charging at you with a baseball bat while screaming like a banshee. He doesn't have the time to say it out loud in either scenario though.
- Outlaw Couple: With Rina.
- They Killed Kenny: Dies quite a lot, mostly to his own evil acts biting him in the ass.
- Vigilante Execution: Vigilante action (for NASTY child abuse and badger games) is the common motive in his many deaths throughout the arcs.
- Would Hurt a Child: As long as he has someone to hit, he's not picky about the age. He also kills Rika in an unseen world.
Voiced by: Kyoko Hikami (JP - drama CD), Misa Watanabe (JP - anime), Jean Smart (EN)
A woman who appears in Rena's life in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. She is the lover of Teppei Houjou, and together they swindle men out of their money through intimidation and blackmail schemes.
- Asshole Victim: In Tsumihoroboshi.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's even worse in the manga compared to the anime. In the anime we know right away she hates Rena. In the manga, Rina confronts Rena about the fact that she doesn't like her, and Rina puts on a pretty convincing act about how she genuinely loves Rena's father. Rena falls for it and starts to reconsider her view on Rina before she overheard her and Teppei badmouthing her father.
- Blatant Lies: "I'm pregnant. And since I'm a Christian, I can't have an abortion."
- Cruel and Unusual Death: In Tsumihoroboshi, Rena cuts her stomach open and beats her to death with a pipe.
- Distinguishing Mark: A red star-shaped tattoo on her left thigh. Useful for identifying her mangled, rotted corpse.
- Foreshadowing: In case you don't spot her right from the beginning, the first TIP of Tsumihoroboshi after she appears tells us her name and her work: the same as Teppei's mistress who was killed horribly three arcs earlier. Woops. In other words if she dies early, Teppei Houjou returns to Hinamizawa.
- Honey Trap: It ends badly for her
- Meaningful Name: Rena took the "i" out of her name to signify the removal of all "ickyness" from her life. Could it really be a coincidence that Rina is nothing but horribleness?
- Outlaw Couple: With Teppei.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Major hint that there's something not right about her.
- The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: It has struck again. Poor Rena's dad.
- Too Dumb to Live: In Tsumihoroboshi. Rina is lured by Rena to an abandoned Junkyard where no one can hear her scream. A junkyard that Rena comes by every day to look for treasures and she thinks she's got the upper hand on Rena. She learned the hard way when Rena beat her to death with a pipe.
- Vigilante Execution: The motive for her death in the 6th novel.
- Wicked Stepmother: She would be this to Rena... had Rena not pounded her face in with a lead pipe.
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (JP)
Mion and Shion's mother. Although one of her daughters is still the family heir, Akane herself was disowned after marrying someone of whom her family disapproved.
- Curtains Match the Window: Green hair and eyes, which her daughters got from her.
- Fingore: Akane was in the receiving end of it due to her feud with Oryou over marrying a guy the clan didn't approve.
- Missing Mom: She's rarely on screen due to her estrangement.
- Odd Friendship: With Ooishi in Matsuribayashi.
- Odd Name Out: She's the only female of her family not to have the character for oni in her name. She used to, but had to change the spelling of her name when she was disowned.
- Red Baron: The "Demon Princess of Shishibone".
- Shipper on Deck: She really wouldn't mind having Keiichi as a son-in-law with either daughter (preferably Mion) as stated in the Massacre chapter.
- Weapon of Choice: A katana. Mion must have got it from somewhere.
- Yakuza: Her husband is a crime boss.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has green hair, which her daughter obviously inherited from her.
Voiced by: Masaaki Tsukada (JP), Kyle Hebert (EN)
The head of one of the Three Families and the official village chief of Hinamizawa. He seems to be a kindly old man, but is vehement in his hatred for Hinamizawa's enemies.
- Meaningful Name: The characters for "Kimiyoshi" can be rearranged to form the character "oni".
- Shipper on Deck: In Miotsukushi-hen, supports Keiichi and Mion.
Voiced by: Kazumi Tanaka (JP)
A scientist who devoted his entire life to researching a disease he calls Hinamizawa Syndrome, which he thinks could shake the entire scientific knowledge about the human brain. However, his research is shunned and mocked by the academic world.
- A God Am I: A rare case where it's not a megalomaniac rant. He just thinks that if his research is acknowleged, he will become some kind of eternal being, just like a god. The problem is, his beloved granddaughter took it a bit too seriously. His final letter to her really didn't help though (see Unwitting Instigator of Doom below).
- Alphabetical Theme Naming: His first name is written 一二三 (one two three). Then Miyoko became Miyo (三四 three four).
- Driven to Suicide: When he realized he was going senile in his late years.
- Just in Time: Had he come to the orphanage only a day later, Miyoko would probably have died with her head in that latrin.
- Parental Substitute: To Miyoko.
- Posthumous Character: Died several years before the start of the story.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: You don't understand the first time (because it seems irrelevant in that arc), but the first TIP of Minagoroshi is his suicide letter to Miyoko. He tells her that he coudn't become a god and that she must become one in his stead. Worst. Will. Ever.
Rie Tanaka (JP )
A woman from the organization 'Tokyo' who serves as Takano's contact outside of Hinamizawa. Unfortunately, there's far more to her than that...
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While she does aid Takano in her designs, she ultimately doesn't give a rip about her - and considering half of her plan was to get rid of Tokyo's Koizumi faction whom Takano works for, she likely planned to backstab her anyway.
- Dissonant Serenity: Every time she speaks, regardless of what kind of carnage of murder is going to happen or is happening on the other end of the phone line, it's done with the same eerily calm tone. Makes you wonder if this isn't the first time she's done this...
- Eviler Than Thou: Takano is very much her Unwitting Pawn, using her anger against Hinamizawa and leaving her to her downfall once she fails.
- Expy: To Suigintou. They even share the same actress.
- Greater-Scope Villain: While the plan and reasons to ruin Hinamizawa are all Takano's, it's Nomura that drove her to do it.
- The first episode of Alternate Universe Outbreak OVA unsubtly spells out that she's the chief antagonist. In a meeting with the Prime Minister, she all but admits that her "Alphabet Council" is responsible for the (accidental) titular outbreak of the Mind Virus that is steadily spreading across the globe. Oh, and that they were conducting secret tests of the virus and planning to turn it into a bioweapon long before the outbreak happened.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: All we know about her goals is that she wanted the Hinamizawa Syndrome for something and that Old Koizumi was in the way. Aside from the non-canon Outbreak story that details her wanting to use it as a bioweapon, her ultimate plans are forever a mystery.
- I Have Many Names: She uses a different alias for each of her contacts, such as "Maizawa", "Watanabe" and "Takagi". Even Nomura might be a forgery.
- Karma Houdini: Lampshaded in the author's notes at the end of the game, saying you have to draw the line somewhere on where the story ends. Thus, she is never held responsible for her actions and in the vast majority of timelines succeeds entirely.
- Subverted in Miotsukushi-hen as she mentioned to be arrested (offscreen).
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Okonogi informs Nomura of the current state of things in Matsuribayashi - that is, that things are currently being FUBAR'd - she orders Okonogi to Leave Behind a Pistol for Takano before cutting all ties with them.
- Last Episode, New Character: Appears only at the end of Matsuribayashi's prologue, and she doesn't even have a sprite in the original sound novels.
- Manipulative Bitch: She convinces Takano by taking advantage of her emotional state, and probably not only her.
- Mysterious Backer: A villainous example; she fills in for Old Koizumi after he passes away, serving as Takano's (treacherous) advisor.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Outside of her plans for Hinamizawa and being a Manipulative Bitch, nothing is known about Nomura. And that's probably for the better, because given her actions in the Outbreak OVA Alternate Universe, whatever she was planning to do in the actual Higurashi canon is perhaps best left to the imagination...
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives this out in Ayakashisenshi-hen after learning of Takano's failure to defeat Rika and Satoko and take over Hinamizawa."Takano Miyo, you talked a big game, but you were a foolish girl. The duty of the generals was too heavy for you."
- Treacherous Advisor: Nomura is clearly only working with Takano until she can ruin the Alphabet Project and make off with the Hinamizawa Syndrome - which would ultimately ruin Takano in turn.
- Walking Spoiler: As the one who leads Takano down the path to being the Big Bad, she is this by itself.
- The Woman Behind the Woman: To Miyo Takano. A seldom seen female-to-female version of the trope.
Jurota Kosugi (JP - drama CD, anime), Ken Narita (JP - games)
Beware the Gardeners, for they are Anonymous, and they are Legion! ... They are actually called the Yamainu ("Jackals"), but they look more like janitors than anything else. Headed by Okonogi, they serve as The Men in Black for the majority of the arcs.
- Animal Theme Naming: Despite being called the Jackals, titles within the organization are bird-themed.
- Blood Knight: He's eager to put his combat skill into use.
- Eviler Than Thou: Okonogi reveals to Takano that she was just being used by Tokyo, then tells her to commit suicide.
- Informed Ability: Okonogi loses to a teen girl in hand to hand combat. Losing to Akasaka can be forgiven, but Mion is stretching it. He's also completely outmaneuvered tactically throughout the chapter.
- It's stated the Yamainu are actually a surveillance organization above everything else. So there's adequate reason to suspect their supposed "prowess" in other areas (combat, tactics, etc.) is mostly bluster.
- Karma Houdini: If we assume that he and Umineko's Okonogi are the same person, that would mean he received little to no punishment after the story. However, that would also mean that he may have turned over a new leaf, as he's (in the true path, at least) shown to be on Ange's side.
- The Worf Effect: They consistently fail in Matsuribayashi. By the end, the entire unit has lost to a bunch of children and Okonogi himself has lost to Mion in a curbstomp battle despite supposedly being an expert in hand to hand combat.
- To be fair though, he wasn't exactly in his best shape since he and his men were already exhausted after walking in the mountains for hours.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Mion to be this.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Okonogi gives Takano this treatment when he realizes things aren't going their way. Presumably she doesn't fare any better on other sequences. Strangely enough, this surprises her despite the fact that she knew it would happen even if she won.
Oyashiro-samaThe guardian god of Hinamizawa, a demonic god of torture and bloodshed. The old legends say that Onigafuchi used to be inhabited by demons, until a sacrifice by Oyashiro turned them human, and that the inhabitants of Hinamizawa are descendants of those demons. Oyashiro-sama is honored by a "Cotton-Drifting Festival", which has dark roots in cannibalism and human sacrifice. Five years ago, when a dam endangered Hinamizawa, the residents prayed to Oyashiro-sama for protection. The dam was cancelled, but ever since, on the day of the Cotton-Drifting Festival, one person has died and another has disappeared, all people who supported the dam. This is the Curse of Oyashiro.
- Corrupt Church: The practice is the problem, not the deity.
- Deity of Human Origin: Was originally human, as revealed in Hanyu's backstory.
- God Is Evil: Subverted with the true nature of Oyashiro-sama. See below.
- Meaningful Name: "Oyashiro" can be literally translated as "the deity is the shrine itself" or "the deity of every eight generations", depending on the characters used to spell it. Normally, it's just written in katakana, though.
- Our Gods Are Different: Since Higurashi is a Japanese work, Oyashiro-sama takes inspiration from the many gods that exist in Shintoism, namely by being a localized god that's only worshiped by those who live in Hinamizawa.
- Religious Horror: The worship of Oyashiro-sama is a form of anti-Shinto. She is not very fond of it.
- Ultimate Evil: Subverted heavily by Hanyu's true nature.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Both an In-Universe example and a deliberate trick on the viewers. Oyashiro is used very mysteriously, at least until until the reveal that Oyashiro is actually a girl. No one in Hinimizawa barring Rika knew the the god they worshipped was actually a goddess, most likely due to Oyashiro's legend becoming distorted over hundreds of years. And it was foreshadowed as early as the 1st novel with Keiichi deducing that the breath on him was coming from a girl.
A mysterious figure in the Higurashi universe, author of a series of poems (fan translated version) (official translation) about the series. The most direct information about her comes from "A Message From Frederica Bernkastel", which basically consists of her laughing about the Wild Mass Guessing that she's Rika Furude or Oyashiro-sama. Frederica has exactly one scene in the anime, after the credits of the final episode, and a few appearances in the manga.It is unclear whether she and the Witch of Miracles Bernkastel are the same entity or not.
- Ambiguously Evil: In an alternate ending, Frederica prevents the death of Miyo's parents at the end of Matsuribayashi-hen, giving her a happy ending as well. Which means she won't end up screwing up everyone's life in the future, except for the fact that the village is doomed if Miyo never comes. And this may well have been her intent. That act is possibly responsible for the "Dice Killing" chapter of Rei. If she and Umineko's Bernkastel aren't the same, then she is indirectly responsible for the "birth" of "Trollkastel" and all the havoc that ensues.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the games, Frederica will directly address the player, a habit she/her Expy carries over to Umineko.
- Demoted to Extra: The anime only includes one appearance by Frederica, and none of her poems. Rika also mentions her in Rei.
- Literal Split Personality: One of the prevailing theories about Frederica's creation is that she was a culmination of hopeless Rikas that were somehow separated from her consciousness after Tsumihoroboshi-hen, wherein Rika gave up on fighting fate after Keiichi's valiant efforts still didn't end the time loops. Like Umineko's Bernkastel was born of Rika's death and torment being purged from her soul, Higurashi's Frederica may have been born by Rika crossing the Despair Event Horizon. Which means the mistaken theories of her being an adult Rika might have been more true than previously thought.
- Meaningful Name: "Frederica" is more or less "Furude Rika" in katakana with a minor change, and Rika drinks Bernkastel wine. They also strongly resemble each other. Nevertheless, Frederica insists, "Frederica and Rika Furude aren't the same. Shame on you if you thought so."
- It doesn't help that in the Minagoroshi sound novel, she talks about "us, Rika Furude".
- Meaningful Rename: In Saikoroshi-hen, Rika muses that she's really a separate person from the Rika Furude of Saikoroshi-hen's world - and by extension, the Rika Furude who existed before the time loops. Rika decides that if she's not truly Rika she should call herself something else. She then looks at a bottle of Bernkastel wine...
- Really 700 Years Old: Actually, like Rika, she's quit counting her age.
Characters Not Adapted in the Anime
Voiced by: Nana Inoue (JP)
A detective who investigates the curse of Oyashiro and the gas disaster. She later on gets deeply involved with Natsumi's problems through her investigations. She is included in only the DS renditions of what was known in the manga as Onisarashi-hen. These became Someutsushi-hen and Kageboushi-hen. She also appears in the DS rendition of Miotsukushi-hen and a DS-only arc called Tokihogoshi-hen.
- Inspector Javert: Similar to Ooishi, and just as similarly proven to in fact be right in those situations.
- Promotion to Parent: Became this to her younger sister Madoka after their father`s death.
- Pursuing Parental Perils: Both she and her sister Madoka work with the police department. Their father was killed in the course of duty as a police officer.
Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi (JP)
A girl whose family used to live in Hinamizawa. After the Great Hinamizawa Disaster, her grandmother starts acting strange, setting off a horrific chain of murders.
- Accidental Murder: The initial killing of her grandmother was actually an accident on Natsumi's part when she shoved her grandmother away and she hit her head on the table. The subsequent chopping the corpse into pieces was... less of an accident.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Happens to Natsumi three times. Subverted, because her bloodiness is eventually used to prove that she's not so innocent after all.
- Chastity Couple: Kinda. It's actually kind of a mix of this and Citizenship Marriage in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue. Though Natsumi and Akira did start a relationship before Natsumi's murder spree, Akira confirms in the epilogue that he can't really say he loves her anymore. At the same time, though, he's certainly devoted to the extent that very few other people would be. He tries for five years to track her down, forcibly separates her from the abusive circumstances she ended up in, and then marries her to separate her from the baggage and legacy of the Kimiyoshi surname. He attempts briefly to live with her, but finds that she's too emotionally broken for that, so he provides for her to go to a mental institution where she can further recover. Oh yeah, and he also takes the blame for Natsumi's murder spree to try and keep that guilt away from her. Not that she buys it. If that's not love and devotion, it's difficult to say what is.
- Continuity Cameo: In the original (PS2) Miotsukushi-hen, she pops up briefly as a nod to people who had read Onisarashi-hen. Her role is expanded in the subsequent (DS and PS3) releases of that arc.
- Country Mouse: Okinomiya is a bigger town than Hinamizawa, but this sort of dynamic still plays pretty strongly when she moves to the city.
- Driven to Suicide: Someutsushi-hen only.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Miotsukushi-hen in the DS rendition. Also somewhat used in the Onisarashi-hen manga.
- Girlish Pigtails: Combined with Odango Hair.
- Hammerspace: In Onisarashi-hen, after she's taken to the hospital after the murder of her entire family, she talks with Akira, Chisato, and Tamako in her hospital bed. Chisato and Tamako take her up to the roof where they do her hair. Akira later comes up and has a very difficult conversation with her, in the middle of which she stabs him with a knife that somehow shows up in her hand. Unless the hospital's in the habit of leaving knives around near the hospital beds, Hammerspace is the only explanation.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Before Akira admits he likes her too, her apparently Unrequited Love was largely full of this dynamic.
- I Am a Monster: At the end of Someutsushi-hen. Ends about as well as Shion's.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Her entire episode of Hinamizawa Syndrome is triggered when she freaks out about Akira seeing paper cut-outs in front of her house intended to ward off evil.
- Madwoman in the Attic: For five years as explained in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue, before Akira moves her to a proper mental institution where she's able to recover more fully.
- Murder-Suicide / Suicide Pact: She tries to force Akira into a joint suicide in Someutsushi-hen. It doesn't go exactly to plan.
- My God, What Have I Done?: "Help me... Toudou... he... It was my fault...!"
- Never My Fault: She actually spends her last words in Someutsushi-hen blaming Akira, presumably for her own death, although possibly referring to her entire episode of Hinamizawa Syndrome.
- New Transfer Student: Leads to a lot of her angst, as she isn't terribly settled in the city, and after the Hinamizawa Gas Disaster occurs, one of her big driving motivations is to prevent others from thinking of her and her family as one of those weird Hinamizawans.
- Odango Hair: Two big buns that the author added to make her look a little less plain than the first designs for her.
- The Ophelia: In Onisarashi-hen's epilogue. She never gets over the guilt from having killed her parents and attempting to kill Akira. After a failed attempt at living with some other relatives who consider her cursed and a failed attempt at living with Akira, she winds up institutionalized, although Akira comes to visit her regularly.
- Rapunzel Hair: The odango should be a clue, but you actually get to see her hair loose in the DS version of Miotsukushi-hen, and it is very long.
- Room Full of Crazy: The room with all of the seals that she's locked into by her relatives during the epilogue, in order to protect to relatives from "Oyashiro-sama's curse"
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Appears to become the Energetic Girl to Akira's Savvy Guy in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue. Although once you scratch beneath the surface, the relationship's a bit more complicated than that.
- Self-Made Orphan: To repeat, she murders her entire family.
- Shout-Out: In the PSP game Higurashi Day Break, her charge move looks alot like what Sekai does to Makoto in the finale of the School Days anime.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Thanks to Fake Memories and Trauma-Induced Amnesia, her killing her mom looks like this. The reality is a little different.
- Tears of Blood: In Someutsushi-hen, once she begins Clawing At Her Own Throat.
- Tempting Fate: When Akira tells her he wants to learn more about her, she says among other things that her favorite movies are those with happy endings. Yeah, Natsumi, that's gonna work out real great for you in the When They Cry series. She actually manages to pull off a happy ending in some of her arcs, but most of them are Bittersweet or Downers. In fact, only in Miotsukushi-hen that she managed to do so.
- Trauma Conga Line: In the manga too, but it's definitely stepped up in the DS version. The gas disaster and her entire family's murders happen in all versions, but Someutsushi-hen tosses in all sorts of college related trauma - she finds out that even though all of her friends are shooting to go to one university, she's being cut off due to weaker grades - and the murder of her boss at a retirement center where she works part-time that was done by a Hinamizawan guy she had just befriended a few days earlier. Of course, She was the one who murdered her family. Also, her attempted murder of Akira, though at that point, she was already pretty well off the deep end.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: complete with Fake Memories
- Unreliable Narrator: Half of Onisarashi-hen - and by extension Someutsushi-hen - is simply Fake Memories she created to repress her own guilt for having been the one to murder her family.
- Villain Protagonist: She murders her whole family and tries to stab Akira as well.
Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (JP)
A classmate of Natsumi's who she has has a crush on. He admits to liking her back fairly early on and is quickly drawn into the madness surrounding the Kimiyoshi household.
- The Caretaker: To Natsumi in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue.
- Chastity Couple: Kinda. It's actually kind of a mix of this and Citizenship Marriage in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue. Though Natsumi and Akira did start a relationship before Natsumi's murder spree, Akira confirms in the epilogue that he can't really say he loves her anymore. At the same time, though, he's certainly devoted to the extent that very few other people would be. He tries for five years to track her down, forcibly separates her from the abusive circumstances she ended up in, and then marries her to separate her from the baggage and legacy of the Kimiyoshi surname. He attempts briefly to live with her, but finds that she's too emotionally broken for that, so he provides for her to go to a mental institution where she can further recover. Oh yeah, and he also takes the blame for Natsumi's murder spree to try and keep that guilt away from her. Not that she buys it. If that's not love and devotion, it's difficult to say what is.
- Cool Down Hug: To Natsumi. Subverted.
- Despair Event Horizon: At the end of Someutsushi-hen, he looks like he's probably crossed it. His final words in the arc are him telling Natsumi's corpse that it's OK because everything that had just happened was just a dream. The narration then goes on to say that he would prefer to just fall asleep like that with Natsumi and escape the dream.
- Failure-to-Save Murder: Akira seems to consider himself to have done this to Natsumi at the end of Someutsushi-hen because when she went crazy, he couldn't bring himself to accept her and before things got out of hand, he tried not to talk with her about what might be bothering her. How fair this assessment is isn't directly addressed.
- Love Martyr: Even after she tries to kill him, he's still either pledging his love to her or crying over her dead body right until the end.
- Love Redeems: His last-minute usage of The Power of Love saved both him and Natsumi in one version only.
- One Steve Limit: Averted - he shares a name with the main character in Yoigoshi-hen. Of course, it's assured that the two of them will never interact, since the arcs have a 20-year long distance between them.
- The Quiet One: He's for the most part a pretty darn quiet character who mostly expresses himself through his artwork. His expressions are also a heck of a lot blander than most of the other characters. Of course, once the horror kicks in, he's Not So Stoic anymore.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Appears to become the Savvy Guy to Natsumi's Energetic Girl in Onisarashi-hen's epilogue. Although once you scratch beneath the surface, the relationship's a bit more complicated than that.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP)Hanyu's husband in her past life as human.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Hanyu rescued Riku while he was still a baby from a house burned by "half-blood" (implied to be those infected by the syndrome) but they do not meet again until he had grown into a young man.
- Interspecies Romance: With Hanyu. He was a human and she was a demon in human form.
- Mayfly–December Romance: With Hanyu. She was from a Long Lived Race of demons and she met him when he was still a baby.
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (JP)Hanyu and Riku's only daughter.
- Family Theme Naming: Both her name and Rika's use a type of flower for the first character and share the final character "ka."
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half-demon.
- Identical Ancestor: Except for her hair being a slightly lighter shade of purple, she looks identical to Rika. She's voiced by the same seiyuu as well.
- Matricide: She sacrifices her mother, Hanyu, in a ritual to atone for the village's sins.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She had blue hair like Rika, but in a slightly lighter shade of purple.
Chisato Saeki and Tamako Makimura
Voiced by: Eri Kitamura (JP - Chisato, Kizuna), Rina Sato (JP - Chisato, Sui) Yukari Fukui (JP - Tamako)Two of Natsumi's friends. Both of them first appeared in the Onisarashi-hen manga and were given expanded roles (especially Chisato) in the DS remakes of that arc, Someutsushi-hen and Kageboshi-hen.
- Brainy Brunette: Tamako. Really, her hair's purplish, but Natsumi (although her hair's greenish-blonde) actually fits that trope better, and Tamako overall fits this one better, especially since the purple's pretty darn close to black.
- Blush Sticker: One of Chisato's standard expressions in the DS.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Chisato apparently used to have a crush on Akira, her childhood friend.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tamako.
- Fiery Redhead: Chisato
- Girlish Pigtails: Chisato
- Lesbian Jock: Chisato.
- Meaningful Name: Tamako's is commented on the manga omake. "Tama" means round. The manga artist wonders if her name is so because she's roly-poly.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Chisato in spades.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Chisato has a bunch of jokes toward this with Natsumi
- Those Two Guys: Particularly in Onisarashi-hen, they're hardly ever seen without each other.
Voiced by: Kouki Miyata (JP)A boy who wanders into Hinamizawa 23 years the events of Tsumihoroboshi-hen occur (with a small twist) He gets separated from the group he was traveling into the village with and runs into someone claiming to be Mion Sonozaki, who confuses him with Satoshi.
- One Steve Limit: Averted - he shares a name with Natsumi's love interest in Onisarashi-hen. Of course, it's assured that the two of them will never interact, since the arcs have a 20-year long distance between them.
- Suicide Pact: Was about to do one, but got scared and left at the last minute.
- Technicolor Eyes: Pink eyes, just like Satoshi and Satoko.
Voiced by: Tomoaki MaenoA reporter who goes to Hinamizawa in order to investigate some of the rumors of what happened there over 20 years ago.
- Going for the Big Scoop: "I'll go just because they say not to go in June. I'll write an article for the readers who are not afraid of danger. This is journalism, right!"
- Intrepid Reporter: He reports on the paranormal. Hinamizawa is his most recent assignment, which he was actually initially discouraged from, as you can see by the above quote.
- Perma-Stubble: One of the few characters in this series drawn with clearly visible stubble.
Voiced by: Ryoko Shintani (JP)A woman who decided to visit Hinamizawa with her boyfriend, Takumi, where she meets Otobe.
- Comforting Comforter: Subverted once you find out that the reason she covered him like that was to make it look like he was sleeping, when he was actually dead.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Yae feels no remorse for killing Takumi until Mion proves to her that he intended to get a real job and turn over a new leaf by speaking to him from beyond the grave and finding an employee's notice on his body.
Voiced by: Akira IshidaA man who accompanied his girlfriend, Yae, on an outing to Hinamizawa. Early on, it is established that he is rather abusive to his girlfriend.
- The Atoner: Yae never realized this until it was too late.
- Beautiful Dreamer: With Towada
- Dead Man's Chest: His body is found shoved in a closet under some sheets.
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (JP)A freelance writer who appears in the DS rendition of Yoigoshi-hen, accompanying Otobe and everyone else.
- Fair Cop: She's actually a detective investigating Hinamizawa.
- The Gunslinger: Her favored weapon when she needs to fight is a handgun.
- Intrepid Reporter: Her cover.
- Like Father Like Daughter: She grew up to do the exact same type of job as her father, one Mamoru Akasaka.
Voiced by: Mayako Nigo (JP)A childhood friend of Rena's from Ibaraki. She appears in Tokihogushi-hen. She helps with Tomoe's investigation into Rena's case.
Higurashi Hou Characters (Warning: Spoilers ahead)
Princess Tamura of Life (Tamura-Hime no Mikoto)
TamuraA woman introduced in Higurashi Hou. Has feathered wings in a similar posistion to Hanyu's horns.
- Fantastic Racism: She thinks very poorly of demons outside of her clan, such as Hanyū.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Has black demonic wings.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Hou. Due to certain drops, there's hint's she's such in the main series as well.
- Honor Before Reason: She knew the whole time that Une was the biggest threat, but refused to tell Hanyu about it because Hanyu once ate an offering given to Tamura.
- Never My Fault: She is very quick to blame Hanyū for allowing the threat of Une to grow as much as it did, even though the onus was on Tamura to warn Hanyū about it and she didn't because of a petty grudge.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: First sign of her true colors.
- We Would Have Told You, But...: She's still mad at Hanyu for eating one of her offerings.
UneA girl introduced in Higurashi Hou. She's the "devil" Tamura and Takano were trying to stop by releasing Hinamizawa Syndrome.
- And Then What?: Rena asks Une what she planned to do after devouring everyone on Earth, pointing out that the only thing she could do was head for the next planet with life on it, and think how long that would take.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: An even bigger one than Takano and Nomura.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She claims that she just wanted to live in a little piece of land, but Tamura refused to let her do so. So Une decided to release her virus and kill everyone on Earth. Wow.
- Expy: She seems very similar to Sumire/Reiko from Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni.
- Greater-Scope Villain: One of two in Hou.
- Human Aliens: She came to Earth from outer space.
- Kill 'em All: If her virus is released.
- Slasher Smile: She wouldn't be a When They Cry villain without one.
- Verbal Tic: Like to use "super" a lot.
- Walking Spoiler: As you can see by how many spoilers there are here.