Fan Fic: Return To Hinamizawa
Next Gen Fic
for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
It's twenty years later. Miaka, a schoolgirl in Kyoto, attacks her parents with a knife, and is diagnosed with Hinamizawa Syndrome and sent to the village for treatment. Irie asks her to stay for one month so he can keep her under observation, and she makes friends with the children of the Higurashi
cast – who have largely been kept in the dark regarding their parents' adventures. The tranquillity of their everyday life is shattered when she finds a newspaper cutting, dated five days in the future, predicting her own death....
Like the original Higurashi
, the story consists of a series of arcs, linked by a "Groundhog Day" Loop
. Currently, the first three arcs (Predestination, Wind-Weaving and Inheritance) are complete, and a fourth (Conspiracy) in progress.
The story can be found here
Return to Hinamizawa provides examples of:
- Accidental Murder:
- In Naoya's account of the Angel Mort killing, "there just happened to be a waitress standing in the path of the bullet".
- End of the first arc. Miaka waves a knife at Naoya, intending to warn him off. Saki misreads this as a murder attempt and gets in the way....
- All There in the Manual: The character profiles contain a bit more information than appears in the main text. For instance, we learn that Saki's greatest fear is centipedes; in her narrative she just calls them "those things".
- Alternate Character Reading: Miaka hides under the alias "Haruka", another reading of the kanji of her actual name.
- Ascended Extra: In episode 22 of Higurashi, Rena overhears two of Teppei's debtors pleading with him. They have no further significance, and aren't even named. In Return to Hinamizawa, one of them is identified as Shouichi, a minor Sonozaki lieutenant. The other is Big Bad Sakurahara.
- As the Good Book Says: Rika, of all people, quotes Mark 10:14 ("Suffer the little children...") in her debate with Yanagida.
Yanagida: And what's that to us? Was he a priest of Oyashiro-sama?
- Back from the Dead: This is what the villagers still believe happened on the day Rika and the original club defeated the Yamainu.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Oh, Miaka....
Miaka: Being part of this group, I just knew, meant that every day would feel like a holiday. I could almost wish that June would last for ever just so that I would never have to leave Hinamizawa.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Akito quotes this word-for-word with regard to Naoya. So far he hasn't shown us why, but he is Rena's brother....
- Big Screwed-Up Family: The Sonozakis, even more so than in canon, as the extended family now play an important role in the story. As the story opens, the Hinamizawa and Takatsudo branches haven't spoken to each other for fifteen years. In Part II, it spirals into actual war.
- Broken Bird: Mion has never recovered from Keiichi's death.
- Bus Crash: Kimiyoshi, Nomura, Keiichi and Rena have all died in the intervening twenty years.
- Rena's status is uncertain, as she seems to reappear in the Part II epilogue.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Oryou's kaiken. Miaka has it for most of the first arc, and eventually kills Saki with it.
- Miaka's mirror bracelet, introduced in the "Capture the Flag" game in Chapter 2. She later loses it in the Saiguden, and Yanagida finds it and uses it to prove that Miaka had offended Oyashiro-sama by trespassing.
- Continuity Nod:
- Distant Finale: Part II is followed by an epilogue taking place eight years later.
- The Dreaded: The Kanahebi. Such is their reputation that even Kasai is afraid of them.
- Empathic Weather: There is a very dark storm on the 19th, just as events draw towards their tragic climax.
- Epigraph: Each arc has one, all taken from Also Sprach Zarathustra.
- Fake Twin Gambit: This is what Miaka assumes is going on when Sonozaki-sensei mentions her twin sister. As Higurashi fans already know, her twin really does exist.
- Fangirl: Miaka is a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings. She even names her teddybear Gollum, and her cats Sauron and Saruman.
- Feuding Families: The Sonozakis and Misoras. (The twins' father was a Misora by birth.)
- Fin Gore: The ritual to summon the Black Demon requires Shion to cut open her finger with a knife heated by flame.
- First Name Basis:
- Miaka tells the club members to address her by her given name as soon as they meet.
- She also calls Karen by her given name from the outset. Calling her "Sonozaki" would be awkward, as she thinks of the family as her enemies at that point of the story.
- Floral Theme Naming: The bosses of the Kanahebi. So far, we've met Sakurahara (cherry blossom), Kikuhara (chrysanthemum) and Anzuhara (apricot). Word of God says the rest will follow the same pattern.
- Follow the Leader: The story was inspired by Mai-HiME: Future, a similar Next Gen Fic that does the same thing with Mai-HiME.
- Generation Xerox: A newcomer to the village joins the games club, which is led by a Sonozaki whose best friend is a Ryuuguu. She makes friends with the club members, but then starts to distrust them, eventually turning against them. Sound familiar?
- Happily Adopted: Miaka, though the Hinamizawa Syndrome made her forget this for a short time.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Rika offers herself as a scapegoat, to prevent Yanagida turning the people of Hinamizawa against the Sonozakis. It doesn't work.
- Miaka dies to allow Rika to escape.
- Identical Twin ID Tag:
- When Tsushima meets Shion (pretending to be Mion), she bluffs by offering to show him the tattoo. He declines, saying that he's sure by now Shion has got one to match. Shion notes that she would never do that, as she doesn't want to be completely identical.
- Kotone and Kizuna (who are not twins, not even related, but still look identical except for their hair) can be told apart by a scar on Kotone's neck.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Akito tries to use this, asking Yanagida how he knows Kotone was killed in the afternoon. Yanagida calmly points out a reason why this is obvious.
- Infant Immortality:
- Averted with Kotone. Twice.
- In Part II, Hiroshi's house burns down, with Yumi and her two kids inside.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Kasai and Karen. In Part I, they briefly form a Three Successful Generations trio with Miaka.
- Intro-Only Point of View: The prologue consists of a medical report and a snippet from Irie's diary.
- Japanese Honorifics: These are left in throughout, as they help to show nuances in the characters' relationships. And then we have Saki, who uses them as a code.
- Japanese Sibling Terminology: Now that she's grown up, Satoko uses "Onee-sama" for Shion and "Ane-ue" for Mion. (Azusa still finds it cute to call Shion "Nee-nee", though.)
- The Killer In Me: Miaka in Part I.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Rika. Her cat Rin appears in the story every now and again.
- Kissing Cousins:
- Mion once rejected her cousin Masashi. So far, it's not been confirmed whether he proposed out of love or to please his father.
- Saki speculates about Akito and Naoya fighting over her when she's a bit older. This is probably not to be taken seriously.
- Literary Allusion Title: Part II, "Wind-Weaving". This odd title is an allusion to T. S. Eliot's "Gerontion":
Weave the wind. I have no ghosts,
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The original club members are still around, and most of them have kids. There are twenty named members of the Sonozaki clan. And a large number of minor characters on top of all these.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Rika is eight months pregnant, and has to stop there until the "Groundhog Day" Loop is resolved. Which may be a while....
- May-December Romance: Naoya's parents (Rena's father and Chie-sensei).
- Named by the Adaptation: Mion and Shion's father (Juntarou) and Rena's father (Yutaka).
- New Transfer Student: The story begins with Miaka's arrival in Hinamizawa.
- Next Gen Fic
- Older Than They Look: Shion is 36 now, and Miaka can't believe she's older than 25.
- Ominous Message from the Future: The newspaper Miaka finds, which is what kicks off the plot of Part I.
- One Steve Limit: There are lots of characters whose names start with K. Even without Keiichi. The twins' father was renamed Juntarou when the author realised he had too many "K" names in one scene.
- Pregnant Badass: Rika, when the moment comes.
- Rapunzel Hair: Azusa and Karen both have very long hair.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Kanahebi ("golden serpents") are a notorious terrorist group.
- Satellite Character: Suguru is never seen apart from Rika, and has no importance beyond being Rika's husband. Azusa gets a bit more development, but she is still primarily a satellite of Satoko.
- Screw Destiny: Rika, naturally.
Miaka: Will it be a boy or a girl?
Rika: I chose not to find out. You know me – if I knew which it would be, then I'd want the opposite, just to say "screw destiny!"
- Shipper on Deck: Kotone and Saki both seem to favour Akito/Miaka.
- Miaka's narrative makes several references to her favourite book, The Lord of the Rings.
- Rika says she has been a priestess "long enough to know a little more than you about real evil", a nod to Father Brown.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming:
- The Sonozakis seem to have a webcomics theme going on. Chiharu and Karen are named after Miharu and Karen of Red String; the names Akito, Toshio and Yumi come from The Way To Your Heart; Kotone and Junpei are from MegaTokyo.
- Several minor characters have names from Mai-HiME: Shiho, Mikoto, Takumi, Masashi, Suzushiro. And Karen has a qualification from the Okuzaki Ninja School.
- Sole Survivor: Kizuna in the Part II epilogue.
- Something Only They Would Say: In the Part II epilogue, this is how Akasaka recognises Rena. You know the catchphrase.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Teppei dies at the start of the story, though this isn't revealed until Part II.
- Switching P.O.V.: Each arc is narrated by a different character. Also Rotating Protagonist.
- Taking the Bullet: Saki, for Naoya.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: So far, if the Kanahebi have any cause, it's not been explained. But then, they are first mentioned by Miaka, who admits she doesn't follow the news.
- There Was a Door:
Kizuna: Sensei, why are you carrying a sword?
Shion: Because doors are too conventional for me. (Breaks window.)
- Tom the Dark Lord: Sakurahara. That's right, the "most dangerous, most wanted man in Japan" is named freakin' Cherry Blossom Meadow.
- Twin Switch:
- Mion and Shion are up to their old tricks, which causes some confusion as Kasai and Karen have conflicting memories of Shion's recent behaviour. In Part II, we learn that this stems from a meeting with Shion in which she told Kasai she was Mion, but Karen, who was also present, knew who she really was.
- They're not the only ones. Kotone and Kizuna switch places in the "Capture the Flag" game; despite not being related at all they are apparently alike enough for Kotone to pass as Kizuna simply by wearing an indigo wig.
- Weapon of Choice: Shuriken for Karen.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Miaka would make a pretty good Jonathan Creek. But her deductions go badly wrong because she starts from the premise that Time Travel is impossible, which is just not true in the Higurashi world.
- You Are Worth Hell: Shion tells Mion she would give up her own happy ending in a heartbeat if it meant Mion could be with Keiichi.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Miaka finds a newspaper cutting, dated five days in the future and predicting her death on the 19th of June. She dies on exactly that date through trying to avoid it.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kizuna (indigo) and Kotone (green).