Set seven years after the series ended, much has changed since the "Groundhog Day" Loop was broken. Rika, Satoko, and Hanyuu are 17 year olds on the verge of graduating school, while their older friends have since finished schooling and are beginning their adult lives. Rena is training to become a detective, Keiichi is learning to become a teacher, Mion has finished university and is due to become the official Sonozaki matriarch, Shion is in law school, and Satoshi is recovering. The group are still close, despite all the changes in their lives since 1983.
Cicada Psalms does contain Keiichi/Mion/Rena and Satoko/Rika, but it acts as a mostly canon compliant sequel to the franchise, showing how the characters are recovering and growing into themselves.
The story isn't officially set after Surprising Butterflies, but it follows the same idea and could be viewed as a sequel.
This fic provides examples of:
- The Apprentice: Rena begs Ooishi to let her be his apprentice. He notes that detectives don't have apprentices, but she still desires to be his understudy.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Satoko and Rika are a couple after being best friends for years.
- Continuation: The fic is set seven years post-series. Though it's Keiichi/Mion/Rena themed, most of the story focuses on tying up loose ends from Higurashi.
- Free-Range Children: Hinamizawa is a small town so kids are this way. A young student of Keiichi's walks home alone at sunset.
- Polyamory: Keiichi, Mion, and Rena are in a relationship together.
- The '90s: Cicada Psalms is set in 1990.
- Two-Teacher School: Hinamizawa's school turns into a literal two teacher school after Keiichi becomes a teacher. It's too big for Chie to run alone, but it's still small enough where two teachers are enough.