So after all that, we come around to the big question. What exactly is going on in Higurashi? The first chapter, Onikakushi, has no answers. But it does have some fuel for speculation. And you know what? In the latest chapter released, the developers straight up ask you to spend some time on the speculation. So let’s do that.
Now, there’s two main questions the game leaves hanging. Why, and How. Why does the town hate Keiichi? Why do his friends keep turning evil and trying to kill him? Why do people get murdered there? And How all of that?
Let’s explore this. I do want to say, I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers here, and limit things to content as presented in this chapter. But, honestly, some of these conclusions are informed by what’s been presented in the other question arcs, and really, I’m not going to be able to get around that.
Anyways, let’s go into some random guesses as to what all makes things work in this story. I’m not entirely convinced in all of these, in fact, some of them I’m pretty sure the story will never even consider. But they’re all taking up some mental real estate. And you know what, before we get into the meat of it, let’s get one thing out of the way.
Natural vs. Supernatural
Right, so I said earlier we could just brush this question off. And really, we can. But I figure, this chapter makes something of a deal of it, so we may as well address it. In brief. Because that’s all this question deserves.
Are the weird happenings in this game the acts of men? Are the consistent murders a series of copycat killers? Are the villagers getting organized to expulse any outsider they consider a threat to their operations? Is there some sort of conspiracy going on among the major families to maintain the village in just the way they want by force if necessary? Or is it the act of otherworldly beings? Is Oyashiro-sama real and working to purge the village? Are there truly demons among the villagers?
Again, this is a question this chapter tries to raise, and definitely the one it wants you speculating on, but I don’t think it’s very material to the story. Some being is making murder, whether it’s a human or a spirit doesn’t make much difference in the end. And really, this chapter doesn’t give you anything to base it off of. The idea of the supernatural is raised, but if you take Keiichi’s fractured sanity into account, you don’t see anything concrete as to how it’s acting. Unless that fractured sanity is how it’s acting. But even that could be the drug they allude to. They don’t give you enough either way to foster good speculation on that.
For what it’s worth, given the direction the story’s been going, even in this chapter, I’m of the opinion that there’s at least some supernatural element there. The people are definitely involved in it, at least as far as covering it up goes, but there is some magic involved either in the actual execution of the murder/disappearances, or in the organizing people to do such. I just don’t think the lead they’ve given and the way the following chapters progress will make much sense if there’s something beyond human running behind it. But it’s not completely supernatural, because this is a character-driven story, and all that actual characters are human. If you take the humans out of it, then you’ve wasted at least the early chapters. So some mix of human and supernatural is where it’s at. If it’s not, I will refund you the price of reading this blog post. What do you have to lose?