Here we finally are, the last arc in the first season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry. Or is it series, since the next series/season has a different subtitle, title song, and end credits song? I'm honestly not sure, just like I'm honestly not sure what's really going on in this series. But not necessarily in a bad way? That's the intent, what with it being a mystery series and all, but damn, it would be nice to get some actual answers. Good thing this is a so-called answer arc! So let's jump into Atonement and finish off the first season. Series. Whatever.
The first four chapters in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, are referred to as "question arcs." I think it's a great name because I have a whole bunch of questions as to what the fuck is going on. But now we've entered the so-called "answers arcs." I went into the Eye Opening arc completely unprepared for what I was about to see and learn, thinking it was going to follow the pattern I had assumed was there based on the question arcs. Is every question answered? Absolutely not, but I learned enough new things that I realized I've been working on some faulty logic about what's really going on here. This arc is six episodes, so this'll run a little long!
When we last left Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, three of the five main characters were dead. Keiichi murdered Rena and Mion in self-defense, but the drug they injected him with made him rip out his own throat, eventually dying from blood loss. So... what now? Do we continue the story with the survivors, Rika and Satoko? Does detective Oishi take a main role in investigating the strange and possibly supernatural happenings at Hinamizawa? Nope! We're going to pretend the first arc never happened! Let's get weird and homicidal (again) as we look at the second story arc, Cotton Drifting.