|This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.|
Akane Sonozaki (園崎 茜 Sonozaki Akane) is Mion and Shion's mother. She was originally going to be the next head of the Sonozaki family but due to complications that role went to Mion instead. Akane is first introduced in Meakashi.
Mion and Shion's mother.
She is an energetic and dynamic woman whose personality is like her daughters combined.
She and Ooishi seem to be on bad terms.
(Translated from 07th Expansion's Higurashi website.)
She is Mion and Shion's mother, but she was disowned from the Sonozaki family due to troubles with her husband.
(Translated from Entergram's Higurashi Hou website.)
Akane has green eyes and green hair tied back and wears a black kimono. She also wears purple earrings.
Akane is very kind and sympathetic to people most of the time. Her kindness is such that, as revealed in Matsuribayashi, every year she gives personally-grown flowers and gifts to the grave of Ooishi's friend the dam construction manager, regretting that they couldn't make up for the dam conflict.
Akane hates liars. She acts serious when it comes to Sonozaki family business.
Akane was meant to succeed the Sonozaki family as its next head after her mother Oryou Sonozaki. However, Akane planned to marry a yakuza member instead of the fiance that the family had picked for her. To compromise, Akane was disowned and had some of her fingernails removed in exchange for being allowed to marry her husband freely. She would later give birth to Mion and Shion.
Akane's name used to be written as 蒐 to include the character for demon (鬼) as is tradition for Sonozaki family heads, but after her disowning it was changed to 茜.
- Oryou Sonozaki (mother)
- Mion Sonozaki (daughter)
- Shion Sonozaki (daughter)
- Tatsuyoshi Kasai (subordinate)
- Kuraudo Ooishi (acquaintance)
Because she was disowned, it may seem as though Akane and her mother have a difficult relationship but they are actually very close. Oryou had some fingernails removed at the same time Akane did, and they meet up for tea sometimes. Oryou isn't able to treat Akane normally because she has to keep up appearances.
Although Akane and Ooishi rarely interact, Ooishi is not very fond of her due to longstanding hatred of the Sonozakis because of the dam war. In Matsuribayashi, they reconcile and start to play mahjong together.
The TIPS first reveal the details of Akane's disowning and name change.
In the epilogue, after Keiichi survives Mion's killing spree and recovers in the hospital, Akane and her husband profusely apologize to his family and provide lots of consolation money.
Akane becomes aware of Shion's escape from St. Lucia Academy but opts not to do anything about it for the time being, having anticipated that it would happen. She is later present during Shion's nail punishment.
In the final TIP "Disowned", Akane makes her first proper appearance in a flashback and reveals to a young Shion that both her and Oryou ripped off three of their fingernails at one point and suffered punishment for tarnishing the Sonozaki name after falling in love with an outsider.
Akane meets with Ooishi and the police at a restaurant to resolve a misunderstanding: Kasai needed to speak to Rena since she claimed to have found one of his belongings and sent several men looking for her when she didn't come home. The police believed the Sonozakis were after Rena because she had the deceased Takano's scrapbooks pinning the Three Families as the mastermind behind a conspiracy to control Hinamizawa through parasites and were protecting her. Akane calls for Kasai to bring out a suitcase full of Takano's other scrapbooks, explaining that they found those in her house after she passed away; all of Takano's books are shown to be speculative fiction about Hinamizawa's past, nothing more.
Akane professes that though they are a yakuza group, the Sonozakis want to preserve peace and stability; she knows Ooishi was planning to raid various Sonozaki properties using the scrapbooks as an excuse and that the Sonozakis will lose face because of it, but Akane dares him to follow through with it if he's prepared for the liability suit that will follow should they turn up with nothing. Akane offers to give the police the scrapbooks as a sign of friendship if they agree to call off the raid. Ooishi excuses himself and Kumagai takes over, saying that the police also want to have any other scrapbooks the Sonozakis find and for Rena to be turned over to them immediately when she's found. Akane adds to the second condition that they want to appoint Rena a lawyer and that she can only be questioned in their presence, and that if the police find Rena then they must call the Sonozakis immediately.
Kumagai accepts the deal and leaves with the scrapbooks. Akane compliments Mion for having so many good friends, especially with how Rena made a fool of Ooishi, and shows interest in seeing a movie with her sometime.
Akane mediates between Keiichi and Oryou when the former aims to get the Sonozakis' help in saving Satoko from Teppei. Akane and Oryou are unwilling to forgive Satoko because of her parents' involvement in the dam war and the ensuing rivalry with the Sonozakis however, but Akane is open to forgiving her if Satoko apologizes to them after she is saved. Akane eventually ends the meeting due to Oryou's headache and dismisses Keiichi's group, still not giving a definite answer to his plea.
Soon after, Akane tells Keiichi that Oryou will support Satoko, but to keep up appearances they must make it the official story that Keiichi tried to strangle Oryou and she agreed to help out of respect.
Akane and Shion visit the grave of the dam construction manager, where Ooishi is also paying his respects. They leave behind some gifts, with Ooishi realizing that Akane is the mystery person who leaves flowers on his grave every year and gets confused. Akane explains that, though the Sonozakis and the dam workers were rivals, since the dam war ended there's no reason for them to fight anymore. Akane encourages Ooishi to forget about the dam war and shares her own regrets that she couldn't make up with the dam manager personally, and they start to develop a friendship. She also explains that she ripped apart a traffic ticket earlier and wants to get a new one, and Ooishi tells her to go to the police station.
Akane heads to the police station to take care of her ticket and sees Ooishi trying to stop his superior Ootaka from interrupting Rika's "autopsy" and finding out she's not really dead. Ootaka claims he was sent on behalf of Representative Saburou Sonozaki, but unfortunately for him, said representative was with Akane that day and has no idea who he is. Akane reveals the circumstances behind her ticket issuing, thinking it was unfair for a policeman to be waiting near a road sign hidden from view, and she brought Saburou along to assist with her complaint. Ooishi formally introduces Akane and Saburou to Ootaka, and the two Sonozakis take the liar off with them for some kendo training.
In the future, Ooishi and Akane start playing mahjong together.