Festival Accompanying Arc Vol. 3 is the third volume of Karin Suzuragi's manga adaptation of Matsuribayashi and the 27th overall volume of the manga adaptation of Higurashi When They Cry. The volume was released in English by Yen Press as an omnibus (numbered 23) with Volume 4.
Through Miyo Takano's efforts, the research on Hinamizawa Syndrome has won the support her grandfather never received. But Dr. Irie has glimpsed the madness that drives Takano to achieve results by any means, and his loyalties are challenged when he is ordered to perform a vivisection on young Satoko Hojo.
Chapter 10: The Priestess of Oyashiro-sama
Chapter 11: The Accident At Shirakawa Park
Chapter 12: The Queen's Mother
Chapter 13: The Murder of the Hojo's Aunt
The Correct Solution
The story leading up to 1983 finally made it to the fourth year's curse. Tragedies and atrocities aren't something that suddenly happen for no reason; they come about after many negative things build up to them. After seeing everything build up like this, I expect you have a different impression than you did reading the "Abducted by Demons Arc" when you first encountered the tragedies of this story.
Also, this arc closes in on the story of Satoshi defending Satoko. In a harsh family environment, Satoshi accepts a bitter fate in order to defend Satoko, and eventually the burden becomes too much for him... In those circumstances, Satoko did nothing but hide behind her brother, and Satoshi just took it and refused to go to anyone for help. Both of them are very tragic characters. But like Keiichi correctly demonstrated in the "Massacre Arc," when you have a problem that you can't solve on your own, the solution is not to keep it to yourself and maintain the status quo. There is no doubt that Satoshi and Satoko should have taken their problems to adults like their coach, for example, who was very worried about them. But for some reason, when people find themselves in really trying situations, they have a sad habit of withdrawing into their shells as a way to get through their problems, and they take themselves away from the solution.
Let's say you find yourself in a situation that you can't change on your own, and you can't think of a solution, so you end up just dealing with it. It's only a matter of time before it crushes you...At those times, just leaving everything to chance is not the best idea. Like Keiichi once did, we should go to as many people as we can to find help.
If Satoshi and Satoko had summoned their courage and faced their family situation...then this may have turned into a much different story...What would have happened if Keiichi had come to their school in 1982? Or if you had moved to their school in 1982? How could you have saved them? I think it would be very nice if you would think about those things as you read this story.
Thank you for reading through Volume Two of the "Festival Accompanying Arc." The spinning of story fragments has reached its climax at last. I hope you will watch over Miyoko, Irie, the club members, and everyone as their strong wills weave the threads and give shape to Hinamizawa's ultimate destiny.
...I received the sad news that one of the members of 07th expansion, BT-sama, passed away on July 10. I can't express in one sentence the power BT-sama had, but to give you an idea, he set up and managed the message boards so the official character rankings were more fun, and he was like the man to see to get in touch with 07th Expansion.
On the manga side of things, he mainly checked my rough drafts. His checks were very thorough and warmhearted. Not only that, he didn't only do the office-type work that was his job—he was always the first to tell me how he felt about the manga. He even posted his feelings on each chapter of the manga on the website bloc. Every time one came out. Those posts, and the comments I received from him directly when I went to thank-you parties and the like, really let me know that he truly enjoyed reading my manga and loved it with all his heart.
On a personal basis, he's also said to me, "Be confident and do your best" and "Keep going but don't push yourself." He was a big man who never forgot to show warm kindness and consideration, despite how busy he must have been himself. And it's because he was such a big man that when I think that I'll never see him again, my strongest feelings are still that I can't believe it I don't want to believe it.
A friend of mine told me, "What those of us left behind can do is to continue to treasure the things treasured by those who have passed on." I think my friend is exactly right. As long as Higurashi and Umineko are around, as long as I can draw, as long as people remember BT-sama and these works, I believe that his feelings will carry on, and I will do my best so that I can spin the threads of the "Festival Accompanying Arc" so that you all can enjoy it.
BT-sama, thank you for everything. I wish you all the best in the next life with all my heart.
Humbly yours, Karin Suzuragi. October 26, 2009