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Henei (ヘンイ Change) is the second chapter of Part 3 of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei's main story, the second chapter of Part 3 Heisei-hen, and the eighteenth chapter of the main story overall.

Plot Summary[]

Part 1[]

Yukie is struggling with wondering if it was right to become a police officer's wife, since it's a dangerous and stressful job that requires you to be on guard at all times, even on days off. One day she asked Akasaka if it was too much, but he insisted it's necessary to help people in need, and it's better do something instead of regretting that you didn't. Yukie doesn't want Miyuki to become a police officer, to endure that lifestyle. It got Akasaka killed, and a fellow officer looking into his incident died too.

The scene jumps back to Yukie barging in on Miyuki and Chisame's meeting. Miyuki can tell she's upset. Yukie says she got a call from a police officer Akitake and heard about everything that happened at the pharmaceutical factory, so she left work to come here. She's impressed they managed to get other police officers involved, but upset they never told her about any of this. She tells Miyuki they need to stop this since they're dealing with dangerous things even adults can't handle. It's not a request but an order, something Yukie has never done before. Yukie doesn't sound angry during any of this but instead terrified for her daughter's safety, so Miyuki can't say anything back. She has a flashback to her dream earlier. In the dream, Yukie made the same ultimatum, and Miyuki lied and said she would. But Yukie had all her acquaintances in the neighborhood help out monitoring Miyuki and Chisame, so they couldn't go anywhere or do anything. The one time she left home a month later was the day everyone coughed up blood and died near the train station. Miyuki doesn't want things to end up like in her dream, but she has no idea what she should do.

Part 2[]

Miyuki is still struggling with how to answer her mom. She decides she needs to see Kazuho again, but lying to her mom would never be sustainable long term. Unlike in the dream world, she finally finds the courage and directly tells Yukie "No, I won't stop." Yukie asks if this is something she absolutely must do, and Miyuki says yes with no hesitation. Yukie turns to Chisame and says her father was killed for investigating Hinamizawa, so the culprit won't go easy on children. Miyuki passionately says she's long since accepted this might get her killed, but she still needs to do it to avoid a terrible tragedy. Yukie tries to interject but Chisame tells her to keep listening. Miyuki insists they can't leave it to others. She gets passionate and talks about what she saw in her dream. Yukie is confused. Miyuki asks for just one month to do this, and after that she'll listen obediently to her mother. Chisame chimes in saying she doesn't really understand the situation either, but she trusts Miyuki on this, and insists that doing something is better than regretting for the rest of your life that you didn't. That line gets to Yukie. Chisame also says she'd rather die than abandon Miyuki.

Yukie finally speaks up. She's struggling to say it, but she says after how much courage they showed to fight for what matters to them, she won't try to stop them. She doesn't want them to endanger themselves, but she also doesn't want them to be haunted by a lifetime of regret. Yukie says Chisame's mom approves too, and that they discussed it beforehand and she was willing to go along with whatever Yukie decided. Yukie also sets some firm ground rules: Always keep her informed about what they're doing and who they're with. Don't trust any shady people. And come home alive. Then she hugs Miyuki tight. Miyuki is moved to tears that her mother is willing to endure so much to respect her choices. Then Yukie says they need to change locations since she wants to tell them something about Hinamizawa Syndrome.

Part 3[]

Yukie, Miyuki and Chisame take a taxi to Nao's apartment. Yukie has a key because she made a copy back when Nao was staying at their place. Yukie is being extra cautious. She tells them not to turn on the lights, and not to stand near the windows. They got out of the taxi far away and walked here so the driver wouldn't know where they went. Yukie wants to talk here because her and Chisame's apartments are both probably bugged. Miyuki is shocked how thoroughly her mom thought this through this. Chisame finally asks Yukie what she knows about Hinamizawa Syndrome. She says according to secret records Akasaka and Kurosawa kept, it's a parasite that can induce thoughts in people. A virus that can take over people's consciousness, and control their speech and actions.

Part 4[]

What Yukie is telling them lines up with what Rika and Takano told them before. Yukie can tell from their reactions that they already knew all that. Miyuki wonders why Takano was so willing to talk openly about the syndrome. Yukie and Chisame's mom incinerated their copies of these documents. Yukie then tells them that until recently, the government had budgeted a huge amount of money toward Hinamizawa Syndrome research. The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Defense Agency were both interested. Miyuki remembers that Irie's basement felt like a military facility.

She then wonders why Akasaka's department, Public Security, was investigating Hinamizawa if it was state sponsored research. Yukie thinks Tomoe might be able to look into that, but she's injured. Chisame asks why Yukie is so willing to trust Tomoe if she's being this cautious. Yukie explains that Tomoe helped Akasaka investigate a murder after Hinamizawa was blockaded. Miyuki is baffled and asks, if Akasaka went missing in June 1983, how could he have been investigating something after the village was sealed off? Chisame and Yukie are both shocked. They say Akasaka was killed in the line of duty, stabbed to death by someone from Hinamizawa. Realizing this world is different from hers, Miyuki panics. She decides she needs to finally tell Chisame and Yukie the whole truth about where she came from.

Part 5[]

Miyuki explains what happened in Hinamizawa, and that in her world Akasaka disappeared in the disaster. There was a disaster in this world, too. Tomoe told her that the villagers went mad and started killing one another in June 1983, just like Miyuki experienced there. The government covered it up and the whole area was buried by the dam. Miyuki can't remember if she ever said anything to Chisame in this world about her dad disappearing. She says Akasaka may have been a different person in these different worlds, but he always cared deeply for Miyuki and Yukie.

Yukie believes Miyuki's story, because it all sounds exactly like something her husband would do. Yukie is sobbing but trying to force a smile. She understands why they were hesitant to tell her the truth. Yukie explains that in July 1983, Akasaka was investigating an incident where a former Hinamizawa resident went around indiscriminately killing people after being relocated to the new village. Akasaka was stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife while trying to subdue the assailant. Miyuki thinks back on Nao, and hopes that anything that might've changed for her in this timeline isn't this painful. Yukie then shows them a message Akasaka left behind before he died. "110 AIV". That was the same final message Chisame's father left behind.

TIPS[]

TIP Name JP TIP Name EN
母たちの覚悟 Mothers' Preparations
タバコ休憩の後 After The Smoke Break
母として、妻として As A Mother and Wife

Mothers' Preparations[]

After talking with Akitake, Yukie goes to chat with Chisame's mom. Chisame's mom is being medicated for some illness but she's doing okay. She regrets looking at her husband's corpse. It's been 3 months since he died, but Yukie says it takes far longer than that to get over a husband's death. Yukie was trying to make amends for Akasaka's death by looking out for Miyuki, but she was so focused on keeping her safe that she neglected how she felt. She acknowledges that Chisame has been doing a lot to look out for Miyuki. Chisame's mom knows that as long as Miyuki is pursuing this, Chisame will go along with her. There's nothing she can do to stop her, she's just like her father. She tells Yukie she's willing to trust her to make the right decision here, and promises not to blame her if things go poorly.

After The Smoke Break[]

At the police museum, several officers are chatting about mundane things like the weather, and the building being non-smoking. A phone call came in for Akitake, but she's out of country. Another call comes in from Higo, saying their hunch is right and it's time to move.

As A Mother and Wife[]

After sending Miyuki and Chisame home, Yukie stays behind at Nao's apartment, because if anyone saw her it would blow her cover story. She's not actively being followed these days, but still wants to play it safe. She's thinking back about the girl scouts incident. Chisame actually told Yukie everything but told her not to tell Miyuki.

Yukie cracks open a beer. She's been occasionally drinking since then. She starts crying out to Akasaka, asking if she's a bad mother for not noticing her daughter's problems, wishing that they could've raised Miyuki together, and lamenting that she couldn't stop Miyuki from doing something dangerous. She apologizes to him and begs god to protect Miyuki and Chisame. She hears Akasaka respond "It's okay, Yukie" and drops her beer.

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