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The Future (未来 Mirai) is the twelfth and final chapter of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna manga.

Summary[]

An angry Madoka meets Tomoe in the hospital and asks why someone tried to kill her. Tomoe gets angry at Fujita for telling her and says it's nothing serious. Madoka really asks if she's not going to press charges against Natsumi, but Tomoe says it may not have been Natsumi's fault but rather the will of Oyashiro-sama. Tomoe doesn't want to ruin Natsumi's future like this and says it must've been a series of bad coincidences.

Tomoe goes to speak with Natsumi, who's regained consciousness. Natsumi remembers choking Tomoe, but Tomoe lies and says she just had an accident. She says Natsumi just collapsed in the park, but Natsumi admits to killing her family. Tomoe says she saw her mother yesterday and she seemed fine, and assures Natsumi that she just suffered a bad dream from someone trying to take her over. Natsumi cries and embraces her.

Natsumi explains how as a kid, she stayed at home all the time, and her mother would get mad when she made noise outside and nagged her a lot. Her friends drifted away from her, and she gained the nickname of Zashiki-warashi, a Japanese ghost whose hair was said to bring good luck. One day, someone tried to cut Natsumi's hair, but she caused him to get hurt. Natsumi's mother got angry and blamed her and her bad behavior for causing an incident. Natsumi started refusing to go to school and would feel dizzy, and started taking pills to feel better. Natsumi started taking pills more often and also started talking to herself and wishing to kill people who got in her way. Tomoe assures that she made the voice go away.

Chisato then appears and asks why Natsumi never talked to her earlier. When Natsumi was acting strange yesterday, Chisato investigated and soon learned she was in the hospital. Chisato hugs Natsumi and apologizes since she knew all about Natsumi's illness and past, and believed that if Akira heard rumors about Hinamizawa then he'd cancel the trip. Natsumi asks if she'll still be her friend, and Chisato accepts. Meanwhile, Tomoe and Madoka talk on the hospital roof. Madoka says she never wanted to be a police officer and recalls a past meeting with Yamaoki.

Yamaoki says he's being transferred to Kakiuchi and offers Madoka to come along. Yamaoki asks how she feels about meeting Tomoe again, and says that Madoka must have an inferiority complex. Madoka admits there were some times she wished she could be better than her sister, and Yamaoki suggests that they can figure out the difference by putting them together.

Madoka says Yamaoki didn't want to get her into trouble, and says that she wanted to get away from being compared to Tomoe. Madoka then says that Tomoe is clumsy, careless, and getting mad at everyone, much to Tomoe's surprise, but says that she's also hardworking and opened her heart to Natsumi. Madoka thinks she would've given up then in Tomoe's position, and is going to stop comparing herself to others from now on. Tomoe says Madoka is the reason she keeps going, as she wants to be the person Madoka expects her to be.

Tomoe narrates that everyone has times where they suffer and want to give up, but a little bit of compassion and kindness can give them courage to go on, and that each thought strengths their ties on the path to happiness. Tamako and Chisato visit Natsumi in the hospital while Tomoe, Fujita, and Ooishi attend Madoka and Yamaoki's wedding. Tomoe takes the bouquet toss and smiles with Madoka.

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