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This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
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Please be patient while the rewrite is in progress.

Keiichi Maebara (前原 圭一 Maebara Keiichi) is the main protagonist of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. After moving to Hinamizawa in June 1983 and getting involved with the village's culture and inhabitants, he starts to learn of Hinamizawa's past and of dark secrets held by his new friends.

Profile

The protagonist of the story.
Though he is impatient and passionate, he is also indecisive. A character who seems to be stuck as the protagonist of a romance novel who is very shy towards girls.

I promise that he is not obedient.
I promise that he will be popular for some reason.

However, unfortunately this story is not a romance novel, so his character will surely be a disaster.
...In many ways.

(Translated from the official 07th Expansion website.)

The show's protagonist. He recently moved to Hinamizawa from the city. Lives with his mother and his father, who works as a painter. Very curious and highly passionate, he's quick-thinking and seems to have gotten good grades at his old school. He's extremely good with words, and is known as the "magician of duplicity."

(Taken from the Gou website.)

Appearance

Keiichi has short brown hair and purple eyes. His school uniform consists of a white shirt with black pants. His casual outfit in the original visual novel is a red vest over a black shirt and green pants.

Personality

Keiichi is very hotheaded if naive at times, and he also shows a perverted side when it comes to deciding punishment games. He truly cares for his friends and is willing to do anything for them when they're in trouble.

Background

Keiichi used to live in another town where he got good grades but was bullied, His parents bought a lot in Hinamizawa and built a house on it, soon moving in 1983.

Tsumihoroboshi-hen reveals that at his old school, Keiichi grew bored of getting good grades and bought a BB gun, entertaining himself by shooting at younger kids as they were walking home. Nobody knew Keiichi was doing this until one day where he shot a girl in the eye and got her sent to the hospital. The girl didn't receive any lasting damage, but Keiichi felt incredibly guilty and confessed to his parents what he'd done. His parents determined that they were also at fault for not realizing Keiichi's unhappiness and struggles, and so they moved to Hinamizawa to help Keiichi get a fresh start.

Relationships

Overview

The Club

Other

Rena Ryuugu

Rena and Keiichi's relationship is full of nuances. It seems that of the entire Higurashi franchise, the two cultivate one of the strongest, and at the same time most tragic, friendships.

Keiichi and Rena always walk to school together, as Rena makes a point of picking him up every morning. Onikakushi introduces their relationship by showing their enormous closeness, whether through Keiichi's flirtations or through Rena's strange but amusing personality. As the arc progresses, this relationship is shattered due to Keiichi's suspicions and distrust of her.

The ending of Onikakushi's introduction points out that at some point, Keiichi really loved Rena. On Rena's part, as revealed in Tsumihoroboshi, her efforts to help Keiichi during Onikakushi's events even as she's being beaten to death make clear the strength of her feelings.

Their teamwork is by far one of the best, especially in Minagoroshi, Matsuribayashi and Outbreak, which frequently describe Keiichi as burning with a red fire while Rena burns blue. According to Shion, Rena is Mion's romantic rival for Keiichi's heart.

Keiichi, however, does not seem willing to advance a relationship. In Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU, Satokowashi shows that in 1988, they both attend the same university as Mion, and their dynamics suggest that no relationship other than friendship has developed between them.

Mion Sonozaki

Although Mion and Keiichi are simply friends, it is suggested that Mion has strong feelings for Keiichi. Due to Keiichi's denseness however, he has difficulty noticing Mion's feelings and apparently only regards her as his main rival at the school club and a great friend. Meakashi shows that Mion was incredibly hurt when Keiichi made light of the fact that she doesn't act feminine enough and didn't give her the doll.

In Minagoroshi, the fact that Keiichi decides to treat Mion like a girl when he does give her the doll, even though she doesn't have such a good image of herself, shows that they could both engage in a relationship if Mion was more confident.

In Miotsukushi, Keiichi values ​​Mion much more than he seems, after the confusion of the party that was supposed to celebrate Keiichi's succession as a class representative turned into his accidental engagement party with Mion. Keiichi admits that marrying Mion would not be a bad idea. They even have a date, even if it was just a punishment game.

Satokowashi-hen shows that in 1988, even though Mion, Keiichi and Rena are studying together at the same university, the relationship between the two remains undefined.

Shion Sonozaki

Satoko Houjou

In many arcs, Satoko sees Keiichi as a surrogate older brother and develops a strong bond with him.

Rika Furude

Keiichi appreciates Rika's kindness, and Rika seems to respect him. Their relationship develops such that in Tsumihoroboshi, when Keiichi becomes the first person to start remembering events taking place in other worlds, Rika starts to believe more in Keiichi.

The extra arc Miotsukushi-hen develops a different relationship between Keiichi and Rika. Rika discovers that for being forgiven by her in Tsumihoroboshi's world, this Keiichi was able to solve his problems with his past and gained an unparalleled resolution to solve the problems that usually caused the tragedies of the previous arcs.

Kuraudo Ooishi

Role in the Story

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Question Arcs

Onikakushi

Keiichi is first introduced. As the story progresses he gets acquainted with his new school friends and with the villagers. While hanging out with Rena at the junkyard, he meets Jirou Tomitake and learns that five years ago, there was a murder case in the village that went unresolved and forms the beginning of Oyashiro-sama's Curse.

Keiichi runs into Tomitake again and his friend Takano during the Watanagashi Festival, where the club plays a punishment game with Tomitake and draws on his shirt. The next day, Tomitake is found dead by the police, and Kuraudo Ooishi interrogates Keiichi since his name was drawn on Tomitake's shirt. Keiichi continues to talk with Ooishi over the course of the story and learns some more information about his friends and how they're all related to the victims of Oyashiro-sama's curse. Rena and Mion also start to show strange behavior near Keiichi regarding the curse, and at one point he's given ohagi to eat and discovers a needle inside one of them. Fearing for his life, Keiichi finds a bat used by an old student named Satoshi and starts holding onto it for self-defense.

Keiichi's paranoia of his friends grows, and it comes to a head when Rena and Mion show up to his house and attempt to force a punishment on him; Mion pulls out a syringe and says they'll do to Keiichi the same thing they did to Tomitake. Keiichi blacks out and wakes up to discover that he'd beaten them both to death with his bat. Keiichi writes a message on the back of his clock and tapes the syringe to it, soon seeing a bunch of men drive up to his house. He runs away to a phone booth and frantically calls Ooishi, telling him that Oyashiro-sama's curse is real while clawing his throat out. Ooishi sends a police car to recover Keiichi, and when they find him he's passed out from blood loss. Keiichi is taken to the hospital where he later dies.

Watanagashi

Keiichi receives a prize of a doll after competing in a game tournament and gives it to Rena, figuring that something like that is too girly for Mion to want. Keiichi continues to enjoy life and later goes to eat lunch at Angel Mort where he meets Shion Sonozaki, Mion's supposed twin sister. Keiichi and Shion develop a friendship and Keiichi starts to think that Mion is disguising as her and using Shion as a way to express her more feminine side. Keiichi apologizes to Shion for this and goes with her to a store only to find Mion working there; Keiichi becomes embarrassed for not realizing that Shion and Mion were separate people.

During the Watanagashi Festival, Shion leads Keiichi away from watching Rika's performance and brings him to the ritual storehouse, where Tomitake and Takano are trying to break in. Keiichi enters with them and learns from Takano about Hinamizawa's past and how the villagers are descended from demons, with the Watanagashi Festival originally a sacrificial ritual. They leave the storehouse and Tomitake mentions hearing a banging noise; Keiichi doesn't recall ever hearing the same thing.

Later, Tomitake and Takano are found dead, having clawed his throat out and found burnt an oil drum respectively. Shion calls Keiichi and becomes concerned that they've become victims of Oyashiro-sama's curse as punishment for breaking into the warehouse. Keiichi confesses this to Rika, who promises to do something about it.

The mayor of Hinamizawa along with Rika and Satoko are later found to be missing, and Keiichi, Mion and Rena search the village for them. Keiichi feels guilt for having to confess to Rika in the first place. He later learns from Ooishi that Shion had also gone missing a few days ago after the festival, and Keiichi begins to wonder who he was talking on the phone with all this time.

"Shion" calls Keiichi again and he confronts her, mentioning that she was supposed to have gone missing earlier. Shion hangs up laughing, and Keiichi determines that she's actually Mion. Rena and Keiichi go to Mion's house to confront her with Ooishi standing by the call the police if necessary, and Mion confesses to them that she killed Rika and Satoko. Mion explains the history of Hinamizawa and mentions cannibalism, and she asks Keiichi to follow her to the underground torture chamber before she turns herself in. Keiichi agrees, and when he enters the chamber he hears Shion locked up inside one of the cells. Mion then knocks out Keiichi with a taser and ties him to a torture table, preparing to hammer nails into his fingers. Mion says a demon has possessed her and Keiichi offers his life in exchange for the demon to leave Shion and Mion alone. Mion ruminates on this and then knocks out Keiichi again.

Keiichi wakes up later in safety, learning that Mion ran away as the police were breaking into the chamber. Shion was also rescued and is being held at her apartment. Keiichi returns home and one night he hears Mion throwing pebbles at his window and trying to get his attention. Keiichi had realized earlier that him not giving Mion the doll had caused this tragedy to happen, and he bought another one with the hopes of giving it to Mion tone day. He goes down to meet her and gives her the doll, however Mion stabs him and runs away laughing manically.

Keiichi is taken to the hospital and gets his wound treated, and Ooishi arrives with some information. They found Rika and Satoko's corpses inside of a well in the chamber, however they also found Mion's corpse there; she died the day Keiichi was rescued. They also found a syringe on Rika's corpse, and Shion had committed suicide after jumping off of her apartment balcony. Furthermore, Takano's burnt corpse was autopsied and it was determined that the time of death was 24 hours before the Watanagashi Festival, meaning she was supposed to be dead while Keiichi was inside the warehouse with her. Ooishi leaves and Keiichi thinks about this sudden wealth of information.

Mion suddenly crawls out from under Keiichi's bed and lies him down to hammer nails into his fingers.

Tatarigoroshi

At the beginning of the chapter, Keiichi goes to help his friends win a baseball game. Keiichi starts showing off his persuasion skills in convincing the rival batter Kameda in letting his team win. Keiichi also starts developing a friendship with Irie.

Later, Keiichi's parents are away and so Keiichi tries to cook dinner by himself, however he proves to be bad at it and almost burns his house down. Satoko and Rika arrive and cook dinner for him instead, and Keiichi soon learns that Satoko's brother had gone missing. Keiichi decides to become a replacement brother and starts building a close friendship with Satoko.

Satoko's abusive uncle Teppei returns to the village and forces Satoko to go back to living with him, and Keiichi and his friends become aware that she's suffering. They convince Chie to call child protective services and Satoko returns to school the next day, however she has a panic attack soon after. Keiichi resolves himself to kill Teppei and starts preparing.

He calls Mion and asks her to take Satoko to the festival while he goes off to do something, trying to hide his plans. He then calls Teppei and pretends to be a police officer, asking that he drive to the police station to retrieve Satoko. Keiichi had prepared a baseball bat and shovel earlier, and he lies in wait for Teppei to drive by and soon kills him. He buries the body and disposes of his scooter in the swamp but gets lost and is found by Takano. Takano gives Keiichi a ride home, however Keiichi remains suspicious of her and considers killing her. Takano drops him off and leaves off with an ominous message that they never met that night; Keiichi wishes that Takano die a fiery death.

Keiichi returns to school the next day expecting things to go back to normal, however he starts hearing an extra footstep. Mion and the rest of the class start saying that Keiichi was actually at the festival, and Satoko starts saying her uncle came home afterwards. Confused, Keiichi goes to the doctor's for a checkup and talks with Irie, confessing that he killed Teppei. He also shows concern that a doppelganger may have appeared at the festival, and Irie asks if he really did kill Teppei; Teppei is supposed to have a tiger tattoo on his back.

Keiichi later runs away from the clinic when he overhears Irie wanting to sedate him and wishes that Irie would just die. He goes to dig up Teppei's body to check for the tattoo and gets interrupted by Ooishi and several police officers, who encourage Keiichi to continue digging and end up finishing the job for him. They dig far and don't find anything, leaving Keiichi to wonder if Teppei actually came back to life. Keiichi also curses Ooishi and wants him to die.

Keiichi later obtains a hatchet and heads to Satoko's house to make sure she's okay, planning to kill Teppei a second time if he has to. He enters the house and sees Satoko burning alive in the bathtub, who says that Teppei asked her to take a bath and count to a really high number before getting out. Keiichi puts a towel around her and takes her to the clinic to get treated only to discover police surrounding the place; Irie had apparently committed suicide, and Ooishi and his partner are missing. Keiichi blames himself for cursing and killing them and Satoko forgives him, asking that they go to the Furude Shrine and to Rika's house to get some clothes.

When they reach the shrine, they find Rika's mutilated corpse at the top of the stairs. Satoko then notices Keiichi's hatchet and starts to believe he killed her. Keiichi swears that he never did anything to Rika and throws the hatchet away, and then chases after Satoko while still trying to explain himself. They wind up on a bridge and Satoko asks Keiichi to turn around, confessing that she was starting to like him and that something had possessed her brother Satoshi around the time he went missing. Satoko then pushes Keiichi off of the bridge while calling him a demon.

Keiichi survived the fall after landing in a river, and he wakes up the next morning and heads to the village to discover people loading body bags into trucks. He learns that the Great Hinamizawa Disaster had happened overnight, where all the villagers were killed by volcanic gas, and Keiichi is one of the few survivors. He starts freaking out and he gets taken to the hospital, where he attempts suicide on 8/29/1983.

The ending scene has Keiichi losing his mind and believing that he has a supernatural power, as he cursed Irie, Ooishi, and Takano to die. A reporter interviews him and Keiichi gets annoyed, predicting that the reporter will die a water death. The reporter winds up drowning at sea later, and Keiichi himself dies from a heart attack after complaining to a nurse about hearing footsteps.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

Meakashi

Keiichi is first introduced from Shion's perspective when he helps her escape some hooligans. Shion starts to see Keiichi as a replacement for Satoshi but soon realizes that he's not the same. Shion's dislike of Keiichi turns to hatred when she hears that Keiichi won a doll at a competition and gave it to Rena instead of Mion, and Mion cries after telling Shion about it.

Keiichi does the exact same things he did in Watanagashi, but unbeknownst to him Shion trapped Mion underground and was disguising as her in public while spreading a lie that the real Shion was demoned away.

After Keiichi is set free at the end and tries to give a doll to "Mion," Shion stabs him and runs away.

The credits say that Keiichi died of a heart attack.

Tsumihoroboshi

Keiichi and Rena take part in a water gun battle with the other students, and they wind up the victors. The final game to decide who will be the winner is set aside for later, and Keiichi and Rena have fun eating at Angel Mort.

After Rena kills Rina and Teppei, Keiichi and the other club members go to explore the junkyard and come across their corpses. Rena confesses everything to them, and Keiichi tells her that they're all friends and she should've told them about her problems. Keiichi unites the club as true friends and they go to hide the corpses.

Keiichi later hears from Mion that she used her yakuza connections to hide the bodies somewhere else since there was going to be a development project at their old spot. Rena meanwhile starts to believe in a conspiracy involving alien parasites and wants Keiichi to help with her plans; Keiichi has no choice but to follow along. Rena starts to grow more insane and Keiichi later recalls the events from Onikakushi, realizing that he went crazy and killed Rena and Mion when they were trying to help him instead. Keiichi then swears to help Rena turn back to normal.

Rena winds up taking the school hostage by spreading gasoline everywhere, and Keiichi is used by her as a contact with the police. Keiichi learns that Rena set up a bomb to blow up the school and distracts Rena, soon going to disarm it. Keiichi receives a baseball bat from Satoko after setting her free and heads to the roof, soon successfully disarming the bomb.

Rena heads to the roof to confront Keiichi, and they begin dueling with their hatchet and bat respectively. Keiichi realizes that their water gun fight earlier was unresolved and that this is the perfect chance to settle that; Rena starts to calm down through her fighting with Keiichi and eventually breaks down crying. Keiichi embraces her while calling out that they've stopped the devil's script.

The Great Hinamizawa Disaster leaves the fate of Keiichi after Rika's death unclear.[3]

Minagoroshi

A similar event to Watanagashi-hen occurs where Keiichi and the club play at a game tournament, and Rika's comments of breaking fate encourage Keiichi to instead play a different game. He later wins a doll just like last time and breaks fate again by giving it to Mion, thereby preventing Shion from going crazy.

After Satoko's uncle returns to the village and starts abusing her, Keiichi rallies the rest of the villagers to help her and even convinces the elders to do something. They also protest the child protection agency to do something about Satoko, and in the end she breaks free from Teppei and gets him arrested.

Keiichi is later shot and killed by Takano. Takano's men dispose of his body. Because of this he is listed as a "disappearance" in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.

Matsuribayashi

Keiichi helps the club fight the Mountain Dogs on Satoko's trap mountain and beats up some of them with his bat. He also steals one of their radios and pretends to be a soldier getting attacked, scaring some of them off.

Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU

Onidamashi

The arc opens with Keiichi beating Rena and Mion to death with a baseball bat.

Keiichi is introduced heading to school, having recently moved to Hinamizawa. He meets Rena and Mion on the way and narrowly avoids a trap set by Satoko. Keiichi almost falls victim to another trap immediately after and is consoled by Rika afterwards. Later, Keiichi and Rena go to the junkyard where Keiichi meets Tomitake, a freelance photographer. Keiichi makes a joke about Rena searching for a dismembered corpse and Tomitake makes reference to a prior murder incident, making Keiichi nervous.

As Keiichi and Rena walk home, Keiichi asks if anything major happened in the village, and Rena replies that there was a dam project before. Rena quickly denies that any murder incidents happened when Keiichi asks about it.

The next day, Keiichi plays with the club in a scavenger hunt game to find a marker hidden in the school. Satoko claims victory but is punished by Rika when a boxing glove trap is used on her.

At the junkyard, Rena and Keiichi work to free a Kenta-kun statue. Rena goes home to get a hatchet and Keiichi finds some old magazines, learning about the dismemberment murder that occurred in Hinamizawa. Rena comes back and stares at him, and unbeknownst to them Rika is also watching from atop a cliff.

Keiichi goes to get a checkup and heads to the Irie Clinic only to find several uniformed men packing up boxes. One of them says that the clinic is being remodeled and to go somewhere else, but Keiichi notes to himself there aren't any other clinics around. At school, Rika asks Keiichi to talk with her in private, thinking there's something bothering him. Keiichi thinks Rena is scary due to catching her staring at him a lot, and Rika tells him that whatever weird thing Rena said was just a one-time thing and to try and believe in her. Keiichi accepts the advice.

Keiichi goes home and thinks by himself, accepting that Rena never talked about the murder incidents because she's a resident of the village and didn't want to scare off any newcomers. Keiichi's parents call and say Rena will bring food soon, and at that moment Rena appears at his doorstep with bentos. Keiichi debates whther or not to let Rena in as she bangs on the door. After remembering memories of killing Rena and Mion, Keiichi decides to trust Rika's words and allows Rena inside.

Rena is pleased and goes to set up in the kitchen as Keiichi watches TV. Keiichi decides to apologize to Rena for the way he's been treating her and heads to the kitchen only to see that Rena's brought not food but an assortment of tools, ropes and other things. Rena scratches her neck and grabs a knife, saying that Oyashiro-sama has cursed them and that she'll be demoned away after she kills Keiichi. Keiichi grabs a nearby golf club to defend himself but it gets knocked away. Keiichi and Rena soon fight, with Rena gaining the upper hand and stabbing Keiichi several times in the living room. He grabs a clock and starts beating Rena with it, the two continuously assaulting each other. At the end, the two of them are lying in a pool of blood, with Keiichi shedding tears.

Keiichi reawakens in the hospital where his parents are by his side. Ooishi appears and asks what happened at his house, but Keiichi is unable to describe what happened between him and Rena. Mion is the next visitor to come. Keiichi asks why nobody else came to visit him, and Mion explains that they couldn't save Rena. Satoko and Rika were found dead at the shrine, having been killed by the same knife.

Mion leaves and a nurse appears to give Keiichi some medicine. She asks if Keiichi feels an itchy neck at all. Keiichi thinks about Rena scratching her neck then scratches his own neck and screams.

Watadamashi

Tataridamashi

Nekodamashi

Satokowashi

Other Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 http://07th-expansion.net/higu_hou/01.htm
  2. At a special Higurashi event, Ryukishi07 answered questions from fans and gave age ranges for the main characters. While audio and video recordings were not allowed, secondhand reports indicate that Keiichi is in second-year middle school.(1)(2).
  3. Tsumihoroboshi TIP 14: The Demon's Script.
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