|This article is about a character in Higurashi When They Cry.|
Keiichi Maebara (前原 圭一 Maebara Keiichi) is the main protagonist of Higurashi When They Cry. 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.
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.
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.)
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. In other artstyles, Keiichi's casual outfit is an orange sleeveless shirt.
Keiichi's defining trait is his hotheadedness. During club games, he has a great determination to win at any cost and will often use tactics like bribery, appealing to potential allies' desires; Tomita, Okamura, and Kameda are frequent conspirators whenever they're around.
Keiichi enjoys playing with his friends, but in the beginning he becomes distrustful and afraid of them due to poor communication. Keiichi develops a strong bond with his friends over time, and does whatever he can to get them out of trouble. Keiichi's looking out for his friends sometimes lands him in more trouble however, as seen in Watanagashi when he willingly goes alone with Mion and is captured by her, later getting stabbed by her when he tries to make up for the doll incident.
Keiichi's nickname of "Magician of Words" comes from his ability to talk to people and convince them to join his side. He uses this skill during club games with his aforementioned bribery, but he also proves he can get to the heart of his friends' issues and set them on the right path. Keiichi's gift of communication even allows him to rally people together against the child consultation center in Minagoroshi.
Keiichi shows a perverted side when it comes to deciding punishment games, often going with lewd or inappropriate options. This perversion is amplified in side arcs where he's gathered with the Soul Brothers.
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 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.
- Rena Ryuugu (love interest, best friend, classmate)
- Mion Sonozaki (love interest, friend, classmate)
- Satoko Houjou (friend, classmate)
- Rika Furude (friend, classmate)
- Shion Sonozaki (love interest, friend)
- Hanyuu (friend, classmate)
- Kuraudo Ooishi (friend)
- Teppei Houjou (enemy)
- Rumiko Chie (teacher)
- Yukikazu Kameda (friend)
- Ichirou Maebara (father)
- Aiko Maebara (mother)
- Keitarou Maebara (son)
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, it is shown 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.
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 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.
In many arcs, Satoko sees Keiichi as a surrogate older brother and develops a strong bond with him.
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.
When Shion first meets Keiichi, she develops conflicting feelings for him. She thinks he's similar to Satoshi because he's warm and heroic, however Keiichi's also perverted and childish. Shion considers stealing Keiichi from Mion after hearing how much she talks about him and teases him at times.
Keiichi and Ooishi become allies in many arcs, seemingly due to Keiichi being an outsider and therefore outside the loop of the mysterious incidents that occur in Hinamizawa annually.
Role in the Story
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. At some point Keiichi leaves the village for a while to attend a relative's funeral.
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 game 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.
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. After the festival, Keiichi rejoins the club, and Mion suddenly asks if he saw Shion anywhere. Keiichi lies about it, but Mion seems to see through him. The next day at school, Mion asks Keiichi again in private if he saw Shion, frightening him with how creepy she's acting. Keiichi insists he didn't, and Mion happily says she'll tell "everyone" that he wasn't involved in any bad stuff.
Keiichi continues to worry about his trespassing into the ritual storehouse. Even Ooishi starts asking if he saw Tomitake and Takano after the festival, and when Shion asks the same over the phone, Keiichi demands to know why. Shion explains that Tomitake and Takano were found dead, having clawed his throat out and found burnt an oil drum respectively. Keiichi and Shion fear they'll be demoned away as punishment for trespassing. Keiichi confesses this to Rika the next day, and she 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 and getting her involved. While searching Rika and Satoko's home, Mion starts rambling about how Satoko is cursed and rocks a ladder Keiichi is using to check the second floor; Keiichi is put off by her strange behavior. 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 to 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, so he bought another one with the hopes of giving it to Mion one 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.
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 Kyousuke Irie where they both promise to look after Satoko and never make her cry.
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. With Satoshi's old bat and a shovel prepared, Keiichi lies in wait for Teppei to drive by and soon kills him. He buries the body and disposes of his scooter in Onigafuchi 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 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 overhears Irie talking about Takano's burnt corpse being found and is ecstatic that his curse really happened. When he hears Irie plans to sedate him, Keiichi runs away from the clinic and wishes that Irie would just die, losing faith in him. 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.
The next day, Keiichi 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 everyone and confesses this to Satoko, but she forgives him. She asks 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 end up on a bridge where 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 survives the fall after landing in a river. 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 months later on August 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.
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.
Keiichi and Rena take part in a water gun battle with the other students and wind up tied as 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 forgives Rena and unites the club as true friends, and they go to hide the corpses.
Rena starts to believe in a conspiracy involving alien parasites and convinces Keiichi about it, making him doubtful of Mion and think the Sonozakis are involved. Keiichi speaks to Mion in private about it and she assures him that the Sonozakis aren't behind any incidents, but just pretend like they are. Keiichi understands he's been made a fool of.
Rena runs away from home with the police searching everywhere for her. Keiichi asks Mion if they found the bodies, but Mion says she used her yakuza connections to hide them somewhere else since there was going to be a development project at their old spot. Keiichi later tries to find Rena himself and meets her at the junkyard. Rena has fallen further into paranoia and thinks Mion's poisoned her and sold her out to the police since the bodies are gone, and Keiichi tries to assuage her concerns and defend Mion. Rena accuses Keiichi of lying and hiding things from everyone, revealing the knowledge from Ooishi that Keiichi used to shoot at little kids in his old town and heavily wounded one of them. Keiichi is distraught over the fact his sin will always be with him no matter what.
Keiichi confesses his sin to the other club members the next day, but they assure him he really didn't need to tell them. Keiichi then recalls the events from Onikakushi's world, realizing that he went crazy from paranoia and killed Rena and Mion when they were trying to help him instead. Rika forgives Keiichi for recognizing his sin, and Keiichi swears to help Rena turn back to normal. Keiichi meets Rena again later and they reconcile. Rena has plans for victory and Keiichi begrudgingly offers his assistance, hoping that she won't become as paranoid as he was.
Rena takes the school hostage the next day and coerces Keiichi into helping tie up the other students. She uses Keiichi as a liason between her and the police when they show up to control the situation. Ooishi discreetly hands Keiichi an earpiece and pepper spray. Keiichi returns to the classroom to see Rena's spread gasoline everywhere and is planning to blow up the school. Rena starts beating up the restrained Mion and Keiichi stops her, professing how he's going to save Rena and snap her out of her delusion.
Keiichi learns there's an egg timer set up to blow up the school and tries to find it, however he gets tricked by a decoy wire in a closet. Rena sees Keiichi's betrayed her and tries to attack him with her cleaver, but the newly-freed Rika steps in to hold her off. Satoko gives Keiichi her brother's bat. Keiichi heads to the school roof and successfully disarms the timer with seconds to spare.
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 demon's script.
The final TIP "The Demon's Script" leaves the fate of Keiichi after Rika's death and the Great Hinamizawa Disaster unclear.
Rika wakes up in a new world after her death and tests if Keiichi can still remember events from previous worlds by asking if he remembers climbing on the school roof, however Keiichi seems ignorant of her questions.
A similar event to Watanagashi's world occurs where Keiichi and the club play at a game tournament. Rika talks to Keiichi about how she's played this exact same tournament many times in the past and correctly predicts which games the club will play, however Keiichi breaks fate by asking that his group play a different game. Rika is momentarilty renewed with confidence when she sees this.
Keiichi wins a doll after the tournament just like in other worlds. Rika (though the player's choice) can opt to tell Keiichi to give the doll to Mion or do nothing and watch, but regardless Keiichi will give it to Mion, averting the future tragedy of Shion going crazy.
The club starts gathering items for an auction to be held during Watanagashi and Mion recruits Keiichi to run it, owing to his good reputation and skill in winning people over. During a lunch break at school, the club enjoys some ohagi brought by Mion. Keiichi gets the feeling he's eaten her ohagi before, but the club says this is the first time Mion's brought ohagi. Keiichi then compliments Rena's ohagi, but she says she's never made it before. Keiichi is uncomfortable by his strange memories and Rika assures him that if he's thinking about it then it really did happen, and encourages him to remember more. Keiichi likens his deja vu to a dream and figures he thought there was a needle inside because of some comic he read.
Keiichi and friends go to the toy store to find more items for the auction and run into Ooishi, where they bond with him over mahjong tricks. When Keiichi accidentally knocks over some motorcycles later and attracts the attention of some delinquents, Rika stands inbetween them to protect Keiichi. Some of Takano's bodyguards appear and drive the delinquents away.
After Satoko's uncle returns to the village and starts abusing her, Keiichi and the club struggle to help her. Shion suggests they just kill Teppei, but Keiichi stops her from doing it. Although the school principal makes a report to child protective services, Satoko tells them no abuse is happening. The club talks about what to do now, and Keiichi reveals he had a "dream" about his actions in Tatarigoroshi's world, encouraging him to stop Shion from committing murder. Keiichi is determined to save Satoko before she breaks, remembering how she reacted to him in the previous world.
Taking advice from his parents, Keiichi and the club start petitioning CPS themselves to take action. They stress how Teppei abused Satoko a few years ago and abandoned her for an entire year, but the center still remains inactive. Undeterred, Keiichi spends the next few days gathering more people for his protests, talking to his classmates and to Kameda's group. The center still says they cannot take action until Satoko admits abuse is occurring, however.
Satoko returns to school, but she is still not looking well. The club tells her to just reach out and ask for help, but Satoko insists she's fine. The principal walks in just then and Satoko has a panic attack, thinking he's actually her uncle. Satoko is sedated to rest in the infirmary. Rika tells Keiichi in private that Satoko has long suffered an illness that makes her emotionally unstable unless she takes shots and asks that he not tell Satoko about it. Keiichi suggests they use this chance to have Satoko sent to the hospital away from her uncle, but Rika warns that Teppei is threatening to burn down Satoshi's room.
The third protest against the center is uproarious due to the larger crowd gathered by the classmates and Kameda's friends, however the center still refuses to take proper action. Chie tries to talk Keiichi out of continuing the protests, but Keiichi learns she's being threatened with having the school shut down by the village elders. Keiichi also learns nobody in the village really hates Satoko, but they ostracize the Houjous because they're afraid of Oryou. Keiichi goes into a Watanagashi planning meeting and makes his case to Mayor Kichiirou and the village elders, pleading them to support Satoko and the protests. Kiichirou ultimately gives his support, however they still need Oryou's approval.
Keiichi goes to the Sonozaki residence to appeal to Oryou. Oryou refuses to help however, and Keiichi threatens to kill her and make Mion the next head of the family then. The discussion ends there, with Akane sending Keiichi out as she brings medicine to the riled-up Oryou. Akane and Kiichirou come out soon to tell Keiichi that Oryou will give her support. She really did want to forgive Satoko but didn't want to lose reputation with the villagers, so they're going to claim that Oryou gave support only after Keiichi tried to strangle her.
Many villagers and Sonozaki family members gather for the final protest against the child consultation center. The center takes their protest seriously and calls Satoko's house, where Keiichi and the club give her words of encouragement. Satoko finally calls out for help and Teppei is arrested.
Rika tells the club her concerns that Tomitake and Takano will become the victims of Oyashiro-sama's curse the night of the Watanagashi Festival. The club opts to spend as much time as possible with the two to ensure nothing happens, and they separate at the end when indeed no problems occur.
Tomitake and Takano are made the victims of the curse that night anyway. The club notices that Rika is depressed later, and Keiichi goes to talk to her. Rika recites a poem to Keiichi about a struggle for happiness and asks what he thinks, and Keiichi says the writer needs to keep fighting for it. Keiichi asks her what's wrong but Rika doesn't want to tell anyone, fearing that they won't want to live in Hinamizawa anymore and that they'll be killed. Keiichi however insists that they can overcome anything if they work together.
The club gathers at Rika's house, having heard of concerns someone is out to kill her. Rika relents and tells them all about Hinamizawa Syndrome, the secret organization Tokyo that Tomitake, Takano, and Irie are a part of, and the Mountain Dogs taskforce. Rika also explains how important she is as the queen carrier to the disease. Rika's narration also reveals that in Onikakushi's world, Keiichi started to develop symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome after leaving for the funeral.
The group ponders who the mastermind behind Tomitake and Takano's deaths could be, and they later arrange for Ooishi to offer his assistance. That night, Rika and Satoko escape from their house when Mountain Dogs start to break in. The club, who pretended to go home earlier, comes out of hiding and fight off more Dogs as they help Rika and Satoko escape. The group plans to steal a van and run away, however Hanyuu makes time stop right as a bullet is to strike Keiichi. The club members look around in stopped time and realize that Takano was the one who fired at him, and they're powerless to save him. Keiichi tells everyone to give up on him and talk to Irie like they planned. Keiichi laments that he's first to die after all his talk of defeating fate and leaves everything to his friends.
Time resumes, and Keiichi falls over dead after being shot by Takano. The rest of the club are rounded up and summarily executed, with the Mountain Dogs disposing of their bodies. Because of this, Keiichi is listed as a "disappearance" in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
The spirits of the club members reunite after Rika's death and promise to do better in the next world, now that they've accepted Hanyuu as one of their own.
The Connecting Fragments section details Keiichi's coming to Hinamizawa and attending the school. In Matsuribayashi's world, Keiichi's dad buys a lot in Hinamizawa after seeing Rika and Hanyuu playing around.
Hanyuu is introduced to the Hinamizawa school as a new classmate Hanyuu Furude, and the club readily welcomes her. While playing one day, Keiichi notices Hanyuu's horns and asks what's up with them. Rika explains how Hanyuu doesn't like talking about them, and Keiichi apologizes.
Rika and Hanyuu ask the club for advice on how to defeat Takano and the Mountain Dogs by presenting the secrets of Hinamizawa as a comic book idea. The group later realizes that Rika was serious about fighting Takano, and they meet at the Sonozaki main house to plan and get the idea of faking the queen carrier's death 48 hours earlier.
The Mountain Dogs attack the Sonozaki main house after Irie escapes there, unknowingly alerting them to his location because of a bug on him. The Dogs are soon driven away due to Akasaka's timely intervention, and the group splits up; Keiichi and the club members escape to the backside mountain where Satoko has many traps set up and use Irie's bug to lure the Dogs over there. The Mountain Dogs are ultimately arrested by the Bloodhounds, and Takano surrenders. Keiichi and the club go to attend the Watanagashi Festival after that.
- Popularity poll results:
- 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).
- Meakashi Day 15