|This article is about the concept in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. For the visual novel of the same name, see LOOPERS.|
|This article is about a piece of terminology in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou.|
This article or section contains untagged spoilers for all of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou. Readers who have not finished the anime are advised not to proceed further.
A looper, also known as one who lives in loops (繰り返す者 kurikaesu mono), is a human with the power to travel between Fragments. This ability manifests whenever the looper dies, and they are able to retain most if not all their memories of previous loops. This power is called "rewinding" (巻き戻る maki modoru) in the manga.
Becoming a Looper
Humans become loopers when they are bestowed this power by a higher being. In Rika's case, she travels between Fragments with the help of Hanyuu. An interview suggests that Rika cannot use this power by herself and has to agree with Hanyuu on when to loop. Rika is unable to fully remember events directly preceding her deaths due to being unconscious or violently murdered in most of them.
In Higurashi Gou, it is said that the crack in Hanyuu's horn is the reason for Rika's incomplete memories. Hanyuu later bestows Rika with the full extent of her powers before disappearing, allowing Rika to fully remember events preceding her death. Meanwhile, Satoko gains the power to loop thanks to Eua.
Influence on Other Humans
Higurashi Gou shows that loopers with a close relationship to other humans will influence them to remember things from previous Fragments. Shades of this have been present in characters since the start of the original story, but it wasn't until Tsumihoroboshi that Keiichi could fully remember what he did in Onikakushi. Minagoroshi shows that Rena and Shion were also able to retain memories from other Fragments, with Keiichi himself remembering Tatarigoroshi in that same arc. Ryukishi07 suggests that Keiichi was especially influenced by Rika due to "sharing the same fate". Higurashi Gou further shows that Teppei and Takano became able to remember Fragments once Satoko became a looper.
The trigger for affected humans to remember previous Fragments seems to involve them dying in previous worlds, as both Teppei and Takano recall "dreams" where they die. The influence of others is said to be irreversible, and that once a person begins remembering other Fragments, they cannot be forgotten. The more a looper loops, the stronger this memory accumulation grows.
When a looper steps into a new Fragment, it is unclear what happens to the original version of themselves when it occurs. Minagoroshi and Saikoroshi suggest that the looper's consciousness overwrites the previous version's consciousness.
- "I was playing behind the shrine with the rest of the club members. I got too excited and started doing something very dangerous...then the tree branch broke... That's how I fell off the cliff. My body started to ache all over. I remembered how I fell, but I still felt strange for some reason. I couldn't remember what I was doing...No... it was more that I couldn't remember who "Rika Furude" was before I fell off the cliff."
- — Rika waking up in Minagoroshi's world, Minagoroshi Day 1
The personality of the looping version is also said to be much different than the normal human version as a result of living for much longer.
- "At least, before 'I' arrived here, Furude Rika was Furude Rika, and she was a proper being in this world. Maybe it'd be appropriate to say that, in a certain day, a being, 'I', who is different from the Rika of this world, appeared and took over Rika's body. (...) I felt the young me, who was pampered as the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama, and the aged me, who was aware of many worlds traveling through them, had different personalities. But, if I could think of it not as personalities, but as the beings themselves being different. Then, I'd definitely not be Furude Rika, ...anymore. I wonder who'd I be."
- — Rika pondering her role in the miracle world of Saikoroshi (Translation by xPearce)
Despite being physically immortal in a sense, loopers can still experience mental trauma. Though Satoko has committed suicide many times to loop, she still suffers from PTSD because of Teppei.
- Festival Accompanying Arc Manga Volume 4 Chapter 18
- Minagoroshi Day 1
- Satokowashi-hen Part 5
- Satokowashi-hen Part 6
- Nekodamashi-hen Part 1