Massacre Arc Vol. 5 is the fifth volume of Hinase Momoyama's manga adaptation of Minagoroshi and the 23rd overall volume of the manga adaptation of Higurashi When They Cry. The volume was released in English by Yen Press as an omnibus (numbered 21) with Volume 6.
Watching the people of Hinamizawa rally together to liberate her friend Satoko gives Rika hope that she too can defy fate and curb her tragic demise. But when the bodies of Takano and Tomitake are discovered, Rika fears her chance is slipping away. Not knowing who to trust and not wanting to put anyone else in danger, Rika pulls away from her friends. But as her experiences in this world continue to diverge from the norm, Rika clings to the hope that the events that lead to her murder might also change. She has the will to change her destiny, but will that be enough to defeat whoever-or whatever-wants her dead?
Chapter 18: Commence Operations
Chapter 19: Lingering Attachment to This World
Chapter 20: Unforeseen Developments
Chapter 21: Hinamizawa Syndrome
Hinamizawa Syndrome and Paranoia
One of the themes in Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY is the idea that if you stop communicating and succumb to paranoia, it will always spark a tragedy. To depict this "it will always spark a tragedy" aspect in a very clear, organic way with no ambiguity whatsoever, I came up with "Hinamizawa Syndrome." Anyone who manifests Hinamizawa Syndrome gives in to extreme paranoia and as a result causes multiple tragedies. The important point here is that Hinamizawa Syndrome doesn't cause the tragedies directly but indirectly. It's true that when the symptoms activate, the victim may cause a tragedy and kill someone. However, it was the person who committed the murder, not Hinamizawa Syndrome. The syndrome drove them to kill.
It's easy for us to understand direct crimes. He wanted money, he killed someone, he took their money. If that's all there is to it, it's very easy to blame the criminal. But if we knew the following about that person's history, then maybe our opinion would change a little: The killer has been cruelly abused since he was young. He has absolutely no self-esteem. He's always been forced into a subservient position, and as a result he had no time to worry about school and had to enter the real world with a very poor academic history. Unable to choose a career, he finally found a job, but because of his servile attitude, he became a target for bullying and was forced. To change jobs again and again. In the end, in desperate need of money and driven to the edge mentally and emotionally, the only option he can see is the aforementioned tragedy. Of course, knowing this doesn't change the fact that what he did was wrong. However, now that we know all this, I think we might start to think that some of the blame lies in the environment that created the criminal.
The emotion of paranoia is no more than a symptom of poor communication, and that is one of the many themes I wanted to bring across in this work. In the case of the paranoid Keiichi committing murder, of course Keiichi should be blamed. But when I think of the circumstances that forced Keiichi to murder, I think it's not right to accuse only Keiichi. And to make that a little easier to understand, I came up with this term "Hinamizawa Syndrome." when someone falls prey to this illness, they become extremely paranoid and aggressive, and they cause tragedies. These tragedies are very unfortunate, and while the diseased is still a criminal, he or she is also a victim (a patient). That should be pretty easy to understand. In other words, the name of the sickness, Hinamizawa Syndrome, is just a key word to represent the "environment and history" that drove the criminal to murder. However, by understanding the name of the illness, it becomes possible for us to move from a position of merely blaming the person who committed the murder and to direct our attention and questions to the environment that created the murderer.
Is there someone close to you whose isolation and helplessness are amplifying his paranoia and leading him to aggressive behavior? It's easy to talk behind that person's back and say, "Oh, he's not very social," or "He's weird and creepy." but before we start prejudging him, why not think about the environment that made him what he is—why is he in that shell, what made him so hard to approach? He might actually be a nice person who just wants friends. Maybe he's had a lot of bad experiences that make him afraid to associate with other people, and he's trying to protect himself by being the first to attack, shielding himself with the quills of cowardice... Please look at the people around you and notice if they have Hinamizawa Syndrome. He didn't do anything wrong. It's his illness that's making him bad.
How can we break the bonds of Hinamizawa Syndrome? It's not an easy thing to do, but I'm sure all of you who have been with the story this long already know the answer.
I want to work even harder on the next volume!
Original Story, Supervisor: Ryukishi—sama, Jika-sama, Tsubaki Naruse-sama, Kakumu-sama, and BT—sama
Editors: Nakagawa—sama, Koizumi—sama
My Assistants: Ekuni—kun, Hime-sama, Mito-sama, Motchii-sama, Yuukarin, Aoi Shouno-sama, Maruyama-sama, Tsuchii-sensei, Cyco-sama & my family