Meakashi (目明し編 Meakashi-hen, lit. Eye Opening Chapter), also known as the Eye Opening Arc in the manga, is the first story arc of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai and the fifth story arc in the overall series. It was released at Comiket 67 on December 30, 2004 and is followed by Tsumihoroboshi.
- Eye Opening Chapter -
Welcome to the world of "Higurashi When They Cry Kai".
We've finally reached the halfway point.
From the viewpoint of the protagonist,
try to find the truth behind the tragedy that unfolds.
The difficulty is very high.
It won't be easy to comprehend the motive of the perpetrator.
- Main article: Meakashi-hen/Plot Summary
After escaping from her boarding school in 1982, Shion Sonozaki hides out in Okinomiya from the rest of the Sonozaki Family and tries to live life as normal. She soon meets Satoshi Houjou and falls in love, and as time passes and Oyashiro-sama's curse claims more victims, Shion struggles to find answers.
This arc was first released in Japanese in CD format at Comiket 67 on December 30, 2004.
This arc was rereleased with Minagoroshi at Comiket 69 on December 30, 2005.
This arc was rereleased with Matsuribayashi at Comiket 70 on August 13, 2006.
First English Release
MangaGamer translated Meakashi into English and released it on February 28, 2010. Changes include:
- Porting from NSCripter to BGI.
- Removal of the Music Room.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou
This arc was rereleased with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou on August 17, 2014.
Second English Release
MangaGamer retranslated this arc and released it individually on April 28, 2017. Changes include:
- Porting from NScripter to Unity.
- New character art by Kurosaki.
- The chapter titles are not translated, instead referred to as "Days".
This arc has been featured in the following console ports:
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna Volume II
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sui
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou
Choices are added near the end of the arc that lead to an alternate ending.
The 2006 Higurashi When They Cry anime by Studio DEEN adapted Meakashi in Episodes 16 to 21.
- First Love (aired: July 18, 2006)
- Responsibility (aired: July 25, 2006)
- Oni's Blood Line (aired: August 1, 2006)
- Revenge (aired: August 8, 2006)
- Cold Hands (aired: August 15, 2006)
- Condemnation (aired: August 22, 2006)
Notably, this adaptation cuts out the reveal of Mion and Shion having switched places as children.
The manga adaptation of Meakashi was illustrated by Yutori Houjyou and serialized in Square Enix's Gangan Wing magazine from August 2006 to April 2008. It was later collected into four volumes. Yen Press published them in English under the title "Eye Opening Arc".
- Eye Opening Arc Manga Volume 1 (JP: January 27, 2007; EN: February 22, 2011)
- Eye Opening Arc Manga Volume 2 (JP: July 27, 2007; EN: April 26, 2011)
- Eye Opening Arc Manga Volume 3 (JP: December 22, 2007; EN: June 28, 2011)
- Eye Opening Arc Manga Volume 4 (JP: June 21, 2008; EN: August 16, 2011)
Meakashi was adapted as a single set on June 27, 2007.
Kodansha released two volumes adapting Meakashi:
- Volume 1: May 5, 2008, republished September 9, 2011
- Volume 2: June 3, 2008, republished October 7, 2011
Comparisons to Similar Arcs
Meakashi seems like Watanagashi from Shion's perspective, but there are a few notable differences:
- Shion and Keiichi's first meeting is different. In Watanagashi, Keiichi first meets Shion at Angel Mort. In Meakashi, Shion first meets Keiichi out in Okinomiya after encountering some delinquents.
- As revealed in Minagoroshi, Rika's death is also different. In Watanagashi she was tortured and killed by Shion while in Meakashi she commits suicide.
These are the credits as seen in the original Comiket version.
- Supervision and screenplay: Ryukishi07
- Partner in Crime: Yatazakura
- Scripting: Yatazakura (main), 4U (intermission and TIPS), BT (Circle Logo Installer)
- Scripting Language Used: NScripter (Naoki Takahashi)
- Engineering Guidance: 4U, BT
- Directing: Yatazakura
- Graphics: Ryukishi07
- Background Location: Kameya Mannen-dou, Yatazakura, Ryukishi07
- “Eyes:” Tsubaki Naruse
- Oniwaban: Escateli~na, Kahakky
- LRRP: Kameya Mannen-dou, Tokika, Amamizu, Scarlet
- Music Assistance: General (GML)
- Music: dai, DJ NETA-RAW, tack, zts, Karegyuu (oi), Suebashi (shin), Moroko, Yuune
- Public Relations: Yoshinori Yano (NECO Seiryu)
- Minigames: BT
- Homepage "07th Storming Party" Administration: BT
- Produced By: 07th Expansion
- Manager: Ryukishi07
- "About Reading Order" http://blog.jp.square-enix.com/magazine/nakukoroni/cat93/cat101/0120/