|This article is about an organization in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.|
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for the original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and possibly the console-exclusive arcs. Readers who have not completed the main story are advised not to proceed further.
The Mountain Dogs (山狗 Yamainu), also called the Wild Dogs in the official manga, are a secret military and counterintelligence unit allied with the Irie Clinic that assist in keeping Hinamizawa Syndrome's existence secret and capturing terminal patients whenever they are discovered.
The Mountain Dogs were formed by the organization Tokyo as part of the Self-Defense Force, following the trend of governments worldwide investing into secret military taskforces. To make espionage and surveying the village easier, the Mountain Dogs have some members embedded in the police and have bugs in various houses and establishments, including the queen carrier Rika's house. The Mountain Dogs also have a front company set up called Okonogi Gardeners that serves as their main base. They regularly do actual gardening so as not to arouse suspicion when they appear throughout the village.
Their main goal is to ensure research of Hinamizawa Syndrome progresses smoothly and that its existence is kept secret from outsiders at all costs, resorting to kidnappings and assassination if need be. They were especially active during the dam conflict and were responsible for kidnapping the Minister of Construction's grandson in a plan by Tokyo to shut down the dam project. The Mountain Dogs' other goals are to capture terminal patients of Hinamizawa Syndrome when they are discovered before they can cause problems and risk revealing the existence of the disease. One of their first captures was of the culprit behind the dam construction foreman's murder, who was discovered to have terminal symptoms by Miyo Takano and was soon brought in.
The next year, the Dogs were deployed by Kyousuke Irie to dispose of the body of Satoko Houjou's mother, who along with her husband was killed when Satoko pushed them off of an observation deck. The incident was made out to be an accident and threw off police investigation. Because of the similarity to last year's incident with a death and disappearance, the phenomenon known as Oyashiro-sama's curse propagated in the village. The Mountain Dogs used the curse to their advantage the following year, where they disposed of Rika's parents by the order of Takano. The cover-up of the fourth year curse victims were also implied to be the Dogs doing, done by request of Irie to protect Satoshi.
Divisions and Members
The Mountain Dogs' members are split into four groups with approximately 23 members each, judging by their codenames:
- Skylark (雲雀 Hibari)
- Nightingale (鶯 Uguisu)
- Phoenix (鳳 Ōtori)
- Heron (白鷺 Shirasagi)
Each group has a single leader with the number 1 suffix. Tetsurou Okonogi serves as the commander for the Phoenix group as Phoenix 1 and also commands the Mountain Dogs as a whole. Okonogi and the rest of the Dogs in turn answer to Major Miyo Takano, who sometimes commands them on behalf of Irie when the latter needs it.
The Mountain Dogs have a background presence throughout the story with their white vans and gray uniforms.
The Mountain Dogs are mentioned by name for the first time. When Keiichi goes to the clinic for a checkup and confesses to Irie that he killed Teppei, the doctor starts to think he's gone insane and secretly talks with other doctors to arrange for Keiichi to be drugged and fall asleep. Irie asks for the number of male staff that are on hand just in case Keiichi turns violent, with one Mountain Dog present.
The Mountain Dogs are shown kidnapping the Minister of Construction's son.
The Mountain Dogs are shown patrolling the village under the guise of Okonogi Gardeners and doing work at the school. Rena starts to grow suspicious of them and believes they're a death squad working for the Sonozaki family, falling further into paranoia when she calls their company number and finds that the Okonogi Gardeners apparently don't exist. Unbeknownst to her the number given to Chie was an old number and was out of service. A gardener corrects Chie when she asks about it and provides her with the correct number later.
Rika tells the clinic about how she is afraid someone is out to kill her, and so several Dogs are deployed to follow and protect her 24/7, later saving her from some delinquents. Rika also remarks how she was never able to get the Dogs on her side in previous worlds since she was never on good terms with Takano.
Satoko starts being abused by her uncle Teppei and Rika wants the Mountain Dogs to take him out, however the police are also watching him. The Dogs want to avoid doing anything that could potentially blow their cover.
Takano begins enacting her plan to eliminate Hinamizawa's villagers and asks Tomitake to join her, bringing several Mountain Dogs with her. Tomitake refuses and several Dogs are signaled to tackle him to the ground, with Takano soon knocking him out and injecting him with H173. She directs some members to put Tomitake into her car's trunk. Takano later fakes her death using a burnt corpse and tells the Mountain Dogs to increase security on Rika due to the fact she predicted her and Tomitake's deaths. Rika is still unaware of Takano's plans and believes the Mountain Dogs are still on her side, soon coming onto them and trying to skip school by faking a cold. Rika finally talks to the club and tells them of the Mountain Dogs' true origins, having realized that they are allied with Takano and are preparing to kill her. They want to reach out to Irie but are concerned the Dogs are listening in on his phone.
The Mountain Dogs begin setting up the final phases of Takano's plan, with Nightingale sent to sabotage communications into and out of Hinamizawa. Ooishi and Kumagai see them and get suspicious, but before they can call it in they are assassinated by snipers and made to disappear. Several more Dogs break into Rika's house, where she and the club were gathered, and knock out the detectives sent from the police department to protect her only to find she's escaped. The Dogs chase after the club members but are caught off-guard by firecracker traps set up by Satoko. All of the club members except Rika are soon shot and killed, with the Dogs disposing of their bodies and cleaning up evidence that there was ever any conflict.
The Connecting Fragments section details the Mountain Dogs' involvement in the curse.
Takano bribes the Mountain Dogs to follow her every order and suddenly gives them a command to start observing Rika, who has informed Tomitake, Irie, Ooishi and several others about Takano's true goals. Tomitake begins an investigation into the Dogs and of Takano for a possibility they may betray Tokyo. In response to Takano's orders, a team is sent to begin sabotaging communications into and out of Hinamizawa.
Rika's death is reported by the Okinomiya police station, which confuses the Dogs as they were observing Rika's house and didn't see her enter or leave; Irie even confirmed she was alright. They also learn that the Bloodhounds were issued a standby order. The Mountain Dogs begin to realize that Irie may have betrayed them and want to break into Rika's house to confirm her location however the Watanagashi Festival has started picking up, making it difficult for them to do anything without drawing suspicion. After finding out that Tomitake has also betrayed them, some Mountain Dogs are sent to his hotel to capture him and bring him back to the clinic. Irie meanwhile is told that Tomitake has gone terminal, but he realizes better and escapes in a car, with some Mountain Dogs sent to stop him before he gets to the shrine grounds. They eventually shoot out Irie's tires and make him drive off a cliff, convinced that he's dead and head out to check.
Akasaka emerges from Rika's house and the Dogs go after him but are caught off guard by his skills. Meanwhile Irie survived the crash but the Dogs are still out to capture him, and they soon start chasing after Shion and Kasai when they rescue the doctor and follow them to the Sonozaki house.
The Mountain Dogs soon invade the Sonozaki house where some fall victim to traps set by Satoko beforehand. They break into the underground chamber where Rika and the club are hiding out and fight Shion and Kasai, soon taking them hostage. They threaten to throw Shion and Kasai into the well if Rika doesn't come with them, however Rika is unwilling to go since they might kill them and her friends anyway. Hanyuu uses mind control to make the Dogs change their mind, and Shion and Kasai are soon set free. Rika goes along with the Dogs after they receive a command from Takano and is almost knocked out with a syringe when Akasaka arrives, dispatching several Dogs by himself. The Mountain Dogs retreat, not wanting to fire their guns on the surface and draw unwanted attention.
After shutting down the village phone network, the Dogs anticipate Rika's group escaping the Sonozaki house through a secret tunnel and coming up behind a mountain, where they plan to ambush and capture them. However, many Dogs fall victim to Satoko's traps littered across the mountain and are attacked by the club members, both physically and mentally. After hearing that there was a break-in at the clinic, a group of Dogs is sent to deal with it and are stopped by Shion's group. Okonogi himself duels with Mion and ultimately fails; accepting this humiliating defeat, the Mountain Dogs surrender to the Bloodhounds and are arrested.