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This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for all of the original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, possibly including the console-exclusive arcs. Readers who have not completed the main story are advised not to proceed further.

Nekodamashi-hen Part 3 (猫騙し編 其の参 Cat-Deceiving Chapter Part 3) is the sixteenth episode of Higurashi: When They Cry – New and the third episode of Nekodamashi-hen.

Synopsis

Japanese

願うことは、ほんの些細な幸せ。一度は手にしたはずの、日常の風景。

一縷の希望を託し、梨花は最後の世界で目を開ける──。

English (Translated)

The desire for just a little bit of happiness. A scene of everyday life that she had obtained once.

With a glimmer of hope, Rika opens her eyes in the final world...

Preview Gallery

Plot Summary

Prologue

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The new loop begins on Sunday, June 12th. Rika breathes heavily when she wakes up under her covers at home. Satoko greets her, saying that it's almost sundown. She comments on how Rika was tossing and turning in her sleep, thinking she was having a bad dream. Satoko feels Rika's face and, seeing her labored breathing, says she has a fever and will be staying by her side all night. Rika starts crying, wanting to know why she's suffering. Satoko doesn't understand her dreams, but she knows they're important for a reason. Rika wants to know what reason justifies her being tortured in so many different realities, and Satoko continues looking down at her.

Satoko is dully surprised that Rika doesn't know why she's having her terrible dreams, and Rika questions her when she suddenly yells out. She complains of her body being in pain and writhes in agony as Satoko explains that her dreams are occurring because she is cursed. Rika has no idea what she means and cries out some more, saying that she can't move. Satoko gestures towards Rika's body, pulling off the covers to reveal that Rika's intestines have been cut out of her.

As Rika screams out in pain, Satoko says it's time to perform a watanagashi as she scratches her neck.

First Half

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Rika wonders what she means by watanagashi, and Satoko rhetorically asks if she knows why they perform it: it's the only way to stave off Oyashiro-sama's wrath and curse. Still wincing in pain, Rika asks why she keeps saying "curse" and Satoko notices her painkiller's worn off. She pulls out a tray with scalpels and tools, a syringe and a vial. Satoko casually says she'll give Rika the last of the painkillers, not wanting her to feel a thing. Satoko injects her with it despite Rika's protests, assuring her that she's familiar with needles since Coach makes her take daily injections.

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Rika asks Satoko to clarify what she means by her dreams being Oyashiro-sama's curse. Satoko says she received a revelation from Oyashiro-sama himself, that Rika was no longer fit to be his priestess. Satoko scratches her neck again and leaves, returning with the Watanagashi ritual hoe. Rika becomes horrified, and Satoko explains that Oyashiro-sama made her his new priestess in place of Rika. Rika says that Oyashiro-sama is just a hallucination, and that the syndrome is making Satoko hear things. Satoko ignores her and raises the hoe, preparing to perform the offertory dance. She says Rika must come to terms with the truth and that she isn't suffering all on a whim.

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Rika pleads her to stop but Satoko says she will be punished for her sins. She brings the hoe down on Rika's open stomach, slicing apart some of her intestines. Rika asks what sin it is and why she's being punished, pleading that she didn't do anything to deserve this. Satoko says that not only did Rika violate one of Oyashiro-sama's precepts, she did so as his priestess. Rika asks when this was, and Satoko drops the hoe before getting close to Rika's face, explaining that Rika has always wished to abandon Hinamizawa, even while performing the ritual dance. Rika is confused, and a flashback to her teenage self is shown for a brief moment.

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Rika is shocked to hear this, and Satoko says there isn't any other shameful act a priestess could commit. Rika voices her agreement, having felt like a caged bird all throughout her hundreds of loops and wanted to get away from it all. As she says this, scenes from the original story are played: Onikakushi, where Keiichi beats Rena and Mion to death as a marker rolls away from them; Watanagashi, where Keiichi is stabbed by a disguised Shion as his doll falls into a pool of his blood; Tatarigoroshi, where Keiichi buries the corpse of Teppei amidst rainfall. Finally, the ending of Matsuribayashi is replayed, where a uniformed Takano is comforted by Tomitake as the club watches happily. The scene then cuts to teenage Rika talking to someone in a library about something she's secretly dreamed of doing for a long time: leaving Hinamizawa. On the shelves are study books for entrance exams.

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Rika laughs despite her pain, commenting that she's heard many crazy things from people with Hinamizawa Syndrome before but this one hit home. Satoko picks up the hoe again and says the only way for Rika to cleanse her sin is to perform the watanagashi on her. She apologizes for having to perform the ritual on Rika's behalf and brings the hoe down again and again, ripping apart more of Rika's innards with tears in her eyes. She asks why Rika would think about angering Oyasiiro-sama and laments that if Rika's heart stayed in the village, then the curse wouldn't affect her. She drops the hoe again and cries some more, blaming Rika for making her do this in the first place. She regrets having to quell the wrath of Oyashiro-sama by finding everyone else from the club and sacrificing them, scratching her neck even more. Rika realizes that this fifth world she intended to be her last had ended before it even began.

Satoko blames Rika again, wanting to know why she did this despite being Oyashiro-sama's reincarnation. She crouches down and grabs some of Rika's intestines, pulling them out as Rika convulses in pain some more. Satoko asks why Rika had abandoned Keiichi and the others, asking if she ever enjoyed her time in Hinamizawa. She believed Rika would love the village just like she did and hugs her, pulling away her body from her lower torso.

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Rika thinks back to precious moments with the club and cries. Satoko tells her about everyone else outside the club like her classmates and all the kind villagers. Not only is Oyashiro-sama sad, but Satoko herself is sad that Rika left; the thought that Rika's time spent with her and the others meant nothing to her was heart-breaking.

Second Half

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Rika closes her eyes and wonders when she began to hate Hinamizawa in the first place. Her teenage self answers that it was because she was trapped here for a long time. The second that Rika broke the curse, she wanted to escape the hick village and enroll at a fancy school. She wonders if wanting such a thing was so wrong after spending 100 years trapped there.

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Rika opens her eyes to find herself standing in bright daytime Hinamizawa. As higurashi cry in the background, Rika wonders what she even disliked about the place. She never disliked it at all; it was just the curse and mysterious murders being brought about by people scheming against each other. Rika's had times where she had fun with friends and other times where she cried, but even through all of that Hinamizawa was there. She knew she could stay in the village without worry. Young Rika buries her face in her hands and cries, wondering why she ever wanted to leave this place.

Rika is called back to reality by Satoko continuing to tear out her intestines while ranting about curses. Rika apologizes and Satoko stops. Rika realizes that Satoko was willing to go so far for her as the latter cries that all she ever wanted to do was live in Hinamizawa with her. Satoko accepts her apology and is sure that Oyashiro-sama will forgive her now. Rika says she won't make that mistake again and counts down from 1 on her hand, finally reaching zero. The sound of snapping fingers is heard.

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Rika awakes and is greeted by Satoko, who says the weather is too beautiful to waste by sleeping. Rika asks where they are and Satoko replies they're in Hinamizawa. In the distance, Keiichi, Mion, Shion, and Rena are dressed in swimsuits and calling for the two girls to join their club activity. Rika smiles as Keiichi taunts Satoko. Satoko pulls off her clothes to reveal her own swimsuit, and Rika says she wants to talk to her about something. Satoko gets hit in the face by Keiichi's ball however, and she says they'll talk later after they deal with Keiichi. Rika happily agrees and soon joins the club in their water games.

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At the end of the day, everyone gets dressed to go home. Satoko asks Rika what she wanted to talk about and Rika says she may not understand, but she wants her to listen. Rika says she had two long dreams: one was very painful as she was dreaming it but it was full of wonderful things, thinking back to Takano and Tomitake embracing. In the other dream, Rika never noticed those things and was punished for clinging to an ungrateful dream, thinking back to her many deaths at the hands of Ooishi, Akasaka, Kimiyoshi and others. After all of that, Rika wants to say that she loves Hinamizawa, shedding tears. She realizes that she has many amazing friends there, and she would never dream of anything else. Satoko sheds tears as well and consoles her; she has no idea what kind of dreams she's had but she promises to be her best friend forever, and the villagers will too. Theo two girls hug and Satoko assures Rika that she won't have nightmares anymore.

Time passes, and Rika comments that this world is very peaceful, almost as though Oyashiro-sama's curse has disappeared. At the junkyard, Keiichi digs up Kenta-kun for an elated Rena. Rika watches them from atop a cliff, happy that they both have not been consumed by paranoia. Rika and Satoko walk by the Houjou residence; Satoko sees Rika staring into space and asks what's wrong, but she replies that she's thinking about dinner. Rika comments that Satoko's horrible uncle never returned to the village.

On Sunday, June 19th, the Watanagashi Festival begins. Rika performs the ritual dance for the crowd and sees that Keiichi and Shion are watching, commenting that they never ran off. She's realized that this is a perfect world, one where she didn't need to roll the dice of fate.

After the cotton drifting, Rika sees Tomitake walking off by himself into the woods. She follows and calls out to him, wanting to tell him about something related to her and Takano but is interrupted by Takano herself appearing. Takano comments on the great timing and says she's needed to tell Rika something as well. She asks for Rika to come over, the latter with a serious expression.

Soundtrack

Start Time End Time Track OST Description
2:51 4:20 I believe what you said I believe what you said Opening
11:20 12:18 N/A N/A Rika thinks about her happy past
12:58 14:02 Quiet Morning Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Original Soundtrack Rika realizes she loves Hinamizawa
16:47 17:28 After School Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Original Soundtrack Rika has fun
19:36 21:31 N/A N/A Rika sees how peaceful this world is
22:15 23:44 Kamisama no Syndrome Kamisama no Syndrome Ending

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