Partial translation provided by Refbn123 with fixes by Pteryon. Additional details translated and summarized by Hubris.
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.
- Satoko's actions during Nekodamashi will be made very clear. "In Nekodamashi the depiction itself tends to draw all the attention, but if you think about what Satoko was doing behind the scenes, you'll see things differently, and I hope you'll see that in Sotsu. That will also be clearly depicted."
- Ryukishi was asked why he chose a new story for this anime rather than a remake. His answer was that part of the reason was that if he were to make a new Higurashi anime, he would want it to be a new story because he very much liked the old anime and didn't want to "replace" it.
- The director was worried from the very beginning that people would hate Satoko.
- "To Rika it was simply a story of advancing to a new school, but to Satoko it was a terrifying story about her world being destroyed. In other words, for one it's a story of growing up, but for another it's despair. Writing from Satoko's point of view, I enjoyed seeing what would happen next even as I wrote the plot myself."
- Gou faked Rika being the protagonist, and she is actually neither the protagonist nor a player.
- Rika took for granted that Satoko would share her enjoyment of St. Lucia.
Q: This might sound a little uncouth but did you intend it to be yuri when it came to Satoko and Rika’s relationship?
Ryukishi07: Hahaha. No, I didn’t have the intention of writing it as yuri. When you say yuri, if I were to write their relationship as one of romantic love, no matter what kind of feelings I depicted, there is the concern of it being glossed over as romantic love and everything being wrapped up with “That’s just love, isn’t it” and “Just get married”. In order to convey their feelings of wanting to be together but not being able to without it being misrepresented with a word like romantic love, there was the need for it to be impossible for the two to form a romantic relationship.
Q: I see!
Ryukishi07: Of course, I’m not saying that romantic love between two of the same gender shouldn’t be allowed. The genuine feelings of those two... That is to say, to get close in intimacy that exceeds gender and romantic love, I thought it was better to not go for an opposite gender relationship, but a same gender relationship. If you were to call intimacy that exceeds gender yuri, then it might be considered yuri, but for me, I wanted to portray a relationship that couldn’t be neatly labeled with a phrase like romantic love or yuri.
Q: As it goes deeper because it's not romantic love, you wanted to write about the issue regarding each other's way of life and place they belong.
Ryukishi07: That's how it is. When I was thinking of the future of those two who had lived like family, I wanted to take a good look at the differences in their upbringing and personality, so for that reason I felt having the same gender would let me dig deeper.
Q: Sensei, you must have feelings for Satoko as well. Did you feel pain or a similar feeling in making Satoko into a looper?
R: I am often asked, "Do you feel any hesitation in breaking characters you have feelings for?" However, the way I think of it in my mind, the Higurashi series is much like a game of Werewolf, where no matter how nice the person is, their role will change depending on the [Werewolf game] card they pull.
Q: I see, Werewolf huh?
R: While they may have been a "villager" until now, in the next game if the role of "wolf" comes to them, then it's natural they play that role, right? Just like that, in my mind the roles shift again this time, I recognize that it just happened to be that Satoko was to become a person who would aim to corner Rika. Perhaps I could say that this role was assigned to the "actress" known as Satoko. Rena is a clear example of this. In one story she's a very kind girl, but in another she's depicted as the one who causes the conflict as a murderer. So, wanting to break a character, or to do mean things to them, are feelings I do not have at all.
Q: So they just happened to draw the [bad] card.
R: That's right. Of course, while I write the story that way, there are fans who will view with empathy, so I understand they will have feelings of "How could you [write] such an awful thing!?" (Laugh). However, for now I'll just say that I hope they will watch Sotsu through to the very end.