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This article is about a piece of terminology in multiple series.
It may contain spoilers for each.
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The Sea of Fragments (カケラの海 Kakera no Umi) is a vast, otherworldly space containing countless Fragments (カケラ kakera), prisms representing the crystallization of human worlds and memories. Many different Fragments exist for every possible event and circumstance a world can experience; the Sea of Fragments thus represents a sort of multiverse.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Umineko no Naku Koro ni take place within the Sea of Fragments, in specific sets of Fragments referred to as game boards.

General Concept

Fragments are often likened to books and given titles to set them apart from one another. Most humans are unable to perceive Fragments or interact with them, let alone visit the Sea of Fragments, but there are exceptions.

In Higurashi

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Minagoroshi first establishes the Sea of Fragments as a setting. Rika Furude is able to travel between Fragments and access the Sea in-between time loops, thanks to the powers given by Hanyuu. It is also where Rika's alternate self Frederica Bernkastel resides in.

Most Fragments have a great briliance to them, but over time they become distorted[1] and eventually disappear. A Fragment can become cracked and break apart, changing the fate within that world. Putting the Fragment back together will thus show a different future.[2]

Matsuribayashi introduces the idea of combining Fragments, as not only do Rika and Hanyuu combine many of them to create their ideal June 1983, they also take the skills of a Mamoru Akasaka from one world and pass them on to another.

The full term is used in the series for the first time in Nekodamashi-hen Part 1 of Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU.

In Umineko

The Sea of Fragments is first officially named in End of the Golden Witch. It is comparable to the Meta-World, being a higher dimension that only beings like Voyager witches and above can access and traverse. Bernkastel and Lambdadelta are two such Voyagers, spending all of their time traveling the Sea in search of Fragments to entertain themselves with.

Character bios in Twilight of the Golden Witch show that the characters Willard H. Wright, who isn't a witch but used to work under the Great Court of Heaven, and Lion Ushiromiya are also able to traverse the Sea of Fragments.

Places like Featherine's library and the City of Books can be seen as subsets of the Sea of Fragments, with each containing collections of worlds chosen by Featherine Augustus Aurora herself.

References

  1. Matsuribayashi Connecting Fragments 43: A Fragment of Himatsubushi
  2. Matsuribayashi Connecting Fragments 51: Leftover Fragments. "Sometimes a Fragment gets cracked and it breaks. Just like how the fate we believe in cracks sometimes. A damaged fate is no longer the same fate it was."
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