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AFtM Presents: Friends Don’t Let Friends Watch Raws August 23, 2006

Posted by animerambler in AFtM Presents, Late to the Party, Series.

In my insatiable quest for the next chapter in the killer loli mystery/train wreck series Higurashi No Naku Koro NiI have been unable to resist the forbidden lure of raw anime for the past few weeks.  It’s just so damn good that I don’t seem to care that it’s in demonic moon language that I don’t understand, or that the first raws online will undoubtedly be amateurish in the extreme.  To illustrait what can and willgo wrong with this behaviour, take my hand and journey with me to that damp and seedy corner of anime fandom that occurs before the fansubbers sanatize such things for us.

Before we begin, this post is rated D by the Anime Blog Rating Board (ABRB) for someone waving a doll in front of the camcorder they’re taping this episode off their TV (nice scan lines):


It’s also rated CJVGA (Crazy Japanese Video Game Ad) for this Tekken commercial:


And PIAMA (Possibly Incorrect American Movie Ad) for Miami Vice:


As Colin may be wild, and Jamie is certainly cool (why does he always get to be cool?  Oh, yeah Alexander), but I’m pretty sure Crockett and Tubbs don’t work for the FBI, hence “Miami Vice“.  And if any of you were wondering, yes, they have the same Red Bull ads in the land of the rising sun:


just dubbed, which is freaky, and with english titles (last shot), also freaky.

But on to the meat of it:

This is Shion Sonozaki:


Shion is a single straight white female, with green hair.  Her interests include talking on the phone, switching places with her identical twin sister (Mion), plotting murderous revenge against anyone she believes has anyconnection to the murder of her first crush/love Satoshi Houjou (which is basically the entire village of Himazawa, and blue popsicles.  Shion enjoys extended sessions in the family’s hidden torture chamber, ruling the town with from the shadows after disposing of her grandmother and imprisoning her sister and making funny faces.  Scary funny faces.


Since this is all in moon language though, you wouldn’t know that, you’d just see a girl talking on the phone, and then wiping the blood off her hands:


While not staining her phone we see her talking to this fellow:

kei1.JPGKeiichi Maebara

Keiichi is best explained as follows: you know those stress dolls with velcro-jointed seems, they come in shapes of like a boss at work or referee?  Keiichi is Himazawa’s very own living stress doll and he’s good at his job, so good in fact that every 4-6 episodes they have to reset the series because he’s (stupidly) gotten himself offed again.  We’re on episode 6 of this arc, so don’t expect much from the kid.  In any case, they talk gibberish, he looks flustered (probably sensing he’s been alive for 5 episodes now and sensing that axe falling), Shion seems annoyed, or calm (wiping hands), or whacked out (funny face), what can I say, neither Keiichi or I are too good at reading the opposite sex.

In any case they decide to meet up with Rena:


Rena is a cute brunette/orange haired chick who goes nuts over cute things, and has a fondness for large machettes and chasing Keiichi with large machetes, turn-offs include having her fingers slammed in doors.  Although she’s not a bad cook, one must always be on the lookout for broken eggshells and hypodermic needles in her cooking.  In the first arc she got a solid assist in offing Keiichi along with Mion (oddly enough Keiichi died by his own hand, literally), but one can’t really hold the fact that her favorite guy is an inbred spaz against her.

More lunar language and funny faces follow as the three search a nearby house for some friends (but we don’t know that, not being fluent).  Eventually they retire and Shion returns to Casa del Sonozaki for a late night WoW raid.


That is, so long as ‘raid’ is synonimous with torturing the f*$& out of her true love’s little sis that she was just pretending to look for.

sat1.JPG There’sSatoko!  That little rascal, she’s been chained to that suspicous-looking cross thing all along!  Um, Mel Gibson isn’t directing, right?

Satako Houjou is a few years younger than Shion, blond, and formerly the cry-baby sister of Satoshi.  Although young, she is now lives with her classmate Rika (whose blood was on Shion’s hands at the beginning) and is pretty well adjusted. For depending on Satako too much when they were younger it is the shunned green-haired one’s judgement that she must suffer and die.


The natural progression of things here being a big knife, Shion looking angry and a Satako who is very reasonably fearful for her life.  After a few seconds of Tarantino-esqe violence, we are then treated to more moon language.

shionknife.JPGsatfreak1.JPGshionbored.JPGIn the intermission, Shion shows off her newly bloody knife, Satako talks some, and the look on Shion’s face was about the same as that on mine after more dialogue.  This was then followed by ‘stabbity death’ to borrow a term from Black Mage.


How about some ads, after that one?


Absolutely no idea what the first one is selling, S-Pills maybe, but dang if I can’t resist me some Trendy Box in number 2 there.  Is it just me or does the girl on the left have this “I’m in this ad against my will, tell the people!” look on her face.

If I may here, I must wonder to myself why it is that when Mel Gibson decides to do a non-English torture fest one half of the US loves it as a religious experience, when Tarantino does creates his opus of blood the other half praises it as art, but damn near everyoneI’ve talked to about Higurashi gets this “oh #%&* what is he watching now?” look on their faces?  My money is on “Lolis Gone Whackadoo” angle.

Speaking of which, Keiichi and Rena appear to be having an intervention here for Shion.


One can only (and indeed must imagine the dialogue here),

Rena: Um Mion, you really need to stop this tirade of torture and murder, the bodies are  starting to pile up, and eventually people will start to notice that half of their family isn’t coming home from work/school anymore.

Shion/Mion: Hey Keiichi, wanna blow this joint and come to my underground liar, alone?

Keiichi: Sure!

Rest of World: Groan


And so the two made the epic journey (around the pond) to the depths of Moria, wherein Keiichi met the real Mion, in the cage, and was then knocked unconcious by the insane girl with a rock.  (This makes an excellent Wallpaper, just click the link!)


Oh crap, wrong story, the insane chick with the rock is accurate though, anyway, when Keiichi wakes up he finds himself strapped down, his fingers individually fastened, and Shion playing with some long nails.


I’m sure you can do the math, Keiichi does, and in a singular moment of clarity manages to use his moon-language skills to entice Shion to make googly eyes at him instead of playing carpenter.


Some other blogs have made a point on Shion’s family assets here, or the rather loose style of kimono, but I think I’ll stick with the carpentry theme for my own double entendre:


“Keiichi blushed madly as Shion put away her carpentry nails, gave him a come hither look with her blue eyes vieled slightly from long green bangs and asked ‘would you like me to play with your Lincoln Log?'”

How’s that?  Traumatized yet, or should I become a romance writer?  Are those two options mutually exclusive?  In any case, Shion to do list becomes:

  1. Knock out Keiichi.
  2. Kill Sis.
  3. Laugh maniacally and do an “I killed everyone dance”.
  4. Change mind and come back for Keiichi with a box cutter.
  5. More laughing and dancing.
  6. Get holster caught on masonry while climbing back into apartment, fall to death, but not before having a delusion of Satoshi in the moon.  Go out happy.



Keiichi survives the box cutter incident, but then has delusions regarding Shion coming back for him in his hospital bed (another great wallpaper, if you hate yourself).


And to balance that one out, a motivational poster:




1. tamartinez - June 28, 2008

I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. I commend you on making an amazing show a great number of times better simply by how you reviewed it. Well done.

2. lol2728 - June 29, 2008

hahahaha, this is good….it’s true. Shion is COMPLETELY insane

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