Higurashi is a beautiful anime with a terrific story. I did not enjoy the series originally but after recent viewings, I am starting to appreciate the anime.
Higurashi is basically known for two things.
The confusing plot of multiple time streams and the gore/ horror elements.
In the future, I want to address the time stream confusion aspect of this show. Today on Christmas day I want to focus on the kills (very appropriate). I have chosen 12 of my favorite most disturbing kills in the entire series. That includes kai and rei. This list ranks them based off the kill itself, plot relevance, and its overalldisturbing nature.
Also Spoliers Ahead
Enjoy your Christmas with some good anime murder

Number 12: Keiichi kills both Mion and Rena

Keiichi killing Mion and Rena. Episode 4 at 5 mins 21 seconds

The corpses of Mion and Rena after Keiichi killed both with a baseball bat. Episode 4 at 5 mins 21 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
Let’s start the list with the first major kill in the series; Keiichi killing Mion and Rena.
This entire time stream always seemed different from the others. It also might have had the most legitimate scary moments. Including when Rena and Mion put a needle in Keiichi’s food. After watching the series again I beginning to think that Keiichi was crazy the whole time and was hallucinating that Rena and Mion were out to get him. He did have the Hinamizawa Syndrome after all.
What I love about this kill is that the show did a great job building it up. First Keiichi suspects his friends of lying to him about Satoshi and the dam workers who were savagly killed. Then Mion and Rena tried to kill him. He then starts training with Satoshi’s baseball bat. Finally, it all ends with Mion and Rena breaking into his house and Keiichi killing both of them with the bat. The kill itself is savage. I believe the expression “the best kind of kill is overkill” summarizes this show. It’s lower on the list due to the shortness of the kill and overall plot relevance. Keiichi dies shortly afterward and nothing comes from it.

Number 11: Shion kills her grandmother Oryou Sonozaki

Shion burning her grandmother's face. Kai episode 19 at 6 mins 37 secnds

Shion burning her grandmother’s face. Kai episode 19 at 6 mins 37 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
I love this part in the story because the insanity of Shion has reached new heights by who punishes for Satoshi’s disappearance.
Shion blamed her grandmother for Satohis’s disappearance since the Sonozaki family hated the Houjou family.

This was because the Houjou family supported the dam project while the Sonozakis did not. Shion was in love with Satoshi who is a member of the Houjou family. For this crime, she had to have three fingernails removed. Shion believed that this would be enough to atone for what she did. But Satoshi’s disappears afterward and she wants blood. She starts targeting those were believed to be responsible.

One of them was her grandmother

We do not actually see Oryou die on screen. This is because when you see Shion whipping her and burning her face, she is already dead. My theory is the stun gun probably gave her a heart attack. So I am kinda cheating a little bit because what we see is not the kill itself but the treatment of the body. It’s quite disturbing because Shion is not even aware that Oryou is even dead. She grabs her face and puts a lighter to it and then realizes that she is dead.

The whole scene is disturbing because Shion has no reverence for her grandmother or life in general for that matter. Ranked at this point because we do not actually see the kill and the plot significance is small. Shion does have to fill in for her grandmother in her disappearance.

Number 10: Keiichi beats Teppei to Death

Keiichi killing Satoko's uncle Houjou. episode 11 at 16 mins 3 secods

Keiichi killing Satoko’s uncle Teppei with a baseball bat. episode 11 at 16 mins 3 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
This was a fun one for sure. Keiichi is close to everyone in his group including Satoko. After Satoko’s parents died in an “accident” Her aunt and uncle became their foster parents. It was well known that both her uncle and aunt were abusive. Eventually the aunt died and the uncle left Satoko on her own. This resulted in Satoko living with Rika.

But Teppei Satoko’s uncle would return to fulfill the role of Satoko’s foster parent. Like before he was very abusive towards her so much so that Satoko developed Stockholm syndrome. No one could help her out because she would never admit to anything being wrong.

Keiichi decided to take matters into his own hands.
His plan was simple he dug a hole to bury the body and he would ambush his bike. The weapon of choice was Satoshi’s baseball bat a perfect choice. Much like the time Keiichi is absolutely savage in this kill. The expression on his face, while he chases and kills Teppei, is truly terrifying. Even though Teppei could have probably taken Keiichi in a fight that expression rendered him helpless. The best part for sure is when Teppei is trapped with nowhere to go and Keiichi lifts the bat up and takes practice.Truly a gory death. My only critique is that you do not see Teppei’s face with each blow. A bush covers Teppei’s body during this kill so you only see the bat swinging towards the body and blood splattering.

Number 9: Shion causes Mion to fall down in the Well

Shion killing Mion. Episode 21 at 19 mins 28 seconds

Shion stunning Mion causing her to fall into the well. Episode 21 at 19 mins 28 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
Another one of Shion’s paranoid kills. After Shion is ready to escape so she switches clothes with Mion and they walk towards the well. Shion can no longer be reasoned with. Despite this Mion tries to convince her that Sonozaki family had nothing to do with Satoshi’s disappearance. There is a moment where it seems that Shion is agreeing with her but she rejects the idea because it would mean that all her kills were for nothing. So instead of having to deal with that, she stuns Mion which caused her to fall into the well. It culminates with a large bang sound as the body hits the floor.
For a kill where you do not see much its pretty disturbing. The main thing that always bothers me is that taser incapacitates Mion before she falls. Tasers cause many things to happen to the body including muscle contractions.
So Mion fell down the well and probably was not even fully aware until it was too late. Shion was not exactly gentle with the stunner so Mion probably was experiencing other side effects. She was helpless during the entire thing.
From a plot point of view taking Mion spot was important because it allowed Shion to kill Keiichi later on.

Number 8: Rika is ran over by a truck

Rika's body after being ran over by a truck. Higurashi Rei episode 3 at 6 mins 55 seconds

Rika’s body after being run over by a truck. Higurashi Rei episode 3 at 6 mins 55 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY REI ©2009 Ryukishi07 The Three Great Families of Hinamizawa
Our only kill from Higurashi Rei is this beauty. At this point in the story, Rika was able to change her fate and live days after the Cotton drifting festival.

So naturally, everything is good but one day Rika and her friends go bilking together and things change.

While on the road Rika decides to speed up and Satoko warns her that a truck was coming. Believing this to be a prank Rika ignores her. But this was no prank and the truck hits Rika. Rika wakes up in a different world because Hanyuu brought her back to life. Hanyuu explains that Rika’s head was under the front wheel of the truck and it ran over her head. She continued to explain that Rika’s body was no longer recognizable.

This kill is disturbing for many reasons. First of all the death description alone is terrible. A truck ran over her head. The images of the accident were pretty graphic. This death was unique because it came out of nowhere. All deaths in the series were situations in which death was not unexpected. This was just some children riding bikes together. This is the very crucial plot point in Higurashi Rei because its the catalyst for all the events that occur afterward.

Number 7: The construction site manager is killed by fellow coworkers

The Contruction site manager killed by his fellow coworkers. Higurashi Kai episode 16 at 12 mins 36 seconds

Fellow coworkers killing their Construction site manager after he goes berserk. Higurashi Kai episode 16 at 12 mins 36 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY KAI ©2007 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
This is the only gruesome death in Higurashi Kai so naturally, it makes the list. The construction manager goes crazy and attacks his coworkers with a pickax. His team was responsible for working on the dam.

This death is gruesome both during the kill and the aftermath. During the kill itself, all the coworkers beat the manager to death. One coworker remark that even his own mother would not recognize him.

After the manager is dead each worker cuts the body into pieces so they can hide the body and avoid getting caught.
This death is very crucial to the plot. Its referenced many times in the previous series Higurashi as the incident at the dam construction site where a body was chopped into little pieces.

This was the first of many deaths that occurred annually during the cotton drifting festival. Oyashiro’s cure started with this death. The crazy part is that is was no cure for the workers infected with the Hinamizawa Syndrome.

Number 6: Rena slicing Teppei’s head

Rena killing Houjou. Higurashi episode 23 at 10 mins 57 seconds

Rena slicing Teppei with her ironclad Nata. Higurashi episode 23 at 10 mins 57 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
Poor Teppei this his second appearance on this list. If he was not a complete jackass maybe I would feel somewhat bad for him. In all honesty, this guy messed with the wrong people.

So Rena’s father and mother get a divorce and Rena goes with her father to live in Hinamizawa. Mr. Ryugu’s wife felt bad and gave him lots of money. Mr. Ryugu starts seeing a woman named Rina. She uses him for his money and even starts discussing things like marriage with him.
Part of the plan involves Teppei who is her real boyfriend. He goes to Mr. Ryugu and threatens him to stay away from his GirlFriend.
Rena sees this first hand and asks him to come with her.

She lies and says that Rina wants to talk to him. Like an idiot, Teppei follows her to the dump. This is a night so without light you can’t see anything. Rena has a lamp with her. She claimes it ran out of batteries so she needs to get more. Teppei uses his lighter but by then it’s too late and Rena is already behind him. She uses her ax like manchette and cuts his head with one swing.

What makes the kill the great is that we see exactly what happened. Unlike Teppei previous death in this list we only get glimpses. But here we see everything. I love this one so much. From a plot perspective, it’s not too relevant. The bodies are cut up and buried and not much come of it. It’s ranked this highsimply because of how gory it is. Plus I hate Teppei so seeing him die is always satisfying.

Number 5: Miyo kills of all Rika’s friends

Miyo killing Rika and her friends. Higurashi Kai episode 11 at 11 mins 42 seconds

Miyo killing Rika and her friends. Higurashi Kai episode 11 at 11 mins 42 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY KAI ©2007 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
Thess deaths are not the goriest in the series but they are one of the most plot-relevant in this series.
It’s through this that Rika learns that Miyo is responsible for everything that led up to this point. She wants to kill Rika and has been doing so in every timeline. Miyo spread the Oyashiro Curse with the deaths during the cotton festival.

What makes this series of kills disturbing is that Miyo systematically kills everyone. As she walks through the forest, each of Rika’s friends sacrifices themself so the others can escape. All you hear are gunshots and later see the bodies. The worse for me was Satoko’s death because you see Miyo shoot her in the head.

This was also a turning point because up until now Rika never knew about Miyo’s involvement in all of this. So Rika believes that the next resurrection she will be able to stop Miyo.

Number 4: Rena beats Rina to death with a pipe

Rena killing Rina. Higurashi episode 23 at 9 mins 8 seconds

Rina remains after Rena hits her many times with a pipe. Higurashi episode 23 at 9 mins 8 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu

This might be the only kill that was self-defense.

So Rena discovered that her dad was being used for his money by both Rina and Teppei.

She overheard them talk about it in a restaurant. Rina wanted to discuss her future with Rena’s dad with Rena. Rena agrees but wants this to happen in a private place thus they head for the dump.

Rena reveals that she knows everything and there is no way that Rina will marry her dad. She was okay with them dating though.

Rina realizes that the dump is in the middle of nowhere so if she killed Rena no one would know.

Unfortunately for her Rena knew this as well hence why she chose the location.

This would be her biggest mistake. She knocks Rena on the floor and starts strangling Rena. Rena reaches out with one of her hands for a piece of glass and cuts Rina’s belly with it.

She then grabs a pipe and proceeds to repeatedly hit Rina with it. Rena mercilessly kills Rina with the pipe.

I like how when you see Rina’s mashed face that the tongue is sticking outward. This death ranks high due to the awesome levels of gore.

Side note: while not related to this kill, you do see another disturbing end to Rina in episode 9.

In this episode, an old lady pokes at a garbage bag. When it finally opens we a disemboweled mangled body.

At first, I incorrectly assumed it was Keiichi given this happens right after episode 8. But this is Rina from the pink hair and star tattoo that is clearly visible on the corpse.

I am not entirely sure who killed her but it was not Rena.

Number 3: Rika commits sucide by smashing her head against a Knife

Rika killing herself. Higurashi episode 20 at 20 mins 7 seconds

Rika repeatedly stabbing her head against a knight. Higurashi episode 20 at 20 mins 7 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
We first see this kill in episode 5 right before the episode starts and later on in the story in episode 20. Oddly enough the two scenes are not much different. I would have figured that they might tease the death in episode 5 and show the full version in episode 20. Regardless it’s quite brutal.

Rika comes over to the Sonozaki resident’s home to fill her bottle of soy sauce. In reality, she came to give Shion C-120 which is the treatment for the Hinamizawa Syndrome.

She sprays pepper spray in the eyes of Shion and attempts to inject her with C-120. Shion is able to overpower Rika and inject her with the syringe. Unfortunately, Rika does not react well to the drug and it drains her stamina.
Realizing that her only alternatives are death now or death later, Rika commits suicide by smashing her head against a knife that she places on the wall.

This is the second goriest death in the entire series. You see every blow and blood splatter each time Rika rams her head against the knife. What adds to the madness is Shion laughing the whole time. I am not sure whats more disturbing the fact that a child is commiting sucide or the fact that Shion is laughing the whole time.

What always gets me is how Rika’s expressions before and during her suicide. It’s very haunting and is the most iconic death in the entire show.

Number 2: Shion stabs Satoko to death

Shion stabbing Satoko to death. Higurashi episode 21 at 9 mins 49 seconds

Shion stabbing Satoko to death while Satoko is chained to a cross. Higurashi episode 21 at 9 mins 49 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
This death is hard to watch. Shion captures Satoko and brutally tortures her. Her logic is because Satoko always relies on Satoshi for help thus she trapped and put too much pressure on him.

Throughout this kill the scene switches between the perspective of Shion, Mion, and Satoko.

Usually, when you see Satoko you also see blood splattering and screaming.

Mion is caged like an animal and is pleading for Satoko’s life.

Shion, on the other hand, has her usual insane face while she goes to work on Satoko.

What makes this scene disturbing is that no matter how much Mion begs Shion does not let up and keeps stabbing Satoko. Also, you hear, see, and feel each thrusting of the knife into Satoko’s body.It’s very uncomfortable to watch.

Eventually, Satoko realizes that she needs to be tough and shouts at Shion that she will no longer cry. Shion responds by stabbing her at an even faster rate and ultimately delivers the final blow.
The expression on Satoko’s face after her death is disturbing and disgusting. Like everyone else that Shion has killed she regrets it for a moment and then laughs like a maniac.

When people talk about the one death in Higurashi that is absolutely disturbing this is the one.

Number 1: Shion finishes off Keiichi

Shion coming back to kill Keiichi. Higurashi epiosde 8 at 21 mins 37 seconds

Shion coming back to kill Keiichi. Higurashi episode 8 at 21 mins 37 seconds

WHEN THEY CRY ©2006 Ryukishi07 / Higurashi-P Sotsu
There is a lot to unpack with this one.

Shion captures Keiichi when they both go to see what sins she has committed. Shion straps Keiichi on a wooden torture device. Keiichi pleads with Shion to spare Shion’s life, his life, leave Mion’s body.

For reference, Keiichi thought that Mion was the one killing everyone and locked Shion in a cage. He also believed that a demon was possessing Mion. Shion tells Keiichi that she cannot keep those promises but she can keep the one where Keiichi gets to live.
The police rescue Keiichi and Shion. Now Shion is actually Shion on the stretcher before Shion was pretending to be Mion. This is important because when Keiichi encounters Mion by his house and she stabs him.

The police the next day tell Keiichi that Mion died on the same day that the police rescued Keiichi and Shion. This makes no sense however later on it was revealed that Shion killed everyone, stabbed Keiichi, and switched places with her sister.

I just wanted to clear that up. The reason why this kill is number one is by how disturbing and gory it is. You do not see much in episode eight.

In episode eight you get a small Carrie to feel to the story. Ooishi informs Keiichi that Mion is dead. So right after he leaves Shion pretending to be Mion grabs Keiichi’s arm and prepares to kill him. At the time you first watch this you actually think thats Mion which means she must be some sort of demon. This makes the scene terrifying. Even after learning that was Shion the whole time scene is still terrifying.

The image of Shion’s face is something that will stay with me for a long time.

Final Thoughts

I have only scratched the surface in regards to Higurashi. In the future, I want to discuss the time streams in this series.
In case you were wondering the kill counts were:
  • Keiichi: 2,
  • Rena: 2,
  • Miyo: 6,
  • Construction Workers: 1,
  • Shion: 6.
What were favorite kills from Higurashi? Let me know in the comments.

Also if you like to see more anime kills analysis let me know that in the comments as well.

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