Yakusamashi-hen continues on showing Rika’s growing despair and feelings of hopelessness, and Satoko, meanwhile, starts to experience the similar condition that befell Keiichi in Onikakushi-hen and Rena in Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
Thank god for Ryukishi07 insisting on making the Yakusamashi-hen for the second season of the anime, as I’ve just completed rewatching Higurashi I, and while some important plot points were animated in, but they’ve never fully hinted on many of the important things that would be essential to solving the mystery, case in point the looping Hinamizawa and Rika, only seminally hinted and revealed at the end of Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
But now, Yakusamashi-hen finally fleshes out Rika’s character, and god, at the risk of being mislabeled, I’ll admit this, she’s now my favourite character of the Higurashi cast. Yukarin truly shows her talent with Rika’s role, perfectly switching from the “light Rika” and the “dark Rika” almost effortlessly and bringing out the despair that Rika feels to life.
Next episode should wrap up Yakusamashi-hen, and go in to the next arc, Minagoroshi-hen, which should be one of the bloodiest ones.