Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 Ups the Gore to Frantic Levels

Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 cover of Satoko smiling

Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 or Higurashi When They Cry: Gou, Volume 2 perfectly balances the known with plenty of surprises for people familiar with the series. In the small village of Hinamizawa, it’s sadly never a question of if a villager will go on a murderous rampage, but when. For newcomers to the series, it’s a terrific introduction. It does not obscure what’s happening as the anime did but lays it out. Filled with taut and chilling moments while still making room for the gore the series is known for, Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 leaves readers horrified, frightened, and frantic for the next volume. 

With the story by Ryukishio07 and 7th Expansion, art by Tomato Akase, translation by Alethea and Athena Nibley, and lettering by Brandon Bovia, the second installment covers the Curse Deceiving Arc and Cat Deceiving Arc. The Yen Press manga continues adding familiar faces as the first arc focuses on Satoko’s challenge that impacts her friends, particularly Keichi. This new never-ending loop keeps readers guessing about who and what is responsible.

Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 Shows the Strength of Asking for Help

Gore aside, the series often deals with heavy subject matter amidst the “adowable”—Rena’s words—moments and bloodshed. The first arc emphasizes how often children lead the charge for justice. Unlike older generations in Hinamizawa, they do not let old resentments color their humanity. Nor do they allow appearances to halt their cries for help. 

Satoko’s story is tragic but uplifting because her friends convince her to ask for help. Rika, in particular, understands why Satoko feels she needs to stay in an abusive home. Satoko wants to prove to her missing brother that she’s stronger. That way, he won’t not need to shelter her when he returns. Through their combined efforts and Keichi’s determination to protect Satoko, they inspire a collective to speak up for Satoko. 

Gore Overload That Felt Pointless

Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 cover of Satoko smiling
Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 cover. Yen Press.

The Cat Deceiving Arc raises questions about horror excess. Watching Rika repeatedly die in excruciating ways feels unnecessary. Though the story sets it up that Rika is at her wit’s end, the point could be made without so many heinous deaths. Akasaka’s return, the one person she trusts to protect her, breaks Rika’s and readers’ hearts.

It’s worse if readers remember the anime and how Rika warned him about the future. While it’s not a betrayal per se because the Hinamizawa Syndrome has him in its grasp, it hurts seeing someone so kind and caring harm Rika. There are swaths of this arc that have Rika dying horrific deaths without any lead-up, just death after death. It feels like literal overkill in Higurashi: Gou Volume 2 despite the justification to highlight Rika’s mental state. 

The fact that the game that started it all in the early aughts spawned mangas, light novels, an anime series, drama CDs, a spin-off, and multiple live-action series shows the spine-chilling staying power of Higurashi and these friends stuck in a devastating cycleHigurashi: Gou Volume 2 continues the relationship, handing fans a story that revisits previously trod paths with a slight detour. But this world is different, so the villain is someone else, too. With the cliffhanger that raises questions about Satoko, the next volume is a must. Expect to swear, shrink, and shudder because the brutality does not dim in the Higurashi: Gou Volume 2

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