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|“||It's okay, I thought of something good. Being twins has its advantages.||„|
|~ Shion Sonozaki|
Shion Sonozaki is one of the main protagonists and anti-hero of the Higurashi: When They Cry series. She is the twin sister of the heir of the Sonozaki family, Mion Sonozaki. She is obsessed with Satoshi Hojo, which has been the subject for at least four different songs.
She is voiced by Satsuki Yukino in Japanese and Megan Hollingshead in English, both of whom also voiced her twin sister Mion.
Shion Sonozaki and Mion Sonozaki were born as twins, but since there can't be two heirs of the family, they decided to put the demon tattoo on the older twin, while they take the younger one out of the main house.
Shion was taken out of the main house since her sister is older, and she was younger.
As revealed in the Visual Novel and Manga, Shion is actually born as the older twin, as her birth name was "Mion". She and Mion (originally Shion) switched their places so that both of them could attend family meetings.
However, they switched at the day the demon tattoo was to be applied. Shion (current Mion) recieved the tattoo and became "Mion" while her older sister became "Shion".
Shion is the villain-protagonist in Meakashi-hen, which appears to be Watanagashi-hen from her perspective (though certain differing events mean the two are truly separate arcs) and shows that she was the main villain in Watanagashi-hen as well. She despised Satoko Hojo in Meakashi-hen, blaming her for Satoshi's suffering, but in the arcs afterwards, the two have a sister-like bond, and Shion even puts her life on the line to save her in order to keep her promise of looking after Satoko while Satoshi was gone. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Rika Furude explains that Shion's early dislike for Satoko in the years prior to 1983 and her learning how to control her inner demon afterwards are both necessary events for Shion to not become a victim of the Hinamizawa Syndrome. She is also one of the main protagonists of Musubienishi-hen alongside Mion.
Shion works as a waitress at the Angel Mort restaurant and is also the manager's assistant for the Hinamizawa Fighters little league team.
Despite her being seemingly girly and more refined than Mion, thanks to schooling at St. Lucia, she is actually incredibly shrewd, manipulative, and delinquent, moreso than Mion. She hated St. Lucia, calling it a "factory for manufacturing ladies" and got in trouble with the administration numerous times for various misdemeanors. In order to escape, she studied all of the school's security systems, guard schedules, and behaviors of the administration staff, to the point where she manipulated them by propagating a rumor of her having a love affair with a male teacher, to her advantage. In Watanagashi-hen, she is shown to like angering Mion and making her jealous by taking control of Keiichi whenever she got the chance. In Meakashi-hen, when she was attacked by the motorcyclists, she was shown to be capable of mapping out how to ruin their reputations in numerous ways, trying to create the most entertaining and interesting outcome for her own enjoyment. Also in Meakashi-hen, Shion was able to easily manipulate and control the whole village of Hinamizawa; when Furude Rika, Hōjō Satoko and Kimiyoshi Kiichirō went missing, Shion was able to exploit the resulting paranoia to her own advantage, with the occasional mask of innocence and stealing the image of Mion, in order to lure all of her targets to their deaths in perfect fashion and fulfill her own "promise" to Satoshi.
Shion also has the capability to become overly protective and easily angered, just like Maebara Keiichi, when the issue focused on Satoko; as shown in Minagoroshi-hen, when the club members were trying to plan out how to save Satoko from her abusive uncle Hōjō Teppei, she threatened to kill everyone who stood in her way of killing Teppei, even those whom she cared for, and only calmed down when Keiichi allowed her to bash his head with a chair. She goes as far as to be willing to die as long as Satoko lived. Like Mion, Shion is a very cheerful and friendly girl. She acts like an older sister to Satoko, helping out whenever she can and teasing as a sister would. She has a very supportive personality and openly supports Satoshi, giving him the courage to reserve the teddy bear he wanted to give to Satoko for her birthday.
Shion tends to become envious very easily and frequently, which has contributed to her progression of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, her uncontrollable anger, and how she chooses to torture the victims "to make sure they get what they deserve". In Meakashi-hen, Shion's inner "demon" awoke out of jealousy when she was listening to Mion talk about Keiichi; she found it unfair for Mion to have a living crush nearby when her own crush was possibly dead (by word of other Hinamizawans). Other things that Shion became jealous over included Mion's status as the next heir of the Sonozaki family, Rika's status as the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama, Satoshi's protection and love for Satoko, and, as described by Shion, Rena Ryuuguu's own inner "demon", which far surpassed Shion's demon in terms of power and monstrosity ("In the heavy downpour, I saw those eyes. It was like a situation where, because I knew how to play tennis, people admired me for being able to beat other novices at tennis. But then I met a girl who said she also played tennis; she even took private lessons. When I competed against her, she completely beat me, and I felt humiliated when everyone began to admire how she was much better than me. To me, that was Rena. I could sense her aura, that her demon was much more powerful and fearsome than my own.").
Shion resembles Mion in every way, except Shion leaves her hair down and has a yellow ribbon tied on the back of her head to differ from her sister. Like Mion, Shion has long, pale green hair and teal eyes.
On her school days (starting with Minagoroshi-hen), Shion wears a short sleeve buttoned white shirt with a blue-striped (or white-striped) ribbon tied around the collar, and a blue mini-skirt. On her free days, she wears a sleeveless turtle-neck, vertical-striped shirt. On the chest region of the shirt, there is what appears to be yellow gems of some sort. She also wears a black buttoned mini-skirt, and white small heels.
Shion's original boarding school uniform is only seen in the beginning of Meakashi-hen. It consists of a long sleeved white blouse, a red tie, a pale gray blazer, a navy blue skirt, white knee high socks with blue stripes on the top and brown shoes. It is sometimes included in art or other media, but officially it is only seen once or twice.
Her weapon is a taser and is sometimes seen and used.
Mion is Shion's twin sister. Despite their differences, the two have a close relationship, but in Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen, Shion killed Mion, blaming her for Satoshi's sudden disappearance, saying she didn't do anything to try and save him, and that she was directly involved with his disappearance. That time, she was infected by the Hinamizawa disease.
Outside of Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen, however, Shion and Mion have a good relationship, with Mion opening up to Shion about many things, including her crush on Keiichi.
When Satoshi and Shion (disguised as Mion) first met, Shion initially thought of Satoshi as just an interesting boy whom she could relieve her boredom with. This opinion quickly turned into a huge passionate crush when he softly patted her on the head, and is what led her to have the audacity to declare her love for Satoshi (and disgrace the Sonozaki name at the same time) in any way she could. Satoshi's disappearance, combined with her love for him, is the main reason for her hallucinations of him speaking to her as a ghost, and for the murders in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. It is unknown whether Satoshi ever returned the feelings to Shion or if he even liked her at all, due to her frequently disguising as Mion and having numerous arguments with him at school. He does say, "Shion. That's a nice name…", but he may at that point have only thought of her as a new friend. It is also stated by Rika in Minagoroshi-hen and joked by Irie in Tatarigoroshi-hen that Satoshi was Shion's boyfriend, but whether this is just their assumption or fact is left unknown. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion tells Irie Kyōsuke that she plans to visit Satoshi every day at the Irie Clinic and read him stories, while patiently waiting for him to wake up some day.
Initially, Shion disliked Satoko because she blamed her for Satoshi's suffering. Shortly before Satoshi disappeared, Shion promised him she would look after Satoko. After that, Shion became something like an older sister to her. In Minagoroshi-hen, Shion went as far as to plan to kill Satoko's abusive uncle, Teppei, to save Satoko from him. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Satoko also calls Shion "nee-nee", a cute term for older sister and the feminine form of "nii-nii".
In the beginning, Keiichi does not believe in the existence of a "Shion", rather thinking her to be her twin, Mion. In various scenes where Shion pretends to be Mion, Keiichi appears just as fond of her as he seems of the real Mion, but as soon as she is her usual self again, he does not find her as interesting nor attractive, perhaps with the exception of when she is wearing her work uniform. It is possible that at one point in time, Shion developed a crush on Keiichi since she frequently connected his and Satoshi's similarities in her mind, which may be the reason why she hesitated to torture him in Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. However, she does directly tell the reader in Meakashi-hen that she dislikes Keiichi's brash personality and says that his head-petting is incredibly rough and uncomfortable to her, "unlike Satoshi's soft, warm hand". Despite that, due to the continued absence of Satoshi, at one point Shion realizes she's starting to develop a crush on Keiichi which causes her to try to deny it as she feels guilty over betraying her former love, at which point she starts feeling that Satoshi is watching her. In Higurashi Kira, Shion finally succumbs to Keiichi's headpatting and fights with Rena and Mion over him.
- In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Chikai, there is a scene were Keiichi and "Mion" stay after school (without club). Keiichi asks "Mion" about Satoshi. She tells him that he was hard working and everyone liked him. She also pulled her hair band out of her hair, letting her resemble Shion during the scene.
- "Shi" means "death", and the "寺" part of her name means "temple", as stated in Meakashi-hen; separating both halves of her first name could translate to "temple of death". This is a reference to Shion's darker side and the fact that she committed the largest number of personal deaths, as well as having a liking of playfully torturing her victims inside the Sonozaki Torture Chamber. This theory is strengthened with the fact that "Mort" in Angel Mort is French for "death", and the restaurant's name could be translated to "Angel of Death" or "Death Angel".
- Shion is a bit of an anti-hero since she is both a protagonist and a villain. Since her murders were committed under influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome and arguably not out of her own malice, Shion cannot be considered a true villain.
- Since Shion has a liking towards teasing and playing pranks on others, especially Mion and Keiichi, she is often noted as the troll of the Higurashi series. Also, the "Shi" (詩, kanji for poetry) in "Shion" is also spelled the same as "shi" (四, kanji for four), so fans celebrate "Shii's Day" on April 1, which is also April Fool's Day, as a homage to her name and unique personality.
- Similar to Satoko's case, Shion is the only other character in the series who has reached L5 that has not scratched her throat at any point in time.
- In Higurashi Daybreak, Shion often says "Ora ora ora!" when attacking. This is a reference to Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, in which he yells whenever he does a quick combo chain.
- Shion has an irrational fear of canned foods. When she was younger, Kasai use to tell her stories about canned foods containing human meat.
- Shion bears some similarities to Saki Yurikawa, one of the main antagonists of Reiko the Zombie Shop. Both possess similar hairstyles, were infamous for their murderous, psychotic behavior, betrayed (and even murdered) innocent people with no remorse, and both were known for having an estranged relationship with their siblings (Midori in Saki's case and Mion in Shion's case).