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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 of the Higurashi: When They Cry series. She is the twin sister of Mion Sonozaki who was sent away from Hinamizawa to Okinomiya by her family. She acts as the antagonist of Watanagashi (her debut arc) and the villainous protagonist of its answer arc, Meakashi.
Although she acts as the younger sister, Shion was actually the first-born, and therefore her birth name was Mion. The Sonozaki Family only allowed Mion to attend family meetings. Shion (current Mion), seeing this unfair, asked Mion (current Shion) to allow her to attend family meetings as well. Mion (current Shion) felt bad for her sister and decided to switch places with Shion (current Mion). However, they switched at the day where Mion was supposed to get her demon tattoo to become the heir of the Sonozaki Family. Mion (current Shion) desperately tried to prove to her family that she was Mion, but to no avail. Shion (current Mion) got the demon tattoo, causing Mion to become "Shion" while Shion became "Mion".
After Keiichi meets Shion (even though this was actually Mion disguised) at Angel Mort, he progresses to know her better, though he initially did not believe Mion had a twin. Later, Keiichi panics when he finally realizes Mion and Shion are really twins.
During the Cotton Drifting Festival, Shion drags Keiichi with her to sneak into the ritual tool shrine alongside Miyo and Jirou, where they learn about Hinamizawa's terrible past. Afterwards, Shion tells Keiichi about the strange banging she heard and asks if he also heard it, but Keiichi replies that he didn't.
After Jirou and Miyo died, Keiichi and Shion called each other with their phones, and Shion feared they would be cursed by Oyashiro. Keiichi later learns that Shion should have disappeared a few days after the festival, leaving him to wonder who he really talked to.
Keiichi is convinced that "Shion" may actually be Mion in disguise, so he later goes to Mion's house and confronts her. Mion guides Keiichi to Sonozaki's underground torture room, revealing that Shion was actually trapped there for several days, and that she was mentally ill.
Keiichi and Shion are rescued by police, and Shion heads to her apartment. She was found to have killed herself by jumping off the balcony after fighting and fighting with the lukewarm.
Shion becomes the villainous protagonist of the answer arc of Watanagashi, Meakashi.
In June 1983, Shion escapes the St. Lucia school and lives in Okinomiya while hiding from her family. Shion signs a contract with Mion with the help of her bodyguard, Tatsuyoshi, and her uncle Yoshiro. One day, Shion meets Satoshi while trying to save her from the delinquents and falls in love with him, and she has a relationship with Satoshi, even though Satoshi thought Shion was Mion. Shion knows Satoshi's home situation and supports him in baseball games, but he leaves the team to focus on his part-time job and cheer Satoko better at home. Inspired by conversations with Rena that Satoshi is always tired of protecting Satoko and may be cursed by Oyashiro, Shion disguises herself as Mion and accuses Satoko by hitting her at school, angry that Satoko keeps using her brother. Satoshi and Rena were furious and criticized the Sonozakis for targeting the Houjou Family. On the eve of the Cotton Drifting Festival, Shion receives a phone call from Satoshi, who apologizes for the school incident, though he still believed she was Mion. Satoshi asks Shion to take Satoko to the festival because he has another duty, and says he will leave Satoko to her. Satoshi and Satoko's aunt, Tamae, is found murdered on the night of the festival. Shion believes Satoshi is responsible and is hanging out with him a few days later, when Kuraudo appears and brings Satoshi back for questioning. Shion reveals herself as Mion's twin to help Satoshi's alibi, and Kuraudo takes them both in. After Shion leaves the police station, the Sonozaki family takes her to the Sonozaki mansion, where she is punished. Mion forces Shion to remove three nails, one for Tatsuyoshi, one for Yoshiro, and one for Satoshi. Shion performs the action and recovers over the next few days.
Shion learns from Kuraudo that Satoshi suddenly disappeared on his way home from the toy store. Shion couldn't believe this, but Kuraudo suggests that Satoshi may have used the money he saved to escape from the village. Tatsuyoshi later tells Shion that he has arrested the murderer of Satoshi's aunt, but Shion is still worried about Satoshi. Shion later meets Miyo and talks about curses and the festival. Mion visits Shion and says their grandmother, Oryou, had forgave her. Mion is worried about Satoshi, and Shion gets angry thinking she is joking because she believes her family is related to his disappearance. Mion claims that their family is not behind it, and Shion notices that Mion also ripped off her fingernails, since she felt bad that only her sister got her nails torn off. One day in 1983, Shion first meets Keiichi when he saves her from the delinquents. Shion thinks of Keiichi as Satoshi's replacement for a while before he sees how vulgar he is. She remembers how warm Satoshi is and begins to hear the sound of extra footsteps following her. Shion believes that the footsteps are a sign of Satoshi's presence that follows her and begins to tell her everything secretly.
During the Festival, Shion learns about Hinamizawa with Keiichi, Miyo, and Jirou. As Miyo talks, Shion suddenly begins to hear an intense bang before stopping.
Shion spends the night at the Sonozaki mansion and overhears her sister and grandmother's conversation that Miyo and Jirou become victims of the curse. Mion suddenly appears behind Shion and makes a secret call to some people to "get things done," stressing that Miyo and Jirou were killed because Mion confirmed what Shion had just heard and Miyo and Jirou angered Oyashiro. Shion begins to think that her family was really behind the curse and knocks out Mion with the stun gun she got from Tatsuyoshi earlier. Shion does the same to Oryou and brings them down to the torture chamber.
Shion locks Mion in a cell and puts Oryou in a chair. When Mion wakes up, Shion interrogates her about what the curse of Oyashiro really is. Mion says it has nothing to do with error decisions and is simply dealing with superficial problems, while others unknown are dealing with "bottoms." Shion asks why Jirou and Miyo were killed for sneaking into the warehouse. Mion is surprised to hear the last piece of information, but when Shion tells her that four people have sneaked in, Mion suggests the other two will be killed. This makes Shion think that she and Keiichi are the two people who will be killed.
Shion tries to wake her grandmother up so that she can question her after trying to figure out who is the real mastermind behind the curse. However, when Oryou doesn't answer, Shion learns she accidentally killed Oryou with the stun gun.
Shion tries to calm herself down, remembers that her grandmother was involved in Satoshi's pain, grabs a spiked whip and begins to abuse her grandmother's body. Shion senses the presence of watching her again and asks if it is actually Oyashiro.
Shion drags her grandmother's body down to the well so that she can throw it away and terrorizes her sister. Shion justifies the death of Oryou, saying Oryou lied about Satoshi being forgiven and that the Sonozaki family had nothing to do with the curse. Shion is angry at Mion, and still wants Satoshi back, and promises not to torture her sister as long as she cooperates.
The next morning, Shion poses as her sister when she receives a call from Kiichirou about the Village meeting. Then Shion poses as herself and calls Tatsuyoshi that she broke into the ritual tool shrine. She pondered her situation, but thought she could not return because her grandmother was dead.
Shion goes to school disguising herself as Mion and asks Keiichi if he has seen Jirou, Miyo, and Shion at all since the break-in last night. Keiichi says he hasn't, afraid of what "Mion" is asking. Afterwards, Shion asks the housekeepers not to stop by for the time being because Oryou is not in a good mood, and then arranges a library meeting with Keiichi by phone. They talk about the curse themselves when Kuraudo steps in. Shion insists that she should leave and go to do her job. In truth, Shion went off to change into Mion for the family meeting.
At this place, "Mion" lies that Shion has already been processed, and informs the four people invading the tool shrine. Shion is a little heartbroken to see Kiichirou's lack of emotion on his face when he heard the news. After the meeting, Shion asks Kiichirou to come to her house under the pretext of talking to Oryou about something.
While talking to Kiichirou, Shion is relieved that the mayor is worried about her well-being, but when Kiichirou starts to speak ill of the Houjous, Shion feels bad when Kiichirou reveals that Shion's third fingernail was actually for herself, not Satoshi. Angrily, Shion knocks Kiichirou down and brings him to the torture chamber, and later joins a village-wide search when his disappearance is reported.
When Kiichirou is tied to a device that threatens to strangle him if he does not stand, Shion interrogates him about Satoshi's disappearance. Kiichirou denies knowledge of the incident and suggests that Satoshi may have been killed and dumped in a well. Shion goes to the well and believes Satoshi is really down there. She asks Mion if she would have begged her to quit if she attended Satoshi's execution, and Mion admits it. However, after having flashbacks of Mion's behavior during her punishment, Shion angrily calls Mion a liar. She accuses Mion of doing nothing to help Satoshi and demands to give her her name back.
At school, "Mion" asks Rika what she knows about the curse, but Rika doesn't seem to think seriously about breaking the law. Shion says that Rika has to pay as the head of the Furude family because she and Kiichirou let the intruders in. Later that day, Rika heads to the Sonozaki mansion to refill the soy sauce bottle. Shion shows the soy sauce, before Rika suddenly attacks her by spraying. Rika takes out a syringe and tries to inject it into her, but Shion fights back and she ended up syringing Rika instead. Rika stumbles and Shion giggles with plans to bring her to the torture chamber, but Rika says she will kill herself with a knife without giving her the satisfaction of killing her.
Shion is happy that she killed the heads of the Three Families, thinking she could have saved Satoshi if she was Mion. Shion confronts Mion about the day they changed, revealing that she was the first born. Shion and Mion switched at the day where Mion (current Shion) was supposed to get her demon tattoo. Shion (current Mion) applied the tattoo instead, causing her to become Mion forever. Shion now declares herself to be Mion Sonozaki and requires her sister to call herself Shion. The terrified Mion agrees, and Shion swears that she will kill Mion soon.
Satoko, who was cleaning up after Rika, calls Shion and asks where Rika went. Shion tricks her into coming to dinner with Rika and brings her to the torture chamber. In the meantime, Shion frequently calls Keiichi to tell him how he is doing about the disappearance, and uses Keiichi as bait to find out what her enemies will do to him. "Mion" joins the search of Rika and Satoko when they are reported "missing", rambling that Satoko is cursed but escaped Oyashiro's anger despite everything she did to Satoshi.
Back in the torture chamber, Shion confirms that Kiichirou died of exhaustion, and tortures Satoko while Mion listens in horror. Shion criticizes Satoko for driving Satoshi into a corner and making him disappear, and repeatedly stabs her. Satoko says she has tried to improve herself since her brother's disappearance, and asks if Satoshi is watching. Shion realizes that she did not believe Satoshi would return while Satoko did and was rewarded for it. When Shion realizes that she never kept Satoshi's promise to take care of Satoko, she imagines that the spirit of Satoshi and Satoko's reunion.
Shion once again feels the presence behind her, judging that it must be her seeing her mistakes. Shion admits that she is now the demon and leaves herself to her evil deeds. Shion calls Keiichi to talk about Rika and Satoko's disappearance, and he confronts her about a discrepancy related to the allegations that Shion had earlier spoken to Kiichirou. Shion hangs up with a big smile, hoping Keiichi will realize who she is.
The next day, Keiichi and Rena encounter Shion at the Sonozaki mansion, who continues to disguise as Mion and tells the false history of the Sonozaki family, which stems from her hatred for canned food. Shion asks Keiichi to have time alone, brings him to the torture chamber, knocks him down and ties him to a desk. Shion explains how she plans to torture him, but Keiichi doesn't realize the twins have changed and asks him to let go. Shion knows that Keiichi is a really good man and understands why Mion fell in love with him, then knocks Keiichi down with her stun gun.
Shion releases Mion and exchanges clothes with her. She tells Mion to escape through the underground passage and states her intention to kill her and make the police think Shion is innocent. Shion says Mion can apologize to Satoshi at the bottom of the well, but Mion says it's just a hypothesis. Mion explains that Oryou told her long ago that the Sonozaki family was not actually behind the curse, but acted as if they were. Shion couldn't believe it, and asks why Rika tried to attack her earlier because the way Rika died was similar to Jirou's death. Mion swears that she is telling the truth, but Shion tells her to apologize to Satoshi in Heaven and uses her stun gun. Mion dies as she falls down the well.
Shion was "rescued" by the police, who believed Mion was behind the murder and disappearance. Shion begins to go crazy, locking herself in her apartment and arguing with what she believes to be the ghost of Mion. She leaves the apartment, heads to Keiichi's house disguised as Mion, and stabs Keiichi. Then Shion returns to her apartment and while climbing back up to the balcony, she stumbles and falls onto the roof of the elevator. Shion finally realizes that everything is wrong when she forgets Satoshi's promise and wishes she wasn't born. She decides to end her life by rolling off the roof and falling to the ground. Shion seems to hear Satoshi speak to her before she dies. In the anime, Shion accidentally slips off the building, and she sends a short apology to Satoshi and everyone she's murdered before she crashes to the ground and dies.
At the end of the credit, an ideal world of Shion and Satoko having fun is shown.
Shion, Rena, and Keiichi work together to deal with Teppei. On the night of the festival, they lure Teppei to ambush and kill him. However, Satoko witnesses it. Shion stuns Satoko with an electric shock, tells her that she will take her to safety, and leaves with Satoko.
At some point, Mion begins to disguise herself as Shion, but is found by Rena and Keiichi, who kill her. The real Shion seems to have disappeared because her motorcycle is not in her apartment. Rena and Keiichi go to the Houjou residence where they find Shion and Satoko dead. In truth, Shion was brutally stabbed and killed by Satoko who was on Hinamizawa Syndrome level 5, while Satoko clawed her throat out.
As opposite to her tomboyish, assertive, and bashful sister Mion, Shion is more girly, refined, and rebellious. Due to her schooling at St. Lucia, she is incredibly shrewd, manipulative, and delinquent, more so 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. To escape, she studies all of the school's security systems, guard schedules, and behaviors of the administration staff, to the point where she manipulates them by propagating a rumor of her having a love affair with a male teacher. In Watanagashi, she enjoys teasing Mion and making her jealous by taking control of Keiichi whenever she has the chance. In Meakashi, when the motorcyclists attack her, she is capable of mapping out how to ruin their reputations in numerous ways to create the most entertaining and interesting outcome for her own enjoyment. Also in Meakashi, Shion easily manipulates the whole village of Hinamizawa. When Furude Rika, Hōjō Satoko, and Kimiyoshi Kiichirō go missing, Shion exploits the resulting paranoia to her own advantage in order to lure all of her targets to their deaths in perfect fashion and fulfill her own "promise" to Satoshi. Shion is not immune to embarrassing situations herself however, as shown by her mother teasing her in Minagoroshi-hen and accidentally making a fool of herself by unwillingly luring the Yamainu in Matsuribayashi-hen.
Despite being cold to hating Satoko in some arcs, Shion also has the capability to become fiercely protective of her. In Minagoroshi-hen, when the club members were trying to plan out how to save Satoko from her abusive uncle, Hōjō Teppei, she threatens to kill everyone who stands in her way of killing Teppei, even those whom she cares for. However, Keiichi points out that in reality she doesn't actually want to do that and that she instead just wants Satoko to return without anyone she cares for getting hurt or going to jail, in fact she calms down when Keiichi makes her realize that Satoko herself will be sad if Shion did anything reprehensible, whereupon she stops offering murder as a solution and the next day agrees to help Keiichi bring Teppei to justice using legal means, feeling embarrassed when Keiichi teases her about her previous behavior and even becomes passionate about convincing the child welfare center employees about saving Satoko. In this arc and possibly others, Shion is willing to die for Satoko. Later in Minagoroshi-hen, when she pleads to Takano to kill her but spare Satoko, Takano agrees and kills Shion by shooting her in the head, but later kills Satoko after she answers a question. In Matsuribayashi-hen, she's willing to sacrifice her life so that her friends can escape, and even though she has access to firearms, not once does she kill her pursuers and instead just tries to delay them, a sharp contrast to the more aggressive Shion in the first half of the previous arc. This is because a common theme of Higurashi is characters learning from their past mistakes in previous worlds, in this case, Shion learns to control her emotions.
Like Mion, Shion often behaves as a very cheerful and friendly girl. In the arcs where she is protective of Satoko, Shion acts like her older sister by both helping out whenever she can and teasing as a sister would. She has a very supportive personality and openly supports Satoshi, convincing the store owner selling the large stuffed bear he wanted to give to Satoko for her birthday to hold it for him to allow him to earn the money to pay for it. Under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, Shion will become violent as her paranoia grows as it did in Keiichi and Rena.
In Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, Shion tends to become envious very easily and frequently, which contributes to her progression of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, her violent insanity, and how she chooses to seduce 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. Other things that drive Shion's jealousy include 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 Shion describes it, Ryūgū Rena's own inner "demon" which far surpasses her own 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 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 younger identical twin sister who originally had the name "Shion," while Shion was originally "Mion." Due to them switching places on the day that happened to be the day the heir to the Sonozaki clan would receive the demon tattoo, the younger "Shion" permanently became the "older" Mion, while the older "Mion" became the "younger" Shion. While the two generally have a close relationship, the rules of having only one heir forced the now Shion to live apart from the family. While Shion sometimes resents this treatment as a younger and seemingly unwanted sister, she also bears some guilt for permanently dumping the responsibilities of the older sister on her younger sister.
The events in the arcs involving the Hinamizawa Syndrome generate much of the conflict between the two. In Watanagashi and Meakashi-hen, under the influence of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, Shion blames Mion for Satoshi's sudden disappearance and eventually kills her.
In Minagoroshi and Matsuribayashi-hen, the two sisters get along immensely well, but they are not above calling each other "stupid" in certain moments of tension, such as Mion screaming "Stupid Shion!" –and Shion responding "Stupid Big Sister!". While played for comic relief, in a later scene Mion screams "Stupid Shion!" when she fears Shion will sacrifice herself. In turn, Shion is deeply aware of Mion's feeling towards Keiichi. In previous arcs, Mion opens up to her on the topic. In Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion whispers to Keiichi "Although the person I love is gone, Mion still has hers," implying she wants her sister to be happy with him. She also asks Keiichi to tell Mion she hopes they will be twins in their next life.
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).