Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni Prologue Translated

The short story prologue of Ryukishi07’s new manga series, Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni, has finally been translated! Big thanks to the translator, because it’s quite well done.


The short story was released earlier in December as a bonus of the book Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~The Last and First Gift~, which collected previous Umineko TIPS.

After reading it, my first thought is “more, please!” On one hand, I worry about Ryukishi07 retreading the same ground too much. Once again we have the setting of a remote Japanese village with bizarre customs (remember Okamikakushi? That didn’t go so well). On the other hand, I’m loving all the fanservice in form of meta connections to Higurashi and Umineko. My main questions are:

  1. If this is an alternate timeline for Miyo(ko), what happened to Hinamizawa?
  2. Is this a world where the supernatural just plain exists, like Higanbana? (And you might say that the supernatural already exists in Higurashi, but I prefer a naturalistic explanation for it, which makes more sense after reading the God Violating chapter released with Higurashi Hou).
  3. Will Miyoko be the protagonist or antagonist of this story? Right now she reminds me of Erika Furudo, coming in to this isolated world of fragile emotions and just upending everything.

19 thoughts on “Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni Prologue Translated

    • Yup, it’s gonna be survival horror all the way. Kind of reminds me of how last year’s ACen Panel Ryukishi said he got *really* into zombie video games.

      By the way, have you read the God Violating arc from Higurashi Hou? It’s basically like the 2nd half of Outbreak. After reading that, I have no idea why they released Outbreak just by itself as an anime OVA…it feels like an incomplete story without the explanation of, ya know, why the heck the whole outbreak is happening.


      • I’m 99% sure that the Outbreak OVA is adapted from the PSP game which probably just had that part of the story added just to have some plot in the game (it’s not a VN so the story isn’t really important).
        I guess Studio DEEN just ran out of ideas about ways to get more money from the franchise after Kira so they just adapted Random game X and then Ryukishi decided to make an official Visual Novel about it, expanding it and using for probably a starting point to explore new themes and ideas for the next WTC

        That’s what I think might have happened.


      • Interesting. Higurashi sure is one well-milked franchise.

        I’m glad he did expand it, because I’m actually a huge fan of science fiction. It’d be neat if the sci-fi part of Trianthology ties into all the stuff Higurashi Hou established :)


      • Yeah, I remember the zombie thing he said :)
        I havent played Hou because I recently replayed the old mangagamer release, so I’m waiting a little.
        Im also not that confident of the new stuff, I guess Im more of a “retro” fan of 7th expansion :P


      • Good idea, I’d recommend waiting for MangaGamer’s translation of Higurashi Hou. The fan translation is kinda flawed.

        That’s the downside of putting out a masterpiece or two. Everything Ryukishi puts out will be judged by those early works…but oh well, I reckon he’ll finish a true When They Cry 5 someday!


  1. Nice. You can also read “Chapter 0” of the manga here:

    The manga looks more like a bunch of disparate scenes from the story rather than a straight narrative like the prologue. Interesting that the date is given as June Xth, 1983.

    1. I doubt this is an alternate timeline for the Miyoko we know. Her family was shown to be quite poor, so it seems unlikely that she would have an extremely wealthy grandfather.

    2. Judging from the manga, I’m tempted to say yes, but there’s no way to be sure yet. (With Higurashi, you pretty much have to go with either the supernatural or aliens.)

    3. According to the 07th Expansion twitter, this kid is the protagonist:


    • 1. Hmm, that’s true. I thought that was supposed to be Takano Hifumi…not literally her grandfather, but her adoptive grandfather. Though I’m not sure how they would be connected, or how he could get recognized, in Hotarubi’s timeline. Maybe it’s something like the Dice Killing arc, where the Hifumi name was a big deal and he had his own clinic in Hinamizawa? The flags collected from the restaurant meals gives me such a strong feeling of “this is how things could turn out differently.”


      • Oh yeah, it would have to be Takano Hifumi…otherwise she wouldn’t be called Takano! I got so caught up on the ‘Miyoko’ that I completely overlooked the ‘Takano’ part of her name.

        However, she uses the kanji for ‘hawk’ in her name, rather than ‘high/tall’ like Takano Hifumi. In Higurashi, she only adopts this kanji when she’s trying to get Hifumi’s research recognized, so I don’t understand why should would have it if none of that happened.


      • That really does confuse things. I wonder if it’s just a plot hole/logical inconsistency…or Ryukishi just didn’t want to confuse readers who were used to the name in Higurashi?

        I like how this brings me back to when Umineko was still coming out, where for any shadowy corner of the story, you could come up with endless hypothetical explanations.


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