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|“||Without a curse there will be no God. With a curse, there will be horror. With horror there shall be worship. Right now is the time where God advents. I have now become Oyashiro-sama!!||„|
|~ Miyo Takano|
Miyo Takano is the main antagonist of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
She is a nurse and the mastermind of the events that happened in the first six arcs. She was one of the victims of the curse in 1983, and according to the police was found to have been burned to death in a canister in the mountains. However, the autopsy later revealed that she had died 24 hours before the Watanagushi festival had even occurred. During Tatarigoroshi-hen, she shows up to give Keiichi a ride after he finishes his business with Satoko's uncle, and the revelation of her 'death' prior to this incident throws him badly.
She has somewhat long, blonde hair, and eyes that are distinctively more droopy than other characters, making her easy to distinguish (She somehow resembles Rena in her thirties in Higurashi Kai EP01). She is very popular at the Irie Clinic where she works. She is very interested in the history and mythology of Hinamizawa, and in one story arc gives Rena her research on the matter prior to her own death.
Her personality is quite twisted, as she seems to derive pleasure from frightening people with tales of Hinamizawa's past. She also sees people as guinea pigs for her research, and only truly cares for her grandfather and his friends. She is infamous for being an occult maniac, almost to the point of being considered a joke, as Mion mentions to Keiichi that Takano tells a different interpretation of Hinamizawa's mythology to every person (the version she once told Satoko supposedly claimed that Oyashiro-sama originated from sea creatures). She has many scrapbooks containing all her different theories about Oyashiro-sama's curse, and she sometimes lends them to people for fun, such as Shion and Rena. The one she gives Rena, file 34, contains the theory about parasites controlling people's minds, and seems to be loosely based on the Hinamizawa syndrome theory, making it the theory closest to the actual truth (save for the part about aliens). She also talks in a very condescending and patronizing manner, sometimes causing people to hate her.
Takano also has an obsession with attaining the level of Godhood. She first adopted the notion of becoming a God as a child, when Hifumi, not long after rescuing her from the orphanage, tells her about the story of Jesus's resurrection. He tells her that it was not Jesus's physical body that was resurrected, but the belief in his teachings. Hifumi believed that one becomes a God when they make a great achievement that puts their name in history, so that even when they die, they will be immortalized in a sense. He then expresses his desire to become a God himself, by proving the existence of Hinamizawa syndrome and making a name for himself in the scientific community. When he dies, Miyo takes it upon herself to carry on his research and have it recognized by the world. Her ultimate goal is to become a God along with Hifumi, so that they can be together for all eternity.
Later in the series it is revealed that her death, in each case, was faked to throw off suspicion and allow her to act more freely on her true plans. The reasons behind her actions are revealed in the second season as the show delves into her past. She was born Tanashi Miyoko, but her parents died in an unfortunate bus accident when she was quite young, so the government had her sent to an orphanage. She and other children were abused repeatedly there, and eventually tried to escape. They are pursued, largely because the orphanage gets government money based on the number of children they house. She evades capture long enough to call Hifumi Takano's (her father's former professor) number for help as her father had instructed some time before his death. She is re-captured, but is eventually rescued and adopted by Hifumi.
Hifumi becomes a sort of grandfather for her, and she cares deeply for him. Hifumi was the one who started Miyo on the path of medicine with his study of Hinamizawa Syndrome. When Hifumi died, having been humiliated and discredited by his superiors, Miyo decided to carry on his studies in order to prove his theories, and, in doing so, was perfectly content to make the entire village go mad with paranoia by killing the Queen Carrier, and then ordering the annihilation of the villagers as well. She is literally obsessed with proving the theories he spent his life on and making a name for both of them.
She has control over an elite squad of soldiers called the Yamainu, provided to her by the "Tokyo group", who carry out much of her dirty work, although she does not hesitate to do some of it herself. In many cases she has been personally responsible for the death of the Queen Carrier and of her lover Tomitake Jirou. During this timeline, Rika and the club flee through the mountains while fighting off the Yamainu, but Takano arrives and personally murders Keiichi, Rena, Mion, Shion, and Satako before kidnapping and murdering Rika.
In the next timeline, Hanyuu takes a physical form and reminds Rika that Takano is responsible for her deaths. She begins combating Takano's forces by faking her own death in order to deceive her, as well as keeping her away from Irie and Jirou to prevent them from being killed. Her plan works and Takano is eventually defeated without anyone dying. It is then revealed that her actions were ironically caused by her contracting Hinamizawa Syndrome, and she is taken to the Irie clinic for treatment.
After the credits, Rika's consciousness from the previous timelines goes back in time and prevents the death of Miyo/Miyoko's parents in the bus crash, thus keeping her from becoming a psychopathic terrorist, giving her a happy ending as well.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira
Takano also has a variety of different roles in the first two episodes of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira. In the first episode, Batsukoishi-hen, she dresses in a bunny costume and becomes seductive to the point of infecting Keiichi with the True Hinamizawa Syndrome only to be killed by his friends later, who afterwards almost end up killing Keiichi in an attempt to save him.
In the second episode, Ayakashisenshi-hen, she is one of the four generals of Tokyo Magika, the other three being Nomura, Tetsuro Okonogi and Teppei Hojo. She spread a fog all over a parallel version of Hinamizawa that made the residents act hostile towards those unaffected in order to fulfill her lofty goal of proving the magic theory left by her grandfather. She gave commands to the Ritual Tool Devil, Nail Ripper, until the magical girls Oyashiro Rika and Trap Satoko destroyed it and sent her flying into the horizon, where she screamed her apologies to her brother before making a twinkle in her place. Tokyo Magika later learned of Takano's defeat, and, while making fun of her for just being the weakest of the generals, decided to make plans for later attempts to defeat Rika, Satoko, and their friends.
Takano's brief appearance at the beginning of Musubienishi-hen has her commenting on Keiichi and Mion's relationship thinking that they're both in love with one another. She is the first of three adults to comment on their relationship, with the second being Oryou Sonozaki and the third being Teppei.
Kaidan to Odorō, Soshite Anata wa Kaidan de Odoru
Takano also makes an appearance in this horror mystery light novel by Ryukishi07, published in 2007 and later as a manga. While the story is technically supposed to be considered separate from the Higurashi series, it was confirmed to have taken place in the perfect world of Saikoroshi-hen, where Frederica Bernkastel interfered and Takano's parents were not killed (thus, no tragic events ever happened), so Takano's original name "Tanashi Miyoko" is retained. The story also heavily focuses on her, as she is the first to be involved in [another] curse.
In the story which takes place at a normal city high school, Miyoko is drawn as an average, quiet girl with long black hair and a very melancholic expression, which contrasts heavily with her bright and bubbly nature as a kid. Compared to her personality as Takano in Higurashi, she can be considered just as creepy and dark, if not more-so, than Takano. Her signature laugh and way of speaking is also retained in the novel, so she speaks just like her adult self. While Takano is at least seen to be "cute" and has retained some of her childish nature, no sign of such is ever apparent in Miyoko's character in this story. She is not very well liked in the school and only has a few acquaintances, including a strange boy named Tomohiro Miyajima. Initially, Tomohiro did not speak to Miyoko that often, and they only knew each other as those who often glanced at and took interest in each other. One day, Tomohiro decides to invent a fake curse called "Ohone-sama's curse" and circulate it around the school, mainly for kicks and for easy money, knowing that people would donate to the donation boxes dedicated to the false god. Of course, Tomohiro and his friends knew it was a mere prank, however they receive a note attached with 50,000 yen (approx. 644 USD) that asks for the god to curse Miyoko.
Soon after, Tomohiro witnesses Miyoko's death by falling off the rooftop of the school; this is later suspected to be a murder, but near the end for reasons unknown, she reappears, seeming perfectly alive and well with no damage done to her body. She jumps off the roof a 2nd time, only to have Tomohiro catch her this time. In the end, she is seen dancing in a school classroom.
- As a child, Takano resembles Lambdadelta, the Witch of Certainty from Umineko no Naku Koro ni. However, it was confirmed in an interview with Ryukishi07 that Lambdadelta and Takano have no relation with each other whatsoever, and that their similarities, i.e. the same name (Lambdadelta and Miyo both mean 34) and appearance, were actually just red herrings. However, according to the Lambdadelta's Diary tip, it's heavily implied that she was the one who granted Miyoko's wish of eventually becoming a god.
- Most likely Miyoko's character design was based off Lambdadelta considering that Lambdadelta was given a physical appearance before Miyoko was has she was not given an appearance till the anime adaption of Kai due to her not having a sprite in the original visual novel.
- She has committed the most murders of all characters in the series, although Kyosuke Irie's record with fatal lobotomies is possibly secondmost (while the Sonozaki family itself is known for its high number of killings). She has killed Irie, the fake Miyo, Tomitake, Keiichi, Rena, Mion, Shion, Satako, and Rika; making her the only character to kill the entire Club.
- While she is responsible for the Great Hinamizawa Disaster, she herself did not personally commit the murders. She orchestrated it by convincing the prefectural governor to initiate Plan 34, so in technicality, the governor is responsible for sending in troops to kill the villagers.
- Tanashi Miyoko makes an appearance as an extra character in Higurashi Daybreak Mega Edition, where she somehow time-traveled to 1983 by accident. She teams up with Okonogi in order to retrieve the magic mirror so she can return to her time. If Takano and Tanashi are ever paired up in a versus battle and win, comical dialogue is exchanged between the two.