| Maebara Keiichi|
|Birthday||April 13, 1967|
|Daybreak Weapon(s)|| |
|Portrayed By|| |
|Image Song||COOL ni nare! ~Keep on Our Love~ and 'Overload"|
Character Summary Edit
Keiichi is the son of a famous artist, Maebara Ichirō, and his wife, Maebara Aiko, and recently moved to Hinamizawa after an array of unfortunate and awful events in his hometown. He and his family live in a large house (dubbed the "Maebara Mansion" by many of the villagers) built on property bought from the Sonozaki family, and as a result, many of his friends believe that they must be quite rich. However, the house was only built large so that it would also house his father's art gallery and allow for clients to visit said gallery. It is assumed that Keiichi is 16 years old, and it is confirmed that his birthday lies in April. As Higurashi takes place in June, it is most likely that he is already 16.
In Onikakushi-hen, paranoia drives him to believe that his friends are trying to kill him, which leads to his murder of Sonozaki Mion and Ryūgū Rena. Likewise, he also kills Hōjō Satoko's uncle, Hōjō Teppei and contemplates killing Takano Miyo in Tatarigoroshi-hen. However, in subsequent arcs, he gains inner strength and faith in his friends, enough to change the fate of Hinamizawa, as he is able to remember the events of previous worlds through similar events, which helps Rika to defeat fate.
When in need of a weapon, he is often seen with Hōjō Satoshi's baseball bat; however, on one occasion in Tatarigoroshi-hen, he wielded a nata in an attempt to kill Satoko's uncle "for the second time". Contrary to Rena and Mion's comments in Onikakushi-hen about how Keiichi is not athletic at all, he actually is quite skilled in baseball, having frequently gone to a batting practice center with his father before he moved to Hinamizawa.
Keiichi often ends up being the butt of the jokes in the club's activities, as the girls like to pick on him. Remarkably, especially Mion and Satoko seem to be fond of teasing him. Satoko who spends hours designing and setting up traps just to humiliate him and Mion whose tabasco sauce/needle filled ohagi convinced him they were trying to kill him. (He was suffering from Hinamizawa Syndrome.) In the manga, he considers Mion's punishments "sexual harassment", as he is often forced to wear embarrassing costumes, typically a dress with a short skirt.
It is revealed in Tsumihoroboshi-hen that Keiichi has a fear of sewing needles being in his food, as a result a manga that he read when he was a child. This is fact was expanded upon in Minagoroshi-hen that the manga was about a girl who put sewing needles in a man's food. This mentally scarred him for quite awhile, and explains his violent reaction to the "needle" in his ohagi in Onikakushi-hen.
When Keiichi was little, he didn't really excel at anything. An intelligence test he took to enter a cram school, however, showed that he was actually very smart, but the reason he didn't do that well in school was because he did poorly when he was asked to solve problems that had no meaning to him or connection to his life. So if one were to phrase the question differently, he would solve difficult problems like that easily.
After the intelligence test, he was placed into an advanced class in the cram school, where his grades improved rapidly, until eventually they were among the best in his school. He worked hard for the feeling of superiority it gave him to have the best grades, as well as for the praise from his teachers, and, more importantly, his parents, and he was given allowance raises as a reward.
However, the feeling of superiority gradually faded, and his parents and teachers stopped praising him, and yet their expectations of him just got higher and higher. In frustration, he bought an airsoft gun with his extra allowance. He started out shooting cardboard to relieve stress, but when he spotted the warning on the gun's box not to shoot at people, he decided to start shooting at smaller children as they walked home from school.
Keiichi was never connected to the shootings, due to his clever ways of hiding and sneaking, but his actions did not go unnoticed, and parents were asked to never let their children go home alone. One day, however, a young girl was on her own, and Keiichi found her a too easy a target to resist. The girl turned around as he was shooting and she was hit in the eye. Her pained screams seemed to register with Keiichi, as he froze in horror. He wanted to help her, but couldn't do so without revealing himself and thus ran away. He felt so guilty and panicked that he even researched on what it would take for someone to go blind from an injury to the eye.
Keiichi, in the end, confessed to being the shooter to his parents that night. His parents were greatly upset, but they also felt guilty for not hearing their son's "cry for help". For the sake of a new start, Keiichi's parents paid his bail and moved to a quiet town, Hinamizawa.
This incident is quite possibly why Keiichi feels extra protective toward his friends, especially Satoko when she is abused in Tatarigoroshi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen.
In Matsuribayashi-hen, it's revealed that Keiichi's greatest desire in Hinamizawa is to make a fresh start and this time become “the Maebara Keiichi I really wanted to be.”
Keiichi is a slender boy with brown hair and blue or violet eyes. He is the tallest member of the club, except for Satoshi, and is taller even than his teacher, Chie Rumiko.
During school, he wears a white collared-shirt over a red t-shirt, black pants, a belt and black shoes. During his free days, Keiichi wears a black, sleeveless shirt beneath a red vest, green shorts with a black belt and red shoes.
Keiichi's school uniform is almost an exact replica of Satoshi's, but with a red undershirt instead of a blue one.
Keiichi is a passionate individual who tends to express strong emotions freely, for good or ill. He also has a great amount of charisma, which is presumably why he's already so well-liked in Hinamizawa by his friends and the other villagers who know him. Keiichi is also in love with life in Hinamizawa, because it's so much more fulfilling than his old life.
He has a strong belief that fate can be defeated, and he's the one who teaches Rika and Hanyū through his actions that fate can be broken, and how to do so. He inspires Rika multiple times with his unyielding determination.
Keiichi is normally open and outgoing, but when something comes between him and his friends, he can become very withdrawn and overly self-reliant, making it easy for him to develop Hinamizawa syndrome. It takes him remembering his mistakes from other worlds for him to really start trusting his friends.
Keiichi's most important talent is his ability to influence people with words, which is such that Rika has dubbed him the “Magician of Words.” He often uses this ability in playful situations, such as when he successfully sold tako(octopus)-less takoyaki at the Watanagashi festival, or when he got 100% on a curry-cooking assignment by making riceballs.
However, he's also perfectly capable of using words to good effect in serious situations. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, when the club was on the verge of falling apart at the junkyard, he was able to reunite its members. Likewise, later on he was able to snap Rena out of her madness. In Minagoroshi-hen, he convinced Shion not to kill Teppei. He even managed to rouse Rika from the depths of despair. Not to mention, he made use of his ability several other times during the long process of freeing Satoko from her uncle.
On the other hand, Keiichi has been known to accidentally wound his friends with insensitive remarks. He also sometimes explodes in anger at people, even at those who don't deserve it. His curiosity is very strong as well, especially towards “forbidden” things, which often gets gets him into trouble, sometimes fatally (see Onikakushi-hen, Watanagashi-hen/Meakashi-hen, Nekogoroshi-hen).
Keiichi is terrible at cooking. When he tried to cook for himself in Tatarigoroshi-hen when his parents were gone, he almost set his house on fire. Luckily, Satoko and Rika stopped him, preventing a disaster. It seems that one of the only things he can safely make is instant ramen, which happens to be one of his favorite foods (ginger pork flavor). He also dislikes other housework.
Keiichi and Rena are very close friends, and over the course of their story, their relationship proves arguably one of the most significant. They face off against each other in many of the Club's activities, most notably the "Water Gun Face Off" and their battle on the school's roof in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Keiichi also likes to "flirt", or tease her, while they walk to school together. Shion considers Rena to be Mion's rival, due to Keiichi giving the doll to Rena in Watanagashi-hen. In the last episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, Rena confesses her feelings for him, though she was under influence of the magatamas, so it is debatable whether or not this can be considered canonical. Aside from "flirting" with Rena, Keiichi cares a lot about her, just as he does for his other friends. He calls Rena a "very good friend", and it was Keiichi who snapped Rena out of her insanity in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Just like to all of his friends, Keiichi is also seen to be protective of her. The friendship between the two is very strong, which later shows for both to have good teamwork. This was seen when such both were able to beat down and kill several groups of vigilantes in the attempt to save Satoko In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku.
It is also revealed in Tsumihoroboshi-hen that during Onikakushi-hen, after Keiichi had beaten Mion to death in front of her, Rena offered Keiichi her forgiveness and held out her arms to him. Unfortunately, in his paranoid confusion, Keiichi did not understand her gesture of kindness and instead smashed her in the face. This, evidently, was the last in a long line of efforts by Rena to calm Keiichi during Onikakushi-hen.
Ano Hi, Ano Basho, Subete ni "Arigatō" (unofficially called "Dear You -Trust-") serves as sort of a paired song with Rena's Dear You -Cry-, as it talks about how Keiichi feels about Rena's situation in Tsumihoroboshi-hen, just as Dear You -Cry- is about how Rena feels in Onikakushi-hen.
Keiichi and Mion's relationship is arguably the one most expanded on, but undefined throughout the series. When Keiichi fails to give Mion a doll he won, saying she would not like it anyway, and instead gives it to Rena, Mion is later seen crying over this to her twin sister Shion in Meakashi-hen. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen when Keiichi hugs Mion as an apology for killing her and Rena in Onikakushi-hen, (which neither she nor Rena remembers), Mion gasps, blushes, and stammers. When she asks him what he is sorry about, he tells her not to worry about it and that he is very sorry.
A significant example of Keiichi's feelings towards Mion occurs during Watanagashi-hen, when he is about to be tortured whom he believes to be Mion. Instead of resisting, he states that if it will soothe the demon inside of "Mion" she may go ahead. He only wanted the "demon" to give him back "the best friend I've ever had, give me back my Mion!", and to forgive "Shion". Interestingly, the only reason for his torture was because of the doll he gave to Rena rather than Mion. In the Minagoroshi-hen, Keiichi gives the doll to Mion, changing the timeline completely and avoiding the events of Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. The timeline after this follows a different set of events where Shion doesn't commit any murders and is more open and accepting of her feelings. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira, Mion is seen to still own the doll.
Whether or not Keiichi has a crush on Mion in turn proves less certain. In the Sound Novels in particular, Keiichi flirts with both Rena and Mion but does not pursue either further. His flirtations seem more like jokes to him rather than attempts to start a relationship with either. He seems at times oblivious to both of their feelings. Nevertheless, during Watanagashi-hen, when he is about to be tortured by Shion, whom he believes to be Mion, Keiichi declares that if it will soothe the demon inside of Mion she may go ahead. He only asks the demon that in return it spare both Mion and Shion.
Later, in Matsuribayashi-hen, Shion whispers in Keiichi's ear that, "Although the person I love is gone, Sis (Mion) still has hers." Their feelings for one another are most clearly shown in Miotsukushi-hen, where the two of them engage in a large amount of flirtation at one point, and have quite a bit of unresolved tension. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku, Keiichi is very thankful of Mion for risking her own life to help Keiichi's and Rena's family to escape from Hinamizawa. She bursts into tears and blames herself for bringing more trouble upon them. Keiichi responds with saying that no one hates her, and he is grateful for her warning them, and for putting the rumors about the Maebara and Ryūgū families to rest. Later, Keiichi comforts Mion by hugging her. At the end of the episode, he helps Mion by carrying her on his back due to her arm injury which left her in a weakened state. Like for all his friends, Keiichi puts his life on the line to keep her safe.
In the beginning, Keiichi does not believe in the existence of a "Shion", rather believing 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. However in later arcs, such as the Minagoroshi-hen and the Matsuribayashi-hen, both seems to get along well and appear to be very good friends, both are seen attending the same school in Minagoroshi-hen, and Keiichi is also a target of Shion's tricks just like he is to Mion. Keiichi is also a target of Shion's comic manipulation in making Mion jealous, which was seen in the episode Affinity Chapter of Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kira. Keiichi may also be shown to worry for her safety as he said he wanted to take her place in holding the Yamainu guards, to which she kindly rejected his offer, but Shion thanks him nonetheless. Possibly unknown to him, Shion has a great amount of trust in Keiichi as she may want him to keep her sister happy. Keiichi also seems to know who Shion is, as noticing the difference between the twins. Also, in Musubienishi-hen, Keiichi doesn't seem to be mad or blame Shion for anything, such as when he got beat up by a bunch of thugs for falling on their motorcycles. Instead, he comforts her by wiping a tear off her face and says he doesn't blame her, and says that he just tries to do what's best for his friends.
Keiichi and Satoko are really good friends that have an older brother/younger sister relationship, and like most brothers and sisters, they like to pick on each other. Satoko is skilled in making elaborate traps and she likes to use those skills against Keiichi. Despite this, Satoko does like Keiichi, so far as to call him "nii-nii" (a cuter term for "older brother"), as Keiichi resembles her older brother Satoshi in terms of physical appearance, behavior, and paranoia. It is confirmed in the manga that Keiichi treats Satoko as though she were his younger sister so much so that he commits the murder of her uncle whom abuses Satoko, out of his being protective of her.
Just as Rika is revealed to be the primary character of the series, her relationship with Keiichi similarly proves pivotal. The presence of Maebara Keiichi becomes one of the needed catalysts to help the group survive and move beyond that fateful June, 1983. Keiichi is the one who gives Rika hope, as all worlds where he does not move to Hinamizawa are "dead ends". The two are otherwise good friends in general, and Rika often "comforts" Keiichi whenever he loses a club game, petting him on the head and saying "pity pity". She also helped him when he remembered he killed Mion and Rena in Onikakushi-hen. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira, Rika seems to have given Keiichi a nickname of her own, calling him "KeiKei". In Hirukowashi-hen it can be noted that she was slightly bothered when Rena confessed to Keiichi.
As Hanyū only appears in the later part of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, it is hard to determine the relationship between her and Keiichi. They do, however, appear to quickly become friends. Worth noticing is that in the anime Keiichi calls her Hanyū-kun at one point, even though the "-kun" suffix is usually reserved for boys. This might be an often-overlooked tease, as Hanyū refers to herself with the pronoun "boku", which is also usually reserved for boys. Hanyū seems to be very grateful to Keiichi, since it was his words that helped her to gain the courage to fight and defeat Takano in the final arc, avoiding all the tragedies that occurred in the previous worlds.
Though Keiichi and Satoshi never meet in the eight core arcs, they are connected in several ways. When Keiichi starts carrying a baseball bat in Onikakushi-hen, Rena tells him that Satoshi did the same before he disappeared. Keiichi is afraid he might be "spirited away" like Satoshi. In Tatarigoroshi-hen, Keiichi first badmouths Satoshi for having abandoned his little sister. However, later on Keiichi recognizes that Satoshi probably killed his aunt, thus ending the abuse Satoko suffered from her. Therefore, he feels connected to Satoshi, and even speaks to him when holding Satoshi's metal bat, being under the impression that the bat somehow represents Satoshi's personality. In Meakashi-hen, Shion meets Keiichi in a situation very similar to her first encounter with Satoshi. At first, she even thinks Satoshi stands before her again. But she recognizes that Keiichi is very different from Satoshi, trying to avoid physical contact with the attackers by talking to them about their hidden fantasies, making himself also look like a kind of pervert, which Shion disapproves of. However, later Shion seems to be afraid that Keiichi's personality might push her memories of Satoshi aside.
- In episode 6 of Seiokai no Ichizon, Magiru, the student council's advisor, says that she would prefer if the student council did it's meeting with a hatchet or a bat, and her dream is "getting sent to Hinimizawa".
- On episode 8 of Setokai no Ichion , Minatsu is seen swinging a bat similar to the one Keiichi is seen using several times, saying," I could care less about this than everything else."
- By taking apart his full name and combining the definitions of each separate character, Keiichi's name could literally mean, "The One and Only K1", which can be a reference to his unmatched dynamic and hotblooded personality that he is famous for in Hinamizawa and Okinomiya for (also a reference to his famous nicknames of "K" and "K1").
- Keiichi and Mion seem to be the character with the second highest number of times killed, as he is killed as many times as Rika, Irie Kyōsuke and Tomitake.
- Keiichi's eye color changes between the games, anime and manga, ranging from purple on his original VN sprite to a sort of periwinkle in the anime to indigo and/or blue in the manga.
- Keiichi has been shown within many times to appear a pervert, especially during club activities and the first episode of Rei. In one episode, he indirectly admits to this when comforting an opponent baseball player, proudly declaring that there is absolutely nothing wrong for a true man to be perverted. In the manga, however, it is revealed that his perversion is mainly to make fun of his friends. In Watanagashi-hen, he even 'saves' Shion and the other Angel Mort waitresses from a large group of perverted men, clearly angered by their intentions. He also, in same arc, is rather disturbed by Ōishi when he brings him porn magazines at the hospital.
- In Minagoroshi-hen, Rika said that Keiichi didn't move to Hinamizawa in two worlds a hundred years ago (in Rika's time perspective). Those two worlds, as described by Rika, were "incredibly sad, doomed worlds".
- In Nienagashi-hen, it is shown that Keiichi actually doesn't know how to swim. However, he did manage to save Satoko against a powerful river current.
- Keiichi did not make his first physical appearance in the sound novels until Kai, due to the fact that Meakashi-hen is the first arc told from the perspective of another main character. This is referenced by Rika in the first All-Cast Review Session when she says he can't appear because he doesn't have a picture.
- Out of all the main characters, Keiichi has reached the L5 stage of the Hinamizawa Syndrome the most number of times (Onikakushi-hen, Watanagashi-hen, Tatarigoroshi-hen, Meakashi-hen, Tsukiotoshi-hen, Tsubamegaeshi-hen) however, he only became a murderer in three of these worlds (Onikakushi-hen, Tatarigoroshi-hen and Tsukiotoshi-hen).
- Despite being one of the central characters in almost every arc, Keiichi has among the lowest spritecounts, largely on account of having only been given sprites from Kai onward.
- Just like Shion and Rena, Keiichi can also be counted as a villian-protagonist in three arcs (Onikakushi-hen, Tatarigoroshi-hen, Tsukiotoshi-hen).