|First Appearance||Onikakushi-hen (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)|
The First and the Last Gift (Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni)
|Portrayed By||Miki Itō|
Miyo Takano (鷹野 三四 Takano Miyo?, born Miyoko Tanashi) is an official of the Japanese government, nurse at the Irie Clinic, and employer of the Mountain Hounds. She is the mastermind behind the curse of Oyashiro as well as the primary antagonist of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Miyo spent her early childhood living a fairly normal and happy life with her parents. Unfortunately, one day Miyo's parents died in a car crash, leaving Miyo an orphan. Miyo spent the latter part of her childhood in what she refers to as a "war orphanage" where she was often abused. Eventually Miyo and a group of friends attempted to escape the orphanage and seek refuge at the Yurigaoka House of Love and Mercy. Initially, the group successfully escaped the orphanage, however they got split up during the escape. Miyo managed to almost make it to Hinamizawa while the other girls are captured by orphanage workers and are returned to the orphanage. Miyo finds a telephone box and uses it to call the only number she knows, the number for Hifumi Takano. She manages to say "help me" before being found by orphanage workers and returned to the orphanage. Shortly afterwards, Hifumi shows up at the orphanage and adopts Miyo. At this point, Miyo changes her name from Miyoko Tanashi to Miyo Takano.
Many years later, Miyo is scarred by a meeting between Hifumi and a group of elders. Hifumi presents his research on Hinamizawa Syndrome to the elders and is rebuffed. As they leave, the elders step on the scattered papers documenting Hifumi's research, an event that infuriates Miyo. After Hifumi's death later on, Miyo dedicated herself to continuing and completing his research. She works her way up the government ladder and befriends Koizumi, an influential man within the Tokyo government. With Koizumi's help, Miyo joins the Alphabet Project and is sent to Hinamizawa to begin work on discovering the cause of Hinamizawa Syndrome as well as its potential as a biological weapon. She is given a clinic in Hinamizawa and has Kyousuke Irie join her on the research team. Together, Miyo and Kyousuke successfully find the pathogen causing Hinamizawa Syndrome and begin work on both a cure as well as a drug that would immediately induce the terminal symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome. In addition, in the event of Rika Furude's death, Miyo sets up a contingency plan to flood Hinamizawa with a deadly gas and prevent Hinamizawa Syndrome from spreading.
Koizumi unexpectedly dies which causing a massive rift in the Tokyo government. A new faction against Koizumi's ideals and leadership took control of the Alphabet Project and completely replaced its board of directors. As a result, the Hinamizawa Syndrome project was restructured and funding was decreased. Miyo and Kyousuke were told to immediately end research on using Hinamizawa Syndrome as a biological weapon and complete all remaining research within three years. Furthermore, upon completion of the research, Hinamizawa Syndrome would be quietly taken care of as the government didn't want national or international attention on the pathogen. This devastates Miyo, who sees this as a complete destruction of everything she and Hifumi had worked for.
Miyo appears as a young blonde woman with amber, partially-closed eyes. She is typically seen in a pink blouse, green jacket and blue skirt while carrying a white purse. She wears a yellow cross with a green ribbon on her left breast. When working at the Irie Clinic, she wears a white hat and nurse outfit. While working as a major, she wears black military garb with a black beret.
Miyo is a popular worker at the Irie Clinic due to her more upbeat personality that masks her true feelings. She finds enjoyment in sharing occult information with others, especially regarding the curse of Oyashiro. According to Mion Sonozaki, Miyo gives a different origin story for Oyashiro to every person she talks to. Many of Miyo's theories are collated into scrapbooks, including file no. 34. She has a somewhat patronizing and condescending manner which puts some people off of her.
Miyo's true personality is much more cruel than the one she typically displays. She cares for little outside of the memory of her grandfather, Hifumi Takano, and the idea of achieving "godhood" by leaving a lasting impression on the world. To this end, Miyo orchestrates the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
Much of Matsuribayashi-hen focuses on Miyo's history. The prologue follows Miyo's escape and recapture at the hands of the orphanage and her subsequent adoption by Hifumi Takano. Part of the "Connecting pieces" section follows Miyo's quest to finalize her research into Hinamizawa Syndrome.
Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni
Miyoko Takano reappears in the horror manga Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni as a visitor to the remote village of Hirasaka. While the events of Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni are largely unrelated to the events of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Miyoko and Miyo are ostensibly the same character. Miyoko is described as an occult researcher who inherits enough money to spend her life traveling after the death of her grandfather, Hifumi Takano. In addition, Miyoko recounts how her luck in life began after collecting 20 miniature flags from kid's meals as a child.
- The name "Miyo" is meant to be a continuation of her grandfather's name, "Hifumi". It is meant as a metaphor about the research into the Hinamizawa Syndrome. Hifumi starts the research as Hi(1)-fu(2)-mi(3) and Miyo continues and eventually finishes the research as Mi(3)-yo(4).
- It has been speculated that Takano is related to Lambdadelta just as Rika Furude is related to Bernkastel. This is largely due to their similar hairstyles and similar names ("Miyo" can be written as 三四, meaning "34" and "Lambdadelta" can mean "34" in Greek numerals). However, Ryukishi07 has confirmed that Takano and Lambdadelta have no canonical relation with each other.