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English: When They Cry
Synonyms: The Moment the Cicadas Cry
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2006 to Sep 27, 2006
Producers: Geneon Universal EntertainmentL, Studio Deen, Frontier Works, Sotsu Agency, FUNimation EntertainmentL, DAX Production
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.331 (scored by 118488 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagscomedy drama horror mystery psychological
Nov 26, 2008
The curiosity takes over... and so you repeat the experiment, knowing full well that those cute looking teenagers you just sent are going to end up as bloody pulps. But hey, at least each time they die, you're one step closer to figuring out why they died, it's all good.
Higurashi essentially places you in the role of the scientist. It divides itself into several arcs, each of which begin exactly the same. A teenager moves into a remote countryside village, and befriends a group of sweet fangirls that could have come out right from a harem rom/com. Then, explicably, thing go wrong... very wrong.
The pacing is excellent, the suspence pulpable. You know terrible things are going to happen, but you don't know exactly what. Higurashi would appeal to two types of people. The maglomanics who cackle madly in seeing a happy community descend into the depth of oblivion, and the curious scientist who watched each arc with intense interest... for they want to know exact *why* everything goes wrong (though they can also cackle madly just a little).
The true draw of Higurashi is the mystery. The series will leave you guessing, postulating all manner of reasons why the sweetest girl in the class is now butchering every child in sight with a giant cleaver. Each experiment you run (arc you see) reveals a few more clues, and you formulate a new theory, only to find it shattered by another totally unexpected horror in the very same arc. The beauty of Higurashi is that a mystery of such grand scale, every detail is meticulous, and while every bloody event seems random at first, they all eventually fall into place
Not only are the characters are memorable, and filled with interesting secrets, and unlike school days, they're actually also extreme likeable. This is no small achievement, given what they're portrayed doing to each other.
Higurashi is really the pinnacle of a dark mystery. You'll start off the mad scientist, watching those innocents in the test chamber with morbid curiosity. Yet, slowly, that morbid curiosity will be transformed into sympathy, and as you fall in love these victims, that initial curiosity will into turn a genuine desire to figure out whats going on so that they can be saved.
As always, I welcome feedback!
Apr 14, 2010
The concept of the anime is simple enough. It follows a teenage boy, Maebara Keiichi adjusting to his new life in Hinamizawa, an isolated village buried deep in the mountains. It’s not long before he makes friends with a group of girls. At first glance they seem like the average group of teenage girls but all is not as it seems because they’re actually hiding things from Keiichi, things like the mysterious string of murders that seem to occur the same night every year and the gruesome dismemberment of a dam construction worker. The more Keiichi learns about these past events and about his new ‘friends’ the more danger he begins to find himself in.
It is important to remember that Higurashi is divided into 6 separate arcs that feature completely different scenarios. This means that if a character were to meet their unfortunate demise in one arc they would return once again at the start of the next arc. It is this separation of the arcs that often confuses or deters people from watching the show. I too confused by the sudden, miraculous ‘revival’ of a few of the characters at first but the sooner you adjust to the ever-changing alternate storylines the sooner you can start to piece together the puzzle and work out why the murders are being carried out in the first place.
The art style of this anime is nothing spectacular; in fact it seems pretty inappropriate for this particular genre of anime. The girls could very well have been plucked straight from a harem anime, but for some wacky reason that seems to work for this anime. The outward ‘Lolita’ appearances of the girls only make their actions more shocking in contrast; in a sense their design lulls you into a false sense of security.
Unlike in other anime of this particular genre it is difficult not to find someone to like in Higurashi, which is highly unusual considering the sickening acts of torture these girls perform on each other and with those around them. As you begin to get to know the characters better, you begin to sympathise with them and hope that they too won’t meet an untimely fate, thus you begin to feel more involved. Each character has their own interesting perspective and heart-breaking story to tell, it is this that alleviates the anime from being a bloodbath to a bloodbath with depth.
Both the Higurashi OP and EN themes are hauntingly beautiful and nigh on impossible to fault. Shimamiya Eiko does an amazing job at capturing the show’s otherworldly aspect with her almost ethereal voice during the OP theme. The instrumental themes used throughout the show can both send chills down your spine or even cause you to laugh out loud given the right moment. I found that the show’s use of chilling piano solos or mellow flute pieces helped to build tension and inspire fear within myself as a viewer, so by keeping the themes themselves simple they’ve helped to accentuate the atmosphere of the show rather than outshine it completely.
As the viewer becomes more intertwined in both the storyline and with the characters their desire for the characters to be set free from the horrific chain of events grows stronger, it is this that hooks the viewer into watching episode after episode. So overall, for being able to manipulate its viewers emotions so well I’d give this anime a near perfect score of 9/10.
Aug 23, 2007
Story: I can confidently say that the story/plot is the strongest aspect of this series. I congratulate the original game designer who created this series. The execution of the plot is genius. This series mainly consists of arcs. Although these arcs seem disjointed at first, it is all part of the plot and is actually an important part of solving the mystery of the Hinamizawa murders. However, this is not a simple, generic murder mystery where the solutions are force fed to the viewers; it is up to them to decide between what is true and what is not. This way, it makes the viewers think and interact with the story, and this is what I love most about Higurashi.
Art/Animation: If there is one reason why I did not give this series a 10, then it is because of the art and animation. The art itself is not too bad, but the animation... How do I start? It can be extremely inconsistent at time with all those emo face contortions, sometimes out of sync, and was probably animated with a relatively low budget. Thank goodness the director of season 2 learned from those mistakes, and the animation greatly improved in Kai. One good thing I have to say is that the background and setting is very well done.
Sound: The voice acting in this series is amazing. With a series filled with psychotic laughter, blood-curling screams, and in some cases, extremely cute voices, the voice actors/actresses are extremely versatile. The Opening is one of my favorite openings of all time. It sets up the mood extremely well and sent shivers down my spine when I first saw it. There could not have been a better fitting opening. The ending, a slow rather mellow piece, suffers from horrible Engrish. I do love the piano part in the end though. Finally, the background music set the mood nicely, but can get repetitive at times. I did like the sounds of the cicadas; it gave a feeling of impending doom.
Characters: After the initial shock of their mental instability, the cast of characters are extremely well written and developed. Sure, none of the main cast of characters is emotionally and mentally stable; it does not take away from their personality and interaction. One of the best things about this series is that there is no throw away characters that only appear once, does something, and leaves. Every character serves a purpose in the mystery and plot, either directly and indirectly.
Enjoyment: As I have said earlier, I love how Higurashi is not a passive anime where I can just sit in front of the computer and shut off my brain. Then again, I love psychological anime. Higurashi was the first series that forced me to watch raws because I could not wait for the subs.
Overall an excellent show. This would definitely be a 10 if not for its mediocre animation. Final rating: 9/10
Mar 17, 2010
The very first episode of Higurashi can be off-putting, as it introduces a cast of characters that seem at the time more like a collection of overused anime tropes from a slice-of-life anime than people the viewer would want to care about. Here's Keiichi, the stock new kid in town. Here's Rena, the stock girl-next-door girlfriend-type. Here's Mion, the stock tomboy. Here's Satoko, the brat. So on down the line. This is not the way people will view the characters by the end of the show, but it ends up being a smart choice to use character types that will be initially familiar to regular anime fans. The show is made much more disturbing and emotionally jarring by the juxtaposition between the light comedy parts that happen at the beginning of each story arc and the grim, violent results after events and character psyches degrade. The great contrast between the Azumanga-esque comedy bits, complete with super-deformed characters and great exaggerations, and the paranoia and psychotic murders, is one of the best artistic devices of the show. If these were dark characters more suited for a horror show, there would not have been the same emotional impact.
Style aside, Higurashi takes an interesting format in basically retelling the same story again and again, but changing key details and character perspectives each time to keep rehash almost nonexistent. During this first season especially, each retelling of the Hinamizawa tragedy reveals more truths behind the town, the background of the characters, and the surprisingly deep interpersonal relationships between them. Facts you learn towards the end of the season will give entirely new meaning to events you saw in the first part of the season. Each story arc peels away layers of the juicy truth, which gives each story arc something that enhances the whole.
Even putting aside the conclusions the viewer makes by putting the arcs together, each story arc is also its own rich self-contained story. Each time you start a new arc, the protagonist may be different. The killer may be different. The protagonist may be the victim or the killer. An arc usually focuses on one or two of the main characters and gives them their own story, subtly replacing the original image you had of them as a stock anime character with a new image of them as a fleshed-out character with a strong personality and motivations.
Without giving away any spoilers, the arc that begins with episode 16 is for me the highlight of Higurashi. It encapsulates everything one can love about the show. It creates great revelation about an earlier story arc. It has really intense and disturbing horror scenes (that are still tastefully done). It also is a great character study, showing how a seed of resentment and great trauma can push a normal person to the brink of madness.
After having watched both seasons of Higurashi once before and knowing the entire truth, watching the show a second time still filled me with a range of emotions from laughter to sadness to horror to thoughtfulness to excitement, all delivered to great effect and in a refreshing way. If you are not a horror fan, it may be hard for you to get past some of the content, but at the same time most of the gore is just off-camera so that you can feel the disgust without it being gratuitous. For those with adult sensibilities, it is easy to fall in love with a show and a story as breathtaking and unforgettable as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. read more
Jul 3, 2014
The story of this amazing series follows a high school student named Keiichi Maebara. He had recently moved to the small town of Hinamizawa, and it's not too long before he makes several friends in his class, which at first they seem all cute, innocent and overall happy. But he soon realizes that his seemingly harmless group of friends isn't so innocent as they may seem. What I really like about this anime, is it's very unique story structure. It is divided into "question arcs" and "answer arcs", all of them containing their own story and mystery, while giving great character development in the mix. Now, this is were one of its terrific qualities shine, as the question arcs like to withdraw information. They do hint some clues, but it doesn't really tell you what is fully going on in the big picture. And the answer arcs are usually the question arcs, but told in another characters perspective. At first, I was a bit confused, especially in the beginning, but as I continued to watch I soon caught on to what was really going on and why the murders are happening at all.
For the animation, it's nothing to get excited about. I found it pretty average throughout this series, but for some reason I found that it could have done a lot better. I know Studio Deen isn't the best at animation, I've seen Jigoku Shoujo, Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight, so I know where I'm coming from. But I feel if it was a bit more detailed, I would have liked it a whole lot more than I already did. They use a particular kind of animation when they do this. It was like they were animation a romance anime. The style of the animation doesn't change went the show goes into their dark roots and portray the characters as evil they possibly can.
Now, the characters for this series are great, all of which have amazing back stories. All of them ranging from abuse to death of a family member and other wonderful things. The main cast of this show was really well done(for the most part, I did have times where I wanted to slap a character, but still) All of the characters put on a well, established personalities. Most of them were likable and were relate able and that's what I see in a good character or cast. At one point, one could be the main antagonist of the arc and in the next they could be a simple victim, which defiantly works for this anime a lot. It makes it more jarring than it already is in the first place.
The sound for Higurashi was great in the music department. Where it really shines, however, is the more depressing and mysterious music in the background. Not to mention the sound of a cicada makes the whole thing even better, because during the series, I was on the edge of my seat. For the VA's, I would have to go with the subbed rather than the dub. There were a few voices that I did like(Keiichi, Mion and Shion's were my favorites)and some that I didn't. I didn't enjoy Rika's, Satako's, and Rena's voice. I mean they could have gotten someone to do it better. I've listened to Yuki Cross's VA in Vampire Knight English Dubbed and I didn't like it at all, there is proof there if you know what I mean. The VA's were trying to act cute and innocent, but didn't achieve to the standards of VA's who can do that "correctly"(ex. Luci Christian).
As I stressed a lot of its's qualities, there are some things I didn't like about this anime, besides the voice acting in the dubbed version. I didn't like the fact that it the second season to this anime was not as great. The second season was really good, in fact I kept wanting to watch it because how good I thought it was. What I'm saying is that it was inferior to the first. In the first, there was a lot of terror and gore. The second season is more turned down on that factor and it turns more into a thriller rather than a horror. I wish it could have stayed in it's genre, but it was to continue and finish the story, which I didn't mind at the end.
Overall, it is a wonderful series to check out if you are into a mystery shows. But I warn, this is not for everyone, as it displays a lot of frightful psychological insanity. I would suggest getting prepared before entering the hole that is this anime is. Needless to say, I recommend this to anyone who can put up with a lot of fear, because that is what you will be feeling once you finish.
Aug 21, 2008
So, where do i begin? Right from the very first the story has you thrown, the opening few sequences quell your thirst as you watch the first of many entangled mysteries, involving the initial main character Keiichi Maebara play out a horrific opening few minutes.
All of the main characters remain likeable, this despite the stories and events that unfold. Unlike much other anime, where the story unravels gently as the episodes flow, Higurashi cleverly (and at times annoyingly) allows you to observe whats is essentially the same story many times over, each time with differing events and consequences. These seem at first unrelated however as the series goes on we find the stories cleverly intertwining themselves.
The story itself in the first series is composed mainly of the 4 question arcs, each of which takes the viewer down the same path and ultimately the same end, each time a different character becomes embroiled in tragedy, with a big climax ensuing as each arc ends. There are also the first 2 answer arcs, which allow the viewer to see some of the reasons behind the stories and events, but never revealing enough for complete understanding.
How is the music you ask? The musical accompaniment is excellent and captures the emotions of all the key points throughout the series, as i write this i am in fact listening to Higurashi soundtrack music. The opening intro (name same as series itself) becomes very quickly catchy, and whilst the end theme 'Why, or why not?' is not my cup of tea, it is a very appropriate song.
If there is one 'flaw' in the series it is some of the background art, which seems a little bit under detailed at times, however this never has or never will spoil my vast enjoyment of this series (and indeed of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, the second season). The ending episode is also a masterpiece of storytelling, yet it still withholds much of the answers from it's viewers, leaving you wanting yet more.
Overall the series is excellent and well worth a watch, even if the excess violence isn't your cup of tea it is used very well to tie in with the storylines, not just senselessly thrown in for effect.
Not quite my favorite anime (Ranma 1/2 will forever have my heart on that one) but certainly my favorite watch this summer, highly recommended.
Sep 13, 2007
Story: The story focuses on the village of Hinamizawa, and it's hidden and very chilling secrets. Keiichii Maebara has just moved to the countryside village, and is enjoying his new life with his new friends Rena Ryuugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude and Satoko Houjou. But underneath the peaceful times, is the chilling mysteries of the Hinamizawa Dam Construction murders, and the Watangashi festival. With this season split into the 4 question arcs and the first two answer arcs, not everything is answered yet. But the crazy plot twists will keep you eager to watch the next episode, even if you see a gruesome scene or two.
Animation: All the characters (Especially Rena and Rika) look very cute, and the backgrounds are all quite well animated. The art style is wonderful too. But unfortunately, their faces distort to X-stream when they're in psycho mode. These inconsistencies with the animation is sometimes an added plus when it comes to scaring you even more.
Sound: I'm addicted to the OP and ED. I adore the little touch at the end when they do the next episode preview while the piano plays at the end of the ED. The background music also fits in very well, and the voice acting is superb. How can they laugh so well? Must be practice.
Character: I enjoyed every character in at least one arc. I even liked Satoko and Shion in arcs 2 and 3. Though nothing can beat Rika's cute phrases and Rena's graceful style. They all develop through the story at a steady pace. Keichii's behavior changes quite a bit throughout the show too, but I believe that he will be a very strong character in Kai. His determination and his will to trust his friends will pull him through. Oishi and Irie was also great minor characters, but I'm unsure on which side they are really on, and their motives...
Enjoyment: Simply put, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is the perfect anime for anyone that enjoys to really interact, predict and think with the storyline and it's characters. An unbelievable horror anime, and a decent comedy too. Hey, i liked the lame comedy scenes. This is Studio DEEN's masterpiece. read more
Feb 20, 2009
Basically, there are two approaches when watching Higurashi. You may choose to view it as any other anime: wait for the story to unfold, wait for the characters to develop, wait for the plot to advance. It isn't a wrong choice; this way, you may either like or dislike Higurashi; yet you will probably never get beyond the 'killer lolis', 'aww Rena is so adorable', 'okay, something is seriously wrong with this anime' stage. Yes, you might like, maybe even love it; but you will certainly NOT enjoy Higurashi to its full potential, for everything it has to offer.
If you choose the other road, however, you're in for a big torment. You will be annoyed, hurt, growling, and most of all, you will get headaches from the fake hints; to put it easier, you will be mindfucked. Higurashi manages to do something that very few series have succeeded in doing: involve the viewer by making him interact with everything that unfolds on the screen.
Higurashi's main characteristic is that it's intelligently and elegantly indirect. You are shown almost opposite images of the same place, person or event and left to judge by yourself whether that's relevant or not, whether there's something hidden behind the apparent motives and whether it's the correct portrayal of what's actually happening. What may be the correct deduction of a sequence of events at some point is completely overthrown later on; the theories you may have built in the very beginning, some more far-fetched than the others, all crumble as the story progresses. Because Higurashi is so brilliantly created, it actually presents a lot of fake hints, irrelevant tips and confusing matters; but that's all the more reason to enjoy it in the very end and re-watch it as many times as possible.
To put it simply, it's not wrong to view Higurashi as a math problem. You may wait for it to be solved by a teacher or someone in your class and understand it along the way. Or you may try to solve it yourself, by bumping upon walls and dead ends, reaching incorrect results and choosing the wrong parameters – but having a feeling of a much deeper satisfaction once you finish it.
Higurashi's story is its strongest point. The viewer is presented a series of 6 of the 8 main sound novel arcs, all beginning at approximately the same point, having certain common characteristics, but unfolding differently. If you are not a fan of 'what if?' scenarios, then this certainly isn't for you. However, if you do enjoy putting the pieces together and forming a puzzle (which lacks the very core—the margins, only to be completed on season 2), then you will find this extremely entertaining.
Checking Higurashi's synopsis, you will see that there are question arcs and answer arcs. Do not be naive. Answer arcs might solve apparent issues, but they only bring up even more questions – related to the overall story. Don't watch Higurashi expecting to see that if 'a+b=c, then b=c-a'. Higurashi will simply say: 'a + something = c, I'll only give you bits and scraps hinting to what that certain something is, so use your brain to figure out the truth, 'cause I'm not gonna tell ya directly.'
If you are to take each of Higurashi's arcs separately, they all follow the same pattern. Each scenario begins with a peaceful, tranquil Hinamizawa in the summer light, only to end up in a diametrically opposed atmosphere. This might sound quite repetitive in the beginning, but do not forget that it's only a means of hiding the true face of this show. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking each arc can be seen individually; Higurashi does have an overall plot that links together the sectioned, secondary stories.
Higurashi's characters are all really refreshing, strong-determined and easy to recognize. Although their evolution throughout each arc might seem a bit inconsistent, they do develop from scenario to scenario, which only adds up to the enjoyment.
Keiichi is a strong main male character. And he should be, considering what he has to face. It's not just unusual club activities or dealing with a lot of girls; Keiichi has to have the willpower to take what he sees as the (often regretful) right decision at the right time. Keiichi isn't a person to back up when it comes to challenges or teasing; if it's within his reach, he'll do anything to have the best possible outcome.
Rena is a character that might seem extremely likable in the very beginning, but her patterns of acting do tend to get a bit overused as the series progresses. Rena is a typical, nice, charming girl; however, remember that this is Higurashi, so nothing actually is as the first impression suggests. Rena has her dark sides too; quite a lot, in fact. She's one of the elements that give the series its most eerie moments.
Mion is the sanest of all the characters. She's pretty much a walking contrast between how she acts and how she feels. Mion is a game freak and a challenges and penalties lover; that, and the fact that she refers to herself as 'an old man', give off a tomboy aura. Despite this, Mion also has a lot of girly sides, which are mostly shown throughout the second and fifth arc, which center around her and her sister Shion.
Most of the times, Shion is missing from the main, 5 club members group. However, she has an entire arc shown through her perspective. Shion's story is one of the most touching and well executed throughout the show; it clearly shows how easy it is for a person's completely logical and functional world to be thrown upside-down through a series of misunderstandings that pile up and make it crumble eventually.
Satoko is quite a controversial character. Most of the time, she acts like an annoying brat that tries to show off – however, she also has a darker side of the story, materialized through the torments received from her (adoptive) parents and the disappearance of her brother Satoshi. Satoko's arc might seem a bit repulsing in the beginning; however, it only gives her the right portrayal of her personality.
I deliberately left Rika for the end; she's the only character that doesn't have her very own arc in the first season, and there's a good reason for that. As the first 6 scenarios suggest, there's something more that comes to Rika than her joyful 'Nii~pa' or her habit of patting the heads.
ART AND SOUND
Higurashi's art is probably its only flaw. It certainly differs from the symmetrical, big-eyed, perfectly aligned bodies the viewer might be used to. This might seem like a turn-off in the beginning, but it actually manages to catch the unstable spirit of the anime quite well after a while. Despite this, there is a good part too: a big effort was put into backgrounds; they look realistic and flow nicely, deepening Hinamizawa's tranquility.
Unlike the art, the sound of Higurashi is excellent. The actors did an extraordinary job managing to capture all voice fluctuations, especially the negative inducing ones. Shion's laughter is probably one of the creepiest things you'll find in an anime; Rena's 'Uso da!' will surely give you a chill down your spine; Keiichi's paranoid screams will make you paranoid as well. It's not easy portraying such a wide range of emotions, yet Higurashi doesn't fail. There's also the constant chirping of cicadas that can be heard in the background; hence the series' name. This often compensates the background music, which is only above average. OP theme is terrific, being one of the very first elements that might attract the viewer into watching the anime, since you'll just feel like listening to it countless times; still, ED might seem a bit unusual, since it's sung in (a pretty weird) English.
Like I mentioned before, Higurashi isn't a series for everyone. If you watch it expecting to be a horror, bloody show or just another harem, then you'll probably not like it. Higurashi's main function isn't to have horror, fanservice, tragic pasts or cute moments. Sure, it does contain its fair share of all of these; but Higurashi's purpose is to involve the viewer into a really intricate and entertaining mystery and make fun of him being fooled by fake pieces of information. If you do expect something different, however, you might just discover a hidden behind the curtain masterpiece – for Higurashi is certainly special and extremely enjoyable.
In a world where a lot of anime series offer fans simple, almost nonexistent plots with cliché and predictable characters, humor that's either brilliant or fail, tons of useless fanservice and many other simplicities just for the sake of existing, Higurashi certainly stands out – as being an intelligent series where a lot of effort was put into breaking the boundaries and giving the viewer an overall extremely satisfying impression and enjoyable (though often confusing) watch. read more
Jan 21, 2012
...And what a story it is! As afore mentioned the story is told in stand-alone arcs, that is, they don't seem to be all that related to one another, and one could exist without the others. Then at the end, the writers manage to find a way to wrap all of this up, the story arcs that seemed too distant to be part of the same show finally make sense, and that in and of itself is rather gruesome as well. But that wasn't enough to satiate the bloodthirsty appetite of these writers. On top of the gore they had to include psychological complications in the cast that sends shivers down your spine, combining the gore and the mental breakdowns they managed to create a gruesome tale envied by the likes of Frankenstein (reference to the original book).
But gore isn't all this anime has to offer, plot twists, despite being limited by it's stand-alone arc style, stand on par with (or at least near) "Baccano!" and "Durarara!!"
The screen effects are beyond it's years, this anime manages to pull of stunning visuals not found in anime around 2006 outside of the budget monsters (Inuyasha and such). The blood is realistic, though some wounds, like a slit throat, are not shown. It's strange as they will show entrails, but not a bashed-in skull. Still the art style and the non excessive amount of blood gives the violence a very realistic sort of feeling.
Now character art is where my complaint lies. Rika and Satako's designs seem appropriate, and despite myself, I find them rather cute. Rena's personality argues her design, so no problems there. However Keiichi, Shion, and Mion's designs are way out of line in my opinion. It seems the art was dedicated a bit too much towards the blood and not enough on designs for the main cast. However, the story just dragged me right past that by the second episode and the art no longer bothered me.
Being children one and all the voices of the cast are all very similar in Japanese. In English, however, the voices differ quit e bit, so I personally prefer the dubbed. That said the characters personalities and designs are all quite different so the voices aren't a nuisance in Japanese either. The opening is beautifully choreographed, with an eerie chill that will send shivers up and down your spine. The ending is symbolic, but the song seems strangely misplaced, likely to try and attract viewers, but no points lost there. The soundtrack suits this anime perfectly, interrupted periodically by the call of a nocturnal cicada (higurashi), or a crow seeking out blood.
The characters are beautifully developed throughout the series, all of them. Even those who get less screen time, the main six (Keiichi, Mion, Shion, Rena, Rika, and Satako), while shrouded in mystery, all have well established personalities, pasts, and are all likable. This show will twist and turn you sensibilities as it portrays it's characters as serial murders one minute and pitiful victims the next. Or perhaps at the same time, the viewer is left to fend for him/herself as any predictability is slowly stripped from his/her hands.
Truly not intended for anyone who can't take some rather messy details or frighteningly unstable psychology. But I believe anyone would be able to enjoy it, just mentally prepare yourself before hand. With just enough lighthearted comedy in the mix to keep the flavor of this show changing, you'll be anything but bored.
You're not gonna have time to sit on the edge of your seat, I suggest you take a comfortable position now because once you start you face will be glued to the screen. I suggest you periodically make sure you've remembered to breathe. read more
Jul 13, 2007
This story is actually made of several completely seperate but loosely related story arcs. At the begining of each things are almost exactly the same each time. They all start right before the festival begins and follows through the mysterious killings and to the conclusion of what acctually happened. And it's always the same person who gets killed and the same person who goes missing. The diffences come in the hows and whys (Kind of like the end of the movie 'Clue' "This is how it could have happened...") . The past events and explainations for the deaths are completely different everytime. And in the end you are left wondering what really happened.
It's a pyschological thriller, and overall a very twisted anime. It will have you shaking your head asking yourself, "What the.....?" and running in fear of any girl under the age of ten. So needless to say I highly recommend it.
Oct 5, 2008
It starts off like your standard anime with several lighthearted moments all the way through the first episode. However, you’d be a fool to think that this is all there is to it. This is not that type of show. Higurashi masterfully combines physiological, mystery, horror and comedy in a way that is simply remarkable. The anime is mind breaking and murderously genius. It is so brilliant and unique that it’s almost criminal to not give it the credit it deserves.
It takes physiological and horror to a different level, it makes you feel secured using lighthearted moments to give the audience a feeling of false security. The next thing you know, you might be looking right at death and despair. Trust me, it will happen.
The main five characters are Keiichi, Rena, Mion, Satoko and Rika. They all play important roles in the series and their actions throughout each chapter decide the outcome of the Arc (good or bad ending). They all seem to lead carefree lives in Hinamizawa but in reality, they all possess a much darker and sadder history behind them than they appear to have. Throughout the series, they somehow get involved several times with Oyashiro-sama’s curse (the local God) and unfortunate chain of events are triggered every time.
The anime/manga is divided into “Arcs” or Chapters (-hen). The first part of the anime are the “Question Arcs”, showing us the mysterious deaths, Oyashiro-sama’s curse, and the mystery behind the bizarre town of Hinamizawa. The second part, “Answer Arcs”, provides us with answers to several events that happen in the first part. The events in the following arcs may seem similar but the way in which they unfold and the events are quite different than the past arcs. Additionally, throughout the series there are plenty of clues, speculations and theories that are hinted to help you solve the mysteries behind the town. It is imperative to pay great attention to them and you’ll see that the mystery behind the town of Hinamizawa slowly unwraps.
Overall, the music in Higurashi (Kai) perfectly fits the anime. The opening song “When they Cry” flawlessly portrays the dark, raging, and murderous feeling of the anime while contrasting it with scenes of serenity, sorrow and uncertainty. Similarly, the ending theme “Why or why Not?” and the other OST songs are calm and pleasant to listen to.
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni is a show that should not missed, nonetheless, it is not a show for the overly sensitive, feint hearted, and simple minded due to the bloody scenes and complexity of the show itself. If you are not into physiological-mystery or cannot handle graphic scenes you will not enjoy to the fullest and you will fail to appreciate it. If you are looking for an incredibly unique, very complex and extremely engaging show, this anime is right for you.
Mar 14, 2008
The storyline follows a small group of friends who live in a village called Hinamizawa. Not all seems be like it should be here, though...
The characters are pretty interesting, to say the least, and they're pretty well "built up". It's pretty obvious that they're a bit crazy at some point, depending on which story arc you're watching.
The story is pretty good, because it leaves you guessing all the time, and even though it may seem a bit confusing at first, don't be discouraged; you start to understand as you watch more of it.
The animation is pretty cool, but also kind of lame, especially their facial expressions at times. It's a pretty mediocre result, really.
All in all, this is a really good show, but it has its flaws. As long as you can tolerate some confusion and bloody murdering, you're gonna like this show.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)
Dec 6, 2007
The characters for this anime are what deceive you, into a false sense of security, as someone who may not much about it will think of this as a harem (1 guy + cute girls). However these mysterious characters help bring genuine fear, to those who watch this, as you just don’t know what to expect when you add mental instability to the mix.
The one thing that lets this anime down was the animation, as it is incredibly inconsistent. There was very little detail put into the character designs but worse was the disfigured faces as a means of portraying insanity. Nonetheless the animation was pretty fluid and the characters facial expressions were fairly frightening, to suit this creepy anime. The music does a great job in setting the right moods, with creepy melodies to go with eerie tone and sinister music when someone’s being bludgeoned to death.
Overall it’s hard to find a series that that portrays a murder mystery as well as this one; as it perfectly executes suspense, climax and shocking moments to make it exciting to watch. It was quite troubling that it left a lot of questions unanswered, but that is what the 2nd season is for. The real problem was how poorly executed the ending was, as it didn’t make the slightest bit of sense. Taking that into account, the overall feeling got from watching this anime isn’t lost. So I recommend Higurashi no Naku Koro ni to any anime fan, who can handle a bit of mind torture.
^_^ read more
May 22, 2014
The story starts out in a small town, Hinamizawa, just before the Watanagashi Festival (cotton drifting) and it focuses on Maebara Keiichi, who recently moved to this town, and his close group of friends. Since 4 years ago on the night of this festival, someone dies and someone else disappears.
Man, aside from the opening scene from episode one I didn't expect the show to take such a dark and interesting turn. But quickly this show wanted to prove me wrong and by episode three already had me shocked at what I was seeing. One problem I have with a lot of these horror, psychological shows is the pacing, but here I can actually say there was not one minute I was bored. The story sucked me in and I could keep my eyes off of my screen. At first I was a bit worried about the story telling style, which covers many arcs and resets after a couple episodes to tell a new story but still relating to the last story. As it went on though, I really enjoyed this interesting story telling style and though it fit perfectly.
The art was not good. At all. It took a couple episodes for me to get used to it and be able to ignore it and just focus on the story. I’m not going to even try and defend the animation. There were many points where I would chuckle at the faces because either the mouth was to low or high, the nose was off, the eyes where messed up or they had a double or even triple chin.
The sound for this show was good but nothing extremely special. They had decent sound effects and a fitting soundtrack. The OP was fantastic though, and fit the show perfectly.
Another place that Higurashi stands out is with the characters. First of all, is the main character Maebara Keiichi. He’s not your average MC, you know the oblivious guy that starts out as an introvert and eventually becomes a kickass hero. Nah, he just starts out kickass and surprisingly not oblivious to his surroundings. There are so many times I would be thinking "Damn it there’s something to fix the problem right next to you, use it!", and literally before I could finish this thought he would use his surroundings and get out of the situation! I just really loved the fact that he wasn't a completely useless MC. Now we move on the rest of the cast (to keep away spoilers from any singular character I'm going to bunch them together in a group). As I was watching I went through so many different emotions for each character, love, hate, sorrow, shock ect. Each character has their problems. I loved the fact that nobody was perfect, everyone had flaws, ups and downs but you could almost always empathize with the characters and what was happening to them.
This was the first show in a very long time that I literally could not stop watching and instantly became one of my favorite shows. It’s a roller coaster ride through and through and provided me with a great watch to celebrate the end of my finals
If you enjoy the horror, psychological, thriller and mystery genres, I highly recommend that you watch this show. It may take a little to be able to get past some of the bad animation but if you can get around it, I found it to be an insanely interesting story and show that kept me at the edge of my seat.
(P.S.) Any feedback on what you liked or what I need to improve upon in future reviews is greatly appreciated. read more
Sep 8, 2007
On the surface, Higurashi seems like a cute and moe anime that’s chockfull of loli girls forming their own harem for the main character Keichi. It’s not. Seriously, a small village separated from the rest of the world has “murder” written all over it.
Who knew cutesy characters and blood would make a psychotic anime that’s absolutely fun to watch? I’ve always liked cute anime and violent anime but I never thought I’d find one that incorporates both. Whoever made this into an anime knows me too well. It’s even funny sometimes, and I love watching anime that makes me laugh. It also makes me think and come up with conclusions, another aspect I like about it. Combining all four elements I mentioned is no easy feat, and yet this anime was able to accomplish it.
I like how the characters have split personalities. For the first episodes of each arc, they’re all happy, cheerful and cute, then all of a sudden, they become psychos. That’s when I think “So this is when the real fun starts”. My favorite character would have to be Rika Furude. She’s so cute and innocent looking, but you can’t help wonder if that’s just a façade. I’m still confused about her. She and the other girls are sort of like angels with dirty faces (or plain old schizos).
However, as for the voice actors, seiyu Mai Nakahara will have to be my favorite. In the series I’ve watched, she always played the upbeat and cheerful girl, but by playing Rena you get to hear her voice in a different way. I love how the girls’ voices change from happy to psychotic in a heartbeat.
The animation is sort of a mixed bag. As a whole, everything looks great, specially the backgrounds. However, the character designs need some work. It’s just too inconsistent, and there are times when the characters end up looking deformed and pretzel-like. I like the choice of color though – it’s a fine mix of pastel hues and vibrant colors.
The BGM was good, but the sound effects were even better. The sound effects were very convincing, and it heightens the tension and feel of those especially violent scenes. Hearing the sound of bodies being mutilated was enough to send chills down my spine. I liked the OP very much, I have heard nothing like it before, but I like the Engrish ED too. It’s mellow but creepy.
This isn’t really a spoiler, but more of an explanation on how the storyline operates. Basically, Higurashi is divided into arcs, the longest arc had 6 episodes and the shortest had 2 episodes. In the first season, there are 4 question arcs, which pose a situation that’s left unsolved, and there are 2 answer arcs (the other 2 will be featured in the second season), which will explain the question arcs. The 4 question and answer arcs are distinct from each other, with some constants (Rika is still the Miko, Keichi is still a transfer student, etc). I think they made the series that way because that was how the video game was.
If you’re not into anime that will potentially have you scratching your head, then this isn’t for you, but I urge everyone who reads this review to give Higurashi a try, because in all honesty it is one of the best series I’ve seen in my life. read more
Nov 12, 2008
Okay, so, I'm not one for watching any show or movie that falls under the gore or horror genres. Many of my friends enjoy horror and gore, and since I hadn't really seen any before, I was reluctant to start this. This anime was kinda a stumble upon, and from this anime, I started to watch anime on a more regular basis. When I started watching Higurashi, it was awfully confusing, and it was nowhere near what I had expected in what looked like to be a rather simple plot. I could understand why some people may have dropped it, but when I continued watching on, I found it rather rewarding and enjoyable. Just a note that there are a lot of laughing screaming girls around...
It's kinda hard to explain the plot without giving too much away. To say it rather simply, a young boy called Maebara Keiichi and his family move to what seems to be a relaxed and quiet little village called Hinamizawa. After a few days, he becomes known around the village, and rather easily makes friends at his school. One day, he accidentally finds out about a series of murders and disappearances that take place around the village every June during the celebration of The Shrine God. These murders are believed to be a "curse" that falls upon one, when they have angered the Shrine God. The question remains open to you, as to whether the murders and disappearances are caused by human means, or whether it is supernatural. The answers are revealed to you slowly, and the truth may be a little startling.
The story was mainly confusing, as I did not, at first, understand the concept of "arcs". After a while, it became clear that this was more than a simple "who dunnit?" mystery. Each arc presented us with both questions and answers without going so far as to driving our brains into overdrive. The first half of the series told the story from Keiichi's point of view. The unknowns surrounding both him and the audience give us a feeling that we are in the same position as him, and that in order to uncover the truth, we have to decide ourselves what is fact or fiction, who is deceiving us and who are the people we can believe. The second half of Higurashi presented to us many answers. It revealed to us some answers, and the truth that may make you get the feeling that bugs are crawling beneath your skin... Certainly a strong plot, and a rather interesting way of presenting it, it did lack the suspense and tension that are produced by other anime. The plot stays firm, and does not veer off into something else. Everything is related someway or another.
Now, personally, I don't really think you can call this "horror" though. The plot was very complex but the animation is rather horrible and of very low standard. It is very inconsistent and the position of facial features seem to vary every few episodes, giving a feel that this was a rather low budget anime. Don't get me wrong, the character design is fairly interesting, although a lot of the time, the facial expressions, the character's movements and "camera angles" did not match the expressions of what was being said (most notably, the ladder scene early in the series). Thankfully though, the animation is compensated by an excellent soundtrack and outstanding voice acting. The soundtrack is simply beautiful! It matches the tone and mood of each scene almost perfectly. The opening and closing themes were also excellent (despite the closings bad engrish), although there was room for improvement in the opening, but I think I'd be asking too much for an already very good opening. Exceptional performances by the voice actors, especially from Hoshi Souichirou playing Keiichi and Yukino Satsuki voicing both Mion and Shion. Rena's voice seems to fluctuate a lot, and varies every so often.
Okay, so the animation is fairly terrible, and the plot at the start was a little confusing, although after watching it for the season, the complexity of the plot becomes clearer and what is revealed to be an interesting story, which I found very much enjoyable. Interesting and complex characters, high quality soundtrack and outstanding performances from the voice actors makes me give this anime an overall 8.5 out of 10. For those who have watched this, if you haven't already, I would strongly suggest you watch Higurashi no naku koro ni Kai. Kai has many more answers to the series, and ties the whole thing together, although contains much less blood than this season. read more
Nov 8, 2007
I do have a rather disturbing view on animes such as this, as well as others that are mature, violent and have tragic, jealous love stories - they are my favorites if done correctly and this one is done amazingly and that is only one part of what I love. There are an assortment of murders, but you are never sure what to believe or what to think, nor what is good and what is wrong and they are all done for the best reasons - the reasons that I look for in anime, books, movies and anything else because they are the true human emotions - love, jealousy, family, fear, protectiveness of those that you love, abuse, sibling love, first love, first crushes and everything else that makes a person what they are. Things that would be precious memories are nothing more than a myriad of blurs and confusion in which the main character sometimes does not know what is real and neither does the viewer. If you can top a psychological thriller with supernatural elements, then I am in my glory and this anime does just that.
Aforementioned, the first moments of the anime immediately will let you know if you can stand this kind of anime or not - a lot of is done like the beginning, which you see a rather vague vision of a guy beating something on the ground most likely to death with what looks like a bat, but you have no idea why, obviously and you do not see the actual beating, it is left to the imagination and much of the anime is like this and if you have an active imagination like me, filled with theories, then this anime is perfect for you!
Once the shocking beginning is over, if you are still watching and did not get disturbed and turn away from your screen, you are put into the normal setting for an anime - or so you think. You see a bunch of beautiful girls that look very different and act very different, as well, and the main character guy that was just doing the beating in the beginning, and they are all in school having a dandy time.
By now, you already know that this is not a happy, simple anime, so nothing obviously is what it seems and your mind immediately starts racing as to what just happened and if the violence started so soon, when could the next thing happen and it could literally happen at any moment!
The main characters live in a tiny little village away from main cities and civilization and they only have about 2,000 people in the entire town. The school where the main characters go is nothing more than one classroom which houses all the students in the town, from grade-school to high school, all in one classroom and there are only 15 students altogether, so once you learn this, you are creeped out even more because this is a very unique and disturbing setting. The town is in the middle of a beautiful, huge forest and the whole area is very majestic and isolated.
The storyline of this anime is so intricate and woven that it really is hard to explain in words and I sat for a while before even trying to write this. You will want to watch the scenes again to make sure you didn't miss anything and so many things will rush through your head when you watch this anime because so many things happen unexpectedly and you have no idea why.
Contrary to what I thought, there isn't really an awful lot of actual violence on screen and the first animation I saw was one of the worst ones in the anime. However! There are a ton of different horrific things that happen, but you only get to see the beginning of them for most of the anime and your mind is left to figure out everything else, but really is hard to do!
For me, once again, this anime was perfect. I love watching things where you have to think and have theories and it makes your mind work, and this anime does just that. I was constantly trying to figure out what was happening and who was really who and even though I was right a lot of the time, when I was right, it was just totally more disturbing because the things I thought were very creepy.
This is a psychological supernatural thriller. There are very horrible things that happen very often, but you, the viewer are left to figure out what is real and what is not and who is really in the wrong and in the right. The first season of the anime covers four question arcs and two answer arcs, where the second season will hopefully finish the rest up.
The voice actors... oh, the voice actors were possibly among the best I have ever heard and they were totally satisfying for reach situation. Sometimes someone screams in a situation or laughs insanely, but they are not good at it - that is not the case in Higurashi. All the voice actors are extremely talented at their roles and most of them will actually give you chills at one point or another.
I loved the art! The facial expressions and the different ways the characters eyes would change were absolute genius and I loved how the screen would slowly go over to their faces, so that you, the viewer, would have to wonder what their expression would be - would the character be sane at the moment, or would they be out of their mind? They also did not only have one expression for when people were upset and mad and insane, there were many different expressions for the different characters - they all have their own personal insanities!
The music is absolutely awesome for the anime. I got two of the soundtracks afterwards and have been listening to them non-stop. The music goes perfectly with the anime and sometimes it's happy, but generally it's creepy, psychotic, mysterious and makes you very nervous and scared, but it's also beautifully done. The opening theme will capture you and drag you in and you will have it stuck in your head non-stop and trust me, that is a good thing because it is awesome!
I highly suggest this anime to anyone that liked animes such as Elfen Lied, which is another of my favorites. This anime is now among my favorites and I highly await watching the sequel, which I have not started yet and I am so happy to have come across this anime, I will admit... I LOVE THIS ANIME!
Aug 16, 2008
However, upon my completion of the anime and the 2 subsequent seasons that followed, I came to the conclusion that this praise was COMPLETELY undeserved by the anime, which is mediocre in the intellectual department, and is much less a mystery story than it is an action/adventure story with a lot of secrets. Furthermore, any actual "mystery" behind the story is made impossible to solve by the introduction of unnecessary paranormal elements and fictional diseases.
Overall, I was very disappointed by this anime, and it is not worth the hype.
Story: The first part of the first season I found to be very interesting indeed. Everything was confined within the laws of physics, and I was constantly on my toes trying to solve the mystery of Hinamizawa. Sadly, the story floundered from the last arc of the first season up to halfway through the second season, and it became a chore to watch. The introduction of unnecessary paranormal elements and fictional diseases did not help either, and only served to further complicate the plot while not adding much value to the story. In any case, we certainly could have done without them. Luckily, the story picks back up during the second half of the second season, which greatly makes up for the absolute failure of a first half, and you'll probably find yourself pleased with the ending.
Overall I would say that the story lowered itself from what it could be (an awesome mystery story) to what it is now... a confusing action adventure story for people that like to pretend they know what's going on from the very first episode.
Score - 6; Completely overrated. So much wasted potential...
Art: I wouldn't say that the art is completely terrible, but it certainly could've been better. The artist uses gradeschool techniques of using unusual hair to differentiate the characters. Okay. The little girls are anorexic and have square-shaped heads. Alright. Mion and Shion have stereotypical oversized breasts. I'm losing my patience...
Then I figured out that Teppei Houjou is a recolor of Ooishi.
Now I'm just angry.
The blood and gore portrayed in the anime does help alleviate the pains of this travesty though, and the general art style isn't atrocious like in some other anime I know, so I can't give it a 0.
Score - 3; Everything you would expect to see in an anime, with added blood. I don't see why everyone thinks it's so special.
Sound: I found that the voice actors fit the characters well, and I was also impressed by the ending and opening themes for each series. However, I found some of the character dialogue cheesy, and some of the children's speech patterns were annoying (okay Satoko, you miss your brother, we get it.)
Score - 7; The VA's were good, the soundtrack is nothing to scoff at, but the dialogue is not without its flaws.
Characters: You know, I must admit that the character development was pretty "good". In fact, it was so "good", that I was bored by it. I found Rika's long tangents later in the series to be uninformative, uninteresting, and unimportant. But it's okay because "it helps build her character!" right?
Furthermore, I don't see why the hell the older characters would even bother to hang around with the younger ones, aside from Shion that is. And, more importantly, why the devil does someone like Satoko know guerrilla warfare!? Humorous as it may be, I don't believe it is ever explained.
(and even if it is, that doesn't explain why she can knock Keiichi flat across the room without batting an eyelash!)
Score - 4; I was sarcastic when I said that the character development was good.
Enjoyment: Despite being highly disappointed by the anime as a whole, the ending was cute and the beginning does get you hooked pretty quickly, so I did moderately enjoy it.
I think my favorite arc was when Keiichi threw the ohagi at the wall. I lol'd pretty hard.
Score - 7; Maybe I'm being generous, but I had a few good laughs and there was nothing better than seeing the look on Keiichi's face when that ohagi went splat.
Overall - 6; Although I was highly disappointed by it, the anime did have its good points. My advice to you is don't listen to the hype and don't bother with it unless you like shoddy, confusing storylines. read more
Apr 4, 2014
This is a spoiler free review (none beyond episode 4 anyway) and it covers both seasons.
The story takes place in Hinamizawa, a small town (based on a real life location) where a teenage boy named Maebara Keichi just moved in with his family. And he spends his days playing fun games with his friends. However, it doesn't take long for him to realize that something is not quite right with this town (understatement of the century).
Back when I first watched it, this premise seemed very simple to me... and it is. So I thought I was in for a basic mystery/horror anime. Needless to say, Higurashi is not exactly what I expected...
What really impressed me about the story is how skillfully and carefully crafted it is. The first season is separated in to several arcs and each one starts out more or less the same but they eventually take different routes and contain very different developments, turns and conclusions. Each arc is also portrayed from a different character's perspective and leaves you to figure out how one arc is related to the other (if at all). At one point it will throw in a twist that will change the direction the viewer takes to find the answer, that is until it throws another twist on top of it that makes the previous one nothing but a red herring. This is an excellent way of keeping the viewer busy and keeping up the tension while simultaneously keeping him entirely in the dark. This also makes the story complex and is useful in making the viewer's head explode in the process (what the hell is going on!)
Though I must say that it also misleads you in to thinking the answer is one thing, when the fact remains that it's something you had no way of figuring out in the first place. So this might hurt the mystery aspect of the story, since it's a mystery that is nearly impossible for the viewer to solve before the answers are revealed in the second season. On the bright side however, the answer is in plain sight the whole time with brilliant foreshadowing right from the first few episodes. It's just hidden inside a great deal of insanity so the viewer won't be able to see it clearly. This also makes Higurashi more rewatchable and once you rewatch it, you'll know exactly what to look for (OMG! I didn't notice that the first time around!)
Some people are turned off by the first season because of its repetition and the fact that the first half of each arc is basically just slice of life/comedy, but I didn't mind it much in this particular case, since even some of the comedy bits were essential parts of the narrative and it was also a good opportunity to flesh out the characters (not to mention it makes for good build up). So I thought it was handled very well for the most part.
In the second season the series becomes more of a thriller with an overarching storyline in which the questions are answered. This does mean that it loses part of its charm of being a creepy horror anime, where the viewer plays a game of connect the irrelevant dots. But at the same time, it more than makes up for that by halting its repetitive nature and having more of a steady pace that keeps the viewer craving for more. In addition, things do get wrapped up in a manner that will likely leave you satisfied in the end, but don't expect too much realism out of it since the ending does come off as a little... well, forced.
Overall the story isn't exactly Shakespeare, nor does it have any realism or attempt to make sense, since It unfolds very conveniently for the most part and it keeps the viewer in the dark for very long (which is generally not a good thing). The strength it has is mainly in its many details and the unusual presentation that eventually reveals an interesting big picture that was actually in plain sight the entire time. Which is pretty freakin awesome.
Higurashi is not a harem, but the main cast does consist of harem Archetypes which is to be expected from a visual novel adaptation, I guess (I don't play VNs). You have a complete moeblob (Omoch Kairi!) 2 lolis, a tomboy and her more ladylike twin sister. Oh, and you also have some adults as well.
And of course there's the male "lead" Keichi who despite not being the usual harem lead and is surrounded mainly by harem archetypes, somehow ended up being the least memorable character. I don't know how that happened, it's not like he's a blank slate, he's just overshadowed by the presence of harem characters that happened to be very well done.
They all have some sort of dark past that eventually emerges and they are given a lot of focus. Some of the characters' dark interiors are hinted in the comedic moments as well, which is also very interesting to see. Especially when rewatching.
And their chemistry together is some of the best I've ever seen with such characters, it's fun to simply watch them play cards or something. This makes the intense moments all the more powerful because you actually care about the characters involved.
All they're backgrounds are very rich and they each have certain roles in this small town. They each have some kind of background that is relevant to the plot in one way or another and this is explored pretty deeply until the their backgrounds basically become part of the forefront in the narrative. So this is quite impressive.
The characters do develop eventually, but it's nothing that noteworthy (for most of them anyway) since the characterization here is very unrealistic and over the top. They're all mentally unstable and there's a pretty good reason for it, but the timing of their insanity doesn't seem to make sense, it just sort of comes and goes when it's convenient.
And although some characters are more important than others, when it comes to the plot from a point on, the others still play certain roles, and it does the best in making you feel like their existence isn't just for pandering purposes. And it does that quite successfully.
Overall, the characters aren't the most unique, nor are they very realistic. But they are very memorable, well above average for their kind, an essential part of the story and a ton of fun to watch.
The character designs and animation are both pretty simplistic looking, and it does have somewhat bright colors so it can be all the more shocking when the massacre comes along (shock effect!). But I think it fits with the tone of the show and it makes everything look creepier and gritty. I don't think this show would've worked if it had fancy animation with Kyoani style fluid movements.
The backgrounds are actually very nice, since they're based on real locations. It's actually pretty scary to see how closely they resemble the real thing.
I also liked that the gore wasn't as graphic as you'd expect and it leaves a lot to your imagination. Which adds to the creepiness.
The directing is great for the most part, which is why Higurashi is a success in horror. But it does repeat a few of the effects a little too often, like having the camera close up on a character's expression at a fast pace during an intense moment. And at times the characters lips don't really fit the dialogue, it almost looks like it was deliberate (what's up with that?). It was still pretty cool though.
I would argue that the opening song is still one of the best in anime. It is both creepy as hell and the lyrics are very nice. The same goes for the opening of the second season as well which is just as creepy. The ending songs do fit the atmosphere, but the amount of Engrish is kind of a turn off for me. The soundtrack in general is excellent, though no particular tune stuck with me since it seems to have too much variety or it's either too quiet for me to remember.
I don't speak Japanese, but it's pretty obvious that the voice acting gets very over the top at times. It was still handled well and most notably, there are some very memorable crazy laughs that will give you nightmares. Don't expect the most subtle performance out of it though.
The sound effects are noticeably good and sound extremely creepy as well. They take up a good chunk of the cinematics.
It's been a few years since I've watched it, but I enjoyed every second of it. I even liked the slice of life parts, surprisingly.
All in all, Higurashi is smart enough to appeal to the intellectual crowd, gory enough to appeal to the gore fans and has more than enough cute girls to appeal to the moe fandom.
I also think it's a modern classic that will be remembered for doing horror anime right. read more
May 25, 2013
People start watching Higurashi only knowing about a guy, Maebara Keiichi, who moves to Hinamizawa and creepy stuff is supposed to happen next. So until you get to the 2nd season I would totally suggest you not to pay very much attention in the show, but enjoy it instead. It will be gore, lots of blood and numerous crime scenes. That's what Higurashi is all about. If you're into that, just go for it without second thought. But if you're not a fan of animes which include violence and deaths, you're definitely in the wrong path.
Also, another feature Higurashi has, is to make you totally confused. One of its specials, actually. But don't worry, if you do as I said and just enjoy the show up to the last episodes, then Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kaku (2nd season) is going to answer to all your questions.
So now i shall continue to my rating.
Multiple ways of deaths, a lot of creepy behaviours, sources of mystery and of course gore. All that, while at the same time the viewer trys to find out what's going on. Sounds pretty cool, right? :P
-Art: 9- -Sound: 9-
I found the expressions of the characters the most creepy part of the show. Seriously, when I first checked Higurashi out, I thought: "Some friends/classmates spending time together and having fun, what's wrong with that?"
When I decided to try it out, even from the first minute (especially when I got to the opening, which is an AMAZING song) my mind was blown out.
Who could imagine that such ordinary faces for an anime would be actually the most creepy and violent ones I've ever seen. Big eyes. Loud laughter. Powerful voice. They all look and behave like that when they turn into their 'creepy side'. That was the most decent about the show which was accompanied with excellent backround music, which I gave it a 9. Epic success.
I mentioned above what I liked about the characters, still not all of them acted like that, not all of them turned into 'mad' ones. Some of them were very week, not understandable to even childish at times. That is according to my opinion, 'cause at the same time someone may relate to a character I didn't even like, so that depends on tastes most. But all of them had a story behind them, a past. Well, I might learned some things from that. And not only me, but every viewer. Trying to overcome your fears, yourself, your mistakes. Trying harder and harder in order to please or thank someone, fighting for someone or even dying for someone. The creators sure would have liked the characters to pass those messages about life to the viewers, and there are many messages like that, referring to family, love, relatioships between people, and many more as well. All I have to say is that they definitely managed to do it.
I really enjoyed Higurashi and I'm definitely watching it again in the future. It's a really unique anime while it can cause you a mindblown but in a really decent way. I don't know how it does it, but what i know for sure is, that makes me enjoy it and consider it as one of the best animes I have ever watched.
Well, the truth is that this anime is worth a 10 BUT. I dont think the perfect anime exists and I also believe that each every one has it's own beauty, its own "perfection".
So, I will bring my review to its end by saying that Higurashi is an amazing, creepy, gore, mystery and psychological (and horror/thriller as well) anime, giving you the chills by its characters (the most of them), but relaxing you by its art and making you puzzled by its twists and special plot. You should totally give it a chance.
*Note 1: Do not drop it if it scares you, you'll miss the whole action and *advice* watch it on day
*Note 2: Same goes for if you get confused. You'll never manage to find out the main story of the anime, even if you go to the 2nd season you won't understand anything
It's a really good anime, so if you intend to start it, please don't drop it for any reason!
I am sure you are going to enjoy it, as I did! read more