26 of 26 episodes seen
It doesn't take long for us to get to know the main characters as they're all introduced in the very first episode. They're all students at the only school in the village of Hinamizawa: cute-thing-obsessed "Hau Omochikaeri~" Rena, tomboyish class president Mion, likeable Rika, creative and trap-loving Satoko and Keiichi, the transfer student. They're all spending their days playing games, going on picnics and having fun on the annual Watanagashi Festival in June. This goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover - not long after Keiichi transfers, mysterious killings and kidnappings start to occur in the otherwise peaceful village and the young boy believes that his new friends are involved. This is a story of doubt, suspence, suspicion of the ones closest to you, and most of all - a story of fate . Why fate - you'll see soon enough.
Well, the animation certainly leaves a lot to be desired as the character designs are relatively simple - and I don't mean that in a good way. Badly proportioned, unbalanced and sometimes off-sync with the sound. For better or for worse, the characters' hair and eyes are in all the colours of the rainbow - at least that's an easier way to discern them from one another. Even so believe me, the art & animation improve by a mile in the sequel, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (only to be slightly ruined in the OVA, Higurashi Rei, but that's a different story.) The scenery and backgrounds are rich and colourful, not too heavy on the eyes and not too simple either. By the way, the village of Hinamizawa, where the story takes place, is based on a real location - the village of Shirakawa, Gifu prefecture.
My compliments go to the soundtrack! The insert songs have done well to capture the mood of the show, and the opening song (it shares the name of the anime) by singer Eiko Shimamiya is absolutely spectacular. Great job to the voice actors too, for providing excellent voices and giving their all when their characters start walking on the yandere/yangire side. However, what left the biggest impression on me is the sound of crying cicadas which can be heard in the most awkward and most dramatic moments everywhere throughout the anime - hence the name! Such a wonderful way to keep the suspense coming at full blast.
Conclusion: if you're into detective stories, mindf*ck plot twists and don't mind watching hardcore violence then this is the show for you. You'll be surprised how innocent it looks in the very beginning and how creepy it becomes as you advance. Don't forget to check your front door for girls with a machete tonight. read more