With things such as story out of the way, Higurashi cranks up the fanservice with Kira, a new OVA series to commemorate the series' 10th anniversary, featuring nail-biting situations such as Rika and Satoko becoming magical girls to battle evil magic crime syndicates with the help of their trusty squad of cheerleaders, among other things.
The excitement may be too much to handle. Do you dare step inside the... "different" world of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira?
This is likely the only review I will every write on this site, and it's going to be a fairly brief one. The reason for this is that people give this show way too much hate.
First of all, anyone that watches Higurashi for the gore will not particularly like this OVA. But then again, Higurashi is in no way about the gore; it's about the characters and what they go through. And this fact is exactly why I am giving this an 9/10. Over the course of the series, we have all seen just how much suffering the characters have gone through. Don't you
think they need a reprieve? Do you really think they deserve to go through such hell and not live happy lives afterwards?
Next, I've noticed that many of the hateful reviews of Kira are by people who have only seen the first episode. The first episode is pretty much the only episode with immense amounts of fanservice(other episodes only have minor fanservice in the fact that Shion's breasts occasionally Gainax), and that is the entire point of the episode. If you don't like fanservice, then simply skip episode 1. Episode 2 is a parody of the magical girl genre, and fulfills its job well.
In my opinion, where this OVA really shines is in the third and fourth episodes. The third episode is a comedic side-story about Mion, Shion, and Rena all vying for Keiichi's love, and it manages to have that signature Higurashi comedy that we all know and love. I won't spoil the ending of the episode, but it elicited more than a few chuckles from me. Episode 4, unlike the other three, is a relatively serious one-shot mainly about Hanyuu and Rika. This episode is considered canon to the series and is definitely worth a watch, even if you do not watch the rest of Kira. The ending even manages to nearly make my eyes water, and I am not one who cries easily.
In short, this OVA is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be(as long as you are a fan of Higurashi for the right reasons(such reasons being things such as the characters, the story, the comedy, the message it gives off, etc.)). I would highly suggest giving it a try, and even if you end up disliking the first episodes, go ahead and finishing it. You will not regret it, trust me.
Since there are a lot of conflicting viewpoints on this 4 episode OVA, I thought I would just clear things up for those of you who are trying to decide weather or not to watch it:
First, let it be noted that there is no gore what so ever in the OVA; something that Higurashi is infamous for. However, if you were only watching Higurashi for its gore, then you were watching it for the wrong reasons, because it's not a show about mindless blood and gore. Higurashi is and has always been about the journey of the characters,the struggles they have had to go through,
and their friendship. People who understand that will enjoy SOME of this OVA, but certainly nobody will enjoy all of it.
The majority of the hate that this OVA receives comes from people who saw the first episode and then simply refused to continue, and understandably so. Episode 1 of Higurashi Kira is complete and utter garbage that NOBODY should ever have to sit through. They turn the awesome characters of the Higurashi series into mindless vessels for SHAMELESS fan-service that serves no purpose to the true plot, has no side-plot of its own, and is just physically painful for a Higurashi fans to watch. Whatever you do, DON'T watch episode 1.
Episode 2 is better then episode 1, but that's not saying much. It's a goofy, over the top, and downright silly parody of the magical girl genre with the Higurashi characters. If you really liked some of the more light-hearted moments of the series and wouldn't mind seeing another full episode dedicated to the writers and animators dicking around, then I suppose this one could be worth your time. It's still not what anybody wanted or expected out of a Higurashi OVA though.
Episode 3 is where the OVA starts to redeem itself, with a very solid episode about the romantic/sexual tension in the club that has been present throughout the series, mostly between Mion and Keiichi, but Rena and Shion are involved as well. While I really do not like what they did with Shion in this episode, it is still worth watching as it's a nice change of pace to see the club members experience normal problems for once, and provides a bit of closure as far as the romantic feelings of the club members are concerned.
Episode 4 is the true saving grace of the OVA and is definitely worth watching if you are a Higurashi fan. It's a heart-warming story about Rika and Hanyuu and really is just a delight to watch; that's all there is to say.
Overall, Higurashi Kira is worth watching for episodes 3 and 4 alone, as true fans of the series will take great pleasure in watching them. Maybe I could recommend episode 2, but holy mother god, words can not describe how horrible episode 1 is. DON'T watch it, but if you do anyway, don't let it turn you off to the rest of the OVA.
I love the original Higurashi and find this to be just a composite of fan service scenes that really don't have the same plot or impact. The art is good and theres noting really wrong with fan service but it's a major disappointment if you liked the original series and lacks any real conflict or plot.
As the latest addition to the Higurashi-franchise, this OVA follows in the footsteps of the two less-serious and more comical arcs from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei. Aside from the usual comic relief, this time there was further emphasis on fan-service, mainly seen during the first episode. In today's market it isn't surprising to see such content surface in the Higurashi-franchise, though evidently many Higurashi fans don't quite fit in the moe-loving masses, targeted by said content.
In short, if the intriguing story or the splatter-filled scenes from the original work are what you're after, you'll have to look elsewhere. But if you wish
to take a further look at the peaceful and comic side of Hinamizawa and the lives of our original characters, this OVA is probably worth your time.
To make this review just a bit review-like, I'd like to say something about the actual properties in regard to which I was supposed to rate this OVA. 3 out 4 episodes can be considered pure comic relief, so the story exists mainly to make you laugh - a fait accompli, at least in my case. The final episode differs from the rest in this aspect, and has a slightly more meaningful plot, taking a little peak at the past of one of the characters. The art-style, animation and soundtrack are all satisfying at the least, given the genre. Characters are the same as in the previous works, though this time around we get to see more of their comical, playful and ordinary sides.
I myself enjoyed this piece, and in my opinion it provides a fitting sort of a continuation to the way things ended in Matsuribayashi-hen. It's nice to see how Rika and company get to finally enjoy a normal everyday life, after experiencing a hundred or so years of recurring death and violence.
Do recommend for all those wishing to see more of the "ordinary", serene Hinamizawa, or simply have a good laugh.