The story is set in the same Hinamizawa village of the previous stories. The village has been completely sealed off due to a mysterious virus in 1983, and Maebara Keiichi and Ryuuguu Rena deal with the outbreak.
So I watched the first and probably also the last episode and I decided to make this short review for those who are not sure about this OVA.
Basically you can think of it as another world where things went bad but this time you will see how everything continued until the end I guess. Who knows how will it end. We can meditate about it.
The style is similar to the previous Higurashi series but different from OVAs that were more like parodies. Kaku is very serious and you can see again everyone (yeah especially Rena and her insane face) covered in blood. You will meet
all the already known characters and see the good old Hinamizawa again. Hmm yea, not good at all but you know what I mean... :D
The OVA is about 50 minutes long so it's like two anime episodes in one. I actually didn't believe in the end that it is already over. It really got me so I forgot about time etc. Don't wanna say that it's the best anime OVA ever, some scenes and moments in the plot are a bit childish and naive I would say and could have been done better. (don't wanna spoil much) However, I got caught by this OVA and I am sure that every fan of Higurashi will feel the same way. The plot is very fast (of course, just 50 mins for all the stuff in there) thus it's not boring and it ends in the best. In other words there is no time for boring scenes.
This OVA also helped me a bit to understand more about the whole mysterious plot. Especially Hanyuu and Rika's short dialogue is very interesting. To tell the truth, we never saw any of the paralel world coming that far as this one.
Btw, you know the song called “Dear You” from the Higurashi game? I remember tons of comments on the Internet that this song should be used also in the anime. Well, some dreams that may seem impossible sometimes come true. Thanks Oyashiro-sama.
The result? If you liked previous Higurashi series (and felt that you need more of Hinamizawa), definitely watch this OVA. No more to say. Even if you ignored the rest of the OVAs that were just weird parodies made for fun, this one is different.
I was actually very excited when I heard about a new Higurashi. I have been a die hard Higurashi fan since I watch the first series and have now almost read and watched everything that even sllghtly related to Higurashi.
Considering how disappointed I was with a large proportion of Kira, I was trying my best not to get my hopes up for this OVA but upon seeing the trailer, I found it difficult not to. It looked serious, it looked exciting; Rena had her cleaver and Keiichi is armed with the bat. What's not to instantly get excited about?
In general, it was an interesting
episode and longer than your typical episodes so that it is about the length of a double episode. It did however have a few flaws that with some careful thought about the plot could have been easily smoothed out.
This may be an obvious point but you should have watch series 1 and 2 before watching this.
Story: In general, the story is interesting. It deals with the 'Outbreak' (unsurprisingly) of the "virus". I will avoid going into too many details but it deals with the action from external groups and more importantly the reaction of the villagers themselves. The plot-line is very reminiscent of the original Higurashi episodes. It is dark, there is plenty of violence and you can see the connection between the club members.
Character: With a couple of exceptions, I felt this is where the episode really fell down. It was without... 'love'. Both Rena and Keiichi in particular seemed to do things that had very little emotion attached to them - unlike in the previous series, their violence seemed a little... like a spree rather than for any particular reason.
Actually Rika, despite her small part in the episode as a whole, gets me applause. Everything from her expressions and her 'Bern-esque' voice got me. I'm pretty sure there may have been some gentle underlying suggestions about the links to Umineko.
Overall: Overall I enjoyed it despite the little character flaws, it made a nice change from Kira and the 'happy-happy-love-love' Higurashi to something just that little bit darker. There seems to be doubt as to whether this is the last episode or whether there will be more. It seemed to me that the episode lent itself to a little more storytelling.
- Director: Alright staff! Lets recup: What did the audiences like in the Higurashi series?
-Staff 1: I know, I know! The mystery and never really knowing what's going on.
-Staff 2: How human and full of flows the characters were. Even the killers had times when they were afraid, confused and in complete disarray about their emotions.
-Staff 3: How the community was a quiet, eerie place on the surface, full of dark secrets and people who moved in the shadows in the background. Also how cut it was from the outside world!
-Staff 4: How the characters are slowly slipping into insanity, starting to doubt if
what they're seeing is real?
- Director: Excellant! Excellant! You pointed out everything that we will NOT do in the movie!
- Staff1: But wouldn't that just piss off all our viewers and send our ratings skydiving without a parachute? I mean we already fucked up with the OVAs...
- Director: Exactly! Now on to create a zombie apocalypse movie!
Yes, yes, it's not EXACTLY a zombie apocalypse but, come on! The similarities are waaaay too obvious. The madness that covers the whole village takes the form of a plague that the world goverment is afraid of, there are killers walking around the streets missing a lot of brain cells and our protagonists go all Rambo on said killers. Oh and I do mean "all Rambo"
Supposedly EVERYONE in the world already had parasites living inside them which were the cause people became divided in religions, countries etc, depending on the parasite type. (Really movie? We're going there?) And suddenly these become actively hostile towards the different variations of parasites meaning people go into a mindless manslaughter against people with different parasites. Well, that's towards the middle part of the movie and the end. The movie actually begins with the world goverment putting the whole village our protagonists live in under quarantine. Yes, with tanks, soldiers, etc etc. Don't you remember how you just loved seeing the world outside the village interract with the people in the village blowing away all the eerie atmosphere?
Anyway the people of the village consider Satoko the source of the evil curse that has befallen them and prepare to sacrifice her to the local deity. So the club members decide to rescue her! Aka Mion gets K.O.ed in an instant and is effortlessly moved around as a package by the protagonist's family, while Keiichi and Rena singehandedly rescue Satoko. And oh, my God! There are over 100 people wondering around with guns and other weapons looking to kill them! How will the Keiichi and Rena manage to sneak past them? (Since... You know, they're humans. With no super powers whatsoever. And they're not Batman.)...Sneak past them? Man up you cowards! As Keiichi brilliantly puts it before grabbing his baseball bat : "A hundrend? Only a hundrend?"
Yes, I'm dead serious. Keiichi and Rena easily slaughter 100 people on their own while being cocky as f$"% about it. Are you starting to see the problems of the movie? It's NOT HIGURASHI. Hell, even the OVAs were closer to the original Higurashi than this. It's like making Sadako from Ringu a news reporter. The fact that she has something to do with TV doesn't mean she fits there!. Same goes with the Higurashi cast. The fact that zombie apocalypse is a type of horror and Higurashi also belongs in the horror genre doesn't mean that the Higurashi cast fits in a zombie apocalypse!
In the end they manage to rescue Satoko, escape the city through one of Mion's family secret passages and Rika decides to stay behind and wait for civilization to begin again... Directors, if you can't axe-off a cast member DON'T invent some stupid reason to get them seperated from the rest. I mean, there are writers who can pull that off, but clearly you're not among them. If you can't kill them let them stay. Anyway... Our protagonist go outside the village, into a world destroyed by the sudden mania the parasites have caused (boy we sure skipped fast through that one).
To sum up: It's not Higurashi! Not even a fun spin-off. Stupid, uninspired, terribly written and doesn't have anything that made you like the original series.
Well, in short, This wasn't what I expected.
The thing I am most disappointed with, is the story. I really loved the whole Higurashi series, and I was very happy, when I heard that Higurashi didn't end yet, and there will be a new OVA soon. I looked forward to watching it. But now, after I finished it, the movie seems to be a trailer for something bigger. It just simply seemed short. I couldn't find the curve of the story. There was no beginning. It jumped right into the middle of the story. There was no problem to develop, because it jumped right into a
problem that had already developed. And there was no conclusion. No happy ending, no bad ending. There was nothing in the whole movie.
About the art, it was like the rest of the series' : great. Well I have to say one very important thing: there is no lazy 3D animation in it. And that is very important. That describes how high quality it is.
I don't really have anything to say about the sound. Maybe that the OST is pretty good, and sometimes the girls' voices can be annoying, but that is how it is usually in the anime these days.
There were no new characters in the series, or no important new characters. There were the parents of Keiichi, Rena, Satoko, Irie, Rika, Keiichi, Mion and Mion's grandma. Some of my favorite characters were left out of the OVA. For example, I really missed Takano Mio. She was my very favorite in the series. And I also missed Shion, and her bodyguard. Some of the main characters' personalities were screwed up. For example, Irie acted so strange... In a way he would never act.
I definitely did not enjoy this OVA. I was waiting for a good story the whole time. And the fighting scenes were disappointing too. Not even close to the level of the rest of the series.
All in all, do not hope for some good Higurashi quality OVA when you are watching this.