In the village of Hinamizawa, Keiichi Maebara and his friends live their everyday lives peacefully and without incident. Having just moved to the town, Keiichi finds himself with no shortage of new friends. One of the youngest of this group, Satoko Houjou, plays many pranks on her friends and is always cheerful. But behind her smile lies a dark past, filled with personal heartache.
Despite all of the tragedy in her life, Satoko is still able to find happiness. Keiichi, who admires her resilient spirit, begins to think of himself as a brother figure and her protector. But when her uncle Teppei returns to town, Satoko begins showing signs of abuse. Keiichi longs to return his friend to her former happy self... so much so, that he starts to consider doing something drastic to keep her safe.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Tatarigoroshi-hen was published in English as Higurashi When They Cry: Curse Killing Arc by Yen Press on November 17, 2009 and February 23, 2010, respectively, and also digitally on April 22, 2014. The series was also published in Polish as Gdy zapłaczą cykady: Księga Morderczej Klątwy by Waneko in one-volume edition on April 30, 2016.
Higurashi is one of my favorite anime series, but that doesn't mean I love all of it, and Tatarigoroshi-hen is probably the arc I disliked most while watching the anime. One of the reasons for this may have been that it focuses on Satoko, who I find annoying, but... Que sera sera. I still say that from what I've read and watched, it's my least favorite, but the manga adaptation of this definetely made me hate it less.
The story of this arc is a simple one on the surface, but it gets more complicated as it progresses. Out of the question arcs the series has,
it seems to give away the biggest hints about what exactly is going on in Hinamizawa. I advise anyone reading it to pay close attention to what's happening. However, it also offers up a lot of questions which, even after having finished both the anime and reading most of the answer arcs, I still can't say exactly what was going on a fair amount of the time here. Considering I was actively trying to piece together what was going on all the while during the time I was reading this, that's not a very good thing.
Also, as stated before, Tatarigoroshi-hen focuses more on Satako than any other arc in the series. I personally find her to be very annoying most of the time and, from what I understand, so does a lot of people. This arc does manage to give her character some sympathy, but she's still annoying, near the end especially.
I think the best part of this arc was actually the final chapter, the events of with I don''t believe were in the anime. It gives some interesting insight into the mentallity of the character it focuses on and is done very well.
Art is probably this arcs main fault. From what I've seen, it has the worst art. Considering this also is the least popular arc, I really have to wonder why they did this instead of giving it the BEST art so people would be more willing to buy it. It's tolerable for the part and even good at times, but the characters go off model at times and it just doesn't work.
Characterization is roughly the same as with the other arcs with the only big difference being more insight into Satoko's character. Overall, it's good but somewhat underdeveloped.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this arc. It starts off a bit slow, but once the shit hits the fan, it gets good quite fast. Of course, anyone who likes the series should read this and they may even find something to like in it that they didn't in the anime like I did.
Overall, I give this cruel twist of fate a 7 out of 10.
And now, my review of the third Higurashi arc. Please note that this is the last arc I have read; I currently know nothing about Higurashi beyond this point.
It's summer of 1983 . . . and this is also starting just like the other arcs, almost as if they were all separate canons almost . . . well, Keiichi and his family move in, he gets along with some girls, they have wacky hijinx, but then he learns about Oyashiro-sama's Curse. Not only that, he learns that Satoko, one of his friends, lives under the thumb of an abusive uncle, and yet, she doesn't do
anything to better her situation.
At first, the story is rather slow. Fortunately, the attempts at humor are better than in the first arc, (you'll laugh during the baseball game) but things don't start getting interesting until Keiichi becomes obsessed with helping Satoko. It does raise some interesting issues; at what point does helping out someone go from simple compassion to violent crusade? Not only that, the ending is a shocking ending. Again, many mysteries abound, but the story still intrigues me. 8/10.
Oh man. Why do they have different artists for these? This particular artist in unworthy. The characters, especially in the first half, are lacking in detail, the backgrounds look rushed, and, well, I would expect more from a professional publication. I've seen Touhou doujins that look better than this. By the second half, the art does improve, especially during the more shocking scenes, but it's too little, too late, and it never compares to the first two arcs art-wise. 5/10.
In spite of the unanswered questions, the characters are still quite the cast. Keiichi is even more paranoid here; you could even argue that he becomes a villain, and I wouldn't dispute it. Satoko appears to be a helpless little girl, but there is information that contradicts that, too. That would be the best word to describe these characters, contradictory. Another example, Ooishi appeared to be trustworthy in the first two arcs, but here, Keiichi doesn't trust him, and with good reason. We also learn more about Satoko's older brother, Satoshi, who was mentioned in the previous arcs. More and more about the characters is revealed. 9/10.
When this arc started, the mediocre art turned me off somewhat. I only slogged through that because I knew that it would eventually turn into a gripping horror tale. Luckily, my prediction came true. This arc was more straightforward than the second one, and I just can't get the ending out of my head. However, it only starts getting really good once Keiichi decides to do something about Satoko's situation; once you get there, you won't be able to stop. Disturbing thoughts and imagery are plentiful throughout the second half, yet somehow, instead of turning me away, I welcome it. Like I said before, if you don't mind seeing a horror story done right, well, you can't go wrong with Higurashi. 8/10.
This is my review for Higurashi no naku koro ni; Curse Killined Arc.
Still as bloody as the other ones.
Very in depth, i prefer this one over the animated arc
It adds a new part of the curse into the story and i love that
Takes a while to pick up (The entire first part of the arc is mostly talking and building up to the amazing second arc)
Something i didn't expect happened, but it wasn't given an explanation to it. (hopefully higurashi no naku koro ni kai will clear that part up).
I really liked it and this is one of the first mangas that i
have gotten and im glad it was this arc, i prefer this one over the anime beacuse i feel like it is paced better. But still love this series, looking forward to getting the next one in the series.
Disappointing -- the best word to describe Tatarigoroshi-hen...
Overall, it's a 6 for me...
I was not into this 3rd Higurashi installment... I was anxious about how it will end, yes... I was thinking that maybe it would have a great twist and an unforgettable ending like the first 2 but sadly I was mistaken...
Story started off well enough, it was fast and had a different flow to it... but then I found it to be boring since it became too dramatic... I mean, good that the story now focused on Satoko and Keichi but it was too melodramatic for me... predictable even... Maybe I was
watching way too many horror movies that they all seem the same to me...
I found myself flipping through the pages faster than what I did with the first 2... but not because of the gripping story but because I wanted to reach the end... and it was a relief to have reached the end since now I can move on to another...
Recommended for people who wants a manga with a "Twilight Zone" feel to it and like some of the episodes in the TZ, it just doesn't cut it... :S