Higurashi No Naku Koroni mainly takes place in the (seemingly) peaceful and idyllic town (or rather, village) of Hinamizawa.
Important to note is that the series does not have a single, clear storyline - instead, the series is divided into different "chapters" that each share the same setting and characters, yet all have a different storyline, with the exception of two; The Meakashi chapter has the same storyline as the Watanagashi chapter, but tells the events from a different person's point of view, answering many questions that remained after the Watanagashi chapter.
Similarities between all of the storylines include the Shrine God's Curse, the mysterious murder chain connected to it and the fact that a chapter usually ends with the deaths of several of the main characters.
On to the characters. The characters are very important in this series, as it mainly focuses on the relationships between the characters and the results of those. I'll make a small list of the most important characters here:
Maebara Keiichi: The only male main character. At the beginning of each chapter, he only just moved to Hinamizawa and is still in the process of getting to know everyone and everything - including the Shrine God's Curse and the mysterious chain of murders connected to it.
Ryuuguu Rena: The cute girl with the axe. Yeah, laugh. She's always shown with it in the OP, but she barely ever has it with her. Other than that, she's just a friend of Keiichi's, and it seems like she is the one closest to him.
Sonozaki Mion: Another friend of Keiichi's. She's the leader of the "club" all of them are members of, and she knows how to act like it. Other than that? Not much to say that wouldn't spoil a few things.
Furude Rika: My favourite character. That is because she's so mysterious, but she knows how to hide it. She's a few years younger than Keiichi, Rena and Mion, as well as the sole survivor of the Furude family, the family responsible for the village's Shrine. She also lives together with Houjou Satoko and is her best friend.
Houjou Satoko: She lives alone together with Rika. Her parents died and her brother, Satoshi, disappeared, all as results of the Shrine God's Curse. Not much to say about her that wouldn't spoil things.
Believe, this series CAN and WILL confuse you. Many of the events that form a part of the main storyline that takes place BEFORE the events of each chapter are only partially explained in each chapter; also, some events happening during the individual chapters can only be explained with information from another chapter. The best example is the Watanagashi and Meakashi chapters. Meakashi follows the same storyline Watanagashi does, yet they are told from the views of two different characters, so that many questions remaining after the Watanagashi chapter are only answered in Meakashi. A perfect example for that is the scene at the beginning of the Watanagashi chapter. The next time you see this scene is late in the Meakashi chapter, and there, it is explained what happened, why it happened and how it happened. Interesting.
However, to fully understand the whole series, you will need to watch Kai. But to understand Kai, you will need to watch the whole original series first.
Even though Higurashi No Naku Koroni might seem like a slice of life/comedy series at first glance, do not be fooled! Behind that facade hides a complicated story, with many confusing and disturbing twists and scenes. Many are quite bloody, so kids shouldn't watch this. There are funny scenes, but those are usually at the beginning of a chapter, to introduce you to the new setup.
An anime you should watch, especially if you're a fan of mystery stuff. I really liked it, especially Kai. But Kai will be the object of another review.
Overall, I'd rate this show 9/10, but it gets 0,5 epicness points for having an epic OP, so it amounts to 9,5/10 read more
50 of 50 episodes seen
The story begins with a scene of a massacre: A girl with red eyes and a sword slices and dices through dozens of humans and werewolf-looking monsters. Even though she is repeatedly shot by a bunch of soldiers, she just keeps murdering innocent people. The scene ends with the girl standing in front of an almost army-looking mass of those werewolf things. After the scene ends and the (very badass) opening finishes playing (you should skip it though, if you really don't want ANY spoilers), the story continues in an apparently normal Japanese high school with two apparently ordinary high school girls: Otonashi Saya and her friend Kaori.
Throughout the first episode, we learn that Saya can't remember anything that happened more than one year ago and she lives with her father, George and her brothers Kai and Riku. We also learn that they are not blood-related, but they were all orphans and George decided to take care of them. Kai takes Saya to the clinic from school, for a blood transfusion. Why? We find that out much, much later. After the treatment, Saya goes home and comes across a guy who plays his cello in the street. As she listens to the music and closes her eyes, something that looks like a dream scene appears: We see through the eyes of a girl in an almost medieval dress run through a corridor in what looks like a castle. After she runs up a staircase, she runs towards a locked door. She takes out the key and unlocks it, at which point Saya calls out "Don't!" and reaches out with her hand, as if to stop the door from being opened. Back in reality, she trips after doing so and falls right into a bush in front of several people. Saya then stands up again and quickly leaves with her face bright red, after we briefly see the face of the guy who played the cello. Afterwards, Saya returns home to her apparently happy family life. However, it turns out that Saya left her trainers at school. Blast it! So she returns to school when it is already dark outside.
The scene switches to their house where Kaori brings Saya's trainers. So they aren't at school anymore. Seeing how Saya doesn't have a cellphone, George calls Kai to get Saya from school. Now, this is where it starts to get interesting. Saya searches for her trainers all over school and under a tree, she meets the cello player again. After he says "We finally meet" and both Saya and the audience are left to wonder what he means by that, he pulls out - guess what - a dagger! Saya does what anyone would do: run away in fear. She literally bumps into a teacher - why the heck is a teacher still at school that late at night - and asks him to search the area for that cello player. When they find nobody under the tree, a large hand from above grabs the teacher's head and pulls him right into the maze of leaves and branches. As Saya, frightened, calls for the teacher we hear chewing noises and finally the teacher's dead body is dropped, Saya does what anyone would do: just stand there, shocked. But there's no time for being shocked, as one of the monsters from the beginning suddenly shows up. Apparently, it was that monster who killed the teacher.
Again, Saya does what anyone would do: run away, screaming for help. She passes through a door and locks it, hoping that it will stall the monster. But it doesn't. The monster easily breaks the glass and the door, leaving Saya injured on the ground. But she stands up anyway and tries to run, but bumps - not literally this time - into the cello player. He throws the knife from before, apparently aimed right at Saya's head, but it passes right by her and hits the monster. A few more knives hit the monster at various points, like the eye. The guy then picks up Saya and jumps right up the whole staircase (quite a jump, I gotta say) and takes her into an empty room, where he explains to Saya what the monster from before was: a Chiropteran, basically a vampire, but it looks like a werewolf. He takes out a cool-looking katana from his cello case and removes the bandage from his right hand... Now that's a sight. His right hand looks pretty much exactly like it was taken from that Chiropteran. He then cuts his palm with the katana and looks like he wants Saya to drink the blood. However, they are interrupted by the Chiropteran breaking in, who removes the knife from his eye and it heals super fast - in about 2 seconds, he has it regenerated. The cello player then drinks the blood himself and seems to kiss Saya. However, it was his true intention to get her to drink the blood. After she does, Kai comes in and discovers her, the cello player and the Chiropteran. After he sees the latter, he does what any person would do: stand there in shock.
Now this is where it gets very cool. After drinking the cello player's blood, Saya seems to remember things - apparently, she was the girl in the very beginning, who murdered all those innocent people! The cut on her face heals in an instant as her eyes turn red. With that, she enters an almost trance-like state, calling out "Sword!", extending her hand towards the cello player. He obediently hands it over and Saya draws it in a very cool-looking manner. She then cuts her hand in a very cool-looking manner and slashes right through the Chiropteran in a very cool-looking manner.
Now, let's stop it here and go watch it yourself if you wanna know more
As for the plot development:
I personally found Blood+'s plot very good, we gradually learn about Saya and her past, as well as about the enemy, the Chiropteran. We get tiny bits fed to us one after another, leaving us hungry for more. Not once was there a point where I was like "Awww, it's boring, when is it gonna get interesting?" I also liked the academy in Vietnam very much, where Saya has to hide her identity and abilities from all the other girls there, as well as Kai's girlfriend (okay, she loves him, but he doesn't love her back, but I'm still gonna stick with "girlfriend") and a reporter going after Saya and her group. There are lots of secrets that are gradually revelaed, such as the cello player's true identity and his connection to Saya. Also, I found all characters perfectly fitting. The only annoying thing was Riku, after he became - no that would be a spoiler. I'll only tell you that he gets annoying after ~ episode 25. As for the other characters, they all have their unique quirks and I liked all of the good guys all the way through - and despised all of the bad guys (which is a good thing), especially about halfway through the series, where you get to know their motives and background.
As for the action:
Blood+ doesn't have too much action, however, there are a few fight scenes. Most of them are pretty awesome and easily surpass standards I would expect, even though Saya and her friends often get saved by pure dumb luck - or by Solomon . In my opinion, at least. I especially like the fight at the end of episode 28, where Saya and Haji (the cello player) fend off about 8 enemies in a very badass manner. And the final fight with Diva is of course pure epicness, even though most of that epicness is in the dialogue.
I really liked Saya's flashback scenes, especially the "mirror scene" in episode 2, even though it isn't really a flashback. But it's pretty much guaranteed to freak you out. Whoever made this series really knows how to pique the audience's curiosity over Saya's past.
Overall, I find that Blood+ is an awesome anime, with 1 being the worst rating and 10 the best, I'd give Blood+ definitely a 9 or 9,5. The reason it doesn't get a 10 is because there are some characters who should've been granted a comeback, such as Saya's friend Min from the academy in Vietnam.
To conclude this review, let me say that if you are interested in supernatural stuff such as Bleach, you should definitely watch Blood+. The plot is better than Bleach in my opinion, and it's a lot more serious, which is a good thing. At least I think so. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
1. This is going to include spoilers. I'll try to keep the number down, but reviewing a series (or a movie or book or whatever) without spoiling anything is close to impossible.
2. Everything in this review is my own opinion. You are free to state your own, but please don't try to force it onto me or someone else. Thanks.
First, general information about the plot:
The series mainly revolves around life at Cross Academy, a private school with a Day Class and a Night Class; the Day Class consist of normal students that sleep at night and study during the day; the Night Class does it the other way around. Now, what only few people know (but what is actually painfully obvious), is that the Night Class consist solely of vampires.
Yuuki, a girl from the Day Class of Cross Academy, was saved from a bad vampire by Kuran Kaname when she was 5 years old. Oddly enough, she also cannot remember anything from before that time. Kuran Kaname is a vampire and at the same time leader of the Night Class at Cross Academy. Yuuki was then adopted by Cross Kaien, chairman of Cross Academy and an acquaintance of Kaname's. Ever since then, Yuuki has admired Kaname, but also accepted that his saving her probably meant nothing to him. However, when Yuuki was 11 years old, Kaien, now her foster father, brought a boy home; he was covered in blood. The boy was Kiryuu Zero, and his family had been killed by vampires. He was the sole survivor. Understandably, he bears a deep-seated hatred for the entire vampire race - also for the pacifist group that is the Night Class. One day, Kaien asked him and Yuuki to become Prefects for the school, however, that was to be only a cover for their true task; guardians, to protect the secret of the Night Class from the outside world. Yuuki accepted for the sake of protecting and promoting the peace at Cross Academy, Zero did in order to keep the vampires in check. And thus, the love triangle is formed. Zero cares a lot about Yuuki, even though he doesn't show it; so does Kaname, even though Yuuki thinks otherwise.
Characters & character development:
There are a lot of characters in this series to know; in the beginning, you are likely to have trouble distinguishing some of them, especially Kain Akatsuki and Aidou Hanabusa, since they look almost like twins. That is probably the one trouble this anime has with its characters. Other than that, the main characters get a lot of spotlight, but somehow, there's always enough left for the others. I find that the love triangle Zero-Yuuki-Kaname is very interesting; Kaname and Zero are not simply rivals, nor do they want Yuuki's love; they simply wish to keep her away from the other. Both of them can't stand each other, Zero for obvious reasons and Kaname for reasons that have yet to be revealed at the beginning of the series.
I found that the plot in this series was rather easy to predict, however, that didn't bother me, as there were too many things happening between Zero, Yuuki and Kaname to think about the plot. However, there are a few revelations, but none of them are sudden; we always get hints, to the point where it is obvious. What is interesting about that is what it changes between the characters. Meaning that not the plot is interesting in this series, but the effect all those events have on the characters' relationships.
Buuuuuuut, all that changes in the second season, when Yuuki attempts to uncover her lost past. As usual, we get many hints over time, and at least for me, it was obvious what was going to happen. I'm not going to spoil that big surprise here, find out for yourself. However, it is quite unfortunate that the anime quits at the (at least for me) most interesting point, the reason probably being that there wasn't enough manga material to continue the anime. But I can assure you, if a third season is coming, it will likely be soon.
Yes, even though Vampire Knight is a rather serious story, there are lots of funny bits, but the great thing is that they never seem misplaced. Especially funny is the scene where the chairman calls the Night Class his "cute little vampires" in front of Zero and Yuuki, and she almost literally reads Zero's mind on that subject for Kaien...
Vampire Knight is an excellent anime for those who love vampire stories combined with romance; also for those who want to see how many hints they need to figure out a secret, even though that is rather secondary. It is one of my all-time favourites, and personally, I give it a 9,5/10, since it has pretty much everything I want... Except for a third season.
Compared to the anime, the manga isn't much different. Drawing and storyline and such are almost exactly the same, save small details. However, if you hit the end of the second season for the anime and want to know how it goes on, go ahead and read the manga. It also has some (usually quite funny) "bonus chapters" that tell small sidestories that are unimportant to the main storyline, but usually show funny (and sometimes quite interesting) scenes that are not in the anime. The bonus chapters are usually quite pointless, but their simple pointlessness makes them so funny. For instance, Kaname randomly placing a bucket full of water on Aidou's head...
Overall, I can only recommend this series. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and watch it! read more