May 12, 2008
UchihaItachi6660 (All reviews)
In this review, I am including both Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai in my comments. I will be calling the anime simply "Higurashi" in my review to save time. During the few times that I do choose to differenciate between the two seasons, I will refer to "Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai" simply as "Kai".

Story: Higurashi's storyline is stellar. It starts off as a horror/thriller anime where numerous mysteries arise in the small town of Hinamizawa. These mysterious storylines are filled with tension and suspense as the viewer fears for Keiichi's (the main character) life. Since Keiichi is a righteous character who means no harm, the viewer sympathizes with him and fears for his well-being- which is constantly at risk due to the seemingly murderous girls he befriends. Several story arcs arise as we experience Hinamizawa through Keiichi's eyes. Although these storylines may seem slightly confusing and seemingly unrelated at first, the second season of Higurashi ties them all together extremely well (I won't say how because of spoilers, of course). This ability to keep the viewer in suspense and tieing so many intriguing stories together makes Higurashi's storyline extremely engaging, and is my favourite storyline out of every anime I have seen to date. This intricate storyline also carries a heart-warming underlying theme of the importance of friendship and continually shows us extremely hyperbolic possibilities of what the world may become without trust and friendship. I find it particularily interesting that such a theme exists under Higurashi's superficial hack-and-slash plotline.

Art: As I read other people's comments on Higurashi's art, I noticed that people generally preferred the second season's artwork more than the first. While the second season's art did seem more well-rounded and fleshed out that season one, I had no major complaints with the first season's artwork whatsoever. Both seasons' art tricks most people into believing the anime essentially a typical harem or shoujo. The shock that people recieve when they see such cute characters are actually involved in an intelligent horror/mystery story is priceless. This is the primary reason for which I feel that Higurashi's artwork is extremely effective.

Sound: Higurashi's soundtrack suits the anime extremely well and the only reason I did not give it a 10 is because I cannot remember any specific background music besides Rika's theme. But just because the soundtrack is not memorable does not necessarily mean it is bad. The undertoned, haunting soundtrack is suited so well to Higurashi that it does not interrupt the flow of the anime's plot whatsoever. It only increases tension and suspense as haunting melodies are quietly played on a piano or violin in the background. As for opening/ending themes, Higurashi's openings are extremely catchy and memorable. Both are definitely worth downloading onto an ipod or mp3 player (along with "Dear You", a song from the original Higurashi videogames). The first ending however, did not do anything for me while Kai's ending (Taishou.a) was a lot more pleasurable to listen to. I enjoyed it for it's graceful melody juxtaposed against its rather gruesome lyrics which essentially served as a parallel to highlight the main concept of Higurashi's storyline. This fact alone made Taishou.a an excellent choice for Kai's ending song.

Character: Character development in Higurashi is also amazing. The characters interact with each other in a very natural, human manner and their personalities are not sterotypical in the least. In the first season, Higurashi's character personalities are also quite complex and can keep the viewer guessing at characters' true personalities and motives for episodes upon episodes because of how mysterious every character is (with the exception of Keiichi). During Kai, the characters often adopt a more optimistic or positive outlook on everything as a result of their efforts to work together against a common enemy.

Enjoyment: If you cannot tell by now, I thoroughly enjoyed both seasons of Higurashi and am definitely going to re-watch them both at least a few more times in the future. What is not to love moe girls that have a murderous streak to them? ^^

Overall: My favourite anime series. If you have not seen this, please watch it IMMEDIATELY! The world needs more Higurashi fans. Also, I am aware that a third season of Higurashi will be released sometime this year and I am anxiously anticipating its release. Hopefully, it will explain what happened at the very end of the second season, since I was left feeling fairly confused... but that might just be because I was too stupid to interpret the ending accurately O_o Thanks for reading, I hope it helped!