Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

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Higrashi no Naku Koro ni
Higurashi2.jpg
Made By 07th Expansion
Format Visual Novel, Anime (TV)
Anime Adaption Studio Deen
# of Episodes
26+1 (Season 1+ OVA)
24 (Season 2)
5 (Rei OVA)

Genre

Drama, Mystery, Horror, Suspense, Psychological

Sum it up in a Sentence

A boy living in a tiny mountain town befriends a group of girls, UNTIL EVIL COMES.

Main Description

On one hot summer day in 1983, a transfer student named Maebara Keiichi comes to a peaceful rural village in Hinamizawa. There, he befriends his classmates Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko. Accepted as a full-fledged member of the "club," Keiichi and the gang plays all sorts of activities ranging from card and board games to hide-and-seek. But just as Keiichi was beginning to be assimilated in simple rural life, he stumbles upon the dark history of Hinamizawa. As Keiichi dives deeper into the mystery, he finds that his new found friends may not be all what they claim to be.

The animation quality varies over the series and is worth mentioning. The first season must have had a low animation budget. While most episodes are perfectly average, every so often the already less-than-stellar quality would drop even lower. For the most part it does not get in the way and the show is still enjoyable and creepy. This changes for the better in the second season. The art style differs a bit from the first season, and the animation is much more fluid and is overall of higher quality.

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Personal Opinions

Higurashi.jpg

Mirsha

I watched this without influence from anyone else. After watching the first and second episode I felt kind of lost, the anime style with it's head shapes and colour seemed kind of childish to me. I really couldn't see why this series was any good, then I watched the third episode which is the critical litmus test. It becomes very obvious that the directional style challenges the subject matter in a provoking manner. The distinct presentation of the series, as a sequence of short stories which are not related, become a very unsettling factor as it constantly challenges any assumptions of presentation of the facts which have gone before it. It manages to present many sides of the same argument and keep them all unique in their own way to drag your interest into the new stories. Each short story in the series manages to keep your thoughts to the forefront and judgemental of all the other facts which have gone before it.

Tuxedo Catfish

Just finished watching Higurashi. I don't think I've ever seen a show that stayed that consistently good all the way through, especially for 48 episodes.

Lots of violence perpetrated by and against ridiculously cute characters, literally no fanservice, and an underlying mystery where no plot element was unimportant or left unresolved. Can't wait for Umineko.

Vir

This series couldn't keep my interest. I think this is the director's fault. The horror and the comedy both feel over-stated, making it neither scary nor funny. Solving the riddles of this story is, I suspect, better done by reading it.

MeinGott

I had no idea what I was going. When I finished it I was very satisfied. This was one of the few shows where I watched the whole season's episodes. Coming from So Ra No Wo To to Higurashi was a bit of a leap but I did it and was not upset. The show is creepy, violent, and just plain unnerving at times. It never seemed to slow down or speed up for me I felt it had a nice consistent pace that always lead forwards (and sometimes sideways and backwards). The animation is a little shoddy at times but it isn't a big issue. This show ruined me hearing cicadas in any other anime as well.

Nate RFB

The experience won't be the same for everyone, but I found the murder mystery presented in Higurashi to be extremely well done and satisfying in its answers. That by itself would have served as a very compelling reason to experience the story, but it was also coupled with one of the best developed casts I've ever seen. Seriously, when I think back, I don't think there was a single character that had a sprite that I didn't care for. To me while the initial appeal of Higurashi is certainly the creepy horror aspect of the early chapters, the true and long-standing appeal of the story as a whole comes out in the later chapters as the characters come into their own. Sadly, this is somewhat lost in the anime adaptation, which did a mediocre at best job of converting the various themes of the Visual Novel into the animated medium. This is why people are so weirded out by the second season, as it appears to be a dramatic shift in tone and pacing. In fact this was due to the first season serving as an extreme flanderization of the original story and resulted in the horror aspects being played up far more strongly than the tragedy/drama that should have been at the forefront. It's not as bad as the Umineko adaptation, but I sincerely suggest that people completely new to Higurashi to give the Visual Novel a try first (remember, there are patches to replace the horrible original sprites).

OldTimeyProspector

I never saw the visual novel, but my friend who had got me into this show. Occasionally he'd explain shit from the novel that was omitted, but honestly, it just ended up confusing and distracting me from what I felt was a show that stood on its own merits. It can be jarring for viewers who are expecting a coherent story rather than a series of arcs that don't quite go together. I like to compare this show to the Twilight Zone; it seems to help people get it a little better.

Personally, I feel that the show explains just enough to make everything "make sense" in a satisfying way without killing all the mystery, which is why despite my immense enjoyment of the show, I've never checked out the visual novel. The extended "answer" arcs/police reports/whatevers seem like they would just kill the whole thing by over-writing it. The best moments are those where people are just acting creepy as fuck with no real reason in sight, and there were easily enough of those to keep me watching all the way through.

ViggyNash

Let me start with the bad: The animation ranges from decent to mediocre, the directing is sometimes great and sometimes pitiful, and the art isn't particularly special. The structure of the show is really confusing for people (like me) who have not played the VN because it requires a bit of knowledge about the structure or the VN for the first season to make sense as you watch it.

Despite these issues, this is still a great adaptation of a fantastic story. Both the horror and mystery aspects of the show shine brilliantly throughout and it's a beautiful to watch the pieces fall cleanly into place, little by little. It keeps you guessing right up until the final showdown where you get to watch the entire ugly truth play out before you. This show is absolutely worth a watch.

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