Anime Review: Higurashi: When They Cry

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Anime Review: Higurashi: When They Cry

Watching Japanese teens brutally slaughter each other has never been so interesting.

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higurashi is awesome
but it has to be viewed as a single unit with kai to really make sense
the answer to the mystery about oyashiro sama is actually rather funny when you think of it
it not only exists, but is in fact the cutest character in the show

I read one of the Higurashi manga, and then was wondering whether of not I should watch the anime.

This review has convinced me too.

Sounds like a very interesting anime.
I suppose I'll add it to 'The List'..
I don't know how I'm going to manage watching everything on the list...

Ugh...my brother watches that show, in japanese. I HATE that girl's hair, the blue one who is like, the main character. My brother also always tests me if I remember the japanese title.
Higurashi no saku koro ni or something like that. I know its not completly right though...

Higurashi was one of my favorites when it aired. I was always impatient waiting for the next episode to air. The whole disconnected plotlines are misleading at first, but in the end it creates something far more amamazing than other time loop series can hope to achieve. Umineko No Kaku Noro Ni isn't bad either, I'd recommend keyholing that to anyone who enjoys Higurashi.

Huh... why did they change the title from the more literal "When the Cicadas Cry?" I always thought that was an interesting title... not that it matters, I point blank refuse to partake in any series within the "No Naku Koro Ni" series, inlcuding, but not limited to, "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" and it's related anime and games, the prequels which I will refer to as the "-hen" series (both games end with the word -hen), or Umineko no Naku Koro ni (:iterally "When Seagulls Cry.")

Sorry, just not into Horror anime. However, your review actually almost made me want to watch it, so congrats, this was an excellent review.

I don't need a review, I watched all of it recently. And it is awesome.

Wanna know what convinced me?
this.

Higurashi was so brutal! Yet it was awesome.

i thought higurashi was brilliant. i didn't like the second series as much, since i didn't think it was very well put together, but nonetheless it was amazing.

ila:
Umineko No Kaku Noro Ni isn't bad either, I'd recommend keyholing that to anyone who enjoys Higurashi.

very well, i have noted that down. thanks.

I really loved Higurashi, actually made me paranoid and nervous. Excellent atmospheric horror.

that sounds nasty, doesent look like my cup of tea

actullay, it looks like that little girl(or women, i can never tell with anime) is the murderer

Loop Stricken:
I don't need a review, I watched all of it recently. And it is awesome.

Wanna know what convinced me?
this.

Thank you for the happy song. Ps, that's the beginning of the second(or third) arc of the 1st series, so no love lost.

Mstrswrd:
Sorry, just not into Horror anime. However, your review actually almost made me want to watch it, so congrats, this was an excellent review.

Haha, that's quite the compliment! I appreciate it. Despite this and Higurashi Kai being my two favorite titles, they aren't something I just recommend without question for exactly the reason you've stated. Horror is a dicey genre with a specific fan base so, no matter how good I think this show is, I can't recommend it to people that don't have at least some interest in the genre.

Granted, with that said, the person that originally recommended it to me didn't like horror either. He just stumbled across it, ended up loving it, and passed it along.

Takoto:
I read one of the Higurashi manga, and then was wondering whether of not I should watch the anime.

This review has convinced me too.

I've read the four volumes that they've released here and they match up fairly well with the anime; more accurately than I typically expect, to be honest.

I was half-wondering if I should hold out for the visual novel...I think I'll look up the anime, now, instead.

NeutralDrow:
I was half-wondering if I should hold out for the visual novel...I think I'll look up the anime, now, instead.

Which one? There have been many visual novels released for Higurashi already. If you can read kanji, a number of them are available for import, including recent DS releases of several titles.

RollForInitiative:

NeutralDrow:
I was half-wondering if I should hold out for the visual novel...I think I'll look up the anime, now, instead.

Which one? There have been many visual novels released for Higurashi already. If you can read kanji, a number of them are available for import, including recent DS releases of several titles.

when people just refer to "the visual novel" they refer to the originals: Higurashi and Higurashi Kai are originally visual novels, the anime and manga are mere adaptations, and then there are spinoff novels that supplement the original eight arcs.

While the manga sticks rather closely to the novels the anime had to lose a lot of details and the original pacing (as a VN series Higurashi was made of four arcs that set up all the mysteries and Kai of four arcs that give the corresponding answers).

And yeah, though once again the anime loses part of the flavor Umineko, the spiritual sequel, is awesome and full of mysteries, even for people who know the whole of Higurashi, since it plays with its structures. Things about the novels' structure that were the big reveals in Higurashi are almost immediately admitted here and then it plays with your expectations.

This time around it's sorta based on "and then there were none", from Agatha Christie. A number of people are stuck for two days on an island, together with a serial killer who seems to be following an esoteric poem. Most are quick to suspect the legendary witch who supposedly haunts the island and whose resurrection the poem is about, but because the protagonist would rather believe the culprit is very much human, he has to figure out all the seemingly supernatural murders before his turn comes. And from there on it becomes a great mindfuck peppered with Phoenix Wright-esque confrontations and all manners of demons, not to mention a thorough deconstruction of whodunits plus a few very unique twists on the usual visual novel structure.

Wow, on a side note to earlier about adding it to the list, I just finished watching the first 2 episodes.
All I can say is, thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention :D

Greyfox105:
Wow, on a side note to earlier about adding it to the list, I just finished watching the first 2 episodes.
All I can say is, thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention :D

You, sir, just made the time I spent writing this review worthwhile. My goal is to bring this series to the attention of a few more people since it seems to get easily overlooked based on the overly cute box art. It doesn't exactly give any impression of what the series really is, and most people that stumble across it pass it by accordingly.

If I can put the series into the hands of even one more person, I consider my goal to be met. Not that I'd mind putting it into many more hands than that. ;)

Bobby_C:

RollForInitiative:

NeutralDrow:
I was half-wondering if I should hold out for the visual novel...I think I'll look up the anime, now, instead.

Which one? There have been many visual novels released for Higurashi already. If you can read kanji, a number of them are available for import, including recent DS releases of several titles.

when people just refer to "the visual novel" they refer to the originals: Higurashi and Higurashi Kai are originally visual novels, the anime and manga are mere adaptations, and then there are spinoff novels that supplement the original eight arcs.

Yes, that's a given. I was simply implying that the visual novel (or sound novel, as the Higurashi titles were originally coined) wasn't a single game, but several. =)

This time around it's sorta based on "and then there were none", from Agatha Christie. A number of people are stuck for two days on an island, together with a serial killer who seems to be following an esoteric poem. Most are quick to suspect the legendary witch who supposedly haunts the island and whose resurrection the poem is about, but because the protagonist would rather believe the culprit is very much human, he has to figure out all the seemingly supernatural murders before his turn comes. And from there on it becomes a great mindfuck peppered with Phoenix Wright-esque confrontations and all manners of demons, not to mention a thorough deconstruction of whodunits plus a few very unique twists on the usual visual novel structure.

Thanks for the rundown on Umineko. I've been patiently waiting to see if anybody is going to license it for a North American release. It sounds about as good as I'd hoped it would be.

I watched the first series of Higurashi recently because I knew people would spoil it for me if I tried to discuss Umineko.

Oddly enough the main thing that threw me off was how similar Takano from Higurashi, and Beatrice from Umineko sounded, I was barking up the wrong tree for quite some time thanks to that. (Probably the same VA but I can't be bothered looking it up)

Then again there's always time for my convoluted theory... Just don't expect to be watching the second series any time soon.

Mstrswrd:
Huh... why did they change the title from the more literal "When the Cicadas Cry?" I always thought that was an interesting title...

Because US localisers can be stupid sometimes.

Also, the more literal title would be "When the Higurashi Cry". Higurashi Cicadas are a particular type of Cicada known for their particularly mournful cry, which are active in the evenings in late summer, which is, of course, relevant to the atmosphere of the series and when many of the key events take place. So you do learn things on the internets..

There are two live action movies as well, adapting Onikakushi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen (the first question arc and the answer arc for it), though I don't know if they're any good, I've seen mixed reviews.

RollForInitiative:
Yes, that's a given. I was simply implying that the visual novel (or sound novel, as the Higurashi titles were originally coined) wasn't a single game, but several. =)

Depends how pedantic you want to be. The original is an episodic game released in eight chapters. So, do you consider Half-Life Episode 1 and 2 seperate games, or episodic parts of a single game?

RollForInitiative:

Greyfox105:
Wow, on a side note to earlier about adding it to the list, I just finished watching the first 2 episodes.
All I can say is, thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention :D

You, sir, just made the time I spent writing this review worthwhile. My goal is to bring this series to the attention of a few more people since it seems to get easily overlooked based on the overly cute box art. It doesn't exactly give any impression of what the series really is, and most people that stumble across it pass it by accordingly.

If I can put the series into the hands of even one more person, I consider my goal to be met. Not that I'd mind putting it into many more hands than that. ;)

I also recognized a certain moment in the first episode which is used in a motivational poster I've seen :P
but really, I would watch more tonight, but I've got to go watch District 9 :D

GloatingSwine:
Depends how pedantic you want to be. The original is an episodic game released in eight chapters. So, do you consider Half-Life Episode 1 and 2 seperate games, or episodic parts of a single game?

While I imagine the question is rhetorical in nature, I'll actually answer it for the sake of clarifying my own position. =) Yes, I do consider Half-Life Episode 1 and Episode 2 to be separate games, despite the nomenclature they employ. They are clearly tied together in a linear fashion but are still purchased separately from one another.

Actually, to be technically correct:

-it's not a game. the very last episode of Higurashi Kai makes a half-baked attempt at interactivity but it's only a guise to make you more invested in the final episode, the visual novels are purely linear, they're really novels that you read on your screen.

-People refer to the original as singular because it's a serial. The eight episodes form one story. If you wanna be really thorough Higurashi is considered as two novels though. First one is Higurashi no naku koro ni, made of the four question arcs, then there's Higurashi no naku koro ni kai, made of the four answer arcs (the anime's a bit different, because they didn't know if they'd be allowed to do a second season, so they crammed some of the answer arcs in the first). As such, each episode is always sold with the previous ones in the novel it's a part of, but the final whole is not one eight-episodes novel, it's two four-episodes novel sold separately.

Those two wholes are considered two novels in the "When they cry" series (yes, said series has an english title even in japanese). And then Umineko no naku koro ni (the four question arcs of Umineko) is "when they cry 3" and Umineko no naku koro ni rei (the four answer arcs of Umineko, only one published for now) is "when they cry 4". That also explains the odd titles of the english version somewhat.

That's for the PC versions though. As far as I understand on console they added interactivity and grouped all eight episodes in a single branching storyline (which you do have to play several times in different ways to eventually reach the good ending)

Bobby_C:
Actually, to be technically correct:
[snip]

They say you learn a new thing every day. I was aware of the question/answer delineation between the arcs, but I've never come across the original sound novels so I didn't realize they were completely linear. Fascinating stuff.

There's still a bit of a gratuitous game component, but in the classic whodunit way. The author is daring you to try and figure out what's happening before the final episode comes out. It's even more blatant in Umineko where the original bit of promo is a challenge to future readers issued by the hypothetical witch, and during the novel some very formal rules are established or referenced to guide the adventurous reader who'd want to try and solve the mystery. And then characters refer to logic or writing concepts during the story, throwing around Knox's rules of detective fiction or Hempel's raven as if they were special attacks (some of them are, after all, trying to solve the mystery too), which may give you further help. In that respect it's kinda like one of those treasure hunt books.

RollForInitiative:

Greyfox105:
Wow, on a side note to earlier about adding it to the list, I just finished watching the first 2 episodes.
All I can say is, thanks for reviewing it and bringing it to my attention :D

You, sir, just made the time I spent writing this review worthwhile. My goal is to bring this series to the attention of a few more people since it seems to get easily overlooked based on the overly cute box art. It doesn't exactly give any impression of what the series really is, and most people that stumble across it pass it by accordingly.

If I can put the series into the hands of even one more person, I consider my goal to be met. Not that I'd mind putting it into many more hands than that. ;)

Wow, it really starts to go crazy after episode... well, 1, really.
but I just finished ep 5... and I... don't have a clue anymore...
Does it start to make sense the more you watch?

Greyfox105:

Does it start to make sense the more you watch?

It starts to make sense eventually.

However, the next thing you have to do is turn off your internet until you have finished the series, so as to avoid spoilers.

Greyfox105:
Sounds like a very interesting anime.
I suppose I'll add it to 'The List'..
I don't know how I'm going to manage watching everything on the list...

yes, the list has gotten quite long.
When they cry has kinda intrested me, the first time i saw it it freaked me out.
but you gotta learn the story, it gets very deep.

Greyfox105:

Wow, it really starts to go crazy after episode... well, 1, really.
but I just finished ep 5... and I... don't have a clue anymore...
Does it start to make sense the more you watch?

You have to remember that the arcs are all initially disparate from one another. They aren't re-telling the same story from different angles. Consider the fifth episode to be a complete reset; the events of episodes one through four never happened there.

There's a lot to puzzle out as you watch and the first season will answer a few things but still leave you with plenty of questions and theories. Second season is where you'll get the rest of the answers but, in the end, everything will make sense.

RollForInitiative:

Greyfox105:

Wow, it really starts to go crazy after episode... well, 1, really.
but I just finished ep 5... and I... don't have a clue anymore...
Does it start to make sense the more you watch?

You have to remember that the arcs are all initially disparate from one another. They aren't re-telling the same story from different angles. Consider the fifth episode to be a complete reset; the events of episodes one through four never happened there.

There's a lot to puzzle out as you watch and the first season will answer a few things but still leave you with plenty of questions and theories. Second season is where you'll get the rest of the answers but, in the end, everything will make sense.

so it effectively resets every 4 episodes? with the 4th being the Grand Finale?
I'm just going onto the 8th ep now... damn you for getting me addicted to this fine anime! :P :| :(
(Mix of emotions... must not laugh insanely...)

Greyfox105:

so it effectively resets every 4 episodes? with the 4th being the Grand Finale?
I'm just going onto the 8th ep now... damn you for getting me addicted to this fine anime! :P :| :(
(Mix of emotions... must not laugh insanely...)

Well, not necessarily every four. Most arcs are a bit longer than that. The "Demoned Away" arc is the second shortest in the series. There's also brief, two episode interlude halfway through the series that shows some of the prior events.

Feel free to laugh insanely. Everyone else does. ;)

RollForInitiative:

Greyfox105:

so it effectively resets every 4 episodes? with the 4th being the Grand Finale?
I'm just going onto the 8th ep now... damn you for getting me addicted to this fine anime! :P :| :(
(Mix of emotions... must not laugh insanely...)

Well, not necessarily every four. Most arcs are a bit longer than that. The "Demoned Away" arc is the second shortest in the series. There's also brief, two episode interlude halfway through the series that shows some of the prior events.

Feel free to laugh insanely. Everyone else does. ;)

Well, in that case I shall!
Ah hahahehehhahahah!
or approximately

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