Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni + Kai

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (When The Cicadas Cry) started as a murder mystery doujin soft sound novel by Ryukusihi07, turned into a game, and then an anime series. The first anime, licensed by Geneon, aired from April 2006 until September 2006 with 26 episodes. The sequel, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai (When The Cicadas Cry Solutions) aired from July 2007 to December 2007, with 24 episodes. This has also been adapted into two live- action movies, released in May 2008 and May 2009.

PLOT


Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa which is based on Shirakawa, Gifu which has a population of approximately 2,000.
The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryuugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser, usually him.) Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends.
-From Wikipedia
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
At first, this anime will make you think it’s the usual harem type with cute little girls who are going to get raped. Then, it will become a story of paranoid kids killing each other because of paranoia over “Oyashiro-sama”. Then it’ll become a fight versus fate. Then, you’ll find out there’s a deeper meaning with a political conflict (SRS BSNS) involved.

For starters, let’s have this video of episode 1

The very first scene will already give you an idea of what kind of anime this is. Each chapter kinda show a different perspective of the story. Each character is given a spotlight. All ends the same way- Watanagashi time, someone will be the killer and someone will be killed, Furude Rika will die and all residents of Hinamizawa will die. At first, I thought this “Oyashiro-sama” really has something to do with it. It will be revealed later on that this has a scientific explanation and it is not about the wrath of a god and stuff. There is a survivor occasionally. Then a new story will start. At the end of  the first Higurashi, viewers are given a bit of an explanation of why the heck this crazy story is happening. What I love about this series is that, a mystery in a story will be answered in the next, though the next has no direct connection to the previous. So you need to complete watching it to understand the story better. Pretty hard to explain, really. But all will be answered in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai. And oh, I suggest you skip the first episodes of an arc if you want serious action. Watch the last two episodes! 😉

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai

The first episode is pretty boring. It starts with the old policeman (gwah, forgot his name) and Akasaka interviewing the grown- up Rena. Then the usual story will start. The story will develop (and will make more sense) on the episodes that will follow. On episode 11 most especially, the mastermind will be revealed. Episode 12, the kids will discover the truth and on episode 13, they will try to fight fate and the mystery of the death of the Hinamizawa residents will be revealed. They will lose and they will return to a new Hinamizawa and again, they will fight fate. By this time, each of them has memories of the ‘other world’ they were in and they will correct their mistakes in the current world. Too much spoiler already! XD

On other note, I haven’t watched Rei, (the third installment) because I’ve been reading many negative feedbacks about it. In fact, Hitler was not impressed.

Score: 10/10

ART
Hmmm.. Not bad for a violent anime. They are good at showing terrible things but unfortunately, it is usually just a glimpse. Bummer. My favorite is the glimpse of Keiichi’s body with fingers full of nails and stomach cut open. :3 Shion made that episode really epic.

Score: 8/10

SOUND
I love the eerie feeling of Eiko Shimamiya’s voice! Her songs really fit the Higurashi atmosphere. I love Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni above all.

Score: 9/10

ENJOYMENT
I think this is not for weak- hearted people, lol. On the contrary, people who love violence will surely like this. But hey, it’s not all about the violence. It has a deeper meaning! Violence just serves as the appetizer of this show. :3

Score : 10/10

OVERALL
This is a very good anime. All horror stories must be like this! Conventional horror stories usually include ghosts and legends and stuff. Higurashi looks like the same at first, but in Kai, everything will be revealed including the real sense of the story. The ending is perfect. All became clear and there’re no frickin’ cliffhangers (I HATE CLIFFHANGERS).

Score: 9/10

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Bokurano


Bokurano is a 24-episode anime produced by the studio who fancy dark stories (like this), Gonzo. It is an adaptation of Moshiro Kitoh’s 10-volume manga. This anime has mecha and lots of drama.

STORY

While on a summer nature school in Mitomi Island, fifteen kids discovers a cave by the sea. They meet a man, who claims to be a programmer, named Kokopelli. He persuades them to try his game by entering a contract. The game is about defeating 15 alien invasions using the robot which the kids named Zearth.

The first pilot, after successfully defeating the first enemy, “accidentally” falls from the robot. The kids discover that Zearth runs using life force, meaning, a pilot will die after every battle. KAY, survival tiem.

The story is sort of sadistic. The children entered the contract, terms are not explained. The chosen pilot fights and wins, then dies. The pilot loses, his Earth dies. The pilot will not fight, his Earth dies. The kids have no option, and there’s no way to escape the contract. And heck, the fights usually occur in a city so there is a great deal of wrecking and destroying involved.

Each story in Bokurano centers on the life of the current pilot. I was moved by each story, as it usually centers on the thing each kid has to face- death. Bokurano’s drama is extraordinary unlike the usual love story we usually encounter in a show under this genre. Each story reflects real- life situations we are experiencing today. Bokurano teaches many lessons too.

Score: 9/10

ART
I’m not impressed plz. However, the style they used on the robots is awesome. Unfortunately, the robots here are very lame and not that kickass type we see on Gundam. I was really disappointed. Since it is sort of mecha anime, I was expecting good animation.


Score: 5/10

SOUND
Nothing special.

Score: 6/10

ENJOYMENT
I was really affected by this show. Actually I was thinking about making my last will because I realized there’s really no way to know when you’ll die. Hahaha. I enjoyed this show because of its lessons and excellent portraying of real life.

Score: 9/10

OVERALL
The sound sucks, the art sucks, THE ROBOTS SUCK. However, this show gives many life lessons. Plus, [WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD] the seiyuu of Ushiro Jun (the last pilot) is Junko Minagawa! Yes, yes, the woman behind Ryoma Echizen’s voice! Anyway, Bokurano is a must- watch if you are into dark, serious, deep, twisted and crazy stories.
Score: 7/10

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Naruto 453


This week’s Naruto will surely cause fangasms all over the Internetz! Sasgay’s back and all over the place! There’s even Gaara at the end.

Team Taka heads to Konoha. Then, Tobi (who is definitely not a good boy anymore) appears.
Team Taka was like “Oh shi-” and stuff.
Suigetsu: Shit, bad timing. We are very tired and we’re about to rest, you know.
Sasuke: How did you know where I was?
Madara: Don’t underestimate my hunk radar, idiot.
Sasuke: Damn it, why am I always being followed by these frickin’ rapists? First Orochimaru, then Naruto, then this Madara!
Then Tobi tells them how stupid they was for being tricked by that Kirabi (Killerbee, the gangsta jinchuuriki of the hachibi).
Tobi: Now, that’s one big epic fail gaiz.
Team Taka:
Tobi:
Team Taka:
Sasuke:Tobi:

Tobi Madara tells Sasuke that Konohagakure no longer exists. Zetsu appears, telling them that Danzou is the new hokage.
Sasuke:
Madara:Just as planned.
Madara tells him that the five kages will hold a meeting.

Meanwhile, Naruto meets Killerbee’s gangsta friends and asked them to tell everything they know about Saskay.
Sakura:
Karui: Damn, your crying won’t bring Killerbee or Yugito back!
Sai: Er.. you know, now that the order has been sent out to kill Sasuke, I’m sure the village will provide you with all the information you need. There’s no need to pressure these guys.
Naruto: Yeah right. You’ve said the “S” word many times already.

Team Samui:
Team Samui: B-b-b-b-but we just thought we’d see if we could find more info (like what’s his favorite color and type of girl, lol.)!
Naruto:
So there, they decide to find Killerbee instead. I miss that guy, btw.
On the other hand, the Akatsuki guys found that Naruto defeated Pain. Yes. I can understand them if they can’t believe it. You’ll never believe how Pain was defeated, really. Read Sasuke’s reply? Good.
(YOU FAILED NARUTO, LOL)

Kay, change of plans. They’re going to kill the kages! FFFFFFFFF
O WAAAAAI.
Yeah, Danzou will be targeted and hopefully, killed (>:D OH JOY). BUT, it just happened that..
…ONE OF OUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS IS ALSO A KAGE, GODDAMMIT!

Well, that’s it for this week.

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Naruto Shippuden Movie 2: Bonds

Bonds is the second Shippuden movie which was released on August 2, 2008. The DVD came out last April 22, 2009 (and from there came the fansubbed copies that we’re enjoying lol).

The movie begins with Sasuke showing his fangirls how manly he is with his cowboy music.

And there, he takes off his clothes and…

dundundundun.. shows his AWESOME *rolls eyes* muscles….

….then, drowns himself.
Meanwhile…

Unknown shit appears on the sea.

Unfamiliar ninja village symbol on forehead protector is unfamiliar.
Then suddenly.. they launch..
STUFF! Oooh technology. This made me check if it’s Naruto I’m watching.

And off they go… attacking Konoha!


Konoha ninjas attacks them with kunais and ninja stuff..

Unfortunately, they’re useless! D:

Because ninja stuff is soo 1400!

So they fight until the bastards ran out of chakra.
Naruto meets a doctor and asks..
Well, it just happened that you’re a frickin’ famous ninja boy.
Famous ninja. Oh, the irony. XD

Okay. I’m making this post too long and heavy with photos.
So I’ll just get into the review.

PLOT
For the summary, click this. Lazy me is lazy. So, I was like, “Er… that’s it?” when I finished the movie. The story is sort of small and lame.

Score: 7/10

ART
Eh, same old same old. Nothing new. Anyhow, the quality is awesome.


Score: 9/10

SOUND
Now, this is what I love in this movie. The sound effects are awesome. They suit the events perfectly. I lol’d at the the part where Shino finishes his job and his bugs starts to eat the enemy’s ships. The background music is The Flight of the Bumblebee! EPIC WIN!

Score: 10/10

ENJOYMENT
For me, reading the manga is better than watching the series, and watching the movie is the best way to enjoy Naruto! Naruto movies have less talk and drama compared to the anime series (which is sooo full of fillers). I really enjoyed this movie. It’s so packed with action and lulz.

Example of lulz:

Amaru confessed.
Sensei LOL’d
And received a punch. Hahaha! DON’T MESS WITH A WOMAN’S HEART, YOU BASTARD!

Another one..


Shut up, betch.

SO.. Sasuke and Naruto are alone in the flying fortress. Sasuke sees this as an opportunity to do it with Naruto……

Unfortunately…
Naruto seems unprepared so he uses his Rasengan to break the stuff Sasuke is on.
Sasuke:


Naruto: Later!

Sasuke: Dammit.

Why, it’s a pity they were not able to do it. To hang out and catch up on each other’ s lives, that is. XD

Score: 10/10

OVERALL

I enjoyed the action in this movie. Two thumbs up.

Score: 9/10

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Gintama

Gintama is a hilarious anime airing since April 2006. As of now, there are 161 episodes that can be watched on Crunchyroll. Unlike any other comedy anime, it is not boring because it has less talk. If you like Naruto and Bleach but hate those long boring talks and fights that take over 9000 episodes to finish, you’ll probably love Gintama. Gintama’s story is sooo random, so watching it is all for the heck of enjoying 24 minutes of your life. Samurai/Ninja- themed anime fans may be disappointed, though. Because unlike Basilisk and Afro Samurai, this does not contain heavy drama and gore.

STORY
The story takes place in Edo (known today as Tokyo because of the name change in 1868), Japan, which has been taken over by aliens called Amanto since the late Edo period. The samurai of Japan have fallen, and the Amanto placed a ban on carrying swords in public. The story focuses on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata, his (partial) apprentice Shinpachi Shimura, and a teenage alien girl: Kagura. All three are “free-lancers” who search for work in order to pay the monthly rent, which usually goes unpaid anyway.

Score: 3/10. LOL. It’s so random. There’s no storyline. Period. XD

ART
Gintama has the style otakus of this generation love. Just the same style, though. Nothing new and special.

Score: 9/10

SOUND
The opening and closing songs are quite catchy. I like Pray (the first opening song) the most.

Score: 9/10

WORTH WATCHING?
F yes! I highly recommend this anime for those people bored of the same old anime that fall under the comedy category. The parodies are frickin’ funny! There’s Prince of Tennis, Naruto, Bleach and many more! It has the right amount of action and comedy.

OVERALL
9/10
The best comedy anime I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, it’s just about the comedy.. and action.

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