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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).