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Higurashi no Naku Koro ni starts off in a quiet, peaceful little
village that looks quite ordinary and amiable to anyone.
But, of course, there's always something horribly wrong.
Higurashi was first brought into the world in the form several PC games, with the covers designed to look quite disarming so any person would think that this series was harmless. But once you get into the meat of it, things aren't looking so rosy. You'll be pulled, dragged, and unwillingly shoved into a head-spinning mystery that you wished never surfaced in the first place, fighting for your life against people you trusted, and digging through graves and lies in order to survive.
There are four "question" arcs, consisting of four different viewpoints of the fateful Hinamizawa festival and two "answer" arcs (in the anime), which will reveal what went wrong in two of the question arcs.
What's best of all is the horror, both physical and psychological. If the blood won't get to you, the emotional tension will. With a cast of memorable and lively characters, you won't be able to watch this anime only once.
There are FOUR of them now. Yes, you'll have to deal with four creepy girls instead of one like a normal horror film would. They'll be cute and bouncy for one moment, then murderous and psychotic the next. Full of twists, turns, and unpleasant surprises, after watching this, you won't be able to close an eyelid for some time.
Welcome to Hinamizawa. Enjoy your stay.
For those who doesn't know about Higurashi. Three points:
(1) Higurashi has 50 episodes in total. Second half (24 episodes) are called "Higurashi no nakukoroni Kai". "Kai" means "Answer to mystery". You won't get answer and you won't understand the whole story until you watch "Kai" part.
(2) Style is somewhat similar to US drama "Lost". You will keep wondering if bizarre phenomenon will be explained by science and logic, or by pure fantasy.
(3) If you don't know about Anime, you may think some part are very childish, silly or weird. There are many "Moe" elements in this anime, which are prevalent in current anime. Maid dress, multiple very young female characters with one central male character, are typical "Moe" elements, and you should just ignore them and they shouldn't distract you from concentrating on the main story. What's new about Higurashi is the combination of "Moe" and horror, not unlike "Elfen Lied" which combined "Moe" and Science fiction. But "Moe" part may be just annoying for those who like serious drama.
This a series of many different arcs all taking place in Hinamizawa of
1983. With the first episode it kinda make you think this is gonna be
your typical cute funny anime. But it's not. It is truly a horror and a
thriller anime. Even if you don't like violence I believe most people
would still appreciate this anime. In a way it could also fit into the
Surprisingly, the arcs do not get old nor repetitive. Which before watching this anime I was afraid of. After each episode you want to watch more. Overall this is an amazing anime and I would recommend it to anyone. (not children though of course since it is quite violent}.
For those who have not watched this show yet, this anime is based on
popular digital novel created by and amateur (refered as 'Doujin' in
Unlike other anime series, this one splits itself into several stories(arcs). Each arc consists of about 2-5 episodes. All episodes tells the story of main characters(some side characters) encountering different/same/similar events in small countryside village called 'Hinamizawa' (This feels like parallel universe setting, after each story ends, good or bad they go back in time and start again but this time something else happens with new characters, and more mysteries are created or answered).
First few episode of each arc are done average to near horrible (Personal Experience: I almost decided to stop watching the series after half way through the first episode,,,thank god I didn't!). It's probably due to the way they made it very 'comedial' and some of the ways characters talk, and also how they look.
However, real excitement usually starts from around mid-second episode. Everything will change dramatically! There are plenty of mystery you can try solve in each story (Later episodes reveals the answers to the mystery, so I recommend watching them in order, it is also hard to solve the mystery with anime version due to lack of details in the story compared to the original novel).
Voice acting is very well done, Mion/Shion Sonozaki are personal favorite characters, but everyone else does good job of making the overall warm/dark feel of the atmosphere!
I highly recommend this animation for people who likes mystery, suspense, violence with interesting plots and twists.
*Added - The same author of this series has released new digital novel called 'Umineko no naku koroni (Umineko - Japanese Gull/Black tailed gull)'. 'Umineko' is not a direct sequel to 'higurashi', but has similarity to higurashi. It has better character settings in term of 'realism' (People are a lot more believable), more serious (less jokes that was less appearing to 'serious story' seekers, and still contains a lot of gore. If you understand Japanese, I highly recommend all mystery loving people to read the novel!
I said good but this show is amazing...
After watching the first episode most people will discard it as a kids show, personally, I wouldn't let my kids anyway near this show, although I like horror movies and shows it's really rare for me to feel horror myself, this show though, did it like no other.
The story takes place in a small village, around a group of small kids (I wold guess the ages between 8 and 14, but that's all this is), although the village gives you a warm and soothing feeling, it will, by the end of each story, make you feel isolated and suffocating, the children are perky and sweet at the beginning (a little too much, some will say), are really dark and scary at the begging, The show divide to few stories, all around the same time of the year, it runs as a detective story from different angles, slowly gaining more details about the dark past of the village and it's people.
You should watch the whole show, though, if you expect to understand any of it (even twice won't hurt, if you'll like it as much as I do), but only after seeing the sequel "Higurashi no naku koro ni kai" (which is not half as good, and can't really be called "horror") you'll really understand more then a few pieces.
And I'll finish in a few words of warning, this is one of the best Japanese anime shows ever created, but it really ISN'T FOR THE FAINT OF HEARTS, enjoy
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I LOVE this anime. It's my second favorite (After One Piece). The girls
are all so cute(Especially Rena and Rika *Ni-pah!*). The story's
original, and the characters all have wonderful personalities.
However this anime does get very dark at times and may not be suitable for everyone as it DOES contain stuff like murder, child abuse, child torture, beatings, and the story keeps going back which may get on some peoples' nerves. However, aside from all this, it really is a great anime and in my opinion, is a true masterpiece in both story and horror. A must see for any horror fan.
BEWARE THE KILLER LOLIS.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This delightfully prepared anime has one of the best plots I've ever
In style, the anime employs cuteness, fun and games to ease you into it just to make the creepy parts even more creepy. Always shocks you at the right moment. Kept me up on my seat the whole time.
Starts with a lovely intro music with thoughtfully written lyrics, if you're into that kind of thing. I am.
What is really wonderful about this anime though, was the mind blowing quality of the subs provided by WindFS, who even included their often cryptic messages to us somehow (look out for them). Only this feature kept me going excitedly through just a few monotonous moments this anime had to offer.
Also has a sequel named Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, for which all my previous comments still apply. And there is a second sequel named Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, which is a lot different, though equally elegant.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once upon a time, a young man who had grown to love those about him
began noticing things; little things at that, and too many little
things. He was then to die, and he did. Suddenly it began again. The
young man was alive and he loved those about him; and they loved him.
With each of the chapters, little more is revealed of why there are murders which occur during each 'Watanagashi Fesitval', however, with each chapter, more IS revealed through our ignorant Keiichi (our unlucky-as-all-hell protagonist who is to experience this all). Every chapter begins fresh, with time having seemed to rewind it's self and Keiichi having no memory of having suffered; as do also most every other of the characters.Each chapter can be divided as beginning simple and very humorous (Rena, the secondary character, has an obsession towards cute things and finds garbage and the like as such), and this will contrast with it's inevitable climax (that tends to be extreme in that some or most of the character die, and in brutal ways). The transition between points A and B is very organic and unclean, in that it never seems too 'planned out'.
The characters become very interesting through this transition. Again, the character of Rena begins cute and innocent (moe urges growing!) though she is not without her 'moments' during point B. The character of Keiichi changes also. During each 'begining', he is 'simple', and during point B, he is then already paranoid towards every of the supporting cast. This change only adds to the suspense which builds it's self gradually.
This show is perfect, in that it masters what even most films try and cannot: the ability over an audience's fear, and it uses little gore so to do this (though that's not to say that it's without such 'scenes'). Watch this show and enjoy it's intro sequence (which I think captures the exact feel of the show it self).
The only thing negative I can say about this show is that it's English voice cast is weak, or course, and that it's animation dose not transition with it's subject matter (it's too cute during point B, but I'm just complaining for the sake of complaining about something).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I recently watched this anime for the first time and initially wasn't
sure what to make of it; I'd heard that is was a horror story but the
animation style and opening episodes gave little suggestion of what was
to come apart from the short pre-credit sequence in the first episode.
Keiichi has recently moved from the city to the small, traditional village of Hinamizawa and has settled in at the local school where he has befriended a group of girls and joined their "club". This all suggests it is going to be a comedy with him getting into embarrassing situations with the girls, there is some of that but it leads on to murder and mayhem.
The story repeats a few times during the series with slightly different situations leading to different characters taking the lead roll. All the stories however end in murder, often shockingly brutal murder and torture.
We later learn that the repeating stories aren't merely showing how things could be different if different choices are made but time is repeating like a macabre version of "Groundhog Day", except that more than a day is repeated. We later learn that one of the girls is aware of this and is trying to change fate to prevent it from reoccurring, occasionally one or more of the others will remember something too but tends to write it off as a half remembered dream or déjà vu.
The story is fairly gripping and doesn't get boring as events repeat themselves. I found the juxtaposition of cute animated characters and disturbing imagery quite disturbing in a good way.
In the town of Hinamizawa, a group of young friends violently die
shortly after the annual Wataganashi festival. For four episodes, these
kids have been your eyes and ears into a World where paranoia and
murder lurk just below the surface of a cute and loving exterior.
And so the cycle begins again and again. Each time with different results.
The story of Hinamizawa begins quite confusingly. As the chapters of each cycle develop, more hints as to what is really going on are dropped and it becomes more of a puzzle in which the audience has to put things into perspective. In almost a David Lynch manner, people are not who they appear to be, bizarre goings on are never fully revealed or solved (perhaps they never even happened) and a seemingly innocent act can descend into a massacre.
I found the story to be a bit too kitsch for me in the beginning but it quickly finds its momentum and continues to build strength. When you first encounter the show it's all very scary and hard to understand. However, as it progresses, the edge of the show moves from violent horror to psychological terror. Knowing the fates of each of the young people from the beginning and seeing them struggle to survive or overcome their mistakes becomes increasingly depressing and tough to watch so even though the camera begins to look away when they're being murdered, it hurts even more.
Truly disturbing at times and a testament to the strength of storytelling, I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good story or just unfiltered gore. Because there is a lot of it. Season One is by far the more violent of the two seasons so viewer discretion is advised. I'd also recommend that you source the second season for it explains fully the mystery of Hinamizawa. Also, watch it with subtitles, the dubbing is really rather poor.
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