Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just In Time For Halloween... A Review More Depth Look On Higurashi

Rika Will Make You Submit..

This review is an updated more thought for the entire Higurashi series "this will cover the visual novel and anime". This review does contain spoilers so if you really hate that sort of thing.. all I have to say is, just deal with it

This series originally came from a visual novel adaption from 7th expansion which first came out in comiket 62 august 10th 2002, and the squeal arcs where released up until 2006 comiket 70. There is a full English adaption out for this visual-novel from manga-gamer and as of now you can also purchase the first arc for your Ipod/Iphone and Ipad via I-tunes for .99$. If wish to play the p.c. version the head over to manga gamer to buy a legal copy or can download a free demo for the first arc. " I also highly recommend you getting the sprite hack for the visual novel, this makes it much more bearable to look at."

What an I say about this series that makes me flinch. Well one thing comes to mind is that the series animation is done by "studio deen" which is known for quailty works. It's also quite obvious where the animation falls flat on ass, which sadly do cut away from the serious tone the series is trying present. However the series as a whole is picked back up with it's plot/story/characters and sense of mystery with horror elements that happen to kick all of that out the window. So I am able to handle some drops in the overall quality in the animation. One thing I wanto to point out is that if you are not fan gore or are squeamish in any-way please avoid the t.v. anime and read the visual novel.

This series starts off with our male lead Keiichi Maebara who has moved to the country side with his parents in small town called Hinamizawa "this is the usual set up for the typical harem anime and slice of life series however I was proved wrong within the first thirty seconds of episode one." The village that keiichi moves to is in the rural country side so he is in for a bit of cultural shock as well since he is from the city after all "Again I do realize this is cheap set up however it fits the series just perfectly" One other thing I love about this show is that it takes place in the early 80's so there is no chance of DNA evidence to prove who done it "this is a mystery/horror series after all"

Keiichi adapts pretty quickly since he had a reason for wanting to leave his old home town but I will not spoil that for you. He makes friends with one of the main heroine's "Rena Ryugu" who has a fascination with cute things no matter the gender or what kind of toy it is. I also wish to add one of the biggest anime quotes happen to come from rena-chan which is " I am going to take it home". Since the town has such a low population "around two thousand or so" all of kids go to the same school/class not matter what grade you are in, "adding more to reality that the characters do live in rural country side". 

So Keiichi is friends with mainly just "females characters such as Rena, Mion, Shion, Satoko and Rika" but this does not  fall into the harem territory unless you really want it to. " I really thought it was going to be an harem anime at first..I was proved wrong, majorly wrong by the end of arc1.  Keiichi unlike most male leads also helps teach his younger/older class mates, due in part his education is much higher since was learning at a higher level from at his previous school. Even with all of this Keiichi is still a newbie at there afternoon school club where you play card games or old board games and have you have to suffer from a batsu punishment if you loose.

The Village of Shirakawa, Gifu In Japan
This is what Hinamizawa was based on
The other main focus of the series is on vast range of serial murders that have been happening for five years that take place from 1978-1983. Everyone thinks this is a curse from the local deity Oyashiro-sama for wanting to leave/tear down the home land during the dam war "this would flood the whole town and force everyone to move". The curse revolves around some one dying and some one disappears from with-out a trace. Is this truly the work of god/goddesses or is it something more major "you will have to come to that conclusion on your own". However if you wish use the old bastard Ooishi or the detective in the series as medium to gather clues.

Hinamizawa it's self dipped in traditional Japanese culture all over the place, from the festival of departed souls to main head family and being ousted for what your family did even though your child. Even with all of these barriers it is still very enjoyable to watch "although it's not for the faint of heart". There is even use for old Japanese torture devices from the Sonozaki family use to keep sin/punishment in order "you could relate them to yakuza if you wish, due their power they hold in the village". They are even to be suspected behind the murders at one point.. maybe they are or maybe it's some one you are least suspecting "I did not see the reason why, how or who at all and neither will you until arc four or five". Another thing that did surprise me was around arc four you realize no only a few people die..everyone in the entire village does, but how or for what reason???

You Fu**ed bro

Overall Higurashi is a good example of Japanese style horror that will keep you edge of your seat asking what the hell just happened. However  If you have a problem with gore or even "child abuse",  which does happen in some arcs then avoid this series at all cost. Something else that might bother a few is the fact the story "re-sets every arc after every five to six episodes" This will really confuse some at first however it is essential to show or set up different perspectives from other characters, if you hate that type of writing the just avoid the series. However unlike many shows this anime/visual novel has a true/happy ending that is worth fighting for which is obtainable through miracle in the second season kai or answer arcs.

Noting like some bernkastel wine.. " do you get the joke?"
Another huge plus for this franchise is the creepy music it uses to set the mood. This helps establish when something major is going happen "such as some-one being killed or closing in the culprit."  The t.v. anime does a wonderful job on this level with the bone chilling op from season one that even to this day makes me cringe. Higurashi overall does something very important for the mystery genre. They do established who done it and how they done it. However the cover the most important part which is WHY they done it. 

I can not stress enough the reason why is one of the most important branch in a mystery series/novel.This helps gives the reader/viewer a chance to see through the killers eyes and understand what's going on through their brain. It also helps/set up an understanding why a person could kill over two thousand people just to obtain their goal no matter how deprived it may be. Personally even I felt sorry for the person that was doing the heinous acts towards the end, However I think that is the point in covering why the done it in the first place. 

Well I could go on but there isn't any need for me to. There is no longer anyone that holds the anime licensed in America so if you want to download it then be my guest, however the visual novel and manga is here to legally own. If you ask kindly enough then maybe I will post links to download the anime if you wish but I will not provide links to download the game or manga "please do support the legal means of supporting the series if you can". That's all she wrote on this one, just leave me some feed back and tell me. Now do you have what it takes to solve the mystery or will you just let two thousand innocent people die???
Animation 4/5

Music 4.5/5

Story/Plot 5/5

Characters 5/5

Overall Total 4.5/5

Age Rating 17+

Buy Legal Copies Of The Visual Novel

Arc's 1-4 

Arc's 5-8

Buy A DVD Set "beware of price gouging"

Season One DVD Set


  1. Good review!

    if i had to say anything, this series is the ESSENSE of a mystery novel. It has a mystery which seems magical at 1st, leaving the reader/watcher clueless, but slowly, it reveals itself in such a satifying way that you can't help be amazed at how well thought the story has been established.

    would i recommend this series to people: hell yes!

  2. I am commenting...well I havent watched it yet and theres a lot of stuff labeled spoiler so...yeah

  3. I still have a lot of episodes to see. I'm sure I will get round to it eventually... good review, although some notable grammatical errors.

  4. nice review and ya i agree hanyuus moment of badass was defenitley when she dodged the bullet literally.

  5. Great Review! I still need to get around to watching the anime. I Look forward to more reviews to come.

  6. Its crazier when you watch it a second time