Well, what a rollercoaster this has been. Higurashi (lit. When They Cry) sure took me for a damn wild ride. It was recommended to me at least 500 times in the past, so I’m glad this challenge finally allowed me to watch it!
“Keiichi Maebara has just moved to the quiet little village of Hinamizawa in the summer of 1983, and quickly becomes inseparable friends with schoolmates Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rika Furude. However, darkness lurks underneath the seemingly idyllic life they lead.
As the village prepares for its annual festival, Keiichi learns about the local legends surrounding it. To his horror, he discovers that there have been several murders and disappearances in the village in the recent years, and that they all seem to be connected to the festival and the village’s patron god, Oyashiro. Keiichi tries to ask his new friends about these incidents, but they are suspiciously silent and refuse to give him the answers he needs. As more and more bizarre events occur, he wonders just what else his friends might be keeping from him, and if he can even trust them at all.
When madness and paranoia begin taking root in Keiichi’s heart, he will stumble straight into the mysteries at work in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, a story that is told across multiple arcs.” (From MyAnimeList)
So I should probably talk about the multiple arcs first and foremost, since this is by far the most unique aspect of Higurashi, but also one of the more polarising choices that could be made. If you were to tell someone totally unfamiliar with Higurashi that they were to watch the same events happen 7 times over, I’m sure you’d be met with some pretty darn confused expressions.
Sure, totally like this.
Higurashi’s reasoning for its format is due to its source material, which is a visual novel. At first, I was pretty apprehensive of this. The only other visual novel I’d seen adapted is School Days aaaand…let’s be honest. That’s not an experience I need to relive. And not only was Higurashi a visual novel, but it’s adapting ALL the routes?! Ambitious, but believe me, it paid off.
It was a long wait for the pay-off, sure. For a long time, I didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on. Apart from there was a lot of blood. Yep, don’t let those cute girls and Clannad-like eyes fool you. I’m a huge horror enthusiast, and a big fan of blood and guts in media, but even I found myself hiding behind my hands at some point.
Regardless, when you do reach the point of understanding – and you’ll know when you do – prepare to have your mind blown. Higurashi is incredibly difficult to talk about in regards to its plot without spoiling a whole lot. Imagine the plot of Higurashi to be like an entire ball of yarn. By pulling on one loose string, the entire thing unravels. Everything is connected in some way, meaning that by saying too much about one thing, I may spoil something else.
I do strongly recommend Higurashi, though. Particularly to those who enjoyed Doki Doki Literature Club (I’m pretty sure DDLC borrows a lot from Higurashi), as you’ll find a lot of the same thrills. If you’re yet to dig into horror anime – this is a great place to start! With jumps, gore, and thrills behind every corner…you’d have to be cursed to miss it.
My rating: 7/10
3/50 Anime completed