31 December 2016

Random Reviews Chapter-8: When Cicadas Cry... (Higurashi)


If you're a fan of horror anime, chances are, you've heard of Higurashi. It has, I guess you can say, 4 seasons. The first season is called Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. It has 26 episodes. The second season, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai has 24 episodes. Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Rei and Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kira are seasons 3 and 4, I guess. I'm not confident in calling them seasons because Rei has 5 episodes and Kira has 4 episodes. There's also Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni: Nekogoroshi-hen. But I think it's a special. I haven't watched it and am sticking to the 4 seasons I mentioned earlier.
The music through out this anime seemed forgettable to me. Before you come at me with whatever weapon you can find, let me explain. By music, I don't mean the opening or ending themes. What I mean by the music, is the themes that play during the actual show. I found that music forgettable. As for the opening and ending themes, Both themes fit really well with the overall feel of the season it was used in. The lyrics of each opening and ending song (what I understood from reading the subtitles that is), tone, and visuals of the sequence seemed to fit in perfectly with the general tone of the season it was used in. Though I personally did not like the ending of season 1, I have to admit that it fits in well with the tone of the season. So it was a huge success in song selection.

Each season has a somewhat different feel compared to the other seasons. Season 1 is a murder fest that will leave you tense and confused. This is probably why this anime is considered a horror anime. It has multiple story arcs. The arcs confused me to no end. I had to open Wikipedia and read up on the anime before I had enough understanding of what was going on to continue watching this series from episode 5 onwards. I did not read anything that could be a potential spoiler so I ended up enjoying this anime all the same.

Almost all the confusion season 1 created is removed in season 2. Here the various arcs are explained and joined to form one epic story. Previously unexplained behavior of characters are also explained in this season. It is my personal opinion that this is the best season of the entire series.

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Rei takes the series in a weird turn. It seems to me that the first episode of Rei is just there for fan service and has too many inconsistencies with the story the last 50 episodes worked so hard to establish and perfect to be taken seriously or to be considered cannon. It's kinda funny when you think about it. 50 serious episodes went into forging an awesome and serious tale. Taking episode number 51 seriously will cause that awesome and serious tale to crash. If you think this episode IS cannon, please tell me how it can have any importance for the story. But I can let this slide because the next 3 episodes are pretty serious. But the last episode of Rei, though not as inconsistent with the other episodes, is still just there for fun. Take it seriously or don't, it won't effect your experience with this anime much.

The joke episodes of Rei were one thing. But the 4 episodes of Kira are in a league of their own.

The 1st episode features Keichi. Tometake, Dr. Irie and Oishi fantasizing about what they will make the girls do for the punishment game. Then Keichi blacks out and, let's just say a lot of stuff happens in a time span of 3 minutes and then Keichi wakes up (again) in a hospital. He has been infected by the "NEW Hinamizawa Syndrome" and Takano wants to exploit it and then Keichi's friends show up. After some time, Takano is killed off-screen and Keichi dies in a phone booth in parody of the very first story arc Higurashi has to offer.

The 2nd episode features some "magical girl" crap and a fight scene that sorta reminded me of Power Rangers.

The 3rd episode turns the anime into a harem for an episode.

The last episode is about a young Rika that accidentally time traveled into the future.

The episodes of Kira MUST NOT be taken seriously. These episodes were probably made only as a joke and must be taken as such. The pure ridiculous-ness of Kira served to confuse me. I guess I should have expected such after an opening like this:


but it only confused me even more. I soon gave up trying to take this seriously and enjoyed it as the joke it is. Let me explain how weird this season is by comparing Higurashi with Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Season 1 and 2 comprised of the main game. Season 3 is the extra missions available after completing the game. If Square Enix found a fan-fic on the internet abot FFTA, and decided to add that as a free DLC, then that fan-fic would be season 4.

As stupid and/or awesome a fan-fic can be, it's still a fan-fic. What do you think would happen if 4 fan-fics of a series were suddenly turned into actual episodes? Something like Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kira would be created. It's like animators made a compilation of 4 fan-fics they liked and turned them into actual episodes. And in case you're wondering, I hated Kira. It turned a great anime into nonsense.

Overall, Higurashi is a great anime series. I will recommend this to you if you aren't bothered by lots of blood. Just don't take season 4 seriously.

I rate this: 42/100 (with Kira)

And: 88/100 (without Kira)

Thanks for Reading!

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