Title: Higurashi no Naku Koroni (When They Cry)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Summary: On one hot summer day in 1983, a transfer student named Maebara Keiichi comes to a peaceful rural village in Hinamizawa. There, he befriends his classmates Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko. Accepted as a full-fledged member of the “club,” Keiichi and the gang plays all sorts of activities ranging from card and board games to hide-and-seek. But just as Keiichi was beginning to be assimilated in simple rural life, he stumbles upon the dark history of Hinamizawa. As Keiichi dives deeper into the mystery, he finds that his new found friends may not be all what they claim to be.
Sick… twisted… disturbing… horrific… terrifying
… and absolutely magnificent. This has the only anime that has got my heart pumping in fear. The creepy music, dark atmosphere, violent murders, and evil laughs all mixed perfectly together to create a terrific horror. The storyline is rather basic, but blooms into an intense psychological experience that anyone could enjoy. Diving deep into the minds of these odd group of kids brings a sense of wonder and horror to the viewer. At first glance, I was going to drop this anime, but I’m glad I didn’t. Once I reached episode 3 or 4 I could help but watch the next episode. I finished this series (26 episodes) in two nights, which goes to show you how hooked I became. However, this isn’t for the faint of heart. The anime doesn’t hold back when it comes to blood and gore, and surely doesn’t hold back when it comes to disturbing realizations. Each character plays a vital role in the story as a whole, and to prevent from giving anything away, all I will say is that they all have personal motives. It is hard to say if the character really “developed” but they sure did change. The soundtrack couldn’t have been better. The opening was mysterious and eerie, and heart pounding moments during the episode were complimented by music that you would generally find in jumper movies. Probably the most disappointing thing about Higurashi no Naku Koroni was the art. It was very clear that this anime had a rather low budget. In all honesty, I probably would have had difficult time sleeping if the art style was better. Though that could be the reason they decided not to increase budget on art. I actually still have images burned into my mind of the twisted smiles coated in blood.
Final statements: The reasons I didn’t give the anime a higher score is 1) the low budget art style 2) poor twist ending and 3) it won’t appeal to quite a large audience. Still consider a preferred watch if you don’t mind gore and messed up situations. I will be picking up season two as well so get ready for that review too.