I had just finished watching Narutaru when i was browsing around youtube and found this little video from Jeseon. In it she took up an anime DVD set of a series called “Higurashi no naku koro no”. The DVD set had lude images of the characters in it and she reflected on this because this was an anime where they basiclly “Tear each other to pieces”. I leaped from my chair and just had to get this, So thank you Jeseon for talking about the anime so that it made me want to watch it.
That said, it’s important to know that the anime follows an unusual pattern of storytelling and doesn’t really make such information privy to the viewer at first glance. Higurashi is adapted from a novel/game series in which the presentation starts with four “question” arcs and concludes for four “answer arcs;” the first season here covers the first four “question” arcs and two “answer” arcs. While the individual arcs have related back story, characters, and the like, they are not chronologically sequential, which tends to throw viewers for a loop if they are not previously familiar with the franchise. In fact, this happens to be one of the most interesting aspects ofHigurashi, as, while still coherent, it makes the plot very hard to piece together in a logical fashion. While trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle proves a rather daunting task, the series ends rather abruptly to lead into the second season; it was quite clear by that time, though, that the series was fully intended to be continued and concluded in additional season, so it was not much of a surprise.
The first season is basically one incredibly well-developed mystery-series with lots and I mean lots of horror. Throughout six arcs, you see the different characters, as they discover more and more of the complex, multi-layered plot that forms the foundation of this series, while countless false tracks and red herrings are put on the screen, in order to confuse the viewer. You’ll never know who to trust at this point, and the same goes for the characters. There may be a few annoying moments here and there, including some pacing-issues, but overall it’s an intense and diverse thriller that keeps you hungry for more amidst the brutality.
It is noteworthy that most of the genre’s conventions are turned upside down, which is what makes its categorization difficult.
First of all there isn’t a single detective with a helper, instead all of the characters do their own investigation. Just to give one example, this enabled the creators to show the same story twice, each time from a different character and each having its own investigation. This makes the show very, very enjoyable.
Secondly, there are some “supernatural things” going on, but we never quite understand exactly what. Instead of making the mistake of explaining exactly what’s up with all the weird stuff and set rules by which the ghost — or whatever — acts, like many other shows do, in Higu the mystery is actual mystery. The viewer keeps trying to guess all the time and eventually comes up with an idea of what’s happening, but he can’t be sure so he keeps trying to guess. It’s very important for any kind of show to keep the viewer interested and his brain active and in this regard Higu is an outstanding success.
Finally, most characters are kids. If you think this is just the same as those other anime where a 14 year old saves the world, think again; the young age of Higu’s characters guarantees the immorality of their actions, not unlike what happens in Narutaru, while it also makes them so much more frail – more then once their minds kind of snap and in this anime when a character snaps, he snaps HARD.
As if it wasn’t completely obvious… I enjoyed this series tremendously. I can’t say much more at this point that wouldn’t be absolutely redundant, and I feel as though I’ve already explained enough as to why I loved watching this series so much: the character insanity and story progression were simply beautiful and horrendous all at once in this delightful cacophony of madness.