Today you will have the review of the brilliant yet frustrating supernatural-cum-thriller anime series Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. Simply one of the most brutal anime I watched in quite some time since Gantz.
The story is presented like a dating simulation game, where a guy is surrounded with 5 beautiful girls (a couple seems to be suspiciously underage). But instead of having the guy exploring storylines that leads to him screwing one (or more) of them, the audience instead will be presented with storylines that will lead to which character will go totally insane and kill the others. Annoyingly that there are no sexual contents whatsoever :(
The series is supposed to be divided into 2 parts, a Question Arc and an Answer Arc. Each part is divided into 4 storylines. This means that the series has 8 storylines, but only 6 of them are shown in the show. The further 2 seems to be animated in the second season, which I have already started downloading. All Question story arcs has been presented but only 2 from the Answer Arc has been presented.
The storylines are presented the way a dating simulation like Kana – Little Sister or Shuffle! does. This means repetitions are quite common in the storylines, just like the way those games forces you to unlock all the endings (in this case, mostly bad) before you got the happy ending. Overall, the storyline are uneven; while the 2nd question storyline and its answer combined to make a brilliant story, the 1st question and its answer combined just to serve as a fact-filling filler which tells you what really happened.
I have high hopes for the second season, it can only be good they mimicked the brilliant combined storylines of the 2nd question and answer.
The character design here is similar to those you can see on those dating simulation games. Black hair? Nope, such things are rare in here boy. Meanwhile we got two green-haired babes here. Big eyes and big boobs are also common here.
The voice acting of the main characters are excellent. Voiced by talented voice actresses such as Yukari Tamura and Mika Kanai, each and everyone of them can bring out the demons of each character they played as they chopped/slashed/nailed/hacked their own closest friends. I dare say, that voice acting here is better than the one in Haruhi Suzumiya (not Nodame though).
A good preview of the anime
Great OP, but for everything else I have nothing good to say about them.
The animation is pretty decent, and the blood, yay! It is hard to comment about the directing, whether it is really good or was it helped by the great storyline this show have. I tend to lean on the latter. The violence is very well choreographed though.
8 out of 10. Unoriginality in character design and forgettable music make me dock 2 points here. One of the 2006 anime that can challenge Kiba the TV animation, but fall just short.