Hey there, boys and girls, it’s time again for everyone’s favorite gameshow: Does This Anime Suck?!
So, time to play – let’s start with the first question! Which of the following is a more intelligent decision: watching Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei or skydiving out of a plane without a parachute? Hopefully you guessed skydiving, because that’s sure what you’ll feel like doing after wading through this OVA’s attempt at a plot! If you thought Higurashi Kai’s mediocre attempt at concluding its story was bad, be prepared for a whole lot more of the same. Watching Higurashi Rei waste its potential is on par with throwing puppies on the street, and we here at Does This Anime Suck?! do not approve of abandoning puppies – always have your pet spayed or neutered!
Time for the next round! What is Higurashi Rei’s worst quality: a. its bumbling story with anticlimactic ending; b. its inability to be funny due to atrocious animation quality during worthless “comedic” parts; or c. the fact that nothing at all happens in two and a half hours? And…hidden answer e (all of the above and more!) was the right choice! Few OVAs, save for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien: Next Season, manage to piddle around and waste as much time as this. Plus, as if the viewer needed to be explicitly told after wasting so much time, Higurashi Rei is generous enough to openly inform its audience that all the story’s intrigue served no purpose. Despite the initial and captivating return to a non-standard 1983 setting, the show manages to let every one of its potential high points blunder around like a drunk clown in a circus tent, and spectaculary fails at providing any sort of satisfaction. Whereas before the viewers were given only a bare minimum to piece together major events and revelations, in Higurashi Rei every important revelation is insultingly spat out in a silver platter that utterly ruins both the mood and the story.
At last we’re at the final round, so here’s the third and most important question: should Higurashi Rei be watched by fans of the series? I think the answer is already clear. While the middle portion may seem somewhat intriguing at the time with Rika's induction into a radically different and seemingly-hostile environment, just remember that if you decide to stick with it to the end you’ll end up like the nerdy kid at prom whose date ditched him midway for the douchebag on the football team. This botched attempt at a second conclusion ends up being on par with taking School Days’ two crack-job OVAs as legitimate sequels, as the story has no idea whether it wants to be humorous, serious, or outright stupid. Fortunately, even if the show can’t make up its mind about how to properly present such spurious content, the answer is already clear: Higurashi Rei is definitively stupid.
And there you have it, folks, this concludes another tantalizing episode of Does This Anime Suck?! – make sure to stay tuned for Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch and You – A Beginner’s Guide to Decent Voice Acting. With that, congratulations for getting the way through the show; you’ve won a spared viewing of Higurashi Rei! Cherish every moment you would have spent on this anime by doing other things with your life, like fishing with your elderly grandfather or volunteering to feed poor orphans at the local homeless shelter.
At times the animation can be godawfully poor, and really there’s no excuse for such a shoddy level of workmanship for a 2009 (or 1996, maybe?) production. At its worst moments, Higurashi Rei’s on-screen presentation was comparable to a movie composed of flipping through sticky tabs. Sure on occasion some scenes like Rika’s shiny communication orb look great (yes, she has a "communication orb"), but skipping down the quality as a whole to animate the series in a non-painful way would have done leaps and bounds for improving this score, as just…my pupils. They burn.
At least something about Higurashi Rei is acceptable, and by that I mean “of the quality I’d expect from the original series.” Despite the music being proper and fitting for the writers’ desired level of suspense, there ends up being nothing for it to build up to. Hell, even the lowliest of Rika’s potentially dramatic decisions ended up about exciting as watching noodles boil in a pot. Had something – anything – happened in this OVA to merit this use of music it would have no doubt been great, but underperformance is Higurashi Rei’s second name. What’s the point in emulating the mood of the first Higurashi if none of the content is the same? Your guess is as good as mine!
Oh, and Keiichi? Shut the fuck up. The synthetic Windows voice laughs better than you.
Considering that Higurashi Rei is composed almost exclusively of Rika’s monologues and trying to piece things together, it’s hard to comment on the other characters. Except Keiichi, because he’s an annoying piece of shit – probably because he’s animated so poorly that I wanted to take an axe to my screen about fifteen and a half times during the first episode alone. Be that as it may, the characters' comedic stupor does drift away fairly soon, allowing the middle portion of the series take on a more serious tone. As such, it proves a bearable watch, allowing for the story to feign an interesting premise and presenting the original cast in a new and intriguing light. Yet, given that Rika’s incessant monologues turn out to be as meaningful as a lame duck on a telephone pole, all this development ends up being little more than extraneous fluff. Ultimately, this degredation of both the story and the characters does little more than salt the old wounds left by Higurashi Kai, and boy does it sting.
DOUBLE SHOCK AND TWIN WATERFALL OF TEARS! How did this OVA even get consideration for Anime-Planet’s top horror series of 2009? Seriously, Higurashi Rei is about as horrific as my grandmother baking delicious cookies. Which she does, by the way. Damn delicious cookies at that. Really now, I can’t fathom how this OVA could even land itself in the ballpark of any sort of achievement – such a feat would be comparable Konomini winning most intelligent story of 2004. When all is said and done, the closest this poorly constructed OVA comes to horror is being a horror to watch.
Story: Well, after watching the first two seasons of Higurashi I was looking forward to this OVA, I knew it wouldn't be superb by any means, but nontheless it still dissappointed me. The OVA itself consisted of 3 stories: Story 1) Ecchi wonderland in which everyone goes swimming and end up fighting over a pair of pants. Story 2) Rika has a bike accident and is killed, she finds out in a new world she must kill her mother to get out of this world and Story 3) Rena ends up falling in love with Keiichi after coming into contact with a weird charm. Story 1 I found a waste of time, I can imagine a lot of guys like it, but being a girl who can only stand a certain amount of ecchi this story arc really bored me. The provocative swmsuits just plain scared me and these magic pants what Keiichi had just traumatised me. Story 2 showed some promise, I was hoping for more gore- thats what Higurashi is famous for after all, but was there any gore? No. Rika didn't even end up stabbing her mother, she just suddenlly woke up and that was that, she was in the hospital back in her previous world. Story 3: It was sweet, but there was no pairing up of Keiichi and Rena so I saw no point in it. Overall I just thought this OVA bunch was a bit of a waste.
Animation: Good news- the animation had gotten ever better since the previous series, it was marvellous. The backgrounds were realistic, the people looked gorgeous, it really was a step up for Higurashi, especially for the opening and ending- they looked great.
Sound: The opening and ending songs were very good, but I can't actually really remember any other pieces of music in the actual show, it wasn't that memorable.
Characters: Despite still having the characters we all love, this series had no character development, nothing but you getting a better idea of what size breasts all the female characters have.
Overall: Unless you're a guy I doubt you'd enjoy this, I think they may as well have not made these OVAs an just have left Higurashi and Higurashi Kai alone.
I went into this series knowing that it was going to be different than the other two (simply because the endless repititions ended with the final arc of Kai). That said, the series still felt like all filler to me. It focused more on humour than violence, which is something that is unexpected from Higurashi I thought.
I still liked it though, simply because it's only five episodes long.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei gets Ivo's Seal of Approval.
The main reason for my low rating is that this series isn’t like the original Higurashi series. It totally lacks the horror/suspense element that was vital to the original anime. It appears to be strictly a bit of fan service and a painful continuation of a series that had already ended.
However, this series is good for a fan who wouldn’t mind seeing a light hearted version of Higurashi. The first and last arc is non-canonical. They often break the fourth wall and lightheartedly reveal major plot twists (such as miyo’s true nature) to character’s who are largely aloof to the new knowledge. The only episodes I recommend are 2-4 as they are the closest to being canonical. If you don’t mind seeing the girls in bathing suits, watch episode 1. If you want to see hilarious romantic parings, watch episode 5.
This is my original review for Higurashi. This OVA should be watched by fans, for the sole purpose of being able to say: "I've watched everything Higurashi-related." It's not terrible, but Rei is just NOT Higurashi. Just go watch the main series again.
Higurashi TV series Review.
This review does NOT contain storyline spoilers.
Welcome to Hinamizawa. Allow me to share my opinion on one of the best mystery anime out there. First, I would like to start with....
True enough, the main appeal of this anime is, of course, it's storyline. Higurashi is divided into chapters, each 4-5 episodes long. In each chapter, another character becomes the "main character". In other words, we see the story unfolding from different perspectives. The idea in it's self isn't new to the anime world, but the implementation is absolutely fantastic.
The whole anime is built like an extremely intelligent jigsaw puzzle. When I first watched it (during a two-day marathon run :D), theories and ideas on what the hell ishappening surged through my brain at Mach 2. When I rewatched it for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time, I still found clues placed so obvious but at the same time, so masterfully hidden. That's another major plus of this series: you can rewatch it again and again, and still find something new.
All in all, this anime is a mystery, in which you start with a mininum of information and gradually build your own conclusion. However, let's not forget that Higurashi was first and foremost a visual novel, so I had my doubts about the pacing. They proved unfounded: the storyline line picks you up gently and then slowly, slowly feeds you clues. I never felt rushed or bored.
So it's a straight 10 from me for the storyline.
Next, let's move on to...
For a 2006 anime, the animation is not ground-breaking in any means. The backgrounds are luscious and extremly well done; the characters move fluidly and are well drawn. Some may argue about the Uranus-sized eyes, but I find them extremly important to the overall feeling of the anime (and I like big eyes, so sue me). Plus, crazy-eye mode is imba (you'll see...oh yes, you'll see MWAAHAHAHA).
But, imba as it may be, eyes alone don't make a good mark. The animation is mediocre. Although I might be overthinking this, I strongly believe that the mediocre animation is there to suggest the rather normal life of the characters: they're just kids thrown into a whirlpool of madness.
In any case, it gets the job done. It's no Ghost in the Shell, but it looks good. 7/10
Ah....the sound. You know how I know the soundtrack of an anime is good? If I have it on my iPod. And guess what? After seeing this anime, I downloaded all of Eiko Shimamiya's albums. Yep, it's that good.
The opening is just...beautifull, setting the stage and pace extremely well. The ending, is so-so in my opinion, but it does give some kind of closure, like it's putting you back into the real world.
In general, the music of Higurashi creates the terrific atmosphere of the anime: by strong bass in some stressful situations or even by the lack of any sounds in other. That's the definition of a good soundtrack: it exists around you, creating and enticing you into the atmosphere of the anime without you even noticing that. 10/10
At first glance, it's looks like your random run-of-the-mill harem anime: 1 guy with 4 girls. Yeah, it's not. Although romance is hinted, that's not the main purpose of this anime. Like I said before, the main character is mobile. For that purpose, there's no secondary characters placed in the anime for the sole purpose of being there. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has a role to play in the mystery :D. And they play it masterfully.
We do, however, have stereotypes: the cute one, the tomboy with big titties, the mischievous one, the shrine maiden etc etc etc, but they don't look superficial. Each and everyone of them has a trait that escapes from most harem anime: depth. They have motives, reasons and above all, they evolve.
Because it doesn't introduce characters for the sake of introducing them and because it makes it's characters grow, Higurashi gets 10/10 from me.
Before I state my conclusion, I want to make a small suggestion: watch this anime at night, with the lights off and with your speakers/headphones set to max bass. You'll thank me later. :D
I seriously can't recommend this anime enough. It's a must-see because it brings together so perfectly cliches seen in most animes (harems, comedys, crazy girls with cleavers etc etc etc) but, in the meantime, giving them a new a fresh twist.
My favourite part is that Higurashi made me use my head, drew me in, made me feel it. I haven't felt so...there, alongside the characters, trying to solve the riddle, laughing with them, crying with them, feeling their frustrations, in a long, long time.
Meet Agatha Christie in anime form.
PS: Due to the explicit content which is extremly disturbing (for some) and the ideas prezent (which are not exactly child-safe), I recommend a 16+ age limit.