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.
Warning - Contains Spoilers
I have an image that sums up this OVA pretty nicely.....
To be honest, they're isn't much of a story. More of the same really, just with a lot less impact on the viewers. I do give the creators credit though. It gives the fans a little more Higurashi, with a decent story. Still, don't expect much from the OVA. This is regarded as the 3rd season of the series, but truthfully it has no correlation with the storyline at all; or at least it's very minimal. Still though, It's not terrible. Fan serviced or not.
As with all the other Higurashi instalations I give the animation a 6/10. The animation is consistantly the same, which includes this particular OVA.
I was pretty disheartened, in particularly with this section. even with familiar settings, it seemed the different music drastically altered the atmosphere of the show. I sincerly missed the first seasons soundtrack. It is decent though, so I won't complain to much.
This was a very interesting turn in the series; at least for myself. Essentially everyone is a good kid, except Rika. And to be blunt, the series isn't very entertaining without the original charcters. Aside from Rika going game breaker with a chair, there isn't much violence at all. And the complete change in personalities for the remaining cast is really hard to buy into at this point. I was relatively dissapointed with how they portrayed the cast.
Overall, just don't expect much from Higurashi Rei. It's not bad, but it's certainly not that great either. I now this is a relatively short and mediocre review, but honestly they're just isnt much to say about this OVA other than its mediocre itself. It's worth a watch if you have nothing productive to do like myself.
Higurashi brought us a new look on brutal violence and bloody gore. The second season shined some light on the, otherwise, nonsensical story about fate and parallel worlds. Higurashi Rei is really more or less an extension onto the story bringing a new "what if?" aspect to series.
The story is: Rika is living happily in her world after the events of Higurashi season 2. After getting hit by a truck, she wakes up only to find herself in another strange world. To Rika, this world strikes her as wrong. Some of the characters are missing and everyone is acting different, only to later find out that this is a world without sin. Rika tries desperately to find a way to go back to her previous world.
Rei has really nothing to do with the initial story of Higurashi. It's kind of like an expansion pack or DLC that gives you a new "what if?" after the fact. The first episode is more geared towards fan service as it's nothing more than the gang spending a day at the local pool. Episodes 2, 3, and 4 are where the main story is at, but they lack material because the majority of it is just talking and pointless backstory to Hanyuu's life.
The animation is quite good. There's no action, so the animation is pretty good for what it was. Definitely brighter and more vibrant colors add to the overall look making it look pretty good.
The sound is sub-par. Voiceovers are top notch like they usually are. The ending song is nothing memorable, but the beginning is a bit better.
The characters are really kind of devoid of their personas. Because the main focus is on Rika and Hanyuu, the other characters are more background noise than up center like they usually are.
Overall, Higurashi Rei is a decent watch for any fan of Higurashi. It's not really anything that you will go crazy over, but it will give you something different to think about.
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.
Usually, people tend to like the first anime series they've watched a lot, and I mean A LOT. Higurashi was one of the first series I watched, I loved it. It was intense, mysterious, bloody and just plain awesome. The first season was a bit confusing, but Kai came and closed the story. So everyone wins and everyone's happy, woo hoo.
But then came the OVA.
Now, Higurashi has two different OVA series, Rei with 5 episodes and Kira with 4 episodes. But I'm not here to talk about the ass end of the stick known as Kira, I'm here to talk about Rei.
Here's a rundown, there are 5 episodes, but only three of them are worth your time. Episodes 2, 3 and 4 are what Higurashi is loved for. It's full of suspense and mystery and it's got Rika in it. But while the creators did a good job with these 3 episodes, it still doesn't escape the fact that 1 and 5 suck.
A lot of anime series tend to have a lot of fanservice, and that's all you're getting with episode 1. Fanservice with a side dish of extremely awkward and unfunny comedy. It even tries to make a story out of it, that's the only funny part of it. So Keiichi puts on a bathing suit that will make him a narcissist? Good game, Rei, good game.
See, if Rei decided to stop after episode 4, it would have done a bit better, but it made the ultimate mistake of deciding to milk out one more episode.
To its credit, episode 5 isn't as bad as episode 1. But it's still bad. It still has a stupid story, unfunny comedy, but minus the fanservice...sorta. Yeah, there is still SOME fanservice but not as bad as episode 1. And let's not forget the abrupt ending.
When considering sound, though, it's not that bad. It starts with a catchy OP and ends with a melancholic ED. The seiyuu did a good job with voicing their respective characters. And that's another thing I like about Higurashi, the OPs, EDs, and the seiyuu.
So, to wrap this up, the creators did a great job with the main arc of this OVA, but unfortunately, episodes 1 and 5 kept me from loving it a bit more. If you haven't watched this yet and really want to, I would recommend watching episodes 2, 3 and 4, as 1 and 5 have nothing to do with its story.