The Nekogoroshi Chapter of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, I'll admit, was an interesting side story to the original series, and it was offered as a special DVD for those who purchased the series in Japan. While it doesn't necessarily lead in to any conclusive events, it gives a nice eerie story and blends a good amount of comedy into the mix, so those who liked those elements of the original series would find something to enjoy with this. The problem is that it's limited as just a single episode OVA, so one could see it as just a one-shot story without most expansion like most OVAs tend to do.
The story has Kei, Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika all playing their typical antics as part of the after-school club and traveling to a mysterious site that held a series of tragic events several years before. It doesn't have any sure shot connection to the events of the series, but I couldn't take away much from it considering the OVA had an interesting "ghost" story to tell, and the voice actors did a decent job with both the humor and the ironic thematics that entered the story about the construction site.
All in all, I believe those who liked the original series would find something to like in the OVA, but as the limitations of an OVA assert, there's no true expansion of the story to expect, so it's best to treat it as an omake story of sorts. I'd definitely recommend it to those who loved the feel of the original series and don't mind just a short chapter to enjoy for enjoyment's sake.
The animation values of the chapter are exactly like that of the original series -considering they were made along the same time, the cel production value is quite good, and the overall character design, while similar to the first season, doesn't show nearly as many inconsistencies, and perhaps that's in part for only the one-shot story.
Those who loved the music in the original series, like myself, in the OP/ED will find that the same themes are used. "Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni" by Eiko Shimamiya is actually one of my favorite anime theme songs, and having the chance to watch the OP sequence for the first time in a while definitely struck me. While "why or why not" was a song I didn't like as much the first go around, watching the OVA actually made me realize how it wasn't as bad of a song-some might find the "engrish" to be a bit of a deterrent, but the orchestration and overall melodic progression is worth noting. The BGM is minimal and like the original series might strike some as forgettable-for me it actually does work in its minimalism in the original series, but for the OVA it doesn't do as much to enhance it.
Voice acting I definitely liked as much as the original series, adding the needed humor and overall personality to the characters in both mood and progression.
The only reason I rate characters at this point is because there's very little to develop them, but development is present at least in this single shot OVA to present some of the experiences of the characters relating to the story. Indeed they are also amusing to watch in the comedic scenes. Kei tends to come across as a a bit of pervert, and Rena's typical "wanna take them all home" sent me in a fit of giggles.
I wouldn't say expect a lot of relatable quality with the characters here, but if you treat it like me and watch it simply for enjoyment's sake, it's a lot of fun.
Overall, i think that the Higurashi special was decent, but perhaps not more than a simple side story to the series. Recommended to those who enjoyed both Higurashi installments, though I'd watch this before moving on to Higu Kai, as it relates more in the mood of the previous series than the latter. I dd quite enjoy it for what it was worth.
After their punishment game backfires, Keiichi, Mion, Rena, Satoko and Rika are forced to parade around the village in embarrassing costumes. Once they reach a fork in the road the club decide to visit the nearby abandoned village of Yagouchi, partly to show Keiichi and Rena around and partly to escape the stares of the villagers! When they arrive in Yagouchi, after hearing about the abandoned quarry over the hill Keiichi and Rena decide it would be fun to investigate. But Rika and Mion try to talk them out of it, as two people died there of unknown causes seven years previously. What happened at the quarry back then, and what exactly is 'the pit' that Rika keeps referring to?
I tend to be a fan of slice of life, dramatic and romantic series, but my palette is open to different series of a plethora of genres. I love watching series that engage my senses and imagination, and as a writer, I always appreciate a good story with a great cast of characters. I love when people give feedback on my reviews, because it helps me see things in a different lens, so I encourage you to converse with me if you have any questions, commentary or just want to chat about a series. ^_^
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