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.