Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (a.k.a. When They Cry) is one of those unique Anime’s where you have no idea what is going on at first and then you grow to love it all the way towards it’s psychotic ending. When I discovered that this Anime is based off of a murder mystery video game the random moments when the characters came back to life sort of made more sense to me.
The story overall is not too bad. There are like 3 or 4 stories that play throughout the 26 episodes; some follow around Keiichi Maebara (our main guy heroin) Mion and Shion Sonozaki (twins who are totally fucked up) and the following cast consist of Rena Ryugu (who constantly wants to take things home lol) Satoko Houjou (who has a wonderful uncle) and Rika Furude (who has a bigger part in the sequel). With plenty of horror themes and blood to go around it’s really an enjoyable experience and there never really is a dull moment. It gets you hooked right off the bat which I really love.
The animation is sleek and nice; the scenes dealing with blood and gore are absolutely fantastic and keep your eyes glued to the screen. The animation really sets the mood for just about every scene; one minute you can be in a foreboding atmosphere the next the group can be enjoying themselves at school and the color then are bright and beautiful. It’s simply amazing how quick the scenes can change at times (especially in the character facial expressions).
The opening and ending music is done nicely but what really makes this show shine is the eerie soundtrack throughout the series, just as the animation sets the mood to send shivers down your spine the music enhances that feeling and takes it to another extreme. During some torture scenes alone I found myself not blinking for minutes on end lol, this is what the music will do to you.
For the most part the characters are just average, don’t get me wrong I like them and grew to care for these characters but to me they didn’t have anything special going on other than being fucked up in the head or just trying to stay alive. I watched this particular Anime subtitled and I suggest you do the same; I tried to watch one episode of the dub and just couldn’t watch it. I was so used to them subbed that I couldn’t watch it dubbed. Each character is unique in their ways such as Satoko’s evil laugh, Rika’s “Nippa’s” , Rena’s cute voice and always insisting on taking cute things home, Mion’s leadership in her club, and Keiichi having his moments of triumph and being particularly awesome with a baseball bat. (Sorry but Shion to me was just a twin with a bad case of insanity, no offense to any Shion lovers out there.)
Overall I’d watch this again and recommend this to any horror/murder mystery fan. The show hooks you in right from the beginning, the characters are likeable just enough for you to care about them, and there are plenty of twists in this series to make you go WTF. If you hate blood and torture then stay away, but if you like to get a little sadistic with your Anime’s then check this one out. You will not be disappointed.