This reviews both Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
Cheating fate or breaking the bonds of fate and create your own destiny, this is the main theme of Higurashi, its really interesting to see how they do this, however it does feel a little bit like Final Destination. But Higurashi owns final destination because it is not so overly repetitive and has great characters
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is bacically 24 episodes all consisting of several arcs in wich all of the main characters die due to one of them snapping for personal reasons such as love eg. when Shion went beserk after losing Satoshi or when Keichi kills Sakato's uncle. Everything is very confusing in this series and I did drop it several times because of all of the unexplained events.
But, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai was something else, they tried as best as possible to cover up all the arcs and unite it into one big story where it ends off well, Kai was way better than the first series but you have to watch the first to understand Kai better.
The introduction of the Hinamiza disease sounded kinda stupid at first but they do spend a lot of time getting the audience to understand it better I still did not buy into it but it was probaly one of the few ways to cover up the series. However keeping it as a disease sounded better than the Oysharo's sama's curse that was mentioned for most of the first series.
To some extent this series is character driven and in most some cases series that are character driven tend to lose deph in story Higurashi did not, they did do a lot on Takano's story (blond girl), this part was well done and you really understand the characters better.
At times Higurashi can become very dark and that really puts excitement and deep mystery in it. Probaly the most noticeable thing about Higurashi is that all the characters espeically the females are drawn very cute so it is kinda shocking to see them kill each other off. This series comes no where near violent but has some really twisted scenes in it. The animation overall was very basic, the fact that the characters look so cute takes out a lot of suspens that the series could have had.
Loved all the opening and ending themes, the sound fits perfectly with everything absoutely brillant voice acting nothing wrong with the soundtracks, I was thinking about a 10 but I have heard songs that were better.
Beacuse Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has several arcs, character development is HUGE, you get to see everyone in an alternate world with different personalities it gives a really good insight into the characters themselves. Except Rika, this howvever was very important if they were to get out of the repeating cycle of 1983 where they all die.
My main question about the motive of Rika that was never answered was: Why didn't she do something earlier?. Instead of wasting so much epsiodes of everyone's death.
The main reason why I didn't give Higurashi a 10 for characters because undoubtly it does deserve 10 is that the characters are very repetitive eg. lets say in one world they develop for some purpose and then in another world they develop for the same reason, thats just reapeating the same thing again.
Higurashi does have a big cast, the studio did do a good job on introducing the personalities of the characters.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni are both very enjoyable series but you have to survive Higurashi no Naku Koro ni first that sereis was not good at all. I will give some general scores for the invidual series below.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Sound:9/10 (way better than kai)
Characters:3/10 (did not understand them at all)
Overall:4/10 (very basic and dry sereis)
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
Story:8/10( explained everything)
Characters: 8.5/10 (they explained everything better)
General score for both series: 7.5/10