Several months have passed since the horrific events in Hinamizawa came to an end. Little by little life returns to normal, with Rika and her friends doing their best to put the past them and mend their old wounds. All seems to be going well until one day tragedy strikes again as Rika is unexpectedly involved in a bloody traffic accident that shatters her short-lived peace. As she wakes, she finds herself thrust back into the nightmare summer of 1983, and sets out to once again correct Hinamizawa's twisted killing cycle. Rika soon realizes, however, that such a task is more difficult than she first imagined; this Hinamizawa is drastically different from all those in the past, and now more than just her own life is at stake...
StoryHey 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.AnimationIf I typed like Higurashi Rei’s framerates, it would look like this. 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.SoundAt 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.CharactersConsidering 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.OverallDOUBLE 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.
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.
This entry into the Higurashi series has soiled my entire view of the franchise. After they slightly fumbled and recovered, they dropped the fuck out of the ball with this one. Just overall a waste of my time. Story: Instead of a decent story and a kind of confusing plotline id expect from Higurashi, they basically pulled some source material out of their asses slapped in two filler episodes to bookend it and bam, worthless addition to a series that basically had one amazing season. Animation: Its like instead of slightly improving from the slight improvement of Kai they decided to let someones 4 year old son animate it which resulted in of course, a shitty product, and the framerate is about as high as my fucking IQ. The opening animation lured me in, promising a mysterious and exciting series of OVA. I was lied to. Sound: The intro and outro weren't as good as the first two seasons but they were still great. The intro was by Eiko Shinomiya(same as season 1/2) and the outro by anNina, who did the phenomenal season 2 outro. The script absolutely circumvented the attempt at a story. First, they kept making Yukari Tamura(rikas voice) say "fur seal" in reference to Keiichi's dick, which ruined the first episode. Second, it gets very boring. They just say a bunch of stuff to work around whats gonna happen. Third, i dont know what hapened but world-weary, semi aggressive Rika didn't hit as hard as she used to. Those iconic scenes of her sipping on wine and just vybin really hit different, while these scenes didn't hit at all. Characters: Overall, i dont even know what to say. Mion and Shion still sexy, Rika and Satoko are still some lolis, Takano is still the lying devious irreputably evil whore that i thought she was. Keiichi still an idiot. Rena still whimsical as fuck. No development or anything important. Series went downhill from the first season. Hopefully the Passione reboot of Higurashi is good but for now imma stick to the 1st season because this was a waste of my fucking time. I suggest you do too, because if your not a lolicon like me, theyll ruin Rika 4 u.
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