In the twenty years since the Hinamizawa disaster, the small village has become a literal ghost town. Terrible rumors about the mysterious gas leak that claimed hundreds of lives have kept even the most curious at bay. But on this night, fate has led five strangers to the abandoned mountain hamlet-among them a certain Mion Sonozaki. As the footsteps of the living echo through the abandoned halls of Furude shrine, the sleeping demons of Hinamizawa stir once again...
Source: Yen Press
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - Yoigoshi-hen, or it's english title 'Beyond Midnight Arc' is a sidestory to the original series. The sidestories can be read in any order, but reading them aren't necesarry to understand the main story. They are simply short stories for those who enjoy the world of Higurashi. This sidestory takes place 20 years after the great Hinamizawa disaster that killed the village's entire population. The village has been abandoned for twenty years, yet on the same night five strangers (among them a certain Mion Sonozaki) meet eachother. One of them bears a striking resemblance with Satoko's brother, Satoshi, and thus Mion decides to bring him along when she finds him lost in the forest. The demons of Hinamizawa rises once again, and shortly after it turns into another mysterious story about murder. But who can be the culprit this time? And what exactly is Mion doing alone in an abandoned village? Being a sidestory I anticipated a poorly drawn attempt to milk more money from a popular manga series. I turned out to be wrong, since the artwork is just as good (some may even find it to be better) than the original series. So, is 'Beyond Midnight Arc' an insult to the awesome world of Higurashi, or does it develop the world's characteristics even further? Well, personally I found it to be good. It has no real connection to the main story of various worlds, but the story is okay and it's interesting to see Mion as an adult. The other characters are all pretty good, given that their personalities are supposed to establish themselves in only two volumes! Taking it's shortness into consideration, I'd almost say that the character development is amazing. Overall the story is decent, the characters are good, and the artwork is great. You do not have to read this to understand the other arcs, but if you're a fan of Higurashi then I strongly suggest that you do. Final Grades: Story: 6/10 Art: 8/10 Characters: 7/10 Entertainment Value: 7/10 Overall: 7/10
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