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When They Cry: Rei

Jun 4, 2010


Hey 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.














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.


At 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.


Considering 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.


DOUBLE 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.

3.5/10 story
4/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
5/10 characters
3.8/10 overall

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HopeGrace Jul 4, 2011

Because I'm LONG past a person's bedtime from marathoning Rei I can't muster up a smart - or even legible - retort to this review I'm quoting TheTomboy:

"Honestly, I could't stand the First or Last episode of Rei. But, episodes Two through Four surely make up for it, in my perspective. Well... Actually, I would have prefered the Higurashi series without Rei. But, it was good for what it was, an OVA."

Can't agree more!  In fact, I agree with the whole comment.  Ep 2-4 wasn't mindless fluff to me (I can't say the same about ep 1 and 5), I feel that it's actually very meaningful.  Now, I realise this is just my opinion too, I'm just commenting so maybe some Higu fans may be saved from missing this OVA as it really is worth a watch (though like TheTomboy, I think Higu would benefit if Rei didn't exist, since my liking of the main characters in Higu actually decresed mid-OVA), much more than I can say for about 95% of the OVAs existing out there.

StevenSAKUJO Jun 19, 2011

Rei was pretty horrible, Kai was okay but "trust and companionship", do you honestly believe anyone didn't realize that was the main idea of Kai? It's nothing special or interesting as a premise.. Reviews are always going to be bias but this review is far far less bias than most of the comments critising it. Just because it's in the same trilogy of Higurashi doesn't mean you have an obligation to love it, seriously. This didn't even have anything to do with the main plot, just same characters.


Trust and companionship was okay for Ni, but by Kai it got old and while Kai wasn't terrible, Rei was.. please be a little objective in your opinions rather than rush to the defence of Ni's sequels just because Ni was good.

kaynespeirs Apr 20, 2011

ok first off i LOVE Higurashi and second this ova is A FUKIN OVA AND NOTHING MORE i realize this was absolutly DREADFULL to watch however the whole premise of the series is the repeation of a specific timeline where they show what COULD have happened.

the rika parts are to show what could have happened if Rika were to live a life with her parents where the curse of Oyashiro-sama never happened and the dam project effected the villagers because of their refusal to stand together and fight for their home.

the embarasment chapter was made STRICTLY to show some humar in an otherwise horrifing series.

i forget what the other chapter was because i havent watched it in a while (im just restarting Kai because Ni was taken off youtube my main anime sorce) however this ova was made to shed some light into the good times of the club and also to show Rika's true feelings for her mother

Llamamoe Feb 21, 2011

Good review, this OVA absolutely sucks.


I can't imagine how retarded one has to be to create crap like this on basis of such a great anime that Higurashi is.

Shame on creators of this. Hope they lose their job and never make something like this again.

ShinBustinger Nov 29, 2010

I don't understand.Why are people saying the review is "unreasonable" and "biased"?Would it have been better for the author to write a favorable review, despite the fact they obviously didn't like it at all?And what's even sadder is awpaperwings saying what rating the author should given this OVA.

Did you like it?Write your own damn review.