When They Cry: Higurashi is a gore-filled thrill ride, but like so many mystery anime, fails to stick the landing.
Let's start with the positives - of which there are many. The overall mystery and concepts are great, and reminded me of a cross between Re:Zero and Persona 4 with the timeline stuff and murder mystery that spans the series. The characters are great. with Rena, Shion and Rika being the standouts.
However, since the show is split into arcs, some of these are background ones to add more information to the history of Hinamizawa. The ending arc drops so many twists that it gets hard to keep track of the actual narrative. For example, it is revealed that Oyashiro-sama's curse is actually a virus that the previously named Oyashiro, a doctor, was trying to prevent. This on its own is fine, but in the same 2 or 3 episodes we get Rena killing her father's partner (who was a scam artist), Keichii being a "serial child shooter" (which was him terrorising young kids with a BB gun, obviously) and the theory that the parasite was brought on by FUCKING ALIENS. It's too much to bear in a few episodes, let alone the whole show.
There are other twists throughout, as expected of a mystery show, but they generally serve the plot well and provide some Oh Shit moments that come out of nowhere. The difference is that most of the twists in the last 3 or 4 episodes threaten to topple the established mystery entirely.
If Pretty Little Liars and ERASED had a child, it'd be this show. Still very entertaining and shockingly gory, but the ending was a bit too much to bear and resolved itself a bit too easily. Season 2 is meant to be pretty good tho.