Originally posted: Sunday, August 30, 2009 on Blogger

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni: Episodes 1 ~ 15

Flowers. This must be light-hearted!

Well I finally got around to doing another anime impression. About time eh? Let’s see, the summary for this anime sounded interesting so I decided to give this one a go. I have mixed feelings, but overall I’m enjoying it. Episodes 1 through 15 are broken down into 4 arcs; The Spirited Away by a Ogre Arc, The Cotton Drifting Arc, The Killing Curse Arc, and the Time Wasting Arc.

She's not all sunshine and rainbows.

It started out rather boring, but with little hints about the brutality to come, and these hints kept me watching. The Spirited Away chapter was probably the best one because I didn’t know what to expect going in. And the slow degeneration of the main character as he gets more and more paranoid, as well as the seemingly demonic nature of the two out of four girls (Mion and Rena) really intrigued me. The ending left much to be desired, as instead of the two girls killing Keiichi, he kills them and then seemingly commits suicide with hints that behind it all stands some sort of organization. I was left going, “ummm…ok?”, but the promise that things will be slowly explain kept me watching.

Cotton Drifting started out strong, it seemed at first to be taking place during

Definitely not human.

the same time as Spirited Away, but instead showing things in a different perspective. Yet as the arc progresses, contradictory things happen and the arc goes in a totally different direction. This time Mion appears to be the villain, and it appears that her family is the criminal organization that is behind the brutal deaths. She also happens to be descended from onii (demonic ogres). Yet the ending implies that Mion died before everything happened and that her twin sister was the one who did everything. The ending also implies that only Rena survived this time. I didn’t like that instead of a different perspective, we got a different story. It felt disjointed and I was upset that we didn’t learn more about what happened during the first arc. Still it was interesting enough to keep me watching.

Killing Curse is much the same, things appear at first to happen at the same time as the previous arcs, but too many contradictions

Lots of killing in this anime, it seems.

happen. Unlike Cotton Drifting however, the characters themselves begin to realize these contradictions. For example, Keichii trying to protect Satoko kills her uncle during the festival, yet the other characters say he was at the festival like in the other arcs. This marks the first time the contradiction is made apparent by the anime itself and this intrigued me once more, and got me excited about Higurashi again. We also learn quite a bit about Satoko’s sad history. Killing Curse picked up the slack from Cotton Drifting, but the ending made me go “umm…ok?” again. Namely, this time everyone dies because of the poison gas released by a volcano near the village; it is strongly suggested that Keiichi cursed the village and that is why it happened. This left me a bit puzzled as to how this poison gas ending relates to the other endings, I also found it strange that this time Oyashiro-sama (the deity attributed with all the bizarre events) would be “helping” Keiichi instead of the girls like in the other arcs. I also found the missing corpse rather strange; I mean why would someone dig it up for Keichii, or did he imagine killing Sakato’s uncle. Hence the ending left me going “ummm…ok?” Sometimes I think all the characters are mentally insane and we are seeing what each one sees and since they are all so delusional it doesn’t have to make sense. I don’t know, but there is a lot of suggestion that this is the case; examples include, psychotic laughter from Rena, Mion, and Shion, Rena’s past with a psychologist, Keiichi’s paranoid behavior during arc one, and Keichii’s possible delusions involving the murder of Satako’s uncle. The only characters not to appear psychotic are Satako and Rika. If this turns out to be the case for all the mysteries, I’m going to be disappointed, but the fourth arc seems to point to something different, so I still have hope. :D

maniacal laughter. a staple of the series.

Rika may be more than she seems.

Finally Time Wasting arc suggests that Rika plays a key role in this whole mystery because she knows what will happen even before it does. This also suggests that mental disorders will not to used to explain away all the contradictions between the arcs, thank god! Strangely enough, the poison gas that seems to have happened to Hinamizawa, never occurred in the first two arcs….maybe the characters didn’t survive long enough? That or higurashi is being needlessly twisty. :/

Like I said, I’m enjoying this anime for the most part because I am genuinely interested in how everything will be pulled together, yet at the same time, I’m a little annoyed at the disjointed nature of each arc. The violence also seems a bit pointless and I often question the characters’ sanity. But all the mysterious are very compelling and I am definitely going to keep watching, which means the anime has done its job right. I’m entertained and I genuinely want to watch more of it.

Lots of not nice endings and incidents. Gore for everyone it seems~

Edit: I have finished watching both seasons, it was pretty good and I enjoyed it enough to marathon it :) All I have left is the third season comprising of five episodes.

–SW

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