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shoujoboy's Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Tv Review

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni tv Review

Maebara Keiichi moved to a small village named Hinamizawa and joined a little club for playing fun games with his new friends at school; Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika. But as the days pass Keiichi starts to suspect that there is something unusual at Hinamizawa. As Keiichi learns more about the Watanagashi, a festival in Hinamizawa, strange things started to happen around him... Murders, disappearances, and the deadly wrath of Oyashiro-sama!

Written by ShiXion.

Story & Characters

Reviewers Note: This review encompasses ONLY season two of the Higurashi universe (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai). My review on season 1 can be found here http://reviews.minitokyo.net/1193/higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni/. Also this review will contain spoilers in relation to season 1, so if you haven't viewed either season and plan to, then you may want to refrain from reading any further. If, of course, you have seen both seasons or frankly don't care and just want to read on so you can yell at me for being wrong, then by all means read on. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!

It's time again to return to the village of Hinamizawa. When last we visited Hinamizawa, there was nothing but vicious murders and insanity across the countryside. Keiichi went insane and killed Satako's uncle. Rena went crazy thinking there was an alien bioterrorism attack. Shion, having been ignored by Keiichi went on a killing spree. Hinamizawa was a crazy place to say the least.

One of the main complaints about the first season is that the episodes didn't meld well together and just confused the viewer. It jumped around a lot and lacked continuity. Season 2 puts us in the shoes of Rika Furude. Rika is the heir to the Furude name and is a well known girl in the community for her part in the Wataganashi festival and the Furude shrine in general. What the people of Hinamizawa don't know is that Rika has been living the same period of time for a thousand years. In the end, she always ends up brutally murdered and reincarnated. She is trying to figure out who is out to kill her, why they want her dead and to break the cruel fate that has made life after life miserable. As long as her destiny remains her death, she will be forced to live the same cruel live over and over again.

Season 2 proves to be an absolute necessity to the Higurashi world. I thought season 1 wrapped itself up nicely when in fact, I couldn't have been more wrong. I thought that each story arc to the original season was just a different point of view when in reality it is a different world all together. Instead of questioning why everything happened in Hinamizawa, I just accepted it as one crazy village with a dark secret. In reality, there was so much more going on than I could have imagined. That is where the brilliance of this second season lies.

Granted, the vicious murders and the overall psychological thriller aspect remains with this season, but for the most part it has gone for a more complex plot with more twists than I ever remember seeing before. Characters you knew from season 1 are not all they seem and now play huge parts in the mystery behind Hinamizawa and play pivotal roles in the life of Rika. Is it just the curse of Oyashiro-sama or is it more? That question is answered early in season 2 but never stops being exciting all the way until the end.

Rating: 9

Art

If you enjoyed the animation from season 1 then you'll feel right at home with this season. There is no change in the animation quality. We still have the large eyes, disproportionate bodies and non-existent mouths. But again, when the time is right you see exactly why that is. Every character goes through so many emotions and every one of them is animated wonderfully. One thing I failed to mention in my review of season 1 is the lighting used to emphasize character emotions. When someone started plotting or losing their mind, shadows were used wonderfully to block out the bright hair colors and would leave only the brooding eyes and the profile of an evil smile. Simply put, given the extreme spectrum of emotions that characters show, the animation proved more than adequate in portraying that.

Of mention on the negative side is the sheer muddiness of the backgrounds. While characters were well detailed in their actual makeup and movements, background animations just seem to be lazy. Even in the close quarters of a school hallway the backgrounds prove to be a bit too muddy and boring. It's entirely possible that this complaint may be a moot point if it were being viewed on a better format, IE DVD.

Rating: 8

Sound

Ever since the first season, Eiko Shimamiya has become a household name with me. Bought her album, loved it and look forward to her next. Well Eiko is back to provide the opening "Naraku no Hana" and once again gives us a great song to set the tone. While it may not prove to be as dark as season 1's opening, the lyrics actually set the tone much better. "You're not a flower of hell, you should not bloom there" (loosely translated obviously) hints at Rika's constant struggle to finally bloom in a world that is more than the waking hell she has lived through countless times. And let's all be honest, how often do the opening and closing songs actually relate to the show itself? That in itself makes it a great song to begin the show. The ending (Taisho.a by anNina) is equally fitting in it's talks of burying you and covering your corpse. Who knew a song that sounded so unassuming could be so moody and twisted? The BGM is almost a mirror image of season 1 and just as it was then proves to be constantly overshadowed by the voice acting.

The voice acting again remains phenomenal. With emotions still playing a huge part, voice acting was key. Many characters that went off the deep end in season 1 are kept relatively tame this time around (IE Rena and Keiichi) but with that we had the surfacing of two other actors. First is Yukari Tamura as Rika Furude. Before this season, she was always known for her signature ~desu and her high pitched voice. This time around, she plays a bipolar version of herself. While she still has the cutesy side of her (only now ~desu has been replaced with nippa) she also has the serious side of her, the side that has seen hell so many times. The new facet of Rika is much deeper, much more serious and much more hopeless. This is the real Rika, the cute one is the one that keeps the ones around her happy and in the dark about this repeating history. The other to really come out of nowhere was Miki Itoh as Miyo Takano. Miyo was a minor character in season 1 but has completely blindsided everybody by playing a huge part in season 2. She seemed to have that sweet but distant voice before, and while she still has that going on, she also has a sinister side that is far more evil than any other character.

Rating: 10

Presentation

Higurashi continues to have it all. There's plot twists galore. You'll be sure you have finger on the facts only to have the rug pulled right out from underneath you. There are characters that are fun to watch when they are friendly and chipper and even when they go completely insane. There's music that makes the hair stand up on whatever orifice you have hair on (which in Jak's case is probably his back, his ears and the palms of his hands). It's got everything that still convinces me anime may have the best entertainment value for my money. Oh, and it gave me my new most hated character in anime. Poor Shinji, I've hated you for so long... and now your position has been usurped by Miyo.

It's evident by my reviews of season 1 and 2 that I absolutely adore this show. I've heard the complaints that follow this show, like it's redundancy and it's dependence on violence to drive home the point, but through it all I am addicted as hell. This season blew my mind in that it was nowhere near what I was expecting. I was mostly expecting more of the same but instead I get explanation that I never even knew I was entitled to.

Those who enjoyed season 1 will enjoy season 2. Those who found season 1 complicated and wrote it off after that may find that season 2 makes it all come together. But those who hated the first trip to Hinamizawa won't likely want to make another trip. Those who have no exposure to either need to buy their tickets now and visit this quaint little village and discover the secret for themselves. Besides, when has tour guide shoujoboy ever led you in the wrong direction?

Rating: 10

Final Verdict

9.33 (very good)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, Jan 29, 2008

Comments

  1. jakulito Jan 30, 2008

    I had no idea this show was like that. I've always thought it was hentai because of those PS2 games... crap.

    I just called my friend and told him to drop those Higurashi DVDs back at my dump because tour guide sho has never given out high ratings for nothing...

    Kinda noticed that when you're reviewing a show you love, you tend to use metaphors much more conservatively. Also, there isn't much of your sick analogies... Man, I can feel your ecstatic about this one but you just kept blowing off so many things at once you sounded like a brochure...

    Dude, I'm Chinese... I can't even grow hair on my armpits...

    Be warned! Hairy commentaries about me will come back to haunt you in the form of WTF pics or even a wallpaper.

    But seriously bro, you've just convinced me that I wasted time by not seeing this sooner. Let's all blame global warming for this.

  2. klch Feb 01, 2008

    I dunno why but the characters in this anime are paranoid. Although it is like groundhog day movie where the event repeats itself and its like different person go crazy on different story but i do like the fact that each story presents itself in a different manner.

  3. animeluver4life Feb 01, 2008

    this was sooo cool!

  4. Sakura-Dust Feb 28, 2008

    Really good review!
    However, I would rate the 'Art' with a 6 or 7.
    The anime is quite the horror, but because of the chibi-style art it loses a big part of its creepiness. If they would've chosen a more complicated style for the characters (see Death Note) the result could have been better.
    But the rest is pure love <3

  5. SukiLovesAnime Dec 16, 2008

    This anime mad me abit scared to watch by myself @ night as well as making my stomach sick.
    But I still loved it as well getting scared but still loving it XD

  6. pmgbapm Jun 23, 2009

    I have never see this..

  7. Fanatik007 Jul 02, 2009

    good review

  8. ResonantSoul Jul 23, 2009

    Great anime!

  9. lordryo Jul 28, 2009

    The greatest anime! I really LOVED it, ALL OF IT! This was a good review.

  10. Hachiko Aug 11, 2009

    jakulito took the words outta me mouth. You fiend, you!

    Otherwise, a solid review. Approved.

  11. SchRita Aug 24, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  12. rukasu04 Mute Member Nov 10, 2009

    Thanks

  13. Sanisa Feb 23, 2010

    Thanks for the review! Nice ^__^

  14. Baraka-Senpai Jul 05, 2011

    thanks fot the review! really nice work! *.*

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