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 don't believe it's fair to rate this anime yet, which is why I think presentation should compensate the dismal scores given above. Although elements fall short, in the end the anime does exactly what it's intended to do. It provides a very complex view of an oddly disturbed town, including a distorted presentation of the time frames involved. It also presents itself as very gruelling without creating the perception of blood for the sake of blood. Everything is there because it's supposed to be and there are few things thrown in for the sake of satisfying fans.
There is a constant 2 sided approach to create an air of mystery and tension, in the beginning of the series this is really quite frustrating however by the end it becomes acceptable as you finally start to receive answers.
Ahh, the best part.
My average is a 5, which should give you a clue how much I enjoyed this anime. Sometimes the humor seems a little forced, but the overall effect is balanced. It is odd though when previously dead characters resurrect (lol), or when dead characters die again, like the whole thing reset itself, but the 'Arc' presentation makes it all the more interesting without being annoying. The first arc of the story draws you in, 2nd arc is like 'Hey what happened?!' but it gives depth to the characters. By the 3rd arc, you're getting used to the reset thing, but you are still mad with curiosity what the heck is going on. And by the fourth it all makes sense. The use of foreshadowing was also very well played.
This is one of the most finely crafted pieces of work since the human eyeball first started functioning. I won't say best anime's ever; I will say best viewing experiences ever. It does what many shows cannot do well. First, it grabs your attention right from the start and never lets go. But the thing that is the most impressive is that it hits the ending in such a way that is completely not what you are thinking, but it does it well. Once you get the last 10 or so episodes, it is very hard to stop watching. It has everything that makes it a worthwhile watch. A great, and ORIGINAL story. Insane characters and plot twists. It's as addictive as nicotine. The music is perfect. This show is not to be missed.