[Anime] Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

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[Anime] Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Postby PaladinBlue » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:43 pm

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Licensing: N/A (will add when/if series becomes licensed)
Dubbing studio: N/A (same as above)
Animation: Studio DEEN
Genre: drama, horror, mystery, comedy, psychological
Age rating: official N/A [I'd brand it 16+]

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has become a quickly growing hit among the anime fanbase ever since it began airing. Producing engaging characters with a very complex mystery, it's no wonder.

Story: Higurashi weaves its story in an interesting way. There is not one single storyline, but several: the Demoned Away chapter, the Watanagashi chapter, the Cursed Killing chapter, the Time Wasting chapter, the Detective chapter, and the Atonement chapter. All of these chapters are paired with another to create the "Question" and "Answer" arc. The former presents the mystery and a bare conclusion, while the latter explains away everything while changing your views of everything in the process. The only exception to this rule is the Cursed Killing chapter, which is paired with the Time Wasting chapter on the most superficial level only, from what I could tell. Rumors say that Cursed Killing will gain a proper answer arc for the OAV that is supposedly coming out.

The basic storyline begins the same each time: Hinamizawa is a rural town with a great mystery about it. Every year, during Watanagashi, one person dies, and one person disappears. All of this started five years ago with the building of a dam that would have destroyed Hinamizawa, and the townsfolk who murdered those who supported the building. Fast forward to June, 1983, and we have the principal characters dealing with everyday life, but then things go horribly wrong and at least one person ends up brutally murdered. I'd say more, but I'd like to keep this review as short as my others.

Animation: The budget for the animation was apparently quite low, not surprising considering this one started around the same time Fate/Stay Night ended. Still, it looks great. The character designer is the same as for Strawberry Panic!, which means the same conventions: large heads, large eyes, skinny limbs. Not a bad thing, really, because the characters look great in motion. The use of light and dark is really what steals the show, however, as the cycle of day and night repeats itself almost totally in synchronization with the moods of the focus character of the story arc. There are indeed some spots where you can tell the budget, though, which takes this area down just a bit.

Music: The title to this series (translated roughly: When Cicadas Cry) is very indicative of the sound in this title. Any kind of background music really is never prevalent until something bad happens, but the chirping of the cicadas always catches the ear. When music does happen, it is quite great, even if nothing from the series matches the greatness of the opening and ending sequences, which are masterpieces of their own.

English dub: [coming soon (I hope)]

Japanese dub: This is probably one of my favorite Japanese dubs ever, mainly for the fact that the VA had to switch between normal and psychotic versions of their characters. They did this very, very well, to the point that the voices produced by each personality are distinct from one another, but are also similar enough that you know it's that character's voice. If the English dub (again, I hope) can come even close to living up to the Japanese, it'll be the greatest ever.

Extras: [I hate "coming soon" as much as the rest of you, trust me, but it must be done]

For just pure story, there is nothing greater than Higurashi, seriously. The mystery of the murders are so well done, and the fact that all of the arcs tie in somehow in the end puts this show at the top of the list. Unfortunately, the general creepiness and occasional gore will probably put some potential viewers off. While it saddens me greatly to do this, I must decrease the rating due to that. Still, this is a series anyone should at least give a chance.
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Fun facts:
The teacher Chie Rumiko is very similar in many respects to Ciel of Lunar Legend Tsukihime fame. Their names sound very similar, and both are born in doujin games, have short blue hair (almost the same style, too), are great lovers of curry, and are voice by Fumiko Orikasa. *from ANN, with paraphrasing*

This series gained a parody in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya during the murder mystery episodes. These two were even done in similar style, with the first being the presentation of the mystery, and the second being the solving of it.
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Postby BBboy20 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:29 pm

Meh, creepiness and gore isn't really the problem, the character design though invovled with those is.

(I mean, I did beaten my first Silent Hill game. =/)
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Postby Veoryn87 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:19 pm

I wouldn't call it a masterpiece by any means, but I enjoyed it a lot.  The shows art was lacking, but I liked the theme song a lot.  The only thing that upset me was the ending.  Episode 25 was really good, but episode 26 was kinda meh.  The story was done in a very interesting way that I've never seen in a tv show before and I liked that about it.

Do you think it's very likely that this show will get licensed?  Doesn't seem like something that would.
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Postby LinxCross » Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:31 pm

I like the series a lot but the end did fell short. Not the way it ended but the way it was handled adding the friendship theme.
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Postby PaladinBlue » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:31 pm

Veoryn87 wrote:Do you think it's very likely that this show will get licensed?  Doesn't seem like something that would.


If Elfen Lied hadn't been released, I would have said "no", but since Elfen was released fully and did pretty well, to my knowledge (if someone has sources that state otherwise, do let me know), I wouldn't be at all surprised if Higurashi gets licensed within the next year or two. Then again, I'm also not holding my breath.
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Postby TifaOnACloud » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:16 am

Considering that ever new show basically gets licensed, followed by the buzz around it, I'd say it's a no brainer. eally only old school titles stand any shot of not being licensed these days. This is the age where companies will pretty much license anything.

I have a friend currently obsessed with this show. He likes it as to him it's different. I probably wouldn't be voicing an opinion at this moment otherwise.

To be honest, while he has piqued my interest in the show (I'd heard of and seen a bit long before he did though), he's also kind of embittered me towards it too. Skipping through episodes shows potential, but I've only seen one episode and haven't quite been impressed by it (though I know better than to go on just one episode).

I'm not sure I care too much for the tone. In this episode, they start dark, then go all lighthearted and goofy with charicature and other animation quirks. While I usually like stuff like this, it usually works best as a surprise of subtile shift. IE, starting fruity, but hinting at darkness. The murder scene at the beginning kind of jumbles that up and distracts from getting into things.

Though really, the biggest problem I've had is the guy's motivation. He's happy go lucky one minute, then some random guy he's never met takes his tasteless joke and mentions an actual murder and suddenly, BAM, he now suspects his classmates? What kind of logic is that? It's a hell of a leap of faith in storytelling. Hopefully they'll tone that ridiculousness down in future episodes, though I doubt it.

I'm intrigued, but I doubt I'll be as inthralled as some.

I can't really say without seeing more of Higurashi, but I somehow doubt the Haruhi connection. Most murder mysteries are presented "with...the presentation of the mystery, [followed by] the solving of it." It's storytelling 101. ^_^


"The Demoned Away Arc" - You mean the "Spirited Away by Ogres Arc" right? Demon is not a verb. If that WIND's translation? I can't imagine Ayu using such horrid grammar.
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Postby PaladinBlue » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:49 am

The Japanese name for Demoned Away is Onikakushi-hen. Everyone elsewhere calls the chapter "Demoned Away" or "Demoning Away". Considering the subject matter, using "demoned" instead of "spirited" would probably be better, anyway.

[edit]
Oh, and Haruhi's connection was there, not just for the mystery itself, but the fact that the title for it in the preview (ep. 7) is written in the same style: black background, single red kanji.
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Postby TifaOnACloud » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:31 pm

They used "Spirited away by Ogres" not just "Spirited". It means the same thing, but with more words. Everyone may use "Demoned", but it doesn't change the fact that it's still bad grammar. "Demoned" and "Demoning" aren't words. It's long been agreed by many that Oni is better translated as Ogre as well. No poinnt argueing over t though. ^_^

I forgot that part of the Haruhi episode. Issue withdrawn. It's just the way you pointed out the small connection.
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Postby Veoryn87 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:51 am

I don't see why the whold "demoned" "demoning" thing matters.  It just sounds cool.
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Postby Selaphiel » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:03 am

Yeah, grammitcally not making sense kicks massive assage(<--- Not a real word). Aslong as it sounds cool, that is.
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Postby Veoryn87 » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:10 pm

^ Exactly.
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Postby TifaOnACloud » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:30 pm

Veoryn87 wrote:I don't see why the whold "demoned" "demoning" thing matters.  It just sounds cool.


It matters when it comes to judging a translation. Fansubs should set themselves to a higher standard than made up words. If they slacked on that, what else did they slack on. We're at their mecy when it comes to understanding a show. Something so dependant on quality translation like subbed anime cannot be compromised because "it just sounds cool". I'd rather not watch anime peppered with something akin to "l33t 5p34k". If it's not a real word, it has no place in a fansub. It's lazy and just plain dumb.

Intrigueingly enought, looking at the screenshot comparisons for episode one, no one actually uses that phrasing.

Anyway, the point's been made, could we move on please?
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Postby Veoryn87 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:55 am

If you say so Tifa.  

Sadly it was the head stabby stabby video that got me interested in this show.......  Does that make me evil?
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Postby Ryoko » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:10 pm

TifaOnACloud wrote: "l33t 5p34k".


you mean "1337 5934|<" =D  i got this series from my friend on a single DVD-R, but sadily the computers i use have Disallowed installing or No DVD-R drive... this is quite a problem on my part, although it does look very interesting.
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Postby Aion-the-Sinner » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:00 pm

Veoryn87 wrote:If you say so Tifa.  

Sadly it was the head stabby stabby video that got me interested in this show.......  Does that make me evil?


Yes, yes it does. :twisted:
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Postby Veoryn87 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:14 pm

Well then.  That must make YOU not only evil, but highly sadistic.  :twisted:
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Postby Aion-the-Sinner » Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:20 pm

Yep ^_________^

You haven't figured that out yet, that's a pity, pity, pity (I)_(I)
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Postby Tsuyoshi » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:30 pm

Honestly, since when has a review thread been allowed to become a chit chat thread?? =/
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Postby Selaphiel » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:04 am

Since they are discussing being morbidly in the mind, which goes hand-in-hand with the series.

Best part = [spoiler]FINGERNAIL REMOVAL[/spoiler] I almost puked. For real.
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Postby Veoryn87 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:41 am

Yeah that part was a bit intense.
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