Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and its sequel (Kai) are the best horror themed anything (anime, real life, whatever) that I’ve ever seen. They do the creepiness, the gore, the horror all very well, but what I think makes it stand out from everything else, is how they develop their characters and make you feel like you’re part of their crowd. When they suffer, you suffer with them. When they vainly try to break out from the horror they’re in, you’re pulling for them as if you’re in the same nightmare. When you get past the guro fanboys cries for bloodlust (and actually its reputation for gore is exaggerated, as it’s not a bloodfest by any means. Rather, Higurashi’s terror is created by what it chooses to not show), Higurashi’s greatness comes from how it treats its characters. This is illustrated perfectly in the OP for the Kai, the second season (or the answer arc).
This is bound to make it back in a favorites post at some point in the future, but I really like the new ED. It’s called Trust You by Yuna Ito. The song’s got a simultaneously somber, yet hopeful sound, which fits the show really well (plus no engrish!). And the producers do another great job of picking out really beautiful and poignant scenes to include with it.
In Standard Def:
In High Def:
I’ve been thinking about doing a post about my favorite 5 or so OPs and EDs, but then I thought, why limit it to 5? It changes as new shows come out, and as I check out older shows I’ve missed out on. So I figured I’d just make it an ongoing series.