It’s been so long since I’ve written about the Higurashi OVAs, I couldn’t remember how to start this. Seriously, these 5 episodes have been dragged out longer than whole seasons. Well, for a Rena Ryuguu fanservice episode, this was bloody brilliant, because it gave you just about everything you could’ve wanted from Rena. The only thing missing was some billhook action. *Schaawiiing*
It’s a funny thing, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the Higurashi characters look up before. I got a kick out of seeing the Charlie Brown style faces of Rika and Hanyuu looking up. Too cute.
Rena and Keiichi are spending some time together when Tomitake and Takano stumble across them. During a blushing fit of embarrassingly cute embarrassment, Rena accidentally swallows a love magatama that falls out of the sky due to some mishappenings at the Furude Shrine. Later, RIka and Hanyuu use Hanyuu’s antenna (lol) to stumble across the box, but find that both of the magatamas are missing.
Keichii mentions that Rena swallowed something strange the day before, and Rika ends up explaining exactly what’s going on. Even though this was a Rena fanservice ep, the Rika moments were great too. I get such a kick out of seeing Rika annoyed, angry or frustrated. There’s something uniquely hilarious about seeing a loli character and hearing Yukari Tamura’s mature voice get angry or annoyed. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing a fanservice ep dedicated to each one of the characters.
Rena leaves the school to find Tomitake with Takano. Using her wily charms, with an unexpected dose of USO DA!, and an offer to cosplay as a nurse, it doesn’t take long for her to get Tomitake to fall head over heels for her. That is until the rest of the gang shows up and fires a barrage of fireworks at Tomitake, knocking him out.
I’m not sure what Takano’s problem with cosplaying as a nurse is. She’s dressed as one half the time. Actually, when I rewatched the Higurashi series, I made an especial note about Takano’s Class-S worthy zettai ryouiki nurse outfit.
Tomitake goes down for the count, but it turns out Takano took the magatame, leading to an excellent yuri scene in both the fantasy and real worlds between Rena and Takano. I always figured Takano hated men. It really makes perfect sense. Also returning for all its fanservice glory is Rena’s reptile eyes. The clean, smooth drawings hurt the effect, but there’s very few eyes that are as memorable as Rena’s reptilian ones. Also note for the record that we had an omochikaeri scene here. Unfortunately, just one of those this episode. I would’ve killed for another one of her breaking out from bondage to omochikaeri Hanyuu scenes.
Finally, Rena ends up in the hands of an older man, Mr. Delicious, detective extraordinaire. The null set recently had an interesting post about mature characters in anime, I’d have to say Ooishi is definitely one of my favorite "elders" and one of the more integral secondary characters that I’ve seen.
I’ll admit I wasn’t sure of all the details during the mahjongg scene, but it was pretty exciting. It felt like I was watching Saki for a second. Akasaka again helps save the day with Keiichi to defeat a magatama boosted team of Rena and Ooishi. With defeat, Ooishi returns the magatama, but due to some circumstances, Keiichi ends up swallowing it too, leading to a funny scene in which Satoko holds Keiichi back while Mion tries to punch the magatama out of him.
In the end, the gang has no other choice to drag Rena and Keiichi back to the Furude Shrine, in order to do some ceremony to rid the two of the curse (and to cap the Rena fanservice, we even get a confession from her). I have to say I get a kick out of seeing Rika doing some sort of ceremony where she has to wave a staff around, or doing her Watanagashi festival performance every single time, and the "mushy crap" line was the best line of the series. Rena’s great, but it’s lines and expressions like those which give Rika the extra oomph as my favorite Higurashi character. It’s a close call though.
In the end, Rena’s magatama issues are solved, although her Tomitake-Takano issues are just starting. Luckily Rika doesn’t need to worry about any of that crap, and she can focus on giving Hanyuu payback – by chowing down on some nice, raunchy, spicy foods.
You’d think a silly fanservice episode like this wouldn’t work in Higurashi, but it comes together really well, mostly because the characters are so awesome and well-developed. That way, they’re able to do things like mix and match Rena’s omochikaeri side and her USO DA side to get the perfect mix of strangely awkward comedy. Even the moments where they used the foreboding Higurashi music just made the comedic release that much more funnier.
The bigger story is that this is it for Higurashi! I feel sad knowing there’s no more anime episodes to look forward to, but it delivered everything I could’ve possibly wanted so it’s hard for me to ask for more. It’d be great to see the alternate branchings and endings, but I loved the way they ended the anime and wouldn’t want them to see it become bastardized. Ah well, there’s always the manga and VN (which is apparently getting an official VN translation according to ANN, brought to my attention by zilch). Either way, thanks for the memories!