I have survived. Don’t let anyone tell you Hinamizawa isn’t scary my man, because it is. Oh sure, during the day all the tourists file in and everyone’s having a jolly good time. But once nightfall comes, this is the real Hinamizawa. I stayed the night and looked down the eye of Oyashiro-sama, and what I saw scared me senseless. There is no end to the blackness.
I was hoping to get some awesome nighttime shots of HInamizawa, but unfortunately due to the weather (and not my cowardice), I was unable to. So you’ll have to suffice with the couple pictures I did take of the houses within a 10 foot radius of where I was willing to venture.
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.
I don’t ever want to say that Higurashi has every disappointed me, but… it’s admittedly hard for me not to say that I was disappointed by the resolution of this arc. And I can’t help but think that I’d rather have had Studio DEEN explore alternate scenarios in a full third season than release this half-hearted OVA. With that said, I am looking forward to the next throwaway Rena episode, just because she’s so cute (when she’s not killing people). Onto the episode.
Higurashi fans will enjoy this episode for its slow reveal of the facts about Rika’s new world. We’ll freak at the Rika freak-out, and rustle uncomfortably, wondering, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Non-fans will probably gripe about how nothing really happens in the episode and point out that we’re 3 episodes into a 5-episode OVA without any forward progress besides Rika coming to terms with her new world. Neither side would be wrong. But I’m one of those who happen to enjoy the buildup.
While Higurashi Rei #1 was a welcome reintroduction to all of the characters, it was pretty much a silly, throwaway story. However, episode 2 comes back with the creepy, foreboding vibe that Higurashi no Naku Koro ni delivers like none other. This is probably a good as time as any for me to mention that if you haven’t seen either Higurashi or Higurashi Kai, it’d be foolish to keep reading.
Higurashi’s famed for its lighthearted, slice of life starts and quick descents into madness and bloodshed. But this was admittedly a throwaway ep. There was no hint of danger to come. It was just a fun, fan-service filled episode, reintroducing the whole cast within a normal universe.
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).