Anime Review: When They Cry

When They Cry
Warpshadow

Review When They Cry aka Higurashi No Naku Koro NiWritten by WarpshadowRating very good

In anime there is a tendency to call anything with vampires or demons or horror but Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni is a horror anime that is about actually horror.

Keiichi Maebara moved with parents to the remote village of Hinamizawa. It was there that he met a group of four girls that quickly became his friends. Truly it seemed that his peaceful days would last forever. That is until Keiichi learned of the secret of Hinamizawa. A few years ago there was a plan to build a dam that would have flooded the village. It was stopped but after that every year on the night of the village's summer festival there has been unsolved murders, a phenomenon labled the curse of Oyashiro (the village's god). Now the night of the festival nears and the wheel of fate turns again.

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni is a collection of six stories with the same setting and characters. They connect themselves to each other by revealing pieces of a mystery that they share. As such the air of mystery and horror hang heavily over the show. That aspect of horror in the show is superbly crafted. While many anime horror shows rely on an overabundance of the supernatural Higurashi relies on suspense to deliver it chills rather than whatever gimmick the demon of the week has. There is the matter of Oyashiro's curse when speaking of the supernatural but that is never blatant or ever truly explained. It's technique is also the show's greatest downfall as the show's horror is drawn from a slow build in tension that deflates every time a new story arc begins and starts to lose impact in later chapters. This is partially do to the first chapter going at full throttle and having little room for escalation. Even if you don't feel like watching all the way through I insist that you should watch the first four episodes for your next horror anime, just don't watch just before you go to sleep.

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