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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

"When the Cicadas Cry"
Another bad literal translation of the Japanese name I know, but it's another one of those things where it's fluidity over literal.

This different.
It is quite different. It is so different I actually recommend this not be for anyone under 14. I know it's not like you people actually care about ratings but don't come complaining that you have an incurable twitch after watching this.

How should I start? Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is a compilation of short stories revolving around 4 characters. Keiichi Maebara, Mion Sonozaki, Rena Ryuguu, and Satoko Houjo (Houjyo) in the town of Hinamizawa.
These short stories are seperate entities and while characters are referred in different chapters, they are actually as different as the stories themselves.

It's a psychological thriller based upon what apparently was a doujinshi computer game (go figure) and has now become an anime series and has had 2 adaptations to manga (though one has been considered dropped.) It's scary, I'll be blunt about it. And it's not the scary you see in those stupid American horror films with surprise flashes and gory dismemberments. This is the Asian culture. Where you see psychological horror at it's best. I'm talking about possessions and demons and unexplainable curses.

Honestly, I shuddered at certain parts of this anime, while it isn't particularly graphic, it's definitely spine-tingling.

A couple downsides are that the animation quality is a bit mediocre. Using exaggerated expressions and a generally low quality rendering (not raw side or encoder side) it's a bit of a turn off there. But still, it doesn't give THAT much of a nostalgic effect. Also, the voice actors seem to be slightly inconsistent sounding like the adolescents on one scene then sounding a couple decades older in another scene. Regardless, this anime is more about the story than anything else.

All 26 are out on DVD. The US Geneon licensing branch has released the few DVDs.

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