Higarashi: When They Cry - Season 1 ReviewAlex Follin
Season 1 (Episodes 1-26)
Every so often, an anime comes around that makes a person both sit on the edge of their seat through the whole thing and scratch their heads in confusion all in one episode! Without question, Higurashi: When They Cry is THAT kind of anime. The first few frames consist of a young man brutally beating two young ladies with a blunt object. There is no leading up to it, no real questions answered until a few episodes down the road. With a beautiful atmosphere and intro combined, this show creates an environment of question and discomfort.
Season 1 of this anime revolves around Keiichi Maebara and a group of four young girls that he joins in after-school activities with. These girls are of varying ages and all intriguing characters alone. Rena is an older girl, as well as one of the main characters. She seems to be horribly naive and on the innocent side, with her ear-piercing, high pitched voice and being prone to excessive blushing. Then there is Mion, also one of the main characters. She is more of a tom-boy kind and we later find out that she has a twin that is more girly. Then there are Satoko and Rika, these are the other two little girls in the group. After Keiichi moves to the village of Hinamizawa, he befriends these girls as well as finding out the little dirty secrets that this village contains. Okay, so the secrets are not really all that tiny, but they are rather dirty. Through the village's history, there have been murders. Now, these are not the kind of murders that you read about in the newspapers after the "bad guy" has been caught. These are the kind of murders that everyone in the town seems to know about, but no one wants to talk about. Things in the village seem rather peaceful for the most part, it's when Keiichi starts asking questions that the trouble begins.
The story of When They Cry is told in small chunks, and it takes a few episodes to get through each small section. As you go through each chunk, it is almost like the show goes back and tells a different story with the same characters. However, the stories are not separate. They are, in fact, just small parts of an overall, truly scary, story. If suspense and the need to think in order to think what could POSSIBLY happen next is desired, then this is the anime for you. However, for some, the confusion might be too much. The show kind of trails you around on a leash and only feeds you information at its own pace, leaving it very difficult to even begin to guess the next episode's events, or even something as simple as who the bad guy is. I, personally, found myself switching around who I thought the murderers were or what I thought actually happened. As viewers work their way through the episodes, they may find that more questions arise than answers. For some viewers, the constant suspense may leave them tiresome and wanting answers.
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