Higurashi is a sadistic horror anime with plenty of killing. Yet, the sadistic (but cute) characters really make this anime hilarious. Yes, there is plenty of killing, but I really enjoyed watching the out-of-place cute youngsters turn into cold-blooded murderers for the most insanely unbelievable reasons.
Keiichi Maebara, a teenage boy, lives in Hinamizawa, a peaceful rural village. He plays and has fun with his friends, all girls. However, he learns from a photographer and a former nurse that Hinamizawa is a cursed town, in which every year at the Watanagashi Festival at least one person dies.
To make matters worse, his friends keep concealing the truth from him–that they killed those people. Each day, Rena keeps creeping up to Maebara with a huge knife. When Maebara sprains his ankle, the doctors injected him with needles. Eventually, Rena and Mion knock him out and try to inject him with more drugs. In self-defense, Maebara grabs the giant knife that Rena was holding and kills the two. Maebara, in a fit of insanity, eventually commits suicide by stabbing his throat with his fingernails.
And yet, after this fatal storyline, the characters seem to come back to life. Well, not really. I’ll just say that there are multiple scenarios in the series, and the whole story line is similar to the movie “Groundhog Day,” where the story repeats again and again.
However, this is a surprisingly complex soap opera, involving children who are abused by their aunts and uncles. The kids kill others for the most ridiculous reasons. Shion kills her friends in frustration, over the loss of her murdered love interest. Kana kills her uncle’s fiancee for setting him up for a big financial divorce settlement. Okay, so maybe these story is a little too unbelievable, but the murderers’ motives are so bizarre and strange that the series actually turns into a dark comedy. The alternate plots are very intriguing, each one revealing another piece to the fascinating plot which involves drugs, UFO crashes and, yes, bioterrorism (don’t ask).
This series is crazy, bloody and definitely not for kids. However, the story line is very original, and the characters are hilarious. There’s nothing better than watching little kids kill each other for the stupidest reasons in a crazy town filled with conspiracies. I highly recommend this.
The first three DVDs covered the first four storylines, “Spirited Away by the Demon,” “Cotton Drifting,” “Curse Killing,” and “Time Wasting.” Unfortunately, only three DVDs have been released because the publishing company, Geneon, was sold to ADV films. The parent company of Geneon, Dentsu, released a statement which said that they would stop releasing all of the company’s DVDs after November.
It’s such a shame that these DVDs have been left without a publisher. This is one of the best and smartest anime series of 2007. Yet, the storyline is so good that someone is bound to pick it up for publication.