A look at Higurashi When They Cry #9-10


While the anime adaption of the visual novel Higurashi When They Cry gets a bad wrap because of its animation and horrendous English dub, I still highly regard the franchise as having one of the most thrilling and interesting timelines around. But when I began reading the manga, though, I was given one story that I actually haven't gotten around to seeing until now: the Beyond Midnight arc.

What begins with a introduction to some new characters turns into a plotline that takes place 20+ years after the original story, followed by a murder mystery, and finally throwing in some Yakuza to keep things fresh. The end result is something that may actually different than the typical Higurashi we all know and love, but is it still any good? Hit the jump for more.

Those who know about Higurashi can tell you in depth about the numerous timelines that fall into the overall plot of the series. While there's never a real clue in the franchise that confirms if there is one real, primary arc that fans could follow for further canon, this arc skips the original story setting of 1983 forward by 23 years and into modern times.

This time, we follow Otobe Akira, who meets a matured and older Mion Sonozaki on a rainy night while hanging around on the outskirts of the cursed village Hinamizawa. What develops next takes a surprisingly realistic approach to its setting. Instead of seeing one of the characters cursed by Oyashiro's curse, the reader is left wondering if someone is hiding their "contamination", or even if the curse exists in this timeline at all. 

What this series does better than anything else is keeping the reader on their toes, and anticipating every spine-shivering moment. In previous arcs, the certain way characters phrase their words, or even the subtle changes on their faces when referring to his or her dark history kept me feeling uncomfortable and on edge every moment of reading.

With this arc though, it seems less about being a scary story and more about being a murder-mystery. This works in its own right for a large chuck of the time, but when Yakuza and samurai swordplay are thrown into the mix, it really makes me wonder if I'm still reading the same Higurashi from the previous arcs.

It's interesting to note that this is an original epilogue for the Atonement arc from the anime and VN, giving some more weight for the setting to those who can't get enough of the haunted village. The art and translation of the manga itself, as expected, is incredibly wonderful, and the twists and turns along the way of the story make up for the odd transition between the two story-telling styles of Higurashi. While it's not all that I expected Higurashi When They Cry to be, the two manga were definitely entertaining in their own, different way, which is something fans of the series can definitely get behind.

You are logged out. Login | Sign up



MARCContributor   gamer profile

don't even bother calling me out, I go by OxKing now cuz he's the ickest & more + disclosures



Filed under... #Impressions #manga #yen press



You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!