Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa, which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser, usually him.) Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro-sama. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro-sama. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed.
Like many people, I got to know this series through the anime, then discovered there was a game being localized by MangaGamer and so I discovered visual novels, my favorite game genre nowadays.
Higurashi, then, was far more than just a series or a game to me, it set the standards by which I compared all visual novels to it. It’s tough experiencing a masterpiece as your first taste a genre, because you’ll find afterwards, they’ll be disappointing.
Higurashi was my religion for a while. I extolled how amazing it is, how good, the mystery’s, the suspense, the tenseness, the plot and characters becoming more involved with each installment. Mind you, Higurashi is still one of my favorite VN’s and it won’t be dethroned that easily. Might be because of nostalgia, or maybe, it’s just because it’s that good.
Mind you, that evaluation is mixed with said nostalgia. I can’t escape that, but even now whenever I think of Higurashi, I can remember scenes and how relieved I was when I finished and finally knew how that whole fuckery came to be, and if everyone was okay.
Higurashi was very well marketed and sold. For those that don’t know, because this is old, Higurashi is an horror and suspense VN but got sold to fans of galge/girl’s dating-sim. It was made so the first part was like a typical, normal game, with these cute girls, and then the twist happens and it mind-fucked everyone. In fact, the very art was done to emulate galge ones, so that when troll faces pop out, you know you’re in dip shit.
It was a stroke of genius for 07th Expansion, because it quickly became a cult hit which grew with each installment, until it finally received a manga and an anime. Prior to Higurashi, 07th Expansion was a small company doing card illustrations, and was as underground as a doujin company is.
This can be found everywhere, if you’d search, but I’ll tell how Higurashi happened. Call me a nerd, which I am, but I like knowing these things and telling them.
07th Expansion was back then a company made of 3-4 people, Ryuuk was the writer and artist, his brother was the programmer and his friend did the website. Said friend encouraged Ryuuk to turn Higurashi, which was a play Ryuuk had written before, into a game because he really liked it. So we can thank him for Higurashi and 07th Expansion existing as a game maker.
I’m sure you’ll find names and more details if you search for this story, because it’s been a long while since I’ve read it, and I know it because I’m particularly passionate about those that impress me.
This hasn’t been a review of the game, but it’s a bit of the journey I have with the game. There’s also not a lot of things I can say, considering how wildly known the anime is. I will say though that if you liked the anime, I implore you to play the games. I don’t care if you play using the new sprites, or Ryuuk’s (which I prefer), but you really must. The anime is a watered down version of the games, they also invented an explanation for the final that was ridiculous and wasn’t the real one. The games are worth it. The atmosphere and tenseness of scenes are through the roof, and I was floored by the mysteries and their conclusions.
This isn’t an horror game like Corpse Party, where there’s blood and graphics. Here it’s written and described, and enhanced by the OST and sound effects to make a deeply involving, absorbing game that will stick in your mind.
Safe to say, if you liked Umineko you’ll like Higurashi, but not if you were fonder of the trolls and fantasy side of things. Higurashi is not an epic tale of fantasy and magic. In Higurashi, it’s realistic and down to earth, with a dash of fantasy and absurd to enhance the mysteries and suspense.
This was a bit of a trip down memory lane, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I liked!
Happy gaming everyone and keep on figuring out those mysteries ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ﾉ
Have you heard about this game before? Have you played it? If so, I’d love to know what you think of it!
I’m playing it for the first time, with the original graphics. So far it’s a bit of a chore to get through to be honest. The scenes drag on and on without anything of value actually happening in them in many cases, like the picnic on the mountain scene and the card game membership challenge scene. These things are just back and forth dialogue that really ends up repeating itself, that could have been summed up much better. At this point a lot of the writing comes off as padding. Hopefully it improves once the atmosphere switches to being more horror focused but for right now the writing is in desperate need of editing. Keep in mind this is coming from someone with zero knowledge of the game series or anime, it’s my first exposure to this series so there’s no nostalgia helping me through it.
Ooh, interesting choice to go with the original graphics 👀✨👌
I understand perfectly what you mean, I felt those scenes were long too, but they’re really important to make you attached and learn more about the characters, also to make you yearn for when everyone was happy. It just makes the horror scenes even stronger, though of course that’s my opinion. I’ll be interested in what you ultimately find of it after completing the horror parts 👀✨
I hope you end up enjoying and liking it, and if you ever want a more gorey/bloody/graphic version of it, the anime delivers on that 👌👌
I’d love for you to return here to tell me what you think of it after finishing. If you remember of course 🙏✨
I loved Higurashi and Umineko! Just haven’y gotten around playing the games lol. It’s been a while since I watched them so the detals are quite blurry. orz Though I remember preaching my friends about these and drags them to Higurashi Hell – bec that’s what good friends do. ( ⊙᎑⊙ )
You need to play the games if you liked the anime/mangas for it, it’s such an experience! Plus you can find them on Steam or MangaGamer website, with new artwork or choose Ryuukishi’s art, so win-win~
Same haha, tbh, I do want to rewatch and replay Higurashi the most. It’s been a looong time now ಥ⌣ಥ
You did good, good friends do exactly that! Let’s drag more every day ohohoho (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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Just another VN on my list for when I finally start trying them out. I’m already signed up to Steam, so I don’t really have an excuse 😅 Watching the Fate/stay night anime was the one that made me and Dominic think we might like playing visual novels. We already play Telltale games, and they seem to be based on pretty much the same structure.
You’ll have a huge list for sure then ohoho! To be a VN virgin again, aah 😻😻😻
Fate/Stay Night was definitely important too! And Tsukihime 🙏
Dominic and you really need to play some VN then, Telltale is like a 3D point and click mixed with a visual novel for sure~
Visual novel tend to have endings that change a lot, a lot more than Telltale ones, but that’s why it’s good to try both! 👌
I still have a bunch to play, like Steins Gate 👀👀
Also, Zero Escape, Ace Attorney and Danganronpa are great series to start with, if you haven’t played any of them~! 👀✨
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Cool, thanks for all the recommendations! And yeah, Steins;Gate is another one I have my eyes on. I’ll get around to them all at some point 😂
Have fun when you get to them! 🙏👌✨
I’m always glad to give reccs and make someone fall in love with the series I love myself 😹😻
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I couldn’t get used to Ryukishi07’s original artwork, since it looked weird, but that’s just me xD
I’ve heard many positive things about Umineko and I hope to play it sometime soon. It’s a shame the anime was a disaster
I definitely understand finding his art weird, but for troll/evil faces his is definitely the best. It’s what made Umineko so good, all his expression killed me 😹😹👌
I hope the Steam version art is as good in that sense~!
Never speak of that sinful existence.
Mangas were pretty decent for Umineko tho!
Hope you play it soon too, and enjoy it~
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Higurashi will always have a special place in my heart and I agree, the anime is quite watered down compared to the VNs (e.g. the ending of Tatarigoroshi). Which chapter is currently your favourite one?
Same, Higurashi is still my fave of Ryuuk’s work, tho I haven’t played Rose Guns yet.
I also feel like the anime changed some key plot points because they didn’t have enough time, which really sucked but I’m still thankful to it!
Fff, the first one is still one of my faves because I didn’t expect it at all. Third is so good too, because of Satoko. I tend to love all the questions arcs the best because i really didn’t expect any of the events in them. But overall i just love it all 😻😻👌
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I’m also grateful for the anime otherwise I wouldn’t have known about this series at all 😅 Like you I’m a fan of the question arcs but Tatarigoroshi (3rd chapter) is my favourite because of the writing and subject matter. I also enjoyed Himatsubushi (4th chapter – as short as it was) because it put everything into a much clearer picture and also leads into the answer arcs nicely. Can’t wait for the rest of the chapters to get released 😁
Same, if it hadn’t been for the anime, i wouldn’t have gotten into visual novels, so i blame it all on them 😹😹😹👌
Oh, are you playing the Steam version with the new artwork? Cause MangaGamer has all of them released since forever on their website, but it’s with Ryuukishi’s artwork (which I personally like or maybe just got used to heh).
3rd was definitely excellent, heck, Higurashi definitely has super strong writing 👌👌
Have you played Umineko or not interested in it? 👀
Yeah I’m playing the VNs on Steam with the updated artwork, since it reminds me of the anime 😂 I haven’t played Umineko yet but it’s definitely on my wishlist of games to buy
Ah, I see, that makes sense now! xD
I’m not particularly fond of the artwork for the Steam versions, mostly because I do enjoy Ryuuk’s troll faces xP
Umineko is definitely way different than Higurashi. I loved the question arc, but I started disliking the way it went on the answer arc, and tbh, there were 2 full episodes were it just trudged, for me of course. <- But I mentioned that on the post I did for Umineko, so I won't beat a dead horse down xD
It's still enjoyable, so don't mind me!