Anime Review : Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Gou

Burnsy
Maou Senshi

This review does not contain spoilers. Also the release order of the series is Higurashi > Higurashi Kai > Higurashi Rei > Higurashi Kira > Higurashi Gou. Without this info you'll be lost reading this.

[Image: Higurashi_Matsuri_PS2_cover.jpg]

To review this season of Higurashi it is necessary to travel back to 2002 when the story of Higurashi official began in the village of Hinamizawa.If you have watched Higurashi (which you should now if you haven't) you would know it's about our main character moving into the quaint village of Hinamizawa and making friends and enjoying school life when certain disturbing news and events start happening which inevitably leads to fear, suspicion and eventually brutal murders. Then the timeline resets to the beginning and a new set of events unfolded which were different but eventually lead to the same kind of end and so on. This inevitably did lead to a lot of understandable confusion when you watch it the first time as there is no indication why the timeline gets reset in the original anime and till you reach the second season called Higurashi Kai you won't be getting any answers.
The end result is a lot of people don't end up watching the second season, think of the anime as being some cheap horror/gore show with no real story. And even though the next season gives a lot of answers and seemingly gives a happy ending, it does not cover everything that was going on behind the scenes.

Now enter Higurashi Gou. This anime brilliantly started of the same as the first few episodes of the original making everyone THINK it was a reboot just with better animation, but with the exception of one or two scenes which threw some shade on that theory. Then the reboot theory was absolutely shredded in episode 4 which turned everything upside down and truly gave me the feeling I was actually watching a horror mystery which I was clueless on how it would end, and who or what I could trust. This shock value was something that overall added to the horror/ thriller aspect of the show through the fourth wall. Gou is a SEQUEL which you need to watch Higurashi and higurashi Kai before being able to watch.
The rest of the season was a roller coaster ride of emotions including fear, rage, despair, foreboding and confusion trying to figure out what was happening, fixing past mistakes, watching the story steer towards a happy ending and then get derailed back to square one while being accompanied by really improved horror and gore in both visuals and writing.

Personally, I give this anime one of the highest praises I can for it's story that I can give as it manages to revisit a nearly 20 year old story and expand upon it in a way that even the writer probably ever thought was going to be, and answer multiple questions and reveal even more of the plot without messing up the original story and ends up giving us a much richer experience. The plot twist after plot twist in the show were never overused tropes or there for cheap shock value, but legitimately surprising and kept adding to the overarching story which as the plot progresses you see how complex and intricate it always had been. Plus knowing the identity of the person actually pulling the strings in this is one of the biggest surprises you will ever experience.

Though the story of Gou is not yet finished, and the next season has been announced called Higurashi Satsou which I presume will wrap up the story of the protagonist and antagonist, this is still something you can watch. While the first season dealt with the horror aspect of the show and then Kai dealt with more of the scientific and backstory side of things Guo has both as well as the more supernatural elements which are present. 

As far as the art goes, studio passion did a fantastic job with the animation and more than that, the storyboarding is significantly improved. The knowledge of when to cut away and what to show on screen to generate tension and whatever else goes into making a horror is miles ahead of the 2006 studio dean adaptation.

The opening, 'I believe what you said' is also amazing and does justice to the OG opening of Higurashi while having some differences which is a mirror to the difference in the two seasons themselves. The lyrics of the opening make so much sense after you finish the anime and you realize it was about the antagonist all along. (I'd post the link of the song but people keep posting spoilers in the comments)

I said I don't score anime anymore but for this one I'll make one exception so I think I'll give it a 9.4/10 for it's brilliant way of reopening a closed case and making us see it was never closed to begin with and managing to fit the jigsaw puzzle of the Higurashi story into an interesting and compelling over arching plot making it my anime of the year 2020 without a doubt.

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Demon_skeith
Akuma

I got the whole first series, plan on watching it closer to Halloween then I'll check out the more recent one.

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Burnsy
Maou Senshi

(03-31-2021, 04:01 PM)Demon_skeith Wrote: I got the whole first series, plan on watching it closer to Halloween then I'll check out the more recent one.

That's ages away but up to you. Rei and Kira are just some rubbish you can skip btw.

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MadaraUchiha
Akatsuki

(03-31-2021, 04:24 PM)Burnsy Wrote: That's ages away but up to you. Rei and Kira are just some rubbish you can skip btw.

That's good. I'm gonna watch this.

" Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognized and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid justice, and has declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus, being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just."
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