Posted by psgels on 27 May 2009 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei



Apologies for the lateness, but I’ve been quite buy for the past week.

Still… wow. Just wow. I don’t think that I’ve ever watched an OVA that contributed as much to its original series as Higurashi Rei (the only one that comes close is the Rurouni Kenshin OVA). This is really why I like Studio Deen so much: at first sight they seem like your average overly cute production company, but SO many of their stories are just SO DEEP and meaningful. Now that the director has become the director of Shion no Ou, this series can really show its true potential now.

What a bunch of awesomeness this episode was. Rika once again demonstrates that she is a truly unique character and really, the way the events unfold in this episode is just amazing, even though this really was a very quiet episode. Again the themes of friendship are explored: it turns out that Rika was very much acting like a princess before she ended up in this world, and this caused the mysterious distance between her and her other classmates: she used to have so many friends, and when they disappeared she always felt alone.

And it makes SO MUCH damned sense. The original Rika was cursed from the point where her mother died, and there was no way that she would have grown up to be a normal girl if she knew about her identity, not to mention that Oyashiro-Rika would never start acting like a stuck up princess, but now that she had nothing to fear, nor wasn’t involved with the whole Oyashiro-sama, she’d indeed grow up to be a very normal girl, and since she was a member of one of the three great families, she probably was quite spoiled as well.

There are two episodes left, and in these two episodes Rika is going to have to kill her mother. When the episode started, she very nonchalantly said that she’d have to kill her own mother if she had to (and I really could see her commit a murder easily, considering all of the things she has been through, which is just shown by the downright brutal way she attacked Satoko), but later this episode, she finally after centuries learns of the feeling of having a caring mother. I believe that in the earlier arcs when Rika’s mother was still alive, she was too busy with the dam and started losing interest (judging by the way how Rika says that her mother never believed her stories).

I’m really not sure what happened to Toshifumi Kawase. He directed some really crappy series in the past, like Beyblade, Dragon Drive and Tenjou Tenge… but then at one point he suddently became incredibly good, churning out Shion no Ou, writing the series composition for Higurashi, the Law of Ueki, and now successfully directs this Higurashi Rei OVA. I don’t know what made him see the light, but I really hope that he can keep this up for the future. At the same time, I’m getting more and more worried about Chiaki Kon. When Higurashi aired, I used to think that he was a great director, but his following series have gotten progressively worse: Junjo Romantica went nowhere in the end, Nodame Cantabile Paris, while good, raped the original series, and Hanasakeru was a complete and utter cheese and emo-fest. Is he really going to be the right guy to direct Umineko no Naku Koro ni?

Rating: *** (Awesome)
A quiet episode, but the sheer depth of it still amazes me.

7 Responses

  1. ny says:

    Just a little trivia here, Chiaki Kon is a woman. I remember from her interview about the staff of Junjo being mostly women. ^^; Although the universal `he` is ok in a pinch.

  2. Frost says:

    I usually dont care much for OVAs but this is just amazing, I would never have thought they could put such an awesome story into a 3 episode arc (if I remember the last one is a filler as well)

    One thing I loved is by making the overall atmosphere calm and slow paced, the violence scenes have alot more impact… As soon as Rika lowered her voice and stared at Satoko I thought “OH SHIT” that was just amazing, I usually dont care much about violence (bring it on) but Higurashi affects me in some weird way

    Just cant have enough of this series, so Im looking forward to Umineko as well

  3. chounokoe says:

    I already guessed that you would love this episode, don’t ask me why, but I’m glad in a way I was right.

    Well I have to admit I don’t really like DEEN’s version of Rei so far, because when you read the original novel you always have the feeling that so much important stuff is missing.
    Well in some parts of your review I’m proven wrong, in some I’m right.

    I somehow find it really sad, that so much internal monologue is missing on Rika’s side, because it fleshes out her character so much more…and it’s not like they wouldn’t have been able to add some of that.
    I always get the feeling, from your review too, that it doesn’t really deliver that Rika decided to HATE her family sometime along her 100 years journey.
    In the novel she describes her mother as an overprotective hothead, who can’t understand other people, can’t keep up a proper household and isn’t even able to cook a decent meal.
    In the novel it come across so much stronger when Rika just decided that it would be nice to spend some time with her mother, after a rather cute cooking session where she has to hide her 100 years cooking training, because maybe it was just the fact of always loosing them anyway that led her to resent her parents.
    THEN everything turns around, a mental hospital is informed by Yamato and Rika’s parents about her rather odd story, she is given her obstacle and finally she notices the Kakera in her mother.

    In the OVA it felt just like ‘Oh…Rika’s mother is the Kakera? That’s…bad I think?!’

    And I still can’t understand why they chose to include a totally random ‘insanity moment’ in episode 2, but chose to exclude Rika’s choice to rename the being she has become ‘Frederika Bernkastel’.

    Oh yeah and it’s not 2 episodes left, it’s 1 episode left. The last episode of Rei will sadly be another Omake-Comedy.

  4. Westlo says:

    “Nodame Cantabile Paris, while good, raped the original series”

    The best part of the manga was covered in the first season and with the amount of episodes Kon had she had to move through the Paris arc at a lightspeed. Looks like noitamana will never get a two cour show again…

    And if Kon sticks to the material the Umineko will quite possibly be the best thing Studio DEEN have produced.

  5. Camario says:

    I’m not an expert on Higurashi by any means, not having played the games nor read about them, but this was an excellent episode and really makes me wish the conclusion to this arc would come out as soon as possible.

    Rika was always the one of the most interesting characters and this episode made this very clear. While her choices are relatively predictable, it’s really all about how their consequences will be presented. I’m just guessing, but it’s hard to see a peaceful solution to this problem, even if Rika herself may not actually have to kill her mother directly, depending on the circumstances.

    For the record, I know even less about Umineko, but hopefully that will at least be interesting enough.

  6. Ana Coppola says:

    Umineko no Naku Koro ni is a Sound Novel written by the author of Higurashi, and it’s getting an anime this summer, animated by studio DEEN.

    The story revolves around a battle of wits between Battler and Beatrice the Golden Witch. If any of you want to know more, the first three episodes of the novel are translated, just search for it on google and you’ll find it.

    I’ll just warn you that Umineko has a real slow start, it takes forever introducing the characters, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged about the first couple of episodes. It totally pays off. The only thing to be worried about it’s the production values, since Umineko features a lot of action scenes who will just feel awkward if produced with a low budget. Furthermore, it has an awesome soundtrack.

    Rika and Tanako (aka Bernkanstel and Lambdadelta respectively) both make appearances, being quite crucial to the plot.

    It’s definitely not flawless, but you should give it a try when it comes out. Just don’t expect it to be like Higurashi, it’s quite different from it, and anyone who just wants to see crazy murderous lolis will be disappointed.

  7. chounokoe says:

    I just read that it’s again Kon Chiaki who will be directing Umineko and I have to say, after seeing how he advanced the time problem in the case of the Rei OVA, I’m rather scared of how he will direct Umineko.

    I hope he at least sticks with his approach of just leaving things out and doesn’t do it the same way as in Rei and invents some scenes absolutely new so that they don’t tie in with the original anymore.
    I admit in case of Rei it’s more or less no big deal, because all of the big mysteries are known, but when advancing a series that is still in progress he can seriously mess things up by giving a character a line he’s not supposed to have…so I hope he doesn’t act to liberatly, or else we could face something on the scale of Magic Knight Rayearth TV series 1:
    “Hey it’s not big deal letting her die…she’s just a side character”
    >switch to season 2>
    “Oh damn…what now?! Oh yeah, identical twin!!”

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:50 AM)
    I felt that along with returns andthe animated Batman films,that I would watch them over Dark knight anytime.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:44 AM)
    As awful as the punisher films were and ghost rider (the first one) they wound up guilty pleasures.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:43 AM)
    But I mean shit taste is shit taste, I mean fuck I consider Batman returns my favourite superhero film for christs sake.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:40 AM)
    The 90s X-men cartoon always ruined the characters for me to where I couldn’t properly enjoy them. It was MCavoy and Fassbender that made first class work for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:37 AM)
    One of the things I particularly liked about Iron man 3 was how it dealt with the mandarin, when compared to the old cartoon this was a better take on the character I felt.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:35 AM)
    But as much as I can’t get into the X-men and fantastic 4 as characters its Winter soldier I dislike the most out of the whole marvel universe stuff. A disappointment always belongs lower than something poor.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:30 AM)
    I think the ones I personally didn’t like, were every X-men character related film other than first class , the first thor, iron-man 2 , the fantastic 4, the daredevil movie, The Sam raimi spiderman movies .
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:26 AM)
    I would say that my favourite marvel movies are probably the third iron man movie, the first avengers, guardians of the galaxy, x-men first class, the spiderman reboot films, thor the dark world is an exception I think.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:22 AM)
    When I think about it, I can’t exactly consider myself a fanatic of the marvel films can I? I didn’t really start enjoying any of them until the first iron man movie came out and after that they are hit or miss.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Apr 26. 2015 02:14 AM)
    “there seems to be a rule that second part marvel films are the weak ones.”
    That’s not true. Iron man 3 is prove of that. Most definitely the worst of the trilogy.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 15

The word that encompasses this episode in a nutshell would be brutal. Whether you love her or hate her, I say few would believe that Illya deserved this fate. The tragedy is ever more pungent if you know the full details of her past. Anime only viewers may not get the most out of this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 14

As a reader of the Fate/stay night visual novel I can confirm that the majority of this episode was anime original content. However instead of being about castors history like I thought, it’s of his backstory with her first master. In all honestly making the episode be about her history with Jason would have been […]

Some Quick First Impressions: DanMachi, Denpa Kyoushi and Arslan Senki

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to be an RPG pimp I am getting SAO reminders already. Let me talk about something for a moment. You see when I first played the game dark souls I was frustrated and angry at myself because of my own […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Gunslinger Stratos, Seraph of the end and Yahari season 2

Gunslinger Stratos Short Synopsis: Our protagonist falls into an alternate world full of trigger happy people. I am fairly certain that Gen is not writing this. You can see part of him in the concept but not anywhere else. The episode gave me a mixed impression. I hate the characters and find the main to […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 13

It’s back and still as beautiful as ever. Sadly not a fourty minutes long and still leaves me hungry by episodes end. It does seem to cut off suddenly rather than end. So after telling Shirou to stay away and stating how only masters should stay in the war, Rin is thrust into the exact […]

Death Parade Review – 65/100

  When I heard that Death Billards would be getting a full 12 episode series called Death Parade I was quite excited. The one episode short looked to be an excellent concept for a episodic series. A bar which people are sent to when they die which decides whether they go to heaven or hell […]

Death Parade – 12

So this is the end of Death Parade. Or at least this is the end of what may be it’s first and last season. The ongoing plot didn’t so much as tie itself up but rather fizzle out. Leaving a second season to tie up loose ends. A second season that may never come. I […]

Parasyte The Maxim Review-82.5/100

Parasyte, along with Gugure Kokkuri-San, are the only two shows from the last season that I’ve actually finished, and that’s actually saying quite a lot–seeing as how I haven’t been watching (much less blogging) anime at all this past season. However, I figured I should at least write a final review for Parasyte, just because […]

Death Parade – 11

So we are reaching the final conclusion and things are coming to a head. Chiyuki’s memories are restored and we find that in life she was an ice skater. An odd choice but it did lead to a rather beautiful scene of Chiyuki skating on Ice as she recalled her past. Admittedly I did try […]

Latest Reviews

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]