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
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Durarara!!X2 – 08

No animation issues this time around thankfully. Really like the touch of Irelands flag on the cup Shinra gave the girl at their apartment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Celty is indeed Irish. Probably one of the few Irish characters in anime. And here we learn that the one who told the little girl […]

Death Parade – 08

Why do you do this to me death parade? You dodge your true potential and instead focus on background exposition or, of all things, comedy. Then just as I was about to lose interest and give up, you present the best episode of the series so far. Now this, this is what I was talking […]

Durarara!!X2 – 07

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens […]

Death Parade – 07

Why is the girl from the last episode still around? This episode brought up three rules about arbiters. The third rule, about arbiters not having emotions, Is odd to me. For the arbiters we have been introduced to are very emotional. They state that Decim was given human emotions yet he is the least emotional […]

Durarara!!X2 – 06

Turns out that assassination attempt got Celty to see her life flash before her eyes. I suppose taking a tumble off a moving motorcycle is a fatal thing. But well in the last arc we saw two people survive getting blown away at about the length of a football field. So I cannot say I […]

Death Parade – 06

Death Parade in a risky move has taken things in a new direction. A daring adventurous move that no one expected. And it is…absolutely terrible. Death Parade, what happened? Did no one read over the script and do a shaft head tilt in wonder? Was there not an Animator who said “Excuse me sir. But […]

Durarara!!X2 – 05

We have yet another new character entering the show. A motorcycle gang leader who has a massive fondness for woman. Personally I am not a fan of him. His brand of female overprotective crazy just seems like a downgrade from the shows already huge cast of crazies. He looks like a character whose introduction serves […]

Death Parade – 05

If asked about how I think of death parade so far, my answer would have to be divided. On one hand the premise is rife with potential and it does have moments where it rises above the bar. But it also seems confused as to what it wants to be. We have death games between […]

Durarara!!X2 – 04

The current story arc ends abruptly and unexpectedly. I am rather surprised that it came here. From how this was portrayed it felt this would be a longer arc than it turned out to be. So with its end I must think back and wonder. What exactly did this arc accomplish? We got introduced to […]

Latest Reviews

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. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]