Posted on 24 September 2011 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, OVA Impressions

I’m a fan of Studio Deen…. but not this year. So far, I consider them to be even worse than AIC, because at least AIC delivered Hourou Musuko and Persona 4 this year. Something really needs to happen to them, because in the past they have delivered plenty of classics.

This episode thankfully was not as abysmal as the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira. At least stuff happened. Instead, this was just boring. It was pretty much like the silly episodes of Higurashi Rei, only worse. The reason why they worked well with Rei and not here is simple:
1) those episodes were simply better executed. They did what the TV-series did, only more over the top. It was varied, the characters had fun with each other and the timing and delivery was good. Instead though, you can really see how much the new director hurts here. This episode felt lackluster, the characters one sided and its scenario was just dull and predictable.
2) In Higurashi Rei, the silly episodes were wrapped around an amazingly written storyline focused on Rika. They juxtaposed well because of that: on one hand you have the characters just having fun, and other other hand there are the hard hitting storylines that made this show big. Take away the latter, and you have just random episodes that try to be funny, but because of reason 1), aren’t.

Here’s the thing: the silly episodes of the previous installments of Higurashi added to the characters. This however reduces the cast to caricatures. The preview to the next episode suffers from this as well: it on purpose focused on the caricatures of the cast.
OVA Episode Rating: 6/10

Posted on 23 July 2011 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, OVA Impressions

Oh god no, it’s as I feared! This episode was horrible. Studio Deen, for God’s sake why!? Hideki Tachibana is an abysmal director. Why the heck did you put him on one of your most successful and popular series?

Look, an episode that would have shown the cast randomly goofing off is something that I would have understood. Higurashi had episodes like these in the past, and they were a lot of fun to watch. It would have been a pity that there wasn’t going to be a serious story, but at least I would have been able to get behind that. This thing however… I did not expect such a horrible premise for an episode.

This episode was an insult. It wasn’t about the characters having fun. It ENTIRELY consisted out of IMAGINATION. This episode just kept going on and on with Keiichi, Irie, Ooishi and Tomitake imagining the female cast in sexy situations and drooling over it. And it just kept going ON and ON, it’s unbelievable. Imagine that this episode was half an hour long! At a certain point the creators run out of females, and that’s where the episode really loses it and just delves into random gay and slaughter jokes.

Oh, and the new OP and ED are absolutely terrible as well. Did the creators even listen to the OPs that were created for the other Higurash-series?

The most shameless part was Tomitake taking pictures of Rika in his imagination and everyone getting a blood nose out of it. This like, completely misses every single point of Higurashi’s light-hearted episodes.
OVA Episode Rating: 5/10

Posted on 10 September 2009 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei

Well, I guess that with this, Higurashi finally comes to an end, and I have to say that the creators couldn’t have chosen a better way to close it off than with Rei. It really made excellent use of the OVA format to surpass itself, in terms of comedy and silliness in regards to episodes 1 and 5, and in terms of solid scriptwriting for episodes 2, 3 and 4. I’m really going to miss this series.

Anyway, I’m not going to write a review for this OVA, because I know from experience that I’m terrible at those kinds of reviews, especially if I don’t marathon them. What I do want to say though, is that everyone who finished the TV-series should really also give the OVA a chance. It’s one of the very few cases in which the OVA is as good as the series it’s based on.

Anyway, this episode closes off Higurashi with another silly chapter, in which Rena swallows a “Magatama” which makes her fall in love with whoever holds an identical “Magatama” in a different colour, which shows Rena spooning up to Tomitake, Takano, Oshii and eventually Keiichi through a hilarious episode. I liked it better than the first episode of Higurashi Rei, because even though it was very silly, it also showed a new side of Rena: the side of her that wants to be close to others, and so is very easy to adapt her hobbies to others.

This also leads to an awesome Mah-Jong match, and at that point you could really see that it was a wise decision to put the director of Shion no Ou on the director’s position, rather than Chiaki Kon. The Mah-jong match in this episode which probably only took up 5 minutes was more exciting and creative than anything I’ve seen in Saki for the past half five months. It really reminded me that there can be game-based series that don’t have to rely on god-mode powers and Deus ex Machina.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 June 2009 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei

Pure awesomeness. I really have to say, that this OVA couldn’t have been done better. These past three episodes were right up there with the most memorable moments from the Higurashi series. I’d definitely rank this among the best OVAs I have ever seen, along with Rurouni Kenshin Tsuioku-hen and Hunter X Hunter’s OVA. All of them were just incredible: intelligent, inspired and focused.

Most of this episode was just lots of dialogue, but that’s exactly what I liked about it. Rika, who was tortured with the choice whether or not to kill her mother, and abandon the world in which nobody was plagued by sin. This exactly showed the irony of good endings: sure, you may have everything happening perfectly; you may have nobody suffering from the past, and deeply haunted by some of the wrong decisions they made, and that were made for them. But does that make them better persons?

It may all have just been a dream by Hanyuu, but who cares? Thinking back it made sense: how else would Hanyuu have known about the fate of everyone who wasn’t there? The way Rika let herself go and get caught up in the accident really showed her how she has unconsciously taken her own death and rebirth for granted, and how she began to forget how important her mother was.

If I had to mention a down-side, then it was the continuity error of Keiichi’s sin. In the original series, Keiichi’s sin was left out, and I had to read about it in the Higurashi TIPS, about how he ran around with the plastic gun. Those who haven’t read the TIPS will probably feel left out a bit, because that event was crucial to why this episode was so incredibly powerful. It’s still a shame that we never got to see that scene animated, by the way. It would have been damn intense.

In any case, Umineko no Naku Koro ni is about to begin now, and even though I’ve heard that it’s going to be completely different from Higurashi, I’m really looking forward to it, because 07th Expansion has shown himself to be an incredible writer. My only concern is going to be Chiaki Kon; I’m not sure whether she is the right person for this series. Especially considering how she’s also currently working on Hanasakeru Seishounen, and considering the mess that that turned into. On the other hand, Toshifumi Kawase is returning for the series composition. I absolutely love what this guy has been doing for the past few years (he was the one who directed the Higurashi Rei OVA), so perhaps he was the biggest reason why Higurashi was the only thing that didn’t disappoint out of Chiaki Kon’s work.

Rating: *** (Awesome)
Amazing conclusion to an already amazing OVA.

Posted 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.

Posted on 27 March 2009 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei

Short Synopsis: Rika dies again…
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Now THIS is more like it! This episode forms such an incredible contrast to that very silly first episode. This was exactly that paranoid atmosphere that that first series was so incredibly good at. Ah, the idea has so much potential, I’m really glad that it got the chance to be animated into an OVA.

So, what basically happens: Rika gets into an accident, and dies, reincarnating herself again into a different dimension. This dimension lacks Irie, Takano and Keiichi, leaving her as just about the only main actor left. There is no Oyashiro-Sama, no string of deaths or the plan to kill Rina, no Hanyuu, even. Instead, many characters once dead are now alive, Satoko hates Rika now because the two of them grew up much less together and the construction of the dam hasn’t been stopped. Oh, the potential!

I absolutely loved this episode, especially considering how that pool episode pretty much made me lose my faith in this OVA. Still, in the end it proved to be just another light-hearted intro before the real meat of the story begins. I really liked how we, along with Rika, were basically thrown into the complete dark of what was going on. I’m especially looking forward to Rika, meeting her mother again. I’m not sure whether she actually realized that her parents are still alive (she probably had enough on her mind to care about the parents she hardly even knew). Suddenly, I’m a whole lot more positive to seeing Shion no Ou’s director taking charge of this. :)

Posted on 27 February 2009 with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei

Short Synopsis: Keiichi and the others go to the pool
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (There are going to be five episodes of this!?)
Uh… yeah. Here I was expecting Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei to deliver some more background information about the series, flesh some more characters out and all… yeah.

In the end, this turns out to be more Arusu The Adventure: random stories involving the lead characters. This one had everyone and his dog chase after Keiichi’s swimming trunks because it was supposedly cursed. In the end, the only clue that we have that it was indeed cursed was the word of the one who sold it to him.

In any case, the episode was as hilarious as it was disturbing (try to imagine Tomitake and Oshii in the pool….), and the thing turned into a huge self-parody. Interestingly, the original director didn’t return to the director seat, but instead the one who did the series composition created this… thing. And to think that there are four more episodes left!

On a completely different note, though: that OP rocked. It doesn’t quite beat the original OP of the first season, but I’m glad to see that it’s still experimenting with different exotic instruments and sounds. It works really well in this case.

Posted on 24 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Some reviews are easier to write than others. With Higurashi, it’s going to be difficult, though, simply because of the huge contrast between the first and the second season. The fact also remains that this is one of these series that’s better than the sum of its parts. First, let me say that if you were interested in the concept of Higurashi, just to see “killer lolis” and cute girls, killing each other, then you will be disappointed. Sure, this is a disturbing series, but Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is so much more than a bunch of random massacres.

The first season is basically one incredibly well-developed mystery-series with lots and I mean lots of horror. Throughout six arcs, you see the different characters, as they discover more and more of the complex, multi-layered plot that forms the foundation of this series, while countless false tracks and red herrings are put on the screen, in order to confuse the viewer. You’ll never know who to trust at this point, and the same goes for the characters. There may be a few annoying moments here and there, including some pacing-issues, but overall it’s an intense and diverse thriller that keeps you hungry for more amidst the brutality.

And then the second season comes, and it’s completely different. The first season went so fast that it often didn’t leave any time for quiet moments and character-development; it sometimes went too fast that it nearly tripped, and then the second season comes and fixes this. The pacing continues at a very slow pace, but because of this, there is enough time to flesh out the different characters, to explain everything that need to be said about the story, and to build up for an incredibly solid finale. The characters actually start to realize that their bloodstained hands were a huge mistake, and they try to escape the horror. There’s also an incredibly huge emphasis on friendship and trust.

Obviously, the second season is less exciting to watch, but instead, the first season is less heart-warming. The second season is quite slow, while the first season thunders through its storyline to get it finished in time. Obviously, when you look at the individual elements, things feel strange, and for most people, it’s going to be hard to get used to the completely new road that the second season went into.

But boy, if you start looking at it from a distance, the entire package becomes so much better. In terms of storytelling, the story is closed off perfectly, even though there still is a third season on the way. It knows exactly how to build up well, and the storytelling for especially the second season has been flawless.

All in all, Higurashi is inconsistent, but it’s one heck of a special series. The cast of characters and the setting is definitely memorable, and there are more than enough different moments that make you care about them. Just one piece of advice: when watching episode 17, try not to eat or drink anything. You’ll understand when you watch it.

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Ah, and so it has ended. Like expected, this ending is much better than the ending of the first season. It did everything that was needed to close off the story well, with no signs of rushing. While the first season would have tried to add an extra twist, everything went just as expected, but I still ended up really liking it. Especially Takano has improved a lot, and finally she too has become an engaging character, and I loved her scenes with Okonogi, to see her being betrayed by everyone she took for granted.

The obvious question now remains: what the heck is going to happen in the third season? I mean, there are three arcs left, and from all we know, the story and everything around it has been resolved. The final moments of the episode showed how a grown-up Rika went to visit the young Takano. How did she end up there? I can also imagine that there still needs to be found a cure for the Hinamizawa-syndrome. After all, Rika still can’t leave the village without everyone going berserk within 48 hours. It would also be interesting if Nomura made a larger appearance, though on the other hand, I’d love to see more development on Keiichi, Mion and Rena.

Has the new airdate of the third season already been confirmed? My money is on that it’ll arrive somewhere in the Summer 2008-Season. In any case, it’s something to look forward to.

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Haha! I loved this episode. It was fun, sad, exciting and inspirational. I now understand a bit why the Yamainu didn’t use their guns in the previous episode. They may not look like it, but they’re scared as well. I can imagine how up till now, they’ve never had to deal with the unexpected. That’s why they became careless and forget to properly prepare. And that’s why they were easily pwned by Keiichi and the others in the wood. I loved how Okonogi actually admitted his defeat, and is now thinking of the survival of the Yamainu, instead of following Takano’s orders. The next episode should promise to be an awesome one: Takano’s screwed, but yet she’s going to do something that delivers the twist for the introduction of the third season.

Ah, and the things that happened in the clinic were excellent as well. Satoshi really seems to have been sick, ever since he was taken in, and I think it’s thanks to Irie that the guy survived. Tomitake is now free as well, and all that’s left now is to reach the next city. One thing I do hope for the third season is to provide more development for Keiichi, Mion and Rena. It really feels like the three of them have been incredibly ignored in the past season, while Rika, Satoko and the others did get their moments.


Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:47 AM)
    anybody here remembers a PS1 rail-shooter game called Elemental Gearbolt? It was a fun game that had anime cutscenes by Rintaro. It’s one of those lost gems that was very well received but made a small splash upon release and then completely lost to time.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:42 AM)
    Kaiser: are you being sarcastic or did you actually enjoy Symphogear?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:39 AM)
    @Masky: it’s the internet, people will construct some bullshit reason to moan about everything. As long as the game is fun than it’s good in my eyes, or the very least in needs to have an emotional impact like Valiant Hearts: The Great War. I’m deep into Bloodborne right now, so my time’s solely dedicated to that at the moment.
  • Masky
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Bam: Usually people complain about realism in games in situations where it wouldn’t make sense and in games were realism is actually important they somehow seem to not notice it when they are unrealistic :’D Or maybe I have bad luck
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 12:06 AM)
    @Kaiser, Haven’t we suffered enough with three seasons?
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:59 PM)
    @Masky: no definitely not every game, but you made it sound as if the whole idea of realism in videogames is ludicrous. Now I haven’t played Undertake myself, but looking at the Steam pics in looks like a humorous retro pixelart indie project, in which case it doesn’t need to be realistic but it still should respect it’s own internal logic. Unless it’s meant to be all bonkers like an Xavier: Renegade Angel episode, but again very few things are like that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 07:30 PM)
    Oh lol the Symphogear guy teased the idea of a fourth season for it, you mad mad bastard.
  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

One Punch Man – 08

I wish I knew just what that girl at the beginning was parodying as she’s clearly been overdrawn in a completely different style. My closest guess would be the poster girls of creature features in the 60s and 70s as she wouldn’t look out of place if pasted into a movie poster. I don’t think […]

Young BlackJack – 08

While I find the level of risk in this two part arc to be inconsequential, I must admit that I like how it all turned out. For this is the first time in this series that Blackjack failed. While he was able to discern the cause of Johnny’s lack of pain, he was unable to […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 07

Oh those poor seiyūs that had to act in today’s episode. I can only imagine the horror when a Japanese speaking seiyū is told they need to have an entire conversation in English in a fairly dialogue heavy show. Japanese and English happen to be two of the hardest languages to learn so if they […]

One Punch Man – 07

This episode mainly focused on a giant Meteor about to annihilate the city and the introduction if S class heroes, Metal Knight and Bang. Bang makes it a point to say how the top class heroes are hardly very heroic with most not showing up at all to stop a city’s total destruction. Even one […]

Young BlackJack – 07

Racism is always a thorny topic to deal with. Regardless of intent there are just so many ways of messing it up, be it by using strawmen or one dimensional caricatures. It’s a topic that requires a delicate hand to prevent pushing it to its extreme all to make an obvious point of Racism being […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 06

I can’t say I enjoyed this episode of Subete too much, mainly because there was less investigating and more character building. That wouldn’t be a problem if the character building wasn’t so focused on our main leads. The leads are fine, what we need is to expand on the other characters present on the island […]

One Punch Man – 06

It is interesting that the challenges that Saitama faces that get him worried that truly the most mundane and ordinary. Saitama can punch a monster into oblivion but when it comes to essays or going to sales he’s powerless. Here we have him about to be kicked out of the hero association if he doesn’t […]

Young BlackJack – 06

There are times when Blackjacks over the top nature can be entertaining presentation wise and others when it can remove any sense of surprise. While I do like the things Blackjack explores, it is very clear cut on how it shows it. In this episode the man that Blackjack and the army Medic have been […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 05

The more I hear about Magata’s DID, the more suspect it becomes. According to this episode, Magata didn’t conceive DID out of trauma or accident but instead intentionally crafted alternate personalities so well to the point that it became DID. I personally find the mechanics of this rather fantastical as I don’t think anyone can […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]