Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is, by all means, a wonderful telling of a fairly creepy story. Those who’ve seen it look forward it being solved; the rise and release of tension, and the confusing reconstruction of its repeated performance like an eternal groundhog day. The rustic, country Japanese feel the show gives it an unique flavor as the bulk of the show ran over the course of this summer.
But like its powerful performance in the OP animation sequence that shadows what is to come in an episode, the rest of the series pales to the first 5 episodes, the first story arc “Onikakushi.” It’s not particularly surprising–the most powerful trick of a horror thriller is surprise, and after its first performance most of the surprises have transformed into speculation and exposition.
For sake of coherence and narrative integrity, the piecemeal visual novel is adopted into small, repeated performances, each replay spiraling up the complexity and gruesome ladder. And as it should. As the audience familiarize with the, sadly, one-track-path Higurashi is taking, even if we cannot fathom the precise mechanism the plot works off of, we know the color and flavor out of its prior consistency. The ultimate saving grace that comes of Higurashi’s narrative, maybe, is its ultimate appeal to the supernatural: Oyashiro-sama. Maybe it’ll actually poise itself to try to leave that unanswered!
If I was a compulsive curious Sherlock, I might be amused with trying to figure out the mechanics; but I am not. It’s sad to say, but at this point of the game I am just done with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. It may still have a lot of tricks up its sleeves, but they’re all of substance, not of mannerism and flair. While nothing has been explained, nothing needs explanation. Maybe it can promise me that somewhere down the next 2 arcs something more exciting could happen, but for someone who watches it out of the fresh scare and creep and, well, the awesome OP/ED sequences, I just don’t think I can believe that easily.
I remember when I was younger and less jaded, I lived in a country with a lot of cicadas. Their cries marked the call of the season and invariably if you want to have a good night of sleep, you learn to live with their twilight symphonies. After moving to a place where there are no cicadas except the rare one or two per acre, you notice their distinct cries. It very well may be the same trick in play with When the Cicadas Cry.