This blog is not new to Higurashi, a show that remains one of the more infamous shows of the fan-sub era. Full of horror, terror, and oozes of blood. It was one of the few shows to pull you in, and then be able to completely re-invent itself for its second half, and still remains good. I loved the series, and when I heard that it was being remade, I knew it would be anime I’m watching. How did it end up? Join me after the cut as I dive into Higurashi: When The Cry – Gou-
Of course, the big twist about this new version of Higurashi wasn’t a remake at all, instead after the second episode, it was revealed that is, in some way or another, a new addition to the series. Not so much in a sequel, but additional stories that fill in the gaps of the different parallel worlds that Rika, the girl who is the true heroine of the story, has gone through. More specifically, this show after it’s first cour, seems to be about the countless other failures that Rika has gone through.
Now that is quite interesting. As I said in my overall review of the series, I was actually quite happy with Higurashi in its initial form before it became more of a political thriller. The story arcs with the rotating cast of villains meant that despite Higurashi using the same characters, setting and length of time, everything was constantly different. Friends in one arc might become villains in another. Those brutally murdered in one timeline may live on to the end, and the characters you’ve grown to love can end up being absolutely fucking insane.
-Gou- continues that tradition, though with mixed success so far. Most of that I will admit comes from the fact that the original Higurashi is still very fresh in my mind. I know where most of the characters end up, the actual truth behind everything, and when I’m watching the new arcs, most of the with minor, but crucial changes, I can see where things are going. The most fun comes from wondering what those changes are going to do. Would giving the doll to Mion first prevent her from going insane? Is Mion actually just Shion every time we see her, like in the original series? What would dealing with Sakoto’s abuse so early in the story, previously one of the major climaxes, mean for the rest of the plot? Would seeing Rika’s confidence in beating Fate so early mean she is more confident? Or would it just blow up in her face and contribute to her defeatist attitude? It helps -Gou- keep that sense of mystery, because even if you know how things end up, the path to get there was rife with so many failed attempts.
What is a better success though, is the animation, which is a straight upgrade from the previous work. The original Higurashi had a great story, but it was also an anime that had not aged well at all, made on what felt like a shoe-string budget, and laced with moments of very, very weird animation and facial choices. -Gou- does not have that problem and Studio Passione has done a wonderful job in bringing the show into the 2020s without making anything look really that different. Some faces may be a but curvier, lines may be softer, but none of the main cast looks any worse. It’s a just a better looking show, straight up.
Higurashi: When The Cry – Gou- first cour is a warm welcome back to an anime that was one of the most memorable shows of its generation. Whether or not the choice to tell different, but similar stories ends up working will have to be seen, but it has been really fun to see the small changes they make. While the anime has yet to reach the peak of horror and shock value the original had, I am hopeful that the best is being saved for the second half, and I’ll absolutely be sticking around to see what insanity comes next.
Because it ain’t over until the Higurashi cry…