Higurashi: When They Cry -Gou- Second Cour: Ch-Ch-Changes!

One of the few true rules of anime it seems is that sequels to popular shows never end up working. Like the Disney films before them, there just doesn’t seem to be a single show that has struck as well as its original. Boruto has been up and down, Gundam Seed Destiny was garbage, and apparently the less said about Yashahime, the better. Anime sequel just haven’t really hit, and in some ways, the show we are talking about today is another entry. However it is also manages to be far more effective. After the cut let’s take a dive into the second half of Higurashi: Why They Cry -Gou-!

Poster Higurashi : When They Cry - GOU - Affiche 24 sur 24 - AlloCiné
This fucking village…

I’ll be honest, I was probably too kind to the first half of Higurashi Gou. While the first half of this remake, sequel, midquel, wait, actually a sequel had that blood guts and horror that raised the series to stardom. It also really felt like it was going nowhere at times. While I did say that I enjoyed that aspect, given that the show is about a series of loops. Upon reflection and looking at this second half, I cant’ deny that it felt like the first half didn’t know what it was. However just like with the original series, there is method behind the madness.

And it is in this second half that Gou is able to finally figure out what it is, and the story they decide to go with is damn fucking interesting. Dropped and hinted at throughout the first part of the series, it is revealed that everything that is happening, the new loops, and Rika somehow finding herself back in June 1983 is all because of Satoko. The young blonde haired girl with a love of traps and a tragic backstory has somehow gained the ability to loop, and is dead-set on keeping her BFF Rika stuck in their childhood forever, no matter how many bodies or blood get in her way. The reasons? It’s all because Satoko is afraid of change.

Higurashi When They Cry – Gou Episode 15 & 16 Review | Two Happy Cats
Gou is lighter on the splatter fest, but when it decides to do have it there, you won’t forget it.

That’s a damn cool way to take the story, and it is made even better by the five or six episodes spent on explaining the backstory. While the horrors of the first series may have ended and Rika was free, that didn’t mean that everyone got a happily ever after. People grow up, and things change. Friends you may have thought would never leave you, get older, develop their own interests, and drift apart. Rika achieving her dream of entering high society, while Satoko struggles to fit in is a natural and frankly normal way of life. The world is not a static place, and sometimes being a friend means understanding that you can’t always get what you want, that it is okay to have different goals. Satoko’s refusal to believe that, coupled with her tragic backstory, turns what was what a rather one-note character into a really, REALLY damn good villain.

https://twohappycats.com/2018/04/08/the-bell-chimes-for-gold-guide/  https://kurosamareviews.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/the-bell-chimes-for-gold-walkthrough-guide.jpg  The bell chimes for gold walkthrough guide 2021-03-16T11:15:22+00:00  monthly ...
The conflict between Rika and Satoko works because it is realistic. Not everyone can fit into a new place.

What is even better is how Gou is able to treat the idea Satoko using the looping powers. Unlike Rika who grew to become apathetic and bored through the constant loops, Satoko is the complete opposite. She views them as a tool, and has no trouble abusing her ability for the most inane things. Losing a card game? Just snap your fingers (or cut your throat) and keep trying. Attempting to break a password? Just keep killing yourself in order to get the code right. Like what Steins;Gate was able to do with this movie, Satoko’s view and use of the powers keeps what could have been a played out idea fresh and interesting.

If there is anything that I can knock against Gou though, aside from the spinning wheels of the first half, is that the rest of the cast has been cruelly neglected. While I understand and agree that the backstory of Satoko needed to be explained, Keiichi, Mion and Shion are almost completely absent outside of just being in the background. One of Higurashi’s strengths was that the nature of the story allowed character to jump in and out of the spotlight. That isn’t really present in Gou, and with the first series still so fresh in my mind, it was something I wish was more present. Thankfully with a second season coming in July, there is still a chance for it to happen.

Higurashi When They Cry – Gou Episode 18 & 19 Review | Two Happy Cats
Satoko was always a supporting character, but to see her take centerstage like this is brilliant.

Higurashi: Why They Cry -Gou- is and probably will never be able to, escape the problem that all anime sequels have. The great question of “did we need this?” If you ask me that now, I would probably say no. However what we have is a honest and true attempt to take the story forward instead of doing a victory lap through its greatest hits. It’ll never hit as hard as the first, but thankfully Gou doesn’t seem interested in that. After spinning its wheels for so long, it finally knows what it is about, and what is about is damn fucking effective. With a season of giants like Attack on Titan and Jobless Reincarnation, something like Higurashi has been overshadowed, and it shouldn’t. This is a good series, with a great story, and full of so much potential of where it could go next. If you want to step back into this world, you can’t go wrong with Gou, so give it a look and see what you think.

If only for that perfect second ending.

One thought on “Higurashi: When They Cry -Gou- Second Cour: Ch-Ch-Changes!

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