Fumiko OrikasaFumihiko TachikiYu KobayashiChafurin
Higurashi When They Cry: Kira
Also known as: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kira
Medium: OVA, series
Year: 2011-2012
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Writer: Toshifumi Kawase
Actor: Chafurin, Fumihiko Tachiki, Fumiko Orikasa, Jurota Kosugi, Katsuhisa Houki, Mai Nakahara, Mika Kanai, Miki Ito, Rie Tanaka, Satsuki Yukino, Shizuka Okohira, Soichiro Hoshi, Tooru Sakurai, Toru Ohkawa, Toshihiko Seki, Yousuke Akimoto, Yu Kobayashi, Yui Horie, Yukari Tamura
Keywords: Higurashi, anime, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season 4 (4 episodes)
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12825
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 14 November 2019
Higurashi
I hate three of its episodes, but the fourth is okay. Still not great and occasionally annoying, but at least that episode's watchable.
THINGS I DON'T MIND IN HIGURASHI: brutal, nihilistic, soul-destroying content that's depressing to watch. Child murder, torture, etc.
THINGS I DISLIKE IN HIGURASHI (although in fairness I'm watching it all back-to-back and so my reactions here will be stronger than someone who watched it all on release): the show not taking itself seriously. Having been one of the most dramatically powerful shows I've ever seen, you'll then have (e.g. here) pisstaking episodes that treat the characters as jokes and break the internal reality.
I also don't like the new, more cartoonish art style.
Ep.1 (57) = "Penalty Loving Chapter"
The Soul Brothers drop through the ceiling to declaim heroically and can piss right off. I've only just started watching the episode and already it's descending into self-parody. Keiichi and the Soul Brothers then work themselves into a state of sexual excitement by imagining all the girls in fanservice-friendly outfits. Yes, including Satoko and Rika. My dislike of the episode becomes outright hatred. (In fairness, though, getting a bit too excited about small girls was also part of Irie-sensei's characterisation in the original seasons, although always harmlessly.)
There's also a variant of nyotaimori. We see Satoko in the bath. The episode then gets started on the adult female characters. Eventually they turn to Higurashi horror, but that's a parody too. "I will already be in a maze of pleasure."
I really, really hated this episode. It's a parody of anime fanservice, obviously, but that doesn't save it.
Ep.2 (58) = "Demon Battling Chapter"
Rika is a magical girl. She's got a magic wand and a transformation form (with boobs). Other cast members get turned into magical girl show stereotypes, e.g. a villainness (with boobs). Hanyuu becomes a fairy, which in fairness is one of the episode's better bits.
I hated this too. I like magical girl shows and I've enjoyed a few magical girl parodies over the years, but this... no. There's also yet more fanservice, although in its defence it's all family-friendly nudity in these OVAs. Censorship light beams and no nipples.
Ep.3 (59) = "Affinity Chapter"
It's a harem comedy, with a love rectangle between Keiichi, Mion, Shion and Rena. Which girl can win Keiichi's love? Angel Mort fanservice outfits. Rika in the bath. HATE HATE HATE HATE... but it's better than eps.1-2.
A minor example of the pisstake thing I was talking about, incidentally, is at the start of the episode. Keiichi and Mion are wandering along when they meet Takano, Granny Sonozaki and Satoko's uncle, one after another. It's like a bus queue. I'd have been perfectly happy to meet any one of those, but all three at once, like that, to me just feels stupid.
Ep.4 (60) = "Dream Appearing Chapter"
This is the episode I liked. Hanyuu meets a much younger Rika, maybe about five years old. She's timeslipped here from the past. This is a relatively quiet episode with some character insights. "I wish my Hinamizawa could be like this, not fighting over the dam." There are a few bits I didn't like, e.g. the gratuitous onsen visit so that all the girls can get naked and the Comedy Naked Keiichi overreaction, but those are brief. More subtly, I'd also suggest that the blob-faced cartoonishness of Young Rika detracts from things a bit, while Hanyuu's "kawaii" reaction to her felt like an anime cliche, not a real person.
In short, it's bloody awful. Higurashi after Season 2 hasn't been a complete write-off, but its good material has been both flawed and in a minority. Its bad episodes, on the other hand, have been offensive garbage. (There will be people who disagree with me and enjoyed them, but... well, they're wrong.)