Higurashi no Naku Koro ni


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

] "Naku" can mean Nihongo|"to make sound"|鳴く, specifically referring to those sounds made by non-human organisms, or Nihongo|"to weep"|泣く. It so happens that the English verb "to cry" carries the same double meaning as "naku". According to the original creator, Ryukishi07, the red Na () in the logo is an official part of the title. [citeweb|url=http://07th-expansion.net/Soft/Higurasi.htm|title=Ryukishi07's official "Higurashi" game website|accessdate=2006-12-27|language=Japanese]

Visual novels

Gameplay

"Higurashi" is a murder mystery game described as a "sound novel" by 07th Expansion. A sound novel is similar to a visual novel in that the gameplay requires relatively little player interaction as most of the game is composed of text dialogues. The original release contained no voice acting for the characters. While a visual novel's basis would be the visual aspect, as the name suggests, a sound novel's basis takes more care in producing an atmosphere via the music, sound effects, and the story itself.

The game utilizes intermissions where the player can obtain several TIPS. These TIPS allow the player to read various supplementary information that may or may not be useful in solving the mystery. For example, one of the TIPS can be as simple as "this is a small village; children who go to this school are combined into one classroom regardless of what grade or year they are in." On the other hand, they can provide valuable hints, such as being able to read the excerpts of the newspaper articles regarding the murders that occurred in Hinamizawa. At the beginning of each of the story arcs, a cryptic poem by someone known as Frederica Bernkastel is read; these reveal some of what is going to happen in the following arc.

The PlayStation 2 port "Matsuri" differs from the original game series in that it includes full voice acting, redrawn CGs, and integration of the question arcs starring Keiichi into a single branching storyline. "Matsuri" includes the first seven PC arcs ("Matsuribayashi-hen" is excluded) and three original final arcs—"Taraimawashi-hen", "Tsukiotoshi-hen" and "Miotsukushi-hen". After the original seven arcs are cleared, the first two final arcs become available. Furthermore, when these two final arcs are cleared, the epilogue, "Miotsukushi-hen", is unlocked.

Release history

The first game of the "Higurashi" visual novel video game series, entitled "Onikakushi-hen", was first released on August 10, 2002. This was the first chapter of the question arcs, which went under the title "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni". The fifth game, and first chapter of the answer arcs, "Meakashi-hen", was released on December 30, 2004. The games in the answer arcs used the title "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai". The series is divided into eight main chapters — four question arcs followed by four answer arcs — and one more chapter, created as part of a fandisc, known as "Rei". Each chapter keeps the same cast of main characters and general premise, but unfolds in a different manner. Each of the chapters give valuable answers, hints, and clues as to the mysteries of the previous installment, while at the same time bringing forth even more mysteries.

Later, a dōjin game named "Higurashi Daybreak", based on the "Higurashi" series and featuring an original scenario by Ryukishi07, was developed by Twilight Frontier, the creators of "Immaterial and Missing Power" and "Eternal Fighter Zero". The gameplay is that of a versus third-person shooter, in which most of the characters of the main "Higurashi" series are playable. "Higurashi Daybreak" was first released on August 13, 2006, and an expansion pack followed on April 22, 2007.

A video game console port for the PlayStation 2 was released as Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri"|ひぐらしのなく頃に祭|When Cicadas Cry Festival by Alchemist on February 22, 2007. [citeweb|url=http://www.alchemist-net.co.jp/products/higurashi_matsuri/|title=Official Alchemist Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri homepage|accessdate=2006-12-23|language=Japanese] "Higurashi" is the third dōjin game to be ported to a video game console; the first was "Hanakisō" by HaccaWorks*, [citeweb|url= http://www.animate.tv/game/special/hanakisou.php|title=Hanakisō page on animate.tv|accessdate=2007-07-02] and the second was "Melty Blood" by French-Bread and Ecole. [citeweb|url=http://e56.info/mbacps2/index.html|title=Melty Blood Act Cadenza PS2 official website|accessdate=2007-07-02] Although "Higurashi" was the first to have a video game console port announced, its longer development time made it the third to be released. Due to the popularity of "Matsuri", a second enhanced PlayStation 2 port, known as Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri: Kakera Asobi"|ひぐらしのなく頃に祭カケラ遊び|When Cicadas Cry Festival: Playing with the Pieces, was released on December 20, 2007. It was sold as an append disc to the original "Matsuri" and as a standalone game. It contains all of "Matsuri"'s content, in addition to "Matsuribayashi-hen" from the original games and other bonus content. [citeweb|url=http://www.alchemist-net.co.jp/products/higurashi_matsuri/kakera.html|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri: Kakera Asobi official website|accessdate=2007-12-12}]

A series of four games for the Nintendo DS under the collective title "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna" with new story arcs are being developed by Alchemist. [citeweb|url=http://higu.biz/intro/index.html|title="Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna" introduction at the series' official website|publisher=Alchemist|accessdate=2008-03-29|language=Japanese ] The first, with the added title "Tatari", was released on June 26, 2008 containing the first three chapters from the question arcs, and a new chapter entitled "Someutsushi-hen", with its story based on the "Onisarashi-hen" manga series. The second, with the added title "Sō", will be released in November 2008. [citeweb|url=http://news.dengeki.com/elem/000/000/092/92238/|title="Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna Dainikan Sō" to be Sold in November|publisher=ASCII Media Works|date=2008-07-11|accessdate=2008-07-11|language=Japanese ] The third and fourth games will have the titles "Rasen" and "Kizuna" added after the main title.

Characters

In "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni", there are six main characters who appear in almost every scenario. The main protagonist is Keiichi Maebara, a young boy who has recently moved to Hinamizawa with his family, and begun to adapt to life in the countryside. Keiichi has a natural charisma which allows him to make friends easily. Since Hinamizawa is a small town of about two thousand people, with only a single school, there are not many children around his own age; he easily meets the others his age and becomes friends with them.

One of these good friends is a girl his age named Rena Ryugu. She, like him, is new in Hinamizawa, having only returned from Ibaraki a year before the story begins. She has an obsession with things she considers to be cute—generally, others do not agree—and will often scavenge for such things at the local dump and bring them back home. Before she met Keiichi, Rena became friends with a girl one year older named Mion Sonozaki, who is looked at as the leader of the group and is the president of their club. Mion has a tomboyish personality, a façade for a girlish side she keeps hidden from the others. Mion has a twin sister, Shion, who lives in the nearby town of Okinomiya. Although their personalities are quite different, she and Mion have switched places in the past; the change is nearly indistinguishable.

There are other girls in the club younger than Keiichi, Rena and Mion. One is Satoko Hojo, a clever girl who is quite skilled at setting traps when playing games with her friends. She usually has an energetic and mischievous personality, but this hides a past full of trauma. Satoko also had an older brother named Satoshi. Her friend, Rika Furude, is revered by the villagers as the heir of the local shrine and plays the role of a miko in the annual Watanagashi Festival. Despite her young age, she sometimes expresses a type of wisdom which would normally be beyond her years, and is quite fond of sake. Rika is also the girl who becomes the central figure, so that Hinamizawa can avoid a tragic end. Helping her is Hanyū who appears late in the story but in fact has been with Rika for a very long time, though only Rika could see her.

Of the remaining cast, there are those such as Kuraudo Oishi, a veteran police officer who is dead set on solving the mystery of the yearly murders that occur in Hinamizawa before his retirement. A freelance photographer, named Jiro Tomitake, comes to Hinamizawa occasionally; he seems to be friends with Miyo Takano, a female nurse at the local village clinic who has a keen interest in Hinamizawa's past and culture. She works with Kyosuke Irie, the head doctor of the clinic who has a severe maid fetish, and cares deeply for Satoko, though this quite often appears as a pedophilistic nature.

There are additional characters not seen in "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" proper, who appear in the side-story manga adaptations. In "Onisarashi-hen", the main character is a young girl with a bright personality named Natsumi Kimiyoshi, who has just moved away from Hinamizawa. In "Yoigoshi-hen", the main character is a man with amnesia named Akira Otobe, who was found wandering in the forest around the deserted Hinamizawa many years later.

Plot

tory overview

"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Nihongo|Hinamizawa|雛見沢 (based on the village of Shirakawa, Gifu, a World Heritage Site), [citeweb|url=http://07th-expansion.net/Soft/Map00.htm|title=Hinamizawa is based on Shirakawa, Gifu|accessdate=2006-07-12|language=Japanese] [citeweb|url=http://park17.wakwak.com/~mahosaro/higurashi_seiti.html| title=More references to Shirakawa, Gifu|accessdate=2006-07-16|language=Japanese] which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser, usually him.) Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, "Oyashiro-sama". Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro-sama. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed.

tory arcs

In the "Higurashi" games, there are several story arcs, the original eight of which are referred to as either Question arcs or Answer arcs. The Answer arcs generally recapitulate the events of the corresponding Question arc, but from a different perspective, using the change of protagonist to solve various mysteries and come to a different conclusion. Each of the eight original games for the PC represented separate arcs of the overall storyline. Although apart from the main Question/Answer relationship the stories of the arcs are not directly connected, a multitude of parallels exist which allow the observant reader to gain extra insight into the mystery.

Question arcs

The Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni"|ひぐらしのなく頃に|When Cicadas Cry games form the Question arcs. These first four games of the series were meant to give the player a sense of the world where the story takes place and introduce the mysterious circumstances surrounding the village of Hinamizawa. Since there are no concrete answers given to the questions that the story presents in these arcs, the Question arcs allow the player to form his or her own opinions about the events taking place in Hinamizawa.

;Nihongo|"Onikakushi-hen"|鬼隠し編|Spirited Away by the Demon Chapter)|(Released August 10, 2002:This chapter introduces the player to the world of "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni". The player is shown the simple rural life of Hinamizawa, the after-school club activities, and the friendships of the main characters. However, things take a turn for the sinister after the Watanagashi Festival, when Keiichi discovers what his new friends have been concealing from him. This chapter implies that Rena Ryugu is the villain.

;Nihongo|"Watanagashi-hen"|綿流し編|Cotton Drifting Chapter)|(Released December 29, 2002:By this chapter, the player should have an overall idea of how life in Hinamizawa is like. Once again, this chapter begins innocently, with the Watanagashi Festival again marking the start of the sinister events in Hinamizawa. An ancient curse strikes, and a pair of sisters are not what they seem. Shion Sonozaki makes her first appearance in this chapter, while Mion Sonozaki is portrayed as the villain.

;Nihongo|"Tatarigoroshi-hen"|祟殺し編|Curse Killing Chapter)|(Released August 15, 2003:"Tatarigoroshi-hen" is longer than the previous two chapters, and it is considered to be the most depressing and confusing. Keiichi attempts to help out Satoko with drastic measures, but as more and more people die, it's clear he is not the only one involved in this. This time, the spotlight shines on Satoko Hojo as being the "victim". Despite good (though misled) intentions, Keiichi Maebara is believed by some of the others to be a villain in this chapter.

;Nihongo|"Himatsubushi-hen"|暇潰し編|Time Wasting Chapter)|(Released August 13, 2004:"Himatsubushi-hen" is both a direct prequel and a direct sequel to "Tatarigoroshi-hen". This chapter takes place five years before the previous three. In contrast to the first three chapters, this chapter is shown through the eyes of Mamoru Akasaka, a young police investigator from Tokyo who comes to Hinamizawa in order to investigate a kidnapping of a politician's grandchild. Soon, he too becomes implicated into the mysteries of Hinamizawa. This chapter focuses on Rika Furude as being the key part of the mystery.

Answer arcs

The Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai"|ひぐらしのなく頃に解|When Cicadas Cry Solutions games form the Answer arcs. The last four games released in the series, were, in contrast to the Question arcs, meant to answer all of the questions presented in the first half of the series. These arcs can be considered the "solutions" of the previous arcs. Note that each Answer arc game contains all of the previous Answer arcs.

;Nihongo|"Meakashi-hen"|目明し編|Eye Opening Chapter)|(Released December 30, 2004:Solution to "Watanagashi-hen". "Meakashi-hen" consists of the events of "Watanagashi-hen" told from the perspective of Shion Sonozaki, with only a few minor variations. In this chapter, the audience sees the true reason for the criminal's murderous actions in "Watanagashi-hen"—a lost love. The first hints of that which ties together the arcs are given.

;Nihongo|"Tsumihoroboshi-hen"|罪滅し編|Atonement Chapter)|(Released August 14, 2005:Solution to "Onikakushi-hen". Unlike "Meakashi-hen", "Tsumihoroboshi-hen"'s story is drastically different from the plot of its Question arc. In "Tsumihoroboshi-hen", Rena experiences a situation similar to Keiichi's in "Onikakushi-hen", as she makes a terrible mistake and becomes distrustful of her former friends. It is the first chapter with a (seemingly) happy ending, although some tips reveal a sinister twist.

;Nihongo|"Minagoroshi-hen"|皆殺し編|Massacre Chapter)|(Released December 30, 2005:On the surface, "Minagoroshi-hen" is the solution to "Tatarigoroshi-hen"; however, it answers most of the major common mysteries of the previous arcs. It is told from the perspective of Rika Furude. Most notably, the true identity of the murderer is finally revealed in "Minagoroshi-hen". After "Minagoroshi-hen", one more effort is needed to seal the story into a happy ending.

;Nihongo|"Matsuribayashi-hen"|祭囃し編|Festival Accompanying Chapter)|(Released August 13, 2006:In "Minagoroshi-hen", the mastermind of the murders was revealed. This time, all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. The last step for the characters to take is putting the pieces together in order to defeat the culprit, obtain the miracle, and break through the barrier of June 1983. "Matsuribayashi-hen" is a "Good End" in which no major deaths occur.

Extra arcs

Three extra chapters were included in Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei"|ひぐらしのなく頃に礼|When Cicadas Cry Gratitudes, two of which were newly created. "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei" was released on December 31, 2006.

;Nihongo|"Saikoroshi-hen"|賽殺し編|Dice Killing Chapter:"Saikoroshi-hen" is an epilogue of "Matsuribayashi-hen" which takes place two months after the events of it. Rika falls into a coma after a car accident, but she wakes up in a totally different world, where none of the tragic events of the main series ever happened: Keiichi isn't in Hinamizawa, Rena's parents didn't divorce, the dam project was resolved smoothly, and neither Satoko nor Rika's parents died. When Rika believes that she cannot return to her former world and resigns to live in the perfect world for the rest of her life, she awakens, and discovers that everything was a dream created by the coma state.

;Nihongo|"Batsukoishi-hen"|罰恋し編|Penalty Loving Chapter:A slapstick dream story in which Keiichi and the Soul Brothers fight against the girls by means of the club punishment games. This chapter was originally an epilogue titled "Otsukaresama-kai" which came with "Meakashi-hen", but it was deemed too irrelevant and silly and was removed from subsequent chapters.

;Nihongo|"Hirukowashi-hen"|昼壊し編|Daybreak Chapter:"Hirukowashi-hen" is based on "Higurashi Daybreak". Rena accidentally swallows a magatama that causes her to instantly fall in love with the holder of the paired magatama.

Manga-exclusive arcs

These side stories are original chapters serialized in manga form which supplement the games and partially continue the story.

;Nihongo|"Onisarashi-hen"|鬼曝し編|Demon Exposing Chapter:In "Onisarashi-hen", a young girl named Natsumi is haunted by the aftermath of the Hinamizawa Disaster. Soon after her grandmother — a former Hinamizawa resident — tells her of Oyashiro's curse, Natsumi finds that her own hands have become covered in blood. Akasaka and Oishi also feature in the story. "Onisarashi-hen" was later included as part of the Nintendo DS remake "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna" as "Someutsuhi-hen", with some changes.

;Nihongo|"Yoigoshi-hen"|宵越し編|Overnight Chapter:This chapter is an epilogue of one of the "possible outcomes" of "Tsumihoroboshi-hen", in which Rena burned the school and killed Mion and her friends. Many years later, in 2006, the lock has been lifted and a group of five meet by coincidence, one of them claiming to be Mion, and get dragged into the supernatural aspects of the "Village of the Dead". TIPS for this chapter can be read via mobile phone at Gangan Mobile.

;Nihongo|"Utsutsukowashi-hen"|現壊し編|Reality Breaking Chapter:A prequel to "Meakashi-hen". Shion is sent away to the all-girls school, St. Lucia Academy, for confinement. One day, a male teacher's body was found in the school swimming pool and the first discoverer, Mizuho Kōsaka, is summoned to the chairman's office to report the details. Shion hears rumors about how Mizuho's grandmother is after Mizuho's life and the girl is taking refuge in the school, so Shion approaches the aloof Mizuho. The chapter started serialization in the December 2006 issue of "Comp Ace".

;Nihongo|"Kokoroiyashi-hen"|心癒し編|Heart-Healing Chapter:The story is about Rika and her after-school club's first summer vacation together.

PlayStation 2-exclusive arcs

Three original chapters were created for the PlayStation 2 version "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri", by Alchemist.

;Nihongo|"Taraimawashi-hen"|盥回し編|Musical Chairs Chapter:At first glance, this additional "Question Arc" is a retelling of "Onikakushi-hen". However, this chapter in fact contains the events of "Watanagashi-hen". After learning the secrets of Hinamizawa, Keiichi decides to ignore everything and enjoy his peaceful school life; this action leads to a tragic series of events. Shion Sonozaki is the villain of this chapter, while Mion becomes the victim.

;Nihongo|"Tsukiotoshi-hen"|憑落し編|Exorcism Chapter:Although "Tsukiotoshi-hen" does not provide many answers since it relates what went wrong in "Watanagashi/Meakashi-hen" and "Tatarigoroshi-hen", it is still considered an Answer Arc. In order to save Satoko, Shion, Keiichi and Rena decide to kill Teppei. But after the murder is done, Rena starts to act strangely, and Keiichi thinks he hears Oyashiro talking to him.

;Nihongo|"Miotsukushi-hen"|澪尽し編|Canal Drying Chapter:The chapter name "Miotsukushi" is a pun of Nihongo|"Mio-tsu-kushi" (or traditionally "Miwo-tsu-kushi")|澪標|canal sign and Nihongo|"Mi wo tsukushi"|身を尽(く)し|, a conjugation form of Nihongo|"Mi wo tsukusu"|身を尽くす|serve one's body. This pun is very famous in Japanese poetry such as Haiku.

:After finding out who the real murderer is, Rika and Keiichi decide to put an end to the whole mystery, but they are in a different situation than "Matsuribayashi-hen". Before they can do anything, they have to solve other people's problems first. The problems of "Watanagashi/Meakashi-hen", "Tatarigoroshi-hen", and "Tsumihoroboshi-hen" are met here and all of them must be solved. While "Matsuribayashi-hen" is considered to be the "Good End" of the series, "Miotsukushi-hen" would most likely be considered the "True End" if the two were to be compared as such.

Anime-exclusive arc

;Nihongo|"Yakusamashi-hen"|厄醒し編|Disaster Awakening Chapter:This arc was introduced in the second anime series; it aired before "Minagoroshi-hen" and "Matsuribayashi-hen". [citeweb|url=http://www.famitsu.com/anime/news/2007/04/23/681,1177333769,70718,0,0.html|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai anime arcs revealed|accessdate=2007-04-27|language=Japanese] "Yakusamashi-hen" interweaves scenes from the Question arcs while giving other information that connects to the last two Answer arcs. Ryukishi07 personally requested "Yakusamashi-hen" as to include information from the first season that was left out. "Yakusamashi-hen" takes place in a scenario where Keiichi, Rena, Mion, Rika, Satoko, and Shion all attend the school without issue. Keiichi does not resent his friends for holding secrets thus eliminating an "Onikakushi-hen" like scenario. In this scenario, Satoko notices Rika's odd behavior and hears her speaking of her inevitable murder; Rika denies Satoko's questions about it. Satoko later witnesses Rika trying to warn Tomitake, thus furthering her suspicion. Satoko then goes through a "Tatarigoroshi-hen"-like situation, and dies in the hospital once knowing of Rena's message.

DS-exclusive arcs

;Nihongo|"Someutsushi-hen"|染伝し編|:This a new question arc in "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna". It seems to be a retelling of "Onisarashi-hen" with new characters and a few minor differences.

;Nihongo|"Kagebōshi-hen"|影紡し編|Silhouette Chapter:A new chapter in "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna Dainikan Sō". The version of "Onisarashi-hen" is told through the eyes of Tomoe Minami, a policewoman that is investigating the strange occurrences happening all over Japan.

Adaptations

Drama CDs

There were two official sets of drama CDs released, one by Wayuta,citeweb|url= http://higurashi-cd.com/|title="Higurashi" drama CD official website|accessdate=2006-12-27|language=Japanese] and the other by Frontier Works. Wayuta has released seven CDs since May 27, 2005 starting with "Onikakushi-ken" and going through the main story arcs from the visual novel series to "Tsumihoroboshi-hen" on February 22, 2008. [citeweb|url= http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/onikakushi.html|title="Onikakushi-hen" drama CD official website| publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] [citeweb|url= http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/tsumihoroboshi.html|title="Tsumihoroboshi-hen" drama CD official website|publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] Two more drama CDs will be released by Wayuta to cover "Minagoroshi-hen" and "Matsuribayashi-hen". Wayuta has already released two bonus drama CDs named "Append Disc 01" released on December 29, 2005 at Comiket 69, and "Append Disc 02" released on October 26, 2007. [citeweb|url= http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/apend.html|title="Append Disc 01" drama CD official website|publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] [citeweb|url= http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/apend02.html|title="Append Disc 02" drama CD official website|publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] Wayuta also released two drama CDs covering a new arc named Nihongo|"Kataribanashi-hen"|語咄し編, the first on April 25, 2007, and the second on May 9, 2008. [citeweb| url=http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/katari.html|title="Kataribanashi-hen" drama CD 1 official website|publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] [citeweb|url=http://www.higurashi-cd.com/outline/katari2.html|title= "Kataribanashi-hen" drama CD 2 official website|publisher=07th Expansion|accessdate=2008-05-17|language=Japanese] Frontier Works released two CDs, starting with an anthology piece called "Anthology Drama CD 1" on December 22, 2005, followed by a sequel entitled "Anthology Drama CD 2" on March 24, 2006. There have also been numerous drama CDs released during special events such as at Comiket or through magazine subscription.

Manga

There are eight main titles in the "Higurashi" manga series, spanning the four question arcs and the four answer arcs. Each question arc manga are compiled into two bound volumes. The four answers arc manga are to be compiled at least into four volumes which are still ongoing. One of the most notable things about the manga at first glance is the use of multiple artists. Karin Suzuragi draws "Onikakushi-hen", "Tsumihoroboshi-hen", and "Matsuribayashi-hen", Yutori Hōjō draws "Watanagashi-hen" and "Meakashi-hen", Jirō Suzuki draws "Tatarigoroshi-hen", Yoshiki Tonogai draws "Himatsubushi-hen", and Hanase Momoyama draws "Minagoroshi-hen". Another manga entitled Nihongo|"Kokoroiyashi-hen"|心癒し編|Heart Healing Chapter is drawn by Yuna Kagesaki and began in Kadokawa Shoten's "Comp Ace" on August 26, 2008. [citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-08-05/new-gurren-lagann-higurashi-manga-to-start-this-month|title=New "Gurren Lagann", "Higurashi" Manga to Start This Month|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-08-05|accessdate=2008-08-05] The manga series has been licensed by Yen Press for English distribution in North America under the title "Higurashi When They Cry". The manga was initially serialized in Yen Press' "Yen Plus" anthology magazine, the first issue of which went on sale on July 29, 2008. The first English volume of the manga was originally planned to be sold in early 2009, [citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-04-19/yen-announces-titles-to-run-in-anthology-magazine|title=Yen Press Announces Titles to Run in Anthology Mag|publisher=Anime News Network|date=April 19, 2008|accessdate=2008-04-19] but will now be released in November 2008. [citeweb|url=http://yenpress.us/?page_id=454|title="Higurashi When They Cry" English manga volumes|publisher= Yen Press|accessdate=2008-06-22]

ide stories

There are three side stories related to the main "Higurashi" story, but with new characters. The first, named Nihongo|"Onisarashi-hen"|鬼曝し編|Demon Exposing Chapter, is drawn by En Kitō and was serialized between March 2005 and July 2006 in "Comp Ace". The next, entitled Nihongo|"Yoigoshi-hen"|宵越し編|Overnight Chapter, is drawn by Mimori and was serialized between in "GFantasy" between 2006 and 2007. The last side story known as Nihongo|"Utsutsukowashi-hen"|現壊し編|Reality Breaking Chapter is also drawn by En Kitō and was serialized between in "Comp Ace" between 2006 and 2007.

Novels

Light novels

Three light novels of "Higurashi" were released as a bonus to those who bought the manga.

;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gaiden Nekogoroshi-hen"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に外伝 猫殺し編 |When Cicadas Cry Extra - Cat Killing Chapter
:"Nekogoroshi-hen" was written by Ryukishi07 with illustrations by Karin Suzuki, Yutori Hōjō, and Jirō Suzuki; these three illustrators also were the three manga artists of the first three manga released. This novel was sent out to those who bought "Onikakushi-hen" Vol. 1, "Watanagashi-hen" Vol. 1, and "Tatarigoroshi-hen" Vol. 1. One needed to send the cut out stamps in all three of these manga by the deadline in order to receive this special short story. The storyline of "Nekogoroshi-hen" is divided into two parts. The first half consists of average club activities, with the usual members playing poker with embarrassing penalties. In the second half, the club members decide to head to the abandoned Yagouchi Quarry on the outskirts of Hinamizawa. Mion tells the tale of how one of her childhood friends, called Friend A, went missing while playing hide-and-seek near the area. Friend A was found by his father, but they were found dead in their car on the way home when they went off a cliff. It was rumored that they fell victim to the poisonous gases that leaked from the "hole", which supposedly leads to hell.

;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kuradashi-hen"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 蔵出し編 |When Cicadas Cry - Warehouse Clearance Chapter
:"Kuraashi-hen" was written by Ryukishi07 with illustrations by Tonogai Yoshiki, Karin Suzuki, Yutori Hōjō, and Mimori. This novel was sent out to those who have bought "Himatsubushi-hen" Vol. 2, "Tsumihoroboshi-hen" Vol. 1, "Meakashi-hen" Vol. 1, and "Yoigoshi-hen" Vol. 1. One will need to send the cut out stamps in all four of these manga by a certain deadline in order to receive this special short story. Similar to "Nekogoroshi-hen", the illustrations in this novel will be done by the respective manga artists of the four manga. As the title implies, this novel will be a compilation of the ideas and stories that Ryukishi07 couldn't incorporate into the game.

;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri Hajisarashi-hen"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に祭 羞晒し編 |When Cicadas Cry Festival - Shyness Exposing Chapter
:"Hajisarashi-hen" was written by Ryukishi07 with illustrations by rato. This novel was included with the limited edition of the PlayStation 2 game "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri".

Normal novels

In July 2007, Kodansha Box announced that starting with their August 2007 titles, the first of a series of novelizations of the original games will be published. [citeweb|url=http://shop.kodansha.jp/bc/kodansha-box/|title=Kodansha Box's website|accessdate=2007-07-03|language=Japanese] The first four story arcs were released in seven novels in the next seven months, each adapted by Ryukishi07 himself, [citeweb|url=http://shop.kodansha.jp/bc/books/topics/higurashi/|title=Higurashi novel Topics page|accessdate=2007-08-07|language=Japanese] who is calling the books the final edition of the series.

;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 1 Wa: Onikakushi-hen Jō"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第1話~鬼隠し編~(上)|When Cicadas Cry Part 1 ~Spirited Away by the Demon Chapter~ (Volume 1)
:August 2007, ISBN 9784062836371;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 1 Wa: Onikakushi-hen Ge"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第1話~鬼隠し編~(下)|When Cicadas Cry Part 1 ~Spirited Away by the Demon Chapter~ (Volume 2)
:September 2007, ISBN 9784062836418;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 2 Wa: Watanagashi-hen Jō"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第2話~綿流し編~(上)|When Cicadas Cry Part 2 ~Cotton Drifting Chapter~ (Volume 1)
:October 2007, ISBN 9784062836463;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 2 Wa: Watanagashi-hen Ge"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第2話~綿流し編~(下)|When Cicadas Cry Part 2 ~Cotton Drifting Chapter~ (Volume 2)
:November 2007, ISBN 9784062836494;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 3 Wa: Tatarigoroshi-hen Jō"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第3話~祟殺し編~(上) |When Cicadas Cry Part 3 ~Curse Killing Chapter~ (Volume 1)
:December 2007, ISBN 9784062836531;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 3 Wa: Tatarigoroshi-hen Ge"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第3話~祟殺し編~(下) |When Cicadas Cry Part 3 ~Curse Killing Chapter~ (Volume 2)
:January 2008, ISBN 9784062836494;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Dai 4 Wa: Himatsubushi-hen"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に 第4話~暇潰し編~ |When Cicadas Cry Part 4 ~Time Wasting Chapter~
:February 2008, ISBN 9784062836579;Nihongo|"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai Dai 1 Wa: Meakashi-hen Jō"
|ひぐらしのなく頃に解 第1話~目明し編~(上) |When Cicadas Cry Solutions Part 1 ~Eye Opening Chapter~ (Volume 1)
:May 2008, ISBN 9784062836647

Anime

The first anime series, produced by Studio Deen and directed by Chiaki Kon, covers the four question arcs as well as the first two answer arcs. The original "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" anime adaptation aired in Japan between April 4, 2006 and September 26, 2006, comprising twenty-six episodes. In Japan, most of the characters were voiced by the same voice actors that voiced their respective characters in the drama CD series. The series has finished airing and is currently only available on DVD in Japan, France, and North America (following Geneon's licensing of the series). However, in September 2007, Geneon's U.S. division announced that it would discontinue all ongoing anime projects, including "Higurashi", effective November 6, 2007. [citeweb|url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-09-26/geneon-usa-to-cancel-dvd-sales-distribution-by-friday|title= Geneon USA to Cancel DVD Sales, Distribution by Friday|publisher=Anime News Network|accessdate=2007-12-16] Only three of a planned six DVDs of "Higurashi" were released, under the title "When They Cry: Higurashi". On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment will still retain the license, Funimation Entertainment will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. "Higurashi" was one of several titles involved in the deal.cite press release|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2008-07-03/funimation-entertainment-and-geneon-entertainment-sign-exclusive-distribution-agreement-for-north-america |title=FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-07-03|accessdate=2008-07-22] People in Japan who had bought all nine of the DVDs of the first season had the chance to receive a special anime DVD entitled "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gaiden Nekogoroshi-hen", based on the short story that was given to those who had bought the manga. [citeweb|url= http://bb.oyashirosama.com/web/news/index.htm|title=Oyashirosama.com on the special DVD|accessdate=2007-01-25|language=Japanese] Despite being a bonus for the first season, "Nekogoroshi-hen" featured the updated animation style featured in the second season.

A continuation of the series, based on one new story arc and the final two original answer arcs of the franchise, entitled "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai", aired in Japan between July 6, 2007 and December 17, 2007, containing twenty-four episodes. The second season featured different character designs than the first season.citeweb|url=http://www.oyashirosama.com/web/news/kai.htm|title=Oyashirosama.com on the second anime series release date|accessdate=2007-03-22|language=Japanese] An original video animation, entitled "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei", will be released starting December 26, 2008 and is directed by Toshifumi Kawase.citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-12-17/third-higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni-season-announced|title=Third Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Season Announced|publisher=Anime News Network|accessdate=2007-12-17] citeweb|url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-04-30/3rd-higurashi-tentatively-slated-as-rei-video-series|title=3rd "Higurashi" Tentatively Slated as Rei Video Series|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-04-30|accessdate=2008-04-30 ] citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-05-08/3rd-higurashi-series-planned-as-rei-ova-this-winter|title=3rd "Higurashi" Series Planned as "Rei" OVA This Winter|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-05-08|accessdate=2008-05-09] [citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-07-23/higurashi-no-naku-koro-ni-rei-video-details-announced|title="Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei" Video Details Announced|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-07-23|accessdate=2008-07-23]

Delay

As the result of a murder case in September 2007 in Japan involving the murder of a police chief by his sixteen-year-old daughter with a hatchet, as well as the Japanese media relating the case to anime such as "Higurashi", the latest episode screenings of both "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai" and another anime, "School Days", were canceled by a number of Japanese TV stations; however, AT-X, TV Saitama and Sun TV announced that they would be airing the episodes as planned. Later, TV Saitama announced that they had ceased broadcasting of "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai" from episode thirteen onwards. [citeweb|url=http://cal.syoboi.jp/tid/1174/time|title=Syoboi's Higurashi no Naku Koro ni TV schedule|accessdate=2007-10-01|language=Japanese] Additionally, "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai" had its opening altered when it re-aired. Originally, a bloody bill hook cleaver (as used by Rena) was shown halfway through the opening; it was replaced with an image of a van from the series' fictional junk yard.

Movies

A live action movie adaptation of the series, directed by Ataru Oikawa, premiered in Japanese theaters on May 10, 2008.citeweb|url=http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/cinema/f-et-tp1-20070813-240910.html|title= NikkanSports article on Higurashi movie|accessdate=2007-08-13|language=Japanese] [citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-08-13/higurashi-no-naku-koroni-live-action-film-in-2008|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Live-Action Film in 2008|publisher=Anime News Network|date=August 13, 2007|accessdate=2007-08-13] The movie is an adaptation of the first story arc, "Onikakushi-hen". [citeweb|url= http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/2007/08/27/103,1188216468,77091,0,0.html|title=Higurashi live action movie production photos and information|publisher=Famitsu|accessdate=2007-09-02|language=Japanese] Gōki Maeda plays Keiichi, Airi Matsuyama plays Rena, Rin Asuka plays Mion, Aika plays Rika, and Erena Ono plays Satoko. [citeweb|url= http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/2007/08/13/103,1186987182,76685,0,0.html|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni movie information|published =Famitsu|accessdate=2007-08-27|language=Japanese] A sequel, also to be live action, has been announced. [citeweb|url= http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-04-28/live-action-higurashi-film-sequel-in-the-works |title=Live-Action "Higurashi" Film Sequel in the Works|publisher=Anime News Network|date=2008-04-28|accessdate=2008-04-28]

Music

Visual novels

Unlike visual novels created by established companies, 07th Expansion did not create the music found in the "Higurashi" games. The music for the Question arcs consists of license free songs found on the Internet, while the music for the Answer arcs was provided by dōjin music artists that were fans of "Higurashi". Later, a CD album called "Thanks/you" was released by the dōjin music artist, dai; many of his tracks were used in the Answer arcs. Fans initially referred to this album as the official soundtrack, however the actual official soundtrack has since been released for the series, featuring a majority of the songs featured in the Answer arcs. This two-disc set is, to date, the most complete collection of songs from the games.

Anime

The first season's opening theme was "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" sung by Eiko Shimamiya; it went on sale in Japan on May 24, 2006. The ending theme was "Why, or Why Not" sung by Rekka Katakiri; it was released on June 28, 2006. There have been two original soundtracks released for the anime adaptation. The main composer for the tracks was Japanese composer Kenji Kawai and the albums were produced by Frontier Works. Volume 1 was released on July 21, 2006 and volume 2 was released on October 6, 2006 in Japan. Character song CDs were also released, sung by voice actors from the anime adaptation; the first went on sale on March 28, 2007. [citeweb|url= http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%81%B2%E3%81%90%E3%82%89%E3%81%97%E3%81%AE%E3%81%AA%E3%81%8F%E9%A0%83%E3%81%AB-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%A3%E3%83%A9%E3%82%AF%E3%82%BF%E3%83%BCCD-Vol-1-TV%E3%82%B5%E3%83%B3%E3%83%88%E3%83%A9/dp/B000N3SW7C/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/503-3046590-8223964?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1174550026&sr=8-3|title=Amazon.co.jp on the first character song CD|accessdate=2007-03-22|language=Japanese]

The second season's opening theme was "Naraku no Hana" also sung by Eiko Shimamiya. The first season's opening theme, when played backwards, could be noted to include the words Nihongo|"Nigerarenai"|逃げられない| [You] can't escape. This 'backwards' portion of the song is also included in the second season's opening theme. [citeweb|url=http://firm.at.webry.info/200609/article_4.html|title=Includes audio clip of chanting from season one OP played forwards, then backwards to reveal a hidden message|accessdate=2007-08-09] The ending theme was "Taishō a" performed by anNina.

Movie

With the confirmation of the live-action movie in production, the short version of the film's theme song was released on December 22, 2007, in Japan. Once again, Eiko Shimamiya lends her voice to sing the song, entitled Nihongo|"Wheel of Fortune"|運命の輪|Unmei no Wa. Shimamiya will also be performing the ending theme entitled Nihongo|"Diorama"|ディオラマ.

Reception

Over 100,000 copies of the original games were sold in Japan, [citeweb|url=http://eg.nttpub.co.jp/news/20061130_07.html|title=Article about Higurashi no Naku Koro ni from eg|accessdate=2006-12-27|language=Japanese] a feat not attained by a dōjin game since Type-Moon released "Tsukihime". Many fans attribute the game's success to the suspense and horror the novel portrays, with no definite answer provided. Fan-based community boards emerged where fans began discussing their own theories. The popularity of the games grew exponentially as many took interest in their well-outlined script and story, which eventually led the game to be showcased in large gaming magazines with positive reviews. With the announcement of the live-action movie adaptation of "Onikakushi-hen" came the news that over 500,000 copies of the games have been sold. [citeweb|url=http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/cinema/f-et-tp1-20070813-240910.html|title=NikkanSports article on Higurashi movie|accessdate=2007-08-13|language=Japanese]

The enhanced PlayStation 2 port, "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri", has sold over 140,000 copies to date, [citeweb|url=http://www.alchemist-net.co.jp/products/higurashi_matsuri/kakera.html|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri: Kakera Asobi official website|accessdate=2007-12-12}] and has received a total review score of 31/40 (out of the four individual review scores of 9, 8, 8, and 6) from the Japanese gaming magazine "Famitsu". [citeweb|url=http://kotaku.com/gaming/kotaku-magu/kotaku-magu-this-weeks-famitsu-scores-237248.php|title=Famitsu scores for the PS2 version|publisher=Kotaku|date=2007-02-16|accessdate=2008-04-24]

ee also

*Alternate history
*Many-worlds interpretation
*Parallel universe
*Time loop

References

External links

* [http://www.07th-expansion.net/hi_Main.htm Visual novel official website] ja icon
* [http://www.alchemist-net.co.jp/products/higurashi_matsuri "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri" official website] ja icon
* [http://www.higu.biz/ "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna" official website] jp icon
* [http://www.higurashi-cd.com Drama CDs official website] ja icon
* [http://gangan.square-enix.co.jp/higurashi/ Manga official website] ja icon
* [http://www.oyashirosama.com/ Anime official website] ja icon
* [http://www.higurashi-movie.com/ Movie official website] ja icon
* [http://www.whentheycry.com US anime official website]
*ann anime|id=6134|title=Higurashi no Naku Koro ni


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