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Higurashi When They Cry (ひぐらしのなく頃に Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, lit. When the Cicadas Cry) is a Japanese murder mystery dōjin soft visual novel series produced by 07th Expansion. The story is divided into eight main arcs. The first four arcs of the series are referred to as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Question Arcs to distinguish it from the full series.

Official Introduction[edit | edit source]

June, 1983.
The summer heat has arrived earlier than it does most years.
By day there are cicadas, and by night, the higurashi.

Hinamizawa, a small village in the Japanese countryside.
While there are fewer than two-thousand people there,
every year, 'something' happens.

For the past 4 years, someone has died,
and another has gone missing.

This series of deaths and disappearances is connected
to the local resistance against a now-abandoned dam construction project. A murder during the construction,
covered up by the local authorities, is being re-enacted
year after year.

Is it a conspiracy?
A coincidence? Or perhaps a curse?

Someone who was supposed to be there...isn’t.
Someone who wasn’t supposed to be there... is.
Someone who was alive last night is now dead,
and someone who is here right now isn’t alive.

There is no way to avert this tragedy.
There is no choice but to give up trying.
But even so... please don’t give up.[1]

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is a mystery visual novel, and as such conveys its story primarily through text-based narration and dialogue supplemented by visual and audio elements such as character sprites, background music, and sound effects. It is described as a "sound novel" by 07th Expansion, owing to the game's greater focus on creating atmosphere through audio elements rather than visual aspects. The original releases contain no voice acting for the characters.

Besides advancing text, players may also access the TIPS Mode, allowing them to view extra scenes that include new information regarding the characters and story. The Question Arcs chapters each have an epilogue called an All-Cast Review session, a comedic skit where the characters of the story will discuss the chapter and may also provide some hints. The Answer Arcs each have an epilogue called the Staff Room, where the author Ryukishi07 talks about his thought process for writing the chapter. While it is not necessary to view these scenes, they can provide greater insight on the story overall.

Despite the lack of interactive gameplay elements, Higurashi is framed as a game between the author and the reader, with difficulty ratings given in the descriptions for each episode. This refers to the difficulty of the mysteries in each episode, which the reader is intended to actively try to solve.

Story[edit | edit source]

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place primarily in June of 1983 in the rural Japanese village of Hinamizawa. The main protagonist is Keiichi Maebara, a young boy who moves to Hinamizawa with his family and starts attending the school there, making new friends and having fun with club games.

As Keiichi gets closer to his friends, he gets more involved with the village's culture and learns they worship a god known as Oyashiro-sama and hold an annual festival dedicated to him. Keiichi also discovers that the annual festival has a curse associated with it, where someone mysteriously dies and another disappears. Keiichi's search for answers leads him to learn dark secrets about his friends and of the village itself.

Chapters[edit | edit source]

Question Arcs[edit | edit source]

Solution Arcs (Kai)[edit | edit source]

Bonus Material[edit | edit source]

Adaptations[edit | edit source]

Anime[edit | edit source]

Studio DEEN created an adaptation of the main series which originally aired between 2006 and 2007. The first season adapted the Question Arcs, Meakashi and Tsumihoroboshi. Named after Kai, the second season adapts the Tsumihoroboshi TIP, Minagoroshi, and Matsuribayashi alongside an exclusive arc Yakusamashi-hen.

Rei was adapted into an OVA series of the same name in 2009. An OVA series of 4 episodes named Kira was released between 2011 and 2012. Later, a standalone OVA adapted Outbreak in 2013.

In 2020, a new anime was announced to be created by Studio Passione.

Manga[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY (manga)

A manga was licensed for English release by Yen Press, consisting of the Question Arcs, Answer Arcs, and many original arcs.

A new manga was announced to begin serialization in October 2020, illustrated by Tomato Akase.

Light Novel[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (novel)

A light novel series was published by Kodansha Box and illustrated by Tomohi, consisting of the Question Arcs, Answer Arcs, and Saikoroshi-hen.

Ports and Rereleases[edit | edit source]

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri

A PS2 port by Alchemist that includes new character art. It includes the first seven chapters and three new arcs: Taraimawashi-hen, Tsukiotoshi-hen, and Miotsukushi-hen, the last of which serves as an alternative ending than Matsuribayashi-hen.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna

A series of Nintendo DS ports by Alchemist that include new art and several new arcs. Four games were released in total.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sui[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sui

A PS3 port by Alchemist that includes all content from Matsuri and Kizuna with updated art, voice acting, and an adaptation of Hajisarashi-hen.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou[edit | edit source]

Main article: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou (console)

A PS4 and Switch port of Sui by Entergram that includes ports of the arcs from the original PC version of Hou and Batsukoishi-hen from Rei.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Higurashi When They Cry Hou Ch. 1 Onikakushi Store Page (Mangagamer) https://www.mangagamer.com/detail.php?product_code=132

External Links[edit | edit source]

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