Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (ひぐらしのなく頃に, lit. When the Cicadas Cry), also referred to as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Question Arcs (ひぐらしのなく頃に 出題編 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Shutsudai-hen) and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mujirushi (ひぐらしのなく頃に 無印, lit. When the Cicadas Cry Unbranded) to distinguish it from the full series, is the first half of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series and contains arcs 1 to 4 of the story. It is also referred to as When they cry in the overall When They Cry franchise. It is succeeded by Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, which consists of the last four arcs.
Chapter 1: Onikakushi
In June of 1983, Keiichi Maebara moves to the rural village of Hinamizawa and makes some new friends while learning of the villages' culture and their guardian deity Oyashiro-sama. After hearing that annual deaths and disappearances happen because of "Oyashiro-sama's curse," Keiichi begins to uncover dark secrets about his new friends and his new home.
Chapter 2: Watanagashi
Keiichi Maebara enjoys life in Hinamizawa and has fun playing games with his friends at school. During a chance encounter he meets Shion Sonozaki, the supposed twin sister of Mion Sonozaki. Keiichi and Shion develop a friendship, and during the Watanagashi Festival they sneak into the ritual storehouse and learn about Hinamizawa's horrible past, soon setting off a chain of events and earning the wrath of Oyashiro-sama's curse.
Chapter 3: Tatarigoroshi
After a failed attempt to make dinner, Keiichi Maebara gets help from Satoko Houjou and begins bonding with her in a brother-sister relationship. When Satoko's abusive uncle returns to Hinamizawa, Keiichi becomes determined to protect Satoko at any cost and soon makes a harrowing decision.
Chapter 4: Himatsubushi
In 1978, the village of Hinamizawa fiercely protests the government's plan to build a dam and destroy their home. When the Minister of Construction's son is kidnapped, the policeman Mamoru Akasaka visits Hinamizawa undercover to investigate the villagers' supposed involvement. He soon meets a young girl Rika Furude, who gives Akasaka an eerie warning: "Go back to Tokyo."
- Main article: Higurashi When They Cry (2006 anime)
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