07th Expansion Wiki

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07th Expansion Wiki

When They Cry (なく頃に Naku Koro ni) is a media franchise produced by 07th Expansion consisting of visual novel games and adaptations thereof. There are three series in the franchise as of now:

Notably, Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni was stated to be part of the "~Koro ni" (~頃に) series. There are no similar official statements on Harem Royale ~When the Game Ends~ and Bakemonotachi ga Usobuku Koro ni despite the similar naming pattern.

Recurring Themes and Concepts

"It’s often misunderstood, but basically Higurashi is a complete work, so it’s not that you can’t solve its mysteries or enjoy it if you don’t know Umineko no Naku Koro ni. However, if you are familiar with Umineko, you may find it interesting to look at it from a slightly different perspective. That’s about it."
— Ryukishi07[1]

According to Ryukishi07, "the world-view of When They Cry is 'pieces moving on the gameboard and a player that observes them and tries to find out the rules of the game'. Each piece on a gameboard has its own winning conditions and moves by its own rules. These pieces meet, interfere with each other, some invisible from the first glance chemistry borns between them. By actions that these pieces take in those situations you can understand the rules, and that world-view is a fundamental rule of When They Cry."[2]

He has mentioned in the past that Higurashi and Umineko take place in worlds that are very distant from each other, yet still connected.[3] He also claimed, "the two works share a part of the same setting, and I have a huge unified world in my mind, but it’s just a framework in my brain, not something that is clearly depicted in the story."[1]

See Ryukishi07#Themes for more information on the matter.

Because of the tendency for later works to refer to elements from earlier works, sometimes causing spoilers of various degrees, it is highly recommended to read the main When They Cry titles, or any work from 07th Expansion for that matter, in release order.