Higurashi – When they cry

All’s never as it seems…

Apparently I’m late to the party when it comes to discovering the phenomenon of “Higurashi – When They Cry” (Higurashi is Japanese for cicada insects). In my defence, I’m not particularly into manga/anime style stories, and though it was released from 2002-6 in Japan a good English translation with better graphics only came out last year, available from Steam.
Higurashi – When They Cry is a ‘sound novel’- which basically means written but with some visual and audio supporting touches. At the end of each chapter you also have the option of reading ‘tips’ -extra side scenes or supporting information- before the next chapter.

It’s long, full novel-length, but by the time it’s gripped you you’ll realise what a good thing that is – About a boy moving with his family to a new village as it’s approaching its annual festival…

For those not used to this sort of thing, it takes a few minutes to get used to the cartoony visual style & chatty dialogue- but boy is it worth it.
It’s a slow building story, that gradually develops toward its complex, compelling, edge-of-the-seat mystery… It’s a lot deeper than you’ll originally realise -it won’t seem like it to begin with, but that’s exactly why it works so well.  Just enjoy the characters, and the intricately detailed setting unfolding.

Managing to be scary in many different ways, it creeps you out again and again, subversive. Utterly psychologically gripping and mysterious… one of the very few truly insightful & compelling psychological chillers. I cannot recommend it enough.
Almost Twin-Peaks-like in its juxtaposition of the ordinary and the strange, it finds creepy spots and constant doubts that few stories do…
Wildly successful, it’s seen spin off adaptations in about every medium (consoles, audio drama, novel, manga, anime, film, tv). So far I’ve only gotten through the first of the story ‘arcs’, but can’t wait to get to the rest…

http://store.steampowered.com/app/310360/

 
When the music stops, you know bad things are going to happen.

 

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