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YMMV / Higurashi: When They Cry

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The Higurashi: When They Cry anime is far more well known in North America than the original sound novels or the manga adaptation, but it was never popular in any way that mattered; it sold poorlynote , to the point that no one Stateside was willing to touch the series again until Sentai Filmworks re-released it in 2016. The manga, on the other hand, occasionally graced the bestseller list, and all of the "canon" arcs (as well as most of the side stories) have been translated. Its popularity was high enough that there was never any doubt about Umineko's manga getting an official translation.
  • Adorkable:
    • Rena is a bubbly girl who is obsessed with cute things and collects garbage so she could take it home with her.
    • Mion, the tomboy of the gang, becomes this when her more feminine side comes out, particularly regarding Keiichi.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Everyone, since each arc shows a different character through a different lens and allows the reader to see through their thoughts.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Rena's world view at the start of Tsumihoroboshi-hen. It doesn't work out.
  • Arc Fatigue: Rescuing Satoko from Teppei takes up a good chunk of Minagoroshi-hen. Since the Club wants to avoid the quickest option to get rid of Teppei, they instead rally the village for support so they can convince child services to offer help. While it's important for avoiding scenarios like Tatarigoroshi-hen, the payoff takes a while.
  • Awesome Music: This is part of the reason why the show is so terrifying at points. The soundtrack is particularly epic in Kai. See its own page.
  • Bizarro Episode: 'Higurashi Daybreak', which is a 3rd person shooter game that has the players fight each other in teams of two for a pair of magatama with no sign of the horror, drama, or mystery which the series generally has.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fanbase is divided on which sprites are the best – the original's, the PS2's, or the Steam release's.
    • Another issue with the MangaGamer release is that they plan to censor Satoko's nude sprite, which is used in a non-sexual context during the third game, to include a towel covering her to meet with Steam's terms of service, which do not allow nudity. Fans have argued over whether the sprite should have been censored in the first place, and whether the new sprite (released on their ask.fm page) needs to be censored further. (The "censored further" approach is actually the closest to the description given by the narrative of said scene.)
    • A bigger broken base is Higurashi Kira. Since each episode focused on very different elements, it is very difficult to have one definite opinion about the whole OVA. Especially since the last episode is rather different from the first three, being more serious and closer to the feel of the original series. Cue discussions which of the episodes are good and which aren't.
    • The OVAs in total are this. A lot of fans hate the lack of horror in most of them, despite the fact that the Endless June is finished and thus there's no need for the Hate Plague or drama.
    • The dub. It was received positively by some reviewers (notably Anime News Network), but was extremely polarizing among the fanbase, with Mela Lee's performance as Rena getting the most attention (both positive and negative).
  • Cargo Ship: Chie x Curry, Rena x Kenta-kun.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The unnamed "Staff Leader" of the orphanage the young Miyo Takano was sent to is an ill-tempered authoritarian who punishes a boy for spilling his pen's ink by making him ingest it. When Takano and her friends make an escape attempt from his cruel establishment, he has her friend and the ringleader, Eriko, sent to the chicken coop to be pecked to death. Takano herself doesn't fare much better, as the head forces her to clean a filthy outhouse with her tongue. Though merely a flashback character, it was the orphanage head's horrific cruelties that broke Takano into becoming the psychotic, villainous woman she is now.
    • Nomura, the Greater-Scope Villain of the series is a representative of the secret organization Tokyo, and sought to topple the Old Koizumi faction. A skilled manipulator, Nomura tricks a despondent Miyo Takano into aiding her with her goals, claiming that she'd back her research in return. Working behind the scenes, Nomura masterminds the Great Hinamizawa Disaster, a catastrophic event in which a special forces unit is deceived into massacring over 2,000 people via improvised gas chambers. She then creates a cover up story, citing that sulfide gas spread throughout the town, killing everyone. Viewing Takano as only a tool, she attempts to dispose of her as to sever any loose ends, and ultimately leaves her to take all of the blame.
  • Crack Pairing: In Hirukowashi-hen Rena/Tomitake, Takano/Rena, Ooishi/Rena (OVA Only), Irie/Rena (Game Only).
    • Keiichi/Oryō (OVA) takes the cake.
  • Cry for the Devil - Is it even possible to feel anything but disgust for Takano after the end of Minagoroshi? After reading Matsuribayashi...yes it is.
    • You can also cry for Shion at the end of Meakashi. The anime rushes it but her inner monologue at the end of the sound novel is a bona-fide Tear Jerker. The music really doesn't help.
  • Ending Fatigue: After the VN's Watanagashi-hen could have ended on a dramatic high note, Keiichi says it best:
    Please, somebody end this case. This extremely cruel, pitiful and sad case...please end it.
    • Tatarigoroshi-hen is labelled "The Shortest Scenario" in the VN. In the anime, it's an episode longer than the previous arcs.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Tomitake, due to the "Tomitake Flash!" meme.
  • Epileptic Trees: If we go by Saikoroshi-hen's continuity (in Rei), Rika mutters to Hanyuu at one point that she should return to being Rika Furude and stop being the witch Bernkastel.
    • It's a bit more explicit in the visual novel version of Saikoroshi-hen, where Rika muses that she's really a separate person from the Rika who lives in Saikoroshi-hen's world. Rika decides that if she's not Rika Furude she should call herself something else, and looks at a bottle of Bernkastel wine. At the end of the novel Rika thinks that her other self may still be around on a higher plane.
    • An Adaptation Induced Plothole made it seem like it was Satoshi's body found in the river because it had short blond hair. This was a mistake on the animator's end and this theory was jossed when the DVD version was released.
    • The events of Outbreak are thought to be a what-if scenario written by Takano as fans pointed out that a Takano is listed on the credits as a writer. It's unknown if this refers to an actual person or the character in the series as it is a very common surname.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • The arcs that end in the destruction of Hinamizawa can be done for story ideas where characters get interested to investigate what happened to the town due to inconsistencies in the narrative/the character(s) don't trust the narrative. Especially with the likes of Akasaka and Ooishi.
    • Any arc can be made up by the fans/readers.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Dumbing down the series by summing it up as 'that series with the killer lolis' is a good way to annoy many people. Similarly with those who only focus on the horror and gorn aspects of the show, and ignore the emotional element behind it all; not to mention, only two characters actually classify as 'lolis' and only one of them actually killed anyone but it was an accident.
    • Calling Rena a Yandere despite the fact that she isn't one note  also tends to annoy many fans.
    • People who watch clips yet act like they know the full story of Higurashi also annoys many fans. An infamous example is when people assume that Mion is the killer in Meakashi-hen and that Satoko is a bully towards Rika.
  • Friendly Fandoms: On good terms with the Nippon Ichi and Puella Magi Madoka Magica fandoms.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In Watanagashi-hen (episode 5 of the anime), Mion explains that she's the nice, pleasant twin, whilst Shion is mean and nasty. Then in episode 8, we find out that it's the other way around (Mion is evil, Shion's the victim) and THEN in Meakashi-hen, we find out that Mion was right all along. On the other hand, Shion WAS Mion all along, but at that point things are confusing enough without considering that.
    • When Shion escapes from her boarding school in Meakashi's prologue, she's pretty flippant about the punishment she and her accomplice Kasai will likely face once her grandmother finds out, even joking that Kasai should start kissing his pinky goodbye. Shion's the one who ends up suffering Fingore to cover for him.
    • The first dialogue between Tomitake and Keiichi sounds very weird after Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
    Tomitake: What is she doing in such a place?
    Keiichi: Beats me. Maybe she's checking up the body she has cut in pieces and buried here?
  • Growing the Beard: Watanagashi-hen is often considered this point.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Rena is nearly strangled to death by Rina Mamiya. She's not the only person in a Ryukishi07 work who was strangled.
    • In the eyes of some, Takano's Freudian Excuse loses all sympathy when you realize that their machinations have caused Rika ''centuries'' of torment.
    • For arcs that end in Hinamizawa's destruction, one may think of Fukushima being abandoned after the 2011 earthquakes.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Rika petting Tomitake's head is this due to her being aware that he would go missing on the night of the Cotton Drifting Festival.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of Rika's catchphases, aside from "Nipah~" also includes, "Mii~" In Project X Zone, Yukari Tamura, the voice of Rika Furude, plays the female Original Generation character, named Mii Koryuji.
    • Back when Funimation held the rights to distribute the anime, someone from the company's acquisitions team mentioned that the sequels will not be picked up due to mediocre sales. Come 2020, they picked the rights to distribute Gou.
  • Ho Yay: Notable in Keiichi's "K" persona in Kai. Also in Satoshi's image song, he sings "The person who can listen to my wish is only you~!"... which is immediately followed by him screaming Keiichi's name. On the other side of the fence, the official artwork and such often exploits the fact that, out of the core seven characters, only one of them is a guy for all it's worth.
    • There's also a bunch of Les Yay between the female cast members. The animators take advantage of this in their anime-only scenes, and official arts.
  • It Was His Sled: Rika's stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, people die in this series and they come back to life, Rika has a Not-So-Imaginary Friend who is a God, the Hate Plague, Mion has an identical twin sister, Satoshi is alive... Everything about this series is well-known.
    • Also the infamy of the Eye Opening chapter.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Shion in both Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen. She switched with her twin sister Mion before the main events of the story. Permanently. This causes her to be shunned and abused by her entire family, even sent to St. Lucia to be 'trained properly'. She escapes, and was then tortured just because of that reason. She meets Satoshi, who treated her unlike anyone else did before. She swears to protect him for this reason. Then, as soon as she sacrifices her fingernail for that boy, he disappears. Fortunately, she gets better in other arcs.
    • Even the Big Bad Miyo Takano qualifies. Her parents died at a young age due to a car accident, and she was sent to an orphanage afterwards. Said orphanage turns out to be an Orphanageof Fear and she was abused for days, even months. When she and her friends get the chance to escape, she was the only one who was freed thanks to her calling her soon-to-be grandfather, and the rest of her friends were killed. When Hifumi adopts her, she was finally happy, but then people mistreated him because of his research. Takano then worked as hard as she could to save this research after Hifumi's death, but no one was there for her when it happened, and her research was shunned once again. The Mountain Dogs, her goons, ended up betraying her at the very last moment, because Nomura, one who was supposed to be Takano's ally, paid them for it. Takano was to be killed as a scapegoat for the crimes of everyone else, which was prevented only by Tomitake. Despite all the bad things she did, it's hard not to feel for her.
  • Les Yay: Several pieces of official art. Usually revolving around Mion & Shion (first season) or Satoko & Rika (sometimes with Hanyuu; second season). Similar behaviors pop up throughout the series.
  • Less Disturbing in Context:
    • Rika's suicide is quite disturbing taken out of context, but in the context of the series, it becomes a Moment of Awesome. A disturbing Moment of Awesome, but at least a less disturbing one. This is done intentionally, because the infamous scene appears at the beginning of the fifth episode, before the opening sequence, with absolutely no context, and it's not until the second half of the season that we see the events leading up to that scene.
    • Inverted in the first episode with a Cold Opening that may be shocking, but isn't quite disturbing until seen in the context of the arc. And then becomes more disturbing the more context is revealed after the arc.
    • Played straight or inverted for generally any poor schmuck that comes across clips of Higurashi without knowing that there’s a "Groundhog Day" Loop and that characters go crazy if they catch the Hate Plague, which is why characters act friendly towards one another in a climatic moment while another scene shows them killing each other.
  • Memetic Badass: According to some, even Chuck Norris is terrified of Shion Sonozaki.
  • Memetic Mutation: Their laughs.
    • On Hanyuu in the last arc: Why can't anyone her horns?
    • U SODA?
    • Omochikaeri~
    • HE'S TEPPEI!: A phrase used to show a lack of empathy towards Teppei Houjou whenever he gets killed due to how much of a scumbag he is.
    • "You could have just thrown it away, but sure, go ahead and make a mess in the kitchen.", "Keiichi's mom is gonna be pissed.", and "It looks like Keiichi was throwing poop around." are common comments on the scene where Keiichi eats ohagi from Rena and Mion and thinks he bit into a needle they put into them, leading to him having a Freak Out.
    • Do you know Oyashiro-Sama?
      • Yes, Hinamizawa!explanation 
    • MMMMMAEBARA-SANexplanation 
  • Memetic Molester: Rena's going to take you home!
  • Memetic Psychopath: While much of the cast does in fact go crazy at some point, Rena seems to get the worst of it in terms of exaggeration, often being falsely labelled as a Yandere. This is mainly because of Onikakushi-hen where Keichii is imagining her psychotic behavior, due to it being the first arc, and the one that viewers are most likely to have seen.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Remember kids, according to this fandom it's a-ok to beat defenseless little girls to almost death because you find them clingy and annoying. Nevermind that this is a Yandere tantrum from the culprit instead of a Hate Plague-caused hallucination, and that the little girl's brother found out and was MOST pissed off!, nooooooo...
    • The many deaths of Teppei also get cheered on by most, while the series is very much against such vigilante action. Whenever a character murders Teppei, that's a sign that they have fallen into the terminal stage of Hinamizawa Syndrome and things will just get worse from here on out.
    • A clip of Rika using a chair to beat up Satoko for bullying her is applauded by viewers that are not familiar with Higurashi. This has led to a few viewers saying that Satoko got what she deserved on clips of Satoko getting brutally killed, which is a completely different context.
  • Moe: Rena, Rika, and Satoko. Rika is well aware of that and uses her cuteness for her advantage numerous times. She even won the 2007 Saimoe Tournament.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Shion arc is a veritable Lensman Arms Race of inexcusable acts starting with Oryou ordering the Cold-Blooded Torture of Shion during the "distinguishment scene" with Mion enforcing it, and culminating a few episodes later, with the brutal murder of Satoko.
    • Even more so, Miyo in Minagoroshi-hen after she caps an 11 year old girl in the head after playing mind games with her (and after promising to spare her life before she executed another member of the protagonist clique in front of the poor little girl's face). She then immediately proceeds to disembowel another little girl...while she's still living.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "Nipah~!"

     N - Z 
  • Narm:
    • Some of Keiichi's screams of despair can be unintentionally hilarious.
    • Sakoto's Freak Out in Tatarigoroshi-hen is difficult to take seriously when she somehow manages to knock the much-larger-than-her Keichii across the entire room with one shove. It's more believable in the manga and VN where she just knocks his hand away.
    • The anime version of the scene where Shion violently shakes the ladder with Keiichi on it and starts ranting about Satoko in Watanagashi-Hen and Meakashi-Hen. In the original and manga version, it was slowly built up to something terrifying. In the anime, the lack of a build-up, Shion's goofy face, and her thrusting made it more like she was humping the ladder takes all tension away from the scene.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The climactic final battle of Matsuribayashi is pretty awesome, but it's a bit hard to take it seriously once you realize that most of it is essentially a group of kids not just defeating, but delivering an utter Curb-Stomp Battle to a large number of trained military professionals using nothing but homemade traps, Home Alone style.
  • Nausea Fuel: Often accompanies the Nightmare Fuel.
    • Anytime the characters scratch their necks hard enough that it draws blood. Especially one scene (which serves as the page image for the Nightmare Fuel page) where we see what they hallucinate — maggots squirming around in their throats.
    • The fingernail ripping scene.
  • Nightmare Retardant: A brilliantly deliberate example is Oyashiro, whom the series does a fantastic job building up as a figure of dread without ever being seen. Then you DO see her as she truly is - Hanyuu, who couldn't be further away from the mental image you'd constructed in your head by this point.
  • Never Live It Down: Rena's Ax-Crazy reputation. The only arc in which she was truly crazy was Tsumihoroboshi-hen, and Keiichi eventually managed to bring her back to her senses; the stalking and poisoning in Onikakushi-hen was hallucinated by Keiichi. In the other arcs, she's only mildly bipolar and not really all that psycho.
  • Pandering to the Base: The first episode of Rei and all of Kira due to there gratuitous use of fanservice. Just look at Kira's trailer!
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Between "KeiMii" and "KeiRei" shippers, but it stays mild and peaceful.

  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The Question Arcs start off as light-hearted comedies, and it takes a while for the horror to kick in. These light-hearted scenes do contain some truly hilarious and sweet moments, but seeing a group of happy friends playing card games and laughing together instead of the violence and murder you were promised might feel a bit odd, although it is necessary to get the full enjoyment out of the story - seeing one friend go crazy and murder the others is a lot more impactful and tragic when you get to see how strong their friendship was before the tragedy.
  • So Bad, It Was Better: This is a common opinion towards the original sprites, which are both crudely drawn and hilariously unfitting for the subject matter (in particular, the sausage-fingered hands which have a habit of turning into flesh-mittens). The sprites in newer releases look much more professional, which leads to them not being nearly as distinctly baffling.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Above all else, the series' main theme and moral seems to be about the importance of having a good child protection program. The recurring theme of child abuse and the slogging bureaucratic "attempts" to fight it (and in one memorable case, actively ignoring it) are the genesis of several slaughters and the main tragedy itself. Unfortunately, this is Truth in Television in Japan, where even now child abuse is seen as a "family problem", and this holds true for many other places in the world of course. Ryukishi07 spent some time working for child services prior to writing Higurashi, which undoubtedly influenced the level of impact child abuse has in this series and the following series Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
    • If you're troubled or in danger, don't keep it to yourself, talk about it with someone. If you try to bottle up your stress, it will simply build up and explode in horrible ways that could have been avoided.
    • Murder is still murder no matter the justification.
  • So Okay, It's Average: How the dub is usually received now. It's certainly not bad, and voice actors like Grant George, Mela Lee, and Megan Hollingshead gave their performances their all, but it was a typical low-budget Bang Zoom dub of the era with some questionable casting choices (this was before voice actors like Cristina Vee and Bryce Papenbrook became Bang Zoom mainstays), and not very memorable overall.
  • Special Effect Failure: The passages where the girl's eyes shift to "split pupils" in the Live-Action Adaptation are a bit... conspicuous.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Keiichi bashing Mion and Rena with a baseball bat at the start of the story is probably this. Also the earlier scene where Rena confronts Keichi on the road with her cleaver in hand and gets Laughing Mad, and Rika headbutting a knife while Shion dressed as Mion is cackling insanely about it.
    • The Fingore scene in Meakashi-hen.
    • The duel on the rooftop in Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Iconic enough that in the Kizuna Rasen promo, that scene was the only one where a special animation was worked directly into the promo instead of simply showing one of the CGs from the game very slightly animated.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Each arc starts off as a sugary and wholesome story of friendship. After that...
    • A straighter, and more sugary, example is the manga exclusive Kokoroiyashi-hen. It has a Tear Jerker in it but then it goes straight back to the diabetes.
    • The Kira OVA is both Lighter and Softer and Hotter and Sexier than the main story. Even the opening is distinctly upbeat and colourful compared to the others.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Yes, Takano went through hell as a child and her adoptive grandfather was unjustly humiliated, but she's still a psycho who will happily toy with and discard lives For Science!, and becomes dead-set on gutting a little girl whose death will pave the way to commit genocide on a village that never wronged her.
    • Oryou Sonozaki treated Shion horribly and was responsible for the Houjou siblings' otracisation. Mion and Akane certainly claim she has a softer side but her only positive action is largely indirect and we never see her express any remorse for what she did to Shion. Combined with her Kick the Dog moments and with how her Slave to PR attitude causes a massive amount of problems for the protagonists, the audience is more likely to agree with Shion's perception of her as a horrible old woman.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • In the beginning of Watanagashi-hen, Mion jokingly calls herself the good twin and Shion the bad twin. But of course, we see quite the opposite play out...or do we?
    • The manga arc Yoigoshi-hen, which is in a Great Hinamizawa Disaster timeline, features a woman claiming to be Mion, but characters point out that Mion died 20 years ago, and "Mion" is shaken when she meets another major character who bears an uncanny resemblance to Satoshi. She even delivers a monologue that resembles Shion's speech in Watanagashi-hen ("I'm the demon inside Mion!" etc. etc.). Yes, she's actually Shion. It's a bit different from Watanagashi-hen though; Mion's ghost actually possesses Shion for most of the story.
    • More generally, the fact that Miyo Takano is the Big Bad. She was so suspicious from the start that various fans were sure there'd be some other explanation for it. Nope, as it turns out.
  • The Woobie: Every character can be considered as such.
    • Poor, poor Rika. She starts off as an innocent young girl, but a spark of her dark past is revealed when Ooishi confirms that her parents died on the third year of Oyashiro-sama's curse. Then Minagoroshi-hen reveals that she's trapped in a time loop where she tries to save her friends over and over again, but wounds up failing everytime. She feels the pain of her death every time, from getting tortured to death to getting disemboweled. Some of these deaths were caused by the hands of her own friends, the ones who she loved so much. Keep in mind that, despite her mental age, Rika is only 11 years old. What makes it worse is that she has been doing this for over one hundred years, and the change in her personality and her bad habits become very understandable.
    • Satoko and Satoshi had to deal with their mother remarrying every time. Some of their fathers were hot-tempered and abusive to Satoko, when her mother kept on blaming her for her problems. Their entire family was shunned and bullied by the entire village just because their parents supported the dam project. They take Satoko to the cliff in an attempt to make it up to her, but then the railings gave in and they fell to their death. Both siblings were then taken in by their aunt and uncle, who were very abusive to them. In the Sound Novel, Irie even mentions that they made them starve as a punishment. Satoshi kills his aunt to protect Satoko, but then disappeared because of the Hinamizawa Syndrome. Satoko is then left alone. Then in Tatarigoroshi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen, she is kidnapped and abused by her uncle, and Shion does the same thing to her in Meakashi-hen, except this time, she was tortured and killed.
    • Mion. Poor Mion. She was the only character to not succumb to the disease, and yet everyone continues to blame her for everything that happened in Hinamizawa. To make things worse, Mion even arrives to the point of blaming herself. In Onikakushi-hen, she tries her best to help Keiichi, but ends up getting killed by him in the process. In Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, Mion was forced to witness the deaths of her beloved friends, all while being trapped in a jail cell and being threatened to be killed by her sister. Along with Tsumihoroboshi-hen and Tsukiotoshi-hen, those arcs feature the characters blaming Mion for things she never did.
    • Shion. See Jerkass Woobie.
    • Rena. Her mother divorced her father, and Rena blamed herself for not noticing it. It gets so bad that she even starts cutting herself, and due to the Hinamizawa Syndrome, hallucinated maggots in her blood. Not to mention how, beforehand, she was almost raped by three boys who she considered as her friends, which caused her to go wild and break all the windows at her school. In Onikakushi-hen, Rena tries to help Keiichi, but he ends up killing her. Even so, she refuses to give up and continued her attempts to save him even though she was on the verge of death. In Tsumihoroboshi-hen, a Gold Digger named Rina/Ritsuko seduces her father and attempts to steal his fortune, while working with Satoko's abusive uncle, Teppei.
    • In the past, Keiichi was bullied by his classmates for being so smart. This along with his stress of trying to live up to everyone's expectations caused him to take his stress out on young kids, shooting them with BB guns. Keiichi realizes his mistake and confesses, so he and his parents moved to Hinamizawa. Tsumihoroboshi-hen implies that Keiichi is still guilt-ridden with what he did.
    • Hanyuu was hated by the villagers back then just because she had horns, which confirmed to them that she was a demon. When her daughter Oka was kidnapped by the villagers, Hanyuu went wild and went on a genocide mission to save her. Oka is then forced to kill Hanyuu because of it, and Hanyuu accepts this fate. As a result of this sacrifice, the villagers believed that sacrificing an innocent to save the sinful was the solution. This became a tradition in Hinamizawa for years. People sacrificed others in the name of Oyashiro-sama, and the real Oyashiro-sama is forced to watch. When Rika was born, she was the first who can see Hanyuu after a thousand years. Even so, Hanyuu was forced to watch Rika's death over and over again, believing herself useless as she couldn't do anything to save her, her friends, and the people in Hinamizawa.
    • The Big Bad, Takano. See Jerkass Woobie.
    • Irie. The Sound Novel reveals that he lived in poverty, and when he got to college, he moved to the city to become a doctor. One day, he received a letter saying that his father was having sudden violent outbursts, and he didn't mind it until his mother arrived at the city and revealed that his father had been abusing her. Irie planned to return home to speak to his father for the New Year, but it was too late, as his father died before he could.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: On April 1st 2019, an announcement was made that the entire soundtrack for the visual novels would be remade. Some of the tracks merely got remastered (including some, like Fascism and Gear, that were of very low quality), but some tracks, such as Digital Network, got replaced by completely new music. It was not an April Fools joke, despite the date, and many people were upset at the loss of the classic soundtrack.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Many fans regard Satoshi's reappearance in Kira as a pointless yaoi One-Scene Wonder.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Bipolar murder mystery anime on PCP. The fans wouldn't appreciate that kind of description, however.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Watanagashi-hen has one large instance, mostly for its execution in the anime: After Keiichi and Rena hear from Mion (really Shion disguised as her) the confession that she was behind several murders in the arc, she asks that one of them come with her to her family's underground torture chamber, before she surrenders to the cops outside. Keiichi goes and follows her, ending in him nearly being killed. He narrowly gets away after being warned by her that if he sees her again, he shouldn't come near her. Some time later, after evading the cops' suspicion, she comes and throws pebbles at his window. Keiichi goes down and talks to her. She promptly stabs him. Although of course, the whole theme of the arc is about how people can have hidden sides to them, and whether you can trust them in spite of this. Thus, in this situation Keiichi realizes the danger, but goes ahead with his actions because he wants to believe in his friend. In the game and manga, these scenes played out in a somewhat more believable way; he wanted to give her the doll that she explicitly stated was the cause of all this (though it's not Mion going crazy from Keiichi not viewing her as girl, but Shion's envy toward her for having a love life while her crush is missing and possibly dead).
    • In Tatarigoroshi-hen, Mion perfectly knows what Keiichi was doing during the night of the festival, so she probably asks Rena and Rika to act as if he had gone to the festival as an alibi. Fine. Then they tell Keiichi to come to the trash field, probably to explain the whole deal to him. It doesn't occur to either Rena or Mion to explain him at least the basics while nobody is around; like the entire way back from school. Because they never explain to him that they're constructing an alibi, they end up unintentionally Gaslighting him into doubting his own murder of Teppei ever happened. The rest is history. Granted, they couldn't guess it would turn that wrong, but they still had absolutely no reason to wait so much to tell him anything.
    • Irie-sensei not realizing that Takano was just a bit amoral and for that matter the Big Bad of the series, given some of her less... subtle statements showing a certain lack of regard for ethics, as revealed by the flashbacks in Matsuribayashi-hen. (Though granted, she had a lot over his head and he might not have thought he could have done anything useful and gotten away with it).
    • In Saikoroshi-hen, Rika, after finally escaping an everlasting cycle of paranoia, murder, torture and death, abandons all caution and and gets hit by a truck. Had it not been for Hanyuu, this would have restarted the entire cycle once more.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: It isn't despite the cheery beginning atmosphere of every episode, the cute faces and the flowers... It's more like Nightmare Fuel - or a Black Comedy.
  • Woolseyism: The French version of the sound novel doesn't hesitate to take a few liberties with the original text, and they usually work extremely well.
    • Hanyū's Verbal Tic "Au au au !" becomes "Mééé euuuh !" note , which is incredibly cute and fitting; similarly, Rika's "Nipah~~*" becomes "Ehéééé~~*".
    • Satoko is given a very elevated speech full of subjunctives and more or less obscure words, and uses the distant pronoun "vous" to adress everyone. Her nickname to Satoshi "Nii-nii" is also adapted as "Totoche".
    • In lieu of "Kei-chan", Mion usually calls Keiichi "p'tit gars"note  ("lil' guy") while Shion calls him "mon cœur" ("sweetheart"). They do call him "Kei" sometimes, but not often.
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     Gou 
  • Angst Aversion: Many found episode 15 of Gou to be too brutal and depressing, even by the series' standards. As if it wasn't bad enough that Rika has to go through shit each arc, this episode took it Up to Eleven by having Rika die 4 times in a row, and in increasingly violent ways. This made many people deem it as straight up Torture Porn.
  • Awesome Art:
    • Rika's shrine dance in Gou is elegantly and fluidly animated. Made more awesome by the animators creating original choregraphy not found in the source materials.
    • There's also the Sea of Fragments. It perfectly presents the realm as almost a dream-like state with fragments drifting throughout.
    • The endings for "God's Syndrome" and "Irregular Entropy." The illustrations are done vividly akin to that of a water painting with the latter also brilliantly employing the chandelier from the end of episode 21.
  • Designated Villain: The teacher at St. Lucia Academy; she does reasonably recommend to Satoko that she could always leave the academy if it was not to her liking, but Satoko refused this. Her sending Satoko to solitary confinement is harsh at first, but it's otherwise reasonable because Satoko did legitimately cross a line by injuring one of the students with her ill-planned pranks.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: For a while, most of the When They Cry fans were staunchly defending Satoko because of her harsh upbringing as well as for Rika's unintentional Innocently Insensitive attitude when passing her friend off as just having a rude streak. That was even when it was revealed that Satoko was the one who put Rika back into the loop; however, once it was made apparent that even when she did know of the different loops her friend was made to suffer in, Satoko nevertheless decides to make Rika suffer solely so she could break her into submission. It doesn't help matters that this version of Satoko has become starkly different from the original iteration.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • After a few episodes of Gou, there's a number of theories revolving around Satoko, especially on 4chan. Fans have noticed that most of the changes to the original timeline in Onidamashi-Hen and Watadamashi-Hen here have been things revolving around her. Notably, her older brother Satoshi not being mentioned at all in the first arcs, no mention of the fact that the couple that fell to their deaths were her parents, and the statue not being broken by her and despite Satoko being rescued from Teppei, the latter returns out of nowhere with no explanation to bludgeon Keiichi. The most popular theory is that Satoko is Rika's game piece opponent on Gou's gameboard and therefore the culprit instead of Takano this time.
    • Ever since a shadowy figure resembling Featherine was seen in the opening sequence and Rika & Hanyuu revealing at the start of Episode 2 that this isn't quite the Higurashi we know, it was long suspected that Gou was a Stealth Sequel and would expand on Higurashi's connection to the greater When They Cry franchise, specifically Umineko.
      • Satoko's connection to Lambdadelta. Prior to Gou, it seemed their only connection was their similar relationships to Rika and Bernkastel respectively, and it appeared Lambdadelta had a stronger connection to Takano instead (both their names mean 34 through Goroawase). Now, Featherine says she knows Satoko by other names — Mitsuyo, Vier, and Anomalous Spinal Cord Specimen LD 3105. All are references to 34, Vier is known to be a Takano expy in Ciconia, and LD are the initials for Lambdadelta. What does this mean?
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The "New Oyashiro-sama," otherwise nicknamed "Eua," who may or may not be Featherine Augustus Aurora, the Witch of Theatergoing from the Umineko visual novel series. Unlike Hanyuu who appears as a ghost girl, she appears as a fully-grown woman with a deeper voice and wears Excessive Evil Eyeshadow while indulging in some Slouch of Villainy.
    • Then there's older Satoko. She had grown larger breasts and curves when she became older, and due to her gaining time looping abilities, it only further enhances this by making her out as a more powerful force to reckon with.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Satoko has been dubbed "Sustoko" for her perplexing behaviour in early Gou arcs (especially Tataridamashi-hen), inspired by Among Us. And "Guntoko", named for the scene in Episode 17 where she pulls a gun on Rika after being outed as the second looper.
    • Satoko's as-of-yet unnamed benefactor (nicknamed "Eua") has alternately been referred to as Hanyu 2, Hantwo, Hannew, Hanyuurine and Feathertwo to highlight her visual similarities to both Hanyuu and Featherine Augustus Aurora.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Rika and Satoko non-stop; for starters, their falling apart resembles the signs of a bitter breakup with Satoko becoming a fullblown Yandere hellbent on breaking Rika out of a fear that she would abandon her. That is not even getting into the series heavily implying that Satoko is either a fragment of Lambdadelta, the Witch of Certainty, or possibly, she is becoming Lambdadelta herself.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Within the first five episodes, an incredibly well done edit of Satoko changed to depict Lamdadelta made the rounds in reddit and twitter. Cue the Satokowashi-hen arc and all the implications it has for the connection between Satoko and Lambdadelta.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: The Gou anime is meant to put a new, surprising spin on the old, familiar arcs. However, some fans feel that the arcs in Gou are too similar to the old ones, being mostly scene-by-scene repeats of the original arcs with any truly major divergences only appearing at the very end. This ensures that viewers new to Higurashi can keep up with the story, but disappoints older fans who don't feel like sitting through familiar scenes just to get to the interesting stuff. It's not until the second season once the viewpoint is back to Rika does the story starts to tread on new grounds.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Tank Keiichiexplanation 
    • "Green/orange/Satoko sus"explanation 
    • Air conditioningexplanation 
    • "Super sludge dodgeball"explanation 
    • "She wants revenge for the chair."/"They should sic the chairs on her." and "Maybe Teppei had a point this time."explanation 
    • Higurashi Thursday explanation 
    • Satoko of the Opera explanation 
    • Lambdatoko. explanation 
    • Who's Shion? explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: In Gou, Satoko, after being granted her looping abilities, arranges for a chandelier to fall on Rika and herself, thus ensuring that Rika would not only be in the loop again, but it would be even worse. Satoko hopes to break her own best friend mentally, physically, and emotionally until she conformed and would never wish to leave Hinamizawa again. All this because she would not admit that her stubbornness caused her falling out with her friend.
  • Narm:
    • In episode 4 of Gou, Rena repeatedly stabbing Keiichi would've been more horrifying if it wasn't for the fact that he was bleeding cartoonish amounts of blood that shouldn't even be possible in real life. It's even somewhat lampshaded that his recovery was a miracle, since a normal person would die from that much blood loss.
    • Episode 15 sees Akasaka killing Rika which is shocking given his role in the original, though his crazed facial expressions can take away from the moment as they're rather exaggerated. This can also goes for the other Nightmare Faces in Gou.
    • During the otherwise emotionally harrowing narrative of Satakowashi-hen, many fans were left baffled and in fits of laughter at the scene where Satoko is punished for getting one of classmates injured in a prank, which ends up being getting locked in a solitary confinement cell underneath St Lucia, complete with a prison uniform. While the school had always been portrayed as exceptionally harsh in previous When they Cry media, this went too far for many people.
  • Narm Charm: The unrealistic amount of blood pouring out after someone gets stabbed can take away from the seriousness and terrifying nature of the more violent scenes, though usually this is a hint that the perpetrator is hallucinating.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Gou makes the characters scratching their necks worse by adding a wet, squishing sound every time they claw into their necks.
    • Then there's the part where Satoko actually throws up. The sound was very convincing.
    • Episode 16 of Gou really takes the cake, where not only do we get to see Rika exposed intestines, but Satoko actively disemboweling her, and with the iconic Watanagashi rake. And not only is very explicit, but it is not a brief scene whatsoever, lasting for half the episode. Needless to say, don't watch that episode if you plan on eating.
  • Not His Sled: Gou's Episode 4. We're heading halfway through Onikakushi-hen, with Rika advising Keiichi to trust Rena against his paranoia, something that didn't happen before. Then comes Rena bringing dinner to Keiichi's house... and Keiichi decides to trust her. And it turns out she's there to kill him.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Satoko being the second looper in Gou is jarring at first, but there are small hints of foreshadowing that should make the revelation more blatant.
    • In the first episode when Satoko wins the game, she gloats to Rika saying that victory was hers. While at first it may seem to be here simply bragging about winning this one in particular, it suddenly takes on a new meaning once it is revealed that Satoko was looping in that fragment as she did others.
      • When Satoko has her infamous breakdown during the arc revolving around her uncle, she reacts to Keiichi attempting to pet her head despite the fact that in the original, she only pushed him away when he unwittingly triggered memories of her brother by petting her. She remembered what she had done in the previous arc and reenacted it.
      • In addition, as many pointed out, there are no visible markings implicating abuse on Satoko when she was taking a shower. Additionally, Teppei was seen using some prescripted medicine thus meaning that he is likely less physically capable of abuse.
    • At the beginning of the first opening to Gou, we're shown images as the camera becomes corrupted. When does it corrupt? On the image of a teddy bear... the one that Rika uses in her plan to confirm Satoko is the other looper.
    • The lyrics to the opening of Gou make sense after the reveal of the looper: it's about Satoko being angry with Rika for moving on from her and the village.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • For a while, Rika was disliked because of her appearing to be a disingenuous girl who chose the girls at St. Lucia Academy over Satoko, and some can say that she was being blissfully ignorant of her friend's plight especially when it is taken into account that she suffered for centuries. The feeling lessened, however, when in the second loop, she made it clear that she never intended to break her promise and that she felt Satoko was the one who drifted away from her.
    • On the other hand, Satoko's motivations are often boiled down to simply being "lazy" and trying to avoid studying. This ignores that originally, she did attend the grueling study halls and was shown working long into the night on her own, and she still wasn't able to keep up with the work. Similarly, her unwillingness to fit in with Rika's new friends is often chalked up to her just being stubborn, which doesn't take into consideration that she grew up the town outcast and is naturally cautious around new people and sensitive to feeling out of place. Obviously nothing justifies her going full Yandere in later loops, but her problems with St. Lucia itself are more complicated than her just having a bad attitude.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Out of everything that has happened in the entire series, the biggest one was in Gou when Detective Ooishi of all people came down with the Hinamizawa Syndrome, and he actually kills people, especially Rika. Keep in mind that the series has been very consistent on who gets infected, and to see Ooishi go insane is very unexpected.
      • Episode 15 continues this trend by having Akasaka be the one to kill Rika.
    • When Rika is about to give Satoko her birthday present, she recoils from seeing the box thus remembering that loop, making her the second looper, and then, to top it all off, she has red eyes and somehow pulls out a gun.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Rika's shrine dance in Gou. It is elegant animation.
    • In Gou episode 4, there is Rena stabbing Keiichi repeatedly. After being convinced by Rika that he was likely wrong to be suspicious of Rena, we are met with a grisly bloodbath between the two friends.
    • Featherine from Umineko: When They Cry's sudden appearance when Satoko meets her in the Sea Of Fragments at the end of episode 20.
    • Satoko embracing Rika as she drops the chandelier down upon them, dragging both of them into the loop together.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Going into the final arc, opinions were sharply divided between fans having sympathies for Rika or Satoko. Both being listed under Ron the Death Eater being a prime testament to that. And then the reveal happened where Satoko learned first hand all the trauma and endless death cycles Rika was forced to experienced to achieve her Golden Ending, and she still chooses to put Rika through all the trauma again hoping to break her spirit. Suddenly almost all the sympathy the fandom had for Satoko instantly evaporated. This turned what was seemingly a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal on Satoko's part due to her miserable life at St. Lucia into Disproportionate Retribution.

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