Welcome Home to Hinamizawa
- Episodes : 24
- Genre : Dementia, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller
- Airing Date : October 2020 – March 2021
- Studios : Passione
She had finally done it, Rika Furude had gotten past her 100+ year hell and escaped the horror of June 1983. It should have been a new beginning for Rika as she left Hinamizawa behind but the cursed quiet town had other plans for her. Rika once again has been forced to endure June 1983 alongside her friends but now with the knowledge that she can escape it, Rika makes an effort to once more seek the freedom she had briefly. Welcome back to Hinamizawa where calm days are fleeting and end usually with blood and death…
Hinamizawa… Once More
Higurashi fans have long desired to return to the nightmare world of Rika, Keiichi, Mion/Shion, Satoko, and Rena and they get this wish in Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Fans will no doubt love the horror of death, psychological madness, and strange, fleeting comedy that can only be delivered by this well-designed series. Studio Passione wasted no effort in recreating the beloved world of Higurashi—as the original was done by Studio Deen—and you can instantly tell as all the characters look similar to their original designs albeit now with a nicer updated polish of modern-day animation. Clearly, love went into returning us to the world of Higurashi and we noticed it straight from the get-go.
Familiar Faces, New Characters, Similar Deaths and New Plot
The very first few episodes of Higurashi - New can be quite jarring to returning fans as the deaths come quickly and seem almost repeats of the original series. Thankfully, Higurashi - New just as quickly leaves its past story behind and begins to incorporate some new details to keep the story fresh and exciting. By the middle of this 24-episode long new season, you’ll notice a new plot that changes up the story in numerous ways and will shock fans to their cores! Be ready folks, friends of old won’t stay friends forever in Higurashi: When They Cry - New.
One of the biggest shockers of Higurashi’s newest season isn’t the new deaths or the new power gained by Rika—where she can finally remember each death and try to avoid them easier—but from the new enemy that is actually one of Rika’s closest friends. Not only does this new enemy explain nearly every major plot point of the series but it does it in a pretty diabolical way.
Satoko Houjou ends up being the new antagonist of Higurashi: When They Cry - New—the original enemy was Miyo Takano—and we learn that she has gained the ability to not only loop like Rika but also instantaneously restart any loop with a snap of her fingers! Satoko’s emergence as the villain of the series breaks down a long-running mystery of Higurashi and we can’t wait for the following season—which is coming this summer 2021—to flesh out how Rika and her friends will end a powerful entity as Satoko.
Fans of Higurashi will no doubt notice that the first few episodes of the “New” season can be quite boring. Yes, there are some big moments that occur to make you remember this is a sequel but even after that revelation, Higurashi - New resorts to familiar deaths/horror scares for a bit too long. Luckily, this painful repetition ends with some strong plot development but getting there still takes a bit too long.
The Truth of It All
While not a reason to dislike Higurashi: When They Cry - New we do have to wonder if Satoko’s power revelation undermines the entire series and its horror plot. Once you realize Satoko might be the reason behind Hinamizawa syndrome activating in specific people, the horror of Higurashi’s biggest illness/concept kind of weakens. Fans will no doubt wonder if maybe it was still random and Satoko only now gained the ability to unleash the virus but, regardless, does her rise to power kill the horror of the series as a whole? Let us know in the comments below what you feel about this, as we’d love to hear your opinions!
Higurashi: When They Cry - New is an example of taking an original idea and continuing to run with it because it works. Rather than change up the entire formula, Higurashi: When They Cry - New adds some new elements to create a new story that will wow fans and equally surprise many. Do these new changes work? For the most part, yes, as we really enjoyed Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Did you fans enjoy it as well? Let us know via the comments below and keep stuck to our blanket-hiding hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews and news!