Report an issue on this page.

Review of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

SubjectHigurashi no Naku Koro ni
ByVote: 4.5hansfranz77 on 2021-01-13 last updated on 2021-10-31
ReviewFYI: This is a review for the 4 question arcs of higurashi, steam version chapters 1 - 4 only.

This thing is the furthest form "well written" i might have ever played or even seen. (I need to think about that once i'm finally done with all of higurashi). I honestly have no idea how this series got the great standing it has these days in the west. But despite its age this is "modern writing" as in plot driven writing of the worst possible kind.

There is nothing too stupid or over the top to pull out of left field, in favor of the all encompassing "plot" for this thing. With no setup, believability or rationality on any end. Even if the plot involves the protag going utterly mental and killing someone with a baseball bat - just to conveniently end up in a parallel world, in which the whole thing doesn't matter any more. Its like a child making shit up on a playground so he doesn't have to lose, or in this case the mc either getting killed or ending in jail for his insanity. The childish story part is very fitting, considering the original character art.

Nobody (not even the characters that are supposedly adults or police workers) in this game seems to be able to think for even a second like a normal, logical human being. Very rarely you get some scenes where they seem to try it (mostly from rena) and the game acts like it's impossible anyway. To force the story so far off the rails again, you start to wonder how this got ever put into a vn to begin with? Let alone something as highly rated as this one apparently is?!

As an example in chapter 3 with a possible adoption of satoko by the family of the protag (which would've solved the whole chapter right form very early on.) As a result it's shortly after the first chapter you start to notice the writers either having no idea what they're doing and not bothering explaining anything, or just not giving a fuck at all. Whatever it may be, it does not help with suspension of disbelief. Especially if you have a kinetic novel structure and one of the most brain-dead, protags i have ever seen.

Keiichi might even be mentally and emotionally deficient, to the point where you sometimes wonder if he had been suffering from stockholm-syndrome (which btw the game gives no indication to, whatsoever at the point in the story he acts this way) and states "how he hurt his best friend a (known serial killer by him at that point) so bad, (by not giving her a damn doll as a present), he might as well killed the ones she tortured and butchered himself." It's just crazy. Maybe he even is insane at the very end? It would fit this transparent bullshit writing like a glove!

Thus, you can only watch this idiotic spectacle unfold, as you are unable to do anything about it.
Hell, some hentai have protags or characters that are more capable to think about their- and more importantly the actions of others, compared to this guy. I only wait for the moment chapter 4 pulls some rape or pedo shit for real this time...
After being finished with chapter 4. Granted this did not happen yet but the point still stands, because this is just the type of easy "shock value writing" the whole game is written as). It would just fit in with all the insane nonsense and if they try to check boxes those just might be the last things that are "missing" still to get the highest "shocking your audience score". This is the kind of crap "plot driven writing" those hacks pull out of their asses, all the time. If they follow through on upping the ante, they would at least be one time consistent. What they're doing is as transparent as water after a few hours, shockingly so.

I wasted so much time on this thing hoping it would finally get better and aside from some parts in chapter 3 with satoko's story which were greatly undermined, by her apparently being able to get alc and cigs, by herself in the convenience store god knows how far away - on a bike. And of course, coach and keiichi acting like the bruises all over her body are nothing they could act upon. The most hilarious thing about that one was the later revelation of coach being the village doctor himself. Give me a damn break, game!

There is nothing here! This whole game and very likely the next parts as well live(s) and die(s) on the stupidity, irrationality and craziness of everyone in this world - especially the main protagonist, keiichi. There is no explanation given how a boy, that is supposedly only there a month, a bit over a month, a bit over two months... (depending on how the game feels like it. No joke, i saw three different indications for that given by him in chapter 3 alone) can be this off the rocker already. Let alone acts like he somehow was not fully developed in the brain an emotional department.

Once you realize, that everybody in this game is just doing whatever to "shock" and "surprise" you and there is no sane individual you can anchor yourself with. You do not give a fuck anymore what is happening, or will happen.


Tldr: This is all a big clown show and not worth the time it's asking from you, and which seems to have the premise of shock your audience! With every cheap trick you could possibly imagine. There is no consistency to the action, the characters or even the plot itself. Its all random shit just happening all the time. I'ts a broken world and game filled with broken writing at that point. Nothing in it makes any damn sense. A Story is predicated on it being able to immerse the player / reader into its world. This thing is not able to do so after a few hours, anymore. Because everything can or can not happen all the time, with no consistency to any of it, let alone rhyme or reason as to why it happens or don't.[i/]

(I can not wait until the very end, and they might pull the "protag was crazy all along!11 It was all in his head! Got ya! "twist". This seems to be exactly the kind of "writing talent" those dudes are having.
It's a farce!


I really start to wonder if it's on purpose that i see this one recommended as an entry level vn all the time? From what i saw in over 100 hours as of now, this could explain the rating here and all around the net.)

Comments

#1 by Ninius
2021-01-13 at 23:26
< report >Lmao there's a reason they're called QUESTION arcs...
#2 by vario
2021-01-14 at 04:56
< report >
with a possible adoption of satoko by the family of the protag (which would've solved the whole chapter right form very early on

Have you actually read the game? They mentioned this. And this is definitely not something "easy" in real life lol.

And I'm not sure that you realize how story-driven (but actually even moege, etc.) games work. Because there won't be anything to tell if characters won't make mistakes and won't lose a few times. It's a pretty basic structure for a story.
#3 by hansfranz77
2021-01-14 at 22:11
< report >
Lmao there's a reason they're called QUESTION arcs...

That is not an excuse for stealing over a hundred hours of my time and making me think why in the fuck i even tried. I know this is more a rant, but i be damned if i do not question something taking this much of my time and not giving anything back in return. It's kind of baffling to me i seem to be the first one to come up with antyhing negative on this board and i really want to have a discussion as to why that might be? That is why i worded this in the way i did. And it seems i already got some that seem to be personally attacked over critiziing "their favorite" franchise.

Have you actually read the game?
link
link
link
link

Sadly i'm not talking out of my ass. I did waste this time and i'm not willing to accept wasting 70 or even 100 hours more for a "payoff" that might eventually happen, but i do not even care about it anymore already. Becasue this game is not even interested in keeping to it's own damn rules, let alone even establishing any hard rules at all. While still setting itself into the past in the real world and thus you should be able to hold it to IRL rules. And the writing seems to only have the intention to pull something again to "surprise" the player down the road.

They mentioned this. And this is definitely not something "easy" in real life lol.
I might as well throw this one back at you. When was the last time you read this thing?
They didn't which is exactly the problem. Read again, honestly.

Rena suggests it to keiichi angrly and he stops thinking rationally at this point already. Instead he thinks about kidnapping and hiding her in his room. He didn't even ask his parents in the first place and the game never gave a reason to begin with besides "they would refuse anyway" which i highly doubt, given the way his mother and father care for- and act around him, it's just hand waved away and that is all.

But this wasn't even the end of it, was it? No it was the start of this whole storyline, ending in him killing her uncle in cold blood and somehow switching to an alternate world / timeline (whatever) where none of that never happend. Amazing story.

So the next one would be.
The village doctor witnessing this mistreatment and willfully ignoring it, right? There is no excuse for this behaivor, even if the process itself might've taken years. They did not even start it. No they did exactly the opposite.

This is the mo of this game it forces so much unbelivable shit out of left field just to play with the players themselvs. There is nothing in the plot itself worth reading in over 100 hours and that is what i rate, i do not give a fuck about the twists they pull out of their asses all the time, because they want to play with their audience and honestly come off making fun of the ones even reading this shitshow in the extra's to begin with. It has no interest to do something with the characterts, setting and even world itself, which would make logical sense and stay coherent in itself.Last modified on 2021-01-14 at 23:05
#4 by askmeaboutloom
2021-01-14 at 23:37
< report >Most things you are confused about get explained in the answer arcs, that's why this is called "question" arcs. You are not supposed to understand what the fuck is going on.
But if you don't like the structure of the game it's fine, I thought it dragged a bit sometimes but it's a cool series
#5 by Ninius
2021-01-15 at 00:29
< report >#3, well it's your loss if you can't enjoy a good story ;-) Higurashi franchise is very good and praised for a reason, you're the one who's missing out, not us. The question arcs aren't meant to be read without reading the answer arcs afterwards, because it's written on purpose to not make sense.
#6 by asaki
2021-01-15 at 01:35
< report >Go watch the anime then (Not the Gou one, the one ftom 2006 version), especially at episode 16 to 26. Of course you should watch Kai anime as well in which it'll consist 24 episodes. That way at least you'll spent 17 and half hours (Or it can be slightly faster) instead of hundred hours.

I would say that you should write the review after you finished with Matsuribayashi (Higurashi very last arc), but it's already too late there. At least you didn't judge Higurashi based on gameplay and graphic as well, which to say it would be the most questionable decision.
#7 by hansfranz77
2021-01-15 at 01:43
< report >
But if you don't like the structure of the game it's fine, I thought it dragged a bit sometimes
This might be one of the most generous things you can say about it, yeah. But i think i could confidently argue over 50% if not even 75% of the text should've been cut and this really were in desperate need of an editior nearly two decades ago. It is just so much flashbacks, repeating itself and shitty thought bubble fluff. It's such a slog to read through it all and for what exactly?

Higurashi franchise is very good and praised for a reason, you're the one who's missing out, not us.

And here we are. Go ahead and list your reasons, you can spoil the hell out of all of it.
Because as it stands i'm very unlikely to pick chapter 6 through 8 up again. (i even forced myself through 5 at the very end of last year, but that is it as of now.)

Go watch the anime then (Not the Gou one, the one ftom 2006 version), especially at episode 16 to 26. Of course you should watch Kai anime as well in which it'll consist 24 episodes.

Sure i'm supposed to waste not just 200 hours or something insane like that on this abysmally written dreck, but also should i reward those that tricked me into wasting this time with another 100 hours on top of it!
I really hope this was a joke reply, becasue i can not take this crap seriously, sorry.

At least you didn't judge Higurashi based on gameplay and graphic as well, which to say it would be the most questionable decision.
I tell you a little secret. 07th-mod exists. So even with switch remake graphics and voice acting like i tried for the free first episode on steam. This thing does not get any better.

Just to be sure we are all talking about the mangagamer english version here, right?
I do not intent on another "learn japanese" bs circlejerk here.Last modified on 2021-01-15 at 02:11
#8 by asaki
2021-01-15 at 02:12
< report >Well I'm serious on my reply there in regard of watching the anime. Also I know that there's graphic mod, and the reason I bring graphic because there's another review that list the graphic as con.

PS - I understand that you want to discuss it, although if you said that you just read question arc sorry to say that you're too early here. So just watch the anime if you still want to go through with this, or just drop it completely and forget this.

Edit - Forgot to say that yes I really mean Mangagamer version, and no I won't suggest you to learn Japanese there because it's just irresponsible remark.Last modified on 2021-01-15 at 05:25
#9 by axemsmurf
2021-01-25 at 21:02
< report >Higurashi is really long and takes awhile to explain things and I can see why that would bother some people. And indeed, Ryukishi is a really slow-paced writer. If you couldn't enjoy it at all up to the point you read, then yeah, you should probably drop it to avoid wasting a lot more time. Though I will note, if you weren't using the 07th mod patch that adds voice acting (and hence increases the length a lot) besides during the first episode, those times you've linked are ridiculously far above the norm.

But, your (lack of) enjoyment of Higurashi aside, you would probably benefit from taking some perspective here. Higurashi being extremely long is something you should have known going in and reading the entire half of a work with "question arcs" in the title, knowing there's a half with "answer arcs" in the title, refusing to read said "answer arcs," and then complaining about how you didn't get answers and explanations yet and that things don't make sense is obviously ridiculous, yes? The answers are there, you just chose not to read the part of the story containing them. Fair enough decision if you weren't enjoying the story but the complaining just comes off as whining as a result.

If, after taking some time off, you still want an explanation and perhaps a conclusion but don't want another ridiculous time investment you probably wouldn't enjoy much, the anime adaptation is indeed a good alternative for that. The anime has several issues people complain about and is widely agreed to be inferior to the visual novel and manga but it's much shorter, at least gets the job done as far as the important plot points are concerned, and you'd mostly just be watching to get closure anyways so the perceived lack of quality wouldn't really be an issue. Since you have read the 5th arc already, the 6th is covered by Episodes 22 through 26 of the first season and the 7th and 8th are covered by the 24 episodes of the second season. 29 episodes of anime should be relatively manageable. If that's still too much, just move on. You're not gonna be convinced or entertained by people explaining a story over a message board that you haven't even finished.

And spoilery details for stuff you haven't read yet that I see little point in going over aside, some of your specific criticisms of "things that don't make sense" are kind of unfortunate.

[quote]As an example in chapter 3 with a possible adoption of satoko by the family of the protag (which would've solved the whole chapter right form very early on.) [/quote]

Most families, even stable ones with good people, aren't going to be at all be okay with adopting some other kid just because they're having a hard time. This is blatantly obvious, since in real life they...clearly don't do this often in most cultures. No harm in asking I GUESS, but it's pretty reasonable as to why Keiichi didn't bother. "MOM THERE'S THIS GIRL BEING ABUSED CAN I HAVE A NEW SISTER?" not gonna happen. Taking her in temporarily may be another matter but for the time being her uncle has legal custody; asking his parents to break the law and let her hide out at his house or whatever until the uncle goes away again is not a reasonable request.

[quote]by her aparently being able to get alc and cigs, by herself in the convinience store[/quote]

Rural, isolated, everyone-knows-everyone village in the 1980's? that's pretty reasonable actually. If they thought she was going to actually going to use them herself it would be cause for concern but since she was obviously running errands they probably weren't gonna object to her buying them.

[quote]The village doctor witnessing this mistreatment and willfully ignoring it, right? There is no excuse for this behaivor, even if the process itself might've taken years. They did not even start it. No they did exactly the opposite.[/quote]
It's established people tried getting the authorities involved with the abuse before the aunt died a year ago. Didn't work then for various reasons given in the story. They try again not long after the uncle shows up again - albeit with some hesitation because of the previous failure and Satoko herself denying the abuse. Doesn't end up working this time either. Seems like they had good reason for thinking it might not do much good any time soon, did it anyways, and ended up being correct.

Is something like this realistic? Japan seems to have been pretty bad at dealing with child abuse in that era and had only recently started taking it seriously and abused kids fall through cracks in the system all the time in real life, so yeah, doesn't seem too unlikely to me.


And so on. You're nitpicking pretty hard here over stuff that already has reasonable explanations.

Seems like your complaint in general should be more that you didn't think the half you read was good, not complaining and arguing reasons that nothing makes sense. The general consensus is that it does and while your opinion on the enjoyability of what you read is valid, you simply haven't read enough to make a proper judgement as to whether it ends up making sense.

As for what people like about it? The shock value and plot twists are obviously a part of the appeal, but there's also the atmosphere, all the mysteries (which do, in fact, get explained!), the music albeit mostly in some of the later (5 and up) episodes, some of the themes and subjects explored, the voice acting in the versions that have it, and the characters and their interactions. Since you clearly didn't like Keiichi much, I'll note he's only the 5th most favorited Higurashi character on myanimelist - although obviously they're mostly anime watchers there.Last modified on 2021-01-25 at 21:27
#10 by hansfranz77
2021-01-30 at 01:01
< report >
Seems like your complaint in general should be more that you didn't think the half you read was good, not complaining and arguing reasons that nothing makes sense.

Forgive me for just taking this one out, but tbh i'm pretty much done with this, regardless the medium. I made clear what i reviewed with it and do not see any reason to read more of this.
It never was a review for the whole thing to begin with, like i clearly stated at the very top of this review and how even the vndb entry states this is a Ni and not a Kai review.
Also good is a completly subjective term, which is the reason i took those examples out in the first place. It's not an opinon piece, those are examples that can substantiate this view. No idea what to tell you guys at this point any more.

So.. one question about the structure of this thing again, after thinking about it at end of chapter 5. Which chapters do even belong to each other? If i think about everything i did read yet it looks like chapter 5 "answered" stuff form chapter 2? If that is indeed the case how much of a mess is this structure, then? There is no way in hell 1 - 4 are the same "story" guys do not even try to tell me this is the case, it's clear as day it is not done like this. If that were the case, could you link me a flowchart for this shit? lolLast modified on 2021-01-30 at 23:58
#11 by solaine
2021-03-16 at 18:05
< report >While i completely disagree with almost anything you said, there is a definitive guide for every arc (there are actually quite a few more, some serious some not so much) where each arc is described along with a flowchart for the whole story as far as i remember. Just search for higurashi guide and take the first option then.
I don't think it makes sense to argue about the story if you don't even know how it ends so i recommend just reading a summary somewhere since you don't enjoy the VN and then come back to actually discuss about it... I realize that you are trying to review just the first four chapters but if you are complaining about story issues it just makes no sense if you didn't read kai as well
#12 by forever-here
2021-03-16 at 19:16
< report >I can somehow agree with OP. question arc is just a drag to read and not many people can invest so much time for that. not to sound like an ass but you really picked the wrong game. Umi/Higu is definitely not for everyone. after finishing that chore of a read that is Umineko I'm not touching anything Higurashi anytime soon. or at all for that matter. you may want to pick shorter VNs from now on.
#13 by hansfranz77
2021-03-28 at 05:31
< report >#12 i will stay away form anything written by this dude in the future. I did learn my lesson.
#14 by forever-here
2021-03-28 at 05:49
< report >#13 higanbana is very good though. written by the same author. short. and none of that loooooong dragging prose writing of his.
#15 by kaynedenny5454
2021-09-15 at 14:32
< report >Dude if you played the Rance games then why are you complaining about Higurashi's shock value and immaturity.