Higurashi When They Cry, Abducted by Demons Arc – Manga – Review

When They Cry - AnimeMage.com

Higurashi When They Cry, Abducted by Demons Arc – Manga – Review

Recently I picked up the first of a series of the manga Higurashi When They Cry.

About the Series:

The series are based on a visual novel so there are multiple arc’s or story lines to go through, each Arc comes with its own clue(s) or “keys” as the writer calls them for you to try and work out what is going on as you work your way throught he horror/mystery that is Higurashi When They Cry.

However like any good mystery there are a lot of false clues and miss information to keep you guessing (well it wouldn’t be worth reading otherwise).

When They Cry - AnimeMage.com

As I mentioned previously the Manga is based off the Games or Visual Novels (or should I say multiple visual novels/games) and the first set of books just like the first set of games of the series were meant to give the reader a sense of the world where the story takes place and introduce the mysterious circumstances surrounding the village of Hinamizawa. The question arcs (first books) allow the reader to form his or her own opinions about the events taking place in Hinamizawa.

After finishing the first Arc I read the following from the Author at the back… “To give a cryptic explanation there is only one key hidden in the Abducted by Demons ARC this is an extremely important key, and if you can find it, then there is no doubt that you will be able to delve deep not only into the Abducted by Demons ARC but also into the Cotton drifting ARC and the Curse Killing ARC but because it is such an important key, in order to hide it, there are a large number of fake keys scattered throughout.” all I am going to say is that the author did a good job in hiding it!

Brief explanation of this story:

Keiichi Maebara has just moved to Hinamizawa, a tiny village in a valley set deep within the mountains. Everybody knows everybody there, and his classmates Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika put a lot of effort into making him feel welcome and including him in their club activities.

Unfortunately, the town is not as nice as it first seems. One day, while exploring an illegal garbage dump, Keiichi meets a photographer who tells him the story of a brutal murder that occurred there several years ago. Strangely, none of his new friends are willing to talk about it.

After the photographer disappears, Keiichi starts suspecting his friends of involvement in what he learns are not one but rather a string of mysterious deaths that may somehow be connected to the village’s local deity, Oyashiro-sama. Worse still, he’s afraid he may be next on their hit list!
Overall:

The manga is worth a read, its quite an affective horror/mystery and had been thinking about it for days after mainly trying to work out in my head what information is accurate and what are the false leads. The writer has used a nice effective method of writing a horror story, take something ordinary, normal every day life story then turn it upside down and make it scary.
It helps that its very similar to the normal harem plot you’ve seen and read lots of times before but it slowly turns out this is something different and a lot more terrifying.

It starts with your usual new highschool boy moving intoa  new school and being surrounded by lovely ladies who are your typical harem style girls. Then as the story continues and the horror side starts to slowly inch in, little by little the pretense that this could be your typical slice of line, romantic comedy falls away leaving the fun stuff and making this a really enjoyable read.

Just remember, these two volumes that I’m talking about here are just the beginning (I need more penny’s to buy the next Arc) and something else (while I remember) these two volumes story were by Ryukishi07 and Art by Karin Suzuragi however, the other Manga’s in the series are not all by the same artists or story writers which may put a few different twists as the story progresses.

Higurashi When They Cry is a surprisingly smart series that exceeds expectations. Highly recommended.

I picked up:
Abducted By Demons Arc Volume 1 from Amazon UK, Also available at Amazon USA.
Abducted By Demons Arc Volume 2 from Amazon UK, Also available at Amazon USA.

The Other Arcs (In order):

2  - Cotton Drifting Arc (Watanagashi-hen)
3  - Curse Killing Arc (Tatarigoroshi-hen)
4  - Time Killing Arc (Himatsubushi-hen)
5  - Beyond Midnight Arc (Yoigoshi-hen)
6  - Eye Opening Arc (Meakashi-hen)
7  -Atonement Arc (Tsumihoroboshi-hen)
8  - Massacre Arc (Minagoroshi-hen)
9  - Festival Accompanying Arc (Matsuribayashi-hen)
10 -Demon Exposing Arc (Onisarashi-hen)
11 - Utsutsukowashi-hen *Yet to be reliesed in english
12 - Kokoroiyashi-hen *Yet to be reliesed in english
13 - Hirukowashi-hen *Yet to be reliesed in english
14 - Saikoroshi-hen *Yet to be reliesed in english

 

****

Extra info: There is also an Anime of this Series though I’ve not managed to find anywhere selling it at this point (well at a reasonable price anyway).

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