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Higurashi – When They Cry (Wataganashi-hen)

December 24, 2009

Dat doll. Dat freaking little doll. ;~;

I’ve recently finished the second arc of Higurashi, titled “Wataganashi-hen,” which translates to “Cotton Drifting Arc,” which can also translate to “Entrails Drifting Arc.” Yup. Japanese is a crazy language. For example, did you know that “Furude,” “Kimiyoshi,” and “Mion” all have the characters for “demon” in them in some shape or form? Looking at those names from an English perspective means that you’d never notice that!

But I digress from the point. Wataganashi-hen is the arc that explores Hinamizawa’s dark history and setting, as well as the relationship the Sonozaki family has with Hinamizawa and the world beyond. In short, this is Mion’s arc. Or Mion and Shion’s arc if you prefer. Whichever one is fine.

The first half of Wataganashi-hen is similar to the first half of Onikakushi-hen, in that it’s all fun and games as we get dragged around with Keiichi into epic club games. But the plot twist is that instead of having club activities at school, we have club activities in Okinawa! But we’ve already seen this part in the anime, so I don’t really need to go over it that much. Except the VN version is way superior to the anime version and stuff.

Fast forward all the way until Keiichi meets Shion. Shion (or actually Mion I think) is a lot more moe in the VN than in the anime. SHE’S LEIK, SO KAWAII~!! But yeah. The VN scenes between Shion and Keiichi are infinitely more cute and heartwarming than the anime scenes. One huge difference between the VN and all the other forms of adaptation (manga and anime) is that the curry battle was cut out.  The anime and manga instead made it so Keiichi lost his food in a generic off-screen club game to the other members.BUT  DAT CURRY. NEVER DISRESPECT THE CURRY. OTHERWISE CIEL CHIE-SENSEI WILL MURDER YOU.

It ended up with Shion delivering a lunchbox to Keiichi in the end. But the way Keiichi returned it was different too, since instead of heading off to Angel Mort to go see Shion to return it, he instead gives it back to Mion at school in a TIP. Instead, Keiichi goes to see Shion for some other reason, which escapes me at the moment.

One thing I’d like to say about the upcoming scene is that it’s VASTLY superior to the anime/manga. This is the scene where Keiichi merrily skips to Angel Mort to see Shion, but ends up toppling over a bunch of motorcycles. For some reason, the anime and manga made it look somewhat humorous, by giving those thugs ridiculous character designs and facial expressions. In the VN, it actually felt threatening. If I didn’t know Shion would come to rescue Keiichi, I’d be thinking that Keiichi would’ve really gotten into some serious trouble. Especially since Keiichi actually got hit in the face in the VN, whereas in the anime/manga he was only verbally threatened.

Fast forward to the next scene worth mentioning. When Keiichi discovers what he has to apologize to Mion for. Yes, I’m skipping the SUPER ANGEL MORT BATTLE because I feel that the bastard otaku characters aren’t worth mentioning. Dem fat little bastards. Besides, all that scene did was make Rika more moe. But the scene after SUPER ANGEL MORT BATTLE was really touching and sad. The epic piano music that played in the background really carried a lot of emotion, and it was an incredibly serious and touching scene. At least, until the end of it where Shion goes “lolI’m really Shion i troll u.” Yet another example of how easily the mood can change in Higurashi.

And then, finally, the day of Wataganashi comes forward and all sorts of stuff starts happening. Those people who say that Higurashi isn’t a horror are lying. Because if the entire scene where Takano tells the story of Hinamizawa’s past in the sacred storage wasn’t meant to scare the crap out of the readers, then I’ll go scratch my throat out. Because that scene was creepy. Especially with dat music. It had more Hanyuu foreshadowing and stuff too.

MURDER MURDER BLAH PARANOIA BLAH IT MUST BE SO IT MUST BE SO IT MUST BE SO IT MUST BE SO IT MUST BE IT MUST BE IT MUST BE IT MUST BE IT MUST BE IT MUST IT MUST IT MUST IT MUST IT ETC ETC. FAST FORWAAAAARRRRRDDDDDDDD.

That scene where Keiichi runs off to the woods and Rena finds and comforts him was really touching and sad. Rena’s a really good character compared to her anime counterpart. All she’s really known for in the anime is “USO DA!” but with the VN, I see her as a wonderful and reliable friend. The anime cut out so much of Rena’s characterization. So much. So. Freaking. Much. YOU DON’T EXIST ANYMORE ANIME. DEEEEEEEEENNNNNN!!! But yeah, Rena is a wonderful friend. So wonderful. I wish I had a friend like her. ;~;

On the subject of DEEN’s lack of ability to properly characterize a character, Ooshi is a pretty interesting guy. In the anime he’s just that generic cop guy who’s there to do his job, but you can actually sense his desire to put an end to Oyashiro-sama’s curse and how he goes about trying to solve it. Ooishi’s an interesting guy.

Then epic confrontation with Mion/Shion/whatever happens on the phone. Dat song in the background. Dat song. Higurashi has a lot of good tracks. AND DEN THOSE EYES! DEM UNNECESSARY EYES! Seriously, those eyes were in the manga too. What was the point? Are they trying to say that someone’s watching Keiichi or something? Hrmm…

Skip to the finale of Wataganashi-hen. When Mion explains about the history of her family and the demon she bared within her. Again, DAT SONG. I actually got teary eyed during that scene just because of how emotional everything was. I really can’t describe why it was so emotional. I can say this though, the anime lacks any of that emotion. THE ANIME DOESN’T EXIST BLARGH.

Then the scene where Mion ties Keiichi up and describes how she’ll torture him while Shion screams in the background. In the anime (which doesn’t exist anymore) DEEN decided to make the whole scene a nightmare-fueled horror, but the whole scene in the VN made it come off as…sad. The reader didn’t feel scared of the torture that was about to happen, but instead sad at how everything was turning out, and how Mion lost herself to the demon inside of her. It was really sad.

And then the stabbing scene that came after that one. That was sad too. Although I liked how in the manga he had a soliloquy on how he was afraid of giving the doll to Mion because he was afraid things would be different between them. But the doll scene was handled better in the VN. Dat doll. DAT DOLL. *cries*

So there’s my impressions on the second arc of Higurashi, Wataganashi-hen. All in all, I like it way better than Onikakushi-hen. Heck, because it was so awesome, the knowledge I got from the Answer Arc for actually slipped my mind. And then I remembered that information. And I raged. DAMN YOU FOR SPOILING ME DEEEEEEEEENNNNNN!!!!!!!

To Tatarigoroshi-hen!

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One comment

  1. I actually remembered that damn information,Hugging deen ruins everything.



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