Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (ひぐらしのなく頃に, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, lit. When the Cicadas Cry), known in English as Higurashi When They Cry, is a Japanese media mix franchise created by 07th Expansion. It is a part of 07th Expansion's wider When They Cry franchise. The story focuses on the inhabitants of Hinamizawa, a remote village shrouded in mystery and and fraught with a dark history. Each story arc is self-contained, telling differing versions of the same span of time.
The story was originally conceived while author Ryukishi07 was in college under the working title Hinamizawa Bus Stop. The story was later expanded on and reworked into the first major story arc of the original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni sound novel, Onikakushi-hen, released in 2002. The series continued for a total of eight sound novels, all of which were written by Ryukishi07 and published by 07th Expansion. Square Enix, Ichijinsha, Kadokawa Shoten, and ASCII Media Works have all published manga adaptations of the series, all written by Ryukishi07. Kodansha Box published a series of light novels also written by Ryukishi07. The series has also been adapted to anime, live-action television and live-action film. A third person shooter based on the franchise was developed by Twilight Frontier and released on August 13 2006.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983 in a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa (雛見沢) which is based on the village of Shirakawa, Gifu, and has a population of approximately 2,000. Keiichi Maebara moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Houjou. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser – usually him). Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the evening of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro. In each story arc, he or one of his friends becomes paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed.
List of sound novels
List of When They Cry visual novels
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou (compilation)
In other media
|First aired||Last aired|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni||26||April 4, 2006||September 26, 2006|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai||24||July 6, 2007||December 17, 2007|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei||5||February 15, 2009||August 21, 2009|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira||4||July 21, 2011||January 25, 2012|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku||1||August 15, 2013||August 15, 2013|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou||24||October 1, 2020||March 18, 2021|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu||15||July 1, 2021||September 30, 2021|
The first anime series produced by Studio Deen and directed by Chiaki Kon, covers the four question arcs and the first two answer arcs. The original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime adaptation aired in Japan between April 4 and September 26, 2006, comprising twenty-six episodes. Most of the characters were used by the same voice actors for the drama CD series. The series is available on DVD in Japan, France and North America (following Geneon Entertainment's licensing of the series). However, Geneon's U.S. division announced that it discontinued all ongoing anime projects in September 2007, including Higurashi on November 6, 2007. Only three of a planned six DVDs of Higurashi were released, under the title When They Cry: Higurashi. On July 3, 2008, Geneon and Funimation announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon still retained the license, Funimation assumed exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Higurashi was one of the several titles involved in the deal. Funimation released a complete box set of the series in August 2009. However, in August 2011, the rights to the series expired due to low sales. Sentai Filmworks has licensed both anime series.
People in Japan, who had bought all nine of the DVDs of the first season, had the chance to receive a special anime DVD entitled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gaiden Nekogoroshi-hen, based on the short story that was given to those who had bought the manga. Despite being a bonus for the first season (and having the first season's opening and closing sequences), Nekogoroshi-hen featured the updated animation style as seen in the second season.
A continuation of the series, based on one new story arc and the final two original answer arcs of the franchise, entitled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, aired in Japan between July 6 and December 17, 2007, containing twenty-four episodes. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the second anime series. The second season featured slightly different character designs than the first season and better animation. As the result of a murder case in September 2007 in Japan involving the murder of a police officer by his sixteen-year-old daughter with an axe, as well as the Japanese media relating the case to anime such as Higurashi, the latest episode screenings of both Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai and another anime at the time, School Days, were canceled by a number of stations, due to excessive violence. However, AT-X, TV Saitama and Sun TV announced that they would be airing the episodes as planned. Later, TV Saitama announced that they had ceased broadcasting of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai from episode thirteen onwards. Additionally, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai had its opening altered when it re-aired. Originally, a bloody bill hook cleaver (as used by Rena) was shown halfway through the opening; it was replaced with an image of a van from the series' fictional junk yard.
An original video animation series, entitled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei, was released on February 25, 2009, and is directed by Toshifumi Kawase. The series also started a limited broadcasting in Bandai Channel prior to DVD release. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the Rei OVAs. The OVA contains three story arcs, Hajisarashi-hen, Saikoroshi-hen and Hirukowashi-hen, with Saikoroshi-hen concluding in three episodes, and the other two arcs concluding in one episode each. Hajisarashi-hen was originally a light novel included with the limited edition of the PlayStation 2 game Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri, and took the place of Batsukoishi-hen from the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei fandisc. Frontier Works announced another original video anime series, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira in March 2011, which marks the tenth anniversary of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. An anime titled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku: Outbreak, adapted from Ryukishi 07's short story "Higurashi Outbreak", was announced in December 2012 and was later released in August 2013.
On January 6, 2020, 07th Expansion and Kadokawa announced that a new anime project by Passione is in production. Akio Watanabe served as a character designer, and Infinite served as a producer. Keiichiro Kawaguchi directed the series, with Naoki Hayashi handling series composition and Kenji Kawai returning as music composer. The main cast all reprised their original roles. The series was set premiere in July 2020 but was delayed to October 2020 due to COVID-19. Funimation acquired the series under the title Higurashi: When They Cry - New, and streamed the series on its website in North America and the British Isles, and on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand. A second season, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu, was announced shortly after the conclusion of Higurashi: When They Cry - New. Sotsu will begin airing in July 2021.
- Manga released in English
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Yoigoshi-hen (1, 2)
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Onisarashi-hen (1, 2)
- Manga not released in English
- Hinamizawa Teiryuujo
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Jan
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Jan: Tsubamegaeshi-hen
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kizuna
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode X
There are eight main titles in the Higurashi manga series, spanning the four question arcs and the four answer arcs. Each question arc manga are compiled into two bound volumes. The first two answer arc manga are compiled into four volumes, meanwhile Minagoroshi-hen is compiled into six volumes, and Matsuribayashi-hen into eight. The manga uses multiple artists between the various arcs. Karin Suzuragi drew Onikakushi-hen, Tsumihoroboshi-hen, and Matsuribayashi-hen, Yutori Hōjō drew Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, Jirō Suzuki drew Tatarigoroshi-hen, Yoshiki Tonogai drew Himatsubushi-hen, and Hanase Momoyama drew Minagoroshi-hen. Another manga entitled Kokoroiyashi-hen (心癒し編, Heart Healing Chapter) is drawn by Yuna Kagesaki and began in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace on August 26, 2008. The manga series was licensed by Yen Press for English distribution in North America under the title Higurashi: When They Cry. The manga was initially serialized in Yen Press' Yen Plus anthology magazine, the first issue of which went on sale on July 29, 2008. The first English volume of the manga was originally planned to be sold in early 2009, but was released in November 2008.
There are three side stories related to the main Higurashi story, but with new characters. The first, named Onisarashi-hen (鬼曝し編, Demon Exposing Chapter), is drawn by En Kitō and was serialized between March 2005 and July 2006 in Comp Ace. The next, entitled Yoigoshi-hen (宵越し編, Overnight Chapter), is drawn by Mimori and was serialized between in GFantasy between 2006 and 2007. The last side story is known as Utsutsukowashi-hen (現壊し編, Reality Breaking Chapter) is also drawn by En Kitō and was serialized in Comp Ace between 2006 and 2007.
A manga adaptation of Higurashi's precursor Hinamizawa Teiryūjo began serialization in the debut issue of Square Enix's Big Gangan magazine, sold on October 25, 2011.
There were two official sets of drama CDs released, one by Wayuta, and the other by Frontier Works. Wayuta has released seven CDs since May 27, 2005 starting with Onikakushi-ken and going through the main story arcs from the visual novel series to Tsumihoroboshi-hen on February 22, 2008. Two more drama CDs will be released by Wayuta to cover Minagoroshi-hen and Matsuribayashi-hen. Wayuta has already released two bonus drama CDs named Append Disc 01 released on December 29, 2005 at Comiket 69, and Append Disc 02 released on October 26, 2007. Wayuta also released two drama CDs covering a new arc named Kataribanashi-hen (語咄し編), the first on April 25, 2007, and the second on May 9, 2008. Frontier Works released two CDs, starting with an anthology piece called Anthology Drama CD 1 on December 22, 2005, followed by a sequel entitled Anthology Drama CD 2 on March 24, 2006. There have also been numerous drama CDs released during special events such as at Comiket or through magazine subscription.
There are four light novels which contain additional illustrations by five different artists, and seventeen novelizations of the separate visual novel arcs. Each novel is written by Ryukishi07. The light novels were all released as limited editions not sold in stores. The first one, Nekogoroshi-hen, was illustrated by Karin Suzuragi, Yutori Hōjō, and Jirō Suzuki, and was sent out to those who bought the first volume of the manga versions of Onikakushi-hen, Watanagashi-hen, and Tatarigoroshi-hen. One needed to send the cutout stamps in all three of these manga by the deadline to receive this special short story. The second light novel, Kuradashi-hen, was illustrated by Yoshiki Tonogai, Karin Suzuki, Yutori Hōjō, and Mimori. This novel was sent out to those who bought the second volume of the manga version of Himatsubushi-hen, and the first volumes of the manga Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Meakashi-hen, and Yoigoshi-hen. One needed to send the cutout stamps in all four of these manga by a certain deadline to receive this special short story. The third light novel, Hajisarashi-hen, contained illustrations by Rato, and was included with the limited edition of the PlayStation 2 game Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri. The fourth novel, Kuradashi-hen Zoku is a sequel to Kuradashi-hen and was sent out to those who bought the second volumes of the manga Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Meakashi-hen, and Yoigoshi-hen. One needed to send the cutout stamps in all four of these manga by a certain deadline to receive this special short story. The light novels were published by Square Enix and released in 2006 and 2007.
Kodansha Box released seventeen novelizations of the visual novel arcs between August 2007 and March 2009, starting with Onikakushi-hen and ending with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei. Most of the story arcs are divided into two volumes, except for Himatsubushi-hen and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei which are compiled into one volume each, and Matsuribayashi-hen which is compiled into three volumes. The novels included illustrations by Tomohi.
A live action film adaptation of the series entitled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (ひぐらしのなく頃に, also known as Shrill Cries of Summer internationally), directed by Ataru Oikawa, premiered in Japanese theaters on May 10, 2008. The film is an adaptation of the first story arc, Onikakushi-hen. Gōki Maeda plays Keiichi, Airi Matsuyama plays Rena, Rin Asuka plays Mion, Aika plays Rika, and Erena Ono plays Satoko. The film grossed ¥200 million at the Japanese box office.
A sequel, also live action, was released in Japanese theaters on April 18, 2009 and is entitled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Chikai (ひぐらしのなく頃に誓, also known as Shrill Cries: Reshuffle internationally). The sequel is based on the Tsumihoroboshi-hen arc.
A live-action television series adaptation premiered in Japan on May 20, 2016 on cable channel BS SKY PerfecTV!|. The cast includes the members of NGT48. A four-episode sequel premiered on November 25, 2016.
A dōjin game named Higurashi Daybreak, based on the Higurashi series and featuring an original scenario by Ryukishi 07, was developed by Twilight Frontier, the creators of Immaterial and Missing Power and Eternal Fighter Zero. The gameplay is that of a versus third-person shooter, in which most of the characters of the main Higurashi series are playable. Higurashi Daybreak was first released on August 13, 2006, and an expansion pack followed on April 22, 2007.
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