Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou

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Higurashi: When They Cry - New
New higu anime.jpg
Promotional image from Kadokawa
ひぐらしのなく頃に業
(Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou)
GenreMystery, Psychological horror, Supernatural
Anime television series
Music byKenji Kawai
StudioPassione
Licensed byFunimation (North America)
AnimeLab (Australia, NZ)
MediaLink Entertainment Ltd (SE Asia)
Original runOctober 1, 2020 - ongoing
Episodes24

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou (ひぐらしのなく頃に業 lit. When the Cicadas Cry Karma?), licensed in English as Higurashi: When They Cry - New, is a 2020 sequel to the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni visual novel and 2006 anime created by Studio DEEN. The new project, animated by Passione, began airing on October 1, 2020.

Plot

On one hot summer day in 1983, a transfer student named Maebara Keiichi comes to a peaceful rural village in Hinamizawa. There, he befriends his classmates Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko. Accepted as a full-fledged member of the "club," Keiichi and the gang plays all sorts of activities ranging from card and board games to hide-and-seek. But just as Keiichi was beginning to be assimilated in simple rural life, he stumbles upon the dark history of Hinamizawa. As Keiichi dives deeper into the mystery, he finds that his new found friends may not be all what they claim to be.

Characters

Main characters

Keiichi Maebara (前原 圭一 Maebara Keiichi?)
The son of a famous artist, his family recently moved to Hinamizawa after a violent incident event involving him in their hometown. His charisma and remarkable talent for rhetoric allow him to easily make new friends and become popular in the village, not to mention win some of the club activities.
Rena Ryuuguu (竜宮 レナ Ryūgū Rena?)
Rena is a girl in the same grade level as Keiichi and the main female protagonist of the question arcs. She is very kind and takes care of Keiichi whenever possible, but is also naïve and is usually subject to light teasing by Keiichi. She is distinguished by her obsession with things she perceives as adorable, calling them kāii (かぁいい?, a slurred form of kawaii (かわいい?), meaning "cute"), which are usually moekko characters or items she finds while scouring the local dump.
Mion Sonozaki (園崎 魅音 Sonozaki Mion?)
Mion is the oldest kid in Keiichi's class. As the elder, she is the class president and everyone looks up to her as the leader. Her social skills are on par with Keiichi, whom she highly respects as a friend and rival (though it is later shown that she is in love with him). She acts like a tomboy, and calls herself oji-san (meaning old man), but has a hidden girlish side. She is next in line to be the head of the Sonozaki household, one of the Three Families which holds tremendous influence in Hinamizawa.
Satoko Houjou (北条 沙都子 Hōjō Satoko?)
Satoko is a younger classmate in Keiichi's school. She has a distinctive style of speech, ending all of her sentences with ~wa, and is known for her boastful laugh. In spite of her young age, she seems to have an impressive arm strength and is quite clever in setting up traps, and likes to practice on Keiichi.
Rika Furude (古手 梨花 Furude Rika?)
Rika is a younger classmate in Keiichi's school, and is in the same grade level as Satoko. Naturally, she is great friends with her, as they live together in the same house. She is revered by the villagers as the heir of the local shrine, and plays the role of a miko in the annual Watanagashi Festival. She has been the head of the Furude house since her parents died, but rarely attends town meetings due to her young age. Rika occasionally uses nonsense words such as mii (みぃ〜?) and nipah (にぱ〜?). Having previously overcome the traumas of June 1983, Rika is once again forced into a loop of fragments alongside Hanyuu.

Recurring characters

Kuraudo Ooishi (大石 蔵人 Ōishi Kuraudo?)
Kuraudo Ooishi is a veteran police investigator at Okinomiya who has vowed to solve the mystery of the Hinamizawa murders before his retirement, to avenge the first victim who he was friends with. Due to his uncouth tactics and the lengths that he goes to in order to solve the mystery, he is looked upon as a nuisance by the villagers, especially the Sonozaki family.
Jirou Tomitake (富竹 ジロウ Tomitake Jirō?)
Jirou Tomitake is a freelance photographer who occasionally visits Hinamizawa. Despite being only an occasional visitor, he seems to know a fair amount about the darker elements of Hinamizawa's past.
Hanyuu (羽入 Hanyū?)
A goddess accompanying Rika's journey through various fragments.

Production

The anime project was announced by 07th Expansion and Kadokawa on January 6, 2020. Akio Watanabe serves as the new character designer and Keiichiro Kawaguchi serves as director. Kenji Kawai is returning as music composer and the original cast from the 2006 anime all reprise their roles. The series was originally slated for release in July 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An official trailer was released by Funimation on July 3, 2020, citing a Fall release date. On July 6, 2020, the release date was narrowed to October 2020.[1] On August 21, 2020, a collaborative event promoting the release of Higurashi: When They Cry - New and the mobile game SINoALICE took place. On September 19, 2020, Hong Kong distributor MediaLink Entertainment Limited announced it would simulcast Higurashi: When They Cry - New.[2]

Episodes

No.TitleOriginal air date
1 "Demon-Deceiving Chapter, Part 1"
"Onidamashi-hen, Part 1" (鬼騙し編其ノ壱) 
October 1, 2020
Keiichi Maebara and his friends, Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rika Furude, enjoy their life in rural Hinamizawa. While Keiichi and Rena are spending time together at the dam construction site, Keiichi meets Jirou Tomitake, a traveling photographer who is visiting Hinamizawa. In response to a joke Keiichi tells, Tomitake offhandedly mentions a gruesome death that had recently taken place. Keiichi attempts to find out more information about this but finds his friends are unwilling to reveal anything about it. Later, Keiichi discovers a news magazine detailing a violent dismemberment that took place some time prior. 
2 "Demon-Deceiving Chapter, Part 2"
"Onidamashi-hen, Part 2" (鬼騙し編其ノ弐) 
October 8, 2020
Rika awakens in the Sea of Fragments and learns that she will, once again, be made to endure the cyclical events of June 1983. Keiichi expresses his doubts about Tomitake, though Mion insists that his suspicious nature is due to his attempts to attract women. On June 19, the day of the Watanagashi Festival, Keiichi and his friends watch Rika's ceremonial performance while Tomitake leaves the festival to meet with Miyo Takano. 
3 "Demon-Deceiving Chapter, Part 3"
"Onidamashi-hen, Part 3" (鬼騙し編其ノ参) 
October 15, 2020

Keiichi Maebara spends time at the Watanagashi Festival with his friends, though he eventually winds up alone. While walking, he briefly sees Jirou Tomitake and Miyo Takano in private conversation. The next day, detective Kuraudo Ooishi confronts Keiichi at school and asks if he knows either Tomitake or Takano. Ooishi informs him that both Tomitake and Takano have been missing since the night of the festival and asks that Keiichi keep their meeting a secret. Later, Keiichi asks Rena if she's hiding anything from him. Rena asks him the same question and becomes angered when he lies. Rena reveals that she knows about Keiichi's meeting with Ooishi and claims both of them have secrets they are keeping.

That night, Ooishi calls Keiichi and reveals Rena's troubled past in Ibaraki. Keiichi's father brings him tea and informs Keiichi that he had sent Rena up to his room. Keiichi realizes that Rena overheard his conversation with Ooishi. 
4 "Demon-Deceiving Chapter, Part 4"
"Onidamashi-hen, Part 4" (鬼騙し編其ノ四) 
October 22, 2020

On June 23, 1983, an unwell Keiichi Maebara goes to the Irie Clinic but finds it under extensive renovation. While at school, he tells his friends about his fever. Rika pulls Keiichi aside and asks if there is anything bothering him. He confesses to being scared of Rena, though Rika tries to convince him of Rena's innocence. When Keiichi arrives home, he learns that his parents had to suddenly leave for Tokyo and won't return until the following night. Rena shows up at Keiichi's house soon after with a large dinner. Initially fearful, Keiichi agrees to let her inside. While Keiichi watches TV, Rena opens her dinner, revealing a litany of torture implements. Keiichi enters the kitchen and finds Rena clawing at her neck. Rena attacks him with a knife and Keiichi defends himself with a clock.

Keiichi awakens in the hospital two days later. Mion informs him that Rena died from her injuries. Furthermore, Rika and Satoko were found dead in their home the day after Rena and Keiichi's fight. 
5 "Cotton-Deceiving Chapter, Part 1"
"Watadamashi-hen, Part 1" (綿騙し編其ノ壱) 
October 29, 2020

On June 12, 1983, Keiichi Maebara and the other members of the club attend a competition at Da Vinci, a shop owned by the Sonozaki family. The store owner gives everyone except Mion Sonozaki a doll. Keiichi, not thinking he'll find a use for his, gives his doll to Mion. Later, at Angel Mort, Keiichi meets Shion Sonozaki, Mion's twin sister, though he believes that Shion is actually Mion pretending to be effeminate.

That night, Shion visits Keiichi with a prepared dinner box as thanks for the doll he gave Mion. The next day, Keiichi gives the empty box to Mion and thanks her for the food. Later, in Okinomiya, Keiichi accidentally knocks over a series of motorcycles belonging to a group of delinquents. Shion intervenes and scares the delinquents off with the help of several other bystanders. 
6 "Cotton-Deceiving Chapter, Part 2"
"Watadamashi-hen, Part 2" (綿騙し編其ノ弐) 
November 5, 2020

Kuraudo Ooishi breaks up the fight between the townspeople of Okinomiya and Keiichi. Keiichi and Shion Sonozaki go to Angel Mort to eat. Shion tells Keiichi about the Dam War, describing it as a form of collective action that the villagers of Hinamizawa took against city politicians. When Shion is called away for work, Keiichi refers to her as "Mion". Shion calls Keiichi that night and asks him to come to Angel Mort the next day to help taste test desserts.

At the restaurant, Keiichi attempts to stop a perverted customer from molesting Shion but is assaulted. Keiichi and Shion walk around the city afterwards, admiring items in various shops. They come across Da Vinci and Shion asks Keiichi to buy her a doll. She points to the same doll that he handed Mion several days prior. Keiichi finds Mion working at Da Vinci and is flustered to learn that the girl he has been talking to has been Shion the whole time.

On June 18, 1983, Keiichi assists the villagers of Hinamizawa with preparations for the Watanagashi Festival. While there, Keiichi, Shion, and Mion meet Jirou Tomitake and Miyo Takano. Ooishi briefly joins the conversation and Shion proclaims her hopes for the Festival to pass "without incident". Mion attempts to drag Keiichi away from the conversation but is unsuccessful.

On the night of the Festival, Keiichi meets up with the other members of the club. Shion finds Keiichi and lures him away from the Festival to watch Tomitake and Takano break into the Saiguden. 
7 "Cotton-Deceiving Chapter, Part 3"
"Watadamashi-hen, Part 3" (綿騙し編其ノ参) 
November 12, 2020

Keiichi Maebara, Shion Sonozaki, and Miyo Takano look around the Saiguden. Miyo recites an old story about Onigafuchi, culminating in the modern-day worship of Oyashiro. Jirou Tomitake keeps watch outside but rushes in after Shion accidentally knocks over and breaks a statue of Oyashiro. Jirou determines that the statue had already been broken well beforehand and the group leaves. Jirou and Miyo leave and Shion playfully warns Keiichi to keep quiet about where they had been.

Keiichi meets up with Rika Furude, Rena Ryuuguu, and Mion Sonozaki. Rika asks if Keiichi saw her dance and he claims it was flawless, though the others are suspicious of this answer as Rika made a specific mistake during the dance that Keiichi was unaware of. Mion asks if Keiichi ran into Shion, Miyo, or Jirou, and Keiichi claims he did not.

Later, Keiichi runs into detective Ooishi Kuraudo. Ooishi also asks if Keiichi saw Miyo or Jirou, which he again denies. Ooishi reveals that he saw the four of them at the Saiguden and leaves. That night, Shion calls Keiichi and informs him that Miyo and Jirou stole one of the festival trucks and disappeared shortly after the festival. Shion is fearful that the pair were targeted by the curse of Oyashiro for breaking into the Saiguden and worries that she and Keiichi are similarly in danger.

The next day, June 20th, Keiichi learns that the town mayor, Kiichirou Kimiyoshi, has gone missing. Keiichi tries to clandestinely tell Rika about the his trip to the Saiguden, causing Rika to break her pretense and reveal her belief that this time loop is already doomed. 

References

  1. higu_anime (6 July 2020). "放送時期決定" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. "Ani-One Simulcasts Higurashi: When They Cry - NEW Anime".