I just finished watching 'When the Cicadas Cry' a few minutes ago, and I just wanna share some of my thoughts on the main episodes of the series. I won't spoil anything in this blog, just so you know. Also, I guess most English audience fans know the series as 'Higurashi', which is the name of a breed of cicadas only in Japan. So if you saw that, that's what I'm talking about here. I haven't watched the OVA episodes yet, I'm just too tired to keep watchin any more right now, and I'll just watch those tomorrow. Anyway, I was gonna do a professional review of it, and then just link it here in case people wanted to see it, but since the series is like 3 years old, that would be kinda irrelevant at this point. lol. Just so you know, my real reveiws are better quality, but I'm just really tired right now, and GS gives me trouble when I try to do anything special in my blogs, so it's not worth the hassle right now.
First, I gotta say that it was a very good series for most of it. There's a few parts that I think they just needed to cut the filler and just get to the point. I mean, yeah, I get the reasons they would show them just playing club activities and so on in between plot. It gives a sense of humanity, and gives a feeling that you can relate to the characters. That's fine, but it just slows everything down way too much. I mean, there were so many episodes where at the point that I saw it was a new chapter, I almost just skipped the whole episode since every first part to each chapter is 80% filler and the other 8 minutes was important plot. Filler is something that I have hated in anime ever since I was in 6th grade. I especially hate filler in anime adaptions of manga series. It's just a personal problem I have, so I can't really hold it against the series since they did keep very important story in those same episodes. I'm also very happy the filler wasn't anywhere near as bad as The Endless Eight.
The multiple chapters were a very nice element for the story. It kept me guessing for a long time, but eventually I got what they were doing with that. I also started to think they were going somewhere else with that set up, but I was happy to see I was wrong, since it was something a little better than what I expected. At the same time, some chapters were just annoying as a whole. The Satako chapter just pissed me off. In fact, everything Satako was involved in pissed me off. I can't stand characters like her. The scene with her near the end of Shion's chapter was the worst part of that character for me. I can't stand characters that do nothing but whine, and then they think they are better for suddenly stopping. F*ck that. Again, this is something that irritates me in real life, with real life people, so again, I can't blame the anime for my own irritations. Another thing I really liked was the Shion chapter in general. It seemed very well thought out, and Shion was a way better character than I first expected her to be. She had way more development story wise than I first expected, and her chapter was by far my favorite. It kept me guessing at a few parts, and it threw me off my trail of figuring out the mystery a few times with every twist Shion ran into in her discoveries.
The entire parasite thing freaked me out. I never mention it to anyone, but I actually am terrified that something like that could happen in real ife. Not to the extent of the purpose of the parasites that Rena talks about in the last chapter, but the whole parasites living and forcing their way back in no matter what. It just freaks me the f*ck out. lol. I'm not sure if the series was ment to be horror or not, but that was pretty much the only part that actually got t me. The psychological references were very well done. I'm a big fan of anything like that, and I was very happy with how they handled that kind of thing with each character, and some of the plot developments. It's really hard to go any further into that without spoiling a ton of stuff, but I really wish I could since I have so much I loved just with that part of it.
The other major thing I wanna talk about was how they tied all the chapters together. At first, I had an idea of what was going on, but as time went on, it started to not fit, so I just kinda sat and waited to see. Eventually, I think after the Shion chapter, things didn't fit my theory of just showing new events from the same days. Without spoiling, I liked and disliked what it turned out ot be for different reasons. First why I liked it. The main reason was, it fits the story well, it keeps continuity, and it fits what was going on with Rika. I can't really think of a way to explain it without just giving it away unfortunately, so I can't really talk about anything specific.
Now for what I didn't like. I'm a huge fan of old horro, and pschological drama. I have watched literally every episode of 'The Twilight Zone' at least 20 times each, as well as tons of other things of the same genres as 'When the Cicadas Cry'. Because of this, the ending was very predictable for me. Again, going back to the Shion chapter, that's where it all clicked for me. Eventually, it was just the only thing that was left that could fit. don't get me wrong, I really liked the ending and all, but I've seen it before a few too many times in different things. I think at least 4 or 5 episodes of Twilight Zone end that way. At the same time, I'm kinda disappointed with it. Rika's thoughts to herself in the last scene just kinda... I don't know how to word it correctly. It's like, she was confirming what I figured out already, and what the last episode confirms, but at the same time, it feels like there should be something else to it. Like so now it's her turn? Why is this happening? Why doesn't the god change it? Exactly how much is this way? I know if people read this they might get the wrong idea of what I'm trying to say at that last part, but I can't put it into the right words without giving away the entire last scene. I think the only way I can try to word it right, would be to say that I want more out of it.
The last scene accomplishes many things though, which is very good. It ties together the chapters, it confirms what is really going on in the village, and it explains why some things just don't seem to fit in the theories I had along the way. Without spoiling it, the ending is something I don't see very often personally in any kind of entertainment. It has an ending, but it has a special way of closing things. The only things I can compare it to are the ending from the series 'The Maxx' (The comic ending, not the cartoon adaption one), and the ending in the original 'Rozen Maiden' manga (BTW, the manga's story and events are completely different from that garbage anime adaption. I just need to clerify that for the sake of the example.) These are also psychological series, even though Rozen Maiden may not seem like it till the way later chapters if you don't pick up on what each doll represents right away, so maybe this kind of ending is just the standard thing for this kind of genre. Again, I can't go into too much detail just because it would give away parts of each of those endings, but I love when a series ends this way. It just feels more unique, and it's nice to see when someone can actually pull it off correctly.
Overall, I really recommend that you check out the series if you like psychological drama. It kept me guessing for a good majority of the story, and I was very surprised with how good the series turned out to be compared to what I thought of it from a few random clips I saw every now and then. It get's a little boring durring some of the filler parts, but there are no full filler episodes, or even any scenes that are just pure filler without leading to something important. Some of it is a little predictable, but it does a good job of making sure nothing is left unfinished or unanswered by the end.