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When They Cry, Vol. 1
When They Cry Vol 1
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2008     2hr 5min

It?s tough to be the new guy in town, but when Keiichi joins an after school club with four cute girls, he thinks he?s got it made. Then he learns about demonic cults, the failed dam construction project and the murders t...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/30/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 5min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Sadistic murdering with cute characters
lain4ever | Los Angeles, CA | 10/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Higurashi is a lengthy and shocking. Yet, the sadistic (but cute) characters really make this anime hilarious. Yes, there is plenty of killing, but I really enjoyed watching the out-of-place cute youngsters turn into cold-blooded murderers for the most insanely unbelievable reasons.

Meiichi Maebara, a teenage boy, lives in Hinamizawa, a peaceful rural village. He plays and has fun with his friends, all girls. However, he quickly learns that Hinamizawa is a cursed town, in which every year at the Watanagashi Festival at least one person dies.

To make matters worse, his friends are trying to hide the truth from him--that they could have killed those people. Rena keeps creeping up to Maebara with a huge knife, the doctors inject him with needles, and people are dying left and right.

And yet, after Maebara commits suicide by stabbing his throat with his fingernails, the characters come back to life...
Well, not really.

Higurashi no naku koro ni (When They Cry) is actually based on a drama video game. There are many different chapters with different takes on the same story. For the first four chapters, lots of people die, and there is no happy ending. The next four chapters, however, give the reasons for the deaths. And yes, there is a happy ending in the last chapter.

However, this is a surprisingly complex soap opera, involving children who are abused by their aunts and uncles, kill others because they are in love and get possessed by ogre spirits. Yes, maybe this story is a little too unbelievable, but the murderers' motives are so bizarre and strange that the series actually turns into a comedy. The alternative plots are very intriguing, each one revealing another piece to the fascinating plot which involves drugs, UFO crashes and, yes, bioterrorism (don't ask).

This series is crazy, bloody and definitely not for kids. However, its storytelling is very gutsy, original and hilarious. There's nothing better than watching little kids kill each other for the stupidest reasons in a crazy town filled with conspiracies. I highly recommend this."
Shocking storytelling.
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 01/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""When They Cry" is an anime adapted from a popular series of Japanese murder-mystery video games. And how do video game adaptations usually fare, class? Well, if this first volume is any indication, consider the curse shattered. The first 5 episodes of this anime are fabulous and the story is being told in amazingly bold form. It closely resembles both The Wicker Man and Rosemary's Baby in tone and themes, but adds that brand of cloying cuteness that can only be found in anime which only manages to accentuate the disturbing content. This is a series I absolutely cannot wait to see more of. Makes me glad that there are already six volumes out.

Keichi is a transfer student making friends at his new school in the village of Hinamizawa. he's already found his way into a club of energetic girls who play games and enact embarrassing punishments on the loser. It's adorable. But the village has secrets. Lots of 'em. And nearly as many endearing characters to go with those buried secrets. Each year, they hold a festival. Each year somebody dies on that night and another disappears altogether. Nobody talks about it. It is simply dismissed as the curse of the village's guardian deity and those who vanish are referred to as having been "spirited away by the demon". The more Keichi learns, the more frightening this anime becomes. Who are his new friends and why have they been connected to every single victim? "When They Cry" is a tale of paranoia, secrets & lies (gotta have those), mystery, and suspense so thick that a cherubic anime girl could cut with a very large cleaver. And that's just the first arc of a story that will be retold in many different ways. Hopefully, it can maintain some of the freshness and genius of this first arc.

What sets this apart from any other murder-mystery I've seen is that we see the ending (one of many more to come) at the finish of the first four episodes. After that, time is rewound and we are taken back to the beginning to see a different sequence of events and fall in love with the characters all over again in spite of knowing (part of) the horrible truth. The cast bugged me for the first 10 minutes or so with their cutesy character designs and cliche anime mannerisms, but by the end of the first episode, I was hooked. And it wasn't just the people clawing their own throats open. It's the fright of seeing a typically darling girl for this medium turn into a menacing entity for just a second before switching back to her saccharine self. Or the way their pupils narrow cat-like into slits as they innocently (or maybe not) point out similarities between Keichi and the last student to "transfer" away from the school without a trace. The first climax in episode four will drop you jaw, guaranteed. But by the end of the very next twenty minutes, all will be forgiven and you will again be wrapped up in the sweetness of the same characters whose lives you just saw end horrifically.

This is as good a first volume as I've ever seen for an anime series. I will be gobbling up the rest as soon as i can get my hands on them. Anybody looking for a new kind of animated horror, this should be your next stop.

"
Disturbing but great.
Johann K. Schmidt | Seattle, WA | 01/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" or as it has apparently been incorrectly translated into "When they cry" (it should have been "When the Cicadas Cry"). Is a grade A anime, for those of you who enjoy long drawn out stories that keep a central mystery hidden from the viewer until the end of the series (around 50 episodes or so). In that way the series is sort of like "Lost" except far, far, far more violent and disturbing. Though unlike "Lost" this anime does have an ending with an actual answer.

So if you can handle a long drawn out show and have the stomach for some truly brutal violence directed at children or children directed at other children or children directed at adults then by all means get this anime. Not to make it sound like that happens in every scene, most of the show is dedicated towards the relationships between the characters, progress towards figuring out what is going on and usually a problem for that story arc that confronts them, that at least in beginning usually ends badly.

If you're wondering what a Cicadas is. It's an insect that can make a loud buzzing sound. You hear it a lot in this anime and others as the insect enjoys warm tropical weather. So as you can see the title doesn't exactly mean cry, as in I'm sad, it also means cry like a baby kitten's cry for its mother. Get it, cry = sound. The whole title is a round about way of saying summer time, which is what the characters of this anime find themselves reliving over and over.

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