Thursday, July 28, 2011

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira OVA - 1

Let me start out by explaining that I'm a dilettante when it comes to this series. I've watched every piece of anime that's been produced (and that's a lot) but never touched the game and don't really wade into the whole massive mythos that's sprung up surrounding it - the side projects and doujins and Federica Bernkastel and all that. So I go into this OVA knowing all the characters, but not what to expect.

The quality of the various TV seasons and OVA projects has fluctuated quite a lot, though generally they've been at least decent and occasionally striking a brilliant tone for sheer despair and suspense and shock value. Well, safe to say the first "Kira" OVA is in no danger of doing that - in fact, I'd place it at the bottom of all the anime projects in terms of quality. It's played 100% for comedy, and while that's not the first time a Higurashi anime has done that, it's the first time so much of the humor has flat-out missed.

I'd say this whole 29 minute enterprise was on about the level of an omake. Unfortunately that means they had about three minutes with of material to stretch over the full length of the episode. It consisted almost entirely of Keichi's fantasy sequences, as he suffers through yet another penalty game humiliation at the hands of the girls. Ooichi, Irie and Tomitake show up as the Soul Brothers (appeared in the Hajisarashi-hen story) a kind of Bro's Before Hoes Revenge Squad, dreaming up humiliating punishments for the various girls in the club. That's not a great concept to begin with, but when it descends to the level of Tomitake snapping photos of Rika's (I believe she's 10 years old) exposed butt as she cleans the classroom windows with it, you really wonder what DEEN was thinking here. This has to be anime-original, I assume?

Things don't get much better from there, as the level of imagination that goes into the punishments (even poor Horie Yui isn't immune, as Hanyuu gets sucked into this silliness) is pretty non-existent. It's comedy and it's hentai, which is fine, but it's not especially good at either. While Rika's humiliation was the low point, a close second probably goes to an odd and completely gratuitous scene where Satoshi (at least it's acknowledged that his appearance makes no sense) pops up from nowhere, he and Kei-chan are mysteriously in bunny-girl outfits and Satoshi feeds him yogurt with his mouth.

Hopefully, the rest of the Kira OVAs are considerable more imaginative and smart than this one was. The good news is they won't have an especially high bar to exceed in order to be an improvement.

12 comments:

  1. I was kind of hoping they'd get back to the original thrilling, suspenseful atmosphere and direction that the original and kai had. I'm still hoping it turns out like rei though, with the "comedic" episodes capping the actual story on both ends.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's hope so. I'm fine with a little comic relief even with Higurashi - it needs it - but it has to be executed better than this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Play the game it's much buyer than the horrible anime. Also play Umineko it's explains Bernkastel

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I don't find most of the anime horrible - it's had its ups and downs but I rather like most of it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The anime is OK but the vn explains and goes into much more detail. Especially in the first part of the series. The anime for Umineko no naku koro ni sucked compared to the visual novel. I still think you should play the vn's you can get then on itunes for iPhone/iPod touch.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love Higurashi and its characters. Furude Rika might just be my favorite anime character of all time. Which means this will probably be my first time not watching something out of my love for it...

    I enjoyed all of Rei except the first episode, which left me with distaste. This seems to be the same, except worse. I should pass on it not to dirty my image of the characters, right?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Yaranakya - thanks for commenting!

    If Rika is your favorite character, I think I would skip this one. The phrase "Cannot unsee!" springs to mind. But it's just an anime, and a throwaway at that - if you watch it I think you'll recover.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @anonymous

    I wanted to play the VN too, but do they have the translated version(me no speak japanese). But man did you finish all of them, I mean I think there are whole bunch of them right?

    Regarding Umineko is the same(me no speak japanese). Although I am hoping to hear about the anime green-lit since the last chapter(answer) came out few month back

    Then have you heard of ookami kakushi? Me think whole village like one man is one harem I don't really envy the guy.(because all the man,uncle,aunty are in the harem as well.with only 2 girl)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This isn't anime original, it's an actual arc in Higurashi Rei.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Enzo

    Actually I think it is leading us to a better plot. The hint will be the serious tone at the end. That will continue.(if what my limited knowledge of japanese conclude is real)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hope so, Ikaze, I like humor and I like service, but in this episode they just felt awkward and tasteless.

    ReplyDelete