“Higurashi When They Cry,” a Japanese murder mystery, debuted in the early 2000s and has since gained substantial popularity. This success has led to the creation of an anime series based on the original visual novel, as well as a plethora of additional related content.
For anime enthusiasts, delving into the expansive world of Higurashi is a captivating experience. However, if you’re new to it, you might be wondering where to begin. Luckily, binge-watching Higurashi is straightforward, and here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you get the most out of it.
Higurashi Watch Order
To fully immerse yourself in the Higurashi universe, it’s advisable to follow the release order. This is because the series was launched in chronological sequence, obviating the need to skip around within its various seasons.
1. When They Cry (2006):
Based on the narrative of the visual novel series, the inaugural anime adaptation of Higurashi When They Cry was introduced in 2006. Comprising 26 episodes, it offers an excellent introduction to the series’ world and introduces its central characters.
The storyline revolves around a group of friends residing in the village of Hinamizawa, where things are far from ordinary. Strange events and enigmatic deaths spanning four years form the backdrop of this gripping narrative.
*When They Cry* can be acquired on Amazon Video.
2. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Nekogoroshi-hen (2007):
This special episode bridges the narrative gap between the first and second seasons. Dubbed the “Cat Killing Chapter,” it follows Keiichi and his friends as they explore an abandoned village and stumble upon a haunted quarry.
While not essential for comprehending the main series, if you’re aiming to absorb as much Higurashi content as possible, including this special is recommended.
Currently, there isn’t an official streaming platform for this OVA, but it can be found online.
3. When They Cry: Kai (2007):
The Higurashi saga persists in *Kai* as the group of friends remains ensconced in the seemingly unending summer of 1983. Consisting of 24 episodes, *When They Cry: Kai* serves as the second installment of the anime.
If you relished the original Higurashi series, this continuation follows suit, maintaining a trend of conflicts that often culminate in grisly demises.
*When They Cry: Kai* is available for purchase on Amazon Video, albeit in select regions.
4. When They Cry: Rei (2009):
Picking up right after *Kai*, *When They Cry: Rei* chronicles Rika’s pursuit of her ideal world, where the cycle of bloodshed has ceased. However, things are far from straightforward.
To return to her own reality, Rika must locate and eradicate the elusive “key.” This not only extends the narrative from *Kai* but also sets the stage for events in *Koro ni Kira*, making it essential viewing before you proceed.
*When They Cry* can be acquired on Amazon Video, contingent on your location.
5. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira (2011):
This four-part season explores parallel worlds and adventures beyond the main storyline of When They Cry. Although relatively brief, this OVA series provides a welcome respite following the conclusion of the preceding seasons. Released in celebration of the franchise’s 10-year milestone, it offers a generous dose of fan service.
Again, including this in your watchlist is optional if you’re strictly adhering to the key releases, but for those aiming for a comprehensive experience, it’s a valuable addition.
This OVA does not have an official streaming platform, but it can be found online.
6. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku: Outbreak (2013):
Another OVA set within the series timeline, *Outbreak* takes place when Himanizawa is quarantined due to a mysterious virus, leaving the village’s teenagers frightened and bewildered. Some seek a solution to halt the affliction, while others simply yearn to escape.
There’s currently no official streaming source for this OVA, but it can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube.
7. Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou (2020):
In this recent addition to the franchise, Rika and her friends lead seemingly ordinary lives in the mountain village of Hinamizawa. However, appearances are deceiving, and many townsfolk harbour dark secrets.
This release marked the first time Higurashi featured more modern animation alongside the beloved classic storyline. For newcomers who aren’t overly concerned with chronological order but seek an engaging starting point, this is a viable option.
*Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou* is accessible for streaming on Crunchyroll.
8. Higurashi: When They Cry – Sotsu (2021):
*Sotsu* serves as the concluding chapter in the Higurashi series and picks up directly after *Gou*. As the children continue to mature, we gain further insights into their lives, as they grapple with decisions that will shape their futures.
If you’re eager for more Higurashi content, consider exploring the novels and manga that inspired this popular anime series, both of which can be found in various online outlets, including Hulu.
*Higurashi: When They Cry – Sotsu* is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.
This comprehensive guide ensures that you can make the most out of your Higurashi experience by following the series in the order it was released. Enjoy your journey through this captivating murder mystery!