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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Supernatural > Mystery > Horror > Murder > Anthology > Japan > TV > When They Cry: Complete Collection - Season 1 (2006/Sentai Blu-ray Set)

When They Cry: Complete Collection - Season 1 (2006/Sentai Blu-ray Set)

Picture: C+ Sound: B+ Extras: D Episodes: A-

Welcome to the quiet sleepy village of Hinamizawa, a town so small it's school fits into one classroom. Keiichi just recently moved there and meets four cute girls... Rena, Mion, Satoko and Rika who help him get used to Hinamizawa, but as he learns of Hinamizawa's past, he learns of the murders during dam project. As he learns more of the violent riots of anti-dam project, he also learn of the Hinamizawa curse, every year someone will die and another will disappear. Everyone in town but Keiichi seems in on the conspiracy, but is it really man made or is there a real curse? As the mystery deepens... so does the horror, will Keiichi die discovering the truth in When They Cry: Complete Collection - Season 1 (2006)?

Better known as 'Higurashi no Naku Koro ni', When They Cry is more like a series of short stories where there are several story 'arcs'. Each arc in this omnibus anthology is a different version of the same story with a different perspective, murder/mystery plot. Characters will die and be returned with each new arc. The true horror of the series how close the horror is and the characters never realize it until it is too late.

The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has some good color, but shows its age with aliasing errors, staircasing and detail issues, while the lossless English and especially Japanese lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo are better with sound that has not aged as badly and was recorded very well at the time. There are sadly no extras.

Episodes include...

-Spirited Away by the Demon Arc-
Keiichi arrives in the town of Hinamizawa where everything beautiful and peaceful, but as he learns more about the murders in the past he begins to suspect his new found friends are responsible. As the lies become more apparent, he begins to suspect he will become the next 'victim' of the curse.

-Cotton Drifting Arc-
Keiichi meets the twins Mion and Shion and the three of them all develop crushes on each other. As Keiichi learns of the town's curse, his friends begin disappearing he suspects Mion, who tells him that if she can't have him, no one will.

-Curse Killing Arc-
Keiichi learns of Satoko's tragic past of how her brother went missing and is living with an abusive Uncle. Keiichi decides Satoko is better off with her uncle dead and then kills him. Afterwards, things goes on as if it never happened, but when the body disappears, Keiichi begins questioning himself and wonders if he has gone mad. He falls off a bridge, only to survive and later find out he is the sole survivor of Hinamizawa from poisonous gas.

-Time Wasting Arc-
A young inspector is sent to Hinamizawa to investigate the murders only to get caught up in a child abduction case related to the dam project. He is warned not to get too involved and to leave, he gets an ominous prediction of the future and deaths to come. He begins to wonder if the curse is real.

-Eye Opening Arc-
Shion and Mion are the twins/scions for the Sonozaki family, the family responsible for the murder, torture and killings of anything that threatens Hinamizawa. Shion impersonates Mion and falls in love with Satoshi, but upon finding her love was not approved by the family she is tortured and Satoshi is killed. Shion only finds out about Satoshi years later and exacts her revenge when on Keiichi and Mion.

-Atonement Arc-
Rena dad plans to remarry, but Rena finds out her 'new mother' is planing to blackmail and rob her father with her real lover. Rena kills her and the lover, then proceeds to learn about Hinamizawa, and becomes infected with the 'curse' which is a rare virus that causes people to go on a murderous rampage and then insane. Keiichi and their friends manages to help Rena regain her sanity but they remain still stuck in a time loop where the curse of Hinamizawa will continue to repeat for all time.

Tired of the usually cute anime? When They Cry is all about cute murderous little loli's. While it is not a R rate series, the story certainly is for a more mature audience. They don't show any of the actual deaths or killing, but the aftermath and the bodies. It gives a whole new definition to "Watch out for the cute ones." If anyone can make make death look cute, leave it to the Japanese anime.

- Ricky Chiang


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