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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Horror > Supernatural > Murder > Mystery > Anthology > Japan > TV > When They Cry: Kai: Season 2 (2007/Sentai Blu-ray Set)

When They Cry: Kai: Season 2 (2007/Sentai Blu-ray Set)

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

Hinamizawa is a your average small town in the countryside, a town with it's own quaint little customs and cultures, in fact a town so small it's entire school fits into one classroom. Keiichi just recently moved there and meets four cute girls... Rena, Sion, 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 at the Cotton Drifting Festival. Is it really a curse or is the entire town murderous psychopaths? Include Keiichi's 5 new playmates? As they are trapped it a cycle of tragedy, horror they are cursed to died and be reborn to re-live their tragedies forever, is there a way to break the cycle?

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 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.

- Prologue -
30 years have passed since Hinamizawa was erased off the map and sealed away. But what really happened? What is the truth behind the mysteries of all the murders, a curse? Poisonous natural gas? Government cover up ...or something else?

- Disaster Awakening -
Satoko is worried about Rika who seems to have two personalities inside her ...one telling of their coming deaths. Rika is a clairvoyant and has died and lived countlessly through her re-incarnations. Tired of fate, is the better to give in or try and change fate?

- Mass Slaughter -
Riki decides to try and change Hinamizawa and their fates. By preventing 'key' events from happening they can either save her friends or prevent them from becoming murderers. It seems no matter how hard they try there seems to be outside forces, forcing them to face again and again the terror of death. This time around, they learn of the Hinamizawa Syndrome, a disease that turns anyone into murders if they try to leave Hinamizawa.

- Festival Orchestrating -
The Hinamizawa Syndrome is a rare disease, while some believed it existed, most believe it was just some fake psychosis. Takano a young researcher, surrounded by violence and tragedy decides to research and prove her grandfather's research of the 'Hinamizawa Syndrome'. However, in order to do her research she lacks three things, funds, supporters and live specimens. Through the countless years Takano is funded by the government, supported by the 3 great family of Hinazawa as they provided the specimens she needs. The government is interested in researching and creating a biological parasitic weapon, the 3 great families has used the Hinamizawa Syndrome over the years to remain in power and control of Hinamizawa. In order to end the cycle of death and rebirth, they must first save themselves from each other from their tragic fates, then stop the 3 great families while preventing government involvement and finally stopping Takano from ever starting the research. Through Rika's clairvoyance and their countless re-incarnations Keiichi, Sion, Mion, Rena, Satoko and Rika are able to remember each of their past tragedy and events, only after more countless flashbacks and deaths are they finally able to save everyone, including Takano. By saving each other, they wrest control from the great families and 'saves' Takano from her tragedies by preventing the tragic death of her parents, thus ending the cycle that lead up to the creation for research for the 'Hinamizawa Syndrome'.

Tired of the usually cute anime? When They Cry is all about cute murderous little loli's. While it is not a R-rated 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 anime.

Oddly, the digital High Definition 1.78 X 1 image is again in 1080i, NOT 1080p and it is one of the poorest performers Sentai has issued unfortunately, especially since the show is so good. Expect problematic playback with digititis, artifacts, some staircasing and other annoyances, even when the color is good much in line with the previous season reviewed elsewhere on this site. The lossless Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo track, on the other hand, sounds really good and has some Pro Logic-like surrounds, so that helps. Extras include trailers.

- Ricky Chiang


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