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24 May 2008 @ 03:55 pm
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni movie (1)  
I'm catching up on things slowly! ^O^ Well.... last week I went with Vero to see the new Higurashi no Naku Koro ni live-action movie! It's only playing in two theaters (to my knowledge) right now in Tokyo, so I was pretty surprised that it wasn't all that full! Then again, the theater that it was at wasn't all that full last time either (when I saw the Tenipuri live-action movie), maybe because it's so out of the way..

If you haven't seen the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime ("When they Cry" is the official english title, though literally it means "When the Cicadas Cry.") , then you really should! I highly recommend it-- one of the best anime to come along since Monster, I think! I think that it would appeal to the same audience too! IE, if you like mysterious, "who did it" gritty, deep anime, this is it. ^^

The movie followed the story of the first arc of the anime (about 4 episodes?). I was really, really surprised with how well it turned out! I was quite surprised, because even though I've really enjoyed the anime, the movie was NOT faithful to the anime/manga/game character designs.

I actually couldn't tell the girls apart a lot of the time, and I kept forgetting who was who.... They all have black hair, and with the exception of Mion and Rika, they have completely different hairstyles. I don't see the problem in making them color their hair or wear wigs. I mean... Lum wouldn't be Lum without green hair, right? If Nana's hair was blonde and curly instead of black, straight, and short, she wouldn't be Nana, right? Sure, this is the countryside and it's less common to dye your hair in the japanese countryside, but I can't see why it wouldn't be feasible to make some sort of effort to make the actors look more like their characters. It would make the show a LOT more authentc.

The acting was pretty good for Japan (where non-talented idols reign), and it was really interesting to see the events come to life. I really loved the set design, especially the rural feeling of the houses, which were old-fashioned on the outside, but showcased that the owners had plenty of money to spend on lavish furnishings for the inside. I'm used to seeing houses like those only in the ancient house museums, so it was a real treat to see them in action again! The setting was really gorgeous.... I want to visit and vacation in rural Japan sometime! (especially during the summer!)

The story started with Keiichi's arrival in Hinamizawa, and him coming to Hinamizawa school for the first time. The way that they filmed the school, it seemed really creepy!! There were hints that the school was going to turn out to harbor some strange things, from the moment that Keiichi stepped foot on the rickety old staircase and saw a charm sitting abandoned on the upper railing...

He got Satoshi's old seat in the classroom, and proceeded to ask around about him. The entire classroom fell silent. Until Satoko(?) piped up and said that he'd transferred to a school in Tokyo. ... Suuuuuuure.. His abandoned locker was filled only with the baseball bat that we all know so well, which Keiichi takes an unnatural interest in..

Keiichi falls in with the older students in class, especially Mion and Rena, who both cling closer and closer to him during the show. The girl who played Rena was sadly lacking her "Mochi kairiiiiiiii!!" squeal that seemed to happen every other minute in the anime, so I kept expecting it and feeling as if something was missing. But to make up for it, she hung all over Keiichi! There were times that I wondered whether she was actually in love with Keiichi too (and a rival for Mion????), which is something that I'd never picked up on in the anime. Mion, also, was completely stepped-up in the movie, and a little strange. She actually physically touched and often hung on Keiichi's arm, or seemed on the verge of admitting that she was madly in love with him after only a few days. There was one scene where she was showing Keiichi around town, and they came up to the lake. It seemed as if she was about to say something, but holding her tongue. There were other times when I felt like she was trying to nuzzle up to him, but suddenly she'd run off and leave Rena alone with Keiichi, hanging on his other arm. I thought that was a little bit odd... LOL, I guess the writers have never been a teenage girl in love. Especially considering as he's the only guy their age in the entire village. XD She wasn't jealous at all (bad writing?). But there was definitely love there!

Satoko was almost invisible the entire movie.. Probably because she didn't have blonde hair, or because her speech wasn't nearly as polite as it was in the anime, I just didn't notice her! She also didn't play a big part in this arc of the anime, so she more or less faded into the background and was hidden in the shadow of Rika. Rika was pretty good! She seemed a little creepy, though not as friendly or mysterious as she seems in the anime. I also wonder how the actress would be able to deal with some of the issues that they come up with in Kai (lol though seriously, I don't think they can possibly make that movie, because if they have problems with design now, they might just die trying to remake Hanyuu!). But she and the other girls were creepy-attached to Oyashiro-sama, and that at least really came through!

I'd forgotten that at the beginning of the series, you have no idea who is the real main-character of the show (it's not Keiichi, btw). So it was a pleasant treat to relive the story. It's easy to understand too, I thin. I didn't have any problems with understanding, and Vero, who knows very little japanese and didn't know the story beforehand, said that she could mostly follow too. ^^

I knew that eventually the movie would squick me... I mean, there were times when I had to look away in the anime! So seeing it in live-action was bound to be worse! I was right... When Keiichi ate Rena's bentou and the needle punched through his cheek... ACK! Oh man, I felt my stomach curdle!! Owww owww! It went right through his cheek and he went to school the next day with only a tiny band-aid on it. I think that I'd be laid up for days... not to mention that if my classmate did that to me, I wouldn't want to be around her! (Actually I would call the police, but yeah...)

The scene where Rena was trying to get into Keiichi's house and he shut her hand in the door was really creepy.. She was laughing like a maniac (which in this case was done well! You know how it can go either way, lol...), and it made me cringe to see her pull her fingers out as it closed bit by bit.. A really good job and surprisingly good camera work!

The end was a little bit different, at least from what I remember it as. I remember Keiichi in the anime beating Rena and Mion to death with Satoshi's bat and then running out into the street, where he clawed his throat out in the phone booth right away. But in this case, the girls drugged Keiichi (I'm not sure if I'm remembering this right.. they might have knocked him out). In any case, he woke up in his sunlit room with the two girls ministering to him in his bed. They were concerned for his health, and trying to massage and make him feel better. I was almost expecting them to start stripping then and there! ^^;; But then Keiichi remembered what had happened, and the girls tried to inject him with poison. He kills them and splatters blood all over...

Then he wakes up in the bright room again! Only it wasn't a dream, he turns and looks around and instead of lying clean in pristine sheets, he's covered in blood and the girls are laying against the wall, broken and battered and very very dead. Whereby he runs into the street and succumbs to the curse while trying to make a call to Ooishi. It was pretty gruesome, but surprisingly well-done!

It doesn't end there.... Ooishi is investigating Keiichi's room and behind the blood-splattered cuckoo clock, he finds a series of bloody notes written and taped there by Keiichi. They grow increasingly paranoid, saying things like, "what the hell is going on here??!" and "they're trying to kill me!" And he pockets them..

And.. sequel? Yep! I felt sure that there would be one after watching the movie, and sure enough, it looks like it's already been announced! ^^ I can't wait! ^___^
Current Music: David Cook - The World I Know
Gottisgottis_chan on May 24th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC)
OMG I need to see this! ;o; But I think, in the anime, they first drugged him as well, and then he woke up and things spiraled downwards until he beat them to death. *nodnod*
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
Thanks!! It's been a while since I've seen it, so I can't remember at all, lol! I'm looking forward to the next one, because it will refresh my memory. =D
Gottisgottis_chan on May 25th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
Yes! ^__^ Same here~
Bishies♥mikage_taichou on May 24th, 2008 08:02 am (UTC)
Ooh! They did drug him in the anime (or so I remember XD. But I do remember Mion/Rena being in Keiichi's room)

EEE. I can't stand gore but I will for Higurashi XDD. <- Witsanded BR (but not SAW: III) o__o;;
melyuichan on May 24th, 2008 09:54 am (UTC)
i think in the anime, it was unsure whether they drugged him.

they came into his room with the syringe and held him, presumably ready to inject. then it just cuts to keiichi with the bat, so you can't tell for sure whether he got drugged.
i'm not sure ?

i'll be looking for the keiichi/mion moments, heheh :D
Bishies♥mikage_taichou on May 24th, 2008 09:56 am (UTC)
My memory loves to fail me XD

Thankies for clearing it up ^^
Katsu "Epika" Koneko: Love Keiichi Rikasatoshierika on May 24th, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
Whoa..reading that makes me want to watch that even more.

Whoa the needle actually went through his cheek..o-o Dang..
腹蛇: [higurashi] niko nikoyoukofujima on May 24th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
In the anime, he saw the syringe, but then it cuts out to him killing them (and I guess, considering how the "truth comes out" in the later part of the series...the syringe...)

Though in the manga, it really did happen that he woke up thinking it was a bad dream only to find the girls strewn dead across his bedding.

I don't think I can touch this live action one, though. Just seeing the needle go through the cheek in the trailer made me cringe O_o
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
Aaah! Oh man, it's been so long since I've seen it, I can't remember anymore! XD;; Thanks for reminding me (I think my memory is dead.. XD)

Oh man, I had to cover my eyes quite a few times near the end of the movie. But it was really worth it. I just wish that the japanese cinema would handle blood/gore a little bit better.. (or a lot better)
ルリ: :Ddemonruri on May 24th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
omg! I loved this anime series, I cant wait for someone to subtitle this LA movie for us!!!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
LA movie? What does that mean?
gyabooo: [Saiyuki] Sanzo is DEEPkucheekybadkuya on May 24th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I really need to finish this anime some day - then at least I'd get the fandom jokes! That aside I keep hearing it's pretty good anyway. (The Air Gear puchi puru figs I bought from you arrived by the way, they're adorable <3)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Have you started the second season? If you're having trouble getting through the first, I recommend skipping ahead and watching the second one. I found it a lot more interesting and they answer so many questions! ^^
akibareakibare on May 24th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)

Okay, I am going to have to hobble down to the video rental and see if they have the anime. This time I'm making note of the English title so I can find it...

Sounds like my kinda thing :)
Kelseyfujin06 on May 24th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
It bothers me that they dont look anything like their characters :( but I'll get over it
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
It bothers me too!! I had to cut out about three paragraphs of my review and revise everything, because it was mainly bitching about how directors can't bother themselves to stick to the original creator's idea! I understand minor changes, but not something as drastic as this. I really don't get why it's not possible to make the actors dye their hair or get a wig?

I could go on and on about how so many otherwise good movies are ruined by bad designs!! (Death note and Nana!! X.X)
animenutcase: Keiichi bunny earsanimenutcase on May 25th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Well, the main character really depends on the arc, so you could say that they're all the main characters.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Sort of... but I really think that the main character is the one mentioned in Kai, who is ultimately the one reason for everything happening over and over.. ^^ (sorry, keeping it vague in case it spoils someone ^^)
kilik hiwatari: So pretty ^.^kilik_hiwatari on May 25th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
i like the sound of this film. i don't think the anime is released in the uk yet tho.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on May 25th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, I wonder.... I know that it's licensed in the US, but do the same companies (Tokyopop, Viz, etc), not release there simultaneously?
Kelseyfujin06 on May 31st, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
sry bout that, i couldnt find the entry and i forgot wat yur selling journals name was...lol
But yea I like GrimmjowxOrihime lots too :D
Carolina M.: higurashi: happycandiesandlaces on June 14th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
It seems better than I expected, I'm so curious to see it!
dubby_goodness on August 29th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
O_o Freaky shirtless Keiichi,blood freaky shirtless Keiichi,random bed
dubby_goodness on August 29th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
(opps,my complete comment didn't go in)

...Marker,marker,how does the ending fit with the marker part?!
On the wall?They're supposed to be painfully on the floor,unless Keiichi's swing is fearsome(which it shouldn't),Rena must have got hit pretty bad to get from infront of him,to the wall >> Poor Rena,I sense mega sadness in this movie
XD Those it have any RenaxKeiichi(that'd make it sadder,though)
dubby_goodness on August 29th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
(opps,sorry,triple post)
Why is Keiichi asking the class about Satoshi?That's too stupid,even for Hinamizawa Syndrome struck Keiichi.
(Anonymous) on December 2nd, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
actually they never drugged him in the anime. he just thinks they try to drug him.. later in the last couple of eps of season 1 it reveils that they were actually going to write something on him with a marker and he was just hallucinating about the needle, and he went crazy and killed them.