Higurashi no Naku Koro niAugust 31, 2006
I won’t get much into details of this series. It is nearly over (just watched episode 21 of 26) and other sites already do a great job blogging about it (Anime on my Mind, Memento). Just this much: It’s about a small village, peaceful at first sight but with a mystic past which influences the present (or better 1983, the time the story takes place). For some time now horrible murder take place each year during a special festival hold for Oyashiro-sama, the patron saint of the village. These victims are said to be “spirited away” by Oyashiro for crimes against the peace of the village. Keiichi Maebara, recently moved to the village, gets caught in these events together with four female classmates.
Special about this anime that it “restarts” after each 4-6 episodes with the same background story but with a new distinction of friend and foe. At the beginning of each arc the anime is pretty much like a harem comedy with much cuteness and moe, but with the progression of the story it gets more and more eerie and in the end at least some of the major characters get kill in a horrible and bloody way (often enough by one of the other major characters). Many questions raise through the first four arcs about how, why and by whom the shown events are driven and if they are of supernatural origin. The last episodes (which are airing at the moment) give some (maybe all) answers to these questions.
This anime might have some (or maybe many) story loop holes and the animation quality is mediocre at best, but I am really hooked on it and eagerly await each new episode. But be warned, it is 16+ rated (at least)!