Its not often that you watch a anime that really takes you on a major roller coaster ride, with major ups and a ton of twist. I went into Higurashi not knowing much about the series other than that there was a visual novel of the same name, I had attempted to play the novel before but never got to it so I went into these series basically blind.
I was not sure what to expect from these series, extrinsically when the opening scene was a very Gorey one. This series has a lot of main characters and they all play a major role in the plot, there is keiichi the main male character,Rena the bubbly friend but who also has a dark past, Mion the non girly girl who pretends to act tough, shion the sister of mion who plays a major major role later on, and Satoko and rika who are other classmates of theirs.
When I begin this series I was majorly confused by episode 2, early in the series they throw in a lot of random factsabout the town curse and and lots of random actions that you are not sure what is real and what is not. By episode 4 Keiichi thinks that Rena and Mion are trying to kill him and he in turn kills then and he also dies. By this point im thinking we have 22 episodes left so where is this going to go. Then episode 5 starts and they are all alive and seem to be best friends, this is when I knew this series was going to be weird.
From episode 5 to about 14 there are random arcs that range from shion flirting with Keiichi, a government officials son being kidnapped, the main doctor of the village being killed an of course coming back to life. At this point I am about ready to give up on the series and then magical episode 16 happens and everything starts to become clear. This starts the arcs with Shion who we now get backstory on and her entire arc clears up everything. It explains why Mion who turned out to be shion was trying to kill Keiichi, it explains the curse of the town and it explains the main mystery and that is what happened to Satoko's brother. By the time this arc was over I was in love with this show and I felt like I was going crazy because this confusing show was making tons of sense now and I was connecting all the dots.
Once we reach the end of the Shion arc, we come into the final arc which goes into the rena arc. This are was the craziest, it involved two people being killed, kids being taken hostage and a attempt to blow up a school. I have to mention that having Rena have maggots coming out of her skin was had to watch and made my skin crawl, but this arc was by far the most violent and it wrapped up why Rena was crazy and even revealed a secret about Keiichi.
Once the final episode is over, it fast forward back to something that happens early in the series and it brings the series full circle. I have tried to stay spoiler free as possible and this is more of a observation than a spoiler but I believe that the entire time Rika is actually Oyashiro and she knows the secret behind the curse. You have to listen to what she says and how she says it, I could be wrong but thats the conclusion I came to.
This series had many twist and turns especially in the beginning but it really picked up half way and it never looked back. It is a series that you have to watch really closely and see everything that happens. When I fist started i was giving this series a 5/10 but after finishing it i have to say its a 9/10 I really loved it and if you like having your mind being messed with this is the series for you.