Voice and Graphics Patch Released for Higurashi’s 2nd Chapter, Watanagashi

Higurashi fans got a little Christmas present yesterday, with the release of a voice and graphics patch for the 2nd chapter of its new release from MangaGamer. Just like with the 1st chapter, the patch adds voice acting and changes the sprites to the PS3 versions by Alchemist. There’s also a voice only patch, for those who’d prefer to play with the original sprites (like me!). You can download the patch here, after getting the game from Steam or MangaGamer’s site.

I want to pause a moment to consider all the wonderful work done by modders and translators, given freely just for their love of the series. Where would we be without people like that?

Art by 808 on Pixiv

Art by 808 on Pixiv

Enjoy, readers, and Happy Holidays!

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“When the Firefly Lights Burn” Story Explicitly Connected to Higurashi/Umineko

Art by 塩素 on Pixiv

Art by 塩素 on Pixiv

I was already intrigued by Ryukishi07’s new manga series, but now I’m approaching a critical mass of hype. Turns out it will be explicitly connected to the When They Cry series, through the antics of our favorite fragment-hopping voyager witches. Check this translation of background text on the book’s product page, kindly emailed to me by Isae (who has an excellent Higurashi blog and tumblr, check them out!):

“The way to play with this Fragment is very easy. And the conditions for winning are also very simple. If you can escape alive, you win. See? Even for you, this should be easy to play, right?”

“Ah this is nostalgic. The stage of this is the Japanese countryside. Reminds me of Hinamizawa.”

“In that case, I’ll go with this piece. Let’s go, my other self.”

Also, a Japanese fan who’s read the prologue tweeted that the story is a challenge between Bernkastel and Lambdadelta. Takano Miyo is the main character. Higanbana and Rose Guns Days might have had expy characters, but nothing on this level of explicit connection.

It might not be a sprawling epic like the VNs, but I’m glad to see that the When They Cry story isn’t over yet! The meta-fiction setting it’s established has so much untapped potential. I can’t wait to see what new characters get caught up in their immortal struggle against eternal boredom. My question now: can we only expect short VNs and manga in the immediate future, or is this just an interlude before WTC5?

New Manga by 07th Expansion Announced, “When the Fireflies Burn”

The manga magazine Gekkan Action has just announced a new series written by Ryukishi07 and illustrated by Nokuto Koike. It’ll be called Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni (When the Fireflies Burn)…not quite the next “When they Cry,” but close!

horaru_main

The series will be previewed by a prologue in the upcoming Umineko book, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~The Last and First Gift~. That’s coming out on December 16, according to Amazon.co.jp.

The last manga by Ryukishi07 (Higanbana) was somewhat disappointing, until he ended up expanding its story into a VN. Still, this series looks rather intriguing, even if I know basically nothing about it’s plot. The artist has a cool, mature art style, and it is being printed in a seinen magazine. In an odd coincidence, just a few days ago we saw the first ever English print licensing from this magazine, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

EDIT: While digging through the magazine’s Twitter, I found some of the original character designs drawn by Ryukishi07 for the series:

horaru_main chara