Cast Finalized for Higurashi’s new Live-Action TV Show

To the readers, sorry it’s been so long since this blog’s last post! I’m just now surfacing from a brain-addling haze of Fire Emblem: Fates. 150+ hours in, and still more routes to go…

But in news that actually matters, the cast for the previously announced live action TV show of Higurashi has now been finalized. The show will feature:

  • Yuuma Ishigaki as Tomitake Jiro
  • Yū Inaba as Keiichi Maebara
  • Minami Katō as Rena Ryūgū
  • Rika Nakai as Mion Sonozaki, Shion Sonozaki (they’ll have to be clever with camera angles when both characters appear in the same scene).
  • Reina Seiji as Satoko Hōjō
  • Hinata Honma as Rika Furude
  • Rie Kitahara as Miyo Takano
  • Moeka Takakura as “the mysterious girl”…I’d assume this is Hanyuu. Which is interesting, considering the theory that the show’s 8 episodes will only cover the Question arcs. Although she could still be worked into the Question arcs for some extra hints to the audience.

The names for the female actors, all from the NGT48 idol group, link to a video of their audition. They’re all multi-character scenes, and I can’t tell which girl is which. But still, it gives one an idea of what the acting will be like.

This Japanese article also has side-by-side comparisons of these and other male characters, some of which are perfect.

mr deliciousAs you can see, at least they got the show’s most important character right, so I can rest easy.

The show is still set to air in May, on Fridays at 9:00 PM. I’m looking forward to the inevitable fansubs.

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New Higurashi Live-Action TV Series to Star NGT48 Idols

Even though the Higurashi franchise is well over 13 years old by now, it’s still getting new adaptions and content. The latest one, just announced today, is a live-action TV series. The main cast will all be played by members from the NGT48 idol group (a Niigata sister group of AKB48), who are in auditions for it now. It’s planned to begin broadcasting on May 2016.

ngt48

You might remember that Higurashi was previously adapted into two live-action movies, which covered the 1st and 6th visual novel arcs. They weren’t critically acclaimed by any measure, but can be a fun watch. This new adaption will be aired in eight 1-hour episodes. I’d assume each episode will cover one of the VN arcs, finally telling the full story in a live-action form. It’ll be tricky to stuff all the VN’s content into such a short run-time; the anime had more than twice as much time, and it even it couldn’t do the job perfectly.

Either way, I’m optimistically neutral on this. Will it probably be bad? Yes. Could it possibly be wicked awesome? Also yes.

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!

“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?

MangaGamer Releases New Version of Higurashi’s 2nd Chapter

MangaGamer has just released their new version of Higurashi’s 2nd Chapter, “Watanaganashi-hen” (Cotton Drifting Chapter). On Friday the 13th, too, for bonus points! The new release comes with an updated translation and all new character art (plus an option to switch back to the original art).

higurashi 2 mangagamerYou can buy it now at MangaGamer’s site or Steam. The version on MG’s site has less DRM, works on Linux and Mac, and comes with a free Steam Key anyways, for people who care about any of those things.

The question now is “Do I replay each chapter as it comes out, with maybe 6 months of waiting between each, or wait for them all to marathon?” I’m still mulling that over…probably the latter, since my VN backlog would thank me for it.

In other news, Iwaihime‘s release date has been delayed from November 27 to January 29, 2016.

Higurashi Rei Gets Full Translation and Graphics Patch

Finally, one more thing rescued from the towering pile of untranslated Higurashi stuff. Pearse Hillock has just released a translation/graphical update patch for the collection of side arcs, Higurashi Rei.

higurashi reiThe first arc of Rei, the Dice Killing Chapter. has been translated for a while, but the other two are both new. Like I mentioned when Sentai licensed the anime OVAs, expect lots of fan service and wacky hijinks. Also, the Dice Killing Chapter’s translation has been touched up a bit. If you have a copy of Higurashi Hou, the patch will work on it’s bundled version of Higurashi Rei as well.

One of the cool things about this patch is that there are multiple versions, depending on how you want honorifics translated, or whether you want to use the original graphics. Get either version of the patch here.