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.
As 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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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).
You 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.
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.
The 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.
Lots of interesting stuff came up on Ryukishi’s AX Panel on Sunday, including the next When They Cry game! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see him again at the con myself like at ACen. But thanks to Isae (who writes an awesome Higurashi tumblr and blog) and an upstanding Anon of 4chan, I’ve been able to record these nuggets of knowledge for posterity.
Ryukishi07’s panel at AnimeExpo isn’t until Sunday, but some 07th Expansion news has popped up earlier than expected. The US anime company Sentai Filmworks just announced today that they’ll be re-releasing the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime.
The first season’s been released before by both Geneon USA (R.I.P.) and Funimation. However, the season season (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai) had yet to get an official US release (though as mentioned in the comments, it has been released in Australia by Siren Visual). I assume Sentai will be releasing Kai, since they also announced the OVA Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei which follows it. That’s a nice addition; two of Rei’s arcs are just random fanservice, but Saikoroshi-Hen (Dice Killing Chapter) adds a lot to the series.
After much searching online, I’ve finally found a video recording of Ryukishi07’s third panel at ACen! It was posted by a user on the Fuwanovel forums. Although there’s no recording for the other two panels, this one probably went over the most interesting information. So if you’re ready for some Ryukishi07 goodness, sit back and enjoy.
Cool little note: The guy asking a question at 2:59 in the 2nd video is me! Ryukishi07 was really cool about it. Although I’m just now realizing the interpreter probably misheard “death” when I send “depth”…ah well, it makes sense both ways.
MangaGamer has often promised that their new release of Higurashi will be easily moddable. It’s been released for barely over a week, and we’re already getting proof of that. The newest patch adds the voice acting and graphics from the game’s PS3 port. You can download it now on it’s Github page, or see a sample of the patch in action below. Big thanks to TheGuraGuraMan and some helpful Anons from 4chan.
I’ve also gotten confirmation that the new version of Onikakushi on MangaGamer’s site is 100% DRM free (the version on Steam has the regular Steam DRM…yeah, I’m one of the few people who actually cares about that). So if you’ve been waiting to play (or re-play) Higurashi, there’s been no better time!