Ok, so right now I’m in a completely different mood to how I was when I wrote yesterday (aka – I’m smiling). I’ve just been having a great laugh for the past hour courtesy of the doujin (fanmade) Higurashi DVD I bought last weekend. While I’m not going to do a proper review of this, I thought I’d share my thoughts on it with you guys. Also, bonus points for anyone who can explain the term “shiggles and gits”.
Freett 18′s そのひぐらしのなく頃に (Sono Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni) is something I’ll definately take my hat off to. I wasn’t expecting much (judging from the box), and I guess to be honest I was right in that regards, but it’s definately the best DVD I’ve bought here. Huge points go to them for actually going and filming in (I’m guessing) 白川郷 (Shirakawa-gou), the village that the Higurashi village of Hinamizawa was based on as this really helped give it more of a Higurashi vibe. The major downside to that is that because it’s a public place, let’s just say they had more extras in the background (and at times in front of the camera), staring at the cast wondering what they were doing.
They followed the story from the first anime arch (don’t really like that term) where Keichi is introduced as the newcomer who doesn’t know anything about the atrocities of the villages shady past and for the most part follows it quite well. There are some changes to that original storyline and it seems to make Rika out to be the villain. Amusingly Rika and Hanyuu are always seen hanging around in the background, the most entertaining moment was seeing them have a fist-fight.
If I’m going to get technical about what I thought “could have been improved upon” (I didn’t want to say “was bad”), the sound was all over the place for most of the film where the audio seemed to have been recorded in post-production and (not too well) lip-synched to the video. Sound effects also seemed to play a major part with the frequent use of 蜩 (higurashi – cicada) cries in the background. Filming … beware of mirrors and other reflective surfaces. I had a laugh and a giggle seeing the dramatic moment where Keichi practices bat swinging talking to Mion … with Satoko and the camera man staring at the pair.
However, for all it’s faults this DVD was balanced by a sense of effort and fun that cannot be taken away from the film makers. Despite the fact it was raining for most scenes (camera man had an brolly, but hey I won’t complain), the cast were out there brolly-less enjoying what they were doing. I don’t think this, or the next two films they did, were meant to be taken seriously, much like Stephen Fry’s contribution to Little Big Planet. It reminds me much of whenever we made films and such back home, something I miss actually.
Though I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone who wants to see something made by determined fans to show their appreciation for something they truly love, I have no idea how most of you guys would find a copy since I found mine by shere fluke in a second hand shop in DenDen Town. Good luck though! In the meantime, here’s the opening to the movie.