…so this has been done before!

You know, I had to answer the door to a cop when I was writing my last post.  I don’t remember if it was during or after… hmm, don’t suppose it really matters now.  Anyway, turns out there’d been a stolen car parked right outside the house all day.  I had that day off, so I didn’t actually go out that day, it was mostly spent writing and sleeping.  I did notice the car, and somebody hanging around, though I couldn’t remember what time that was so I wasn’t much help to be honest.  After dismissing the usual paranoid delusions of “Are they watching me,” I didn’t give it too much thought.  So yeah, a cop showed up, asked me a couple of questions, then eventually towed the car away.  I never heard anything about it since, so I guess it was resolved.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with what I have to say, just thought I’d mention it.  I’ve been thinking about my plans for LoVeSiCK! and how I’m planning to essentially rewrite the first part from alternative points of view.  I just realized something, somebody has actually done something similar before.  Granted, my version handles it a little differently, but the result is similar.  For example, my retelling contains flashbacks and backstory not present in the original, as well as the obvious notion of repeating the same plotline from a different perspective.  The funny thing is, I wasn’t inspired by anything to make this decision, it came to me all on it’s own.  That happens remarkably often, to tell the truth.  Just look at Angel of Decadence.  Not only are the chapter previews reminiscent to those of Black Lagoon, but the secret war between heaven and hell, as well as the idea of someone returning from the dead, intended as a pawn in said war… it sounds a bit like Spawn doesn’t it?  I’m guessing of course, not being familiar with it.  I’ve never read the comic, never seen the movie, so the only experience I have with it is the concept album by Iced Earth.

Anyway, I’m getting off track.  I thought of this idea of repeating the story as a compromise to keep the story mysterious, but still be able to write some of the scenes that were showing up in my mind, like a double album of sorts, like Deliverance and Damnation by Opeth.  They wanted to write a heavy album, but they kept coming up with all these acoustic songs.  I didn’t realise something like this had been done before, but it has.  The reasoning was, I’m sure, a little different, and they probably did it better that I could.

If any of you are aware of it, then you probably know what I’m talking about.  It’s a certain series of mystery/horror Visual Novels that have been adapted to both manga and anime.  A little series called Higurashi, or to give it its full title, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, or to give its English title, Higurashi When they Cry (or just When they Cry, if we’re talking about the first season of the anime.)  Now, I discovered the anime a few years ago, though for some reason I only watched it up to the second arc.  A few weeks back I happened to buy the visual novels and they hooked me right back in.  Again, I’m almost up to the end of the second arc.  Now, from what I understand, there are eight main, official arcs.  The first four are question arcs, which are mysterious, and leave a lot of questions unanswered.  The idea is that you are supposed to try and figure out for yourself what is going on.  The other four arcs are answer arcs, which revisit the first four and tie up all the loose ends.

I’ll probably talk about this again soon.  I want to make a post giving my opinion of whether it’s actually a game or not, but regardless, I can recommend you check it out for yourself.  If you like what I write, you’ll probably like Higurashi too.  Give the visual novels a try.  The first 5 are on steam, and the rest are coming.  I’ve heard the release schedule is to bring out 1 every 6 months. (For the best experience, I suggest you get the ‘voice and graphics patch,’ from here:  https://github.com/07th-mod/guide/wiki/Part-1—Voice-and-Graphics-Patch#installer-windows-only)  I’ll be honest, it does move a little slow, and you can’t really affect the story, so don’t go in thinking of it as a game, and the horror elements don’t come in until around half way through each arc, but it’s still a good story.  Not sure if it’s a great comparison, but I’d tentatively describe it as Silent Hill meets Groundhog Day.  There are epic tonal shifts too.  Arcs will start off happy and upbeat, but they’ll inevitably take a turn for the worse and everything will start getting creepy and horrific.  The music and sound effects really help with that.  I suggest you just go in blind and accept it for what it is.  Take your time and enjoy it.  There is also the anime, though I have some issues with it.  Firstly, the fact that they condense entire visual novels into four episode arcs (basically adapting an entire book into about 80 minutes of animation… things are going to get left out, and it’s usually bound to be the more light-hearted comedy stuff… you know, the stuff that makes you fall in love with the characters and gives you reasons to care about what happens to them.)  The other issue I have with the anime is the questionable art direction.  The character models do take some getting used to.  Go to youtube and watch the anime review by Glass Reflection, or, you know, just go in blind.  I would advise against watching random clips though, you never know what is and isn’t a spoiler, and since it is primarily a mystery series… spoilers are bad.

Okay, shameless plug over.  Let me know what you guys think.  Do you like Higurashi?  Do you think it’s overrated?  Underrated?  Are you going to check it out?  There should be a comment box down there somewhere, though nobody really uses it.  That goes for my chapter uploads too.  Feel free to tell me what you think, what you like, and what you don’t.  I appreciate feedback guys, just saying.  Thanks, I’ll probably be back in a couple of weeks.

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