Title: Higurashi-When They Cry: Beyond Midnight Arc Vol 2
Authors: Ryukishi07 & Mimori
Publisher: Yen Press
May Contain Spoilers
With Mion’s name clearly printed among the names of those killed in Hinamizawa twenty years ago, suspicion for the murder falls on her. But Mion isn’t the only one whose story doesn’t quite add up. How did the killer know Otobe’s was the only phone with a signal? How could Otobe’s friends have simply "disappeared"? Is it really the work of demons, or is there a murderer among them?
This is my favorite book in the Higurashi series so far. Even though the tone is different and it isn’t nearly as creepy as previous installments, it had a lot of action, which I enjoy, and a kick-ass heroine. Mion totally steals the stage. She has a strong personality, she’s mysterious, and she can wield a katana like nobody’s business. I was sad to reach the last page.
Now, parts of the story are a bit forced, but I didn’t mind that much as all of the dangling threads of the story arc are tied up by the end of the book. Some of the resolutions are disappointing and clichéd, and even Otobe’s reasons for being stuck in Hinamizawa left me wanting. Arakawa’s characterization was very weak as well, and I think the only reason he was even part of the ensemble was to over-react whenever something bad happened.
I loved the art, especially the illustrations of Mion and her flowing kimono. The fight sequences conveyed a great deal of tension and drama, and Mion’s fluttering robes and her oddly shaded eyes made for some striking visuals. While I think the cover is eye-catching, I think that the interior artwork is even better.
If you enjoy a good mystery with creepy undertones, the Higurashi series might be calling your name. The story arcs are short and self contained, so it doesn’t feel like a huge investment of time or money to check out a few here and there.
Review copy provided by publisher