Higurashi Gou Volume 1 Is Adorable with Bloody Terror

Higurashi Gou Volume 1 cover of Rina smiling sweetly with a blade behind her back.

Higurashi When They Cry: Gou Volume 1 reminds me of the gobsmacked feeling I felt in 2006. The anime Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni’s first episode begins the same way Higurashi Gou Volume 1 does—with murder. The manga has all the cast reassembled in this sequel, though I do not understand yet how it’s a sequel. Anyone can be the killer, or killers, in this series. Higurashi Gou Volume 1 maintains the lighthearted moments with graphic horror that made the original series captivating. 

Written by Ryukishi07 and 7th Expansion with art by Tomato AkaseHigurashi Gou Volume 1 takes you back to June 1983. Translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley and lettered by Abigail Blackman, the Yen Press manga volume is broken up into parts and arcs. The “Demon-Deceiving Arc” has three parts, and the “Cotton-Deceiving Arc” has four. While the essence of the original is here, it’s been years since I’ve seen it. So I’m unsure of what precisely happens. But Keichi is still the newcomer to Hinamizawa, a small town with secrets. 

Higurashi Gou Volume 1 Shows the Paranormal Aspect

Within a short while, you understand that the horror aspect aside, there are supernatural hijinks afoot. With the best intentions, of course. Rika and the shrine goddess, Hanyu, repeat June 1983 to stop the calamity that always befalls the village and their friends. Yet, try as she might, it seems to no avail. Here’s where it’s clear this is a sequel to the original series. Even worse, Hanyu still has the power to send her back to repeat June 1983. This is an ability she should not possess anymore. So who’s causing the situation this time is anyone’s guess. 

Cute and Terrifying Girls

Higurashi Gou Volume 1 cover of Rina smiling sweetly with a blade behind her back.

Every girl is scary on occasion. Just look at the cover. However, few would be sane after repeatedly dying in gruesome ways. Each time, Rika tries to prevent her friends, like Keichi in “Demon-Deceiving Arc,” from turning on each other. Yet, each time she fails. There is interference. Plus, even Hanyu cannot assist her this time. To defeat and end the loop only to wind up back in it feels like Juon 2 terror. But when they lose their mind, or their friends think they do, each girl—from Rina to Rika—sends chills down your spine. A girl smiling sweetly one moment, then maniacally laughing while they carve someone up, leaves your jaw on the floor. 

Friendships At The Core

Like the previous series, the relationship between Keichi, Rina, Mion, Shion, Satoko, and Rika is the story’s center. The mystery adds a compelling layer. While competitive in games, they care about each other. That’s why watching it unravel each time is tragic. Each arc ends with one of the friends snapping and killing the others. Higurashi Gou Volume 1 balances the lighthearted moments of friendly games and competition with the frightful moments of madness and death. 

Higurashi Gou Volume 1 has plenty of moments that capture the best of the previous series. Additionally, there are similar moments to the loops from the original. But it’s not a remake, and the mystery adds to the interest in the story and characters. You want to identify the culprit and their motivation for setting off these events again. Fans of comedies with slice-of-life moments but also underlying horror will love Higurashi Gou Volume 1, as will fans of the original.

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