Man what can I say about Higurashi? It is by far and away my favorite series to come out the “anime” umbrella of mediums. Higurashi did so many things for me when I found it. As I’ve said before a while back I used to be a bit of a shotgun fan in that I didn’t have any particular genre’s or types of anime/manga/vn ect. that really stuck out to me more than other. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed most of what I got in on, but nothing ever just reach out and grabbed me. Higurashi finally did it for me…when I read the editors letter in Yen Plus he wrote about how Higurashi was terrifying not from a monster in the closet, or masked man with a knife perspective, but more from the perspective of losing trust in those around you. Horror has never really done much for me, as a kid sure it scared me and I hated it for it, but as I grew older I found horror movies to be more predictable and funny (paranormal activity is still one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen) so I never lent much credence to the idea of horror anime, but the editor sold me on the idea of a true horror rather than a cheap scare. So I bit, and within the two chapters that that book of Yen Plus contained I was hooked.
Higurashi made me think how truly scary the idea is that you don’t really know anything more about the people around you than what they want you to know. You live your everyday life in the sunshine never knowing that there is a shadow that walks right behind you. When I first read Higurashi it was the first time I ever experienced the same fear that the characters were going through, other horror was more on par with unexpected flash and loud noise RAWR which served to disconnect me from the characters and story, but with I emphasized with Keichi. The times he would break out into sweats and try his best to convince himself that everything was all in his head and his friends really were his friends, I too wanted to believe that it was all just a misunderstanding. It was feeling I became addicted with and at the end of every volume I would spend the time until the next release going over in my head what had happened, and the why (many days at work were spent lost on these trains of thought).
So Higurashi opened my eyes to the idea of pyschological horror, or psychological thrillers. I fell in love with the idea that a story could inspire fear not with scary monsters but purely through the merits of building its world and the method of telling its story. So now anytime I browse through the new anime that is coming out for the new season I scan first for any that have psychological and horror or thriller in the genre list and those instantly get a spot on my watch list. So really I have Higurashi to thank not only for giving me the world and characters of Higurashi which I love, but inspiring a love for a whole new genre which I had until that point in time over looked.