On April 31st, Daiichi hosted a livestream featuring their newest works at their Super Pachinko & Pachislot Festival 2017 booth. I was lucky to be able to view it on niconico after seeing tweets about it through some of the Japanese fandom. I missed a few minutes of it, but luckily it was still the beginning segment.
The event started with popularity polls! What better way to reflect on past games by seeing what players voted on these variety polls? The last polls were conducted back in 2015 for Higurashi Sui’s first release on the PS3/VIta. It was nice seeing a more recent poll to reference and seeing Ryukishi07 react to the results.
Warning there are spoilers from future arcs from this point forward!
The first poll centered on the sudden changes characters had in the series. Higurashi is known for dramatic changes in tone whether by its characters or the atmosphere. In this case the pictures shown for the candidates are from some of their most iconic dramatic changes.
Following Rika being crowned as the winner of the poll, the hosts directed the audience to the screen and showcased clips depicting these sudden iconic changes. Rika declaring that she’ll play with Rena in Tsumihoroboshi, telling Akasaka to go back to Tokyo back in Himatsubushi, hitting Satoko with a chair in Saikoroshi, and her breakdown with Takano and Irie telling them all to die in Minagoroshi. Ryukishi was quite surprised to see that Rika was the winner and thought Rena would surely win this poll.
Once again Ryukishi was surprised at the results of the poll. Unlike the previous poll, he thought Rika would be crowned the winner. His speculations were shattered both times. The hosts directed towards the screen once again where we were greeted by recorded messages from the top three characters themselves after the results. Yui Horie (Hanyuu), Yukari Tamura (Rika), and Mai Nakahara (Rena) voiced their comments about their experiences on Higurashi and reflecting on how long it’s been since they first started. It was nice hearing their voices again after what seemed like so long ago.
Before they revealed the top 5 characters, they had the niconico users vote for their favorite Higurashi anime series right on the spot.
For me, I voted for Kai! The Kai anime had the most impact on me back in 2007 - without it I wouldn’t be writing here today! I was happy to see it received the most votes. It clearly deserved it!
Following that poll was the shipping poll! Which of the many ships captured people’s hearts the most?
It still amazes me that Akasaka x Rika still remains a top contender on the list to this day.
Last but not least was the poll for the best anime opening and ending theme songs! It was great seeing snippets of the videos to remind viewers of their iconic scenes.
With that said, the hosts had a huge surprise for viewers tuning in - Eiko Shimamiya was a surprise musical guest! All the nostalgia as she sang a mix of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Naraku no Hana, it was a sight to behold. She even sang to some of the chanting parts of Naraku no Hana - however it ended abruptly without warning, probably due to time restraints.
Now with all the polls out of the way, it was time for the main event - the announcement of the new game! A promotional video was shown for the new Higurashi Pachinko installment - Higurashi Sakebi. Not much is known about it right now besides the official site being launched and some rough sketches being tweeted out. (warning for NSFW images)
However, what surprised the audience the most was the announcement of a VR project as well - Higurashi Utsushi! Players in Japan will be able to experience it at an event on May 19th in which they have to sign up in advance to be able to attend. The hosts had Ryukishi07 and Eiko Shimamiya put on VR headsets to play it themselves. I wish we could have seen what they saw, but luckily the official Utsushi website allows you to experience a demo for yourself! From what it entails, the story seems to be based on the Tsumihoroboshi chapter.
What do you think everyone? Pretty exciting news and interesting poll results! Let us know down below yours thoughts on this live. Did your favorites reach the top? Were you surprised at the results?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://rokkenjima.org/pachinko-live-report/