Higurashi: When They Cry Vol. #07 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, January 06, 2011
Release Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
What secrets about the dam construction period will this new story arc reveal?
Writer/artist: Ryukishi07 and Yoshiki Tonogai
What They Say
When the minister of construction minister's grandson disappears amid protests against the dam project in Hinamizawa, detective Akasaka is sent from the Tokyo Police to investigate. Posing as a tourist, Akasaka becomes fast friends with Rika Furude, and the little girl almost makes him forget that he's on a mission to find a kidnapper! But the sightseeing tour takes a sudden turn when Rika delivers a grave warning: leave Hinamizawa... before you come to regret it.
Another story arc, another angle on the creepy Hinamizawa Village. This arc follows detective Akasaka as he travels from Tokyo to Hinamizawa to investigate the kidnapping of a child for his first top secret mission. Not just any child, but the grandson of the Minister of Construction for the dam project that would flood out Hinamizawa.
Akasaka is just a regular guy, a normal cop with a pregnant wife waiting at home for him. He didn’t want to leave his wife for this assignment, but this is the kind of case that can make or break a career. Upon his arrival to Hinamizawa, he meets Rika. Rika’s ridiculous cuteness quickly wins Akasaka’s heart. She travels around the area with him, but it doesn’t take long before the creepy demon reveals itself in Rika’s face. Even after six books of this series, it still creeps me out when one of the girls switches to the evil-eyed persona. In fact, Akasaka isn’t even sure if he saw Rika like that or if he imagined it since it seems so out of character.
Eventually, Akasaka meets up with the local detective Ooishi. Ooshi doesn’t believe the official story for Akasaka’s visit and that leads to an interesting game of cat and mouse. Ooishi takes them to a mahjong game with some guys that are working on the dam project. This leads to an entertaining game where their banter about the dam project and Akasaka’s true mission mirror the mahjong game. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this scene.
With Akasaka’s admittance of his true mission, the real collaboration between him and Ooishi begins. Now the cat and mouse game of life and death begins between the detectives and Hinamizawa. Both sides know what the other is up to, but the detectives have to push enough to get the truth without pushing Hinamizawa’s leniency to far. It is all too apparent that the people of Hinamizawa can kill Akasaka and make him disappear.
How will the Town Demon reveal itself this time?
For the first time in the ‘Higurashi’ series, we see a story from before the dam construction incident. The first three story arcs in this series dealt with the current time, while this arc is the first to delve into what really happened during the time leading up to the cancellation of the dam project. This is a breath of fresh air as it introduces a new character for the story to evolve around. As the first book in each two-book arc always is, this one doesn’t have much of a wow factor, but the second half of the arc always proves to wow me.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16 and Up
Released By: Yen Press
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Higurashi – When they Cry