12 Days of Anime 2018, Day 5: Last Period is more Higurashi than Higurashi

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So last year I wrote about my return to Higurashi after a few years and how doing so really rekindled my love for the series. Since then a few things have changed. I still love the series to bits but the last post is somewhat incomplete now.First of all we finally got a UK release, I’m still blown away that after all this time I can finally own one of my most beloved series legally, so that’s neat. On a less positive note I watched Outbreak.

For all that I made peace with Kira during my rewatch I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to accept Outbreak as a part of this thing I love. It’s bad. Kira was also bad in some ways but that was more a result of over emphasizing some of the franchise’s less great facets than active misunderstanding. Outbreak fundamentally misunderstands what I feel Higurashi is about.

More than anything it twists the characters in ways incompatible with them, everyone’s personality is almost inverted; Rena shrugs off the death of the father she was willing to kill for, Rika chooses to stay and watch the village be destroyed when previously she was unwilling to accept a world where any of her friends were lost and Hanyu, the god who couldn’t leave well enough alone suddenly opts to just abandon Rika and peace out to do god things. Having it be the last step in my rewatch as well as the last Higurashi anime released wasn’t enough to overcome my rekindled love for the series but it certainly wasn’t the note I’d have hoped to end on.

Enter Last Period. A mobage adaptation (in simultaneously the loosest and strictest senses) Last Period opted to take a more comedic route than most mobage shows, essentially being a parody of itself and mobage in general rather than following the game’s plot to any real degree. It was pretty fun, if a bit hit or miss (the episode essentially going “ha ha gacha addiction” in particular felt a little in poor taste for a show advertising a gacha based product). Then came the colab episode.

Mobage collaborations are a thing, a weird and unpredictable thing that often throws together franchises which probably have no business interacting (In the past year Granblue has managed to colab with Attack on Titan, Detective Conan and Precure, among others). Last Period’s colab fodder of choice? Higurashi.

Aside from a horror tinge to the episode and some brief appearances from characters not so subtly alluding to the 07th Expansion staff the real centerpiece of the episode was a brief scene where Wiseman, the bumbling recurring villain gang attempted to summon the majority of the  Higurashi cast to attack the group. The protagonists summoned Rena to defend them, prompting the Higurashi characters refuse to fight and leave.

Somehow this single scene in which nobody but Rika even has a single line of dialogue feels more in keeping than the last actual Higurashi anime. More than anything it was refreshing. After losing a little faith with Outbreak seeing that someone involved still understood the core elements that made Higurashi’s characters shine was reassuring. And hey, it technically means that the last Higurashi anime released didn’t suck. Technically.

This is the last of the prewritten posts this year so hopefully it goes up as planned. See you tomorrow for something a little on the short side.

12 Days of Anime 2018, Day 5: Last Period is more Higurashi than Higurashi

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