Higurashi When They Cry, vol. 7: Time Killing Arc, Part 1
Story by Ryukishi07, Art by Yoshiki Tonogai
Yen Press, 192 pp
Rating: Older Teen
The manga adaption of a popular game series continues. This particular arc focuses on Detective Akasaka’s investigation into the kidnapping of the Minister of Constructions grandson. It leads him to the small town on Hinamizawa and the group at the center of a series of protests against dam construction in the area. Akasaka quickly learns that Hinamizawa is far from the friendly, innocent country town that it appears to be.
This was a bit of a chore to get through. It’s fairly slow and not terribly interesting or intriguing. The investigation almost takes a back seat to such activities as Detective Akasaka hanging out with Rika Furude, a young girl who’s found of saying “Mew” who also serves as a Priestess at a local temple. Way too much time is spent on showing the two together, and even after Furude exhibits some strange and ominous behavior, I just couldn’t get up the energy to care. But don’t worry, it’s not all about Akasaka hanging out with an underage girl. He also spends quite a bit of time playing mahjong in another rather boring sequence intended to showcase his cunning. Despite that, Akasaka still comes off as way too bland and uninteresting for his own good. It doesn’t help matters that he’s a fairly passive character, moving through the story, nominally investigating the kidnapping, but really just being around town by other characters while displaying little to no initiative of his own.
The artwork is incredibly average and forgettable. There’s nothing terribly interesting or eye catching about the book at all and Tonogai fails to impart the tale with any real sense of atmosphere or of building dread that the dialogue seems to hint at. On the upside, the story telling is clear and easy to follow. It’s just not terribly interesting to look at.
My first foray into the popular Higurashi line left me feeling very under whelmed. Maybe the anime is better, or the original games, but the manga was very average and horribly unengaging. Bland characters and artwork to match made the whole thing a forgettable read.
Higurashi When They Cry, vol. 7: Time Killing Arc, Part 1 is available now. Review copy provided by the publisher.