Though the key visuals for Higurashi: When They Cry look as sweet as pie, the popular anime series is actually quite terrifying.


The original Higurashi story was described as a “sound novel,” which is similar to a visual novel but focuses on sound and atmosphere. From there, the story expanded into anime in 2006, with the success of the show quickly gaining popularity.

Higurashi’s story focuses on Keiichi Maebara, who has moved to the quiet village of Hinamizawa in 1983. He’s quick to make a group of friends at school that he becomes inseparable with, but darkness that rests among them soon makes its way to the surface.

The show has had many iterations between 2006 and 2021, which might leave some fans unsure of which part to tackle first. Fear not — here’s everything you need to know about watching Higurashi in order.

What is Higurashi?

While the village of Hinamizawa initially seems peaceful when Keiichi moves there, he quickly finds our that violent secrets are lurking underneath. On the day of the village’s local annual festival, he learns that murders and disappearances are rife, and each of which remains unresolved.

More like this

This leads to something known as the Oyashiro Curse, which is a name given to the events by the superstitious villagers. When Keiichi and his friends try to solve the murders for themselves, they each succumb to paranoia, and a blinding homicidal rage.

As the mysteries unfold, more tragedies hit Hinamizawa, threatening everyone’s lives within it.

Is Higurashi disturbing?

Higurashi is deemed to be so disturbing that some fans consider it to be the greatest horror anime that’s ever been made.

The show is known for its brutal scenes, supernatural elements, great mysteries and bloody action which kick-started the legacy that we know the franchise to have today.

How to watch Higurashi in order

After the unexpected popularity of the original When They Cry series, plenty of spin-offs were made that turned Higurashi from a TV show into a franchise.

At the same time, the visual novels were re-released, adding in entirely new story arcs to better match up with the episodes and OVAs. Thankfully, Higurashi’s release and chronological order is exactly the same.

Here’s how that watchlist would look:

  • When They Cry (2006)
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Nekogoroshi-hen (OVA, 2007)
  • When They Cry: Kai (2007)
  • When They Cry: Rei (2009)
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira (2011–12)
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kaku: Outbreak (OVA, 2013)
  • Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou (2020–21)
  • Higurashi: When They Cry – Sotsu (2021)

Where to watch Higurashi in the UK

Higurashi can currently be found on Crunchyroll, Netflix and AppleTV for UK viewers.

You can catch Higurashi on Crunchyroll. Sign up to Crunchyroll from $7.99 per month with a 14-day free trial.

Check out more of our anime coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.