When They Cry

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A Media Franchise of linear sound novels, anime, console games, and manga by 07th Expansion, a doujin group that became famous with the series' first installment, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. When They Cry is broken up into a series of supernatural murder mysteries, which are further broken up into individual games, or arcs. These arcs are marked by time starting over from a certain point with the dead members of the cast brought back to life for mysterious reasons.

The series is mapped out like this:

When They Cry 1 & 2: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

  • When They Cry: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When The Cicadas Cry). Hinamizawa, a small village in The Eighties is plagued by a curse in which, every year, one villager is found murdered and another is never seen again. Keiichi Maebara, the new kid in town, begins to uncover the secrets of the village and is driven further into fear and paranoia as he watches his new friends succumb to madness. This year, it looks as if the whole village is marked for death...
    • Onikakushi-hen ("Spirited Away by the Demon chapter"). The "Keiichi arc". Keiichi moves into Hinamizawa and suspects Rena and Mion of involvement with the murders after he finds that they've been lying to him about the village's past.
    • Watanagashi-hen ("Cotton-Drifting chaper"). The "Mion arc". Mion's twin sister Shion comes to town under mysterious circumstances, and the theory that the murders are committed by demonic possession becomes likely.
      • Taraimawashi-hen ("Rotation chapter"). A PS2-exclusive version of the game combining Watanagashi-hen with Onikakushi-hen. It is designed to show what happens if Keiichi doesn't get involved in the mysteries of Hinamizawa.
    • Tatarigoroshi-hen ("Curse Killing chapter"). The "Satoko arc". Satoko's abusive uncle makes everyone's life miserable when he comes to Hinamizawa, but Keiichi discovers something even worse in the shrine.
    • Himatsubushi-hen ("Time Killing chapter"). The "Akasaka Arc". A flashback arc. Police investigator Mamoru Akasaka relates the events of a kidnapping five years ago in Hinamizawa, and the mysterious actions of Rika Furude.
    • Onisarashi-hen ("Demon Exposing chapter"). A manga-only chapter. In a timeline where the Great Hinamizawa Disaster occurred, a young girl named Natsumi's life is still ruined despite moving away from Hinamizawa before the massacre.
      • Someutsushi-hen ("Stain Following chapter"). An adaptation of Onisarashi-hen to the DS system. A new character, a police officer named Tomoe Minai, is introduced. Features a different ending to that of Onisarashi-hen.
      • Kagebōshi-hen ("Silhouette chapter"). The retelling of Someutsushi-hen from Minai's point of view in the same style as Watanagashi-hen was retold. Features yet another ending different to that of Onisarashi and Someutsushi.
  • When They Cry 2: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (When The Cicadas Cry: Solutions). A direct continuation of the previous, which answers the many questions raised by it. Although some of these arcs appear in the first season of The Anime of the Game, they are considered part of Kai in the games themselves. Keiichi is replaced by Rika as the main character, but as with Himatsubushi-hen, some arcs are told by other characters.
    • Tsukiotoshi-hen ("Exorcism chapter"). A PS2-exclusive arc that resembles Tatarigoroshi-hen in that Satoko's uncle Teppei is the main threat. Keiichi still takes matters into his own hands, but this time, he is accompanied by Shion and Rena, and all of them start to hallucinate afterward.
    • Meakashi-hen ("Eye Opening chapter"). The "Shion arc". Shion relates her life story and why she is the way she is, culminating in a retelling of what really happened during Watanagashi-hen (although note that while this arc serves as a POV Sequel to Watanagashi-hen, they are technically different—just nearly identical—timelines).
      • Utsutsukowashi-hen ("Reality Breaking chapter"). A manga-only chapter, and a prequel to Meakashi-hen. When Shion is sent Off to boarding school, she investigates the murder of a teacher. Cancelled.
    • Tsumihoroboshi-hen ("Atonement chapter"). The "Rena arc". Rena becomes incredibly paranoid and feels forced to kill, threaten and hide away in order to save the people she loves, but for the first time, others are able to get through to the victim of paranoia. This also reveals the truth about the events of Onikakushi-hen. This arc acts as the end of the first season of the anime.
      • "Reunion". An anime-only episode, set years after Tsumihoroboshi-hen. This raises many new theories about the Hinamizawa Disaster, only one of which is correct.
      • Yoigoshi-hen ("Overnight chapter"). A manga-only Alternate Universe to Tsumihoroboshi-hen. Twenty-three years later, a new group—including a woman claiming to be Mion Sonozaki—meets in Hinamizawa. This Chapter is appears in a third Higurashi DS-port game, with a new character added.
      • Tokihogushi-hen ("Untangling Chapter"). A DS-Port Prequel chapter that involves with Tomoe Minai in a case of Rena Ryugu 1982, one year prior to the event of the story.
    • Yakusamashi-hen ("Disaster Awakening chapter"). An anime-only arc personally requested by the game's creator to fill in the plot holes left by the first season. Along with new character Hanyu, Rika hints at her true nature and why she is at the center of the mystery, and Satoko attempts to solve it on her own.
    • Minagoroshi-hen ("Massacre chapter"). The "Rika Arc". Rika and Keiichi band together with the rest of the club, all having realized everything about the time loop and what they had done in the past. They do their best to get past the one hurdle that Rika has deemed impossible to beat—Satoko's abusive uncle Teppei—but are stopped by the real murderer, who is revealed after having been hiding all this time.
    • Matsuribayashi-hen ("Festival Music chapter"). The "Hanyu Arc". The real murderer's heartbreaking motivations are revealed. The club, plus Hanyu, the police and other adults of authority, mobilizes to save Hinamizawa once and for all.
    • Miotsukushi-hen ("Canal Drying chapter"). A PS2-exclusive Alternate Universe ending arc in which Rika and Keiichi stand alone instead of with the others, as the Hate Plague goes into overdrive and the events of Watanagashi-hen, Tatarigoroshi-hen and Tsumihoroboshi-hen hit them all at once. Several deviations occur from the Matsuribayashi-hen ending.
      • A DS-Port render of Miotsukushi-hen adds the conclusion of Tomoe Minai's story, that continues from Tokihogushi-hen.
    • Kokoroiyashi-hen ("Heart Healing chapter"). A manga-only chapter. The club goes on vacation and attempts to heal after the horrors they've seen and participated in.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei. Extra arcs that may or may not be canon. In the anime, this is a bonus OVA.
    • Saikoroshi-hen ("Dice Killing chapter"). The epilogue. Rika falls into a coma and wakes up in a Wonderful Life scenario, only instead of wishing herself out, she's wished out the Dysfunction Junction of the cast. What didn't kill them, though, once removed, appears to have made them horrible, miserable, selfish people.
      • Kotohogushi-hen ("Congratulating Chapter"). The DS-Port original chapter that revolves around Hanyuu's past life in Onigafuchi, along with her husband, Riku Furude, and their child, Ouka.
    • Batsukoishi-hen ("Penalty Loving"), also known as Otsukaresama-kai. A gag story set in the after-school club. This was once included as part of Kai, but was considered too lighthearted and silly. In the anime, this arc is replaced with Hajisarashi-hen.
    • Hirukowashi-hen ("Daybreak chapter"), also known as Higurashi Daybreak. A fanmade fighting game that ascended to canon. Rika finds a pair of magatama that will make anyone fall in love, the whole town begins to squabble over them, and Rena accidentally swallows one.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni light novels. Similar to Rei, these are bonus arcs that stand in a group rather than fitting into 1 or Kai.
    • Nekogoroshi-hen ("Cat Killing chapter"). Mion relates the story of a murdered friend. This was also made into a bonus OVA between the release of the first and second seasons.
    • Kuradashi-hen ("Delivery chapter"). Everything that couldn't be fit into the games, manga, adaptations or TIPS is all right here.
    • Hajisarashi-hen ("Shame Exposing chapter"). Keiichi obtains a charmed swimsuit that is said to turn the wearer into a Chick Magnet. While at a public pool the girls learn that it will actually turn him into a narcissist, and a race against time begins to relieve him of his trunks before he completely loses interest in the opposite sex forever! Naturally, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira. More extra arcs that are probably not canon. An anime OVA that contains Batsukoishi-hen and three all-new episodes. Notable for being much more lighthearted and silly than the other even Rei and containing very high amounts of fanservice.

When They Cry 3 & 4: Umineko no Naku Koro ni

  • When They Cry 3: Umineko no Naku Koro ni (When The Seagulls Cry). Unlike Higurashi, Umineko features a cast of eighteen people on the island of Rokkenjima, and the time loops only last two days, increasing the sense of urgency. An old man living in a mansion is near death, and all the relatives have convened to discuss his will. Battler Ushiromiya, one of these relatives, insists that the legends of a cruel and insane witch are only stories, and is determined to find the real cause of the murders. Higurashi and Umineko are mostly unrelated, save for one character which seems to tie the two verses together.
    • Legend of the golden witch. The "Beatrice Arc." Like Onikakushi-hen, this is an introduction to the setting and to the legend of the witch Beatrice. A sorority of witches, each with her own motivations, begins to give Battler cryptic clues. Natsuhi is the prominent adult character of the arc.
    • Turn of the golden witch. The "Cousins Arc." The family is revealed to have a dark history related to black magic, and the relationships between George and Shannon, Jessica and Kanon, and Rosa and Maria are greatly focused on. Rosa is a central character to this arc's events.
    • Banquet of the golden witch. The "Eva Arc." A handful of new characters are introduced, and the pasts of Eva and Beatrice are expanded upon. Eva is the most prominent adult of the arc.
    • Alliance of the golden witch. The "Ange Arc." The future of 1998 is explored as the sole survivor of the Ushiromiya family, Ange, explores the nature of magic and witches.
      • Rondo of the Witch and Reasoning. PS3 remake of the first four games by Alchemist. Keeping the original BGM, using the voice actors from the anime, and completely redoing art.
  • When They Cry 4: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru (When The Seagulls Cry: Breakdown). A direct continuation of the above, this delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding the family, where rather than outright answers, only subtle hints are given at first.
    • End of the golden witch. The "Natsuhi Arc." The game continues with somewhat new players, and the scope of the game changes when someone shipwrecks on the island before the murders. Natsuhi's past is explained and she is a featured character in the game's plotline.
    • Dawn of the golden witch. The "Shannon and Kanon Arc." A new game master takes up the helm and gives us a tale with some unexpected twists, focusing on the two cousin-servant couples and hinting at many of the game's biggest mysteries, complete with a return to 1998.
    • Requiem of the golden witch. The "Lion and Yasu Arc." Yet another new game master presents her personal perception of the "truth" of the game. The story is split between an alternate, "perfect" world where the tragedy does not happen (which focuses instead on Kinzo and Beatrice's backstories) and the game master's culprit theory proper. Features two new perspective characters, Willard H. Wright and Lion Ushiromiya.
    • Twilight of the golden witch. The "Battler Arc." The final arc, in which Battler and Beatrice create a special last game in order to help Ange reach the truth. Features the return of virtually the whole Cast Herd, the first appearance of six-year-old Ange, yet another new text color, and Multiple Endings.
      • Nocturne of the Truth and Illusions. Gives the Chiru arcs the same PS3 treatment that Rondo gave the first four arcs.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa (When The Seagulls Cry: Wings). A fandisc containing extra short stories (TIPS), released alongside Twilight.
    • Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane (When the Seagulls Cry: Feathers). A fandisc containing two TIPS that were not in Tsubasa, released alongside Ougon Musoukyoku Cross
  • Ougon Musoukyoku (Golden Fantasia). A PC fighting game featuring the Umineko cast similar to the aforementioned Higurashi Daybreak and games like Melty Blood. Released at the 2010 winter Comiket.
    • Recently announced for an Xbox 360 port, Ougon Musoukyoku X, featuring Jessica, George, and Rosa as additional characters.
    • A third expansion, Ougon Musoukyoku CROSS, was released December 31, 2011, which, in addition to the characters added in X, also adds in three new characters (Erika, Dlanor and a culprit version of Battler), plus three other characters (Will, Bernkastel, Lambdadelta) which are set to be unlocked with another expansion on Spring 2012.
  • Alongside Nocturne of Truth and Illusions and Ougon Musoukyoku CROSS is a booklet entitled Our Confession, which confirms the answers to several of the riddles presented in the main story proper.

For examples and series-specific notes, please see Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Also see Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni, a manga/visual novel penned by Ryukishi07, but so far has no relation to the main series games and Rose Guns Days, an upcoming visual novel by 07th Expansion, but also unrelated to the main series games.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the When They Cry franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.