Saturday, September 4, 2010

Higurashi When They Cry: Cotton Drifting Arc, Vol.2

Twins Shion and Mion have Keiichi seeing double. But as he grows closer to Shion, their flirty relationship has Mion seeing red. When Shion and Keiichi trespass on sacred ground the night of the Cotton Drifting, a string of gruesome murders and disappearances follow. Are the legends of Oyashiro-sama's curse true? Is there a demon in Hinamizawa?
(From the backcover of Higurashi When They Cry: Cotton Drifting Arc, Vol.1)

Manga-Ka: Story by Ryukishio7 & Art by Yutori Houjyou
Distributor: Yen Press
Format: Right-to-left
Rating: Older Teen

{I, the reviewer, give Higurashi When They Cry: Cotton Drifting Arc (Vol.1), 8 out of 10!}


So today my friend lended me Volume 2 of The Cotton Drifting Arc from the manga series Higurashi When They Cry. It's one of her favorites, so she wanted me to give it a read and return it to her next week. She and her sister told me it's REALLY SCARY! So at sundown, I decided to give it a read....

Now let me warn you that this story is NOT for the faint of heart. It can be very brutal and very disturbing at times. They were right when they told me it was scary. To think a bunch of still images could literally make you almost jump! Despite it being the second volume of this particular arc, I wasn't really lost in the story at all. You are immediately pulled in once they enter the Saiguden, a place forbidden to enter. The lady tells them the story behind why they have the "Cotton Drifting" festival right there in the darkness of the Saiguden. It's a chilling, gruesome tail about man-eating demons. It seems that every year, during the "Cotton Drifting" festival, a person dies and another disappears. And the lady who told them the legend said that they are "the most likely victims to Oyashiro's curse!"

Now I can't put much here in the comments without giving away any spoilers, but let me tell you, this manga will put you on the edge of your seat! It can seem a bit confusing, but it IS a mystery story after all. A horrifying mystery story, at that. Not all is as it seems, especially when Keichii keeps getting asked the strange question: "Have you seen Takano-san, Tomitake-san, and Shion?"
The art in this manga is really fantastic! It's beautiful and lush looking, but also can be creepy at times as well. The story is very engaging, and you will find yourself sucked in, wondering what's going to happen next! It is very intense; so intense that you may even hesitate to turn to the next page, because this manga may literally make you jump, despite it only being still images. And if you do not jump, you will be at the edge of your seat!

I'm actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this manga. I will admit; I do love scary stories. And what surprised me is, that it wasn't as violent as I thought. Of course, I'll need to read more volumes before I can officially judge (perhaps other volumes are more gruesome?). And I'm not saying it WASN'T graphic, I mean, there were quite a few graphic scenes that made me hesitant to even finish the story, but the violent scenes were handled very well. Even the most gruesome are heavily screentoned so it's very dark and not explicitly detailed. Sadly, I will have to return this manga to my friend, but now that I got a taste of it, I'm probably going to end up going to my favorite book story and buy this volume to keep in my collection. In fact, I may even continue with this series. Who knows? That is...if later volumes don't scare me away....XD!!

If you like horror stories, then you'll really get a kick out of this one. Especially if you like mystery-type ones.


Nothing more harsh than the "d" word.

In separate encoutners with Mion and Shion, he notices that they were drinking when they were at the festival.

There is a scene where Rena is naked, but her chest is covered by her arms, and her other private part by a towel.

Well, well. We already see blood and gore on the first few pages. It's not too bad, it's heavily screentoned to look very dark, but you can see blood from dead bodies. There's another of those "heavily screentoned scenes" with a man with his hands on his throat (apparently, he clawed at his own throat) and there's blood, and a woman's dead body burnt. Both had a look of horror on their faces. This story revolves around an old legend of the town about half-human, half-demon people who once a year, at the Cotton Drifting, eat humans.
(SPOILERS! Mion has Keiichi strapped down to a metal table where she threatens to nail him down so Shion can "hear his screams of torment" before she kills her. Apparently, she lets Keiichi go, but later she comes back and stabs him, and there's quite a bit of blood. In the hospital, he is told that Shion fell off the balcony, and in another "heavily screentoned scene" you see her, blood splat everywhere, and we also learn about the bodies in the well and that Mion died in the well, too, so how could she have stabbed him if she was already dead? Also, some humanoid creature that might be Mion crawls over on his bed, and she is covered in blood).

Keiichi, Shion, and 2 others break into the "Saiguden", a place much like a sacred temple for the god Oyashiro. The legend of the "Cotton Drifting" festival is about these demons that attacked the village, but then a god name Oyashiro-sama came down, gave the demons human forms, so that they may all live in harmony. The humans and demons mixed, creating half-breeds. However, these "demons" are man-eaters, so the dormant demon blood with the thirst for humans sometimes awakens, and they go after the human townspeople. The festival is a "man-eating banquet", so they won't eat all of them, they will accept a sacrifice by Oyashiro's permission.
(SPOILER!!! We learn that Mion has demon blood running through her. This "demon" takes over Mion, so she is no longer Mion anymore).

Chapter 6: The Saiguden
Chapter 7: The Fifth Year's Curse
Chapter 8: Demoned Away
Chapter 9: Disappearance
Chapter 10: Phone Call
Chapter 11: Demon
Final Chapter: The Last Wish