Otaku USA Magazine
Higurashi When They Cry: Eye Opening Arc 1





Shion hates her boarding school and decides to escape. It doesn’t occur to her that she might be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

Shion’s family had an old custom when it came to twins: “If twin successors are born, strangle one before giving it its first cleaning.” Her family broke tradition when it let both her and her twin sister Mion live. However, both girls have been separated and are treated very differently. Mion’s been living with their grandmother while Shion originally got shipped off to be taught at St, Lucia. Mion is the heiress. Shion is not. 

Without telling her parents, Shion makes a run for it from her school. She does inform her sister of what’s going on and, in order not to be caught, Shion now walks around and pretends she’s Mion. Of course, she can’t live with Mion, but the two girls keep in touch.

Shion also starts to become close to a boy named Satoshi who is living with his sister and being raised by a bullying aunt and uncle. His home life is bad, and he is haunted with omens of Oyashiro-sama’s curse. Shion falls hard for Satoshi, and a good portion of this book is about the two of them hanging out together. There’s special attention paid to Satoshi’s baseball playing. Despite being a volume in a well-known horror series, the first book in the Eye Opening Arc is mostly lacking in horror.

Mostly. 

There are a few creepy hints, and in the last few pages things really get interesting. It’s the day of the cotton drifting, and that’s just asking for bad luck. A body has been found, and Shion is hanging out with Satoshi’s little sister; the last page gives a dark prediction of what will happen next.

This book is pretty simple and tame, mainly dealing with the relationship between Shion and Satoshi. If one didn’t know any better, this could almost pass off as light romance. However, it feels as if it’s setting itself up for something good, and that the romance will fall away and the drama will take its place. I do want to read what happens next, especially after the last few pages. This is a good series, and my hunch is that some promising things are going to happen in this arc, and it needed this volume to get us ready for what’s to come. 

Publisher: Yen Press

Story: Ryukishio7

Art: Yutori Houjyou

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