JAV Museum

15ID-042: Higurashi ga Naku Koro ni

DVD cover of 15ID-042

20 years ago, a visual novel was released that would quite honestly change my life. Higurashi When They Cry (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) is a story that is incredibly difficult to describe. It masquerades as a typical bishōjo game, but soon turns into a gruesome horror story, and also a mystery story. Not to spoil the story, but this shape-shifting novel invokes several other genres besides those. Just when you think you know what Higurashi is about, it proves you wrong.

Keiichi plays a card game with his schoolfriends

The story goes that in the summer of 1983, Maebara Keiichi, a high schooler from the city, moves with his parents to the tranquil yet beautiful rural village of Hinamizawa. He becomes great friends with a group of girls from his school, and life couldn't be more perfect for him. However, one day he learns about a series of mysterious occurences: every year in June, one person in the village dies and another person vanishes. As he tries to uncover the truth behind these strange happenings, he finds himself in mortal danger…

Keiichi reads a newspaper article about a lynching incident

I soon realised that despite the gripping nature of this central tale, author Ryūkishi07 used it as a vehicle to touch upon a huge variety of different topics, such as friendship, policing, child abuse, Japanese history, philosophy, and much more besides. He drew upon his experience working as a civil servant to provide social commentary on many issues which face us today. That is how it completely changed my outlook on life and who I am today.

Rena stands outside Keiichi's home at nighttime

I say all that to convey that Higurashi really means a lot to me. And perhaps you can see why, although there have been many attempts to adapt the story for various mediums, it is very difficult to get anywhere close to capturing the appeal of the original novel. The TV anime adaptation spanned two series, yet even it just about managed to cover the core storyline.

Mion at Keiichi's door at nighttime

There have been a couple of attempts to create live-action versions of Higurashi. Two feature films were released in 2008 and 2009, but it was futile, and the less said about them the better, quite honestly. It wasn't until the 2016 TV series that we were granted a proper live-action telling of the story, and even that had its shortfalls.

Rena with a happy expression

It is therefore with some relief that when, following the success of the TV anime, studio TMA decided to make a porn adaptation of Higurashi in 2007, they chose to adapt the first chapter, Onikakushi-hen ('Spirited Away by the Demon' Chapter).

Satoko and Rika

Due to the way Higurashi is structured, each chapter is essentially a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end. By adapting just the first chapter, TMA are able to create a coherent film that doesn't cut too many of the key elements of the chapter and also doesn't feel too rushed.

Rena shouts, "use soda!" or something to that effect

15ID-042's full title is「ひぐらしなく頃に」(Higurashi ga Naku Koro ni), which is remakably similar to the original name「ひぐらしなく頃に」(Higurashi no Naku Koro ni). It was released in the same year as The Melancholy of Hahiru Suzumiya which I previously reviewed. At that time, TMA were churning out porn parodies of popular media at an industrial rate.

A needle in the ohagi

You might expect this parody to be based on the TV anime. It was, however, clearly created by people familiar with the original visual novel. This is particularly evident in the scene transitions that make use of the Higurashi logo, just like in the VN.

Rena wielding her nata knife

One of the things that gives this video a lot of authenticity is that the soundtrack includes tracks from the visual novel. Unlike most other parodies that only use "soundalike" tracks, TMA went out of their way to use the exact same tracks as the original. This is only possible because the visual novel uses tracks from a stock music package. In fact, I have heard this same set of stock music used in other JAVs, but it would have required a lot of attention to detail to pick out the correct tracks and use them in the right places.

Casey and friends

The casting is pretty much spot-on. Each of the characters is portrayed as I expect. The funny and easily embarrassed Rena is, quite fittingly, played by Momose Rena. Satō Ruri has the role of the group's leader, Mion. The group's younger members have a smaller part in this video, but Hasegawa Sayaka does a great job as cheeky young lady Satoko. Seto Hinata does a similarly splendid job of playing kind shrine maiden Rika.


The video also features bird photographer Tomitake and the one and only Detective Delicious. Despite not getting much screentime, the actors portray these roles very well.

Detective Ōishi

The costumes are fairly basic, but they look the part. The characters aren't wearing particularly extravagant clothes anyway. Keiichi in particular just wears a white shirt on top of a red undershirt – a cosplay I have managed to achieve with just the clothes in my wardrobe. I do greatly appreciate that Mion has her infamous toy pistol – a detail that would have been easy to overlook.

Keiichi walks with Rena and Mion to school

A common criticism of this and other cosplay videos is that the actresses do not have coloured hair as in the original. Why is Mion's hair not green? However, at least in this case, I'm somewhat glad they didn't have the cast wear wigs. There is evidence to suggest that, canonically, the characters do not have vividly coloured hair. Just as the characters do not actually have massive hands, they were simply drawn that way.

Mion laughing

In terms of sex scenes, Keiichi gets to fuck all the women. First is a scene with Rena. There are some hints of romance between the two characters in the original, but it's quite something to see them going at it. There is also a threesome with Satoko and Rika. Towards the end of the video is a scene in which Keiichi rapes Mion. Ruri does a fantastic job of expressing the horror of her friend raping her. It's interesting to note the vivid contrast between the romantic scene with Rena and the harrowing rape scene with Mion. The DVD also features a bonus POV scene with Rena wearing her white dress, although this is missing from some releases.

Keiichi is dragged away to be punished by Satoko and Rika

In conclusion, this video is truly a masterpiece. It manages to replicate the creepy atmosphere of the original and, despite being a porn video, turns out to be one of the more faithful adaptations of the story.

Rena tries to take Rika home

Although I would be lying if I said I didn't wish TMA had adapted the seven other chapters of Higurashi, that simply wouldn't have worked. However, with its 38 minutes of drama, this video does a fantastic job of replicating the flavour of the source material, and I wholeheartedly commend everyone involved in its creation.

Score: 10/10 – Perfect