Anime Vice News

What the F@#$ Did I Just Watch?! WHEN THEY CRY Episode #1

An anime N00B's take...

The genuine “What the f@#$ did I just watch?!” moments experience throughout this column are increasing in frequency. In this case, it’s WHEN THEY CRY as whole that so confounds me rather than any single moment in it. Honestly, I’m seriously questioning if this was actually a nightmare I had while watching the first episode of CLANNAD. You have ever a dream that’s largely bright and sunny - - perhaps it’s you having an adventure in your favorite TV show - - and then genuinely horrific elements slither into it, like ink seeking into the edges of a white cloth? That’s really the best way I can describe this show.

See, this shares a lot of commonalities with CLANNAD, as I see it. The setting’s a school attended by all sorts of quirky, spunky girls with brightly colored hair. There’s just one guy amongst them and, even though he’s the big man on campus, he’s got some issues. Playing cards (not tarot) even factor into a scene that foretells a lot about the characters. The two key differences is that WHEN THEY CRY really isn’t funny when it’s trying to be and when it does venture into darker territory, it gets REALLY dark.

Seriously, what is this trying to convey? One scene has light-hearted school hijinks with spontaneously-appearing cartoony expressions to genuinely.   The next scene has a creepy interlude where these kids investigate a junkyard where a hacked-up body is hidden somewhere, and this ominous drone of cicadas buzzes throughout the background. It’s like the whole thing suddenly turned into a David Lynch movie.  Maybe I’m missing something here, but I found the whole thing kind of vexing.  Really the only thing I could compare this to is the American comic the UNFUNNIES which purposely juxtaposed carefree children’s cartoons with disturbing social issues by having funny animals getting busted for kiddy porn, turning to prostitution and later being executed in electric chairs.  Is that what this show is going for?

Anyway, thanks again to Outlaw_Spike for this unusual recommendation. Check out the episode and get creeped out on your own, then recommend some more shows for me to check out.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia.   Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.


chellysaidwhaton March 29, 2010 at 10:44 p.m.
IT IS CREEPY. ALL OF IT.
Void_Wizardon March 30, 2010 at 12:06 a.m.
This show will goes farther I'm sure then that silly American comic(in terms of violence). Higurashi(particularly season1) FTW!
Outlaw_Spikeon March 30, 2010 at 2:03 a.m.
I'd recommend watching at least the rest of the first arc if you have time. It gets pretty intense and is just really fun to watch.
 
If you're looking for something else, that's about as literally a "complete change of pace" as possible, how about Ouran High School Host Club?
metalsnakezeroon March 30, 2010 at 5:02 a.m.
It gets pretty creepy the more you watch it which is why I like it but there is a little too much moe. Next anime I recommend is Spice and Wolf.
Sonata moderator on March 30, 2010 at 7:37 a.m.
Loved it definitely one of my All-time favesXD
MoonStormon March 30, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.
I've got to say this is one of my all anime. It like a bad psychedelic drug trip of highs and lows. Seeing the characters lighter side of things really makes you like the characters and brakes up some of the darker parts into manageable doses. Each arc resets the world and allows the characters to die in new and horrifying ways.    
ThePsychoGameron March 30, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.
The first episode is miss leading 
 

 -- ThePsychogamer is the writer of promotion parodies like this on Animevice. Watch out for more of these and preorder my nonexistence book at notreal.fake, now available in imaginary hardcover
zaldaron March 30, 2010 at 1:40 p.m.
I recommend now and then here and there though you would have to watch all of it to get the full effect.  Do you ever watch more of the shows you talk about here than the first one?
Liminalityon March 30, 2010 at 2:29 p.m.
I saw the first season and it's one of the few animes that I do not like.
vedicardion March 30, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.
Watch until episode 4 and that's all you need to know
MegaDaffyon March 30, 2010 at 6:40 p.m.
I share the opinion you and this guy has :
http://www.manofonetitle.com/apps/videos/videos/view/5676003
 What I've seen of this is just disturbing!
sotyfan16on April 6, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.

I watched the whole series and I have to say it was a waste of time. Same story over and over until the end and everything seems to be sporadic. The animation is fine and indeed blood is beautiful but this could have been so much better.

Dig Deeper into When They Cry - Higurashi

After moving into the quiet town of Hinamizawa, Maebara Keiichi spends his days blissfully in school often playing games with his local friends. However, appearances can be deceiving. One fateful day, Keiichi stumbles upon news of a murder that had occurred in Hinamizawa. From this point on, horrific events unfold in front of Keiichi, as he soon learns his close friends may not be all that they seem. Based on the amateur mystery game by 7th Expansion, the story is told in a series of different scenarios.

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