Higurashi: Time Killing – Volume 2
In the concluding volume of this Higurashi–When They Cry story arc, Akasaka continues to deal with the problem of finding the boy who has been kidnapped by villagers fighting against the developing government dam project. But more importantly, what is going to happen to Rika-chan?
On one hand the manga makes it clear there is danger awaiting her, but at the same time she is shown to have a mysterious, cryptically dark side to her who lets Akasaka know he will regret having come to this village. And at moments, there appears to be a downright frightening side to the small child (see pic).
On top of the mystery and horror of the volume, there is a surprising amount of action as well which is uncommon for the series. In the end though, what stands out the most for this story arc is the depth of the characters and their interactions with one another. Higurashi is known first and foremost as a horror series to anime/manga fans, but what impresses me most are the elements of drama throughout the various story arcs. Characters such as Akasaka and Rika-chan go through some of the most unique, unfortunate conflicts I’ve read in a manga, and the ending of this story arc is easily one of the most bittersweet in any work of fiction I’ve encountered.
So far it’s been really enjoyable to read the Higurashi manga volumes as I’ve been able to pick them up from the library. It’s a series I would like to own one day, once I have the means to invest that much money to a manga collection.