Fight for a Perfect World
If you haven’t read my review of season one, you should take a moment to do that. I’m going to assume you have some knowledge of season one in this review, so there will be some spoilers in this post. Kai is the follow up to Higurashi’s first season that delivers some much needed answers.
Jumping right in where season one left off, Kai begins to unravel the mystery that was left hanging in season one. As you may recall, the solution was actually divulged in season one but it was buried in a heap of hysteria and paranoia that there is almost no way to discern it prior. This is an aspect that I greatly appreciate though, giving all the pieces up front but leaving things just obfuscated enough to keep you guessing.
Minor spoilers, but it turns out that everything is about Rika. Without Rika, things go bad real fast. Why? Well you’ll just have to watch to find out, but this is another enjoyable aspect that Kai has, and that’s putting importance into things that seemingly don’t matter. Now it isn’t hard to figure out that Rika may be important in season one, but everything is divulged here.
If you are looking for more endless murder with the creepy factor being played up, then you are going to be a bit disappointed. It really is about the mystery and how to prevent the endless cycle of murder from occurring. This isn’t to say that there isn’t anything like season one here, but it is noticeably different.
To compliment this, astute viewers will notice a change in the animation from season one to two. Everything has a softer, lighter look to it that downplays the dark atmosphere and foreboding that season one was drenched in. Seeing that the general tone of Kai is far more optimistic, this is a nice touch. Though, it is quite distracting because of the animations inconsistency.
When things are in full swing, most things look fine. However, the lighter episodes that are standard at the start of each arc are just all over the place. Really, doesn’t matter too much because the show should carry itself in the writing at this point, but it is disappointing that the quality suffers at all in terms of visuals throughout Kai‘s run.
Last time I brought up my love of season one’s OP, and while I enjoy season two’s opening it just isn’t quite as good. I love that it matches the overall uplifting tone of the series while still providing some signature spooky vibes. Going to leave it here because I think it is still pretty cool.
Spoiler territory in bound. If you wanted a recommendation, then you have it from me. Definitely a must-see if you finished season one and even remotely enjoyed it. The power of friendship is still a theme here but it makes sense, so if it didn’t bother you before it won’t bother you here.
As for the actual spoilers, this is you last chance out. Staying? Ok, good.
One major compliment that I have to give to Kai is that the villain is relatable. I think what Takano does is horrible, but I can completely understand her motivation. Her backstory is handled very well and is one of the best parts of the entire franchise. It’s a bit over-the-top in circumstance, but so is the rest of the series.
Speaking of, I do have a complaint regarding Takano. Her voice actress in the sub makes it painfully obvious that she is the bad guy. In the dub, at least it is a bit more ambiguous. She only comes off as shady there, but in the sub I could tell instantly. In my second go through, with friends seeing it for the first time, they pegged her right away as well.
I know that this season is all about answering the mystery but this gives things up a bit too quickly. This is a problem because you aren’t supposed to know Takano is the villain early into the season. It actively hurts the pacing and lessens some of the other arcs where the gang tries to figure out who the lynchpin behind all the chaos is.
Spoilers are done now.
Discounting this, Kai is practically a perfect conclusion to the series. There are some lose ends, but almost everything is wrapped up nicely in a satisfying package. Later a season three would be released that was meant to tie up the lose ends, but we’ll get to that next time. Great series and one of my favorites for sure.
What are your thoughts on Higurashi‘s second season? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article consider helping me out by becoming a Patron. Just click the button below for more details. Hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon, and thanks for reading!