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When They Cry: Complete Series
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

When They Cry: Complete Series

A disturbing but interesting anime series for those looking for something different.

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I remember a friend of mine telling me about When They Cry and how trippy it was a few years ago and how I had it on my “to see” list ever since. Thanks to our friends at Sentai Filmworks, I finally got to see what the disturbing yet intriguing show was all about with the When They Cry: Complete Series set. If you’re looking for an anime that will keep you glued to the screen that features cute girls doing horrific things, you’ll want to see what all the crying is about in this series.

The plot takes place in the peaceful remote town of Hinamizawa, a place so small, all the kids go to the same school and everyone knows everybody there. A young man named Keiichi soon becomes friends with four girls Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika who want him to join their school club they have after class. Things play out like a typical slice-of-life comedy anime at first, until Keiichi learns about the town supposedly having a curse placed on it that led to a project manager for a dam being built being found dismembered five years ago along with others related to the project and its members. The closer he gets to finding what really happened, the more some of the girls turn on him and become dark versions of themselves that toy with him in horrific ways, from making food for him with needles in it, to killing random people in town. This leads Keiichi to fight back against the girls, and without spoiling anything, after some gruesome events that involve more people dying, everyone wakes up the next day as if nothing happened and with no memory of the prior events. Will anyone ever remember what happened before these time loops and solve the meaning behind the curse? You have to stick to your TV and find out.

To say anymore would ruin a great time and mystery for those who enjoy horror-thrillers like I do. What really pulled me into the series was how it started off being a happy-go-lucky anime series with cute girls at that, only for it to turn into a bloody, violent horror show. It reminds me a lot of another great anime series called Elfen Lied that starts off in a similar fashion. While this series is on Blu-ray, I noticed how the visual quality is decent, but not as sharp as it should be, as though someone just copied the DVD versions directly to the disc. Also only the first season features the option of viewing it with English or Japanese dubbing, while the rest of the episodes are Japanese with subtitles only. Despite these issues, the series still looks and sounds good enough to keep you invested into the madness going on here. The special features are on the light side with clean opening and closing animations, and some promo trailers for other anime series.

If you’re looking for an anime that will catch you off guard and keep you watching until the very end, you’ll want to check out When They Cry: Complete Series. Despite some visual and audio quirks, with all three seasons on nine Blu-ray discs, this collection is sure to keep you busy and intrigued with cute girls that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of.

About the Author: Chris Mitchell