10 February 2019 | Tweekums
When They Cry (Series Two)
In series one we saw the same few weeks in 1983 in the village of Hinamizawa playing out like a twisted 'Groundhog Day'... each time ending in paranoia, insanity and murder. We are told that there is a curse that caused the deaths but we don't know why time is repeating or the cause of the curse... that was the 'questions arc'; now in series two we get the 'solutions arc'.
Over the course of this season we learn that one of our school-aged protagonists is fully aware that this time is repeating and has endured the weeks leading up to their murder over and over for about a hundred years... different actions may change how things come to pass but the end result is the same. The something happens; others have ideas of what happened before leading to the hope that the events may finally end. Intertwined with this we learn that another character has far more to do with events than anybody could have suspected.
Season one of 'When They Cry' earnt a reputation as a particularly disturbing horror anime with scenes at least as disturbing as many mainstream horror movies... this series sees a change of direction. The gore is almost all gone but there is a decent amount of action instead; particularly towards the end of the series. We also get some really good character development; not just for the main cast but also for the person revealed as the main antagonist. I liked the fact that this character was given a good back story that made it possible to have some sympathy for them even when their behaviour is clearly wrong. The animation is good; certainly better than the first season and while the character designs haven't changed they look better drawn. Overall I certainly enjoyed this and was pleased to see the questions raised in season one answered; I'd certainly recommend watching this if you enjoyed the first season; just don't expect the disturbing scares.
These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.