Photo: PR Times

Hello Kitty and her Sanrio pals are collaborating with a notoriously bloody horror anime series

By Katy Kelly, SoraNews24

There was no avoiding the "When they Cry: Higurashi Naku Koro ni" franchise for any respectable otaku in 2006. The story concept is simple: a young boy, Keiichi Maebara, moves out into the sticks with his parents and quickly befriends a group of cute, funny girls at his school. But Hinamizawa is carrying a lot of dark and twisted secrets, and when a grisly murder is uncovered, Keiichi is forced to grapple with how much he trusts his friends and the people around him.

The auto-battler gacha game "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei" was created to pair with the latest anime adaptation of the franchise, "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Go." While it features a new core cast, it has that cast visit the original core cast in the context of the original novel and anime, and there’s plenty of the series’ trademark blood splatters, eerily abandoned buildings, and dead-eyed stares to enjoy.

Many gacha games rely on collaboration events to drum up interest in players. So who would take up the bloody gauntlet of associating with Higurashi’s creepy, maudlin mood?

You already know the answer: Sanrio is never one to turn down a collaboration.

If you’re wondering if pairing Sanrio’s cuddly, cutesy characters with the Higurashi brand is a joke, you aren’t wrong—it actually was a joke. An April Fools’ joke, to be precise.

Only…the joke worked too well, in that Higurashi fans and Hello Kitty fans alike were delighted to see the macabre cast of teens frolicking with Kitty, Pom Pom Purin, and Cinnamoroll. The next day, Higurashi staff announced that not only would collaborative goods eventually be sold at pop-up shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, and Miyagi but that there would be a tie-in event in the gacha game.

So off Kitty went.

Photo: PR Times

Not only does the game currently feature a card to earn in-game starring We Are Dinosaurs (with Keiichi Maebara) but players were able to roll to earn Hello Kitty (with Rena Ryugu) and Kirimi-chan (with Kazuho Kimiyoshi). Currently, they can roll to earn Cinnamoroll (with Mion Sonozaki) and Pom Pom Purin (with Shion Sonozaki) to complete the set.

▼ Kirimi-chan seems right at home with her new pal Kazuho.

Photo: PR Times

You can even play an in-game event to see Kitty, Pom Pom Purin, Cinnamoroll, and Kirimi interact with the cast. Don’t worry—the event itself is soft and cutesy, with the gang discovering an adorable magical mirror that allows the Sanrio critters to wander into their decidedly un-cute world.

▼ Clearing the event nets players a "We Are Dinosaurs"-themed Keiichi Maebara.

Photo: PR Times

The Sanrio event ends at 2 p.m. May 3, so don’t delay if you plan to try nabbing one of these creepy-cute in-game allies for yourselves! Please note that the game can only be accessed outside Japan through proxy applications and VPNs.

For more examples of Kitty showing no fear in the face of creepy collaborative partners, look no further than her stint as Pennywise the Clown and Sadako. Maybe the Higurashi kids should be the ones who are afraid here?

Related: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei Official SiteSanrio x Higurashi April Fools’ Collaboration Site

Source: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei, PR Times via Hachima Kikou

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth, so how does she video chat with fans? We find out!

-- Sanrio’s President reveals why Hello Kitty teams up with so many different brands

-- Ready, set… woomy! Sanrio new character collaboration poll starts, featuring Splatoon 2 and more

© SoraNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Sexualization of females sure does start early in Japan.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I can never understand these kind of collaborations, it feels like it cheapens both franchises.

It's actually a very good way for these freemium games to lure people who otherwise would have never even thought of installing the app in their phone.

They might not like Higurashi, but they might love Hello Kitty, and just install it because of that.

As for the franchise, Higurashi sadly has been exploited to the point of exhaustion.

It has had 2 live movies, 2 seasons of a live series, 3 anime seasons adapting the original novel, 1 anime season of extra unrelated cutesy stories, 1 OVA of a short novel wrote by the original author, 8+ different manga adaptations for each of the arcs of the original novel, and then more for non-canon ones, 5 re-adaptations of the original visual novel with extra content for PS2, Nintendo DS, PS3, PS4, PS5/Nintendo Switch, 2 different "collection" editions of the original novel, 2 different paper novelizations of the original novel, 2 different 3D action battle games inspired by the novels, like 3 or 4 different Pachinko and Slot games, and now this smartphone game to follow this new 2 seasons of anime meant as a sequel to the original novel, and a companion manga adaptation...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can never understand these kind of collaborations, it feels like it cheapens both franchises.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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