Hello Kitty and her friends show up in the infamously cursed village of Hinamizawa to comfort the cast of Higurashi Naku Koro ni.

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 Gou. 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.

▼ The game’s official ad contains plenty of bone-chilling aesthetics.

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.

▼ On April Fools’ Day, the official Higurashi Gyou account proclaimed they would build a Puroland in Hinamizawa.

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.

▼ The in-game card shows heroine Rena Ryugu in Hello Kitty apparel.

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.

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.

The Sanrio event ends at 2 p.m. May 3 JST, 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 Site, Sanrio x Higurashi April Fools’ Collaboration Site
Source: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei, PR Times via Hachima Kikou
Images ©2020竜騎士07/ひぐらしのなく頃に製作委員会 © ’21 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPR. NO. S620119 ©D-techno via PR Times

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