single review: Shimamiya Eiko “Naraku no Hana”

Next up for the countdown to Halloween, we’ve got the second tie-in for Miss Shimamiya Eiko to the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime series. Released as ‘Naraku no Hana’, this single is the opening theme song for the sequel to the mysterious horror/thriller anime Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, based on the game of the same name, which is titled Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (which you should watch, frankly, if you loved the first series and wanted answers to your burning questions).

‘Naraku no Hana’, literally known as Flower of Hell, follows the dark themes of her previous single, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (the fourth time this title has been mentioned here), but is this flower of hell one that blooms beautifully or is it wilted in quality? Read on!

Naraku no Hana / FLOW
For more ‘Shimamiya Eiko’ reviews, visit the archive.


Romanization: Naraku no Hana
Translation: Flower of Hell

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kicking off the single is the title track, “Naraku no Hana”, which has you going saa from the get-go. Its mysterious air in the beginning, with its near-ballad like delivery and its slow synthy instrumental, set the tone, but the track goes into high gear for a full-on synth ballad that has the instrumental frantically merging together with background vocalizations and rewound lyrics of Eiko’s previous track ‘Higurashi no Naku Koro ni’. There is a sad beauty to the song, taking on a dark and toned down feel as opposed to its predecessor. To make the track as I’ve as possible, the instrumental breakdown towards the end kicks into drive, before we are taken back to the blossoming flowers of hell. A truly beautiful flower.

I could not find a PV of the song 😦


Rating: 4 out of 5.

FLOW” is the sole B-side that takes on the I’ve Sound approach moreso, featuring the synth they are known for, with additional rapid-fire electronic beats to give it a quick ‘flow’. The track also has electric guitars to accompany the overall instrumental, with Eiko delivering serene vocals throughout. This is a very catchy song, and it has KOTOKO vibes all over it (it only makes sense, as KOTOKO was a part of I’ve Sound, as well). It’s a very fluttery song, one that feels like it could be best played while in a field of flowers or through a slow snowfall. I find myself enjoying the song more as I listen to it more and more. It certainly has a great flow to it.


Another fabulous single from Shimamiya Eiko!

‘Naraku no Hana’ is not a conventional opening song for an anime, as it takes on a more ballad-like approach that might be more suited for an ending song; however, it just works really well, and it’s a great song overall. Check the opening for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai above, which, if you haven’t already watched the first series, answers/spoils a few things about the show and its predecessor (so go watch it already!).

The single itself has a great B-side, both the A-side and B-side providing us with different ‘flows’, from a blossoming flower to a smooth flow. Give this flower from hell a try… it won’t bite.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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