Posted on 19 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Well, the third arc was awesome: it had a new twist in just about every new episode and kept holding the balls in the air with increasingly astonishing plot twists. In comparison, the past two episodes have really been a let-down. Especially considering how the creators have the arduous task of filling about 50 hours of visual Novel in just 26 episodes, they really could have used this episode better.

My problem with the past three episodes is simple: who the heck is Ange? Why the heck should I care about her? And why the heck does she have more background than nearly all of the other characters so far? This backstory of the past three episodes could easily have been squeezed in one episode, just like what the creators did with the first arcs. That would actually have left plenty of room for background on some of the other characters who deserved this, instead of this rather one-sided mini-arc that’s just there to show that Ange feels lonely and gets bullied by really, really, really stereotypical evil classmates.

The fun in Umineko comes from creating the theories and the crazy out of control plot in which you really have to guess what’s going on, and you can trust nobody. This episode… I just can’t make anything from it.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

33 Responses

  1. Marion says:

    Ange is Battler’s younger sister. For some reason the anime decided not to mention her until almost the near end of the arc, when in the VN Ange had been mentioned several times before she appeared.

    Anyways, they’re trying to show some perpective to everything from OUTSIDE the gameboard, since every time everyone died and Ange was just adopted by Kasumi, possibly being killed not to long afterwards.

    But what did you think of the rest of the episode? Ange wasn’t the only one shown – we also got Maria and an explanation as to her creepy persona: all this happened pre-Rokkenjima, which means Sakutaro being ripped apart by Rosa happens in EVERY arc before they all go to the island. And you can see Maria being angry and showing off an evil face for the first time in the arc.

    As for why Ange is being so looked at in this arc there is a reason. The anime didn’t mention it, but Lambda implied that because Ange is just a special outside piece (sort of like a trump card) it means that when the 4th game ends Ange would be discarded.

  2. chounokoe says:

    As usual I won’t spoil anything that lies beyond this point, but I want to try to defend this episode.

    I think you can imagine that many people had their problems with this part of the 4th VN, too. Everyone was expecting it to jump into a furious final chapter and we got half a novel explaining the tragedy of Ushiromiya Ange.
    While I personally also think that Ange’s could have been made much much briefer, the problem is that in almost every scene there is some stuff that is vital to how the world of Umineko and it’s concept of magic is constructed.
    And for the first time we are witnessing the events outside of the stage of Rokkenjima…we are witnessing things that are most likely not influenced by the storytelling of a maniac witch.

    I find it just a bit sad, that the conclusion of Maria’s background didn’t draw that much attention from you, because I pretty much liked how they adapted it. As was already mentioned, it explains quite a lot about her rather creepy demeanor on the island…as she is just a bitter child and not obeying her mother is just her powerless way to get back at her.

    The problem is also, there is no other background that could be covered right now, the other characters ARE rather bland compared to Ange, as like in many crime-mysteries, we can’t know that much about them, as it would maybe spoil the mystery. In that regards Umineko holds for some readers maybe the same problem as an Agatha Christie novel, namely the rather stretched out introduction and build up, with only clues but no real closure in itself.

    Regarding the mystery, there sure are some things in this episode which you could use, but which are maybe a bit harder to see at first sight.
    I emphasize again, those are not spoilers, just things that another person noticed at this point, you can make of them what you want.

    - Marias gang of magical forest animals are bunnies.
    - Maria wanted to learn the magic to get back at her mother/the evil witch and therefore formed a pact with Beatrice
    - Rosa’s behaviour seems to grow more and more paranoid and violent the closer we draw to the events on Rokkenjima
    - Ange’s claim that even though the magical creatures are illusions they exist as long as one beliefs

    I’m very excited to see what you will make of the rest of this arc, but I just like to remind everybody from time to time to look for clues not only in the direct circumference of the actual murders…clues can be hidden everywhere.

  3. Nayrael says:

    Well, lets be thankful that Studio DEEN is rushing through all of this.
    While I like Ange, these backstory certainly is annoying (tough I do understand that it serves a purpose later on). It would have been better if she was just an ally for one arc and then in arc after that gradually reveal the backstory. As you said, most people are not interested in backstory of a completely new character.

  4. psgels says:

    Strangely enough, I didn’t think much of Maria’s back-story until you mentioned it again. I guess that at this point, I’m so much used to the fact that you shouldn’t trust anything in this series that I actually thought that it was yet another illusion from Beatrice. After all, the previous episode implied that it was Beatrice who wrote both the message in the bottle and Maria’s diary. This could have been yet another trick of her to manipulate Ange, making her Believe that Beatrice is actually pretty nice.

    But yeah, now that you mention it, it does clarify a lot. Maria didn’t simply become twisted because she was abused as a child, but because she lost her trust in her mother, who once was actually a good mother.

  5. d says:

    if you had watched without such a bias, you would find Ange to be an excellent character, I think they should have slowed down, so you can see more of how much she trained, and her life on the run, her emotions, opinions, thoughts. why should you care? maybe because you are watching raw or whatever, Ange is Battler’s younger sister, and the only member of family that survived beside that woman. She is the person that will inherit everything, head of the family. I am not going to tell you why she wasn’t at the island at the time or why Battler didn’t recognize her because the anime just skipped over it for no apparent reason. she is basically Rika of Higurashi, the person that will have to keep on going to that world till it’s fixed. if you didn’t care about Rika, and her struggle to fix everything then you might as well drop it right now because Ange will play the same role. this is why she needs alot of background, just like we needed alot for Rika. We sympathized with Rika, we felt how she felt, we cared about her, BECAUSE of all the information given about her.

  6. psgels says:

    d: it’s funny to see you talking about bias when you’re clearly biased yourself. ;)

    Seriously though, the reason I loved Rika in Higurashi wasn’t necessarily because she had a lot of background, but rather the way her role as a characters was built up throughout the series: it just kept subtly changing during every arc, until everything was revealed in the end. And I just can’t compare Ange with that when she basically took up the majority of the screentime ever since she appeared, shoving nearly all of the other interesting characters aside in the process.

  7. Morgoth says:

    As far as it concerns me, I was quite satisfied with the episode. Sure that whole Ange-thing could’ve been a little bit shorter but then I think it’s interesting and necessary to see that part since Ange is the new “main protagonist” who is able to turn around the game completely – she knows magic but is willed to deny it as a means to fight Beato. I know only the anime and I wouldn’t have liked it if Ange which has appeared so suddenly and has become so important suddenly would’ve got as much background as the other characters or only insignificantly more. But I guess, like chounoke said, it also served some purpose so it’s not really wasted.

  8. Janette says:

    While I could care less about Ange, I am enjoying learning about Maria’s backstory. I find it interesting that she’s deeper then the crazy little girl.

  9. Taiyaki says:

    Ange’s backstory isn’t just there to show what a crappy childhood she had or whatever, it actually has a purpose as it explains “something” that should be pretty important in order to understand the mystery. Maybe you just haven’t noticed it yet, but it should become quite apparent by the end of the arc.

  10. Marion says:

    @psgels: About your comment with Beato – Beatrice CANNOT affect anything but the gameboard. She can only present fakes scenes on Rokkenjima: the World of 1998 is different from the gameboard and she doesn’t control it or have any type of say in what we see there. Same goes for Ange’s backstory.

    What we see are things either from Maria’s memory or scenes coming directly from Maria’s diary, which Maria wrote herself before Rokkenjima.

    Don’t be too paranoid – fake scenes will normally be indicated by the presence of magic. Or the magical characters in the scene themselves are fake (how Mammon said she was just a delusion Ange created to alleviate her lonliness).

    Also, why does Beato have to be evil? There are signs already that Beato may just be a puppet of Lambda (the tea party part in episode 18 before Ange is shown in 1998)

  11. cad says:

    I don’t have much to add to the excellent points made here by some contributors, but I would like to say, that as with any 07th Expansion series, things always start slow. Higurashi remedied this by ‘hinting’ at the future, but each arc began slow and whimsical nonetheless.

    This arc is an excellent one, that has many subtleties in it. You might give it a chance–so far, it may not have as many crazy twists (emphasis on the so far), but what it loses in played-straight twists it gains with the subtleties. I would recommend rewatching this episode once you finish the whole thing, just to really see, how much thought went into everything here.

  12. immblueversion says:

    So I take it you will only find satisfaction when they get back to Rokkenjima and start doing stuff that makes the characters go “WTF?”, thus giving you justification to say that yourself. I understand your discomfort with the sudden change of pace, but for a series that is on the verge of shifting stances from raising questions to answering them, it should not be taken lightly.

  13. battler says:

    @psgels next chapter start all the part related to rokkenjima all of this was only a background for this arc, be ready because in next chapter and when the first twilight start everything is going to be awesome =)

  14. Anon says:

    This was a well done episode. You may not like all this Maria and Ange stuff but it’s important to the plot. It also gives you a better idea how magic works in Umineko.

    With this episode over, the slow beginning of EP4 is finally over. Now it’s back to 1986 Rokkenjima. The rest of this arc is great.

  15. Rift says:

    Geez, everyone seems so vehemently protective of the anime – and I’m not sure why. Sure, the scenes in this episode were important to solving the mystery. They’re great development for Maria and Ange. They’re necessary for what’s to come, blah blah etc. That doesn’t change the fact that this was mostly just an episode setting up future events; while those events may be epic and awesome, the set up is pretty boring and bland. Yes, we got to see some “truth” behind what magic is. We got to understand a lot more about Maria. Both important… but really not particularly fun or interesting to watch. The momentum of the show has completely changed directions, so its understandable that people would find the change jarring. I love what’s to come as much as anyone else who’s played the VNs, but that doesn’t mean you have to defend every episode of the anime so vehemently.

  16. vic says:

    “I’m very excited to see what you will make of the rest of this arc, but I just like to remind everybody from time to time to look for clues not only in the direct circumference of the actual murders…clues can be hidden everywhere”

    exactly like the rabbits maria had, they seem like………. XD

  17. immblueversion says:

    @Anon

    Well, they used 3/8 of the anime arc to cover half of the VN arc. That being said, the remaining episodes should be quite juicy. But if I didn’t know anything about Umineko beforehand, I would say that they’ve developed the characters enough, now it’s time for some action. Please, Umineko veterans and/or know-it-all showoffs, say nothing.

  18. sfx says:

    Not the Ange/Rika comparisons again :/ Honestly, Higurashi and Umineko are similar series, but there are not direct parallels for everything in Higurashi in the world of Umineko. There isn’t really evidence towards a Rika or Hanyuu role existing in Umineko, or Ange being one. In fact, some aspects of Umineko seem purposely intended to mislead people with previous experience from Higurashi. And it’s a bit too early to assume that Ange is the new protagonist either.

  19. Jubbz says:

    I kinda see where you’re coming from in this whole stuff about Ange. alas, Ange’s supposed to be Battler’s little sister. She should’ve been mentioned a few times throughout the series, but thanks to deen, her introduction looks like something they pulled out their asses.

  20. Pafiume says:

    I’ve enjoyed these episodes, myself. I wonder if that’s because I was anticipating Ange in the series beforehand, though, since I read up on wiki a while ago. I really need to stop doing that. But, either way, it’s still been interesting, at least. I loved watching what happened to Maria and now I hate her less.

    Of course now I’ve read certain things in the comments and have ideas floating around in my head for the mystery.. Guess I’ll just see.

  21. Veldril says:

    I think the important of Ange and Maria’s scene in this arc is that it is needed to establish the foundation of “magic” in Umineko. To deny magic, you need to know what really is magic in the first place. With this three episodes, basic assumption of what is magic should be able to be established by now.

    Since magic in this series is different from other series (Fate/Stay Night, D&D, etc.), it is very important to know what magic is.

  22. Camario says:

    I liked it, but once again I can see why it’s not the most exciting episode for other viewers.

    As someone who is new to this franchise, it’s difficult for me to completely make up my mind yet…but I’m willing to wait and see where this arc takes all this Ange and Maria background. I hope that this will be used to bring a good conclusion. I don’t mind slow episodes full of setup and information from the past if there’s an ultimate point to it.

    So far I’m still optimistic. The episode showed a nice set of parallels between Maria and Ange, as well as reinforcing the link between magic and the power of belief, which has been a pretty important theme in this series.

    I’m hoping that we get finally back to 1986 next week, but the events of 1998 are getting more interesting as well.

  23. Lloyd says:

    Oh come on!

    Just get to the Damn dinner so we find out if Kinzo actually kept up with his word and turns up for dinner or not!

    I just want to know who the bloody murderer(s) are now so I can start speculating how they’ve been doing it this whole time!

    That aside… isn’t Ange accepting magic meaning that she’s now against battler? Or is Meta-Ange still emoing over not being able to get Battler back to her life?

  24. laala says:

    I have the feeling the most important hint in this episode is that for the furnitures to obey an order to kill, the intent to kill must be present in the witch. Now that we know Maria is planning to take revenge on her mother…

  25. cad says:

    @lloyd: i’m thinking battler isn’t trying to prove witches don’t exist (that would be a probatio diabolica) but that there was no magic involved in the rokk. disaster. so ange can still believe in magic and help him so long as she doesn’t believe magic was involved in the murder incident.

  26. Niw says:

    I reckon you haven’t read the intro message of EP4?

    Good Morning.
    What a surprise that you still haven’t been forced to surrender.
    By this point, I must expect a lot from you.

    Games do not take place only on the game board.
    This time, how about taking a little peek at the outside?
    The say that if you know your enemy, you need not fight a hundred battles.

    The difficulty depends on you.
    Your style of fighting up until now will influence the difficulty.

    Infer what you want from the bolded part.

  27. Westlo says:

    I like how everyone’s acting like Ange was really foreshadowed in the VN’s when she was mentioned in one liners twice before she showed up and numerous scenes acted like she didn’t exist period.

    Jessica saying it’s good all the cousins are together again.. um what about Ange.. you know your cousin who’s been going the last 6 years? Why isn’t Maria asking where Ange is? Ange seemed to look up to her and they are the closest in age yet she doesn’t react at all to no Ange?

    You can hardly blame DEEN for her piss poor introduction (in regards to foreshadowing) when the novel itself did a poor job. Majority of players wouldn’t have even remembered Ange period while reading the novels, it’s just another case of revisionist history.

    “This backstory of the past three episodes could easily have been squeezed in one episode, just like what the creators did with the first arcs.”

    HAHAHAHAHA this is like 5 hours worth of VN material. Don’t worry most VN players were rather “meh” to Ange and Maria’s back stories as well. Everyone pretty much wanted more Beatrice and Battler after episode 3 and than Kinzo finally starts to do something and we get hit with this long ass backstory.

  28. Niw says:

    >Don’t worry most VN players were rather “meh” to Ange and Maria’s back stories as well. Everyone pretty much wanted more Beatrice and Battler after episode 3 and than Kinzo finally starts to do something and we get hit with this long ass backstory.

    Of course, that perfectly and obviously explains why Ange got 2nd place in the official EP4 popularity contest. Yup.

  29. Rika says:

    @Niw

    Well, just because people found her long backstory boring doesn’t neccesarily mean that they don’t care/hate Ange.

  30. 4saken says:

    True, I didn’t hate this part but I was still quite impatient when reading it :P

  31. ebisu says:

    Maria’s mother has really something wrong with her head and Maria gets very twisted because of the traumatic situation. If Maria becomes mentally capable of killing like it seems, that means a lot of things.

    Well just a theory but I think that at least in the first arc she was together with the assassin. That would explain the accurate knowledge of magic of the assassin and the help she gives to make it look as a Beatrice’s killing scenario. The way everything goes makes quite sense this way in the first arc.
    She should have forged the pact or alliance when she receives the letter and umbrella when alone in the rain(the first of the misterious actions). Maybe I’m wrong but :).

  32. Westlo says:

    “Well, just because people found her long backstory boring doesn’t neccesarily mean that they don’t care/hate Ange. ”

    Pretty much.. I really like Ange but I couldn’t wait for it to get past her backstory and get back to the island. And it’s not like later events after the backstory might have given her more votes.. no of course not :p

  33. Narkins says:

    The backstory was dull as hell in the game as well, but its important for the story.

    Anyway another BEST MOTHER EVER award for Maria, its been a long way since she was introduced as a nice person in the first ep

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 12:09 PM)
    Knew Swan Song would be to your tastes. I still say that you will not like Grisaia, well except for Amanes backstory. You will love that part. The rest of it though…not so much. As for recommendations…maybe Kara no shoujo.
    As for Hunter x hunter, my guess is that you won’t like it until the Chimera Ant arc and thats like 80 episodes in.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 12:02 PM)
    @Emma, getting lonely are we? Anyway Mari Okada is worse. Hands down. Chiaki Kon at least has directing Higurashi under their belt. Okada…well she just writes the same story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:59 AM)
    Actually given that I mentioned Genshiken, glad to have gotten back into that even if I only read it now for Hato, suu and Madarame.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:57 AM)
    Also Aidan, Mikey, coin toss, which is worse Chiaki Kon or Mari Okada..yes I’m forcing a choice =P
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:54 AM)
    While reading swan song..I ended up seeing a picture of Madarame from Genshiken…from that moment on everytime I looked at Kuwagata I was forced to imagine him as Madarame…why brain why do you do this to me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:48 AM)
    The shoutbox was very inactive today unfortunately.
    And Alec theres a lot of rumour going around about psgels now, from plane crash, to being to busy , to getting a girl pregnant, getting sick of anime.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:46 AM)
    Another reason I’m putting off more visual novels at the moment is because I’m more seriously considering the possibility of hunter x hunter…well the chances are higher now at least.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    In any case Mikey finish off Comyu and let me know your thoughts on that, taking a break from visual novels for a bit as they are quite time consuming though Grisaia is next, that is unless both of you feel I’d be better off with the anime and think it’ll benefit from being trimmed down in an adaptation.
    In any case thank for the recommendation this is the kind of story which hits on all of the right notes for me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    That atmosphere was further help by the bleak style it went for, it successfully got to me through its dark content.
    Now I did have some issues, while I love this genre, it did feel overly familiar a little, it could be slow going at times, I couldn’t get into Yuka x Tsukasa and the Hentai scenes were really dull to be honest. I went for the bad ending in the second last act, because really for this story to be true to itself, that’s what I wanted to see.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 08:44 AM)
    It had its fair share of tense moments. Apparently some didn’t go for the art style, I felt rather satisfied with it. The atmosphere is immersive and it almost feels as if the setting and “humanity itself” is a character in its own right. It was very addicting to read and I found myself marathoning it moreso than Saya, fate, sharin, maou.

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