Posted by psgels on 27 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



So now we’re back at the island again, and this episode portrayed a new character as the villain: Kinzou. Like all villains of Umineko, this guy is way over the top, but then again, that’s part of the fun. You don’t exactly watch this series for its realism. We also see a new servant introduced: Gaap (not the most fortunate name: it means “yawn” in Dutch, which makes it a bit hard to take her seriously).

What’s also interesting is that in this arc, we never get to see the corpses for the first twillight confirmed. All we see is Beatrice smirking and claiming that it’s the same as the previous first twillights, but the massacre scene was just like any other magic scene in this show so far: an illusion. Who is to say that these people really died? This is especially notable because one of the biggest suspects right now (Dr. Hanzo) could have used this to his advantage and pretend to be dead, killing everyone from the sidelines.

Still, this also supports the theory that there are multiple killers. My prime theory at the moment is that Kinzo is responsible for the first twillight (see the third arc, in which the murders had to be committed by one of the six people who died there), and after that Hanzo took over with the rest of the murders.

And boy, that scene between Maria and Rosa was intense. This also explains why the scene between the two of them in the last episode felt a bit incomplete, and now you can really see where the twisted personality from Maria came from. However, Rosa does raise a few questions: if this supposedly happened in every single arc (of which I’m not convinced of at the moment), then it doesn’t really fit with her behavior during the second and third arc. Having been killed more than a 100 times, Rosa should now be terrified of of her. I didn’t exactly get that impression from them, aside from the first arc, perhaps.

Now that the first season has nearly ended, I do have to say that so far, I do consider Higurashi to be better than Umineko. We’ve now seen 22 episodes, and while the potential for mystery on both series is just as interesting, Higurashi had far better characters at this point. And while Studio Deen’s influence really contributed to the creepiness and atmosphere of the first season, I’m not feeling the same as with Umineko.

Overall, I’ve been getting a bit disappointed by Studio Deen for the past year. They used to be one of my favourite studios, but their shows seem to have dulled, and ever since Amatsuki, their good shows have either been good shows because they had awesome source material, or because they were sequels of already good shows (Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi Rei). I’m missing that typical Studio Deen-esque feel that can make already good premises even better.
Rating: * (Good)

17 Responses

  1. Veldril says:

    If you look carefully, you could notice that the Maria and Rosa scene occur in Meta-World, possibly in Maria’s head/dream about how her think of Rosa’s opinions toward her.

  2. 4saken says:

    We also see a new servant introduced: Gaap (not the most fortunate name: it means “yawn” in Dutch, which makes it a bit hard to take her seriously).

    Actually, Gaap, like Ronove, is one of the 72 demons from “The Lesser Key of Solomon”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lesser_Key_of_Solomon

  3. Zaric says:

    The Rosa that Maria kills over and over is a magical duplicate/clone/copy for the purposes of training Maria in the dark ways of magic, as Beato promised to teach her in a previous episode.

    During the dialog they talk about the “real” mama not acknowlaging her (the witch Maria) and therefore the real Maria’s life will never be fixed.

    So yeah, none of that affected the real world, it was just to help explain Maria’s insane alter ego.

  4. marebito says:

    Considering this season of Umineko consists of the 1st 4 arcs in contrast to Higurashi where they only left out the 2 last arcs for the 2nd season… I’d say that Umineko already delivers quite some character development, even if most of them aren’t that complex until now but most likely there are still 3 episodes left after EP5 so we’ll see what awaits us there.

    I mean if they had only used the non-kai arcs for the 1st season of Higurashi there woudln’t have been that much character development either, the question arcs consist more of mystery than anything else.

    I needed quite some time to feel comfortable with Umineko, especially after being used to Higurashi, but after EP4 and after EP5 even more, I expect to like both series to at least an equal extent. Maybe for different reasons but I prefer the fact that they are not that similar anyway.

    I really hope that at least after EP4 you’ll be able to differentiate between all the different levels/layers of storytelling. I have to admit that this is one of the aspects that might be easier to handle when reading the novel. EP5 was really helpful for this whole meta-aspect but we’ll have to wait a long time until they begin animating the 2nd half of the episodes…

  5. Camario says:

    You’ve made a good point about the first twilight not being confirmed with the red, which means that for the time being we have no idea of who actually survived and who didn’t.

    As for Kinzo’s involvement, perhaps he really was behind this first set of murders directly or indirectly but I’m expecting to see him “die” in the process and that should allow his remains to match what we’ve previously seen in other arcs.

    In other words, it might even be that he’s already dead but that his closest servants and someone else are carrying out his “will” through all the sacrifices, which is what the magical sequences could be representing.

    That scene with Rosa and Maria was quite creepy, I suppose it makes sense as a sign of how much she’s come to hate her mother. In my opinion it’s part of Maria’s imagination and not much more so far.

    On the whole topic of Higurashi vs. Umineko, I’d say that the first series only became really good in terms of characterization when Higurashi Kai came around. Until then, the main advantage it had was the comparatively smaller number of characters that allowed for a more personal focus during each arc, but there wasn’t too much to them at first either.

    Umineko is apparently trying to be a lot more ambitious and does come off as struggling, trying too hard at times, but so far I’m willing to give it a chance to develop its characters further. The past couple of arcs and episodes have been pretty good for this, at least from my point of view. I’ll only be able to pass judgment after this entire story is over.

  6. blkmage says:

    It’s easy to see what happened. The difference between Higurashi and Umineko is that with Higurashi, they cut a lot more out, while Umineko is trying to stuff everything in. The result is that with Higurashi’s fewer characters, it became a lot easier to spend more time with each character and the important scenes are a lot more intense.

    With Umineko, most of the character development scenes got dropped because they didn’t contribute to the mystery and the pacing for important scenes is off and the impact lessened because they were just interested in showing what happened and getting it out of the way.

    So the only time you spend with characters is during the mystery and not when the cousins are hanging out at the beach or when the servants are cooking and cleaning together, for example. These are analogous to the club games from Higurashi.

    By this point in the game, none of the original 18’s characters (including the characters that got sidelined like Gohda) personalities, motives, or history should feel like a mystery. You should be able to follow their thought processes and figure out how they’d act in certain situations.

    The result is that Umineko’s anime adaptation became a Coles notes version of the original, while Higurashi was an adaptation where the mystery wasn’t quite as complex or important (in terms of the emphasis they gave it) so they had a lot more liberty in what they could keep or cut.

  7. Marion says:

    psgel, the doctor is named Nanjo not Hanzou XD

    As far as characters go, you have to understand Higurashi had a MUCH smaller cast compared to Umineko. And I’ll say right now – not all characters will have good development by the end of this first season. But you need to know that Higurashi’s adaptation is a bastardized version of the actual series – DEEN cut out chunks left and right of the game’s contents. Umineko’s adaptation meanwhile has stayed relatively faithful to the game (maybe a few scenes cut out here and there).

    Keep in mind that Umineko is a mystery while Higurashi was a horror. Generally in horror you are made to care for the characters a lot more BEFORE they die. In Umineko it’s the other way around.

  8. PL says:

    The thing about character development is that some of you make good points about comparing this to Higurashi (ie. less characters, six arcs in season 1 vs. four, more faithful adaptation). But there are two important points you should consider also. First, this is an anime, and while it is an adaptation of the game, it has to live or die on how it succeeds as an anime, and qualitatively should be judged from the viewpoint of someone who has never played the game. Just because those of you who have played it may know that the characters are going to get more development, that really doesn’t hold a lot of meaning in terms of measuring the success of the anime. Secondly, as an anime, it is being told in a medium that requires fans to watch around a year of programming, hanging by week-in and week-out (not counting the break between seasons), whereas to play the game must surely take much less time comparitively (again, not counting the breaks between releases), so it only makes sense that an anime-only viewer will need to develop a greater attachment to the characters in a quicker amount of time. Regardless of genre (horror vs. mystery), its a medium that requires stronger characterization. So, it may very well have been a mistake to adapt it so faithfully, and a less faithful adaptation that squeezed in more of the important character building stuff at the cost of losing some of the complexity of the mystery, could have improved it substantially. That being said, I still think its one of the best things on right now. But, strong character development is ranked just below good storytelling in importance to me, whereas, from what I’ve noticed from psgels’ other reviews, it seems to be more the other way around, so i think his criticism is pretty valid from that perspective.

  9. chounokoe says:

    @PL: The problem I see when comparing Umineko to Higurashi is, that the style of adaption is so fundamentaly different it is bound to fail on too many levels.
    Higurashi’s S1 adaption was about the flashy horror-atmosphere of the first 6 arcs…even though only the first 3 arcs were actually real horror-genre.
    Umineko’s S1 adaption tries hard to stay true to the source material, because it is forced to do so.
    The Higurashi anime adapted some things generally wrong, set wrong focuses and some characters developed in a totally wrong direction because of that. Even after the anime finished, many people still see Rena as the archetype of the deranged killer-loli, even though she always was the brains of the team.
    Still that didn’t hurt Higurashi’s story, because it’s kernel functioned unrelated to any characters apart from the antagonist itself…
    Umineko is a whole other story because of it works with perspectives, thoughts, etc. so much…some things wouldn’t make sense if they rewrote parts the wrong way. Concerning that Higurashi was a whole lot easier to handle on a basis of pleasing the audience…because they wouldn’t notice if things went wrong along the way as long as it didn’t obstruct the deus ex machina finale.

    Umineko let’s one assume already that it won’t be that easy, so they have to work a lot more carefully during the adaption process…and of course that cuts away on the time they could take for actually getting more slice-of-life development in.

    Of course Higurashi succeded as a stand alone project, but as an adaption it failed…at least for me.
    Umineko succeds much more as an adaption, but I admit it isn’t such a wild ride.

  10. Westlo says:

    This should have a much better finish than Higur s1 imo, 25-26 should be the best episodes in the series along with 18.

  11. battler says:

    Did you read the comments psegels? you really have to thank the users because they explained practically everything you really get wrong i mean come on is obvious the scene with maria killing rosa is all in maria’s mind XD.
    About confirming if they are dead or not don’t forget to see everything throught battler’s eyes when he see someone dead you have to be practically 100% they are.

    Also wait to make your final judgment about the first season of umineko because the last four chapters are going to be AWESOME (if deen makes a good job) and don’t forget umineko first season adapts 4 visual novels instead of six like the first season of higurashi.

  12. Westlo says:

    “Also wait to make your final judgment about the first season of umineko because the last four chapters are going to be AWESOME (if deen makes a good job)”

    Exactly, if it stays true to the VN and captures the emotion than I think Umineko’s ending episodes will be the sun to Higur’s candle.. Higur had an okay ending…that’s just it.. Umineko has a stunning ending, I think the last 2 hours of VN 4 is superior to the last 2 of VN 3.

  13. superluccix says:

    Its easy to see why Higurashi is better than Umineko. its because it is more realistic. In Higurashi, there wasn’t no magical creature or whatever, it was one person pulling all the strings, but you were given information piece by piece to get closer to the truth. Also viewers knew when Higurashi went into another world or whatever so viewers wouldnt get confused. In Umineko however, nothing is certain, no one knows what the hell, when the hell, where the hell, why the hell, how the hell did things happen and for what reason. I mean honestly Beatrice could kill them all but has to play this magical game when she doesn’t really need to. I mean having regular humans go up against witches is pretty ludicris itself but whatever. Umineko can just keep pulling out magical creatures left and right and we still won’t get anywhere. I havent played either games or read the manga, but it doesn’t matter. We are talking bout the anime. The bottom line is, the more balanced the playing field is, and the more realism it gets, the better it is. I still LOVE Umineko and will continue to watch, but if anyone thought that Higuraashi was better but didnt know why, well thats the reason.

  14. marebito says:

    IMO what anyone who feels kind of lost right now should do is trying to think about how what we and Battler are shown could have actually happened without any magic and regardless of how and when instead of disproving everything right away. That way we should be able to differentiate between actual happenings and illusions that only exist to confuse.

    Furthermore I think the anime and its visuals make pretty clear when things shift into the meta-level and IMO we should just accept it as a META-level. Not as some kind of magical world, just a depiction of the metaphysical aspect of the whole storyline. Of course there are supernatural elements to a certain extent (see Rika/Bernkastel in Higurashi) but I think the meta-characters only serve for the depiction of certain concepts and theories.

    Also it was already mentioned by Bernkastel that the only one who can defeat Beatrice is Ange. Ange is a person from 1998, the future. We also know by this point in the anime, that letters describing the incidents on Rokkenjima in 1986 were found in those bottles… but the whole case still remains as a huge mystery to the public and nobody knows for sure what actually happened. Now think about what that might indicate concerning the events we get to see in 1986 and the perspective from which we are actually observing.

  15. Sacchi says:

    I’ve been thinking about Kinzo. Kinzo might be dead. We’ve seen Kinzo many times though. But who is to say that the Kinzo we’ve seen IS truly Kinzo? Like, who says that the man we saw all this episode might be another man who is acting like Kinzo? Nanjo and Genji are the only ones that can truly recognize him. His children could too, but they haven’t seen Kinzo in a while, and besides, there’s always the possibility of some sort of mask. Just a thought I had when you mentioned that the first twillight wasn’t confirmed (by the way, nice catch, I hadn’t noticed!)

  16. Silvering says:

    GAAP means ‘generally accepted accounting principles’, and it happens she is a CPA in hell.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaap

  17. Magician Man says:

    O_O Can’t unsee. You think that as an accounting major I would have caught that.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 01:58 PM)
    This leads me to ask, what historical people would you all think would make interesting servants in the grail war? Ones that haven’t been covered. What class would they cover?
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 01:22 PM)
    He wouldn’t be able to do much as an archer though, considering that it does not have presense concealment. But if he was summoned as a Assassin…hmmm…interesting.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 01:18 PM)
    @Bam, there is a sniper class. It’s called Archer. It’s just that the archers in fate/stay night and Zero are not typical Archers. The Archers from Fate/apocrypha are more like real archers. And they would give Simo Häyhä a run for his money. Though funny enough I think Simo may actually qualify to be summoned as a servent of the archer class. Wonder what his noble phantasm would be?..
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 10:31 AM)
    The cast of FS/N should thank the heavens that there’s no Sniper class, otherwise all the masters would’ve been wiped out without even knowing who the fuck is taking them out. Shout-out to my man Simo Häyhä AKA The White Death.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 07:46 AM)
    @K-off: I’ve seen you’re a fan of westerns have you come across this film or read the book it was based on?
    http://emma-hime.deviantart.com/art/Review-The-homesman-496287407
  • Emma
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 07:45 AM)
    Meh…feel no motivation right now to give darker than black, school rumble or full metal panic a second viewing…
  • Emma
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 07:21 AM)
    Can’t believe I missed month ago that giovanni’s island was out, do love a good war drama but I wonder if I’ll bother with this one.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Nov 24. 2014 04:18 AM)
    God damn Kokkuri-san is so fucking good. Wish I had time to write my damn reviews.
  • Rinegar
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 04:43 PM)
    Hey, nice reviews, I began to make my own reviews as well, so check them out if you are interested! https://www.animetier.blogspot.com
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:40 PM)
    Okay, Cossette no shouzou rewatched now too. This was on the high end of Shinbou’s cinematography and pretty much the best he’s outputted even if it has its choppiness/stiltedness in parts. It remains a creepy, surreal, trippy and grim, forboding, gruesome and immersive atmospheric ghost story that feels like it could have gone on a bit long and bar the three main focused characters could have had a little bit more depth.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 07

As expected, this week we have another action filled episode. Queue the pretty explosions and fast paced fighting. It felt too short despite the episode length being just the same as the others. I often find that with a good episode of anime it makes you lose the concept of time as you watch. Making […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 07

  I will admit it, I laughed at the beginning. The episode started with a pretty funny joke related to Meliodas and Elizabeth sleeping in the same bed. Maybe because this one didn’t have a second agenda of providing fanservice at the same time. Actually I enjoyed this episode a lot more than the previous. […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 06

I was mistaken in the previous review. The action scene I thought we would be getting today has been postponed till next week. This week we have a calm before the storm episode as things seem to be setting up for the fight scene to come. I am a little disappointed with this weeks fare […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 06

There was quite number of still frames this episode so I hope that the animation budget isn’t starting to hurt. So our heroes triumph over the villains with a little help from Elizabeth. She showed some actual enginuity for once. As I was about to sigh as the villain was preparing to blab on about […]

Shingeki no Bahamut:Genesis- 05

Ah, the story progression that I was looking for. I finally find myself having a reason to get attached to Leone and Kaisar, because this episode devotes an entire episode to their rivalry and is just all around an improvement from last episode. I’ve talked about how the slow pacing hurts this show, and this […]

Parasyte-the Maxim- 03-05

Let me put up a disclaimer: When I first started to review this series, I didn’t foresee the obvious outcome that this show would end up so mediocre. I debated whether or not I should write reviews in groups of 2-3 episodes versus reviews that would drone on about the same issues every single episode, […]

Your Lie in April – 04 & 05

Episodes 4 and 5 of Your Lie in April were crucial ones in terms of how the series would develop. Episode 4 was a very important episode in the series as we see Kousei reintroduce himself to the music world after his mother’s death left him unable to play the piano. How the writers would […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 05

Always elegant. That is the motto of the Tohsaka household and the mask of Tohsaka Rin. The meaning clearly that no matter what you do, do it with style and grace. It is the creed which Rin upholds by playing the honor student. Though as you can see, at times cracks can appear in the […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 05

One of the problems facing this series is the presentation of threats. In many other shounen you can just bring out some powerful villain and have him force the protagonist to get stronger. In seven deadly sins however our main characters are already veteran legendary warriors with tremendous power. So just adding in a strong […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]