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
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:33 AM)
    Also in regards to the bat scene. I just thought of Evangelion. I suppose that’s what the director was going on. Since you’re reviewing that, I’ll leave at that.
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:22 AM)
    I agree to a certain level the padding at the beginning. I suppose I didn’t mind since it at least was like a standard Batman episode (of the latter seasons). I think what bugs me is that the portrayal of Batman wasn’t very good, I think he’s emotionless for the most part. And like I’ve said, on the technical side it isn’t as striking as the novel. It’s like when Gyo was adapted (to be fair that’s also because like Berserk it had a lot of CGI).
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:20 AM)
    Basically just seeing the story put on screen I was grateful for.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 04:18 AM)
    I noticed something off about the animation and the dialogue was pretty piss poor at times but the latters kind of a given in these things and the prior was never distracting enough to take me out of the movie. I’m indifferent really to the Batgirl drama, don’t mind that its there, don’t care if it wasn’t.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:39 AM)
    This story required a level of care that frankly the creators didn’t want to give.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:38 AM)
    I think instead of trying to combat the whole women in refrigerator aspect of the story they instead should have focused on what inspired the characters to do this. What made batman rethink his relationship with the joker and attempt to find a common ground? What made the Joker suddenly want to prove a point? And sure you could add something to give batgirl a moment but not some crap villain no one cares about. Instead have her go up against a real batman villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 03:33 AM)
    @Vonter, Animation was one part of it. The other was the first thirty minutes being a tacked on Batgirl story and it really shows. I didn’t really have that much of a problem with it up until that scene which everyone likely knows. That annoyed me. I get what they were trying to do but it just made things worse.
    As for the actual killing Joke itself, I thought it was ok. Hamell brought his A game. Really for that it was just small details that made it lesser.
  • KaZuHiRo
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 01:46 AM)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY PSGELS!! If you’re still lurking around that is…
  • Vonter
    (Thursday, Jul 28. 2016 12:48 AM)
    I’m kinda bummed that the Killing Joke adaptation is likely gonna be another feminist driven criticism. As for my opinion its just not as good as it could be because it seems 2D animation in general is having less commitment adapting complex artstyles. Not as distracting as Berserk, but the Bruce Timm artstyle doesn’t strike the tone of this particular Batman story.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Jul 27. 2016 01:48 PM)
    @topgavin, I am not gonna deny that’s a large part of what I like about it as well. And practically everything really does become a side plot when the other guy is introduced.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Mob Psycho 100 – 02/03

This may be a surprise to some so I better start this with an explanation. As you know I originally planned to cover Berserk this season and have put up reviews of the last two episodes. However due to Berserks rather disappointing quality, my desire to cover it has vanished. I doubt anyone wants to […]

orange 04c

orange – 04

Orange takes it very slowly this week, even slower than its standard. Indeed, we can summarize the plot of the first 15 minutes just by one sentence: After Kakeru dating with another girl, Naho feels brokenhearted and avoids Kakeru like a plague. Which actually makes sense. After all, the guy already had a girlfriend so […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 03d

Thunderbolt Fantasy – 03

With this episode we basically get an idea where the show will head for the rest of the series and I pretty much enjoy the direction they taking so far. Of course it makes sense that in order to get past those obstacles, the band needs to ally with others who are most suitable for […]

Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! - 03 2

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 03

Plenty of action this week as we have faceoffs between Beatrice and Illya with Gil and Angelica firing legendary weapons back and forth. I wish there was a bit more fight animation here as while it was the same in the manga, it’s still a shame to have the scene cut away just when the […]

91 Days - 03 4

91 Days – 03

Seeing as things didn’t quite go to plan for Avilio last episode, it’s now time for him to prove his innocence to Nero. Avilio is playing his cards right and things would have gone to plan if it wasn’t for the man who lead them to Fango before. He states out of curiosity that he […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 17 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 17

While I did enjoy this episode and think that some interesting things have been brought up, I must admit that even my patience is starting to run out. I blame this mostly on the fact that I am watching this weekly instead of binge watching it all as the progression in these episodes has slowed […]

EVA 01b

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 01

Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the EVA franchise, and it’s not normal since EVA is a must for any anime viewer. I don’t really know the reason why I keep myself from watching it, maybe both because mecha is not my favorite genre, and the hype of EVA is just overwhelming that […]

Berserk - 03 2

Berserk(2016) – 03

Forgive me for the delay on this particular post but I must admit that in light of Berserks quality my interest in covering it has somewhat declined. I know that for every episode to come I will have to dance around the elephant in the room but this series isn’t making that easy for me. […]

Orange 03d

Orange – 03

So this week we finally encounter a love rival. Of course with a romance drama show like Orange there had to be someone who would stand on their way right? Except there’s not much of a rival really since Naho never stands a chance against the new girl Ueda. As she learns hard and clear […]

Latest Reviews

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]

Untitled-1

Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]

My Life as a Courgette a

My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

It’s never easy to make a good family’s animation. For movies aim at adults, the filmmakers can easily get themselves loose, go crazy and the audience can still get it. But for kids, these movies might be one of the first movies they’ve ever seen and that’s a huge responsibility. They have to aware of […]

Red Turtle a

The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12a

Bungou Stray Dogs Review – 62/100

Well, we don’t usually give a review on the first cour of anime show, given the fact that the second part will air next autumn season. But since I’m not certain I would cover its second half, plus I don’t think this series will improve itself, I might as well give Bungou Stray Dogs a […]

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]