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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Umineko no Naku Koro ni Rating and Review

Series: Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Animation Studio: Studio Deen
Original Run: 26 episodes
English Licensor: N/A
Adaptation of: 07th Expansion's visual novel game series"Umineko no Naku Koro ni"

Summary: The title of this series literally translates out to "When the Seagulls Cry," and really, it has nothing to do with seagulls besides the series' setting being on a private island called Rokkenjima. The main story revolves around the mystery and legend of the  "Golden Witch" who lives on this family owned island. The story begins as the Ushiromiya family is going to the island for an annual family conference, but this particular meeting concerns how the wealth of the family's current head will be divided amongst the four offspring and their families. The siblings do not get along with one another due to selfish desires and childhood issues, but their children get along fine with one another. In total there are 18 people on the island including the four Ushiromiya children, their spouses, their four children, five servants, and the current dying head. But when the 8 family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and people start dying left and right. One of the grandchildren, Battler Ushiromiya, is the main character of this series. He is a very passionate and stubborn young man, but he does care about his family. When the murders start happening, he is convinced that it is someone on the island but is hesitant to suspect his family members. It turns out that the "Golden Witch," Beatrice, is responsible but Battler refuses to believe a mystical and magical creature committed the crime. In the end he ends up dying without ever getting an explanation to what happened, but this is where the main plot begins.

In purgatory, he refuses to believe that a witch was responsible for the murders and ends up coming face to face with the witch, herself. Beatrice then challenges Battler to a game to prove his statement that the murders were committed by a human not a witch. Beatrice will win if Battler gives up and admits that witches and magic exist, and Battler would win if he makes the witch give up. The rest of the series focuses on these games as they replay different murder scenarios on the island. It gets confusing as there are "two" Battlers now, the one playing and watching the "games" unfold and the one in the scenarios. Yet in each round Battler learns something new about the mystery of the island and his own family. But most of all, he begins to learn more about Beatrice and her history. In this rounds, various murders take place, and new characters in Purgatory are introduced, including other witches and "magical" beings.

But as the games go on, things get harder and harder for Battler to object as Beatrice begins to use "Red Truth" to state a FACT in the murder, meaning if she says, "There are only 18 people on the island," its fact and thus, Battler is forced to suspect his family and friends. Later on, Battler is allowed to use "Blue Truth" to counter Beatrice's "a-witch-is-the-culprit" theory and state his hypothesis of the various murders. For the most part the game continues in this way, with lots of drama, suspense, and thrill. But as a fair warning, the murders do get gruesome to the point that the studio had to censor them out when they aired. So if you like a series that keeps you on your toes and you enjoy thinking along with the characters, this might be a series for you.

A.I.'s Rating: 9/10

A.I.'s Review: Interesting story but it did get confusing, at times. The cast of characters is HUGE so don't worry if you get lost. Now moving on...I am not a huge fan of Studio Deen's work, but this series' art was better than most of their other series. But even so, I felt that since this series had been getting a lot of negative feedback on the art, I lowed the score down to 9. But putting aside the artwork, I was more interested in the story. It really hooked me and I was guessing till the end of each game to what Battler's final "Blue Truth" of the crime would be. But I will admit that it did take a while for me to get used to the gore, blood, and psychotic nature of this series, but I eventually got used to it.

If you have never played the games before and walk into this anime, you probably won't have a problem with it. Most of the viewers that watched this series, had played the game before and thus spat on the anime adaptation. But in defense for the anime, without comparing it to its original game, I found this to be a very entertaining series. The game, goes into more detail with each of the "games," and the anime did miss some of these details. However, like most animes that are adapted from a game, LOTS of details are missed as series are usually limited on episodes so not everything can be addressed. Thus I feel that for the most part, the series did a good job. As for the fans that enjoyed the anime, the game series is still ongoing so many fans are hoping for a season 2 of the series. However, nothing has been announced. I'll wrap this post up here, and I included the 4th opening to the series. Please note that each "game" had a unique opening animation to it but the theme song remained the same. I posed the 4th opening as I thought it was the most interesting one.


  1. Hi there! Al, you've been a dedicated reader to my posts and I want to apologize for not getting back to your responses to them! D:
    About your review on "Umineko no Naku Koro ni", I totally agree that the storyline was the winner in this series! The whole plot at first sounds along the lines of "Harper's Island" which was on one of the local channels where people were killed off one by one and comparable to Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indian's" book. However, I love the whole spin where the "Golden Witch" is involved and then they've got the whole "Red Truth" and "Blue Truth" ordeal going on in the meanwhile to keep the game going. Just to clarify though, Battler ends up dying??? WHAT! That's not the way to end the story! >:O LOL

  2. Thanks for the comment~! It really is a good series, as the plot is really interesting.
    But like I said, the story can get confusing at times, and Battler "died" in the first game and would have remained dead if he hadn't rejected the existance of magic and witches. The rest of the rounds are viewed from Purgatory, thus Battler is floating between life and death. If he looses, he dies for real and if he "wins" he goes back living but he'll be the only one alive.

  3. My condolences to your grandfather, Alyssa; I can only imagine how painful it must of been to see him in such a vulnerable state at the time. And I'm also sorry to here about your aunt's battle with cancer. Just believe in her and pray and she'll overcome it! I wish her well and hope she pulls through!
    Oh I get it!! Hahah it's like he's in a limbo between two worlds of living and being dead. Why's this witch such a -----(rhyming word)?? Lol I know you're not the author, but I'm just curious how the Golden Witch could be so malice and just kill everyone. Does she have her own dark hidden agenda of her life? Her title as the GOLDEN Witch is misleading (it sounds too nice)! XD

  4. Thanks, it's still a sore subject but I can hold it.
    Yeah, in the series they explain why Beatrice is the way she is. At first you are agaisnt her but by the end, you can't help but to feel sorry for her. Her title as "Golden Witch" comes from her symbol of golden butterflies and how she is said to make gold from nothing. But yes it is misleading especially when she starts killing people.