|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Wow! This series was something else. I was stunned at the dramatic intro, the powerful first few episodes, and the turn of crazy events. But then...|
Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork was excellent. Backgrounds were splendid and animation fluid. Characters were more western style but were well done and greatly detailed. All the characters were uniquely illustrated and rich with color and depth. Even the gruesome scenes were done with detail... which was stomach churning at times.
The OP was riveting! When I started the first episode, and was introduced to a loud powerful choir, with sparkles and flares floating & dancing around, a portrait descending into view, and with apocalyptic lyrics, "Judgement comes from the sea and is about to be dealt", I was giddy with excitement and awed at the intro. It sounded like a new-age galic piece with a powerful choir. I was sold instantly. The soundtrack was mostly made up of orchestra pieces mostly filled with suspense and dark undertones. Then there was the ED. Another powerful and explosive choir with the visuals of a fastly moving chessboard from the player's view flying away from the screen. The dramatic and hard drums and electric guitar, mixed with the chanting of choir made for a truely impressive presentation. The music was a hard goth-rock. Awesome!!
Series and Episode Story
I have a dual relationship with this series. I absolutely love it and absolutely hate it! I'll explain below. The plot started off with some serious suspense, grusome murders and some amazing storytelling. But then, after most the cast was wiped out in a gruesome manner, the story appears to conclude, but then repeats itself with new scenarios and circumstances. It does this through the rest of the series. Sound familiar? Try "When Cicada's Cry". But with each round of the story, we're introduced with a bit of more clues and information and new characters (witches,demons), which adds more depth to the plot.
Here's where I hated it. As it drew to a close, we're left a ton of questions that don't get answered. And the way it ends... (spoiler)→ with yet another riddle just had me yelling out loud WTF!! I totally felt ripped off the ton of hours I spent watching this. But at the same time, I loved the series.
Overall, this series had a really high wow factor but also a WFT factor in the end. If you enjoy mysteries, horrors and are a glutton for let downs, you'll love this one for sure.
Last updated Wednesday, January 19 2011. Created Wednesday, January 19 2011.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni
(Seven episodes watched):|
This was one of the Summer series which I put off watching for the longest time, not being a major fan of the horror genre, yet when I finally did watch it I found it to be fairly interesting and was prepared to watch some more. This seemed a lot like a murder mystery novel, as we are introduced to a large cast of potential suspects/victims. These are mainly wealthy people, and largely jerks who one wouldn't mourn too much, plus a small staff of servants. Apparently Grandpa has made a supernatural bargain with Beatrice, a witch, including offering his family members up as human sacrifices. At the end of episode one nobody had bought the farm yet, but tension seemed to be mounting steadily.
This is not exactly a mystery, seeing as the villain is a witch who can employ magic to commit crimes. It was theorized that Beatrice might actually be one of the 18 persons on the remote island, which was intriguing. The most obvious suspect is the little girl, Maria, who seems to find the others meeting grisly ends to be most amusing. She seems to either be Beatrice, to be possesed by her, or to simply be the most irritating little bitch ever. One murder which it would be hard to blame anyone for committing would be that of Maria, at least that's what I thought.
Once the killing gets underway it soon seemed to me that we were running out of victims much too quickly for a twelve episode series. Then, after four-and-a-half episodes, the show basically resets back to the beginning. This is interesting in a way, but doesn't make a whole lot of sense, at least not to me. Battler seems to both deny and embrace magic and witchcraft. He supposedly absolutely refuses to consider witchcraft as the explanation for the killings, or that it exists to begin with, yet somehow seems to understand how it works anyhow. Still, this show was unpredictable and intriguing enough that I remained curious to see where it is going.
I wish Beatrice's motivations were more clear; the show just seems to be operating on the assumption that witches are automatically evil. She has some sort of plans for the "Golden World", but whatever those are haven't been made clear. This is a frequent problem with anime; it's as if the makers subconsciously assumed that the viewer already knows pretty much what they do, and therefore thorough explanations of the plot aren't necessary. It definitely happens--I've found myself making the same mistake at times.
Actually, it turned out that there would in fact be 24 episodes, not 12. Learning that this would be a two-season show had the effect of convincing me to drop it altogether. It was good enough to commit to for one season, but not for two. Beatrice just seems stereotypically evil, a woman who just enjoys torturing and tormenting people without much of a reason; and the people are helpless to resist--so far at least--which makes for a rather dull show. Battler hasn't made any progress with his dubious attempt to defeat Beatrice, and the show just seems to have reset as Beatrice comes up with a new way to murder the same people. Instead of the mystery which I had been hoping for, Beatrice has come clean as the perpetrator of all the violence. I find myself more bored than horrified. I guess my original instinct that led me to delay watching this show was right after all.
Last updated Friday, October 02 2009. Created Friday, August 07 2009.
|Japanese Series Web Site||http://umineko.tv/web/main/index.html|