Ah-nee-may Ramblings,the beginning.

Alright,i’m sorry for my kinda long absence on this blog but i was quite busy: real life never listens to my complains ( ;_; ) . And i’ll still be for about two weeks,but that won’t stop me from posting my Ar Tonelico 2 review sometime in the future.

So what are we talking about today? If you didn’t get it yet,today’s post is about anime:namely,the latest addition to my “now watching” list: Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (When the Seagulls Cry),anime adaptation by Studio DEEN of the somewhat famous sound novel made by 07th Expansion.

Remember Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni(When the Cicadas cry)? If you do, they were the ones behind it.If you don’t and it’s because you haven’t watched it,check it now.You are seriously missing something good.

So,now that you got lectured and are slightly annoyed let’s continue with Umineko.

Rokkenjima,October 1986. On this small island,property of the wealthy Ushiromiya Kinzo ,a family conference takes place every year.Everyone is gathering there,knowing that he is near death.How will his assets be divided among the siblings?

This is only the very premise of this story ,a premise that will lead to mysteries,murders,MORE mysteries and EVEN MORE murders.Which is totally awesome in my book.

Just so you know,i went through the VN (SN,technically) already,so my feelings about this adaptation are quite biased.Of course,only the first episode aired so it’s too early to make a definitive judgement.But i’ll voice my thoughts about it anyway:the result is…decent ,nothing more.

Characters’ design is a mixed bag,with Ushiromiya Battler being the worst one in my opinion.He looks more like a 15 yrs old who just had a growth spurt than a healthy 18 yrs old.

Everyone else looks good though,especially the adult siblings.Some people may say that the original artstyle was completely lost,but the final result isn’t bad at all in my opinion.

What puzzles me the most however,is the pacing…the first chapers of the novel show us who these people are,their relationships with each other,and gives each one a definite background.By removing stuff like the banter between the cousins and lots of dialogues between the siblings,the result becomes somewhat questionable:the characters seem less human and much more one-dimensional,which incidentally removes any incentive that the viewer might have for not wanting to see them die.
We don’t want to see a character we like dying. But it’s only after getting to see their different sides that we can decide who suits us the most, and then we can start caring about them.I understand that Studio DEEN wanted to reach quickly the “juicy” parts of the story,but the shocking factor of murders and stuff heavily depends on that.

The “Mystery” part also wasn’t handled well:the first Umineko arc completely revolves around the existance of Beatrice,depicted in a huge portrait and obsessed over by Kinzo. It’s her fault that people are getting murdered? Is there someone else on this island? Is she really a witch?
The anime plainly says LOL YES to everything by showing her in the OP and during the episode.

Speaking of which,both OP & ED are impressive albeit for different reasons: the first features smooth animations and a good song that perfectly catches the Umineko spirit,the latter…is hilarious at first because Kinzo reveals his inner singing persona and delivers an opera-style ED with random english too.Simply unskippable,you can see both of them below.

Should i give this a try?
Why,yes.I said it’s a decent adaptation for a reason: the VAs do their job well and if you like mystery & murders you won’t go wrong with this series. Umineko features an awesome plot and after all,this is only the first episode and i’ll be more than happy to write another post in which i apologize for being horribly wrong,should the characters’ development be polished.


~ by Orpheon on July 6, 2009.

5 Responses to “Ah-nee-may Ramblings,the beginning.”

  1. I’ve resolved to watch more anime! And start finishing some games! But I don’t know how to begin…

    (If you’ve seen my backloggery as of late…you’ll notice it’s gotten entirely to crowded over there…though yours is twice as bad…)

    I dunno how you do it….

  2. Oh wow the ending has my favorite singers from the ar tonelico vocal tracks that’s just awesome! I actually found out about this game series by accident from the youtube “Reccomended for you” section now that I see there is an anime I am more interested in this series thanks.:)

  3. I’m keeping myself from watching newer shows until I finish Cardcaptor Sakura. I only have 3 more episodes to go, which means I’ll check out Umineko soon.

  4. @ AlucardsFate: Yeah,anime-wise i usually have 4-5 series on my “now watching ” list but i can steadily follow only 2-3 of them at best.I usually end up dropping the remaining series though.

    @ Luminous Atelier: Yes,the OP is sung by Shikata who did also some hyms from Ar tonelico.Glad i could help 😛

    @Wandering: Hey congratz on finishing it: i also suggest Canaan, it really has high production values and seems quite enjoyable.

  5. While I generally like the artstyle changes to the Anime for the better, I agree that they sacrificed a ton of character interaction and development to streamline things. The plot is all there, sure, but I wouldn’t really know about most of these characters if I hadn’t been delving into the visual novel. They feel like the most expendable of expendable characters.

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