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Old 2011-01-04, 13:36   Link #1
Klashikari
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[Game] Umineko no Naku Koro ni - Overall Game Impressions

This thread is to be used for discussing the complete work of Umineko no Naku Koro ni... your thoughts about the game(s), overall impressions, speculation on the possible fan disc, etc., etc…

A few subjects you might want to ramble on about:
  • General impression of the series.
  • Opinions on the overall story, writing & plot devices.
  • Characters
  • Thoughts about the technical side of the game: character design, effects, sfx, music, etc
  • What the franchise meant to you.
  • What could the writer could have done better.
Important Note: as the title suggests, this thread serve as grounds to discuss the franchise as a whole, thus the -complete- work.
Anything focused only on Episode 8, and notably its ending, should be posted in the Episode 8 thread. For all intent and purpose, this very thread is for Episode 1 to 8.

[Warning]: As this thread is meant to discuss the tale as a whole, it will obviously cover everything that the PC doujin games have unfolded. Therefore, for those who have followed the anime or english translated episodes only, I wholeheartedly discourage you to proceed, unless you are willing to spoil yourself.
Please be aware this is not supposed to be a spoiler thread, therefore, please do not start asking about how the ending was done and so forth.

Suffice to say, in order to paint a pertinent and meaningful opinion regarding the franchise, please be aware you are expected to have read the complete work: I will not tolerate any supposed discussion with half assed impressions, regardless if it is positive, negative or neutral.
As another side note: please consider also that a fandisc similar to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei is planned by 07th Expansion. Therefore, please keep in mind that it may have an impact on your overall impression.

Also, considering the ending and even the nature of the story being debatable, please do not start any fruitless debate whatsoever: everyone is entitled to their opinions, so insisting on personal points and the likes towards your peers will not be condoned. Regardless how you have enjoyed the franchise, do not start imposing your view and expectations to others, and more importantly: do not derail the topic into endless jousting.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2011-01-04 at 14:03.
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Old 2011-01-04, 16:30   Link #2
Rias
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Umineko. 4 years. Same style you expect from Ryukishi07.

Overall Story
Spoiler:


Characters
Spoiler:


Technical Stuff
Spoiler:


--I am going to leave it at this for now, maybe add more when I can think of more to write--
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Last edited by Rias; 2011-01-05 at 01:09.
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Old 2011-01-04, 18:02   Link #3
AuraTwilight
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I don't know why my post was deleted, it was a perfectly legitimate opinion.
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Old 2011-01-04, 22:02   Link #4
eXpERieNCeD
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Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

hmmm... a very great story but very confusing and has many trolling that can make your head explode because of anger, curiosity, nightmare fuels and the like. Has very awesome character design (especially when there is trolling) and 90% or more of the bgm's were just pure awesome!

Just like Rias I'll put my fav episodes and character as well:
EPISODES
Spoiler:


CHARACTERS
Spoiler:
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Old 2011-01-05, 03:27   Link #5
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Overall, I really enjoyed everything about Umineko. I felt it was written really well, although there are a lot of places where the scenes drag on, specifically in Episode 4 and 8.

Spoiler:
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Old 2011-01-05, 08:25   Link #6
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Overall Impression:

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Old 2011-03-10, 14:42   Link #7
UsagiTenpura
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Great things about Umineko to me:
- Riddle game like feeling in arc 1-2-3-4 was really a lot of fun... make that arc 5 too.
- Characters are amazing. Character creation is Ryuukishi's real skill imo.
- Music is not only the best I've heard of any VN it's also used in a much much better way then any other VNs I've played.
- Red truth vs Blue truth was a really fun idea IMO.

Complaints are mostly minor but here's two.
- Twisting of the red truth left open too many interpretations of pretty much anything.
- Ryuukishi's artwork is something I understand being ... well not on the quality of a non-doujin VN like Fate or Kanon, but nontheless I cannot help but look down on his background editing skills. Better then in Higurashi at least but still... I'd be hoping for a When They Cry 5 that he hires a background artist or something.

Last edited by UsagiTenpura; 2011-03-10 at 14:54.
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Old 2011-03-10, 15:00   Link #8
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Wrecking the red was inevitable, philosophically. I just wish when he finally did break it, he hadn't done so in quite such a blatant manner. At some point of course he had to twist something (otherwise the red wouldn't be any fun), but he definitely picked the wrong place to do it and the wrong time.

Conceptually, a lot of his ideas would work fine in a thriller. People expect twists and turns, shocks and reversals in those, but one isn't bound to "play fair" with information or anything. Higurashi was probably better for not making promises, despite being much weaker in many respects.
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Old 2011-03-10, 15:21   Link #9
UsagiTenpura
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I do feel like on most aspects Umineko is closer to fantasy stories that have a lot of mysteries and twists in them then to a mystery per say.

I am fairly certain that Ryuukishi's target audience are otakus a lot more then mystery novel fans so it makes a lot of sense that it's that way (to me).
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Old 2011-03-10, 15:37   Link #10
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When I stop and think about how I would have liked Umineko better, the only thing I can honestly think of is including a Carr representing character, since Ryuukishi seems to have known of him and read his works, it feels like a wasted opportunity.

I mean, seriously. Gideon Fell being summoned from the depths of hell while dual-wielding canes of demon-logic-fire and then proceeding to smack the taste out of everyone. It'd have been a hell of a lot better than what Battler spent most of Chiru doing.

Which isnt to say that's my only criticism of the work.

To be honest, when I think hard about it, it's simply difficult to improve upon Umineko as a whole realistically, not that it was highly polished to begin with, but due to the sheer lack of depth in a lot of aspects. There's not much there to build on at this point. Would the series have been better if there was more closure to it? Of course. But Ryuukishi has made it clear from the beginning that that isn't what he was going for with this, in fact, the kind of closure we lament the lack of was something he intended to send a message about omitting in the first place. Ergo, closure would make this an entirely different work. Moreover, while we would have liked the mysteries presented to have a nice and neat solution explained to us...We're not gonna get it.

Like the nature of the Island isn't explained in any more detail than we got in Lost, that's what we're being treated to by Ryuukishi. In the end, the mystery aspects of Umineko were a ploy and a troll all in one. And the work is diminished for it...Because it is. The "mystery" of the story is not the centerpiece. It's an aside, a subplot at most, and is treated as one in the very end. Umineko is not a mystery, therefore, making it a mystery, while possibly creating a better story, is still making it a different story altogether.

That's why making Umineko into a mystery wouldn't be improving the work itself, it would simply be making it into an entirely different story, contrary to Ryuukishi's intentions. Which were terrible and ham-handed, but whatever. It is what it is.

The point I'm trying to say is that Umineko's depth is measured by Beatrice, the main character. And she is deep. But, BeatoYasuShkannonion is the only true depth in the story. All the other characters lack true depth, or are fictions within fictions, or fantasized ideals of departed individuals, or are just plain angsty. Angst is not depth.

Ange and Maria are not deep. They're filled with Angst. Eva is not deep, she's tortured, but only revealed to have had a face-heel turn at the very end. Or whatever you want to call it. Sure I'm being judgemental as hell, but face it, are you able to speak about anyone other than yasu in terms of real depth, rather than symbolism or metaphor? Maybe I'm just not able to see deeply enough, but for the life of me I can't. Not even Battler has any depth. Sure he's awesome except for when he's useless, but his character isn't really built upon. In fact, his major change of heart, at the end of episode 5, is shrouded in mystery, and we the readers gave it meaning rather than the author. And that change was taken for granted ever since.

Umineko is about big, flashy ideas and concepts being thrown around, with a good soundtrack and memorable characters. But it is by no means a deep work. It's a nice sandbox, to be sure, but there's only so much you can do with sand, and that's why a lack of Gideon Fell references and beat downs is the one thing that I feel Umineko is lacking for what it is.

Last edited by Chron; 2011-03-10 at 16:05.
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Old 2011-03-10, 15:52   Link #11
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Since he unfortunately spent most of it doing nothing, it wouldn't have been hard.

I still can't get over the nagging impression as the series winds down that the first two episodes of Chiru were literal filler. Ep7 has that "resuming where ep4 left off" feeling to it that I can't quite explain, like it was meant to be ep5 all along.
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Old 2011-03-10, 16:07   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renall View Post
Since he unfortunately spent most of it doing nothing, it wouldn't have been hard.

I still can't get over the nagging impression as the series winds down that the first two episodes of Chiru were literal filler. Ep7 has that "resuming where ep4 left off" feeling to it that I can't quite explain, like it was meant to be ep5 all along.
If Zepar and Furfur weren't so bizarre on their own, I'd say Carr Demon Investigation Squad's Dr. Fell would have been ideal in Episode 6. When you think about it, the logic error is the perfect opportunity to smack around lolis with wooden canes made of corpulent awesomeness.
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Old 2011-03-10, 18:19   Link #13
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Alright, I'm gonna have to play the Umineko apologist here. Bear with me please.

I thought that EP7 answered nearly everything. I'm really not even sure what questions you all seem to be left with. So the fact that EP8 provides no more answers is irrelevant. EP7 closed everything up nicely, except for the Lion/Will situation, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Like the nature of the Island isn't explained in any more detail than we got in Lost, that's what we're being treated to by Ryuukishi.
Oh please. There is no magic smoke monster or psuedo-scientific bullshit in Rokkenjima. Don't let's be dramatic.

What exactly about the island did you want to know? There is nothing special about it, other than it is filled with explosives. And has a sizable lump of gold, and a secret mansion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
But, BeatoYasuShkannonion is the only true depth in the story. All the other characters lack true depth, or are fictions within fictions, or fantasized ideals of departed individuals, or are just plain angsty. Angst is not depth.
Maria, angsty? No, no, she's unrealistically bubbly and happy, except when she's pretending to be a witch. Don't know where you got angst from. Children throwing temper tantrums is not angst either, don't pretend that it is.

But besides that, there are plenty of characters with multi-faceted personalities. Natsuhi for instance, is very interesting. She's motivated by her love for her family, her respect for Kinzo, her sense of duty. But she also feels out of place, lonely, and overwhelmed with responsibility because of her lackluster husband.

What more depth can you ask than that? I agree that there are many shallow characters in Umineko (Hideyoshi is fat and smokes, that's about all there is to him), but don't downplay the rest of the cast!

You say that Eva is "tortured" and dismiss her as if that sums up her entire character. I might as easily say "Holden Caufield is 'confused'", that is not depth. "Kurtz is 'mad'", that is not depth. "Atticus Finch is 'noble'", that is not depth.

I will agree with you that the lack of Dr. Fell is a glaring flaw, possibly the biggest flaw in all of Umineko.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renall
I still can't get over the nagging impression as the series winds down that the first two episodes of Chiru were literal filler.
EP5 and EP6 were intended to be hints! Naturally, if you had already figured out the answer, those episodes seemed unnecessary. Although they were damned entertaining in my opinion, necessary or not.
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Old 2011-03-10, 18:58   Link #14
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I wouldn't even say that "tortured" really applies to Eva that much pre-incident. Sure, she had some issues, but she was living happily with her husband and son.

I dunno about angst, really. The only one who ever really had it was Ange, who did lose her entire family to a bizarre disaster.
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Old 2011-03-10, 20:28   Link #15
Chron
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Id forgotten about natsuhi, but frankly she is the obe exception to my point, and that can be explained as being a reaction to natsuhi culprit theory than intentionak design. It makes the lack of development in the rest of the cast all the more glaring. As far as angst goes, those are precisely the broad strokes ryuukishi paint rd d with. Eva has two modes: loving wife and mother, or tortured asshole. Neither are explored, she just acts in those roles and thats it. Eva and Eva-Beatrice make this point even clearer by making each sidr a.srerate individual. Maria is closer to being in denial, but even that is angst. Episode 4 showed most strongly what her deeper feelings were. Including her frustration and feelings of vengeance. At the end, she wasnt killing the.black witch, she was killing her mother. Maria was never a saint, she was just a naive child whos mother and environment embittered her. Ange is obvious, her angst is handwaved as being justified, but it is never anything more than that

One more thing. Everything about rokkenjimma we know is entirely within the context of fictions within fictions, with 8 different representations ogf events there. If anything the island in lost was more forthright in revealing its secrets than rokkenjimma.
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Old 2011-03-10, 21:02   Link #16
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Writing on mobile phones is so annoyingly limiting in the proofreading department.
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Old 2011-03-10, 21:38   Link #17
naikou
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Yeah, I know well the troubles of writing on a phone. You are forgiven for not being able to proofread.

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Id forgotten about natsuhi, but frankly she is the obe exception to my point, and that can be explained as being a reaction to natsuhi culprit theory than intentionak design.
You think Natushi being a well developed character was an accident? Yeaaaah, I'm sure Ryukishi totally meant to leave her bland and uninteresting.

Man, I totally wish I could unintentionally write good characters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Maria is closer to being in denial, but even that is angst. Episode 4 showed most strongly what her deeper feelings were. Including her frustration and feelings of vengeance.
A character who is happy (if a bit weird) on the surface, but contains deeper layers of frustration, to the point of being vengeful?

It almost sounds as if you're saying that she has... depth? :o

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Eva has two modes: loving wife and mother, or tortured asshole. Neither are explored, she just acts in those roles and thats it. Eva and Eva-Beatrice make this point even clearer by making each sidr a.srerate individual.
She acts like a vindictive bitch toward Krauss and Natsuhi. She acts like a jealous over-protective mother (not loving) toward Shannon. She acts like a good little daughter toward Kinzo. She acts like a bullying older sister toward Rosa. She acts like psychotic madwoman whenever George dies.

Really, the only person who gets the "tortured asshole" treatment is Ange.

And there's another character who has a lot of development whom we're not discussing: Rosa. A frazzled single-mother who abuses her daughter, but is nonetheless sympathetic (sometimes). She puts on a facade of weakness and stupidity to deceive her older siblings, but she's possibly the most competent of any of them, when it comes time to play ball. Like many other characters, she's very lonely and isolated, and she secretly wishes Maria's father would come back, even though he's obviously a jerk.

Depth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Ange is obvious, her angst is handwaved as being justified, but it is never anything more than that
I don't like Ange much, so I won't press that point. I think she's more than just angst (she does get over herself eventually) but angst is a big part of it. But what do you expect from a teenage girl whose only living relatives want to A) steal all her money or B) make her life a living hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
One more thing. Everything about rokkenjimma we know is entirely within the context of fictions within fictions, with 8 different representations ogf events there. If anything the island in lost was more forthright in revealing its secrets than rokkenjimma.
It doesn't matter at all if it's fictions within fictions. The nature of Rokkenjima has been very clearly explained: There is nothing special or supernatural about it at all.

You haven't given me any examples of questions you still have about the island.

For instance, about Lost I can say, "Where did the smoke monster come from?", "What did the numbers mean?", "What the fuck was up with Walt?", "Where did the ending come from?", etc.

Everything about Rokkenjima has an explanation (as far as I'm aware).
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Old 2011-03-10, 22:02   Link #18
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Where did the explosives come from?

Checkmate. As far as the mumbers? Jacob. As for walt? Went past his expiration date. The smoke? Its what happens when you dump a corpse in a river. And the ending was a fan throwback, and possible near death vb hallucination.

With regards to eva, her acting like a bitch is a part of tortured bitch mode, brought on by generic jealousy issues. She never is shown kissing up to kinzo, and her treatment of rosa and shannon simply fill trope roles.

Rosa may have some depth, sure, but its mostly what we as readers give it aside from the ridiculously late game revelation of her wanting maria's father back. That struck me as a hamfisted attempt at garnering sympathy.for her.

Regarding natsuhi, I never said it was an accident. But that his hand was forced due to the apparent popularity of the natsuhi culprit theory. So he moved to discredit the theory completely, and frankly, the best way to do that was develop her character in episode 5. That bein gb said, I woildnt mind the ability to write good characters by accident myself.
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Old 2011-03-10, 22:30   Link #19
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Where did the explosives come from?
Rokkenjima was an abandoned military base. Where they stored lots and lots of explosives.

But even without that, come on, it's not like explosives are hard to come by. I suppose a rich fellow like Kinzo could buy as much as he wanted in secret.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
As far as the mumbers? Jacob. As for walt? Went past his expiration date. The smoke? Its what happens when you dump a corpse in a river. And the ending was a fan throwback, and possible near death vb hallucination.
Yes, those were just examples, I'm not really all that curious about Lost. It's clear enough the writers of that series had no idea where they were going while writing the series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
With regards to eva, her acting like a bitch is a part of tortured bitch mode, brought on by generic jealousy issues. She never is shown kissing up to kinzo, and her treatment of rosa and shannon simply fill trope roles.
Lust for power != tortured. She's power hungry before the incident, afterward she's tortured by the loss of her husband and son. She kisses up to Kinzo in the flashbacks in EP3 (by being a perfect daughter, getting perfect grades, beating Krauss at everything), even though Kinzo couldn't care less about her.

And just how exactly are "jealousy issues" generic? I can't even think of another character in all of fiction who acts like Eva does. Can you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Rosa may have some depth, sure, but its mostly what we as readers give it aside from the ridiculously late game revelation of her wanting maria's father back. That struck me as a hamfisted attempt at garnering sympathy.for her.
Everything about Rosa I listed in my previous post is explicitly explained in game. And I didn't even cover everything, there's also the trauma Rosa suffers because she killed Beatrice II, her feelings of being a failure due to her design company going bankrupt, her frequent "vacations" with rich clients, leaving Maria home alone.

And I don't think her wanting Maria's father back is ham-fisted at all. It's just an emotion that's buried very deep, because rationally she knows that he was only in it for her money. No one wants to look like a fool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Regarding natsuhi, I never said it was an accident. But that his hand was forced due to the apparent popularity of the natsuhi culprit theory. So he moved to discredit the theory completely, and frankly, the best way to do that was develop her character in episode 5. That bein gb said, I woildnt mind the ability to write good characters by accident myself.
Even if his hand was forced, does that somehow make Natsuhi less of a good character?

I mean, plenty of the other cast members had a lot of screen time, maybe it was just Natsuhi's turn? I've already shown how Rosa, Eva, and Maria are more than just shallow cutouts (in addition to Shkanontrice). I'm confident I could do the same for Battler. Maybe Erika, Geroge, Kyrie and Rudolf, too.
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Old 2011-03-10, 23:48   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron View Post
Regarding natsuhi, I never said it was an accident. But that his hand was forced due to the apparent popularity of the natsuhi culprit theory. So he moved to discredit the theory completely, and frankly, the best way to do that was develop her character in episode 5. .
Wait ... seriously?

People were seriously accusing Nats after EP2? Or EP3?
Based on what? I'm not gonna pretend I was able to solve very many of the murders on my own, but even I was able to rule Natuhi rather early.
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