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Old 2011-03-16, 23:36   Link #41
naikou
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Right, because Umineko is using cliches intentionally (paying homage to mystery tropes, if you will). They even make reference to it in game, when Erika shows up and they all start talking about mysteries, and how they're in a typical mystery setting.

I think there could have been a dying message worked in somehow, even if it was a fake dying message. Like, "OH GOD, BEATRICE IS REEAAAAALLLL". Or they could find a detailed death message in Kinzo's study, which was planted by Natsuhi.
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Old 2011-03-17, 00:28   Link #42
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Originally Posted by Sherringford View Post
I'm not, I'm just noting how he went for basically every cliche except that one(which admittedly just wouldn't work in Umineko).

Unless you are talking to Leaf in which case "woops, my bad."
Yeah I know, Only the first sentence was directed to you.

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Originally Posted by naikou View Post
Right, because Umineko is using cliches intentionally (paying homage to mystery tropes, if you will). They even make reference to it in game, when Erika shows up and they all start talking about mysteries, and how they're in a typical mystery setting.

I think there could have been a dying message worked in somehow, even if it was a fake dying message. Like, "OH GOD, BEATRICE IS REEAAAAALLLL". Or they could find a detailed death message in Kinzo's study, which was planted by Natsuhi.
I think some are homages but not all of them. The guy posing as two different persons isn't really an homage to anything in particular.
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Old 2011-03-17, 00:39   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Yeah I know, Only the first sentence was directed to you.



I think some are homages but not all of them. The guy posing as two different persons isn't really an homage to anything in particular.
Actually, if anything, thatd be an Ellery Queen reference.
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Old 2011-03-17, 00:59   Link #44
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That's not really a mystery cliche, either. It's not original, but it's not widely used enough to be called a cliche.
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Old 2011-03-17, 02:57   Link #45
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Originally Posted by naikou View Post
That's not really a mystery cliche, either. It's not original, but it's not widely used enough to be called a cliche.
Eh, not to nitpick, but I think that's why we used language like "homage" and "reference". It's not inconceivable that ryuukishi read Ellery Queen, and neglected to reference their work for the same reason he neglected to directly reference Carr.
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Old 2011-03-17, 03:09   Link #46
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Fairly sure he did reference Queen though. Can't remember exactly what or when it was though.
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Old 2011-03-17, 08:41   Link #47
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He has indeed read Queen, here's an essay by him:
http://community.livejournal.com/witchhunters/5724.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Eh, not to nitpick, but I think that's why we used language like "homage" and "reference".
I said: "Umineko is using mystery cliches intentionally (paying homage to mystery tropes, if you will)."

Then Jan-Poo responded: "I think some are homages but not all of them."

Implying that there are cliches in Umineko which are not homages. I responded to that by saying that the example which he listed was not a cliche.
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Old 2011-03-17, 11:00   Link #48
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Anyway it's not like it's a bad thing that Umineko missed one of the most overused cliche, why do you even want to find a way to claim it's there?
Because I feel like it is there.

I do understand what Sherringham means, though. I guess a dying message is meant to be something the victim writes after they have already received a fatal wound or are about to receive one from the culprit. Although I'd still say the phone conversations are a similar idea (Jessica at least is claiming that she's already been fatally injured before the conversation, while Kyrie says she is about to die.).
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Old 2011-03-17, 13:52   Link #49
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Originally Posted by naikou View Post
He has indeed read Queen, here's an essay by him:
http://community.livejournal.com/witchhunters/5724.html

I said: "Umineko is using mystery cliches intentionally (paying homage to mystery tropes, if you will)."

Then Jan-Poo responded: "I think some are homages but not all of them."

Implying that there are cliches in Umineko which are not homages. I responded to that by saying that the example which he listed was not a cliche.
So the focus was on the cliches, not what mystery references ryuukishi was making in general?

Guess I overlooked that.

Read the essay...and I'm mildly annoyed. I suppose if his intention all along was to insult fans of the mystery genre, then I have no reason to respect him or his soapbox.

Nothing can ever be definitively resolved? Later Queen problem? Ridiculous. Petty excuses to hide behind so you can proclaim victory over the most astute readers who can and will see through you.

Honestlu, that essay is a self-important declaration of how clever he thinks he is, and then justifies why he can pull the stunt he has. There is no such thing as anti-mystery. The detective is by no means an absolute authority by any measure, he deducts the culprit as the case progresses, using all available evidence. That the detective is often correct is a happy conclusion at the end.

If anything, modern detectives and CSIs are closer to a deus ex machina than those in fiction. And without supernatural powers to boot.

Last edited by Chron; 2011-03-17 at 14:14.
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Old 2011-03-17, 14:46   Link #50
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If anything, modern detectives and CSIs are closer to a deus ex machina than those in fiction. And without supernatural powers to boot.
That has no bearing on his argument. CSI detectives are unrealistic, but that does not make classical detectives realistic. It just means that they are more realistic in comparison.

So yes, your statement is true, but it unrelated to Ryukishi's argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chron
Nothing can ever be definitively resolved? Later Queen problem? Ridiculous. Petty excuses to hide behind so you can proclaim victory over the most astute readers who can and will see through you.
That's a rather cruel way to put it. I don't think Ryukishi intended to claim victory over anyone. The most important mystery of Umineko (Shannon=Kanon=Beatrice), was hypothesized long before EP7 was released, and it was probably the most popular theory at the time. Yet Ryukishi didn't change his answer.
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Old 2011-03-17, 15:03   Link #51
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Adding new parts to a story in order to completely change its core truth is not something that can be easily done.

It's actually very hard to to do unless you can go back and make adjustments to parts you wrote before. Ryuukishi seems to imply that you can simply do this and "everything makes sense". It's really not that automatic, and it would be naive to think so.

If to the attentive reader becomes absolutely apparent that the author came up with a certain development at the last minute, that's certainly not something that a good author should be fine with nor proud of.

That's third rate scenario skill for you which is only acceptable if you are watching a soap opera or a cheap serial.

Plot twists are cool, when you realize they were planned since the beginning, if they come out of the blue, they just stink.

An attentive reader is more than capable to read between lines and see patterns. A good author should think twice before making last minute changes or additions, the risk that someone would notice is pretty high, and then he can't complain if some will criticize him.
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Old 2011-03-17, 15:12   Link #52
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Originally Posted by naikou View Post
That's a rather cruel way to put it. I don't think Ryukishi intended to claim victory over anyone. The most important mystery of Umineko (Shannon=Kanon=Beatrice), was hypothesized long before EP7 was released, and it was probably the most popular theory at the time. Yet Ryukishi didn't change his answer.
Of course it didn't. That isn't actually an answer. An answer is more what Jan-Poo is talking about.

Having said that, I'm not sure I'd say he was contemptful toward classic writers, his fans, or mystery lovers generally. I do think he misunderstood quite a few things and misrepresented - perhaps accidentally - what they believe. That he could do so while clearly aware of many famous writers' opinions on the matter I can't really explain, but I'm not sure open contempt was his angle. Unintended disrespect, perhaps... but maybe people disagree.
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Old 2011-03-17, 15:18   Link #53
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Oh dear, a literature discussion thread.

Just here to mention that 'And Then There Were None' is one of Christie's worst mysteries. I mean, alright, the characters are probably better developed than in most of her books, but that isn't what makes a good whodunit. It's all in how the mystery is constructed, and And Then There Were None is a horribly constructed mystery with absolutely nothing resembling a resolution, many of the things that happen late in the book only happen because of chance (and unlike in Umineko that really isn't a major theme in the book) and the villain is only able to hide his death because no one but the doctor knows what a bullet wound looks like.

Really? This is her best mystery?
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Old 2011-03-17, 16:39   Link #54
naikou
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
Really? This is her best mystery?
I'd probably go:
1. Roger Ackroyd
2. ABC Murders
3. And Then There Were None

But I don't like Christie in general, so take that with a grain of salt.

@Jan-Poo -

Maybe I got the wrong impression from that essay, but I didn't think he was referring to plot twists, or last minute developments in a novel. Rather, I thought he was talking about writing sequels, and revealing facts about the original story in the sequel. Sometimes these facts change the very nature of the original story itself! Sort of like how "Lord of the Rings" provides details about "The Hobbit".

This isn't all that uncommon, either, in fiction. It just isn't done in mystery novels.
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Old 2011-03-17, 16:43   Link #55
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Ignoring the above rabble-rousing, I would have to say that maybe Ryuukishi's intents were lost in translation?

Although, when he makes his points by using openly contemptuous characters to express them (Beatrice and Ronove), it becomes hard to take it at anything other than face value. Readers demand trust? No we don't, we implicitly give the author our trust by taking the time to read his work. We don't demand any sort of guarentee that the story be solvable, rather, we take it for granted that it is, and then act on that premise.

Is that arrogant? Is that presumptuous? Maybe. But that's how we give the situation meaning, and justify our mental efforts. The only thing you can reasonably say we readers take for granted is that there's some kind of an answer to what we're presented with. The answer is not the point, it is not the core of the story, it's the measure by which we readers take stock of our ability against the cleverness of the author.

Let me be direct, there's one comment in particular on that livejournal page that outright infuriated me more than anything else, the very first comment, as a matter of fact:

Quote:
This makes it even more clear that, even though Umineko may be billed as some kind of murder mystery, it will prove to not be a TRADITIONAL murder mystery. The inclusion of the game between Battle and Beatrice already hints of this, but Ryukishi07 probably has a lot more tricks up his sleeve to break down the entire traditional model. I can't wait to see how he breaks all these closed room murders. Actually, he might not even do that at all. He might transcend the traditional murder mystery by leaving us with no conclusion, no final deduction. That's what he seems to be implying here. Heh, he's just as cruel as a witch, isn't he?
Transcendance? How ignorant. The core of the mystery genre is not the answer, the core of the mystery genre is, I believe, the mystery itself. The answer is simply one part of the mystery, not the basis of it.

A mystery novel is not like a textbook, where if we're stumped, we just go to the end and look up the correct answer to the problem (that's how they are in California public schools, anyway). The entire point of a mystery novel is that the reader is engaged by the author in a battle of wits until the answer itself, trying to stump and mystify the reader as to the true nature of the puzzle the author has placed before them. In the end, when the author uses the detective to reveal the truth behind our competition, and presents it to us with an air of "So, did you get it, or didn't you?", that's how what we, as readers, measure our efforts against.

So, with that perspective in mind, this "anti-mystery" nonsense is a direct insult to that battle between author and reader. That contest of intellect and wills. We are presented with what amounts to...a rat in a maze, or a hamster on the wheel. Constantly running around in a futile effort, due to our unshakable faith that there is an answer, when there is none.

The finish line, to continue that analogy, does not make up the race, it simply determines when it ends, it determines where the victory condition lies, it shows us who the winners and who the losers are. A race without a finish line is no race at all, and to label it as so is false pretenses.

What Ryuukishi has done here is make a race without end, and then try to bait mystery fans into running it, driven purely by our faith that there must be an end, there just has to be, when ryuukishi has made every indication that there is no answer forthcoming, or ever shall be.

What a cynical and insulting salute to the Grandest Game in the World.
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Old 2011-03-17, 16:56   Link #56
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Funnily enough, I agree with you.

The race *is* the important part, not the finish line. And I enjoyed the race very much, even if there never was a finish line to begin with.

I wouldn't say that Ryukishi transcended the mystery novel. He just side-stepped it and wrote something different. After all, mystery novels are not art, while Umineko is.
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Old 2011-03-17, 16:58   Link #57
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Van Dine is art, I would say.

But I agree with you about the sidestepping part. Specifically, it's the false pretenses I'm annoyed with Ryuukishi about.
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Old 2011-03-17, 17:08   Link #58
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False pretenses or not, I judge the art, not the artist. There are a good many artists whom I would hate as people, yet I love their art. Stanley Kubrick was insufferable, in many of his actors' opinions (Jack Nicholson refused to work with him after "The Shining"). But he's almost universally regarded as one of the best directors of all time.
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Old 2011-03-17, 17:12   Link #59
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Umineko is a great fantasy story. If it had never been billed as a mystery, I'd have no complaints (alternatively, I'd have never been introduced to the mystery genre either).

But Ryuukishi did, which is a disservice to both his story and his readers.

I suppose I think more of the artist than the art when forming my opinions. Unfortunately I just can't get past Umineko's shortcomings as a result. In all honesty, he'll probably be regarded as a genius for his own spectacular failures.

Succeeding in spite of himself, as it were. Harrumph.
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Old 2011-03-17, 18:13   Link #60
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Originally Posted by Chron View Post
Ignoring the above rabble-rousing, I would have to say that maybe Ryuukishi's intents were lost in translation?

Although, when he makes his points by using openly contemptuous characters to express them (Beatrice and Ronove), it becomes hard to take it at anything other than face value. Readers demand trust? No we don't, we implicitly give the author our trust by taking the time to read his work. We don't demand any sort of guarentee that the story be solvable, rather, we take it for granted that it is, and then act on that premise.
A lot of the complaints are arising out of ep8 which is a double-edged sword on the Lost in Translation front, because:
  • People who don't understand Japanese are drawing conclusions based on second or third-hand information; but
  • People who do understand Japanese are still complaining.
So while there may be part of it, I think there are still some people justifiably disappointed. I don't see how the meaning could be lost for those people who actually read it in its native tongue.

Besides, for all we know the translation (as yet to come out) will moderate the vitriol perceived somewhat.
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False pretenses or not, I judge the art, not the artist. There are a good many artists whom I would hate as people, yet I love their art. Stanley Kubrick was insufferable, in many of his actors' opinions (Jack Nicholson refused to work with him after "The Shining"). But he's almost universally regarded as one of the best directors of all time.
I hope we're not comparing a doujin VN author with Stanley Kubrick here. Like it or not, Ryukishi isn't treating WTC as a professionally-produced series (he most certainly could, as he clearly has professional connections and clout, if only as "the Higurashi guy").

Besides, it's a little harder to do a love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin comparison there. Kubrick was capable of moderating his message: 2001 was not a radical departure from the themes Clarke himself wrote about, and Kubrick actually significantly blunted the anti-war messages in the film version (and not because he was pro-war; he claimed his goal with Full Metal Jacket was to be neither pro-war nor anti-war). Of course he was always inserting his own opinion into things, as Ryukishi does, but I think it's considerably lessened by the interweaving of other influences into the creative process that don't exist in a doujin environment.

I'm sure many famous mystery writers had rougher edges before the editors got involved, but the point is they did get involved.
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