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Old 2011-09-03, 08:21   Link #24101
jjblue1
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On a general line all the times given in Ep 5 are supposed to be slightly wrong.

At 1:00 AM, Eva sealed Genji's waiting room, and that seal was broken by Kanon and Kumasawa in the morning when the crime was discovered.

During the short break at 1:00 AM, the first two to leave the dining hall were Rosa and Eva. Until Eva returned, everyone in the dining hall remained there.

After seeing Rosa off, Eva went to the waiting room and sealed it.


If the break took place exactly at 1:00 AM and Eva left during the break she wouldn't have managed to leave, get duck tape, reach Genji's waiting room and seal it at exactly 1:00 AM.

Let's assume that we can 'confirm' that the break took place at 1:00 AM because the clock sounded right while Krauss was seeing let's have a break (the clock might have been slightly off but let's pretend it's perfectly exact).

People agree to it.

Eva stands up or, if she was already standing, she begins to move toward the door. To speed up things let's assume there was random duck tapes in the room and she had already picked it up. It would be weird for her to run out so she walks out. Always in order to speed up things let's Rosa move at the same time as her.

Eva sees Rosa off.

Eva rushes to Genji's room and seal it.

It CAN'T be still 1:00 AM!

Sure maybe it's just 1:02 AM but we start having times wrong.

For the same reason, if the break was at 1:00 AM and Rosa left after it, she couldn't have reached the guest room at 1:00 AM.

Now, a realistic story would say 'around 1:00 AM' but in Umineko we're given red truths giving the exact time.

Now... I don't know if it's a mistranslation and actually the text said 'around 1:00 AM' but, as far as I'm involved, if it's not a mistranstlation is a logic error to assume that characters are gifted with instant movement so they can move from a place to another in less than 60 seconds.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:03   Link #24102
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Yet another case of imprecise definitions in a red truth.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:09   Link #24103
DukeLawliet
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Oi....Back a few pages, but just glad I'm not the only one who saw the seasons trick. it was used in an old episode of Columbo. Old school mystery nerds FTW.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:25   Link #24104
jjblue1
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Originally Posted by DukeLawliet View Post
Hm, let me raise a point that we're all kind of violating here. Despite it being so much fun, Umineko is about the futility of literary criticism. We're enjoying it like Bern here, softly enjoying it on a first read, and then ripping its guts out. I call it "The Poor Dead Hobbits". "The Hobbit" was a favorite book of mine....until I had to analyze it, ripping it into indiscernible pieces. The deeper meaning of a novel is irrelevant, the "truth" pales in it's beauty to a personal truth that will make you happy. Let's take a bit to discuss the heart of the mystery, eh? A small break from the dastardly fun of playing the villain. What themes did you take from Umineko? Any messages?
I don't think Umineko is about the futility of literary criticism.

In Umineko's world the Rokkenjima incident was a real thing so people pocking at it for fun and speculating about real people who had turned into victims and had left family and relatives was an extremely cruel things to do.
Battler reacts badly each time there's a game because HEY Beato is killing his family! However Battler is a mystery reader. I doubt he complains each time in the book he read there's a murder.

We're out from the Umineko world. We know the Ushiromiya don't exist, they're just characters so we aren't desacrating them.

Plus Umineko proposes us riddles Ryukishi seemed to imply he would apprecciate more people who would try to solve the riddles than just watch them.

There's to say that yes, we can be nitpicking a bit too much in search of clues but this isn't done with ill intent. Since clues don't come with the RED FLAG whatever can be a clue.
Did character X paused in his sentence due to reason Y that's connected to the murder/a secret/something else? Or he just was at loss for words?

We don't know so we speculate about it.

Umineko surely tosses in some messages, the point is that many, many people approached Umineko believing it to be a mystery of some sort and therefore assuming we would be given a sactisfatory 'answer'.
When this didn't happen people grew disappointed.

It's not just the fact that there wasn't an 'answer'. In another list of rules for mystery writing there's this:

5. The crime should be believable.
While the details of the murder -- how, where, and why it's done, as well as how the crime is discovered -- are your main opportunities to introduce variety, make sure the crime is plausible. Your reader will feel cheated if the crime is not something that could really happen.

Blood and paint have distinctive smells. Old riffles when shooting also would cause a certain smell to permeate the air. In all Umineko, apart from the stench of Kinzo burning, there's no reference to people's noses picking up smells of blood, paint or gun powder. It's also rarely mentioned that people had gotten wet due to the rain but in many cases, to perpetrate the murder, people must have gotten wet.

8 In mystery writing, don't try to fool your reader.
Again, it takes the fun out. Don't use improbable disguises, twins, accidental solutions, or supernatural solutions. The detective should not commit the crime. All clues should be revealed to the reader as the detective finds them.

In Umineko we've Shkannon, Erika, whom we supposed was the detective, becoming the murder, clues that are kept unexplained, clues that aren't found because the room or the corpse wasn't checked properly.

but if we want to use Van Dine's 20 rules:

6) The story must have a detective who also solves the crime (by detection).

Episode 1 to 4 had a detective (Battler) who didn't solve the crime.
Ep 5 had a detective (Erika) who didn't solve the crime. Battler did but it was extabilished he wasn't the detective and he also did not give the real solution.
Ep 6 had a detective that turns into a murderer.

9) There can be only one detective; not a team.

In many episodes, although there's a 'official' detective, others work as such.
In Ep 3 Battler is the detective but Beato solves the crime.
In Ep 5 we've the impression the detectives are Erika & Battler + Bern who aids Erika, there's a great confusion and in the end we're told that the detective is Erika but it's Battler who solves the crime.

12) There can only be one murderer. The villain could have a helper or "co-plotter," but only one is going to get the ax in the matter.

Pick Ep 7 Tea party. People doing the killing are Rudolf, Kirye and Eva.

14) The method of the murder must not be beyond plausibility. No super-natural means, nor the introduction of a fictional device or element ("super-radium, let us say" is not fair).

A switch that insues the self destruction of an insland, as far as I'm involved, is a bit hard to swallow. I don't care how simply it works. It's not a standard or even a plausible dotation in normal houses.

15) The truth of the solution must be apparent. The reader should be able to pick the book upon completion and see that the answer was in fact starring at him all the time.

So far many are still searching the truth.

20) All of the following tricks and devices are verboten. They've been done to death or are otherwise unfair.

h) If the murder is in a locked room, it has to be done before the police have actually broken in.


There's no police in Umineko so I tend to twist this into 'before anyone broke in'. In Umineko there are a lot of fake murders. To use a sentence Erika loves it gets third rated.

After all this people get rightfully annoyed.

Note that if you starts reading Umineko because you want to read a mystery, reading a mystery becomes your primary goal. Umineko failed it therefore everything else in Umineko that might be successful becomes secundary.

In my country we would summarize it with this quote:
The medical operation was a complete success but the patient died anyway.

Say this to the patient's relatives and they tell you they can care less about your 'successful operation'.

Yes, Umineko raises many interesting points, among which the meaning of 'truth', the 'importance of the heart', how it can be a failure to believe in delusions but that without hope your life will go downhill anyway, the damage bullying can do to a person, how it can be cruel to try and pin a person as a culprit without proof, how it might be important to still remember the good sides of the people you love even if they could be murderers, how 'trust no one' might help you to stay alive, how accepting truth can be hard, so hard sometimes it's better for you if you never find it out, how it's better not to trust promises made by children and so on but those points, as far as I'm involved, are all relative to the operation.

The patient is still dead and, unless we can prove the contrary, this is a pretty bad result.

Last edited by jjblue1; 2011-09-03 at 09:48.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:38   Link #24105
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Yet another case of imprecise definitions in a red truth.
I guess the problem with red truth is that you've to overanalyze it.

Pick those red truths

The sin I am now demanding that you remember is not between Ushiromiya Battler and Beatrice.

Okay, technically no but since Beatrice and Shannon are connected by the small fact they are technically residing in the same body it's also between Battler and Beatrice.

And then

You are not Ushiromiya Asumu's son

I don't know if this is another problem in translation but, although Battler isn't Asumu's biological son, it can be argued he was her adoptive son and definitely a son for her as well as she was a mother for him.

Asumu raised Battler as her son.

The red truth is imprecise because it gives off the feeling it wasn't Battler the one that Asumu had raised.

Also in Ep 8 we've bern declaring in red Battler is dead but technically Battler's is still alive, he just suffered amnesia and then, once he recovered his memory denied to his previous life an identity.

And we've the same each time Shannon or Kanon are declared dead but the other is still alive and walking around...

Red truth becomes opinable. It's like to say Sumadera Kirye died in 1980 just because she married Rudolf and became Ushiromiya Kirye.

She didn't biologically died, nor intellectually. She's still the same person, only with a new name. Red truth becomes true or false according to your intepretation and therefore it isn't pure truth anymore.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:47   Link #24106
Jan-Poo
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Heh... I'm well aware of that problem... since a long time. Ryuukishi created a situation where he had to introduce red truths so to let the readers have something reliable to base their reasonings onto, because he deprived them of the most basic reliability of a story (the narration).

However the concept of "red truth" is by itself tricky, once you start to overnalyze it you notice how much limited and flawed it is. By comparison a realible narration is a lot more solid.
To make this truly work Ryuukishi should have created a set of precise rules and he should have been extremely anal on making the red truths absolutely precise and fool-proof.
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Old 2011-09-03, 09:57   Link #24107
jjblue1
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Heh... I'm well aware of that problem... since a long time. Ryuukishi created a situation where he had to introduce red truths so to let the readers have something reliable to base their reasonings onto, because he deprived them of the most basic reliability of a story (the narration).

However the concept of "red truth" is by itself tricky, once you start to overnalyze it you notice how much limited and flawed it is. By comparison a realible narration is a lot more solid.
To make this truly work Ryuukishi should have created a set of precise rules and he should have been extremely anal on making the red truths absolutely precise and fool-proof.
Exactly. It's one of the problems of Umineko. It leaves too much open to interpretation so you ends up being able to fit in it everything, like Erika does in Ep 8 with the George's family culprit theory.
It's the sort of justification in my coutry would be called 'climbing on mirrors' and therefore considered unreliable but that in Umineko works just fine like the magical cheese Erika and Battler use in Ep 6.
Magical cheese don't exist but hey, you didn't tell me I couldn't use something that didn't exist!

This sort of thing basically destroy the possibility of rational reasoning.
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:00   Link #24108
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It's the sort of justification in my coutry would be called 'climbing on mirrors'
My deductive skills tell me that you are italian.
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:07   Link #24109
jjblue1
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My deductive skills tell me that you are italian.
Mine tells me you might be Italian as well... or at least have good knowledge of how Italian work.
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:18   Link #24110
Jan-Poo
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Of course this kind of reasoning is possible for Jan-Poo!
Ahem, yes of course you are right too...

going back on topic

Quote:
Oi....Back a few pages, but just glad I'm not the only one who saw the seasons trick. it was used in an old episode of Columbo. Old school mystery nerds FTW.
That's a trick that pretty much everyone understood. It was almost immediate for me, but then if you reason a little more deeply you notice that there's still something odd.

The main problem is the fact that the man from 19 years before could only use effectively this trick if s/he knew that Natsuhi never told anyone about her favorite season.
If this trick was "think about a number from 1 to 4" then it would have worked because you are not supposed to be able to read in someone's mind. But if you ask something that might be known such "what's your age" you could easily think "well so what? My age is not a secret!"

So basically back when I read ep5 I reasoned first that this could be a trick and then that this man from 19 years before had to be someone who knew Natsuhi closely.

So basically it was a double trap. It makes you think it's atrick so to dismiss the red truth that Natsuhi only told that to Shannon as a trap. But in reality... the man from 19 years before was actually "Shannon", and so in reality no "trick" was used at all, because Shannon knew Natsuhi's favourite season already.


Ryuukishi is not knew to this kind of trickery, that's basically the same concept behind Mion's card trick that was shown in Onikakushi. The correct answer is the obvious one, but your opponent expects a trap, so you set up a fake trap knowing that it will be seen through. Then the mere fact of seeing through a trap gives to your opponent the confidence that "it is the right solution", but it's actually the wrong one.
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:36   Link #24111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
It's not just the fact that there wasn't an 'answer'. In another list of rules for mystery writing there's this:
[...]
but if we want to use Van Dine's 20 rules
But we can still question wether these rules are actually effective and where they do take effect. Actually one of the phrases used early on in one of the openings I think:
No dine. No Knox. No fair. In other words it is not mystery.
But it happens. All it happens. Let it happens.

Once again. No dine. In other words it is to starve.
Starve while demanding the fair, and die.

Witch in gold, Beatrice.

You could actually go and make the theory that Yasu's and Tya's stories never intended to use neither Knox nor Dine as a basic rule for their stories...they merely fit by accident in the case of EP5 and so Erika's conviction that she was right was never shattered. No author is forced to write by these rules, actually sometimes it's fun to mix them up a bit -using some, dropping others- because it makes your stories a little less simple to see through.

Maybe both of them did write with the Rules in mind. It's possible and because they are both mystery nerds at heart it's also probable. But in what way does that ensure anything about the actuall incident, "Rokkenjima Prime" as we call it.
We're all on the same page, I think, when I also say that within the world of Umineko the Rokkenjima incident is an actual event. Now how can we expect for an actual event to follow the rules of a mystery? I actually think that this is also one of the points that Umineko was trying to make...reality doesn't play by rules and can't be decided upon mere logic.
Why should Kyrie decide to work alone only because it is a rule in fiction? We have to remember the different layers of reality. The stories by Yasu and Tya and the theories made by the Witch Hunters might be true to the ideals of classical detective fiction (or honkaku suiri shsetsu as it would be called in Japan), but the real world would be more like a thriller or maybe hard boiled fiction. It's not the neat world of logic and detection but a dirty world of sinners, liars and greedy murderers.
This is a question that has not been asked often enough I think. Is Rokkenjima Prime even a classical detective mystery!? Yasu clearly intended his/her elegant night of mystery and detection as something like this...but maybe it didn't turn out like that in the slightest.

Quote:
Note that if you starts reading Umineko because you want to read a mystery, reading a mystery becomes your primary goal. Umineko failed it therefore everything else in Umineko that might be successful becomes secundary.

In my country we would summarize it with this quote:
The medical operation was a complete success but the patient died anyway.
I think that comparison is a little off, but that's maybe just my oppinion.
In the realm of medical surgery there are mainly only 2 main results and 2 subresults to each: 1) The patient dies, 2) the patient lives and then to each a) it was the fault of the surgeon or b) it wasn't the fault of the surgeon.

In literature the goal that the author has in mind can be completely misunderstood and therefore people might search for something that isn't actually there. The question is, was it the author's fault for not pointing it out properly? Or was it the readers' fault for not being openminded enough?
Let's say for example you start reading something that is advertised as a horror novel, but it turns out to be not the kind of horror you were expecting. Can you then claim that it's the author's fault?
Many people in the West were for example pretty bummed out by the movie Ju-On, because it wasn't the kind of horror they were used to. So are they right when they claim that this is not horror?

I'm not saying that Umineko is a perfect example of mystery fiction...no, not by any means. But I'm kinda tired of people claiming that, because it is not the same format as what they are used to consider mystery fiction, it is a failure in that department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
The sin I am now demanding that you remember is not between Ushiromiya Battler and Beatrice.

Okay, technically no but since Beatrice and Shannon are connected by the small fact they are technically residing in the same body it's also between Battler and Beatrice.
Though you could argue that we knew from the very beginning that Beatrice wasn't an actual person to begin with...so it at least verified our ideas that there was no Beatrice on the island in 1980 when Battler was there for the last time.
Actually if I remember correctly the connection to Beatrice wasn't the same as it is later on...so technically it is correct, because Yasu/Shannon only became Beatrice later on. Technically the sin is not against Beatrice because Beatrice in the way she is now only came to be because of the sin.
I thought of this as a pretty big hint actually.

Quote:
And then

You are not Ushiromiya Asumu's son

I don't know if this is another problem in translation but, although Battler isn't Asumu's biological son, it can be argued he was her adoptive son and definitely a son for her as well as she was a mother for him.
Actually the three Reds about this are:
1) 右代宮戦人の母は、右代宮明日夢である。(Ushiromiya Battler's mother is Ushiromiya Asumu.)
2) 右代宮戦人は、右代宮明日夢から生まれた。(Ushiromiya Battler was born from Ushiromiya Asumu.)
3) そなたは、右代宮明日夢の息子ではない。(You are not Ushiromiya Asumu's son)
In that context it becomes pretty clear how the word "son" was meant as "the son who was born from Ushiromiya Asumu's womb" and the Battler that is engaging in the argument right now is not that son, because that Ushiromiya Battler died at birth and was replaced by "Sumadera X" who only became Ushiromiya Battler by means of Rudolph's switch.

Quote:
Red truth becomes opinable. It's like to say Sumadera Kirye died in 1980 just because she married Rudolf and became Ushiromiya Kirye.
Hey, that would actually have been a very cool scene if we had had a flashback to when Kyrie told her parents she would marry Rudolph and would have actually died in that moment...or probably killed by her mother. It would have made some things about personality death a lot clearer...even more than it already was

It's the same with Ushiromiya Battler is dead. It wasn't mere whim on which Battler decided to become Tya. The memories he made as Battler had actually been completely erased and he started becoming a whole different person after this. I think that Ikuko even said or implied that some memories of motoric functions were lost in the accident as well. He was basically a mumbling, confused mess when she found him. As unlikely as that condition is, I think it is a medical condition that is at least probable...and mystery novels over the decades have done weirder things.
So yes, Ushiromiya Battler is dead, because the person he was has been replaced. It's even stronger than in the Kyrie case...
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:42   Link #24112
Cao Ni Ma
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Of course this kind of reasoning is possible for Jan-Poo!
Ahem, yes of course you are right too...

going back on topic



That's a trick that pretty much everyone understood. It was almost immediate for me, but then if you reason a little more deeply you notice that there's still something odd.

The main problem is the fact that the man from 19 years before could only use effectively this trick if s/he knew that Natsuhi never told anyone about her favorite season.
If this trick was "think about a number from 1 to 4" then it would have worked because you are not supposed to be able to read in someone's mind. But if you ask something that might be known such "what's your age" you could easily think "well so what? My age is not a secret!"

So basically back when I read ep5 I reasoned first that this could be a trick and then that this man from 19 years before had to be someone who knew Natsuhi closely.

So basically it was a double trap. It makes you think it's atrick so to dismiss the red truth that Natsuhi only told that to Shannon as a trap. But in reality... the man from 19 years before was actually "Shannon", and so in reality no "trick" was used at all, because Shannon knew Natsuhi's favourite season already.


Ryuukishi is not knew to this kind of trickery, that's basically the same concept behind Mion's card trick that was shown in Onikakushi. The correct answer is the obvious one, but your opponent expects a trap, so you set up a fake trap knowing that it will be seen through. Then the mere fact of seeing through a trap gives to your opponent the confidence that "it is the right solution", but it's actually the wrong one.


It was still kinda dumb to do that though. Even if you believed that the card trick was used you'll still end up suspecting Shannon/Kanon since they are the only servants that could produce a similar voice and have access to the master keys. It becomes a moot point.
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Old 2011-09-03, 10:50   Link #24113
jjblue1
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Of course this kind of reasoning is possible for Jan-Poo!
Ahem, yes of course you are right too...
Glad to see a fellow Italian here!

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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
The main problem is the fact that the man from 19 years before could only use effectively this trick if s/he knew that Natsuhi never told anyone about her favorite season.
If this trick was "think about a number from 1 to 4" then it would have worked because you are not supposed to be able to read in someone's mind. But if you ask something that might be known such "what's your age" you could easily think "well so what? My age is not a secret!"
So basically back when I read ep5 I reasoned first that this could be a trick and then that this man from 19 years before had to be someone who knew Natsuhi closely.
Well, it's still a bit tricky.

Let me 'mirror climbing'

The man implied he knows Natsuhi and observes her closely. The suspects are for us her family members. Now they know with who she goes along and with who she doesn't, if she's a person that would say this sort of things about herself or not. Also most of the discussions between Natsuhi and her relatives are at family meetings so they can hear what she says to the others.

They might be willing to bet she hadn't told anyone due to her character.

Still, for me the biggest hint is that, in order to enter in Natsuhi's room, you need a master key or her key.

In order to get one and to place this trap the siblings should have gotten the key before Battler discovered the gold and place the card before Natsuhi were to join them in the treasure room.

Of course it's possible to use Ep 8 and assume that the family was used to celebrate halloweed with a halloween game. Due to this one of the siblings used it as excuse to borrow the masterkey from a servant with the excuse to prepare a mysterious game for Erika, the kids and the other family members then, instead than preparing a halloween game, prepared a trap for Natsuhi.

This however would mean that person knew of the baby of 19 years ago before the family conference and prepared this trick in advance.

Technically it's possible the siblings wanted to use blackmail against Krauss and Natsuhi so they might have come on the insland already prepared to do it.

On the other side it's possible that, when Yasu handed the ring to Battler, also tattled out the plan, including as well the fact that Yasu scared Natsuhi with a phone call.

The siblings heard this and agreed to keep it secret and 'forgive' Yasu. Then they adapted Yasu's plan and put it in act.

Yes, this comes from the agency 'complicate easy things'. ^_-

Still, Yasu was supposed to stop the game if the gold was found and, unless Yasu discovered Battler found the gold only after making the second phone call and that's why Battler received the ring later, by the time of the second phone Battler had already found the gold.

Also by the time Natsuhi received the phone call, Yasu should have been with the siblings. Ergo, if Yasu did the phone call, Yasu did it in front of the siblings.
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Old 2011-09-03, 11:01   Link #24114
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The man implied he knows Natsuhi and observes her closely. The suspects are for us her family members. Now they know with who she goes along and with who she doesn't, if she's a person that would say this sort of things about herself or not.
It's not something that can be realistically deduced in a brief time. The man from 19 years before made it sound like he only arrived to Rokkenjima for this family meeting, but this case shows that he either knew Natsuhi from a long time or he had an accomplice who did.

Quote:
Also by the time Natsuhi received the phone call, Yasu should have been with the siblings. Ergo, if Yasu did the phone call, Yasu did it in front of the siblings.
It was most probably Yasu and the siblings were in the conspiracy for some reason. In pretty much every episode I think Yasu shows up around that time and tells them something to make them cooperate. Even if it wasn't Yasu who made the call, then it was probably George but still being part of Yasu's conspiracy.
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Old 2011-09-03, 11:53   Link #24115
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
But we can still question wether these rules are actually effective and where they do take effect.
Sorry, I probably didn't explain myself well. The point wasn't if Ryukishi used those rules. The point is the readers ended up expecting a mystery and, due to this, expected the story to fit according to some rules that are proper of the mystery genre. If Ryukishi insted on: 'No, Umineko isn't solvable. It's a horror/fantasy/dramatic story and that's all' we would have to surrender on the fact that's impossible to think.

Since he asked us to think and said it was solvable we insist in forcing his work into the mystery gender and expecting it to follow certain rules or to have a very good excuse in order not to follow them.

(For example Knox 5 says: 'No Chinaman must figure in the story' however if the story is placed in China and there are no Chinamen the story is definitely weird so Knox 5 might be overlooked)

We get 'trapped in a closed room' of our own creation if you want.
If it's solvable we want it to be a mystery, if it's a mystery it has to respect certain rules, if it doesn't it's either porly written or not a mystery but if it's not a mystery we deem it as not solvable...

Umineko isn't forced to respect Knox or van Dine or whatever else.
What I mean to say is that readers that are disappointed in Umineko as a mystery expected it to respect some rules and it didn't. Maybe they didn't even know Knox or Van Dine but still felt there are rules for mystery and that Umineko didn't fit them.

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
We're all on the same page, I think, when I also say that within the world of Umineko the Rokkenjima incident is an actual event. Now how can we expect for an actual event to follow the rules of a mystery? I actually think that this is also one of the points that Umineko was trying to make...reality doesn't play by rules and can't be decided upon mere logic.
The problem is again on the solvable thing. It's a perfectly good point to say that since in real life there aren't Knox or Van Dine, murders can't be solved using them. But in this case the story isn't a mystery, it's real life.

Rokkenjima Prime wouldn't be anymore a game between the writer and the reader but a dramatic story in which the reader can only read. In this case it's up to the writer to provide a solution or not but the writer can't really play a fair match against him, at best can do polite guesses.

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
In literature the goal that the author has in mind can be completely misunderstood and therefore people might search for something that isn't actually there. The question is, was it the author's fault for not pointing it out properly? Or was it the readers' fault for not being openminded enough?
Let's say for example you start reading something that is advertised as a horror novel, but it turns out to be not the kind of horror you were expecting. Can you then claim that it's the author's fault?
Even horror has its own rules.
'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' is labelled as a comedy with horror elements. Nobody would expect it to follow the horror style of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula'.
One can apprecciate 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' because he's warned it's a comedy. However, if you were told or made believe this is a horror on par of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' you would complain it doesn't fit the rules of horror.

The writer isn't writing for himself or he wouldn't print his books.
He's writing something aware that others will pay to read it.
In short that's comunication.

This means the reader must have a reasonable chance to understand the writer.

Of course since not all the readers are the same some readers can misunderstand the writer completely but the most of the readers must manage to understand the writer and be satisfied with what he wrote and how.

If not the work is cruelly labelled as 'not good enough'.

Sadly it's not the writer who decides the quality of his own work but the people who read and judge it. Of course we aren't litterature critics so our judgement can be off, still, if he didn't reach the intended target, he made a mistake.

If Umineko's target was just an elite of readers, the writer might have been right, though I tend to think works for elite are more justified when they're scientifical, or historical or things like that.

Entertainment shouldn't be for elites but that's just me.

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I'm not saying that Umineko is a perfect example of mystery fiction...no, not by any means. But I'm kinda tired of people claiming that, because it is not the same format as what they are used to consider mystery fiction, it is a failure in that department.
I understand your feelings. In my own way I love Umineko (although I hate not having answers I love 'mirror climbing', in shot coming up with more than one explanation for everything). But in my humble opinion I can't consider it a success as a mystery fiction.
Umineko is... something else. Something else that's good in its own way but that's not mystery, or at elast that's not mystery as I (and other people) mean it.
I can recommend Umineko for many, many reasons but I would never recommend it if you're searching a 'good mystery story'.

Names are given to objects according to a common agreement.
We all agree to call a certain object 'chair' because it presents certain requisites.
Of course today you can decide to call that object 'puropuro', but if you go around and tell people that, they'll just look at you oddly.

So, at the moment, as far as I'm concerned, Umineko do not fit the requisites to be called a good mystery.

Do someone want to call it a good mystery? He's free to do so but I'll disagree.

In the future however rules for mystery might change and Umineko might fit them perfectly and so everyone would call it good mystery in the same way a chair might end up being called puropuro.

'Umineko is a good mystery' and 'Umineko is a failure in the mystery department' are just opinions or, if you want, theories in a witches' trial.

They rise to the level of truth according to how many believe them.
I get the feeling so far the second option has more votes.
This means unless you form a majority for the first option that one feels as 'less true'. It's not necessarily true but we saw how Erika managed to corner Natsuhi in this way and how Battler presented another wrong truth but managed to win with it Erika.

In a fashion that trial is one of the coolest part of Umineko as a story, though not as a mystery.
Umineko has plenty of cool parts that don't match with the mystery genre but that are COOL in a story.

... and, hum, I got sidetracked but the point is that although I understand your point your truth doesn't deny mine and likely mine can't deny yours.

We're on the plan of personal opinions and, although they can be annoying, just because they're personal, it's hard to prove if they're right or wrong.

Do you think we can consider this a stalemate?
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Old 2011-09-03, 12:14   Link #24116
haguruma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
Do you think we can consider this a stalemate?
I think it is better we do, because our idea of literature and genre in itself are so inherently different that it might be pointless to fight about it.
The idea of an author who is tied by "rules of a genre" until a magical deus ex machina comes along and changes those rules is not really my understanding of making good literature it's how one makes marketable products.
I think a genre changes with every entry that is made and re-labelling everything that doesn't fit the genre only leads to more and more hideous word-chains in the genre category (like mystery-horror-teen angst-dramedy or so...).

But that's the problem with imposed labels...
In my oppinion there are no rules to any genre, people only apply them as they see fit based on their own preferences. For one maybe everything including too much bloodshed might be horror or everything where there is something mysterious might be mystery...others might disagree.
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Old 2011-09-03, 12:14   Link #24117
jjblue1
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Hum... I forgot to answer to this part...

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Actually the three Reds about this are:
1) 右代宮戦人の母は、右代宮明日夢である。(Ushiromiya Battler's mother is Ushiromiya Asumu.)
2) 右代宮戦人は、右代宮明日夢から生まれた。(Ushiromiya Battler was born from Ushiromiya Asumu.)
3) そなたは、右代宮明日夢の息子ではない。(You are not Ushiromiya Asumu's son)
In that context it becomes pretty clear how the word "son" was meant as "the son who was born from Ushiromiya Asumu's womb" and the Battler that is engaging in the argument right now is not that son, because that Ushiromiya Battler died at birth and was replaced by "Sumadera X" who only became Ushiromiya Battler by means of Rudolph's switch.
Yes, I know, but this still means that red truth must be considered in that context and therefore has no absolute value. Beato used it to imply that Battler wasn't the same as the one that went on Rokkenjima 6 years ago. This red truth might have fooled us into believing Battler wasn't the real Battler but a replacement (the manga stated it even more clearly) that had nothing to do with Asumu or the Ushiromiya. Ange made her counter argoment short later and Beatrice can't deny her theory, therefore proving it Battler is who he says to be, though not Asumu's real child.
If it had never been proved Battler was Kinzo's grandchild and never said Rudolf switched the babies (which isn't so easy to do) we would still be debating if Battler is the real Battler or someone else who took his place.

Also, you're so lucky you can understand Umineko in it's original language. I love the translators for the hard work they're doing but I think Umineko is that sort of story that's more apprecciated when read in its original language.

Each time I read Umineko I wonder if the original sentence might have had a second meaning in its original form, as well if I'm getting the English one right or it too had a second meaning that I wasn't able to catch because English isn't my original language.

It's hell... -_-

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Hey, that would actually have been a very cool scene if we had had a flashback to when Kyrie told her parents she would marry Rudolph and would have actually died in that moment...or probably killed by her mother. It would have made some things about personality death a lot clearer...even more than it already was
*nods* And I guess it would have made Kasumi happy since she expected her mother to kill her but this didn't happen...

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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
It's the same with Ushiromiya Battler is dead. It wasn't mere whim on which Battler decided to become Tya. The memories he made as Battler had actually been completely erased and he started becoming a whole different person after this. I think that Ikuko even said or implied that some memories of motoric functions were lost in the accident as well. He was basically a mumbling, confused mess when she found him. As unlikely as that condition is, I think it is a medical condition that is at least probable...and mystery novels over the decades have done weirder things.
So yes, Ushiromiya Battler is dead, because the person he was has been replaced. It's even stronger than in the Kyrie case...
*nods* exactly. Only, when you take this sentence by the litteral meaning, you expect biological death, the one with no heart beating, no brain working, nothing at all, not just his personality's death.

On a side I love to picture up all the crazy ways in which I can twist Umineko's truths to fit them with my theories. It's my fave part of Umineko, really. Only, after a while I end the ideas for theories and I'd like to know if I guessed something right. Since I've no Beatrice that can cut my theories with red truth or confirm them I get sad and annoyed.

Funny enough the thing I love the most about Umineko is tightly connected to the thing I dislike the most.
If there were answers I wouldn't play this huge guessing game but without answers I can't know if I've won or lost my guessing game... -_-
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Old 2011-09-03, 12:32   Link #24118
Sherringford
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On the subject of rules, to be fair, Van Dine never even bothered following his own rules.

Quote:
I'm not saying that Umineko is a perfect example of mystery fiction...no, not by any means. But I'm kinda tired of people claiming that, because it is not the same format as what they are used to consider mystery fiction, it is a failure in that department.
I believe Umineko's mystery is a failure, but not because it's different. It's a failure to me because unfortunately the author hesitated.

For example, Shkanon. I'm not fond of it, but I can see why it's a weapon he would want to use in such a long series. He could surely have used the red system plus Shkanon to make tons of nearly impossible crimes, but he didn't because of the famous difficulty problem around episode 2 and those who complained about it. Then when Shkanon got confirmed, it didn't really solve all that much. It was just sort of...there.

There's more to it, but in general I just feel he drew a good path towards the end then got lost because of his fanbase. Its originality was interesting, but it felt rather bipolar at times. "Think! Reach the truth! Okay don't reach the truth now. See you can reach THAT truth but not THIS truth."

It's all well and dandy, but it's just frankly not very satisfying and he trips on his own points multiple times throughout the series. I used to be pretty mad at the series for being "so terrible" before, but now I can admit the man wasn't really at fault for about half of those things or more.

Most of it came from having to deal with his fanbase that didn't know how to play along, and having to sacrifice quality for accessibility. And I can't really blame him for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblue1
In the future however rules for mystery might change and Umineko might fit them perfectly and so everyone would call it good mystery in the same way a chair might end up being called puropuro.
Hmm, I actually disagree with this because the genre already changed. Hell, Carr changed the genre with Burning Court quite a lot. Japanese fiction as a whole is very innovative as well, and hell South American Detective*(this exists) fiction (very surprisingly) takes after Japanese fiction more so than the Golden Age traditions or the hardboiled style.

*I'm overstating Latin American Detective Fiction a bit, but certain Argentinian novels are quite worth the read if you have access to them.


I think a mystery is just something mysterious that provokes thinking. A solution is optional, but it's an option I like to take every single time if possible. THE MYSTERIOUS CARD is still nice, even if it lacks a solution, for example.

I would never recommend Umineko for being a good mystery either, but not because I think it failed to look like a mystery. It looked like one, and quacked like one. It's just that its quack was extremely high pitched and hurt my ears.

I would however recommend Umineko to anyone who is a mystery geek and would like to see a quirky take on the genre, after warning that person that Umineko made a few mistakes along the way. It's still an interesting study, even if I think it failed in the end.

Last edited by Sherringford; 2011-09-03 at 14:03.
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Old 2011-09-03, 12:56   Link #24119
jjblue1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I think it is better we do, because our idea of literature and genre in itself are so inherently different that it might be pointless to fight about it.
The idea of an author who is tied by "rules of a genre" until a magical deus ex machina comes along and changes those rules is not really my understanding of making good literature it's how one makes marketable products.
I think a genre changes with every entry that is made and re-labelling everything that doesn't fit the genre only leads to more and more hideous word-chains in the genre category (like mystery-horror-teen angst-dramedy or so...).

But that's the problem with imposed labels...
In my oppinion there are no rules to any genre, people only apply them as they see fit based on their own preferences. For one maybe everything including too much bloodshed might be horror or everything where there is something mysterious might be mystery...others might disagree.
Per se you aren't wrong.
However, in my opinion, rules are supposed to exist to help people.
In this case to help people understanding others.

Litterature exists to convey a message to the reader. Rulers are supposed to help the reader to understand that message.

In short many forums has a rule you've to write in English not because they were made by English people but because more people understand English. If everyone were to write in his own language people might have troubles understanding what's being said, losing the chance to enjoy the discussion.

I'm not for following strictly the rules, and that's it, though.

In 'The murder of Roger Ackroyd' we've subjective narration, '10 little indians' has no detective, 'Mousetrap' has the assumed detective as the culprit.

They still fit in the mystery genre.

In the same way, if you use a world from another language or even a sentence that's easy to understand people might still get the meaning from your message even if it has a part that's not in English.

Umineko broke many rules of the mystery genre. The result is many failed to understand it as a mystery in the same way many would fail to understand a message if it was written in... let's say Russian.

People doesn't understand the message so, even if it can be a BEAUTIFUL message, the point is lost.

Umineko can be a work of art but, as long as we are confused about it, we can't apprecciate it as a mystery.

Rulers are a safe hideout. Who wants to break them must be very good in what he does.
Artists had often broken rulers and tried new stuffs. Some of them had failed and be forgotten, some others had been rediscovered after their death, some had reached the success.
Breaking a rule takes courage but even more take ability. And it doesn't assure you it was a good idea to begin with.

That's why I recognize the importance of labels and following rules.
Personally I admire greatly who has the courage to break the rulers and find fun that a work might be not the usual stereotyped one but, in that case, I expect the author to do a work that's twice as satisfing as the one of the guy who followed the rules because, in order to apprecciate it, I will have to do an extra effort.

But that's just me.

That's the problem with judging litterary works. They're not math equations so you can say if they're right or wrong. You can only use personal opinions.
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Old 2011-09-03, 13:03   Link #24120
jjblue1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherringford View Post
Hmm, I actually disagree with this because the genre already changed. Hell, Carr changed the genre with Burning Court quite a lot. Japanese fiction as a whole is very innovative as well, and hell South American Detective(this exists) fiction (very surprisingly) takes after Japanese fiction more so than the Golden Age traditions or the hardboiled style.
Well, the genre is in evolution like every things. I wasn't trying to say it had never changed. If it were to stay the same it would kind of kill it. Okay, not really kill it but... close to it.

What I was trying to say is it can change further so that discussions like Umineko doesn't fit in the mystery genre might become pointless because it might fit perfectly well. Or, if you prefer, because people will love the way it quacks.

Uhm... a question... are we going out of topic or this can still fit in the thread?
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