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Old 2011-09-03, 13:04   Link #24121
Cao Ni Ma
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To me it all comes down to time invested/ reward for it. As it stands umineko , specially the core arcs, are too long and could have been executed better if they where condensed more. There are things that are far easier to sink your teeth in that provide a more immediate and satisfying experience than Umineko.

I dont think my opinion would change much even if RK07 releases an addendum that explains absolutely everything in its universe. The story in itself would have to be compressed and its pace tighten for me to recommend it to most of my friends, we just dont have the time to read these kinda works anymore.
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Old 2011-09-03, 13:22   Link #24122
Sherringford
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Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
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?
I pulled an all-nighter reading a few novels and am frankly quite dizzy at the moment, so I have absolutely no idea if we are going out of topic.

I'd question if the mystery genre even has a definition like that anymore though. Back in the Golden Age? I would agree with you. But right now? I would say Umineko fits just fine, it's just not very good.

I am being more relaxed on the rules than I used to be before, but eh. My way of seeing it is that the genre is no longer bound by as many rules. I prefer novels that are bound by rules, but I don't quite agree that the mystery genre is still bound by rules.

I mean, let's play an exercise. What rules can you confidently say still apply to the mystery genre as it stands today?

Don't get me wrong, I still think Umineko's mystery is...not exactly to my liking to put it mildly. I'd go on and on in an eternal rant about what I dislike about it if you let me. But I think it didn't break any rules.

To the eternal comparison, let me put it this way:

--Segways don't break any rules. They are a perfectly legal mean of transportation.
--They are still fucking ridiculous.
--But they could have been...not ridiculous. I think. Actually they couldn't, but Umineko could. And that's worth lamenting.

That's how I feel about it.
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Old 2011-09-03, 14:17   Link #24123
jjblue1
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Originally Posted by Sherringford View Post
I'd question if the mystery genre even has a definition like that anymore though. Back in the Golden Age? I would agree with you. But right now? I would say Umineko fits just fine, it's just not very good.

I am being more relaxed on the rules than I used to be before, but eh. My way of seeing it is that the genre is no longer bound by as many rules. I prefer novels that are bound by rules, but I don't quite agree that the mystery genre is still bound by rules.

I mean, let's play an exercise. What rules can you confidently say still apply to the mystery genre as it stands today?
You might be up on something. Since the discussion is in English I didn't realize but the truth is what once in my country was a mystery is now slowly switching name.
Due to the name switching I don't pretend it to fit with the mystery rules that much because I tell myself 'hey, it's another thing' but, back in the past, books with the same premises would go in the mystery genre, which I guess is the reason about why for me mysteries must follow old rules...

New books here often aren't called mystery anymore... ^_^;;

Ah, the charm of not being a English speaker and ending up messing completely my message... -_-

But yes, you're right, if I think at the new books we have and remind myself that in English they can still be considered mysteries you're right in seeing Umineko might still fit... shame on me... Forget everything I said about mystery while I go hide myself.... Sometimes I so hate the fact that English isn't my original language...

Last edited by jjblue1; 2011-09-03 at 14:29.
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Old 2011-09-03, 15:14   Link #24124
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"Law & Order" didn't present itself as a puzzle plot mystery. The viewer isn't challenged to try to solve the mystery before the cops do. So it doesn't matter whether they follow the rules.

"Murder She Wrote" did bill itself as a puzzle plot mystery, so it has to play be some sort of rules. If it doesn't, it's just a guessing game.

It has to be consistent. Suppose a character is shown wearing one shirt in one scene shortly before the murder, and a different shirt in the next scene, shortly after the murder. It could have the explanations of "Character had to change the shirt for some reason (such as, because it got bloody during the crime)" or "Show is careless about continuity."

If a series is otherwise good about continuity, then the changing shirt is a valid clue. If it's otherwise sloppy about continuity, then the changing shirt isn't a valid clue. Trying to claim it as one is a case of "Continuity isn't important, except when it is."
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Old 2011-09-03, 15:52   Link #24125
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Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
But yes, you're right, if I think at the new books we have and remind myself that in English they can still be considered mysteries you're right in seeing Umineko might still fit... shame on me... Forget everything I said about mystery while I go hide myself.... Sometimes I so hate the fact that English isn't my original language...
Haha, I think most of the people here aren't native English speakers. I for one am not (and I know that's reflected by my rather awkward English sometimes); my mother tongue is German and well...that's not making it any easier.
I think it's more about how much you think about the development of the mystery genre in itself. Those rules that many are trying to stick to around here are rules that were made in a time where mystery was a booming genre in the western world and they used the power they had to force their own oppinion on the genre...while often not following it themselves (just read a story by Knox or Dine...most of them are hilariously over the top, but I love them because of that).

The problem is that in the West (except for some few British, French and Italian writers) the classical detective novel had basically died out after hard boiled fiction hit the market and people like Chandler convinced people that the restricted and stuck-up style of the Golden Age school was, simply put, rubbish.
Of course the big names remained for a while...but it's not like that classical style ever became en vogue again. Thereore most people only have these authors and stories to compare to when looking at Umineko.
In Japan on the other hand many authors grew tired of the hard boiled stories and the quite similar shakai-ha...so they started writing influenced by the classics but updating them and moving on from there. And this happened during the early 1980's and became a popular movement in the late 80's known as shinhonkaku (The New Othodox School).

Nobody in the West is actually to blame if they just take the most classic stories and rules (even though among them are many revolutionary works as well which have been almost forgotten), but you can't blame it on Umineko either, because it is influenced by a whole other style of fiction.

@Sherringford: I'm actually growing pretty fond of your oppinion. In the beginning I thought you were quite stuck up in how you only saw the Golden Age and nothing beyond that as a mark that Umineko had to reach...but now I'm actually starting to understand your point.

It's nice to know that you're starting to read some Japanese novels as well. I don't quite remember if you were able to read Japanese or not...but if you want some advice what you could read in the direction of "influenced by Golden Age" just say so.

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Originally Posted by rogerpepitone View Post
If a series is otherwise good about continuity, then the changing shirt is a valid clue. If it's otherwise sloppy about continuity, then the changing shirt isn't a valid clue. Trying to claim it as one is a case of "Continuity isn't important, except when it is."
And the conection to the discussion right now is what exactly?
I'm not trying to be mean, but I actually don't understand what that has to do with Umineko? Are you trying to say that because it presented itself as a mystery puzzler it was bound by rules it didn't stick to? If yes I'd like to know what.
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Old 2011-09-03, 16:05   Link #24126
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Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
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.
Yeah. Vague red is fine, but what really bugged me was how nobody in the trial questioned that obvious vagueness. It was driving me crazy, especially when Battler was arguing really silly stuff like "Couldn't Rosa have brought a person up the stairs with her in a suitcase without Erika knowing?"

I wonder why RK07 did this.

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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.
Hey now. I came up with the same answer as Battler and Erika. There's nothing magical about zigzag-shaped piece of cheese; I could make one at home.

There's a big qualitative difference between the cheese question and the Umineko question. With the cheese question you are searching for the answer with the fewest possible cuts, so you know that 1 cut is better than 3 cuts. And once you arrive at the 1-cut answer, you're done; you've completely solved the cheese question. With Umineko, we are left with a ton of different possibilities, but no criteria for which is better than the other.

But, it's definitely true that Red Truth is so open to interpretation it can be pretty much useless.
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Old 2011-09-03, 17:01   Link #24127
Sherringford
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post

@Sherringford: I'm actually growing pretty fond of your oppinion. In the beginning I thought you were quite stuck up in how you only saw the Golden Age and nothing beyond that as a mark that Umineko had to reach...but now I'm actually starting to understand your point.

It's nice to know that you're starting to read some Japanese novels as well. I don't quite remember if you were able to read Japanese or not...but if you want some advice what you could read in the direction of "influenced by Golden Age" just say so.
Haha, sorry about that. To be honest I was being rather stubborn at first. I think I was going through the five stages of grief around the time I was "disappointed" by the series(I had really high expectations up to that point) so I might have reacted like a cartoonish stereotype of Golden Age novels, hope I wasn't too annoying back then! Fortunately, I have now reached the acceptance stage.

Thanks for the offer, I appreciate it. I've been learning Japanese for about a year now, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to read a full novel. Hopefully I'll get there soon though!

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You might be up on something. Since the discussion is in English I didn't realize but the truth is what once in my country was a mystery is now slowly switching name.
Due to the name switching I don't pretend it to fit with the mystery rules that much because I tell myself 'hey, it's another thing' but, back in the past, books with the same premises would go in the mystery genre, which I guess is the reason about why for me mysteries must follow old rules...

New books here often aren't called mystery anymore... ^_^;;

Ah, the charm of not being a English speaker and ending up messing completely my message... -_-

But yes, you're right, if I think at the new books we have and remind myself that in English they can still be considered mysteries you're right in seeing Umineko might still fit... shame on me... Forget everything I said about mystery while I go hide myself.... Sometimes I so hate the fact that English isn't my original language...
Don't worry, English isn't my first language either--though I do live in an English speaking country right now. The world is a vast place, and the mystery story developed differently in different countries.

It's completely natural to perceive the genre differently depending on where you live.

For example, while the hardboiled movement killed the Golden Age in America, a respected Argentine writer defended the genre so well that it became well accepted as a form of expression. Argentina used detective stories and genre conventions to get around censorship, often exposing very important social commentary without sacrificing the plot.

The detective story is in fact so respected in Argentina that even authors who only write "literature" have written a detective novel or two, and show no shame for it. It's one of the countries that respects the detective novel the most, to be honest.

Meanwhile, Brazil has a more curious history, having settled on parody and cozy mysteries that can best be described as "irreverent." They still have a solid plot, but don't take themselves seriously.

So yeah, don't worry about it. Language and cultural differences are, in my opinion, two of the things that make discussing Umineko worth it even long after its end.
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Old 2011-09-03, 19:13   Link #24128
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Haha, I think most of the people here aren't native English speakers. I for one am not (and I know that's reflected by my rather awkward English sometimes); my mother tongue is German and well...that's not making it any easier.
The problem is that old mystery genre had its own name here... but that name stopped mostrly from being used for the new mystery genre or is used only for mysteries that can fit the old mystery genre. When 'Detective Conan' & 'Murder she wrote' came here for example their publishers underlined the fact they wanted to use the old name. Our 'Julia' also insists for the old name but new books... even when they are trying to follow the old rules often aren't interested in the old name. The new one sells better. -_-

More often than not new mysteries that don't follow the old rules are usually called with the English world 'thriller' (regardless of the fact English people might consider it as such) or with other names in case of the presence of certain elements, so we automatically place them in a different, yet similar genre. Funny enough theoretically you could call the 'thrillers' with the old name but... well, let's say my mom would do it but youger people wouldn't. We almost deem it a different genre. Even editors are starting to use it less and less unless the book is a classic mystery.

So Umineko can fit perfectly in what we would call 'thriller'... which in English would still be called mystery.

So here as a 'thriller' Umineko can work, I guess, while it would fail as a 'mystery'.

I guess I'd still insist for a solution but I guess that's just me. Some 'thrillers' I read didn't really gave you decent solutions.

... hum... makes sense?

... I guess we have a complicate narrative genre naming system...

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In Japan on the other hand many authors grew tired of the hard boiled stories and the quite similar shakai-ha...so they started writing influenced by the classics but updating them and moving on from there. And this happened during the early 1980's and became a popular movement in the late 80's known as shinhonkaku (The New Othodox School).
You know... I seriously must give a look at the book shop. I can't remember noticing Japanese books about mystery but you got me curious. Sadly here the most we get are books from America and few others from other European countries if they are very successful... -_-
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Old 2011-09-03, 19:57   Link #24129
jjblue1
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Yeah. Vague red is fine, but what really bugged me was how nobody in the trial questioned that obvious vagueness. It was driving me crazy, especially when Battler was arguing really silly stuff like "Couldn't Rosa have brought a person up the stairs with her in a suitcase without Erika knowing?"

I wonder why RK07 did this.
Logically speaking Battler should have done it. Rationally speaking Battler found himself in that situation without a plan and, I think, again with the will not to accuse anyone among his relatives.

I tend to think Lambda did EP 5 target made for him because, in it, he could use himself as culprit.
I guess Battler wouldn't want to accuse an innocent and I fear the culprits might really be Rudolf and Kirye in the end, which also Battler might not want to accuse.
He knew he wasn't the culprit for the previous games and he might have the feeling he's not in this one either since, although he used himself as culprit, when he talks with Dlanor he says he used a crazy argument.

I guess when you talk about Battler you've to consider the psychological impact this game is having on him. He's not like us.

We can accuse everyone without feeling guilty or emotionally involved (or okay, we can feel sorry because we liked that chara) but to him it's not the same. Try picturing yourself deciding who among your family members can be a murder... or who you would accuse to be a murder to save another from that accusation. It's not easy (also it's the only excuse I can make for him since he's supposed to be an expert of the mystery genre so he should recognize all the tricks).


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Hey now. I came up with the same answer as Battler and Erika. There's nothing magical about zigzag-shaped piece of cheese; I could make one at home.
True, you're right, it's Erika and Battler who ranted about using magic cheese.

Quote:
"With normal cheese, it'd break if you tried to fold it like this, ......but the rules say that this cheese can't break unless you use a knife, right...?"
"Yes, no problems there. After all, this is magic cheese that can only be cut by the knife."
LOL, back then I was thinking at some oddly shaped cheese... the one who's not sold but used for show but then I figured it wasn't fair to use uncommonly shaped cheese so I was stuck.

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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
There's a big qualitative difference between the cheese question and the Umineko question. With the cheese question you are searching for the answer with the fewest possible cuts, so you know that 1 cut is better than 3 cuts. And once you arrive at the 1-cut answer, you're done; you've completely solved the cheese question. With Umineko, we are left with a ton of different possibilities, but no criteria for which is better than the other.
But, it's definitely true that Red Truth is so open to interpretation it can be pretty much useless.
Well, I still think that people might argue. I shot my own answer because I though 'but if it's unusually shaped it's not fair!' so, even if it could work because it doesn't go against the red rules I didn't feel it right.

Of course if I could have checked the answer afterward and see it was 1 I would have said 'oh, okay, I was worrying for no reason'.

We're making our criteria according to what we deem plausible.
Think at the people who shot down the ShKanon merely because it didn't seem plausible and then discovered it was true.

Plus there's the problem we can come up with something Ryukishi hadn't thought.

Think also at the Battler family culprit theory and the George family culprit theory.

Let's assume for a moment Ryukishi didn't realize Erika's theory could still work.

He assumed he made a game with one single solution then 'Erika' shows up and gave an alternative solution that might still work.

Which one you chose?

You might go for 'Hey, it's unbelievable that Battler would be so cruel since he was presented like a good boy. It's possible however that George had to deal with a bully and ended up killing him with one of his kicks then his parents covered up the incident' or you might go for 'who cares about characterization in previous episodes? Battler evidently faked being a good boy. He broke Yasu's heart, that's proof he's evil.'

(let's of course forget that Bern completely overlook problems as characterizations in her game)

So, unless you make sure there's NO WAY someone came up with an alternative solution, to check if your idea is right or wrong a solution is always needed.
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Old 2011-09-03, 20:37   Link #24130
Jan-Poo
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The problem is that old mystery genre had its own name here... but that name stopped mostrly from being used for the new mystery genre or is used only for mysteries that can fit the old mystery genre. When 'Detective Conan' & 'Murder she wrote' came here for example their publishers underlined the fact they wanted to use the old name. Our 'Julia' also insists for the old name but new books... even when they are trying to follow the old rules often aren't interested in the old name. The new one sells better. -_-
That would be "giallo", the term is known by native english speakers as a specific kind of mystery of italian origin, popularized mainly by Mario Bava and Dario Argento's movies.
So "giallo" became synonimous of a mystery with strong horror elements.

Ironically that's exactly the mix that can be seen in Ryuukishi's works.


Quote:
So Umineko can fit perfectly in what we would call 'thriller'... which in English would still be called mystery.

So here as a 'thriller' Umineko can work, I guess, while it would fail as a 'mystery'.


I guess I'd still insist for a solution but I guess that's just me. Some 'thrillers' I read didn't really gave you decent solutions.
I think the main difference between a "thriller" and a "mystery" is that a thriller is more focused on the surprise effect less focused on the "reasoning" aspect. That however doesn't mean that a thriller can work without a proper explanation or that it can completely overlook clues and hints.
A thriller that does that is simply a bad thriller.

It simply means that a thriller might lack a few hints to reach a definitive solution, but the discovery of the culprit can't be a total asspull either.

So I guess you could say that Umineko would fit on that situation... except there are two problems:

the first is that in a canon thriller the discovery of the culprit is mandatory and that usually coincides with the climax where the main character confronts the villain directly, often risking his life in the process (this is what clearly distinguish a mystery from a thriller I think).

the second is that reasoning in a thriller is absolutely not mandatory. Those works are usually made in a way that they can be enjoyed even by those that simply read without seriously trying to reason out who's the culprit.
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Old 2011-09-03, 21:23   Link #24131
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That would be "giallo", the term is known by native english speakers as a specific kind of mystery of italian origin, popularized mainly by Mario Bava and Dario Argento's movies.
So "giallo" became synonimous of a mystery with strong horror elements.

Ironically that's exactly the mix that can be seen in Ryuukishi's works.
You're right about foreigners thinking at Dario Argento's movies when they hear the world 'giallo'. Here however (as you likely know already) the Giallo was named as such due to Mondadori printing classic mysteries in magazines with yellows covers (giallo=yellow).

As of now however people tend to use the name giallo less and less.

Part of the problem might be that Gialli were considered a lower form of narrative so saying you're reading a Giallo might look as if you're reading a third rated book.

Also now Gialli are printed also as normal books with hard covers that aren't yellow anymore.
So although the Giallo Mondadori still exists it's not the only source for mystery books.

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I think the main difference between a "thriller" and a "mystery" is that a thriller is more focused on the surprise effect less focused on the "reasoning" aspect. That however doesn't mean that a thriller can work without a proper explanation or that it can completely overlook clues and hints.
A thriller that does that is simply a bad thriller.

It simply means that a thriller might lack a few hints to reach a definitive solution, but the discovery of the culprit can't be a total asspull either.

So I guess you could say that Umineko would fit on that situation... except there are two problems:

the first is that in a canon thriller the discovery of the culprit is mandatory and that usually coincides with the climax where the main character confronts the villain directly, often risking his life in the process (this is what clearly distinguish a mystery from a thriller I think).

the second is that reasoning in a thriller is absolutely not mandatory. Those works are usually made in a way that they can be enjoyed even by those that simply read without seriously trying to reason out who's the culprit.
Technically thriller is/can be a sub genre of mystery but originally was also a sub gender of gialli, which for a while became a very broad term.

The main point of thriller is that it should have the 'thrill' which usually ends up being caused by a confrontation between the hero/detective and the bad guy.

I read thrillers with reasoning and thrillers without it.

Profondo Rosso, that had birth as a giallo horror now is more often than not defined as a horror thriller.

Detective stories that once were called gialli now are more often than not called polizieschi.

When the book is rather good they even remove the world thriller or giallo and call it simply a romanzo.

Let's face it the word 'giallo' will end up disapearing.

However when you talk of Agatha Christie or Conan Doyle or any other classic mystery everyone calls them gialli.

Even Maigret is a giallo... while I've head often Montalbano being called a poliziesco.

To make short a long story my error was that since mystery=giallo I used the world 'mystery' to mean classic style mysteries because that's what actually is the most common meaning of giallo.

I discounted nearly all the new mysteries because they are rarely labelled as giallo (unless you're speaking with my mom... for her there's no thriller mystery genre they're still all gialli)...

Umineko is a mix of horror & thriller with included possible deduction game. Sure it's not so thrilling like other books because it has a slow pace and actually Battler isn't in danger... but if you look at it from the perspective of the pieces is more than thrilling.
Also Battler faces Beatrice, Eva Beatrice and Erika and in Ep 7 there's the showdown between Eva and Kirye so it fits the thriller genre... at least according to me.

There's to say though that although I like thrillers I favour the classical mystery genre.
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Old 2011-09-03, 21:54   Link #24132
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Well I went to the wiki to see how those definitions are linked and I found this:

Crime Fiction is the english umbrella term for any subgenre of "murder mystery" story. "Murder mystery" redirects there.

This page is linked to "giallo" in the italian wiki, meaning that according to the wiki "giallo" is still the direct translation of "crime fiction" or "murder mystery".

Detective fiction and Thriller

are considered subgenres.

So I don't agree that the term "giallo" is being subplanted by "Thriller" or "detective fiction". it's simply that pure old school "murder mystery" books are no longer written or if they are they don't receive a good reception, so everything you see recently are either "thriller" or "detective fiction".
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Old 2011-09-03, 23:05   Link #24133
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Regarding modern Japanese mystery conventions, it was interesting to learn that there was an actual anti-mystery subgenre that Ryuukishi was somewhat mimicking. I think he name-dropped "Which of Them Killed Her?" and "An Offering to Nothingness" as examples in his last interview. Unfortunately neither of them are available in English, so it's hard to find information about them.

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There's a big qualitative difference between the cheese question and the Umineko question. With the cheese question you are searching for the answer with the fewest possible cuts, so you know that 1 cut is better than 3 cuts. And once you arrive at the 1-cut answer, you're done; you've completely solved the cheese question. With Umineko, we are left with a ton of different possibilities, but no criteria for which is better than the other.

But, it's definitely true that Red Truth is so open to interpretation it can be pretty much useless.
Well, hold on a minute.

"Battler scanned the ground outside the window carefully, but couldn't find any footprints."
"There are no footprints on the ground outside the window."

What's the difference between these two statements, fundamentally? They're both clues from the author (me, in this case). They convey the same information. And yet, only when people are looking at the red statement can they say things like "What's the definition of 'outside'? What about the possibility of the culprit leaving on a pogo stick?"

That's an exaggerated example, but how come arguments about interpretation and ambiguity don't come up when we're talking about regular detective narration?
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Old 2011-09-03, 23:29   Link #24134
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Well I went to the wiki to see how those definitions are linked and I found this:

Crime Fiction is the english umbrella term for any subgenre of "murder mystery" story. "Murder mystery" redirects there.

This page is linked to "giallo" in the italian wiki, meaning that according to the wiki "giallo" is still the direct translation of "crime fiction" or "murder mystery".

Detective fiction and Thriller

are considered subgenres.

So I don't agree that the term "giallo" is being subplanted by "Thriller" or "detective fiction". it's simply that pure old school "murder mystery" books are no longer written or if they are they don't receive a good reception, so everything you see recently are either "thriller" or "detective fiction".
Well, technically if you want to use pure Italian the term Giallo is still the regular Italian term. However in normal conversation or when one has to publicize a book it's rarely used.

People would call Agatha Christie's books simply Gialli (they're gialli deduttivi) same for Erle Stanley Gardner's ones (gialli giudiziari), Simenon's ones (gialli polizieschi) but would use thriller to define Faletti's books, or John Grisham's ones (okay they're legal thrillers) or Dan Brown's ones or Jean-Christophe Grangé's ones and so on.

In short, for the old school you use just 'giallo' even if it's the umbrella term, for the new school you use the subgenre word 'thriller'.

My grandmother played pallacorda, now people play tennis.
You can call the web, 'rete', the links 'collegamenti', the mail 'lettera', the convention 'raduno', the team 'gruppo' and so on.

It's correct Italian.

It still exists on dictionaries and encyclopedia. But those words are not used or rarely used in talked Italian.

A writer made a list of all the English words that are replacing the Italian ones and how sometimes they aren't even the exact translation of the Italian ones. It was long.

And that's what's happening with gialli and thrillers.
Thriller is replacing the usage of the world giallo for nearly any new crime book.
Purists will insist giallo is the right, Italian word but unless they'll do something to publicize this name again it'll be of no use.

... and I'm sad about this because I'm not so fond of this English words abuse... but that's just me...
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Old 2011-09-03, 23:44   Link #24135
cronnoponno
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Hm, I'm sorry to interrupt the discussion, but so far, do my interpretations of the canon in the meta-world seem like it clears away some inconsistency(if it happens to be true)? The discussion seemed to stop at my quote, and I want to make sure I don't satisfy myself with an answer I made that has holes that I'm not seeing...



And aura
''There are no footprints on the ground outside the window.''


What about the mud?

Although I think this is a little too extreme, just a joke really.

Last edited by cronnoponno; 2011-09-04 at 00:00.
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Old 2011-09-04, 01:09   Link #24136
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Originally Posted by Sherringford View Post
I frankly don't think that analyzing a novel means you'll stop enjoying it.
I believe if you're not inclined to analyze a novel, it's not a very good novel.

A good popcorn film doesn't need analysis (and rarely stands up to it). A good novel has a lot more trouble getting away with this, because of the level of intellectual investment.

Regardless of whether one agrees with me as to that being true or not, it's just insulting to tell somebody not to try. That's not the business of the author.
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
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.
This is literally not possible.

I'm not telling you this to be insulting or anything, it just isn't semantically possible to make a sentence "fool-proof."

It is, however, possible to do a better job defining meaning. One way to do this with a system like the red text is to establish rules (there was only one and it was semantically useless). The next step would be to not break those rules once established. Ryukishi did this, and thus fucked up.

Yeah, I said fucked up. I don't even want to dignify his actions with my usual intellectualist snobbery. That boy done fucked up, as we say in Texas.

His rules just needed to be sufficient for the purpose he used them, which means not breaking his own rules. He broke them. Consequently, his exercise was futile and misleading.
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Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
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.
Aha, but here we run into the worst-case-scenario of the problem you've just come upon: What if I'm not aware of that?

Suppose I'm an old associate of Kyrie's. I meet her in passing, never find out she's married, and later tell someone I met Sumadera Kyrie on the street this afternoon. Therefore, Sumadera Kyrie is alive. I have no reason to believe she isn't; the individual I identify as Sumadera Kyrie just walked past me this morning. Labels are given by others, not self-assigned. Kyrie's opinion as to whether an entity known as "Sumadera Kyrie" exists is only one part of the puzzle. For example, "Sumadera Kyrie" does not stop existing legally until such time as the government is aware of the marriage. This may not necessarily coincide with her own awareness of such a thing, and it certainly doesn't coincide with mine. I could get hit by a bus the day after the wedding and never hear about it.

Suppose I am aware that Touya is in fact Ushiromiya Battler. I take a blood sample, run DNA analysis, and I am absolutely certain. I can conclude only that Ushiromiya Battler is alive. This is legally and factually true; as far as the law is concerned, Hachijou Touya is Ushiromiya Battler.

Therefore, Sumadera Kyrie is alive and Ushiromiya Kyrie doesn't exist, and Sumadera Kyrie is dead and Ushiromiya Kyrie exists. Likewise, Ushiromiya Battler is dead and alive.

Red is based on subjective available information and it is possible to state contradictory claims in red depending on the information assumed. Red is useless.
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Originally Posted by LyricalAura View Post
Well, hold on a minute.

"Battler scanned the ground outside the window carefully, but couldn't find any footprints."
"There are no footprints on the ground outside the window."

What's the difference between these two statements, fundamentally? They're both clues from the author (me, in this case). They convey the same information. And yet, only when people are looking at the red statement can they say things like "What's the definition of 'outside'? What about the possibility of the culprit leaving on a pogo stick?"

That's an exaggerated example, but how come arguments about interpretation and ambiguity don't come up when we're talking about regular detective narration?
Actually, there's a number of differences. You mentioned a few, but there are some which work in favor of one or the other:
  • Battler may not have located footprints that are in fact there. The red statement doesn't allow for this.
  • The fact that Battler didn't find footprints, even if he has a reliable perspective, doesn't mean no footprints are there. For example, they could be concealed. Again, the red does not allow for this.
  • Saying "Battler looked around the area and didn't locate any footprints" accurately defines the area of his search. The red statement does not; for all we know it applies to all ground outside the window anywhere, i.e. all ground everywhere ever. In the case of a detective's search we know where and often what was searched; if they search a single room and look in a small box on the mantlepiece, we know for a fact those areas are inclusive in the area defined. A red that says there is no clue to find in this room may not be counting the inside of the small box as "in this room," since a clue inside might be counted as "in the box [in this room]." Technically, this is a significant difference.
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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.
Yeah, well, I can. But I am a gigantic arrogant art snob.
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Old 2011-09-04, 02:12   Link #24137
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Originally Posted by LyricalAura View Post
how come arguments about interpretation and ambiguity don't come up when we're talking about regular detective narration?
Because red is supposed to be an absolutely true statement, which often uses wordplay and definitions to mislead. White text might be false, but that's a factual issue rather than a wordplay issue.
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Old 2011-09-04, 07:02   Link #24138
Jan-Poo
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
This is literally not possible.

I'm not telling you this to be insulting or anything, it just isn't semantically possible to make a sentence "fool-proof."

It is, however, possible to do a better job defining meaning. One way to do this with a system like the red text is to establish rules (there was only one and it was semantically useless). The next step would be to not break those rules once established. Ryukishi did this, and thus fucked up.

Yeah, I said fucked up. I don't even want to dignify his actions with my usual intellectualist snobbery. That boy done fucked up, as we say in Texas.

His rules just needed to be sufficient for the purpose he used them, which means not breaking his own rules. He broke them. Consequently, his exercise was futile and misleading.
Oh well, of course. This is one of those cases where you can't really reach the objective at 100% but you can still strive to get as close to it as possible, like "knowing the truth". "Foolproof" is a term that is usually meant to indicate something that can be comprehended or correctly used by someone with an intelligence way below the average. But of course there is no limit to human stupidity.

That being said I don't really disagree with what you said.
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Old 2011-09-04, 07:19   Link #24139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
That would be "giallo", the term is known by native english speakers as a specific kind of mystery of italian origin, popularized mainly by Mario Bava and Dario Argento's movies.
So "giallo" became synonimous of a mystery with strong horror elements.

Ironically that's exactly the mix that can be seen in Ryuukishi's works.
Yeah, but giallo is ot only known in the English speaking world. Ironically it had a pretty twisted impact on modern Japanese mystery fiction as well.
As you already said Mario Bava and Dario Argento are two of the most famous - though there are others like Martino's Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave (Your Vice is a locked room and only I have the key) which is influenced both by the classic giallo magazines and Poe's stories - and they had some impact on modern cinema.

But Ayatsuji Yukito, who set the Shinhonkaku movement in the late 80's into motion with his Jukkakukan no satsujin (Murder in the Decagon Mansion) and Suishakan no satsujin (Murder in the Waterwheel Mansion), was also very impressed with (especially) Argento's cinematography during his mystery (e.g. Profondo Rosso) and phantasmatic phase (Suspiria, Inferno, Phenomena etc.). He based the style of his world not only on the horror manga he read as a kid, but also largely on Argento's movies (especially Suspiria and Profondo Rosso).
The other thing he wanted to do was to update mystery fiction and at the same time go back to classic mystery settings. He even adressed that in his first novel:
Spoiler for Quote from Murder in the Decagon Mansion:


So you see, even giallo made it a long way. And isn't that development fascinating? First giallo was mainly translations of the Golden Age classics and detective fiction pros (like Carr, Dine, Queen, Christie etc.), which inspired Italian authors and filmmakers to produce their own ideas. Then the films went around the world and inspired, among others, Japanese authors. Some of those authors crossed what they took from giallo movies with Golden Age classics...and so we went full circle on the one hand but still arrived at a completely new kind of mystery fiction.

Btw: For those who can't read Japanese but French. Ayatsuji's first novel has actually been translated to French as Meurtres dans le decagone...but I spoke with the translators husband and sadly there are no further plans to translate the rest of the series as it sold very poorly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyricalAura
Regarding modern Japanese mystery conventions, it was interesting to learn that there was an actual anti-mystery subgenre that Ryuukishi was somewhat mimicking. I think he name-dropped "Which of Them Killed Her?" and "An Offering to Nothingness" as examples in his last interview. Unfortunately neither of them are available in English, so it's hard to find information about them.
Yes, sadly only very few Japanese mystery novels are being translated and if they are, they don't get much attention and somehow slip under the radar.
Though for example Higashino Keigo is very famous in Japan and almost always makes the top 3 with his mystery novels, he hasn't been translated into any foreign language so far.
どちらかが彼女を殺した (Which of Them Killed Her?) was very famous because it featured no actual conclusion to the mystery plot. Each of the (I believe) 3 suspects was equally likely to be the culprit and in the end the only thing helping you was a sealed portion of the book with additional hints you had to cut open to read...and even there he didn't name the culprit I think.
And 虚無への供物 (An Offering to Nothingness) is alongside 黒死館殺人事件 and ドグラ・マグラ (Dogura Magura) one of the so called 日本探偵小説の三大奇書 (The three great strange novels of Japanese detective fiction). None of them features a clear plot but rather deconstructs mystery, detection and logic in itself. They clearly changed the term Anti-Mystery in Japan...though I'd argue that only Offering is a true Anti-Mystery, with it's double-structure, trick ending and others.
Though Dogura Magura also had the amnesiac main character who didn't remember to write the novel in the novel and turned out to be someone different than he thought to be.
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Old 2011-09-04, 07:54   Link #24140
jjblue1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyricalAura View Post
Well, hold on a minute.

"Battler scanned the ground outside the window carefully, but couldn't find any footprints."
"There are no footprints on the ground outside the window."

What's the difference between these two statements, fundamentally? They're both clues from the author (me, in this case). They convey the same information. And yet, only when people are looking at the red statement can they say things like "What's the definition of 'outside'? What about the possibility of the culprit leaving on a pogo stick?"

That's an exaggerated example, but how come arguments about interpretation and ambiguity don't come up when we're talking about regular detective narration?
In case of the first sentence I generally wonder if it's true that Battler scanned the ground.
In the second case I know you're telling me something true but I wonder if I'm interpretating it correctly.

Are we talking about the same window? Is there something else that's no footprints but that can be a clue? And so on.
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