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Old 2014-03-25, 04:13   Link #34201
battle22
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And that's why, in my opinion, whatever excuse Yasu got when she decided to nuke everyone (if she ever did), the fact that she included an innocent bystander into her plan is still hard to overlook.
Yasu is not trying to atone, nor does she think what she is doing is justified. No one accepts the excuse. Murder is murder. But the tragedy around her character is real and I feel sorry for her. Same way I feel sorry about everyone who died. No one deserved it.

And Yasu's character is the reason I love Umineko this much to be honest. She's interesting, she's selfish, she's human, her emotions are mad and deep. But she's not the only one. Eva, Natsuhi, Rosa and a lot of adults are also very well written. I've been reading a lot of negative opinions about Ryu and his works here, but apparently it was good enough to have us all engage in discussions about the said work.
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Old 2014-03-25, 07:13   Link #34202
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Originally Posted by ndqanh_vn View Post
The same thing, the adults romance is very much better written than the children's alter-egos threesomes... It's one thing I always like about Umineko, sometimes Ryukishi could build very good characters, especially female one. Unfortunately, Yasu is a serious miss for me.
Hmm... I consider Yasu to be very relatable as well, at least to some extent because everything that happens to her is always over the top for her to, but writing-wise, it is true that the adults are much more fleshed out and realistic. Probably because Chiru was so sloppily written. I mean, you can see how much work and brainstorming Ryukishi did for Umineko by reading EP1, there are so many ideas and so many characters and concepts that it's inspiring. That all dies out in Chiru.

It also happens that waters are so muddied around Yasu and her character that we just had to guess tons of backstory (which at least was confirmed in the manga). Maybe if we were given more information about her and her life, or if Chiru had been handled more carefully, she wouldn't feel that alien.

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But Gohda...is just kinda there. His character's utterly redundant. They could use Kumasawa for a chef and get rid of his characters just fine. That makes it even sadder, because at the end, he seemed to be just one unlucky guy got caught up in a tragedy that is totally unrelated to him.
I pretty much agree with Kealym, Gohda's character becomes a lot more interesting if seen in that light. But, his character development kinda died out somewhere in the middle of the Question Arcs, kinda like Kumasawa and Genji, persumably because they don't have the thighs to pull of a magical Angle Mort uniform.

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And that's why, in my opinion, whatever excuse Yasu got when she decided to nuke everyone (if she ever did), the fact that she included an innocent bystander into her plan is still hard to overlook.
Gohda's presence there that day was probably arranged by Natsuhi and Krauss, because he would be the best distraction for the adults as he is good in entertaining guests. Yasu is completely resigned to her fate, so she probably decided it was Gohda's bad luck to get caught up or something.... which doesn't really make her less of an asshole, but just sayin'...

On that note, I would have really liked to see an affair between him and Natsuhi, it would really give a chance to add some depth to both characters (and clearly, Gohda is in dire need of it).

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Yasu is not trying to atone, nor does she think what she is doing is justified. No one accepts the excuse. Murder is murder. But the tragedy around her character is real and I feel sorry for her. Same way I feel sorry about everyone who died. No one deserved it.
I think the problem most people have with Yasu is that she is so desperate for sympathy and understanding while she doesn't seem to sympathize with others at all. Which is actually a problem if she really is the culprit. It sort of is understandable, as she never really got any sympathy except from imaginary friends, but suddnely starting to see other people as potential sacrifices is not exactly just being bitter....
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Old 2014-03-25, 07:42   Link #34203
ndqanh_vn
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Originally Posted by battle22 View Post
Yasu is not trying to atone, nor does she think what she is doing is justified. No one accepts the excuse. Murder is murder. But the tragedy around her character is real and I feel sorry for her. Same way I feel sorry about everyone who died. No one deserved it.

And Yasu's character is the reason I love Umineko this much to be honest. She's interesting, she's selfish, she's human, her emotions are mad and deep. But she's not the only one. Eva, Natsuhi, Rosa and a lot of adults are also very well written. I've been reading a lot of negative opinions about Ryu and his works here, but apparently it was good enough to have us all engage in discussions about the said work.
Well, I think Yasu is a hit or a miss. And to me, it's a miss because I feel her situation is "too much angst filled up". Just like Bern once said, when you put too many tea leaves in a cup of tea, the taste become so horrible you cannot even drink it. Moreover, for such a complicated situation, Ryukishi's handling of her character development is quite sloppy. So much information is lacking, to the point that I cannot understand her morality, her sanity or her intelligence anymore. Eva, Natsuhi and Rosa's situation is handled with a level of subtleness that makes me feel like I could easy see those situation in real life, imagine their emotions and sympathize with them. And their action is logical. For Yasu, we still don't understand why she jumps from a meek girl/boy into the one who might have planned a mass murder (even in theory)

And trust me. I did love Umineko. I might still love it even now. Yes, it's a crazy ride. Yes, it's insane. Yes, in the end it's a slow motion trainwreck. Yes, it's a case of the author intending to do so much and then falling miserably. But I won't forget that I used to love it, the journey was so damn fun.


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Originally Posted by Captain Bluebeard View Post
Hmm... I consider Yasu to be very relatable as well, at least to some extent because everything that happens to her is always over the top for her to, but writing-wise, it is true that the adults are much more fleshed out and realistic. Probably because Chiru was so sloppily written. I mean, you can see how much work and brainstorming Ryukishi did for Umineko by reading EP1, there are so many ideas and so many characters and concepts that it's inspiring. That all dies out in Chiru.
The true feeling of me might be...disappoinment? Because since the premise, I could already see that: Yes, this could be great. This could even become a masterpiece. But at the end, it kinda falls apart everywhere. It cannot become the masterpiece it could have been. Similarly, I read 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, and while I think it is a nice book, I still find it disappointing, as Murakami did not achieve much in this book (and I think he could have done a lot more) I think Renall or somebody have said in their review: Type-Moon takes mediocre concept and executes them right, and Ryukishi comes up with some really creative and inspiring concept, but he cannot use them to their full potential.

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I think the problem most people have with Yasu is that she is so desperate for sympathy and understanding while she doesn't seem to sympathize with others at all. Which is actually a problem if she really is the culprit. It sort of is understandable, as she never really got any sympathy except from imaginary friends, but suddnely starting to see other people as potential sacrifices is not exactly just being bitter....
Trust me, in the end, if Yasu is really the culprit, the ones I'm sorry for the most is definitely not her, but some chef who was caught in that madhouse.

Everyone else is in pain. Everyone else is struggling with their life. But they are trying to live. To love. To continue walking with their loved ones. And somehow they all died because of a teenager who cannot sympathize with anyone, who keeps preaching about love while executing actions that is totally the opposite of love...It's a sad story. It makes me even angry.

So, I hope she's not the culprit.

And therefore, I'm in the camp that believes she only planned a murder game. Or she planned a mass murder, but got some remorse and did not execute it at the end. Not "I gave them the gun and they killed each other because I'm so stunned with my pain." Not "I continue to live on as the arrogant and unpleasant Ikuko after direcly or indirectly caused that tragic incidents."

Because if she's the real culprit, I cannot accept that I'm supposed to sympathize with her, no, I might even refuse to sympathize with her, however hard the text is telling (screaming) me to do.

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Old 2014-03-25, 16:29   Link #34204
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Maybe it's just me but, in case Ikuko= Yasu I fear we're mixing the meta, prime and the gameboards too much.

Let's start with the gameboards. Even if Yasu is the culprit on them it's highly unlikely she killed anyone on Prime so all she has to atone for is to dream of doing so, feeling seriously tempted to do so and setting 7 ADULTS in a situation in which they forgot they were adults and relatives and started waving guns around with horrible results.

Honestly it wasn't smart of her to show them the guns while they were like that but she's a troubled teenager and they are adults and THEY should have known better. They didn't just kill themselves for money necessary to their survival, they had more than enough for it even if they contented themselves with the credit card.

They just fell prey of their own greed and general disliking for each other.

Personally I think Eva has much more to atone than Yasu.

And now let's move with the Meta. The woman that we see that looks like Ikuko in Ep 6 and part of Ep 8 isn't Ikuko but Hachijo Tohya or, if you prefer, Featherine in her human form.
They're diffirent people. They even had different speech patterns.

I wouldn't judge Ikuko through her, it'll be like thinking that Genji acts like Ronove... even if the two might have something in common.

And now on Prime. We really have little info about which we can judge Ikuko. Basically all we know from her is she's living secluded writing tales she doesn't let anyone to see and taking care of Battler/Tohya.

We don't really know if she's doing something to atone or not, if she had done something to atone and now she thinks she had done enough, if she believes that just taking care of Battler and not letting Ange know of what her parents did is her way to atone.

One of the things I hope the manga will develop more is Ikuko because she's just mostly undeveloped in the VN, expecially if she's not Yasu. If she's not Yasu she seems mostly a plot contrivance to help Battler/Tohya to live hidden and become a writer. If she's Yasu at least she has reasons to pick him up and to hide him in a house bribing doctors and not really warning the police about his presence.
She also can fill all the holes on the info Tohya/Battler should have about that day making Ep 7 not just a speculation from Tohya or something Bern digged up from Yasu's grave but the real retelling of her life.

As for Yasu not offering understanding to others, to be honest at first Yasu tried to offer understanding to other people in all the relationships she had. But as she feels she doesn't get it... well in the end she decides they don't deserve understanding either.

Think at how she relationated with Asune and Berune. In a way she was their superior as she was there by a longer time and therefore responsible for their actions but she was trying to be gentle with them but her attempts were waved off. Probably Asune and Berune didn't feel like having a not particularly bright child acting as their superior and found annoying how Yasu told them the do and don't, no matter how gently she could tell them.
So she got feed up and pranked them and the worst part is she got exactly what she wanted.
Being gentle and understanding didn't work while scarying them to death with the tale of a witch gets them to do what she asked them to do.
If this pattern kept repeating and by scaring people she could get what she couldn't by being emphatic to them, it must have felt okay to threaten the adults with Beatrice so that they would listen her since otherwise they wouldn't.

Sure, she theoretically could have done it with her authority as the head, sort of, as she now has it, but she's not used to use that sort of authority. Not only with Asune and Berune she wasn't capable to impose but, even now that she's older, she ends up being looked down by Gohda. She volunteers to help him and he... pushes his work on her often putting her in troubles.

Yasu got to a point in which she had enough, like Ange when she screamed to the Seven sisters to kill her classmates. The fact that Ange wishes them dead, the fact that she even will consider later on that she could have killed them secretely and blame the Seven Sisters makes Ange such a horrible person?

Yasu was dealing with different issues, all right, but they all pile together and in the end she lost the ability to be 'understanding'. She'd been living with the Ushiromiya for 10 years getting very little of it and we don't know how much she got of it in the orphanage and, if this wasn't bad enough, she's being tossed a huge amount of problems all together while she was already in a depressed state.

It's not surprising she breaks down... and yet we can't prove that Yasu in Prime harmed the family more than Ange did her classmates. Or Maria did with her mother.

In the end Battler (and indirectly Eva) told us she never killed anyone. So really I've a hard time judging her as heavily as if she had willingly murdered anyone.
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Old 2014-03-25, 23:05   Link #34205
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As for Yasu not offering understanding to others, to be honest at first Yasu tried to offer understanding to other people in all the relationships she had. But as she feels she doesn't get it... well in the end she decides they don't deserve understanding either.

Think at how she relationated with Asune and Berune. In a way she was their superior as she was there by a longer time and therefore responsible for their actions but she was trying to be gentle with them but her attempts were waved off. Probably Asune and Berune didn't feel like having a not particularly bright child acting as their superior and found annoying how Yasu told them the do and don't, no matter how gently she could tell them.
So she got feed up and pranked them and the worst part is she got exactly what she wanted.
Being gentle and understanding didn't work while scarying them to death with the tale of a witch gets them to do what she asked them to do.
If this pattern kept repeating and by scaring people she could get what she couldn't by being emphatic to them, it must have felt okay to threaten the adults with Beatrice so that they would listen her since otherwise they wouldn't.

Sure, she theoretically could have done it with her authority as the head, sort of, as she now has it, but she's not used to use that sort of authority. Not only with Asune and Berune she wasn't capable to impose but, even now that she's older, she ends up being looked down by Gohda. She volunteers to help him and he... pushes his work on her often putting her in troubles.

Yasu got to a point in which she had enough, like Ange when she screamed to the Seven sisters to kill her classmates. The fact that Ange wishes them dead, the fact that she even will consider later on that she could have killed them secretely and blame the Seven Sisters makes Ange such a horrible person?

Yasu was dealing with different issues, all right, but they all pile together and in the end she lost the ability to be 'understanding'. She'd been living with the Ushiromiya for 10 years getting very little of it and we don't know how much she got of it in the orphanage and, if this wasn't bad enough, she's being tossed a huge amount of problems all together while she was already in a depressed state.

It's not surprising she breaks down... and yet we can't prove that Yasu in Prime harmed the family more than Ange did her classmates. Or Maria did with her mother.

In the end Battler (and indirectly Eva) told us she never killed anyone. So really I've a hard time judging her as heavily as if she had willingly murdered anyone.
I don't believe that she directly killed anyone, too. And I hope that's not the case. But at the end, she really did plan something, and play some part in the incidents. What is her plan? Which part did she play? How much was she responsible for the tragedy? So many thing is lacking there....And therefore it's hard to form a solid opinion of her. Which is irony, because she's the one the text keeps telling us to try to sympathize.
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Old 2014-03-26, 16:14   Link #34206
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I don't believe that she directly killed anyone, too. And I hope that's not the case. But at the end, she really did plan something, and play some part in the incidents. What is her plan? Which part did she play? How much was she responsible for the tragedy? So many thing is lacking there....And therefore it's hard to form a solid opinion of her. Which is irony, because she's the one the text keeps telling us to try to sympathize.
I fear the tragedy can't be used to form an opinion over her as in the end she likely didn't manage to do anything.
At best knowing the details of the tragedy might help us to form better opinions on Rudolf and Kyrie (did they really murder everyone else in cold blood?) and on the others (did they manage to do something? where they actually doing something so that Kyrie and Rudolf felt the need to kill them? was one of them try killing the others as forgery of purple logic might imply?).

Yasu becomes a catbox the moment she's stopped from committing murder. We'll never know if she was capable to pull off her plan and shoot at people and likely she'll never know as well so if to form a judgement on her you need to know if she's capable of murder in cold blood... well you've to figure out by yourself this one.
She surely devised a plan to murder people but she was conflicted with it and set it up so she could be stopped... and in the end we'll never know if, hadn't no one stopped her, she would have managed to carry on.

The manga clarified well the details of her inner state and her inner conflict. I think at this point we can understand her situation and why she thought it was okay to ask for help in such a twisted way.
She was living a nightmare, she was under serious stress, she wasn't capable to ask for help in a normal way and only knew unhealthy ways to deal with her problems.

So I'm not saying I wouldn't want to know more about the tragedy because I want... but unless something spectacular happened during it that involved Yasu, I don't think knowing the details would change much my opinion of her. In the end she likely was reduced to merely an observer of the tragedy, a Lion forced to watch the 'show' by Berncastel. So I don't really think that to know the details of the tragedy would change my opinion on her.

... unless something big we weren't told about happened, that is. But I don't really think that would be possible.
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Old 2014-03-27, 13:10   Link #34207
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Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
... unless something big we weren't told about happened, that is. But I don't really think that would be possible.
Actually there should be, I think, at least stuff we haven't been told about. for one reason or the other.
Yes, there is a deliberate disconnect between the Yasu who exists up to 1984 and the one we experience in several disconnected parts in 1986. There is still the question of how exactly these events do connect to each other...when exactly did she decide to blow up the shrine? We are told it was before going to Okinawa in EP2, but then again it seems to be after when going by the EP8 manga narrative...but if that is the case then she likely actually already wrote the stories, so Beatrice in EP8 is right as well when she implicitly denies them being plans for a mass murder.
We also only have Yasu saying she will have the execution of her plan happening during the family conference...but what is her actual plan. I think we should actually try and consider what events all took place between 1984, when Yasu vowed to stay on the island as a servant and wait for Battler, and early 1986 when she snapped.

Btw. again the manga but this time it's EP7. We always wonder what Genji's deal is...but at least EP7 seems to paint him in a very obviously...almost creepily caring way towards Kinzo:
[/URL]
"May you rest...in peace now..." "I believe firmly...that you have now atoned for all your sins."
If this picture is approved by Ryukishi (which he always tells us he does since Higurashi), then this kinda shows what kind of guy Genji is.
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Old 2014-03-27, 13:45   Link #34208
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Actually there should be, I think, at least stuff we haven't been told about. for one reason or the other.
Yes, there is a deliberate disconnect between the Yasu who exists up to 1984 and the one we experience in several disconnected parts in 1986. There is still the question of how exactly these events do connect to each other...when exactly did she decide to blow up the shrine? We are told it was before going to Okinawa in EP2, but then again it seems to be after when going by the EP8 manga narrative...but if that is the case then she likely actually already wrote the stories, so Beatrice in EP8 is right as well when she implicitly denies them being plans for a mass murder.
We also only have Yasu saying she will have the execution of her plan happening during the family conference...but what is her actual plan. I think we should actually try and consider what events all took place between 1984, when Yasu vowed to stay on the island as a servant and wait for Battler, and early 1986 when she snapped.

Btw. again the manga but this time it's EP7. We always wonder what Genji's deal is...but at least EP7 seems to paint him in a very obviously...almost creepily caring way towards Kinzo:
[/URL]
"May you rest...in peace now..." "I believe firmly...that you have now atoned for all your sins."
If this picture is approved by Ryukishi (which he always tells us he does since Higurashi), then this kinda shows what kind of guy Genji is.
Well, that's nothing new as it's in the VN too.

Quote:
After checking Kinzo's pulse, Nanjo shook his head and stood back up.
"......It was a peaceful death. ......I don't think he had any regrets at all."
"It may be......that the Master died long before now. ......It was only his magic and tenacity that kept him here so long. ......And, ......he finally had a chance to apologize to Beatrice-sama for everything, ......and finished everything he had to do..."
"......Please, ......rest in peace. ......I believe that you have redeemed yourself."
"............Father........."
So far Ep 7 manga has been "disappointing" as it hadn't really added anything new apart for the depiction of 'the culprit' (the person Will met before Clair's tale starts and whose shape doesn't belong to Clair, Yasu or Shannon) and Yasu.

Everything else is just the same as in the manga there's not even the scene that was added in Ep 5 in which Battler and Yasu held each other pinkie making a promise.

Back to Genji... honestly I've hard time believing Kinzo redeemend himself merely because he apologized and handed all his money to Yasu... but maybe Genji wanted to believe Kinzo would be in peace now.

Last edited by jjblue1; 2014-03-27 at 14:24.
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Old 2014-03-28, 00:11   Link #34209
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We didn't get to see a huge amount about Genji even with the backstory info in the manga, but at least we do know what his motivations were: love, loyalty and gratitude towards Kinzo.

Genji must have been desperate to see Kinzo redeemed, at minimum only so that Kinzo would stop being tormented by guilt/madness/regret. I'm sure he had no bad intentions towards Beatrice 2 or Yasu who were caught up in the schemes, but Genji's views must be pretty skewed for him to think that the situation was okay in any way. Maybe he's just got such tunnel vision in regard to Kinzo that he doesn't think things through in regard to other people. Kinzo needs Lion back, but things will go wrong and harm both Kinzo and Lion if Genji goes about the situation in a way which allows a repeat of the past. Being a servant and living as furniture in order to devotedly serve Kinzo isn't a bad thing in Genji's view, probably, and he probably also thought that the possibility of Kinzo and Yasu obtaining a parent-child relationship was the best thing for Yasu too. That is, if he even really thought about it much further than just trying to find the best case scenario for Kinzo.
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Old 2014-03-28, 18:07   Link #34210
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We didn't get to see a huge amount about Genji even with the backstory info in the manga, but at least we do know what his motivations were: love, loyalty and gratitude towards Kinzo.

Genji must have been desperate to see Kinzo redeemed, at minimum only so that Kinzo would stop being tormented by guilt/madness/regret. I'm sure he had no bad intentions towards Beatrice 2 or Yasu who were caught up in the schemes, but Genji's views must be pretty skewed for him to think that the situation was okay in any way. Maybe he's just got such tunnel vision in regard to Kinzo that he doesn't think things through in regard to other people. Kinzo needs Lion back, but things will go wrong and harm both Kinzo and Lion if Genji goes about the situation in a way which allows a repeat of the past. Being a servant and living as furniture in order to devotedly serve Kinzo isn't a bad thing in Genji's view, probably, and he probably also thought that the possibility of Kinzo and Yasu obtaining a parent-child relationship was the best thing for Yasu too. That is, if he even really thought about it much further than just trying to find the best case scenario for Kinzo.
Probably Genji's problem is he prioritized Kinzo to everyone else.
Effectively Kinzo was his friend and saved his life (and tried to save the life of his family) and Genji seems to feel VERY indebted to him, indebted enough he would devote his life to him and to whom he would deem his heir... but likely always prioritizing Kinzo.

I wonder... we see in EP 8 he was always there trying to remind Kinzo to keep his manners... maybe he did what he did to stop Kinzo from making the same mistake more than for Yasu's benefit, because he didn't found all right for Kinzo to repeat the same mistake so he stopped him the same way he reminded him to keep a certain behaviour.

In short is not so much because what Kinzo is doing is bad... but because it's bad for Kinzo to do it... if it can make sense... I'm not sure how to explain it better in English but I fear more than being disgusted by what Kinzo did and afraid for Yasu, Genji didn't approve and wanted to 'educate' Kinzo not to do it again... preserving/healing him from what likely looked like madness to him.

It didn't work though and 19 years later Kinzo is still madly fixated with Beatrice and can't truly let her go. I guess it was hell for him so maybe Genji thinks that Kinzo's suffering for wanting something so desperately he simply couldn't stop and being denied it, was punishment enough. Probably he excused Kinzo's action as love-madness and too bad if they hurt Kuwadorian Beatrice and Yasu.

In Genji's books Kinzo probably couldn't help it and Genji's attempt at parting him from "Beatrice" didn't actually detoxify him from the drug that was his love-obsession for Beatrice.

Will also is very... understanding toward Kinzo. Maybe he just figured out Kinzo was mad and there was no way to help it apart from putting him in a psychiatric institute... and again too bad in who got involved with it.

(Also there's the chance Genji had fallen madly in love for his master to whom he devoted his whole life as well and that's why he was so forgiving... He seems pretty happy to see that Battler looks like Kinzo and, as Ronoue, he tried hitting on Battler... though he gave up in respect to Beatrice...)
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Old 2014-04-02, 07:12   Link #34211
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I was just reading the latest update of that Stupid Goats Seacats Reread blog, and one thing they mentioned there struck me as something perhaps worth discussing here.

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http://goatsreadingseacats.tumblr.co...rld-of-witches

"So it sort of comes back to something yumetabibito and I have felt from the beginning - a sense that if you can’t really get on board with one of Umineko’s central premises - that the world is shit - what it subsequently explores about coping with that shit world probably isn’t going to resonate with you as well."
Is that really a central premise of Umineko, though? We are shown a number of people in a variety of bad circumstances and the character flaws and coping mechanisms that have sprung up in response to that. A lot of the problems are to do with the toxic atmosphere contributed to by various members of the Ushiromiya family. To a degree, Umineko's also dealt with the lack of support that some people suffer in society (Ange with her school, Rosa as a single parent, and so on).

We're shown a flawed world, but I wouldn't say that Umineko-world is consistently, constantly awful. For example, Jessica and George in particular don't seem to be that badly off in life (except for, well, ending up dead in the explosion or before, but that's not a normal event in Umineko-world either). Gohda's dealt with some unfairness due to the way his previous job went, and he does take things unfairly out on Shannon and Kanon, but his life wasn't horribly bad either.
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Old 2014-04-02, 08:23   Link #34212
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Even if one were to agree with the premise - and perhaps one shouldn't, although I do think the intent was to posit an obviously-flawed world - one could disagree with the conclusions drawn from it and be critical of the mechanisms the characters in that world employ to "cope" with it. In particular, the notion that "coping" is all that one can do (a conclusion I would question anyway, although the story doesn't do a lot with its counter-examples). Believing the world sucks is one thing; believing people inherently suck is another; believing the world and the people in it can't get better is still another. I'd argue that Umineko probably agrees with the first, might agree with the second but provides evidence to suggest it doesn't, and maybe-but-possibly-not agrees with the third.

It's an important distinction, because it changes the moral character of "magic" quite a bit. If the world and people can't get any better, then the story would effectively be saying there's nothing particularly immoral about escapism that lets you deal with it because what else can you do? On the other hand, if people can make the world better, then those who rely on magic are pitiable but ultimately refusing their duty of trying to do that, and by inaction contribute to the state of the world. On the other other hand, if people can't really do anything to change the world but can change themselves, magic as a mechanism for personal growth is acceptable so long as the end result is a mature and functional individual. So the question would be whether the story intends for us to criticize certain characters or not for their actions, as this would be a sign that the author takes a certain stance. Do we read Beatrice's musings on her message bottles in ep8 as a condemnation only of the reaction to those messages, or as Beatrice being self-critical of her lack of forethought and believing she could have done better? I'd tend to argue the latter, which makes me think Ryukishi does believe that the world could improve no matter how crappy it appears to be. In which case maybe it's not so crappy after all.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time I disagreed with the interpretations of that blog; their factual conclusions usually seem correct, but they seem to be heavily invested in a particular lens for viewing the story that I ultimately disagree with. It's not like I've written extensively on that very thought before though.
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Old 2014-04-02, 09:52   Link #34213
ndqanh_vn
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Originally Posted by GoldenLand View Post
I was just reading the latest update of that Stupid Goats Seacats Reread blog, and one thing they mentioned there struck me as something perhaps worth discussing here.



Is that really a central premise of Umineko, though? We are shown a number of people in a variety of bad circumstances and the character flaws and coping mechanisms that have sprung up in response to that. A lot of the problems are to do with the toxic atmosphere contributed to by various members of the Ushiromiya family. To a degree, Umineko's also dealt with the lack of support that some people suffer in society (Ange with her school, Rosa as a single parent, and so on).

We're shown a flawed world, but I wouldn't say that Umineko-world is consistently, constantly awful. For example, Jessica and George in particular don't seem to be that badly off in life (except for, well, ending up dead in the explosion or before, but that's not a normal event in Umineko-world either). Gohda's dealt with some unfairness due to the way his previous job went, and he does take things unfairly out on Shannon and Kanon, but his life wasn't horribly bad either.

I think that it's because of their premise. That blog really showed interesting insight into the story with Shkanonyasutrice comfirmed, but the authors tend to make it into a pity party for Yasu, which I ultimately disagree. Their basic view is that Yasu's situation is bad and cannot be improved, and somehow (unintentionally?) they makes it into an excuse for what ever she did.

The problem is, I don't think the situation is that worse. And yes, everybody has their difficulties, they are trapped in their tragedy, but they're dealing with it. I don't think that their world is any shittier than real life - it's bad, but it could be improved.

Interestingly, that makes me remember Ange and Maria's experience in EP 4. Their situation is shit, of course, but it's their method of dealing with it is what makes the situation worse and worse. Just like Yasu, they "coped" with it by running away from reality, not by trying to improve the situation. "Magic" makes them happy for a short moment, but makes them more and more immature, and lose touch with reality. I think it's implied in that section that Ryukishi believed Ange and Maria's situation could get better, if they have chosen to deal with it in a better way.

It's very weird that Chiru comes and somehow I feel his view changed into the opposite somewhere in the middle of the way.
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Old 2014-04-02, 13:59   Link #34214
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We're shown a flawed world, but I wouldn't say that Umineko-world is consistently, constantly awful. For example, Jessica and George in particular don't seem to be that badly off in life (except for, well, ending up dead in the explosion or before, but that's not a normal event in Umineko-world either). Gohda's dealt with some unfairness due to the way his previous job went, and he does take things unfairly out on Shannon and Kanon, but his life wasn't horribly bad either.
I personally never got the message 'the world sucks' from Umineko... Perhaps a healthy message to be derived from the entire Ange story of EP4 would be people's tendency to beat other people on their flaws to gain self-validation and the way society detters people from being who they actually are, or who they want to be. But I guess this is an abstract interpretation, and though adressed (sort of) this isn't the main point EP4 is trying to make.

What bothers me is the total exaggeration of bullying Ange receives, which is also apparent in Higanbana. Seriously, what does Ryukishi think of people? He seems to portray classmates (in all his works) as awful and completely insensitive human beings that gain pleasure from making other people suffer. Now, yeah, school violence does happen, and to degrees where it is terrible, but Ryukishi actually makes that the norm. It really makes me wonder what sort of school life he experienced, because that sort of characterization is sort of childish and does not match the mastery he has shown at fleshing out the siblings.
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Old 2014-04-02, 14:24   Link #34215
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Bullying certainly can be vicious. It can reach levels that seem downright monstrous to the person experiencing it. Usually it's more a few individual bullying agents and a bunch of people who do nothing to stop it more than a coordinated mass effort to cause emotional trauma, but the idea is there. You're right that to some extent exaggeration for dramatic effect can fall flat, but bear in mind that bullying in particular always looks like less of a big deal to adults than it appears to be to the involved parties because kids are stupid and think everything is the biggest deal in the world. That's why a lot of bullying education encourages adults to get more involved, even if they don't think it looks that serious.

What gets me is why anyone in Ange's particular situation (I can't speak for Higanbana) would care so much. I mean Ange's family would've died like 8-12 years before she was at St. Lucia with those girls. They're in school together, so presumably they're about the same age, meaning they were six or so when that stuff happened. Would this Rokkenjima stuff even still be on TV after a decade of inconclusive results? That's like Little Renall getting bullied in the Clinton years because my parents voted for Reagan. Do these girls have a reason to decide to want to bully Ange, or did it just randomly come up? I mean, if Eva ran their family out of business or something I could see them being bitter and transferring that to Ange and waiting to take it out on her, but that would add a lot of complexity to characters that are pretty much nameless and faceless antagonists.

Maybe that segment would've been better had Ange been dealing with a singular, named, portraited bully with a better-developed backstory and a reason to be confused and upset and willing to hurt Ange out of that. Plus it'd give Ange someone else besides Kasumi and Eva to feel sorry for and forgive, and add more emphasis to the Stakes' "We can't kill them if you aren't willing to do it yourself" scene, which otherwise loses some of its emotional weight when the people Ange is wanting dead aren't actual "people" we've seen as anything more than disembodied speakers.
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Old 2014-04-02, 15:13   Link #34216
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
BYou're right that to some extent exaggeration for dramatic effect can fall flat, but bear in mind that bullying in particular always looks like less of a big deal to adults than it appears to be to the involved parties because kids are stupid and think everything is the biggest deal in the world。
Though now you make it sound as if bullying was something that stops when you grow up, which it clearly isn't. I actually wonder if Umineko should have made some of the connections even more obvious than they already were, namely that Ange and Maria weren't the only victims of bullying.
Yes, Maria and Ange were the most obvious cases of classical bullying that most people imagine when hearing the word, but if you look at it, so many people (if not almost all the characters) were being bullied (in the sense of being verbally, physically, psychologically or structurally abused). And I think what it reall highlights, and I don't know if that isn't apparent to people without bullying/abuse experience, is that it is rarely about a specific aspect or circumstance of the victim and how it relates to the offender.

Let's talk Ange and her assailants:
Quote:
What gets me is why anyone in Ange's particular situation (I can't speak for Higanbana) would care so much.
I don't think they really cared. It was a convenient way for them to relieve their stress, because Ange's family is considered to have done something morally wrong, which made it possible to cast blame on her by implying she is inherently "just as bad".
What were they blaming her for? For pulling down the class-average, for not involving herself, for being different. This had nothing to do with her parents or the Rokkenjima incident, it was a flimsy excuse to be able to antagonize her.

It's the same thing that happens between Eva and Natsuhi. Eva is just using the fact that Natsuhi lives the life she is trying to escape to vent her frustration for not being able to fully do so. It is never actually about Natsuhi.

Quote:
Maybe that segment would've been better had Ange been dealing with a singular, named, portraited bully with a better-developed backstory and a reason to be confused and upset and willing to hurt Ange out of that.
I find it actually a lot more poignant in this case, that her bullies do not have individual personalities, because we see the event partially through Ange's eyes. In a way we are able to consider both sides, Ange is being a victim because she never consciously tried to anger these people, but in a vicious circle she is actually giving them material to attack her on things she actually did "wrong" by trying to escape her everyday life.

I actually found the bullying in Umineko to hit very close to home, because I myself experienced it both as a person being attacked and a person standing at the sidelines...I would even say that I was part of some structural bullying in college, which I realized way too late.

For me, what Umineko shows is not that the world is shitty and beyond hope, but that most people are unable to gaze past their own limited horizon, living for themselves and rarely considering the effect their actions have on others. Those can be little things like a childhood friend involuntarily hurting your feelings, bigger things like forcing your worldview on others, or even blaming and hurting people for things they are not actually responsible but easy to blame for.
Umineko is about the fact that it takes a little amount of work to believe in something, but the really hard work is to face the truth and still go on.
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Old 2014-04-02, 15:19   Link #34217
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When you are a loner anti-social and do not speak to people, eventually they will notice it. And some people think that being mean to anti-socials will win them points. It probably didn't begin with Rokkenjima incident. She was picked on because Ange didn't care about them. I know what it's like to be in her shoes. The "bullying" comes because we don't interact with people. Not everyone does it obviously, but stuff has happened to me and as a little kid, it gave me terrible thoughts and I think it has scarred me for the rest of my life, since it affected my view on people in general.

After a while, these kids would get used to bullying Ange, and it would become a regular thing to do. Trust me, I have seen this too. Not with me, but with fellow classmate. And eventually these girls would discover about her family. And that "should" explain why she was such an "anti-social". Everyone from Rokkenjima was looked upon, their dirty deals were shown to the public. And we know what the public does best, judging. These girls would do the same. It actually gives them a proper reason to "bully", since she is from a family who got into illegal stuff, embezzlement, explosives under the mansion, etc.

It's hard and I don't expect people who didn't experience this to understand what I'm saying. Extreme cases exist, I've seen it.

Quote:
For me, what Umineko shows is not that the world is shitty and beyond hope, but that most people are unable to gaze past their own limited horizon, living for themselves and rarely considering the effect their actions have on others. Those can be little things like a childhood friend involuntarily hurting your feelings, bigger things like forcing your worldview on others, or even blaming and hurting people for things they are not actually responsible but easy to blame for.
Umineko is about the fact that it takes a little amount of work to believe in something, but the really hard work is to face the truth and still go on.
Yeah, I agree with ya.
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Old 2014-04-02, 15:57   Link #34218
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I find it actually a lot more poignant in this case, that her bullies do not have individual personalities, because we see the event partially through Ange's eyes. In a way we are able to consider both sides, Ange is being a victim because she never consciously tried to anger these people, but in a vicious circle she is actually giving them material to attack her on things she actually did "wrong" by trying to escape her everyday life.
I think it's a missed opportunity. In general, so is the entire "cycle of abuse" theme that comes up in places and is sort of not actually explored properly. It's clearly intended with the Rosa/Maria dynamic, as Rosa is essentially perpetuating the violence and abuse that was done against her despite an apparently sincere love for her daughter. The problem with that comes from two angles: First, we only sorta hear about Rosa's abuse and never actually get specifics to know what would've twisted her that much; second, there's no resolution, because everybody dies. Perhaps that's why the theme didn't come up as much, but it's still very much relevant to Ange.

The problem with Ange is that the story doesn't adequately explain what it means to her to break the cycle of abuse, to change her perspective and learn to forgive the people who abused her and the people who abused them and so on. She clearly does it at the end of ep4, with the forgiving Eva and Kasumi stuff and all that, but then she dies and by ep8 the focus of her character arc has shifted from breaking out of the prison of cyclical abuse to a completely different motivation and theme, and we practically never see the abuse angle again (except in the Rosa/Maria scene added in the ep8 manga). And honestly, I thought the Ange of ep4 was a lot more interesting than the Ange of ep8, because the Ange of ep4 is confronting problems that both actually exist in her reality and which she can actually solve with the information she already has available to her. It's like she suddenly becomes less mature and less reasonable the more her character strays from her original portrayal.

Of course I think part of the reason for this theme decay probably has to do with the later characterization of Yasu (which I'm fairly confident wasn't entirely finished before ep7). Yasu doesn't actually have the same life situation as Maria or Ange or Rosa or the other people in the family who suffer from cyclical abuse from trusted relationships. In part because she's an orphan, in part because the authority figures in her life tacitly support her. She has a very different problem from Maria, which is perfectly fine because it makes the two of them an interesting contrast in problems and coping strategies (Yasu has freedom in her grasp but is cripplied by anxiety, Maria is a helpless child but tries to employ optimistic escapism). But it shifts the focus of what's problematic to something else, because Yasu's generational issue isn't that her mom was mean to her because people were mean to her mom, or even specifically that she was bullied (Yasu was bullied, but it's got a different feel to it).

There's certainly a unifying factor one could find there between Yasu and Ange with the disconnect from a parent figure that they never truly understood (Kinzo and Eva respectively). Particularly since both of them are in situations where a lot of power has been dropped into their lap and they have no idea what to do with it but dangerous external forces are already at work. There's enormous potential in that as it allows for ep4 Ange and ep8 Ange to mirror one another through the personage of either Maria or Beatrice; in ep4 we see Ange learning to forgive her abusers and resolve not to become an abuser herself, and in ep8 we'd see Ange coming to understand how much like Beatrice she is and synthesize the strengths of those two role models to move on with her life in a positive manner. We didn't quite get that, and I think the lack of focus did damage to Ange's character even though it had the potential to be spectacular for her.
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Old 2014-04-02, 16:22   Link #34219
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First, we only sorta hear about Rosa's abuse and never actually get specifics to know what would've twisted her that much;
That is actually not correct, we get some information in EP3, 6 and 8, and very specific information in EP4 what happened to Rosa in terms of abuse.

We learn that her mother was excesively strict on her, that her father basically ignored her. We also hear that toys and precious belongings were taken from her, broken or hidden on a constant basis.
We are also told that she faces a lot of bullying from her peers for not living up to the expectations of being a mother, that she is basically being considered a failure wherever she goes. She is not receiving any help but instead constant blame by other parents, teachers, co-workers, or lovers. She was also financially used and emotionally abused by Maria's father.

I think we have a pretty clear picture of what twisted her that much...especially considering that she basically lost any right to be an individual by getting pregnant after just becoming an adult.

I also found another poignant line being pointed out on the seacats blog (though I distance myself from a lot of there readings past EP2):
Quote:
But Maria quickly resumes her laughter - going back to distracting herself with “having fun” with Rosa and playing with the Endless Magic. Having so seperated herself from humanity and her human connection with her mother - reducing her mother to a “piece” in her mind - Maria says that it’s a strange emotion, but she feels like she could actually start to forgive Rosa like this… and Beatrice tells her this is the “enlightened state” of witches who control life and death.
It is kind of telling concerning the light Ryukishi casts on the writing of "Yasu". They were a way to vent her anger, to become "enlightened" and beyond petty hatred...but in a way it also poisoned her, driving her into a state where she seemed almost dependant on constantly killing people in her mind.

I do wonder if in that way it can be read in a certain way that Battler slapped Beato out of this behaviour several times during EP3 and 4...
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Old 2014-04-02, 18:24   Link #34220
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While knowing the bullies might have been interesting honestly I think there are enough characters in Umineko. With Yasu they managed to tone down the number by claiming the coworkers who bullied her by calling her stupid (and the first bunch likely pranked her too) were the models for the stakes but with Ange this wouldn't have worked. Also... to Ange at this point they aren't individualities but a huge, faceless group of people againt her.

We don't know WHEN they started bullying her or WHY but bullying usually starts because you end up looking like an easy target and won't stop no matter what you do or don't. Usually it'll start small and will escalate.

By the time we get introduced to Ange it has escalates to the point she can't bear it anymore and she likely had tried other stuffs to cope or stop it but they didn't work. It's also obvious she hadn't received any outside help.

So she tried escapism as last resource. Using escapism isn't usually your first choice. It might seem easy but it's actually not so much. It requires actively ignoring what's hurting you to focus on something more nice. At first is hard, then it becomes like a drug because that's the only moment in which you can have something nice... even if it'll solve nothing.
Of course people can overcome it. Escapism isn't really that wonderful. You know you're just lying to yourself. If the situation improves a person can drop it. That's not Ange's case though but it's Eva's.
Eva too made up an immaginary friend who pushed her to fight harder and hey, for Eva it apparently worked as she managed to become much more successful than Krauss. But when her fantasy couldn't help her to reach her true goal (being acknowledged by Kinzo) and instead she found love in Hideyoshi, she managed to drop it.
Ange will drop escapism not out of improvement in her condition but out of worsening of it.
As her problems escalate escapism not only doesn't solve them but can't help her to cope with them anymore.

There's surely who has worse but for Ange that's all she can take. Pain tollerance is different from a being to another. It's not really fair to tell her it really wasn't that bad when she basically became suicidal.

If we start this line of thoughts actually none of the Umineko characters is having it 'that bad' because there's always someone who's having it worse.

On a sidenote I think Umineko wanted to show how some people can also suffer bullying and still manage to stay rational. Battler is openly bullied by Beatrice and although he's tempted to believe in the witch, and he had many moments in which he simply crumble (Ep 2 & 4) or simply he's almost tricked into accepting a fantasy (Ep 1 & 3) or tries to fight it but he's at complete loss about how (Ep 5) he always manages to stand up and overcome his difficulties.

In real life it's implied he might have suffered bullying but that somehow he managed to overcome it by joking over it, not taking an offence, trying to think the best of people, to understand others, improving himself and... well, crying, getting angry, fighting and generally venting his own emotions when the situation required it.

There's to say though that compared to Yasu, Maria or Ange is made very clear that Battler was raised well and with love by Asumu and that his grandparents continued to support him.

Battler is the boy that when sees Rosa hitting Maria will try to stop her trice while Jessica just watches and George even rationalize it as okay and dissuades Battler from acting any further.

Ergo Battler is probably stronger where it counts compared to Yasu, Maria and Ange.

There's to say though we still don't know for how long he could have managed to hold on if Beatrice hadn't helped him to solve her game but had merely continued to torture him. Battler says he's very good in tests of endurance but we know everyone has a limit. If he had reached his would he have believed in the witch?

LOL, it's interesting how many of us read the seacats blog but distance themselves from their reading for different reasons. In a way what charms me is how Umineko can be viewed in such different ways by so many people. Not so many series accomplish this.

... though I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing.

About Battler slapping Beato...
Well, it'll be interesting to read Umineko from a 'Battler's point of view'. We think we're doing it as he's the narrator but actually we aren't even told if he wrote to Shannon or not or what was that kept him so busy in those 6 years or why his mother died and why Rudolf though Asumu actually wasn't so kind and so on.
In truth Battler's story is barely brushed and we aren't really asked to understand his heart, just Yasu's.
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