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Old 2009-11-28, 23:08   Link #121
vendredi
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I hope cross-posting theories is allowed, but here is my take on Maria's role in the story. I'll repost a theory I put up a little earlier in the Episode 3 thread since I'm just itching to get out of my system. I've only finished up to Episode 3, so I'll just dump this here for now and come back to this discussion about Maria after Episode 4 - I have heard there are more revelations concerning here there.

Maria is possibly one of the more fascinating characters in Umineko, and here is a rather long treatise on her incorporating a lot of stuff I have noticed. If it's too long, jump to the paragraphs after the bullet points - that's where I make my main argument. I apologize in advance if this is a little heavy on the religious analysis, but this is precisely what makes the When They Cry series so fascinating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vendredi
Maria is obviously a reference to the Virgin Mary - who declares boldly in the first chapter of Luke that "I am the Lord's servant, may it be as you said." Again, a fitting name for Maria, who is the most vocal advocate of the Witch.

Mary's miracle is the virgin birth of Jesus: eventually the one man who accomplishes the miracle of resurrection, and, as Beatrice notes in love - the man who taught that the one element of all things is love, and from where the modern calendar - "Anno Domini" (A.D., literally "In the Year of Our Lord") derives from.

Furthermore, Mary's miracle in orthodox theology is made possible because of her willingness to believe in the message the angel brings her - if she did not believe then she would not have been God's chosen vessel. Understanding this is fairly important in grasping Maria's role throughout the series, I believe.
Some other interesting tidbits:

-Rosa's single motherhood of Maria, with an unknown father - seems to reinforce the "virgin birth" angle.

-Maria has a basic grasp of Hebrew, possibly Ancient Hebrew - at the very least, she can recognize the passages on the magic circle

-Has an interest in Halloween in particular, which is an odd syncretization of the Roman Catholic All-Saints Day and Samhain

-an interest in the Christian occult especially

-very young, perhaps too young to know what she does

In many ways she seems the "Rika" for Umineko, as some have noted.

In Higurashi, we had Rika as a Shinto priestess central to the story, and Higurashi's central theme - endlessly re-living the same life over and over until the "true resolution" is found - very closely mirrors the idea of reincarnation in Buddhism. Higurashi draws very heavily in this sense upon Far Eastern religion.

Umineko still retains some of these Eastern elements, but I think Western religion plays a much bigger role. One key theme that keeps cropping up in Umineko is the idea of "resurrection". In this sense then, Maria steps into the same role as Rika - not as a shrine priestess representing Japanese Shinto and Buddhism, cycling through the same event over and over, but a faithful and pure believer (I hesitate to use "nun") representing Western Christianity (or at the very least, Western Catholicism).

Maria/Christianity seeks to create a miracle from belief in a higher power, whereas Rika/Buddhism was able to create a miracle and "ascend" by repeating things over and over, both of these characters mirroring the mechanism of salvation (the soteriological strategy) of their respective religions.

One wonders, if like Bernkastel, Maria might be able to become a witch... Seeing as Eva has become one I wonder if I've already figured out Episode 4...

This has big ramifications I feel for both points of view - both the anti-fantasy and anti-mystery crowd.
Whether you are inclined to believe the fantastical elements are real or not, Maria *is* the strongest support in either case. Her character is set up around belief and faith in the impossible, which makes her an important character in either theory - in anti-fantasy because she will believe anything she is told, and in anti-mystery because her belief is one of the prime power sources that Beatrice draws upon.

Whew, that was a lot of words. Here's the fast version.
TL;DR -
Maria in Umineko = Rika in Higurashi --> similar role

Rika in Higurashi = Shinto/Buddhism (shrine maiden) = reincarnation over and over to get true end
Maria in Umineko = Catholicism (name; Virgin Mary) = belief in miracles/miraculous beings/(each other?) to get the true end.
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Old 2009-11-28, 23:31   Link #122
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Again I don't think Maria is exactly like Rika or that she remembers past events. She knows about the ceremony because "Beatrice" told her about it and she can easily infer what will happen in the letter. Besides Maria doesn't want everyone to live like Rika does. She WANTS Beatrice to complete the ceremony, so she can go to the Golden Land. If anything Rika and Maria are complete opposite roles.

Rika wants to see everyone with a happy resolution
Maria wants to see Beatrice revive, everyone die and then go to the Golden Land (Heaven?)
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Old 2009-11-28, 23:37   Link #123
vendredi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
Again I don't think Maria is exactly like Rika or that she remembers past events. She knows about the ceremony because "Beatrice" told her about it and she can easily infer what will happen in the letter. Besides Maria doesn't want everyone to live like Rika does. She WANTS Beatrice to complete the ceremony, so she can go to the Golden Land. If anything Rika and Maria are complete opposite roles.

Rika wants to see everyone with a happy resolution
Maria wants to see Beatrice revive, everyone die and then go to the Golden Land (Heaven?)
I'm certainly not arguing they're "the same" in the sense of experiencing the exact same thing, but rather, that they play a similar role in representing the core themes in each of the games - it's a thematic argument on how the story and plot are structured, and how each game is actually rather marvelously constructed along religious themes.

"Repetition" is the dominant theme for Higurashi, strongly represented in Rika, while "Resurrection", (or perhaps "belief in a higher power"?) is the dominant theme for Umineko, represented by Maria - and these themes are reinforced by the religious imagery and iconography that surround each: Higurashi is predominantly Shinto, while Umineko is much more strongly Catholic.

*edit* Not sure if I'm being 100% clear, so I'll give it one more shot:
The central tenet in Buddhism is self-improvement - reincarnating and endlessly repeating the same existence until you learn from your mistakes and live "correctly" and reach enlightenment/salvation. This is represented very well by Rika's experience in Higurashi.

The central tenet in Catholic Christianity, on the other hand - is faith and trust in a higher power, namely, God, who then grants salvationon. There's also the whole debate about the relation between faith and works, but that's a theological tussle for another time. We can see this theme represented in Umineko by Maria's relationship in Beatrice - she puts all of her faith in this seemingly divine higher power than can accomplish all miracles.

I am, of course, grossly oversimplifying each and their are countless variations, but I simply wanted to point out how the character of Maria makes Umineko feel so very thematically different from Higurashi.
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Old 2009-11-28, 23:40   Link #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vendredi View Post
One wonders, if like Bernkastel, Maria might be able to become a witch... Seeing as Eva has become one I wonder if I've already figured out Episode 4...
...I'd suggest you play Ep4, and soon.
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Old 2009-11-28, 23:45   Link #125
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
...I'd suggest you play Ep4, and soon.
Well... blast. Who needs sleep, anyway?
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Old 2009-11-29, 03:04   Link #126
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Wow vendredi thats some really deep analogy there. I thought Maria was more like Hanyuu since the representation of Rika is already there.

Maria like Hanyuu always faithful to her friend shy and mellow similar voice etc etc.
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Old 2009-11-29, 03:07   Link #127
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Really? I think you may be seeing that since they're voiced by the same VA Maria has never really reminded me much of Hanyuu - I don't think I can really compare any character in Umineko to Hanyuu (Jessica can be compared to Mion, Battler to Keiichi, George to Tomitake, etc)
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Old 2009-11-29, 05:07   Link #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vendredi View Post
I'm certainly not arguing they're "the same" in the sense of experiencing the exact same thing, but rather, that they play a similar role in representing the core themes in each of the games - it's a thematic argument on how the story and plot are structured, and how each game is actually rather marvelously constructed along religious themes.

"Repetition" is the dominant theme for Higurashi, strongly represented in Rika, while "Resurrection", (or perhaps "belief in a higher power"?) is the dominant theme for Umineko, represented by Maria - and these themes are reinforced by the religious imagery and iconography that surround each: Higurashi is predominantly Shinto, while Umineko is much more strongly Catholic.

*edit* Not sure if I'm being 100% clear, so I'll give it one more shot:
The central tenet in Buddhism is self-improvement - reincarnating and endlessly repeating the same existence until you learn from your mistakes and live "correctly" and reach enlightenment/salvation. This is represented very well by Rika's experience in Higurashi.

The central tenet in Catholic Christianity, on the other hand - is faith and trust in a higher power, namely, God, who then grants salvationon. There's also the whole debate about the relation between faith and works, but that's a theological tussle for another time. We can see this theme represented in Umineko by Maria's relationship in Beatrice - she puts all of her faith in this seemingly divine higher power than can accomplish all miracles.

I am, of course, grossly oversimplifying each and their are countless variations, but I simply wanted to point out how the character of Maria makes Umineko feel so very thematically different from Higurashi.
Personally one of the more prominent issues in Umineko should it be seen with a medieval Christianity lens would be the handling of witchcraft, or maybe perhaps the insinuation of the similarities between paganistic witchcraft and ancient Christitanity (which was considered a pagan religion before official Roman adoption). Maria undeniably represents that faith in the higher powers that be, which in this case for her is represented by Beato. The thing is, what of her own vengeance? Another central tenet of Christianity is forgiveness, not necessarily unconditional, especially when one believes that said person can be "saved." She obviously believes that her mother can be saved from her perceived "sins" but relishes so much the thought of extracting vengeance from her, if the recent anime episode reflects as such.

As for Buddhism, it may even be linked to Umineko as well. Karma and the entire reincarnation cycle might be seen in the concept of the eternal games, such that the power of reincarnation rests on Beato. Then again, is it for the sake of the eternal victims, for her, or for Battler? Maybe a combinarion of all that? I wanted to elaborate a theory of mine regarding Beato's intentions, especially since your Buddhism analogy is very accutely similar to my central motive theory that I really should get down into actual text, but I can't since you haven't finished episode 4.

Just as much you're Buddhism analogy is a lot of food for thought.
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Old 2009-11-29, 08:13   Link #129
yumiMitsuki
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i like maria and her uuness!!!she is a very cute loli!!
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Old 2009-11-29, 10:52   Link #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
And as Rosa said - they had no proof Maria was being abused other than being kept home along late nights. Maria herself never said she was being abused by Rosa. If she did THEN child services could do something. But she loves Rosa too much to fault her (even after Sakutaro is ripped to pieces she blames the black witch rather than her mother)
indeed look at satako she got abused way harder than maria and the child support didn't do anything


higurashi and umineko both confirm, child support are useless
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Old 2009-11-29, 11:39   Link #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crontica View Post
Wow vendredi thats some really deep analogy there. I thought Maria was more like Hanyuu since the representation of Rika is already there.

Maria like Hanyuu always faithful to her friend shy and mellow similar voice etc etc.
Other than their voices, Maria and Hanyuu are nothing alike. O.o;
Maria doesn't really have friends to be faithful to, the only one is Sakutaro and he's imaginary. All of her relatives at one point died and she showed no emotional attachment, not even to her mother in EP1.

Hanyuu is extremely different. Her relationship with Rika is totally different from Maria's relationship with anybody. Really, it's just the voice. o__o;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
Really? I think you may be seeing that since they're voiced by the same VA Maria has never really reminded me much of Hanyuu - I don't think I can really compare any character in Umineko to Hanyuu (Jessica can be compared to Mion, Battler to Keiichi, George to Tomitake, etc)
Maybe... and this is a huge maybe... Shannon. But only because they both get nervous easily and are apologetic. Also, we don't even know enough about Shannon... a future episode could completely change things. Other than her, there's... Sakutaro maybe? Once again a huge maybe. They both share the whole "only one person can talk to me" thing and are adorable and have people swoon over them, they also get nervous easily and can be pretty pessimistic... I think? I know Hanyuu is pessimistic but I'm not sure about Sakutaro too much...
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Old 2009-11-29, 19:40   Link #132
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Originally Posted by TheComedian View Post
I'm not really crazy about Maria. Her constant Kira-like expressions were a little annoying, especially when characters I LIKE are getting killed off. Although she does seem to be making a degree of improvement, and I will say her mom is pretty despicable considering she treats her HORRIBLY at any given opportunity.

EDIT: I would like to disregard that statement now. Maria did something rather cool in 22. Can't say what, ya'll have to see for yourselves :P
Agreed. Episode 21 & 22 (mostly 22) made me look at maria quite differently. I admit, I still find her somewhat annoying making that "uu-uu" noise and crying all the time, but now I can understand why she's so emotional - so I can sort of bare with her now. As I said in another Umineko post that I made, I'm glad that she got some sort of happiness from that "cool" thing she did in episode 22. I felt some emotions myself watching that episode, also considering how rosa treats her all throughout the series, it really gave me a "feel good" vibe.
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Old 2009-11-29, 19:45   Link #133
suiryoku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion View Post
And as Rosa said - they had no proof Maria was being abused other than being kept home along late nights. Maria herself never said she was being abused by Rosa. If she did THEN child services could do something. But she loves Rosa too much to fault her (even after Sakutaro is ripped to pieces she blames the black witch rather than her mother)
They did have proof in episode 22, if you've seen it. Also, Rosa could still have gone to jail just of child neglect alone. Also, I don't believe Maria loves Rosa quite that much (again see ep. 22). Maria just wanted to have a false-happiness, but I don't think she really loved her mother.
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Old 2009-11-29, 21:35   Link #134
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Personally the first 4 arcs can't definitively prove the true feelings of mother and child for each other. Even the ones that have been released but won't be included this season still doesn't do it.
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Old 2009-12-02, 05:05   Link #135
vendredi
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Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
Personally one of the more prominent issues in Umineko should it be seen with a medieval Christianity lens would be the handling of witchcraft, or maybe perhaps the insinuation of the similarities between paganistic witchcraft and ancient Christitanity (which was considered a pagan religion before official Roman adoption). Maria undeniably represents that faith in the higher powers that be, which in this case for her is represented by Beato. The thing is, what of her own vengeance? Another central tenet of Christianity is forgiveness, not necessarily unconditional, especially when one believes that said person can be "saved." She obviously believes that her mother can be saved from her perceived "sins" but relishes so much the thought of extracting vengeance from her, if the recent anime episode reflects as such.

As for Buddhism, it may even be linked to Umineko as well. Karma and the entire reincarnation cycle might be seen in the concept of the eternal games, such that the power of reincarnation rests on Beato. Then again, is it for the sake of the eternal victims, for her, or for Battler? Maybe a combinarion of all that? I wanted to elaborate a theory of mine regarding Beato's intentions, especially since your Buddhism analogy is very accutely similar to my central motive theory that I really should get down into actual text, but I can't since you haven't finished episode 4.

Just as much you're Buddhism analogy is a lot of food for thought.
Well I've cut my way through most of Episode 4, having only the Tea Parties to finish (and boy, did the pace of this one get me caught up in it), so go ahead with anything you're withholding. In any case, I'll take a moment with some of this new knowledge gleaned from Episode 4...

Spoiler for Maria in Episode 4:


To address the Buddhist analogy in Umineko, one interesting thing pops up in Episode 4...

Spoiler for Episode 4 new info on the Message in the Bottle:


As for Beato herself... this is quickly going all over and perhaps we should move this to the Episode 4 thread, but I'll have some quick notes here and pre-empt your thoughts, perhaps:
Spoiler for Episode 4 end:
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Old 2009-12-02, 05:43   Link #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vendredi View Post
Well I've cut my way through most of Episode 4, having only the Tea Parties to finish (and boy, did the pace of this one get me caught up in it), so go ahead with anything you're withholding. In any case, I'll take a moment with some of this new knowledge gleaned from Episode 4...

Spoiler for Maria in Episode 4:


To address the Buddhist analogy in Umineko, one interesting thing pops up in Episode 4...

Spoiler for Episode 4 new info on the Message in the Bottle:


As for Beato herself... this is quickly going all over and perhaps we should move this to the Episode 4 thread, but I'll have some quick notes here and pre-empt your thoughts, perhaps:
Spoiler for Episode 4 end:
From this point it is high time that I answer this with my central motives theory, which I will bring out later this week in the game spoilers thread since it has far more room for discussion, but it'll have to wait until my exams finish.
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Old 2010-02-05, 22:25   Link #137
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Can we have a topic for Rosa (Maria's Mom)?
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Old 2010-02-05, 22:30   Link #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abashi View Post
Can we have a topic for Rosa (Maria's Mom)?
Allow me to direct you to this thread:

http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=90603
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Old 2010-02-05, 22:31   Link #139
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Can we have a topic for Rosa (Maria's Mom)?
Even though there's arguably more to say about her than George, Shannon, Bernkastel, and Lambdadelta throughout the first 4 episodes... she's already grouped together with the rest of the adults... so I'm guessing that's a no unfortunately. owo;
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Old 2010-02-06, 09:46   Link #140
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Something that's bothered me:
In Ep. 1, early Oct. 5, when Maria wakes and Rosa isn't in her room, Maria is extremely upset. When she later learns that Rosa is dead, Maria doesn't care that much.
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