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Old 2007-09-07, 14:44   Link #57
Sushi-Y
湯音カワユス~
*Scanlator
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Canada
Age: 32
After scraping for time for weeks, I finally managed to finish the first episode.

The premise of the story itself is great, although the setting began to feel a little claustrophobic to me halfway through, seeing as how the entire story takes place in a very small and confined area. I guess the feeling of openness and relaxation offered by Hinamizawa in Higurashi must've spoiled me and left me a little unprepared for Rokkenjima's enclosed and tense environment.

Like many others, the characters appeared somewhat eccentric to me when their designs were first revealed (some even said that the Higurashi characters were drawn better). As I played through the game though, I was once again reminded of how skilled Ryukishi07 is with character development. Unlike some other games, where the characters remain flat and stereotypical, Umineko's characters are round, each revealing many different sides in their personalities, and clearly displays growth in response to story events. This immediately made them much more likable to me. Battler is probably a prime example of how a character changes and grows throughout the story.

My favorite characters remain Battler, Shannon, Natsuhi, and *gasp* Genji. Jessica appeared to be a tomboyish bratty girl to me throughout the whole story, although we saw her tsundere potential when she gave her mom the scorpion bracelet.
Natsuhi is a 病弱 character, a pretty good moe property, although I highly doubt we'll see her in any moe/love situations. Still, I like her for her modest and honest personality.
Genji is just filled with that 渋いness, I love him.
Maria doesn't appeal to me because other than some novelty in her character (a dark side, knowledge in black magic, unique speech style), she really is just a kid. Her absolute trust in Beatrice's reward has made her unlikable to the other characters during the story, and to those people who are trying to find a logical explanation as well. I'm sorry to Maria-lovers, but I cheered when Battler clunked her.

The musics were beautiful, there's nothing more to say about them. The tracks played near the end were especially memorable (dead angle hit the right spot for me as an endgame track, Worldend and Bring the Fate both sound incredible), other tracks such as Hope, 白い影, 薔薇... I love them all.

As for the mystery itself, I was pretty content with just going along with the flow of the story, and halfway through the game I was already compelled to side with the witch-believers since there were just too many things that cannot be explained. However, if we were to explore the possibilities, then it's pretty much endless.

Of course, I assume that not everything we saw in the game are real (that is, some of the supernatural scenes are not what they appear, but has logical explanations). Beatrice's appearance during the tea party and her demonstration hopefully counts as a "if Beatrice really existed, this is how everything could've been explained" thing. (btw, Beatrice looked better than any other character in the game to me )

Still, the hidden tea party also gave us some of the most important hints regarding Beatrice. I suppose this made the game much more like Higurashi in terms of the existence of "rules governing the story".

Oh, and Rik- I mean Bernkastel was scary.

Like Level E said, if we were to pin this on a human, then we must look at who is clearly dead and who's not.
Spoiler:

Anyway, I'm refraining from too much thinking, since Ryukishi07 always manage to one-up my expectations. I'm looking forward to reading the second episode. ^^
Sushi-Y is offline