Summer 2009: Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

I’ve been looking forward to this series since it was announced, and I’m hoping that Studio Deen doesn’t make it into a total hot mess like Higurashi (although I suppose the wonky animation was part of Higurashi’s charm).  The show centers around the Ushiromiya family and their pact with a witch named Beatrice.  She brought wealth to the family in exchange for the family head’s soul, but now the pact is nearing its end and Beatrice will only be satisfied by bloodshed.  The island setting gives a And Then There Were None feeling, but with additional supernatural elements in the same way Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni was portrayed.  The OP isn’t as eerie as Higurashi’s, but it certainly sets up a dramatic effect.  The hardest aspect of this show is the sheer amount of characters that are introduced right away.  It’s probably going to take me a couple of episodes to memorize all of them.  There’s definitely a core group that are the “main” characters, by which I feel that they’ll last the longest through this mystery.  I haven’t played the game, so this is all speculation:

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Battler is the pseudo-narrator of the show and is a high spirited guy who seems pretty confident with his life.  If the opening animation is a clue, it looks like there’ll be a showdown between him and Beatrice.  I’m looking forward to the horror side of things cause I’m already tired of him trying to munch every big boobed woman he sees.

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Jessica and George are Battler’s cousins, and they all seem to get along so they’ll probably stick together when things go south.

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And then we have Battler’s cousin Maria.  Battler describes her as being “pure and cute”.

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Yeah, whatever you say…

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The mansion’s maid, Shanon, is probably the cutest character so far, which probably means she has the highest potential for going batshit crazy.

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Though wtf is going on with her dress?  At first I thought it was a design on the dress, but no, it’s just a crotch window.  Totally practical.  C’mon character designers, let’s keep a little bit of sensibility.

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Oh man, the freakouts and crazy facial expressions are already making me giddy.  It can only get better.

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I’d never advocate striking a child in real life, but I gotta admit I did a golf clap for Rosa, Maria’s mother, when she slapped Maria.  At first I thought Maria’s stupid “Buuu” noise was legitimately supposed to be cute in the same way Rika had “Nipah!” in Higurashi.  It was even more surprising to learn that Maria’s nine years old, yet she acts and talks like a four year old.

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There’s obviously something not normal about Maria, and it’s likely that Beatrice will use her as a vessel or a minion to do evil things.  I’m pretty satisfied with how the series started out, so hopefully Studio Deen can keep up the pace.

I’m not gonna lie, the ending song makes me laugh.  It’s just so over the top, and it makes me think of big haired, makeup wearing visual kei singers.

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3 responses to “Summer 2009: Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

  • Baka-Raptor

    (although I suppose the wonky animation was part of Higurashi’s charm)

    For months I’ve been debating whether to write a post about this. I suppose now is as good a time as any.

  • Veldril

    Shannon design is consistent with the one from the original novel. She need to show her one-winged eagle crest, as it’s a symbol of Ushiromiya family.

  • expoexpo

    I know that showing the crest is important, but I was pointing out the location. I doubt that it had to be on her upper thigh.

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