2 Guys & a Mic and the Dread of the Grave

hisui_icon_4040 I proclaim that Alain Mendez (aka Hisui) is the detective. The detective is not the culprit. No proof is needed to show this.

I recently listened to the podcast review on the 2 Guys and a Mic podcast of the Umineko no Naku Koro ni anime. It was a good review but Jahmere and Mike only watched the anime. That is not a crime. An anime should be able to stand on its audience needing to lean on supplemental material or the original source product. The anime leaves out some major plot points and explanations so it makes sense they were a bit confused at points.

There is a distinct reason that the anime has the bad reputation it does.

In hopes of shedding a little light on the situation I decided to throw out some blue and red statements to clear up some things.

There is no way to play the original visual novels without being a dirty pirate.

You can actually play the officially recognized fan translations of Umineko.

Ryukishi07, the author of Umineko, has endorsed the fan translation of his game. All that he asks is that anyone who uses it pays for a download of the game provided in the links on the Witch Hunt page. You can also go here to get a patch that adds the PS3 sprites and voices from the Alchemist version of the game. That might be the best way to play the game as it goes from real armature art to something a bit more pleasing. Just look at the original opening to Alliance of the Golden Witch and the fan made opening with PS3 sprites.

You can always just read the manga being released by Yen Press like they mentioned in the podcast. That is less wordy than the sound novels but more substantial than the anime.

You have to play Higurashi to understand Umineko.

You don’t have to have experienced Higurashi to grok Umineko. They are set in the same universe and at times a certain mindset created by playing Higurashi will help with Umineko. Other times it will let you get some inside jokes. But occasionally there are some traps that specifically target those who know Higurashi.

It will mostly help in the respect that people who know the whole Higurashi story will be used to unreliable narrators and separating fantasy from reality (especially when they start to blur.) It is not necessary but playing Higurashi will help put you in the frame of mind.

But at times certain characters will act very differently than you might suspect when you first meet them. It is very easy to mistake nasty people as stand up allies if you only think of their Higurashi incarnations.

Also Nano Desu.

It is far too easy to get lost in the chessboard vs. real world dynamic. 

That is correct.

There are multiple layers of Umineko. There is the high level fantasy world were witches are real and magic can do the impossible. There is the mundane world of Rokkenjima without any of the magic. The problem is that they often switch back and forth with only a few clues like golden butterflies being used to show when things are real or just fantasy scenes. If you take the fantasy scenes at face value it is easy to get confused.

Fantasy scenes are usually metaphors for figuring out what happened. Death by the The Seven Stakes of Purgatory usually represent some sort of melee death while being killed by a Chiester Sisters usually means the person was actually shot. You can’t just assume what you see is what you get. Taking things at face value will either get you confused or miss what is really going on.

Also on a meta level the Fantasy scenes are also there to make the mystery a bit harder to figure out. If you just saw four mundane mysteries with locked room puzzles I think the mastermind would be far simpler to discover. The fantasy makes everything hard for Battler and the audience. It also adds a cool spice to the series.

The original story makes a bigger deal about trying to get the reader to figure out the puzzle beyond the initial window dressing. But the anime adaptation of Higurashi made the same mistake.

Just remember only the red text is 100% guaranteed. And it is often deliberately misleading.

Also some people even theorize there is a third deeper layer below the other two. Your mileage may vary on that theory.

The bible quotes are pure nonsense.

They are supposed to be odd perversions and misinterpretations.

First of all a lot of occult practices take biblical texts and practices and put their own slant on them. Just look at Beatrice’s demon furniture. Ronove and Gaap are both demons from the The Lesser Key of Solomon (not to be confused with Solomon’s Key.) While Solomon is clearly from the bible, the book in question is hardly a canonical church text. In fact a lot of the magical parts of the series are based on passages from the Lesser Key of Solomon.

Also there are distinctly different levels of quality of magic in the series. It is not always the same person making these weird occult symbols and and references. The level of authenticity of a magical symbol is often a sign of who is writing what and why.

Just consider me knowing this the result of me playing table top RPGs for over a decade and having an interest in the occult for even longer.

I can’t believe they never talked about this music!

My only real criticism about the review is they never talked about the music of the series. If you remember nothing else about the series it should be the soundtrack. Songs like Mortal Stampede, Answer, and Happiness of Marionette stand out among many great pieces of background music. The opening song, Katayoku no Tori, stands equally with the other songs used to open sounds novels. But the review is really long so I understand why everything could not be discussed in minute detail.

I hope that made things a little clearer. I would have normally just left a comment on Anime 3000 but then I would not get a post out of it. Plus now I can use red and blue text.

And maybe even a Golden Truth: Small Bombs was never supposed to be a good defense.

– Alain

<Die the death>! <Sentence to death>!!<Great equalizer is the death>!!

3 thoughts on “2 Guys & a Mic and the Dread of the Grave

  1. Shay Guy (@shay_guy) says:

    There was one fanfic, written pre-EP6, that proposed a Grand Unified Theory explaining the mysteries of the preceding episodes. Turned out to be nowhere near the mark (if the spoilers I’ve heard are anywhere near accurate, specifically as regards Characters A and B secretly being the same), but it got chutzpah points from me just for actually including small bombs as part of the theory.

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