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.

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The Final Denouement of the Golden Witch

It has been a long journey so see the conclusion of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. The story started in 2007 and finally concluded with 8 visual novels being released over the course of 4 years with over a dozen extra side stories being release up until the last Comic Market in December. It was a fun journey along the way that allowed me to try and figure out what was real, what was fantasy, and where the truth lied on Rokkenjima in October of 1986. When I finished Requiem of the Golden Witch I was filled with a mixture of hope and dread. The penultimate game was amazingly powerful so that I was hopeful that the end of the series would be just a great but at the same time I was worried that it could not live up to the expectations it had set.

So when Twilight of the Golden Witch came out to some rather negative reviews it was hard to tell if this was part of the normal cycle of Umineko reactions or if it was a horrible ending. The problem was when a new Umineko game came out there was always a flood of spoilers. When everything was sorted out due to fake spoilers and mistranslations there was invariably a negative reaction that the story had gone down the drain. But usually when the translation patch came out most everyone saw the story in whole new light when they actual read the story. But this time that negative feeling did not seem to go away. Many people (including myself) seemed rather frustrated with the ending as provided by the spoilers for a lack of answers. But now that I have finally played the game and seen the ending through I am going to give my spoiler filled thoughts on the ending and the series as a whole. This is a mixture of catharsis and celebration for a pretty wild ride. If you were curious for a simple spoiler free review then it is simply that I do not regret playing this series. Continue reading

Ongoing Investigations: Case #151

I am making my way through Twilight of the Golden Witch, the final chapter of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. As I am still not done I will save my final review for the chapter and the series as a whole for a later date but I do think there is one major fact about the game worth mentioning. When this game was first released the reaction was divisive to say the least. Going mostly on spoilers it seems that there was a very vocal community of people who felt that Ryukishi07 shot the pooch with the ending. I may or not be related but it has taken quite awhile for the English patch of the game to come out. Purposefully or not this might be for the best. It has given people (including myself) sometime to distance themselves from that initial reaction and judge the ending on its own merits outside of the initial hype for the ending and then the backlash when the ending was finally revealed. So far I am enjoying it with some time to divorce myself from the initial reactions. A prime example is the Professor Layton style puzzle section is nowhere near as horrible as it first sounded. It has some of the most powerful scenes if you get the puzzles right. It gives a little insight into how everyone in the family was still a human despite the many horrible things they had done. That is thematically important given how I think they are building up this ending. It does not shy away from the terrible things they have done but if you think anyone there is a complete monster than it makes the ending somewhat disingenuous. I look forward to reading the ending and weighing on the series as a whole now. I think I would have been far more brutal if I did not have some time away from the series. This really shows the benefit of some time away from the gut reaction of a community.

After talking about Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% in my year in review, I decided I’d better watch some more! I watched up through episode 7 which is a good half way point before everyone goes to idol summer camp (oh yes!) and decides on their partners for their final exams. Each episode has focused on one of the guys who through Haruka’s positive attitude helps each feel more confident/find his voice/etc. Of course she isn’t able to melt the frozen heart of Tokiya upon first try but we do learn quite a bit about him and a few secrets are revealed. He gets a lot more attention for the obvious reason that he is the “true path” more than likely in the original game. It continues to be a far-fetched fantasy that knows it. Also the headmaster may appear infrequent but remains entertaining as Norio Wakamoto lends his voice to the bizarre antics. I’m hoping that perhaps they will focus on Haruka’s roommate in an episode but that may be unlikely in a show like this.

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