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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Top 5 Characters that Need to be Added to Ougon Musou Kyoku

The Umineko fighting game, Ougon Musou Kyoku has been steadily adding characters to its roster with in upgrades and patches. Even the recently added Ougon Musou Kyoku Cross added three characters upon its release and promises three more sometime this year. Despite the fact that we have the most important addition on the way in the form of Lambdadelta there are still a few characters that are sorely missing.

5. Eva Ushiromiya: She is a trained martial artist. She could not be that hard to throw into the game. You need more traditional Kung Fu fighters anyway.
4. Juza Amakusa: A mercenary makes for another good addition to the roster.  His sniper rile is clearly his big finisher. Plus you have to get some more testosterone up in the selection.
3. Maria Ushiromiya: While normal Maria would just be a gag character her witch persona would clearly make a valuable addition. The many ways of killing her mother is a whole move set in itself.
2. Gaap: A busty blond in a skimpy red outfit screams to be added on visual aesthetics alone.  Plus she too knows martial arts and can teleport. The only problem maybe keeping a degree of modesty with her flipping around in that outfit.
1. Kinzo Ushiromiya/Goldsmith : Another magical character just begging to be added. Plus he looks like Sean Connery. I would not put it past Kinzo to show up in the game.
0. As a bonus choice I am also throwing out anyone from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: While they are technically not from Umienko they are in the same universe and I don’t think anyone would mind them showing up. Rena and her cleaver or Keiichi and his bat would easily make fans happy.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #111

Since the 7th game of Umineko is so game changing I am going to try to just discuss the essence of the episode without giving away major spoilers especially for people who read the blog but are a few games behind. The two new characters seen in the portrait above are Willard H Wright and Lion Ushiromiya. Lion is a fascinating character that is essentially several huge reveals just by existing. Will is the Battler stand in for this chapter and I thought his big entrance was fairly entertaining and cool. Lion and Will’s interaction is playful although all the butt pinching going on has solidified that they will be shipped forever. When we get into the meat of the story we learn Kinzo’s back story, the identity of Beatrice, Battler’s sin, get some hits as to the solutions to some of the locked room mysteries, and the probable confirmation of one of the mostly hotly debated theories in the series. We also get some powerful scenes that I thought were quite moving. Also unless we are being misled there is some seriously twisted relationships in Umineko and the people involved do not realize are as twisted as they are.  It probably makes me a weenie but I found parts of the end of Requiem of the Golden Witch really hard to read. If you have come to love these characters the last chapter is brutal. Although how authentic how authentic that ending is has yet to be seen.  When the last game comes out I will probably do a total spoiler filled review of the series a whole but until then I just have to wait to see what answers 2011 finally gives us with Twilight of the Golden Witch.

I picked up How to Train Your Dragon in a Black Friday sale but didn’t get around to watching it till the Christmas holidays. The animation of the film really stands out, especially from some of the other Dreamworks properties, it was lush and gorgeous; the dragons were very animated and their designs were quirky; plus the flying scenes were breath-taking. The story is a simple one of trying to fit in to your dragon-killing village of vikings (we’ve all been there, right?) but Hiccup is much happier inventing things which often gets him into trouble. After one of his inventions actually works and takes down a rare dragon, their fates become intertwined when he realizes he can’t bring himself to hurt the creature. This story has a classic feel of acceptance, growing up, and having the bravery to do what is right. While I did find the relationships between Hiccup and the other kids a little too easier resolved, it was enough. I found it a very enjoyable ride! After seeing it, I do imagine it will be an Oscar contender this year. Continue reading