…there is one survivor.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
So if it wasn’t clear enough from EP2, EP3 will definitely convince you that Umineko is a completely different beast from Higurashi. We begin with a look into the past with the revelation of the existence of Kuwadorian and someone who’s actually named Beatrice as well as Rosa’s confirmation of this fact. We also take a look inside Eva’s ambitions and how this plays a part in 1986 Rokkenjima.
The exciting parts of this episode during the actual twilights were decent. Both Beato vs. Virgilia and Rudolf/Kyrie vs. Stakes were a bit short. All of the important good parts were kept, of course, but the extra stuff that really sealed the deal was absent. The depiction of Evatrice’s carrying out of the second twilight was one of the more disappointing parts of EP3. The visual novel was able to render it much more nightmarish than in the anime. The anime’s offering was also a lot weaker than what we all imagined. When they said sea of jelly and mountain of cake, I think that was what we were expecting to see.
But the most important part of the Episode was the ending. How well did it do on that front?
I felt like the ambiguity of who died and who survived shouldn’t have been there (yes, Eva was the only who survived). The buildup from the beginning of the episode was fairly well done. From the looks of my feed reader, Beatrice did her job and masterfully trolled everyone. Ange’s introduction was pretty good, although it could have been foreshadowed better (like mentioned once in a while over the last three Episodes rather than have a flashback the episode before). I’m not sure about the choice of forgoing more EP3 Tea Party stuff for going straight into EP4 material. I suspect that they wanted to clear up who died and who the mysterious girl was, but from the discussions I’ve read, it seemed to make little difference.
The main problem with the adaptation is that it hasn’t managed to convey the depth and richness of the visual novel’s storytelling. This is for two reasons. The first is that there simply isn’t enough time. At the moment, I think that they’re doing the best that they can, leaving in all of the important stuff. That’s good, but it’s all of the small details that get paved over that really makes Umineko fantastic and I think that another twelve or thirteen episodes would have given enough time for the studio to include even small, incidental stuff. I’m not saying that it needs to be one-to-one, but the selection of material to adapt can definitely improve.
The other thing is that I just don’t think DEEN is good enough to render an adaptation that matches up to what we see in our heads when we read the VN. All of the awesome parts of the visual novel so far have been good in spite of the adaptation. However, for every single one of these moments, there’s always something lacking in the execution.