I’ll say it in red: Umineko no Naku Koro ni is awesome.
So I haven’t watched or read anything in the past few weeks because I’ve been busy going through Umineko no Naku Koro ni episodes 1 to 4.
I really liked the Higurashi anime, so I was super excited to discover that Umineko was being made into an anime as well. Of course, I’d heard nothing but good about the Umineko sound novel, but I never thought to play them until pretty recently. The reason for this was because I played through act 1 of Katawa Shoujo, which made me want to try out other visual novels. The other reason was that I discovered that ONScripter can be run on a Mac.
To be honest, EP1 started off really slow, having to introduce and set up the massive initial cast and all. Even when things started to get rolling, by the end of EP1, I felt like it was alright, but it was nothing mind-blowing yet. Of course, that’s because EP1 really is a setup for everything that follows.
And the episodes that follow really deliver. As expected, they’re able to develop the characters that we were given from EP1, but each episode really does a lot expand the world and the story. I would liken some of the reveals to be like in Gurren Lagann, when we find out what we’ve seen so far is a small part of a much larger picture.
Working through each episode, you can see more and more of the influences from Higurashi. The brutality and the true nature of the story ramps up and goes far past Higurashi levels very quickly. And even though it’s not a sequel to Higurashi, there are a few familiar faces, although not in the way you’d expect.
I’m pretty glad that I decided to play through these instead of waiting for the anime. Even with the crappy drawings (yeah, they really are) and very little animation, the text and the music are able to deliver some really powerful moments. And because of the sheer amounts of text, it’s probably impossible to adapt without losing a lot.
If you can, you should definitely play it. The anime can work, but it’s a much shakier prospect than the games. And if you do, you’ll be treated to an epic horror/psychological murder-mystery, a grand battle between anti-mystery and anti-fantasy, that has no peer and is unlike anything else.
When the seagulls cry, there are no survivors.