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Weekly Poll Winner: Umineko No Naku Koro Ni

November 14, 2009

This Week’s Poll was: Which Anime is the best so far this season?The Winner: Umineko No Naku Koro Ni

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (うみねこのなく頃に “When the Seagulls Cry“) is a Japanese murder mystery that takes place primarily in the year 1986, during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a small, secluded island named Rokkenjima (六軒島?) 10 km around owned and lived on by Kinzo, the head of the wealthy Ushiromiya family. Kinzo is near death, and eight of his family members arrive on the island for the annual family conference, where the adults plan to discuss how Kinzo’s assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are three family members who live there, five of Kinzo’s servants, and his personal physician. After the eight family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island, and shortly after, strange things start to happen and people start dying.

Umineko-No-Naku-Koro-Ni_Wallpaper

The main character of the story is Battler Ushiromiya, son of Kinzo’s second son Rudolf. Battler has not been to the annual Ushiromiya conference in six years due to living with his maternal grandparents ever since his mother Asumu died, and even took his mother’s maiden name instead of Ushiromiya. When his grandparents died, he went back to living with his father, his second wife Kyrie, and their daughter Ange, his half-sister. Once on the island, Battler once again becomes acquainted with the legend of the golden witch Beatrice who supposedly lives in the naturally dense forest on Rokkenjima. A portrait of her lies in the entrance hall of the Ushiromiya family mansion, and a puzzling epitaph is written below the portrait. Rumor has it on the island that Beatrice gave ten tons of gold to Kinzo in the past to restart the Ushiromiya family after being crippled in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. It is said that whoever solves the riddle of the witch’s epitaph will receive the gold and be the next successor to the Ushiromiya family.

Once the typhoon hits, a ghastly game begins, starting with the murder of six people on the island. If the witch’s epitaph cannot be solved, people will continue to die in mysterious deaths, following the outline given by the epitaph itself, until the witch Beatrice ultimately revives. After this comes to pass, Battler is the only one left alive who does not believe in witches or magic, and as such the door to the “golden land” (as stipulated on the epitaph) cannot be opened. Beatrice takes Battler and herself to a parallel dimension, Purgatorio, which is able to oversee events on Rokkenjima. From this point on, Battler and Beatrice are locked in a game of twisted logic where Battler must attempt to explain all of the mysterious events on Rokkenjima from the standpoint that they are caused by a human, and Beatrice attempts to explain everything with witches and magic. One of the recurring motifs is use of the locked room mystery, and several logical arguments are presented to explain the mysteries including the devil’s proof, the raven paradox, and Schrödinger’s cat. If Beatrice can get Battler to ultimately surrender and accept witches and magic, Beatrice wins.

The Umineko no Naku Koro ni animated television series is based on the sound novel series of the same name by the Japanese dōjin soft maker 07th Expansion. The episodes, produced by Studio Deen, are directed by Chiaki Kon, written by Toshifumi Kawase, and features character design by Yoko Kikuchi who based the designs on Ryukishi07’s original concept, who also wrote the original story. The story focuses on a group of eighteen people on a secluded island for a period of two days, and the mysterious murders that befall most of the people. The episodes began airing in Japan on July 2, 2009 on the Chiba TV broadcasting network and will air on additional stations at later times. As of now, 20 episodes of Umineko have been released. There is to be 2 episodes with six chapters throught the anime.

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13 comments

  1. Story – The story is great. I love how everything fits into place at some point. The anime is following the game’s story fairly well, some things were left out, but no big deal.
    Art – The art, at a first look, I would rate it an 9. Very well done, but not the greatest. Once you start to watch the anime and game more, the way everything is designed fades, but still maintains a good level.


  2. Umineko IS MOST DEFINITELY the BEST anime this season by a long shot! I love this show! The plot is great and I absolutely love the music.


  3. Umineko is an outstanding anime. But it has a serious problem: IT IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK AT THE FIRST GLANCE.
    If you are expecting a standard murder mystery, IT IS NOT. If you are expecting an other Higurashi, IT IS NOT.
    The author of both Higurashi and Umineko, Ryuukishi07, seems to have a hobby of throwing crazy stuff at the face of his readers. And in Umineko, he threw A LOT.


  4. I am totally hooked on this!! I would describe it as a loose detective-like almost Pheonix Wright with gore and a psycho little girl who is absolutely adorable.


  5. I personally like this anime very much. It throws a ton of ‘WTF?!’ moments at the reader/watcher but as you watch, you slowly get used to it. The characters aren’t incredibly well developed but most are very like-able. The antagonists are fun to hate and like as well, making it a good discussion with a friend or someone you know who watches it.


  6. Agreed! Umineko has become one of my top favorites. I think the thing I love most about it, is the fact that it is so confusing that it actually makes you think.


  7. Umineko No Naku Koro Ni has great suspense and is amazing and the gore scenes are magnificent.

    You should definitely watch it, because it’s rare when we are given such an awesome production.


  8. When i first started watching this series I just wanted something to watch so I was not expecting anything from it. But after watching the first two episodes I was like WOW this is good. If you like mystery and psychological stories with a mixture of gore and violence then this series is for you.


  9. This anime was GREAT for the first ten or so episodes… then it was AWESOME!! However, I must say that if you do not like to be confused/wtf? then this isn’t for you. But its a great series overall.


  10. Great anime! the thing with this anime is that you have to pay close attention to all the little details to discover who the murderer is and your probably gonna have to rewatch some episodes to fully get it if u want to discover who the killer is for yourself.


  11. I love Umineko No Naku Koro Ni! Watch it people it is truly the best!


  12. When I first saw the character design I thought that It would be something for kids, specially when I noticed that the main character is behaving so strangely. However, now I say that is so not true. The scenes can be brutal and the overall story is great!


  13. Yeah I can say the same best season anime for me too.
    The problem of this series is that if you dont like to think that’s not your anime.

    You need to think a lot in order to understand what’s happening.



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