Umineko is more than just a story…

Art by hanokage

Spoiler warning.

This post is a reflection, an introspection, a freeform rambling, and a conclusion.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that knows me that I LOVE Umineko no Naku Koro ni. I’m a fan of all Otaku culture, but my love for Umineko isn’t the same as my love for the others. It’s almost a different kind of love, like an affinity. My love for Umineko isn’t because I’m a fan of Anime and Visual Novels, it’s only through that medium that I came to know of Umineko. Umineko, in my eyes, transcends the medium of Otaku culture and exists in a dimension of its own. It isn’t just another story to me – it might just be THE story. The story I was always destined to read. People say that some people are destined for each other, that their encounter is fated to happen, like they’re meant to be together. This is almost how I feel toward Umineko, a work of fiction by visual novel writer and creator Ryukishi07. It’s gotten to the point where I find it difficult to imagine my life having never read it. It’s that important to me. You see, Umineko quite literally changed my life. There’s no particular incident I can think of that might have ended differently had I never read Umineko, but it’s changed the way I perceive the world, how I live. I can’t say that for many things in my life, but when I do, I mean it. Umineko is less comparable to a story to me, and more like a bible. The characters and themes are an inseparable part of me. Whenever I see things in the world, I am reminded of themes in Umineko, and what Umineko had to teach me about the world.

Art by miyuki

My experiences with Umineko began shortly after I finished watching the then amazing Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Anime series, and wanted to look into more of his works. Introducing Umineko no Naku Koro ni: a newly created series of Visual Novels that, as it turned out, would soon be getting an Anime adaptation. Well, we all know how that turned out, but even so, I really got into it. It was a cool story with a very unique premise, it was just poorly presented and left a lot of unanswered questions. So, interested to see the true story that everyone told me to read, I took a glance at the Umineko no Naku Koro ni Visual Novels. What lead was an unmatched fascination that got to the point that I was watching Rosa protecting her daughter from hoards of carnivorous goat-men the night before my final biology exam. Yeah, probably not the best choice, but it really exemplifies how hard I had fallen for this series of extraordinary stories.

Art by vanilla 1000

Umineko is a mystery story. Like all great mysteries, it portrays a scene of perfectly ordinary people, people who each holds deep burdens in their life, burdens which could potentially drive any one of them to commit a mass murder. It is a story of how friends and family are murdered in front of you, by someone you still believe you can trust. It’s a story of people questioning the foundations of their relationships with others, to survive, and hurting others in the process. And, it is a story about fear, the type of restricting fear that can cause you to abandon the foundations of your very reality, and start believing in the impossible. It’s a story where the boundaries between possible and impossible begin to twist and blur, and even the most impossible things can become possible. A cut-off world where a life of loving trust can be destroyed by one twisted truth, and also a world where an impossible and inconceivable love can be born in a world of inescapable horror and tragedy. It’s this twisted world, painted with an incomprehensible web of conflicting truths, where the true beauty of life remains hidden under its cold, menacing appearance.

Art by ichiyoshi

It’s something only those who have read and understood the story can possibly understand. Each of the characters has been perfectly imprinted into my mind. I lived with these characters and their stories for a few years, with the release of each successive episode adding more layers of depth and complexity to the story, and the characters themselves. When it gets to the point that you’re reading a story about someone reading a story to someone about someone playing a game about a series of murders which were communicated through a series of letters in bottles and brought to the attention of the world, and mixed up with forgeries written by the woman who was having the story of the game read to her, you know you’ve hit something amazing. It’s an endlessly recursive ladder of fictional layers, mysteries within grander mysteries. And with each layer, it’s own characters and stories to tell of. Unravelling this endless spiral of mysteries is the fun part of Umineko for me, something I’ve engaged in endless debate over with my different contacts across the internet. Trying to unravel the mysteries of a fictional universe, while trying to understand the characters within it, to better understand the true meaning of the story. It’s all such a delight, and something I never get tired of.

As I keep mentioning, it all keeps coming back to the characters. The characters, even though the story has ended, have remained immortalised in my mind. Every time I see a child try their best to create happiness with their imagination, I am reminded of Maria. Every time I see those with great financial ambitions, I am reminded of the siblings. I see George in every rebellious lover, I see Jessica in every teen pressured by their parents to be something they’re not, I see Kinzo’s madness in the hearts of everyone with a deep passion, I see Natushi’s dedication reflected in strong mothers and housewives. I see Kanon in the self-questioning youths, I see Gohda’s love for cooking in every meal lovingly made by my family, Kumasawa’s caring nature in every loving grandparent, and Battler’s foolhardy yet well-wishing demeanor in every class clown.

Art by feesh

And then there’s entities of illusion, the demons and witches that bleed into the closed island of Rokkenjima through an unseen world. The beings which embody concepts and ideas of our world, the creatures of imagination, permitted to exist in this world where anything is impossible. Were these beings to exist in the real world, they would perish under the toxin that is human rationality. When all the basic paradigms that make up our existence are shattered in the dark of night, these beings will come, and take over our world. Even these characters have left their imprint on my mind, where I allow them to exist. Ronove’s peerless fortitude in the face of any adversity, Virgilia’s compassionate guidance, the goats, Ange, and Erika, which all reflect the cold, uncompassionate individuals we can become out of our relentless hunger for truth. I think of Gaap every time something disappears from my room, I think of eiserne jungfrau whenever I see people remaining dutifully loyal to a cause they may have trouble accepting, Lion whenever I see someone coping with a misaligned gender, and also whenever I see someone who is truly thankful for their incredible fortune.

Art by Taishi

Will’s peerless chivalry and unrivaled desire to never stop fighting for the sake of love, and his compassionate attention to the hearts of others inspires me deeply, and continue to motivate me to this day. He represents my ideal, the kind of person I aspire to be like. Lambdadelta’s flippant attitude after living for an eternity intrigues me, and her interest and curiosity in the lives of humans reminds me just how special humanity can be. Contrasting that, Bernkastel is no less than a rapist who takes the utmost pleasure in ripping apart everything she encounters, including toying with humans and disgracing them for her amusement. She, who may have once been a human full of hopes and dreams like us, represents the most terrifying potential in every one of us. And I see Beatrice, the golden witch, in every poor person who is unable to understand her own feelings, and desperately tries expresses them in the most erratic and incomprehensible ways.

Beatrice’s tale, and the tales of many others in the world of Umineko, are the tales of the people we meet in our daily lives, brought to life. Sometimes these tales reflect the darkest parts of ourselves, but they also reflect what makes humanity and the world so beautiful. Seeing Battler surrender to the witch in Episode 2 may highlight his weakness, but it also shows how much he cares for and trusts others. Rosa’s relationship with Maria may highlight the cruelest of parent-child relationships, but before the end, we see that even she can wake up to her own madness and truly love her child. Eva herself is capable of killing everyone, and becomes an enemy to Ange, but she could have been putting on that act all those years just to protect her. Without love, it cannot be seen. Umineko illuminates that, by having love, and by trying to understand the hearts of others, we can lead better lives and be better people. It may end in tragedy, or it may end with no answers at all, but leading that kind of life can’t be a bad thing. That’s just one of the many answers I’ve come to as a reader of Umineko.

Art by pekopekotaro

Through the other door, is the side of those who pursue the truth. One fundamental trait of humanity is our endless curiosity. We want to know everything there is to know. It doesn’t feel natural for things to be left unknown, for questions to be unanswered. Only when questions are answered do we feel satisfied, or so we believe. Many people are unable to contain their curiosity, the types that will skip to the end of the story just to find out who the culprit is. Umineko was not written for those people; Umineko is a story where you can only come to an answer yourself. But there are many, many people who play the role of detective themself, and try to reach the truth through their own hands. While this pursuit is noble, and to engage in the game of truth-hunting is fun, I believe Ryukishi meant to tell us that we cannot let our curiosity get in the way of more important things. The truth of what really happened on Rokkenjima will never be closed, and so infinite possibilities continue to exist. But trying to solve that mystery is not the point of Umineko. People are free to construct their own realities for as long as they wish, but I believe coming to an answer will only leave the detective with a sense of dread. Because, to form an idea of the culprit, one must incriminate one of the people we’ve come to know and love. We are free to theorize, but it’s not necessary. The game boards of Umineko are the frosting on the cake, and the extra layers of the story are perhaps the cake itself. The reality of Rokkenjima is the plate the cake is served on. We are not invited to eat any more than the cake, and to do so will probably only hurt your teeth.

At least, this is the conclusion I have reached.

Exploring the ocean of fragments has broadened my perception of the universe. Not only have I gained such a deeper understanding and appreciation of human nature, but I’ve come to some conclusions about the nature of existence and reality. If anything, Umineko’s depiction of worlds beyond our human existence is more believable than most religions I’ve heard of. The cat box of Rokkenjima has further opened my eyes to the concept of infinite universes, endless possibilities, both within our world and even possibly beyond. The idea that when I die, I depart from the game board of life, is more believable to me than a concept of heaven or hell. I was quite literal when I said Umineko is like a bible to me. It’s further opened my mind to the idea that our consciousness can transcend our physical bodies, and exist in a realm of thought. These are all pretty new-age pseudo-spiritual ideas, but they’re a big part of my belief system, which has only been further reshaped and reinforced by Umineko. Even if witches and magic doesn’t exist in this world, who’s to say it doesn’t exist outside of our world? Anything is possible – there is no such thing as red truth in our world. And of course, these kinds of fantastical philosophical concepts are things I’m free to imagine. The canvas is my mind, I can paint whatever I want in it, and I trust that others won’t play Bernkastel and try to trample on the golden truths I’ve constructed for my own self.

Art by riko

Umineko has taught me so much. It’s taught me valuable life lessons, it’s taught me philosophy, ethics, how to solve a mystery, how to expand my fantasies, it’s taught me how to treat different kinds of people, to respect their heart, to view the world with love, to seek the truth, but not too zealously. It’s taught me the value of never giving up, taught me the horrible unforeseen consequences our actions can hold, and how to avoid them. It’s taught me that there may be many things that exist beyond our limited human experience, it’s taught me not to believe everything I see, and it’s taught me a whole new way of utilizing logic and reasoning as incredibly powerful tools. Umineko has helped me understand exactly what is important to me, and what I should fight for. There’s just so much you can get from Umineko, and I’m sure everyone who reads it will get something different. It would take me an eternity to list all the things that Umineko has given me, but I think I’m able to give everyone a glimpse of just why it means so much to me – why it’s more to me than just a book, why it’s the story that I’ll likely hold dear to my heart for many, many years.

Art by kazune

Even though the story is over, and the characters put to rest, Umineko will continue to remain a part of who I am. It’s helped me find myself and my place in the world in so many ways – it’s almost shocking how much of an influence it’s had on me. Ryukishi is an unrecognized modern-day genius, and I am so thankful that he was able to impart so much of his precious wisdom onto me, and to all the people who have had the pleasure of experiencing Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It’s by far one of the most entertaining reads I’ve ever had, and being a part of the fandom has been truly rewarding. I’ve even made a lot of friends through people who love Umineko as much as I do! Trying to unravel the plot with everyone has been an amazing experience, and even now I still get in the occasional truth battle with a friend over some of Umineko’s unanswered questions. And every time I listen to its INCREDIBLE soundtrack, I think back to all the amazing memories I’ve had with this game. It’s not just a story… It’s an experience that sticks with you wherever you go.

My last wish, before putting this game board to rest, is that more people take the time to experience Umineko no Naku Koro ni. I want to introduce as many people as I can to Umineko, in the hopes that they’ll get even a fragment as much out of it as I did. I will continue to make it my mission to induct people into the world of Umineko. This will be my continued effort, as a fan of this work. This is something that can’t remain unread – it’s something that people everywhere should give a chance. Escape from the medium of the Visual Novel, you’re a literary masterpiece Umineko, and I want everyone to be able to realize it too.

Thank you, Umineko. Thank you for everything.

About Aspirety

Australian J-geek with a passion for Gaming and Writing. Psychology student, Nintendo/Key/Ryukishi07 fan.
This entry was posted in Musings, Reflection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Umineko is more than just a story…

  1. Keriaku says:

    This was a very wonderful read, thank you. It mirrors almost all of my feelings towards Umineko so perfectly. Umineko is a truly special experience, which will also stay as a part of me forever.

  2. Ritsuioko23 says:

    I’m gla you love Umineko so much. This was a great read too.

  3. Yuuhi says:

    Damn. If Umineko no Naku Koro ni is even HALF as good as your post, I think I will be blown away. This post was such a fantastic read and thank you for introducing me to something that I am really looking forward to trying out!

  4. isteye says:

    It’s always a pleasure to meet people with such a vision of the world, both real and Umineko’s. A really enjoyable read indeed, it was as if I had magically found almost all of my thoughts written in here.

    The world would be a bit better place if stories and values as those of Umineko reached more souls.

  5. Cchan says:

    Umineko had been the most enjoyable fandom I’ve ever been yet it still deems difficult to describe to me. Your description of this unique VN is just full of wonderful feelings. Umineko had explored a whole different genre and a whole new level of reasoning and story-telling. I’ll never forget this VN.

    Thank you for this wonderful post. You just made Umineko more beautiful.

  6. revan says:

    Wow. I just recently read the VN and this is pretty much the conclusion I came to as well. I am glad to know I am not alone in this. Ryukishi07 is indeed a genius for being able to pass such a message. I persistently used to seek the truth before reading Umineko, but now I know that doing such a thing is not always the most important. So, my fellow Umineko fans, let us do our best to create our Mariage Sorciere πŸ˜‰

  7. Nack410 says:

    Beautiful. I agree with you on everything!

    By the way, read Higurashi if you haven’t done it yet. The anime adaptation may be able to reach your heart, but it was a complete bastardization of the original work (which will be somewhat boring to read because you are already spoiled by the anime). It’s worth it, really.

    And don’t forget Saikoroshi-hen aka Rei aka EP9, it’s the beautiful epilogue where Bernkastel was born~

  8. Umineko is truly a masterpiece. But I think all visual novels should be treated as books and not as games. There are so many brilliant things out there.

    The also first fell into the world of Higurashi, which blew me away and then fell into Umineko.
    Both stories are very different, and amazing in their own ways. I can not say one is better than the other as they are both so unique. The thing I got from both stories, however, was that at first although something in it may appear to be unrealistic or impossible, the tale later proves otherwise without ruining any of the magic that it created in its wake. I find this whole proving that the impossible can be done thing absolutely mind-blowing.
    I fell in love with each of the character along the way, even those who first appeared shady.
    I completely agree with your interpretation of this wonder. How I would love to sit down for even one hour at a dinner table with Ryukishi07. The concepts I may hear and the way my mind may change!

    P.S.
    I actually plan on cosplaying Beatrice at Supanova either this year or next year.
    I’m also a 1991 born Australian novel writer in the making. ^_^

  9. Alejandro says:

    Wonderful, you made my day. I love Umnineko to, it just an amazing history. From Venezuela, cheers to all Umineko’s fans.

  10. Anon-kun says:

    It’s great that I can read something that I can relate my love for Umineko to. Thank you for taking your time to type in all this.It really made my day.

  11. KarasuInoue says:

    There’s an almond in my slice of cake. Ain’t nothing ever gonna change that truth!

  12. Love is all... says:

    Umineko is definetly more than an anime or game, this series had also define myself just by watching it and by hearing its music, actually this is probably the only music that I like, I think that the genere is neoclasical dark wave, also this series make me loved the mystery genere in general because back then I was in no interest of it. Its curious how Umineko make me lost the interest in all the mainstream overrated anime like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, Fairy Tail, you know why? Because their only fort its only about fighting and fighting and more senseless fighting, I hate it, this generic gaints deserve no praising and I also hate the fact of how Umineko and the other Ryukishi’s Novels are underrated compare to these trash, not fair at all. I other words I really dispise the action fighting animes with simple plots like those, by the way, all of those series have the worst flat characters i’ve ever seen. I want be sincere, Umineko really puts me in a sentimental state and as a existentialist this series is compatible with my ego, none of the other series had make me think like this because they are not special for me. I applaude to the masterpiece of work that Ryukishi07 created and feel his pure sincerity of this series, it was not just for money it was for its messaje, you are a special guy not like other producers and their greed. Thanks for teaching me the way you see life, even though I haven’t finish it yet. Im still in Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru EP 5 “end of the golden witch”, im watching both VN and manga and im very exited at this point of the story, best wishes and miracles to all Umineko fans and to Ryukishi’s family and himself of course. IT’S PERFECTO!!! β™ͺ( Β΄β–½ο½€)

    • I have to agree with you on the music and even commend you for liking it. It’s not in many people’s tastes. The Shikata Akiko’s vocals are amazing as I have been inspired by them for years now and I’m surprised you know the genre. It’s not very universally known.
      But all this is the world of doujin where people can freely express their ideas without the restraints of selling likelihood or popular themes. The artists make what they want, how they want it and people still voluntarily fall in love with their works. This is exactly the way I want to be with my creations. ^_^

      • Love is all... says:

        Yeah, I really know that, Akiko Shikata is also my favorite singer alongside with Kanon Wakashima, Eiko Shimamiya and let’s not forget Japan’s pop music idol, Hatsune Miku! It sucks for me to be stuck in a third world country with terrible music preference(I live in Honduras and it’s music preference is called reggeton, and it’s trash), also when my older brother laughs at my music, grrr how ignorant, in general I think that I really don’t fit in the western society anymore because of their culture, it’s boring and generic for me, I really need to go and stay in Japan, really really need to live in that splendid culture and more advance society, but right now it’s kind of hard for me to apply in a trip by talking a program exam, but I still have faith in God that I get the chance to do it. BTW, do you create visual novels too? Are you Japanese? (οΏ£β–½οΏ£)

      • Yeah, those singers are great too. Are you familiar with Shikata Akiko’s label, VAGRANCY? You might also like artists like Shimotsuki Haruka, Ayane and Asriel by the sounds of things. My favourite doujin group of all time those is AYUTRICA, which is on hiatus at the moment by the vocalist and composer have formed another group with a new lyricist called Eclipseed which is just as exciting! Aha, I actually prefer Kagamine RIN and LEN but I’m only good cosplaying Megurine LUKA because of my height. ;p
        I think everywhere has its good and bad music, it’s just a matter that the common things top the charts most of the time. Australia can have some decent indies music at times.
        I’d love to visit Japan, namely Kyouto, but I don’t think I’d live more than a few months there. I’m too attuned to my life here. I’m still waiting for the chance to venture out of my country myself though.
        As a matter of fact, I’m creating my own visual novel and have been for a while, but my time on it has been rather taken away by other things lately. Still, I’m in no rush as the longer I leave it, the better it becomes. Also, the more complex it becomes which is both good and bad I guess. I’ll be doing most of the work for it (story, character art, scenery, vocals and composition) with help from others here and there. It will be a visual novel with three sides (three different play throughs, each from a different character’s point of view).
        When I eventually create my company that I define as a “novel development group” (this means both hard-back and visual novels), I will be calling it Solas. My music circle on the other hand will be named “Atelier Beat”. I’ll most likely go by “Hikarin” for my Japanese works and “Senevir” for the English ones.
        No, I’m Australian with mainly Celtic heritage and have never left my country, but I am fluent in Japanese and translate Japanese lyrics. I used to submit a lot for animelyrics.com, but have been quite busy with study recently and haven’t found time for it. I was tutored privately from a young age by a Japanese woman, and before that I taught myself a lot. I do order in CDs from Comiket a lot though! xD

      • Love is all... says:

        Thats great, im still a starter of learning japanese language but still its awesome that you are going to have your own story as a visual novel, I wish you luck on that. Hey, since you already know japanese, it will be very greatful for you to help in the translations of Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru manga, because there hasn’t been any update recently and I just want to finish ep5, im stuck in it, but of course only if you agree, im not forcing you on doing it ok.

  13. Hmmm…. I might consider it if I can find a copy of the raw, but it might also be worth seeing when the team working on the manga plans on releasing the next chapter. They might not be far off.
    Do you know if it’s just been a while since their latest release, or have they said that it is stalled? What is the scanlation group called?
    As long as I know the chapter is far off from being released I don’t see much of an issue. I can’t guarantee that real life issues won’t slow down the process for me either though. Still, as things are, I might even be able to help the scanlation group themselves out and release it quicker. But nothing is going to happen if I don’t have raws of the chapter.

  14. Love is all... says:

    Since May 2 of this year but it simply says nothing about the next release scans and I think that group only consist in one guy doing all the series, maybe its to much for him but actually the manga has been almost completed in the chinese translation, try visiting this page called “dm5.com”, has almost every scantion that can be use as a raw, it’s strange that the raw is not even shown in any manga page, just in spanish, english and chinese, like I said, the chinese scantions are more advance than the other two languages.

  15. Anon says:

    Thank you for summarizing so eloquently my feelings for Umineko ❀ As much as I like to fangirl over series or novels left and right and proclaim they're the best thing that ever happened to me, I can count on one hand (and still have fingers to spare) the works that have made me feel to the extent that Umineko does. For me, it's up there with Tolkien's work, on a whole level of its own.

    The layers of reality, the philosophy, definition of truth, the complexity and ambiguity of it all…

    EP8 made me sob in a way that no work has ever done before. A few tears? Not often, sure, but it's happened. But actual damn sobbing? A first for me. Beautiful. I can't imagine this story ever leaving me.

  16. TrickOrMagic says:

    I came across this post after finishing Umineko to see if someone felt the same way as me – that finding the secret and truth behind everything isn’t the point of it all. The cat-box at Rokkenjima doesn’t have one single true solution, the thing that Ryukishi places emphasis on is the characters, their trials and tribulations and the various emotional aspects that characterise a person. “Without love, it cannot be seen” will be the one quote that remains with me forever, and it is an absolute delight to see your post and the manner in which you have eloquently described that very same feeling and experience that I went through when reading this magnificent piece of work.

    To add to the somewhat surprising places where Umineko fans have popped up – From India, cheers to Umineko!

  17. Will H. says:

    I think the same as you and i will go to japan in two years so one of my mission of going there is go to talk with ryukishi07 and i will talk to him about this page to read what with feel about this series.

  18. will says:

    I love this page. I’m trying to explain what umineko is about to someone right now, and it’s… hard. to say the least. It teach you so many things. Between feelings, reflexions about the world, the real one and individual ones, life itself, the truth, what it is and if it exists, o, for example, one that a lot of people are missing, the relationship between a reader and an author (ep5’s ???.).
    There is also the whole fight against mystery and fantasy, or even the economical talk they sometimes have. Just think about how Kyrie uses logic sometimes, like in episode 5.
    And there are lots, lots and lots of other things. It also definitely is a part of me right now.
    And I must admit that I was quite intelorant and too “logical” before (I’m an aspie; it doesn’t help) but umineko taught me lots, lots of things and, overall, made me a better person I think..
    And helped me to help a lot of people who were suffering because of love, for example, with everything about it in ep6. (said person did read umineko laler, and lso had a lot of “revelations”.

    I know I said it already, but I really love this page.
    Way too many people are just here “lol fine story” or “it has gore !!!”.
    Especially since the anime has been aired. But a lot of VN-reader are saying this too.
    Umineko is something you HAVE TO learn with your brain on. And if you do it, you will find yourself changed afterward.
    It always annoys me that so many people are reading it in such a “brainless” state so your post really relieved me. So there are other people like me about this. And other people who because of this will understand the whole thing about “subjective truths”, etc. It feels really good.

  19. will says:

    I don’t agree with everything though; like the there is no answer; there is one, and finding it is one way to go. But my take on it is that we mustn’t let “answers” conflict with our inner world, because the truth changes a lot depending of how it’s sid, even if it’s said to be absolute. Example; the character that is “dead” absolutely and yet alive in the end. You know who I’m talking about.

    I still think the truth is important (but not because of curiosity; I’m a bit like Erika at the end of ep6, when she understands the truth about the world), and still feel like you “have to” serch for it in umineko. After all, understanding everyone’s motive and heart is also part of the truth. But it isn’t something you must take like a “okay, I’ll tell you the truth, it is X”. It’s something you have to discover yourself, otherwise you would not understand it. I think that’s also why Ryukishi didn’t give the answer, even if there is one, and he tells some people if they are right of wrong about things; see his lst interview. But the real “truth” is something you must reach, and that cannot be given to you, because it depends of the PoV.

    [Spoiler]

    Like the fact that the “absolute truth” in Eva’s diary isn’t absolute at all, even if we don’t see what it is. She is still only one human, so even if she was here at this moment, she can still be wrong about things she wasn’t mean to know. again, you understand what I’m talking about.

    [/Spoiler]

    I think umineko want you to search for the truth, but beore this, it wants you to understand what the truth is in order to be sure that you’ll be able to understand it. And that’s one of the fascinating parts with this work.

  20. Josiah says:

    I’m still a total newbie to Umineko; I’ve seen the first three arcs of the anime (and yes, I DID enjoy it!) and played the entire first episode of the VN (thanks to the free trial). After reading this, I cannot wait to delve in! I doubt I’ll reach the same conclusions with EVERYTHING, like the “new age pseudo-spiritual” idea, or the idea that truth is relative (something I do not personally agree with; at least, not ENTIRELY), but so what? I’m a devoted Christian, but I’m here to love, not to shove my Bible down people’s throats! X’D
    But I digress!
    One thing I enjoyed with the anime was how a friend and I would talk it over, wondering who was really behind it all. But after learning a thing or two about Chiru, it looks like I’m in for a heck of a ride! I cannot wait to experience this story, and I am so excited for my girlfriend to see the anime so she can get all my references to the Red Truth. X’D
    As soon as I get the money, I’m getting both of these from Manga Gamer (I wanna support a genius like Ryukishi07).
    One last note: Higurashi is, and always will be, my favorite anime~!
    Ciao~!
    –Haruji-san

    • Will says:

      I think you might agree with it more than you think you will… It is VERY difficult to explain with words and “no absolute truth” doesn’t really do it justice (and I’m a pro there is an absolute truth too, Umineko just tackle it…. differently), but you’ll see when you read it, it’s really kind of hard to explain since most of the theme is human nature. Also the “new age” thing isn’t really new age – just the consequences of quantum physics, among other things, but once again, it’s really, really hard to explain it. But well, I’m curious of what you’ll think once everything is done! I hope you’ll enjoy a good read

  21. Mystery says:

    You are a strong writer, and a great thinker. But I still want to know Battler’s sin and the culprit? This is the main reason I watched this anime.

    • Aspirety says:

      Then by all means, reason it out and reach your own truth.

      But just in case you’re confused, the Anime was never finished. Only the Sound Novel and Manga will give you the full story.

  22. Isabel says:

    I liked your essay!
    I only watched the anime. I searched everywhere to get the visual novels but I cannot get any. Can you help me? Where did you get the visual novels?

  23. GW says:

    Here’s something noteworthy:
    In terms of people’s curiosity and the whole Cat Box of Rokkenjima with endless possibilites –
    Our curiosity is able to destroy that cause after all “Curiosity kills the Cat”.

  24. Plenitude says:

    It is quite impressive to see how you were changed by Umineko and personnally, I relate to what you say but maybe not to the extent of having my whole life turns upside down but close. The best word to describe Umineko might be “genuine”, all the characters are so well done that I remember their names and attitudes to this day, and it would be correct to say that they are “people” before being “characters”. A book really needs to be good for me to read it for five days straight (no litteraly, I barely slept during my reading.) and the reason may be because of the superb ambiance of this Visual Novel : the music are unmatched to this day by any Visual Novel I read, the length is just perfect for me who loves long interesting Visual Novel, the voice acting is excellent and I have to congratulate Sayaka Ohara for voicing Beatrice and the five characters related to her with such distinction (and love for melodrama), the ps3 design really helped me for being totally in the story and the writing was intense (a good Background Music with that, and you are set to a great story.)

    Moreover, Umineko knew how to feel fresh constantly, introducing new characters, showing some backstory of characters, introducing the Blue, the red and the gold. The different technics for Battler to use, etc. Umineko made me feel strongly in every way possible, being joy, sadness, exhilaration or disgust. There is excellency in VIsual Novel but Umineko is mastery, the VN every people should read if they want a darker story than usual (and yet can I really call Umineko a dark story when there is so much to understand about love and each and every one hearts ?)

    There is no way I can compare Umineko to other Visual Novel but the only ones who come close in terms of story implication for me are Steins;Gate (whose major fault is the phone system who is terrible for accessing the true ending) and the Muv Luv series and yes, I know there is fanservice, but fanservice isn’t detrimental (for example : The Seven Stake of Purgatory as well as the Siesta Sisters are pretty much fanservice. Even if you have a perfect explanation for it, they are girls with a short skirt and some have bunny ears.)

    I am really thankful to see that I am not alone to think like that about Umineko. The few fans I have met were… fighting between the Rosatrice theory and the Shkannon one. And even though mystery and fantasy can be the core of Umineko, I largely prefer the official version of Ryukishi, fighting over it is pointless for me. But I was wondering : Am I the only one, when confronted to the final choice, who didn’t hesitated one second and took magic ? It was almost natural to me to pick that one and I loved the final ending (even though a lot of people I have met call them crappy endings. The Magic ending as well as the trick one.)

    So, I just want to say that you seem like a great guy all around and I would be glad to discuss with you, if you want, in the future.

    See ya,

    PlΓ©nitude logging out

  25. Battler says:

    Only thing I have to say is that I don’t like how subjective the Red Truth is being the absolute truth. It behaves sometimes as the reality and at times as a truth. Golden Truth is the subjective truth that would be able to say “Kanon and Shannon are 2 different persons” or “Kanon/Shannon was killed” instead of the Red Truth.

    I would’ve liked that Ryukishi had made that distinction between the reality which is absolute and the truth which is relative.

  26. Kagerou09 says:

    Incredible, this post has described, not only your thoughts on Umineko, but also mine. The other day, November 1, I finished playing the Visual Novel, and I was both sad and happy, becouse the end was simply beautiful but I was sad as well, I didn’t want to finish reading this gorgeous novel.
    It makes me very happy to know that someone else loves Umineko the same way as me.
    Thank you for this post, I really liked it.

    (Sorry for my bad english, I’m spanish hehehe)

  27. Lion says:

    This was probably the best text I’ve ever read.

  28. Daniel A. Knox says:

    Thanks to this story I learned many things .. and also mentioned .. not a simple story and play some geek; if not a world that allows us to express own theories and share with all those who followed them all the way … ~Nipaa~ :3

  29. fone bone says:

    Always nice to see someone who appreciates Umineko. It’s so rare to find a person who took the time to analyse its beauty.
    Could you please share your thoughts on Sayo Yasuda, in particular, too? Scans from the Confession of a Golden Witch really highlight her as one of the most tragic and underrated character of the series.
    And have you played the hilarious witches and woodlands fangame? The spin-off fighting game?

  30. Villette Castiglioni says:

    I agree with you on every single point… I also started reading the novels shortly after the anime began airing, right after the first arc finished, and since then I was hooked. I never thought I could be more obsessed over something than I was with Higurashi, but by the time Umineko was completed, I had no doubt it has both won me over even more but would also never leave my every day mind, even today. Even to the point I’m replying to this post years late.

    My biggest tick grown from this is eating saba (mackerel) every chance I get, and having a cosplay character after Beatrice in the mmo I play, it’s so glorious.

  31. Gabby says:

    I know I’m several years late, but I can’t help but agree with what you said about Umineko. I actually read it about 3 years ago and it made such a big impact on my life that I’ve decided to read it again. I’ve just never until then and since found a story that I love and that affected me as much as Umineko did. Overall, this was a great read!

  32. Mariana Alves says:

    How wonderful text! I feel the same as you, and I agree with everything you said. Umineko is an experience for life! It will certainly be a story that I will remember forever… Kisses from Brazil!

  33. Steven says:

    Wow…just…wow…I read that and i’m think the same as you…Umineko really changed how i see the world with more love…I introduce Umineko to my friend and even translate in French for her. (Yeah i’m French, sorry if my english is little bad ^^’) I love to tell people the story of Rokkenjima. Umineko forever in my heart! ❀

  34. Sii Kei says:

    I remember reading this article about a year ago, had it bookmarked in my Umineko folder. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and all the love for Umineko! I’ve tried many times explaining what this series means to me, but never really managed to convey it all… maybe I should just link people to this from now on! πŸ™‚

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