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REVIEW: Umineko When They Cry Episode 3: Banquet of the Golden Witch Volume 2 GN 6


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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:03 pm Reply with quote
Told ya that this was the arc where it stops being good and starts being great. Very Happy

Banquet is the first arc where you get true insight into Beatrice as a character. I swear, once you get to EP7, every single word that comes out of her mouth suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

It should be noted that the manga kinda messes with spoiler[Ange's] character and motivations a bit. I won't specify why though, I'll elaborate more when you review Alliance, EP4.

The next arc is also where two of the best characters, Lambdadelta and Bernkastel, take more of an active role, though they still remain on the sidelines.

Looking forward to the next one. Very Happy
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:29 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?


I can't imagine why making an Umineko anime that's, at the very least, competent, isn't possible. I blame the horrible quality of the anime on Deen, and only Deen. If a studio like, say, Ufotable were to start over from scratch, or hell, even continue from where the anime left off, I'm certain it would turn out infinitely better.

Granted, the second season of Higurashi was much better than the first, so it's entirely possible that Deen could have made a decent second season of Umineko. But, we'll never know, as DVD sales were abysmally low.

I guess seeing Erika Furudo animated is too much to ask. Sad
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FenixFiesta



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 1042

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:46 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?

Each arc would probably need to be a ~8+ episode experience to give some justice to what occurs in the VN (for reference the spoken dialogue for the ps3 version is probably a bit longer than that per arc)

A large chunk of information is cut from the from the anime adaptation and cuts key character development (as well as mystery solving information) scenes into bit parts.

The only thing "nice" that came out of the Deen anime is that the entire cast returned to reprise there roles in the PS3 version of the Visual Novel.
Sayaka Ohara is an epic scene eater as Beatrice.
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GiriOni



Joined: 10 Aug 2012
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:42 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
darkchibi07 wrote:
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?


I can't imagine why making an Umineko anime that's, at the very least, competent, isn't possible. I blame the horrible quality of the anime on Deen, and only Deen. If a studio like, say, Ufotable were to start over from scratch, or hell, even continue from where the anime left off, I'm certain it would turn out infinitely better.



I don't know I think Shaft might be a better choice. They're used to text flying everywhere across the screen and red and blue truths would look great in Shaft style. But again, it's just pipe dreams for Umineko fans.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:31 pm Reply with quote
You know, when umineko was being adapted I did not give a flying (pidgey) for shft, but nwo that you mention it,they would be a great fit; oh dreams.
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JR-1



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:11 pm Reply with quote
I really like Umineko, but there's one aspect that really nags me, that is its penchant for psychotic girls.

It's the same problem I've had with Higurashi. In fact I can compare this episode parallelly with Minagoroshi-hen in which it's the part that made me awed with a nagging feeling due to all the revelations nagged by the spoiler[ totally psychotic main villain that laughs like a madwoman while personally killing and commanding a massacre. And (in Higurashi's case) this is supposed to be a special forces commander? Even if the backstory made it understandable, I can't help but feel it's excessive]

I have only watched a few bits and pieces fron the anime, but I can surmise that it's a really poor adaptation.

The manga, from what I've read, is an adequate replacement for reading the novels, though by far the best version is the PS3 version. The voice acting really adds to the atmosphere.


Last edited by JR-1 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:12 pm Reply with quote
GiriOni wrote:
I don't know I think Shaft might be a better choice. They're used to text flying everywhere across the screen and red and blue truths would look great in Shaft style. But again, it's just pipe dreams for Umineko fans.


As a huge fan of SHAFT, I also know where their current strengths and weaknesses lie, and assuming they use the techniques they've been using for the past several series, I couldn't see their adaption of Umineko turning out quite well. Characters in Umineko are eerie because they actively compromise anything normal and speak pretty insane most of the time. And even when they're not insane, they're usually very emotionally empowered or being emotionally tested. I can see SHAFT capturing a bit of this, but doing a whole series about it would be a real test of their abilities to try something significantly new--something that should've worked great with Mekakucity Actors, but has been narrowed to avoiding what they can't do and focusing on what they can do best. Which, when what they can't do is so important to the impact of the story, it hurts the story overall.

I mean, that sounded pretty vague, but I don't know how else to put it. I would definitely be happy if they made a successful adaption and I think it's possible, but they've been narrowing their mindset as an animation company lately, and though I value what they do as unique and powerful in its own way, I don't think the style is fitting for Umineko in the end... so they'd have to experiment a lot more to make it work.

And I think I'm going to start reading the manga at the library. I've gone through the first half of the novels themselves and I have owned the second set of novels since the last one released in Japan, but it's been so long, I feel like I should recap myself on the events before I move on. I've actually started reading the 5th novel, but I never got THAT far...
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Etrien



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 484
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:11 pm Reply with quote
Hooray, more Umineko!

Your opinions and grading still seem to be roughly in line with how my own feelings were when I was at this point in the story, which gives me hope both for the future volumes and for the possibility that the manga might actually be a genuine, worthwhile alternative to the sound novels. Alas, I've still yet to import the Yen Press releases due to money issues. I'll probably get a whole bunch of them all at once, in bulk. I don't remember if it's been asked in a previous thread or not, but, how does the manga handle the Red Truth? Amazing as it would be, is it too much to hope that they actually printed it red?

Many of the same things currently bothering you about the story bothered me, too. The fetishy demon-girl designs (which we first saw with the Stakes - though at least their designs were a throwback to Higurashi), the over-the-top "anime-isms", and many of the attempts at humor I found jarring and immersion-breaking. But, one scene in EP4 changed all that for me. One incredibly amazing, incredibly stupid scene. And a scene that was entirely omitted in the anime version, which is a crying shame. After that, though, I just kind of learned to roll with it and enjoy it for what it was. The strange stupid-isms in Umineko, I mean. Not the anime.


darkchibi07 wrote:
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?

The biggest issue was that it was too abbreviated. They didn't have the funding (or potential market) to make it the proper length necessitated by the story, so they just smooshed the entire first 4 Arcs/Novels into 26 episodes. Most the scenes are there, all of the key events and major hints make it in. But they're also all drastically abbreviated and cut away the most poignant part of the entire story: the characters. I'd say it's similar to the recent movie retelling of Berserk (ugly CG aside). Both are such powerful stories because of the complexity and humanity written into their characters, so much so that when stripped of them - even if the major plot points are otherwise still followed - it's hardly even worth watching anymore.

In adapting the anime of Umineko, they forgot the very heart of Umineko. And one mustn't forget the heart.


Juno016 wrote:
And I think I'm going to start reading the manga at the library. I've gone through the first half of the novels themselves and I have owned the second set of novels since the last one released in Japan, but it's been so long, I feel like I should recap myself on the events before I move on. I've actually started reading the 5th novel, but I never got THAT far...

Man, while I was definitely already enjoying it, I didn't actually start loving Umineko until EP5. So, if the manga version holds up, you should be in for a treat.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:39 am Reply with quote
Etrien wrote:
darkchibi07 wrote:
I'm curious. Is this whole Umineko franchise at its best as visual novels and manga? Was doing an anime adaptation of this really a fools errand, or was it just caused by staff incompetence?

The biggest issue was that it was too abbreviated. They didn't have the funding (or potential market) to make it the proper length necessitated by the story, so they just smooshed the entire first 4 Arcs/Novels into 26 episodes. Most the scenes are there, all of the key events and major hints make it in. But they're also all drastically abbreviated and cut away the most poignant part of the entire story: the characters. I'd say it's similar to the recent movie retelling of Berserk (ugly CG aside). Both are such powerful stories because of the complexity and humanity written into their characters, so much so that when stripped of them - even if the major plot points are otherwise still followed - it's hardly even worth watching anymore.

In adapting the anime of Umineko, they forgot the very heart of Umineko. And one mustn't forget the heart.


Juno016 wrote:
And I think I'm going to start reading the manga at the library. I've gone through the first half of the novels themselves and I have owned the second set of novels since the last one released in Japan, but it's been so long, I feel like I should recap myself on the events before I move on. I've actually started reading the 5th novel, but I never got THAT far...

Man, while I was definitely already enjoying it, I didn't actually start loving Umineko until EP5. So, if the manga version holds up, you should be in for a treat.


On the anime-game comparison, I whole-heartedly agree and I tend to explain this to others when they say the anime wasn't that bad. As a pure mystery, with its interesting twists and crazy insanity, it works really well in the anime's presentation. I cannot actually say the anime is "bad" or anything. But it hurts to see the anime lack in its emotion and characters, which is what the novels thrived on. Without this, the characters are just there to become victims. You don't feel for their constant, repeated death scenes (and repeated deaths get old unless you actually feel for them). You don't feel for their personal struggles. You don't even hear about many of their personal issues that bring out other sides to themselves. Most people I know who watched the anime couldn't tell me the names of many of the other human characters, or they couldn't remember exactly who was related to who. And I was like, "But that's so important. Otherwise, you don't know why some of them are fighting for their hand in the fortune, or who it affects the most when they die and someone else is meant to take their spot as heir to the fortune in their name when it comes up." And they'd say something like, "But there are 18 or so human characters! Too many to remember all of them." And I'd reply, "I could tell you at least 3 major character details about all of them, and why each character was important to the story or each other." And I still could, even though I only read the novels once and saw the anime once afterward. The anime isn't so terrible that it mustn't exist. But it lacks one of the very fundamental parts that makes Umineko so enjoyable, so I definitely tell people to avoid the anime until they finish the novels, at least.
Oh, and let's not forget the "sound novel" aspect of it. Umineko has one of the best soundtracks that I've heard in... almost ever. And it's not particularly because of the music itself, but how it penetrates into your mind as you read. They use semi-binaural audio in the game files, so if you wear headphones, the tracks have impact to them due to their volume, composition, instruments, and sometimes even voice. Combining that with the words flowing through your head as you read creates a really nice atmosphere that inspires so many different emotions, depending on the scene and mood of the tune. And it works hand-in-hand with your experience of the story, so it cannot simply be waved off as an unimportant part of the experience in general. The anime might've adapted some of the tunes from the games, but it doesn't adapt their impact. And this last part is also another reason why I tend to suggest people don't read with the voices on. They tend to quiet the music or distract you from how it immerses you in the scene. You don't even need the upgraded character portraits. The old ones look discouraging and potentially distracting at first, but it stops bothering you very quickly. I also noticed some character expressions in the upgraded graphics actually look totally different than the original ones...

But yeah. I didn't mean that I was going to read EP5-8 in the manga yet. I'm going to read EP1-4 of the manga to refresh my memory of the visual novels. Then I will continue with EP5-8 of the visual novels and, if I liked the manga adaption of EP1-4, will read the rest of the manga when I'm done with the visual novels.
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JR-1



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:10 pm Reply with quote
Etrien wrote:


Many of the same things currently bothering you about the story bothered me, too. The fetishy demon-girl designs (which we first saw with the Stakes - though at least their designs were a throwback to Higurashi), the over-the-top "anime-isms", and many of the attempts at humor I found jarring and immersion-breaking. But, one scene in EP4 changed all that for me. One incredibly amazing, incredibly stupid scene. And a scene that was entirely omitted in the anime version.


I'm curious. Which scene are you talking about? It's been a while since I read EP4 but I don't remember any particularly stupid scene, perhaps since I already accepted it contains "stupid anime-ism" since the beginning.
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ralphmerridew



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Etrien's probably referring to a Krauss scene.
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JR-1



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:04 pm Reply with quote
ralphmerridew wrote:
Etrien's probably referring to a Krauss scene.


Oh yeah, that IS incredibly stupid. Though by that point I already embraced the "stupid anime-ism" of Umineko so it seems that it didn't leave much impression with me as with Etrien. Perhaps also because I've read the work it's referencing: Otokojuku and its 'outlandishly stupid trying to sound logical' fights.
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einhorn303



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:57 pm Reply with quote
JR-1 wrote:
ralphmerridew wrote:
Etrien's probably referring to a Krauss scene.


Oh yeah, that IS incredibly stupid. Though by that point I already embraced the "stupid anime-ism" of Umineko so it seems that it didn't leave much impression with me as with Etrien. Perhaps also because I've read the work it's referencing: Otokojuku and its 'outlandishly stupid trying to sound logical' fights.


I'd say it also serves a clever role in the narrative by making people realize that spoiler[Episodes 1-4, and on, are fiction written by a human author.]
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 1486
Location: Virginia, United States

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:04 am Reply with quote
JR-1 wrote:
I really like Umineko, but there's one aspect that really nags me, that is its penchant for psychotic girls.......


What's wrong with psychotic girls? Would you rather have had psychotic boys.
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