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REVIEW: Umineko WHEN THEY CRY Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch GN 2


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Oroboro



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:36 pm Reply with quote
Episode 1 sure sets the stage for the story, but compared to everything that comes after it's just a really extended prologue.

With 20/20 hindsight vision, it's amazing how much information Ryukushi07 packed in regarding the mystery into every line, every bit of idle dialogue, every furtive glance or nervous expression.

The manga has done an excellent job of capturing most of what made the Visual Novel so great. Except for the music.
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LauraOrganaSolo



Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:40 pm Reply with quote
It's enjoyable to read a professional review from someone experiencing the series for a first time without all the griping that the anime causes.

I'm ecstatic that not only has this gotten a domestic release but in fat omninbus format as well. I saw the Japanese tankouban at one point and it looked like it was stretching as long, if not longer than the Higurashi manga so this is very economical.
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 1398

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:41 pm Reply with quote
"A little too close to Christie in places." Just keep this in mind later on. the lesser you think of umineko the better it becomes. this is is supposed to sound paradoxical. but at least the reviewer is looking at the correct places it seems, that would be really annoying if they were not. yes the episode 1 drags quite a bit. just like episode 2. episodes 1,2, 5, and first half of 8 really do drag at parts as well.
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DissonanceCog



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
yes the episode 1 drags quite a bit. just like episode 2. episodes 1,2, 5, and first half of 8 really do drag at parts as well.


Honestly, I didn't feel like 2 or 5 dragged all that much. spoiler[ Yes, the beginning of two is pretty slow, but once you actually get to the meat of the story, I thought the pacing was pretty dang chipper. It's still my least favorite arc, but for completely different reasons, and I'll happily admit that it has its moments.]

And I'm not sure where you feel 5 drags; I thought it was one of the better arcs when it comes to flow.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:55 pm Reply with quote
Does the Manga have the same fatal flaw as the Anime, where Battler is in another dimension trying to insist to a real and actual witch that magic and the supernatural don't exist?
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DissonanceCog



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:14 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Does the Manga have the same fatal flaw as the Anime, where Battler is in another dimension trying to insist to a real and actual witch that magic and the supernatural don't exist?


I haven't read the manga, but I have heard that it is a far more accurately portrayal of the VN, and I do believe they both lampshade that a couple times and handwave that fact at some point (something along the lines of "Battler doesn't have to completely deny magic, just that a witch killed his family.")

But what it comes down to, really, is that Battler is a MASTER of cognitive dissonance. Something which, to be fair, is pointed out time and time again.

spoiler[A fact Beatrice rather brilliantly exploits at every possible opportunity, actually. If you think about it, if Battler hadn't kept trying to cling to his whole "logically, it couldn't have been a 19th person, but it CLEARLY WASN'T ONE OF THE 18" rationale, most of the tricks aren't that hard to figure out. Particularly in Game 2, where Beatrice keeps taunting him by nearly telling him the answers.]


Last edited by DissonanceCog on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 1398

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:28 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Does the Manga have the same fatal flaw as the Anime, where Battler is in another dimension trying to insist to a real and actual witch that magic and the supernatural don't exist?

The manga makes it clear what it is doing rather then the anime which constantly had a freeze in time and momotone coloring of where the charcters are spoiler[on the gameboard of that episode]there are two separate worlds that do not interact at least not any where close to the level they imply in the anime.

Also the reviewer just read one of the two if not the weakest epiosde in umineko so it is not fair to compare it to the whole of the much weaker higurashi (as much as I do enjoy higurashi). comparing episode 1 of higurashi and 1 of umineko would be fine but not episode 1 of umineko with the whole of higurashi.

Oh I totally agree episode 2 is actually not that slow but for some people who don't understand it is. The reason I say episode 2 is really slow is because spoiler[ battler spends the other half of the story just being jerked around by beatrice and even into part of episode 3 until he finally gets blue truth (interesting to see how that will be done in black in white, Maybe everything I say in BOLD is true? and then italics Sad )]

Also on a slightly of topic note is anyone else dying for yen press to release the Rose Gun Days manga I so want to read that and the spin off series about wayne.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:09 am Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
"A little too close to Christie in places." Just keep this in mind later on. the lesser you think of umineko the better it becomes. this is is supposed to sound paradoxical. but at least the reviewer is looking at the correct places it seems, that would be really annoying if they were not. yes the episode 1 drags quite a bit. just like episode 2. episodes 1,2, 5, and first half of 8 really do drag at parts as well.


Good to know - I'm trying to avoid spoilers like anything, so I'm glad to at least know I'm on the right track!

And yeah, probably wasn't great to compare this series to Higurashi as a whole - I was thinking more of the first arc of that series, which hooked me in a way that this introductory arc did not. I'll be more specific next time.
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destructivesanctions



Joined: 28 Apr 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:53 pm Reply with quote
This is the review that made me finally join ANN. It was definitely a well written review but I can't help but feel all of the comparisons in it were unfair. Naturally if you have not read the Visual Novels of Umineko, you don't know where the story is going, but the more you keep insisting that this relies too much on Christie is a little unfair. For one thing, as influential Christie has been on the industry she hardly was the first author to invent an isolated murder mystery, and all of Umineko is a heavy subversion of the entire mystery genre. Saying it's not as good as Higurashi is probably something you'll want to retroactively change your feelings on too. Umineko has a MUCH better start than Higurashi, it's just not the kind of start that you can appreciate until later when you realize how perfectly it was setting everything up. Even Episode 2, which people say starts slowly, is vital to setting up very important things. Trust me, once Umineko is over you are going to view Episodes 1 and 2 in completely different ways. Smile

That is, of course, if the manga continues to be good. I haven't read this volume yet, but I picked up the first release a few months ago. It was way better than the anime, no competition, but I couldn't help but feel it was still not quite what it could be. The pacing was still awkward compared to the VN, and I felt the artwork was trying too had to be creepy to the point of being goofy. The thing that works so well about the VN's art is that it never gets over-the-top until later elements are meant to clash with reality. Both the anime and manga seem to jump the gun so much with Maria in early chapters that it just gets silly and thus lessens the impact of when later things are actually supposed to be unrealistically twisted.

But, yeah, overall I enjoyed reading this review, but I hope for future releases of this series you do keep in mind that it's one of those stories that spend the early episodes/issues laying the foundation, which ultimately leads to a greater payoff. Ryukishi's storytelling skills evolved SIGNIFICANTLY both between Higurashi and Umineko and while writing Umineko itself. Since this is your first time going along for the ride, I hope the manga maintains a good quality, since if it does you are in for a treat. It's no exaggeration to say that the VNs changed my life.
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 1398

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:57 pm Reply with quote
nice first post destructivesanctions. just be careful about how of a spoiler you write without spolier tags from now on especially with something as special as umineko
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destructivesanctions



Joined: 28 Apr 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Thank you. Although I don't think I said anything spoilery other than that things are only being set-up here. The stuff the creepy faces should have been saved for I mentioned begins at the end of Episode 1, so it's not a spoiler to mention that on a review of it either. If you think I should spoiler something, though, I will.
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DissonanceCog



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:05 pm Reply with quote
destructivesanctions wrote:
For one thing, as influential Christie has been on the industry she hardly was the first author to invent an isolated murder mystery, and all of Umineko is a heavy subversion of the entire mystery genre.


Fair enough, but let's not downplay the similarities either. We have a group of individuals on an island isolated by a typhoon being murdered one by one by a killer operating under a pseudonym (U.N. Owen/Beatrice), with the killer patterning their killings based off a poem. Heck, the more you think about it, the more similarities there are.

destructivesanctions wrote:
The pacing was still awkward compared to the VN, and I felt the artwork was trying too had to be creepy to the point of being goofy. The thing that works so well about the VN's art is that it never gets over-the-top until later elements are meant to clash with reality.


To be fair, I felt that the VN's pacing in Episode 1 was really weak; I don't know how they adjusted it, so I won't say if it was better or worse, but I can definitely understanding wanting to alter it a bit.

destructivesanctions wrote:
Both the anime and manga seem to jump the gun so much with Maria in early chapters


I'd kind of hoped that they fixed that. Oh well.
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 1398

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:30 pm Reply with quote
DissonanceCog wrote:
destructivesanctions wrote:
For one thing, as influential Christie has been on the industry she hardly was the first author to invent an isolated murder mystery, and all of Umineko is a heavy subversion of the entire mystery genre.


Fair enough, but let's not downplay the similarities either. We have a group of individuals on an island isolated by a typhoon being murdered one by one by a killer operating under a pseudonym (U.N. Owen/Beatrice), with the killer patterning their killings based off a poem. Heck, the more you think about it, the more similarities there are.

destructivesanctions wrote:
The pacing was still awkward compared to the VN, and I felt the artwork was trying too had to be creepy to the point of being goofy. The thing that works so well about the VN's art is that it never gets over-the-top until later elements are meant to clash with reality.


To be fair, I felt that the VN's pacing in Episode 1 was really weak; I don't know how they adjusted it, so I won't say if it was better or worse, but I can definitely understanding wanting to alter it a bit.

destructivesanctions wrote:
Both the anime and manga seem to jump the gun so much with Maria in early chapters


I'd kind of hoped that they fixed that. Oh well.

Episode 1 is and then there where none with different characters there is no questioning that really. It really is very similar, and it's fair to ding episode 1 for it. Also yes maria is abused in the manga in the first half of episode 1 as this super creepy demon girl. and the pacing for episode 1 is bad so yes it is not surprising that they would change it.
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Cecilthedarkknight_234



Joined: 02 Apr 2011
Posts: 3297
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:01 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Does the Manga have the same fatal flaw as the Anime, where Battler is in another dimension trying to insist to a real and actual witch that magic and the supernatural don't exist?


They are playing game sort to speak so there is meta universe and game world where the player controls the pieces.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:05 am Reply with quote
^
But if there's a meta world then that - by its mere existence - automatically proves to Battler that magic does indeed exist.
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