Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place in 1986 during the time frame of October the 4th and the 5th on a secluded island named Rokkenjima (六軒島). The head of the wealthy Ushiromiya family, Kinzō Ushiromiya, who lives on and owns Rokkenjima, is near death, and eleven of his family members arrive on the island to discuss how Kinzō’s assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are five of Kinzō’s servants, and his personal physician. After the eleven family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and shortly after people start to get mysteriously murdered. (Source: Baka-Tsuki)
Review Anyone who watched Beowulf would probably notice that the conflict in the start is kinda like the same. A beautiful woman who gave you honor and wealth in exchange for something. In Beowulf’s case it was a son, but here in Kinzō’s (the grandfather of the protagonist of the anime) case, it was his soul.
Starting with the opening song, I’ll say that it was something that will get your attention. The creepy, opera music in the start really made me look at the screen. With this music you’ll know that the setting will be on the past and/or in the rich people’s world. I didn’t really know the story when I watched it but with the opening song I got a good ‘feel’ of what it’s about.
As for the story, I think it’s pretty typical. A person sacrificing something for wealth or any other stuff, you can see that story almost everywhere. I think that what made this different is the fact that Beatrice (the witch and probably the antagonist) is killing people and she’s in a game with the protagonist who’ll do anything to stop her.
Actually that also were all typical- murders as sacrifices for a certain someone’s resurrection and the protagonist engaged in a game with the antagonist to save himself or his family or his friends or any random people. Having said all of that though, it’s quite interesting that all of this is in one anime. 7/10
For the characters, the ‘typicalness’ continued. A pervert protagonist, a kind and somewhat mysterious brother, a bossy cousin who beats up his pervy cousin, an annoying little kid, ungrateful and greedy in laws and sons and daughters, a weird, stoic maid who’s apparently a he when he looks like a she, a shy servant who obviously has a crush on pervy cousin and a very beautiful, cunning and evil witch. All characters are cliches. 6/10
Also, the episode was 23 minutes but all that happened were the characters were briefly introduced, the legend was told and some bits of the conflict were arising. All of those I could read in a site in less than 6 min. Now, do you realize how bored I was? I thought that the grandpa would die right away and the main conflict would be shown on the first episode but what did I get? Just those. So disappointing.
As for the drawing, it was consistent. But once again, the poster proved to be wrong. I’m not saying the big poster that I put there, above. That looks like some game pic or something but the colors are eye catching so I put it there. What I’m talking about is the picture where a girl is in the background with a boy. the poster with a caption- Umineko no Naku Koro ni. Anyway, the pic was beautiful but seeing the drawing in the anime was quite disappointing. Luckily, it was consistent and average not ugly. Though the drawings of women were a lot better than the men it’s not that uncommon anymore, I mean the faces of the women. It’s like, typical. Again. The painting of Beatrice also portrays her as a fat witch. Seriously. Just look at Umineko no Naku Koro ni 2. And if ever she wasn’t fat there, there’s still something… she looks like Cossette there. Well, at least she looked beautiful in the opening song… except when her face was a li’l twisted. 😉 7/10
Over all I’ll give it barely 7/10. Hope it’ll get better with the next episodes.