A trip to a secluded island? My Haruhi sense is tingling. It’s an adventure right? Right?
If Haruhi is the most heavily anticipated adaptation for the light novel fans, then it shall suffice to say the Umineko no naku koro ni is the equivalent for the visual novel fans (now we just need to wait for Saya no Uta). I have not played the visual novel, so I entered the first episode without a single clue about what to expect, but I do know that I’ll be expecting quite a lot from the series – at least based on all the tons of the threads of its visual novel.
[Story] Like Higurashi, we’re introduced to the all too familiar setting for a mystery/thriller genre: An isolated island owned by a rich family. The main head, with hidden hoard of treasure is about to die. Siblings’ feuds and rivalry over inheritance. Cryptic epitaph. Witches and curses. Paintings with special stories. You know what to expect; it’s how it’s going to be played out that’s important.
Naturally, since it is only the first episode, it’s spent mostly on introducing the characters, their personalities and the background. Nevertheless, the story seems to be progressing at a rather fast pace, wasting no time to plunge into the mystery of Beatrice and the hidden gold.
[Visual appeals] The OP was more than enough to get me interested in the show, featuring all those dramatic chanting, posh dress codes and most importantly, the signature Naku Koro ni smile – if you’ve watched Higurashi, you definitely know what I’m talking about. And the arts are definitely better than those of Higurashi, because, really, I didn’t quite like the character design for Higurashi. [Audio] Needless to say, the OP and ED delivered the necessary impact, and the bgms are pretty good too. The VA cast isn’t too shabby either, featuring another Rie Kigimiya and Yui Horie combo. Beatrice shares the same voice actress as Yuuko from xxxHOLiC (Sayaka Ohara)… and both of them love butterflies. The male protagonist’s voice will need a while to get use to though. [Misc] Apparently, “Beatrice” is too difficult a name to pronounce. Seriously, the way they called out her name…