Finally platinum-ed the game X)
I became very teary at the end… Such a beautiful conclusion… Never thought that I could still feel moved today… T.T
Not only that, they did something special at the end, which made reading the PS3 version very much worth it (well, it’s already worth it for being able to listen to all the epic screamings since the PC version originally has no voices).
With this, it means that I’ve already read all 8 Episodes of Umineko twice, the first time being the English fan-translated PC version and this time the Japanese PS3 version. I haven’t read the bonus materials Umineko Tsubasa and Umineko Hane, but I did read the manga version of Umineko Tsubasa. It’s up to vol. 2, and vol. 3 would be released on 22nd August.
Speaking of which, I also read Umineko mangas. I think the mangas are great adaptations and they don’t mess the original content much. The visual novel might get boring after a while since you would keep seeing the same backgrounds and portraits.
As for the anime, I haven’t watched it, which covers only Episode 1-4, so I can’t comment about them. The general consensus among Umineko fans seems to be that it sucks, however some Umineko fans expressed that the anime studio ‘did their best’ and it’s just not really possible to fit all 4 Episodes in 20 anime episodes or so without cutting so much content.
Each Episode manga is about 5-6 volumes, and for example Episode 7 volumes (up to vol. 3) are so thick because there is so much to cover and squeeze in 6 volumes. The bad thing about recommending the mangas is that not all the Episode mangas have been completed yet. Episodes 1 to 5 are done, but Episode 6 manga is just recently finished and Episodes 7 and 8 are still ongoing.
Another special thing about the mangas is you get to see how the characters that are not shown with portraits in the visual novel version look, e.g., Battler’s mother, young Rosa, young Genji, etc.
The trophies clean-up for this game left a little bad after-taste, though -.-; Basically, unique for Episode 8, there are 17 quizzes and you get different gifts depending on how many quizzes you answer correctly. Collecting all the trophies requires you to do all different combinations and receive all the different gifts and not only that, you have to ‘throw’ each of these gifts at the Episode’s end by selecting ‘bad ending’. It’s not too bad with save data management and skip feature. However, I didn’t get the last trophy, which is to throw all the gifts right away. I thought I was screwed since it seemed I couldn’t just use the saves and must start a new game for each gift, which would be a pain in the ass. I got the last trophy and the platinum when I started and beat a new save for one gift, though. So yeah, weird, but in the end I got the trophies, so let’s just leave it at that… ^^;
Speaking about Episode 8 manga (which is up to vol.2 now), it replaces the quiz party game with hide and seek. In the visual novel, if you answer a quiz correctly, you will get to read some backstory/additional info of the characters who are giving you the quiz. In the manga, it has become hide and seek and basically the characters are doing this ‘backstory talk’ thing while they’re hiding. Overall the whole info you get differ but the most important ones are still in. These changes are not bad and actually interesting, which make reading the manga the more worth it.
I really don’t mind rereading the whole visual novel again, starting from Episode 1… ^^
And yeah, lots of nice music in Umineko. Serene, techno, epic, beautiful, you have it.
One day, I might make a post that lists notable Umineko music and maybe lists some of the scenes where they’re used. This means spoilers though, so I have to think about it ^^;
I probably haven’t consumed too many novels, mangas, movies and anime, but if you’re looking for a very unique and original storytelling, this series is my top recommendation ;)