Umineko: An Anime and VN Comparison

Yeah, so here’s the surprise post finally. This took SO much longer to get out than I expected. My bad. The combination of health problems, massive amounts of homework, and uploading issues delayed this much longer than needed. Though all of those are taken care of now.

Anyways, this post isn’t one of those “OMG THE ANIME IS SO TERRIBLE HERE’S MY SUPER AMAZING LIST OF REASONS WHY.” I’m just going to point out all the major differences between the two mediums that I noticed when watching. I’m not going to point out every little thing, that would take an eternity.

Well, okay, some bias is unavoidable, but I will point out a few blurbs the anime version did of its own accord. Also, I know Umineko is classified as a sound novel rather than a visual novel, but big freaking difference.

And finally, do excuse me if I’m not the most vocal person in the world during this post. I have an essay due tomorrow, and I haven’t gotten to freaking start yet. SPEED BLOGGING, GO!

NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T AT LEAST WATCHED THE ANIME VERSION OF UMINEKO, IT IS HIGHLY ADVISED TO NOT CONTINUE. MASSIVE SPOILERS ARE ABOUND.

ARC 1: LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN WITCH


I don’t actually have anything for this one. I could nitpick, but everything major was adapted. Next.

 

ARC 2: TURN OF THE GOLDEN WITCH


EPISODE 9:

Alrighty, first difference we have is during the 2nd twilight discovery. While nothing incredibly major, it was something I noticed.snap1

In the anime, Rosa explains her Kanon theory, Beatrice heckles Battler a little, and then Battler pops out the theory which shows Kanon is likely innocent.

In the VN, however…snap2

The visual novel featured ghosts of Kanon and Jessica pleading with people to listen to them. Beatrice also heckled them a bit.

 

EPISODE 10:

Unfortunately, the difference in this episode made me really upset with the anime adaptation. It left out one of my favorite parts.

In the anime, upon heading to the servants’ room to find both Nanjo and Kumasawa’s bodies missing, Beatrice and Battler popped up. Beato used some quick red to confirm that the door was locked by a key, and you need a key to open the door, etc.snap3

However, in the visual novel, Battler took a stab at what happened, saying the murderer was still in the room. Unfortunately, his theory was completely flipped over on him.snap4

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And then we got this little gem, which is one of mine, and a lot of people’s favorite parts.snap6

Hey, it’s true, or she wouldn’t have been able to say it in red!

 

EPISODE 11:

Not the biggest difference in the world, but the scene when Beatrice kills George and Shannon, she interrupts George mid-sentence to be a troll.snap7

In the VN, she also stops him in the middle of his sentence, but doesn’t say anything. You just get flashes of blood/kill screens and troll laughing. I don’t have pictures of the VN for this, for obvious reasons. ‘Dem flashing images.

Also, the tea party missed yet another favorite part that fans liked, and were quite looking forward to. In the anime, Beato trolls Rosa, goes all “IT’S PAHFECTO” on us, then Battler shows up and says he’s ready for round 3.snap8

In the VN, Battler made a much more… showy entrance.snap9

Everyone looking forward to the face-smashing was sorely disappointed.

 

ARC 3: BANQUET OF THE GOLDEN WITCH


EPISODE 12:

In the anime, this arc starts off with mini-Beato talking to Virgilia.snap10

But then it jumps straight to ‘DEM TITS.snap11

In the VN, after Beato recalled her past with Virgilia, she was in the meta-smoking room commenting on it. She was interrupted by the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, who were having a little fun.snap12

The scene had the sisters pestering Battler for answers for the mysteries of the last arc, and when he failed, they attacked him. Battler get torn to pieces multiple times, where Beatrice then had to revive him constantly. The scene helped show the Sisters’ personalities more.

 

EPISODE 13:

This was definitely one of the differences the fans of the VN were more vocal about. As you’ve already seen, in the anime, Virgilia always has her eyes open to some degree.snap13

In the VN on the other hand, she never has her eyes open.snap14

Well, until the end, that is.snap15

I will admit, it did make for the bigger impact since her eyes only opened during “LOL I TROLL U” mode, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. VN fans need to chill out sometimes.

 

EPISODE 15:

Not the biggest difference in the universe, but in the anime, Eva-Beatrice killed Rosa and Maria using gravity, the sea of jelly, and cake.snap16

In the VN, the same things happened (though they only happened to Rosa, not Maria too), but then Eva-Beatrice followed up with one more. Just like another one of Rosa’s childhood dreams, she turned Rosa into a butterfly. However, Rosa got stuck in something shortly afterwards.snap17

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Again, not the biggest difference in the world, but I thought this one was the creepiest of all the deaths, which is why I noticed it was left out. I also think the anime should have focused more why Eva-Beatrice did the sort of killings she did. The whole point was that up until now, you’ve seen Beatrice as the most evil thing in existence, and then all of a sudden here comes a character who enjoys turning your childhood dreams into nightmarish realities. It helps drive the nail home for hating Eva-Beatrice, and adds to the foreshadowing of Beatrice not being as evil as you think.

 

EPISODE 17:

This episode actually made a pretty noticeable difference. After George and Shannon were killed by the Siestas, Beatrice vanished from the room. The Siestas commented on not targeting Beato.snap19

In the VN, the scene played out quite differently.snap20

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The scene helped show that Beatrice, who was on her path of seeking forgiveness from Battler, had at least managed to get it from her teacher at this point. It also served to show that Eva-Beatrice was done screwing around with Beato at this point.

 

EPISODE 18:

The first difference to notice is the red fight with Eva-Beatrice. She listed off quite a few reasons saying how logical reasoning was impossible.snap24

The VN did the same, but with far more information.snap25

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Admittedly, some of the extra information was a bit mundane, but it helped drive home the idea of “this murder is unsolvable!”

A second difference, and probably the anime’s biggest crime against the original source, was Lambdadelta’s characterization. In the tea party, she calmly asks Beato if she’s even trying to win, then acts like a schoolgirl who just learned a dirty secret and wants to blackmail you.snap27

That is not how Lambdadelta is supposed to act according to the VN. Sure, she acts like a schoolgirl, but only when Bern is around. In fact, they cut the entire first half of the tea party out, which had Beato and Bern screwing with Lambda.snap28

Then Bern disappears, and Lambda does act like a blackmailer, but definitely not a schoolgirl. She acts like the mastermind she’s supposed to sound like, and provides the big shock that Beato has been on Lambda’s leash the whole entire time.snap29

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In fact, the PS3 port of the VN did a fantastic job of this switch in personality. Someone on Youtube managed to splice the PS3 audio into the PC game, so check out how Lambdadelta was supposed to sound/act. Quite different from how the anime made her seem, right?

 

ARC 4: ALLIANCE OF THE GOLDEN WITCH

 

EPISODE 19:

The first episode for Alliance actually has a fun opening with Ronove tricking Beatrice into thinking that Battler was still shaken up about the last game. In the anime, Beato starts feeling remorse, when Beelzebub and Battler show up out of nowhere, revealing Ronove’s little distortion of the truth.snap31

In the VN, the opposite happened. Beatrice showed up to where Battler and Beelzebub were, leading to quite the humorous situation.snap32

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It’s not that big of a deal, but the multiple flags and confetti would’ve been pretty funny in anime format.

 

EPISODE 20:

Ah, another scene where Lambda acts out of character. Thanks, DEEN. When Lambda reveals Bern’s lie, she acts along the lines of, “Hehehehe, I knew something yooooooouuuuu didn’t!”snap34

While she does also act like that in the VN, her underlying malice is something DEEN failed to adapt.snap35

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Rather than just casually revealing it, the point of the scene was for Lambda to brutally shove it in Ange’s face, making her waver about her conviction to help Battler win.

 

EPISODE 22:

Another minor difference, but when it’s time for the Rosa vs. Maria fight, the anime jumps straight into it.snap37

In the VN, the scene actually starts with Rosa wandering around the battlefield-to-be with none other than Sakutaro.snap38

Rosa doesn’t remember who he is (well, she’s never seen his human form before, so it makes sense), but he tries to help her escape before Maria shows up. The scene was more… psychological in the VN. Maria swore vengeance for Sakutaro, yet Sakutaro himself tries to save Rosa from her fate.

 

EPISODE 24:

The first difference for this episode was one everyone expected. As the parents and Nanjo and Kanon and Shannon are running away from the cell, they come across Virgilia and a goat minion. The VN then decides to have some comedic relief for once, and Krauss goes into a boxing match against the goat, who fans have dubbed Goat-kun, due to Nanjo referring to him as such.snap39

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The scene had a lot of talk about power levels, loser flags, and a goat minion that got far more characterization than anyone expected. Everyone was fully aware this was going to get cut from the anime, but it’s still a great scene.

Next on the list for this episode is Gaap. As her fight with George drew to a close, she revealed to not be in any danger, with the strangest troll face ever made.

snap41

:3

I guess that counts as a troll face, but it made me and a lot of others laugh rather than be shocked. The VN just decided to be creepy with it.snap42

That’s some creepy-ass sideboob cat eyes.

The next offenders on the list are a double-team from Battler’s test to be the next head. In the anime, he denied having feelings for anyone, and Beatrice went along with the serious trial.snap43

In the VN, we got a few more sentences after this which was a pretty funny exchange between Battler and Beato.snap44

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The scene was funny, needless to say, but it also provided foreshadowing. I won’t spoil what it foreshadowed for you anime viewers, though, because I’m a meanie.

The second difference that also took place during this test was near the end, when it was revealed that Battler had a sin. This difference is also known as the “OH FUCK OUR BUDGET RAN OUT” syndrome.snap46

Why the name? Because most of this was supposed to be stated in red.snap47

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Needless to say, anime viewers figured Beatrice was lying when this happened. And in all fairness, they had every right to doubt it. DEEN shouldn’t have blown their budget like they did. I’ll prove later in this post that they did blow it, too.

Anyways, last on this list is another case of the “OH FUCK OUR BUDGET RAN OUT” syndrome. Behold statement in anime.snap49

Behold statement in VN.snap50

Again, anime viewers casted suspicion on this scene, mainly because Battler was just using the red shortly beforehand. It wouldn’t become obvious that DEEN just pick and chose statements that needed to be in red to actually be in red due to their budget being gone until later.

 

EPISODE 26:

Think last episode had a long list? The final episode of the anime was the biggest offender of them all. Put on your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

The first difference was, of course, lack of red. When Ange shows up and revives Sakutaro, the anime just showed Beatrice going Luke Skywalker on us.snap51

In the VN, we got a nice bit of red.snap52

snap53

Beatrice gets cut off there, and can’t finish the sentence in red. It was the big reveal that anime viewers didn’t get.

Next on the list is yet another butchering of Lambda’s character. Yay! In the anime, after Beato is brought back to the meta-smoking room, Lambda can be heard laughing like an idiot, then pops up nearby.snap54

In the VN, Lambda is tired of playing around with Beatrice, and makes sure she won’t do any more funny business.snap55

snap56

Oh, Lambda. Your underlying evil side was so neglected…

Ah, this one’s my favorite. It’s the ultimate proof that DEEN’s budget went to hell. As you know, the red and blue statements were done in CG, so they were the very last thing added to the production. They definitely come after… oh, lets say, the script?snap57

snap58

Wait a minute… that doesn’t sound quite right… So yeah, DEEN blew their budget. AWESOME DIRECTING, CHIAKI KON.

Anyways, the next difference is, of course, even more red. The anime didn’t have anything Battler or Ange said in red, whereas in the VN pretty much everything Ange said was red.snap59

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It helped solidify Ange’s decision to sacrifice herself, basically. Mainly due to Battler utterly failing in the “how to tell if somebody is an ally or not” department.

Next on the list is even more red! It shouldn’t be surprising by this point. Here’s a couple statements that didn’t get the red treatment in the anime (though there’s plenty more).snap62

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Next on the list actually doesn’t deal with the red at all, surprisingly. However, it deals with DEEN yet again failing to portray characters correctly. I’m starting to wonder if Chiaki Kon even read Umineko before directing this. Basically, Beatrice is all, “GRRR I’M SICK OF THIS SHIT, END IT, BATTLER!” Though she does get somewhat the right treatment near the end. snap64

Battler, on the other hand, comes off as some kind of angry midget. Everything he says bleeds malice for Beatrice, and won’t shuttup about killing her.snap65

DEEN left out a pretty vital monologue by Beatrice, which helped reveal the whole concept that she wasn’t actually the main antagonist for the series. It also allowed Battler to reveal that he is actually capable of compassion, despite what DEEN may think.snap66

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Believe it or not, that last part is said by Beatrice, not Battler. But you wouldn’t know that just from the anime adaptation, huh DEEN?

Next up, more red! Beatrice’s entire last riddle was supposed to be in red, but yeah.snap74

And the VN shots.snap75

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Don’t really have much to add for that.

Also, at the end, when Beatrice asks “Who aam I?…” in the anime, Battler did what I showed in the screenshot earlier. “GRR, I’MA KILL YOU.” In the VN, something very different happened.snap78

Right after asking it, Beatrice collapsed into his chest, crying, and Battler held her back. Where’s my compassion at, DEEN?

Moving along on the list, we have more red! Actually I can’t blame DEEN’s budgest on this one, since they blatantly left out these statements. Anyways, at the very end with Bern and Lambda, Lambda mentions that Battler’s theories are completely off.snap79

In the VN, Lambda took the time to explain, too.snap80

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The whole point was that up until this scene, the readers are going, “FUCK YEAH BATTLER, YOU’RE OWNING THOSE CLOSED ROOMS!” Then Lambda swoops down and we get a lot of “LOL U MAD?” This is where the reader’s brain explodes and they have to completely rethink their logic.

And the last one! Ready for this? It’s more characterization issues! At the end of the anime, Lambda and Bern snuggle together in bed claim that Beatrice has no chance of winning, then giggle like schoolgirls.snap86

That’s not how it’s supposed to end, exactly, as the VN shows.snap87

Rather than laughing along the lines of “Teehee, Beato is so dumb~” the laugh at the end was supposed to be more of an “ALL ACCORDING TO KEIKAKU,” since it reveals that Bern and Lambda are trolls who have been on the same team since the beginning.

 

CONCLUSIONS

And that’s the end of the comparison! Holy shit I took way too many pictures. Took me like 8 hours altogether to write this. The hell is wrong with me? Umineko motivates me like nothing else can.

Anyways, I got far more biased at the end than I expected, sorry about that. It just pisses me off that Umineko of all things would be the show where the director doesn’t bother to calculate/allocate the budget correctly. I didn’t even point out all of the animation blurbs the show had. I think the DVD/BD releases only fixed one of those, too. Plus, a lot of the time the show looked like you were watching it through some kind of wet, blurry filter. The art style was strange sometimes.

But before I start ranting, I’d like to both thank and congratulate you for reaching the end of this post. You should get a medal for reading all of my bullshit.


12 Comments on “Umineko: An Anime and VN Comparison”

  1. Mic2070 says:

    That’s not bullshit, they’re all valid points on which DEEN blatantly fucked up.

    Also, no NIPA. (And I watched umineko for the sole purpose of hearing a bernkastel nipa. Hopefully the PS3 version did not fail on this point.)

    • Riyoga says:

      By bullshit, I meant the wall-o-text. :P

      Not all of them are necessarily fuck ups though, an adaptation isn’t required to be an exact replication. However, it does need to maintain the core and important information from the source material, which is why the lack of red pissed me off.

      Just like Goat-kun, I figured everyone knew there wasn’t going to be any Nipa~?
      The PS3 Nipa~ is absolutely brilliant, though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPDroeyHD7M

  2. Ansir says:

    Your missing like half of the pictures…

    • Riyoga says:

      Not sure what you’re talking about. If you’re referring to the post itself, there’s a crapload of pictures (about 88), and they probably didn’t load completely for you. Just try refreshing.

      Though WordPress was having server problems last night, so that could be it.

      • Ansir says:

        I refreshed and nothing happened…

      • Riyoga says:

        I have multiple people saying they can see the pictures just fine, and that they take a while to load. If your internet is really slow, that could cause them to abort loading.

        Can you point out where pictures are missing or any other details?

  3. Ansir says:

    Everytjing after Battler fights Beatrice off the last time is gone they allo have question marks where the pics are supposed to be.

    • Riyoga says:

      Hmm… the pictures are still in the database. Maybe your web browsers history/cache isn’t trying to connect to the server after its first try.

      Try opening this page in a different web browser. And let me know if that fixes it.

  4. Mido says:

    Deen fucked up Higurashi EVEN MORE. Even the main character was ruined, since they completely ignored Bernkastel and used Rika as the MC (Rika never appeared in the original Higurashi novels, for god’s sake!).

    The worst part is, people dare to even TALK about Higurashi or theorize about Bern without having read Higurashi. Fucking Deen… Fucking Chiaki Kon… Oh, god, why? Why?

  5. Wow, that’s a pretty full analysis. I heard that Lambdadelta was evil but man the VN make her and rest of the witch squad downright sinister. Hell, even from what I got out of the anime, I still didn’t trust Bernkastel. And Battler giving Beatrice a a slam…whoah. I guess there were somethings that couldn’t be done in the anime. And it’s true if you’re not familiar with the overall story then of course the anime would be the only thing accepted. But I have a question does anyone know how the manga fares in comparison to the VN? How much is covered when compared to what the anime couldn’t?

    • Riyoga says:

      I haven’t read any of the manga, but as far as I’m aware, people consider it to be pretty good. Most people will still say the VN is better, obviously, but I’m not aware of any real bad blood towards the manga adaptation.

      It most likely covers more than the anime, but not as much as the VN. The VN has a lot of words, and manga don’t traditionally have a lot of text, so it makes sense.

  6. Anon says:

    Good one. I am amazed by your work!


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